The Western Gazette, Friday July 7th 1865.
LONG ASHTON. – PETTY SESSIONS, Friday. – (Before the Rev. Henry Mirehouse, chairman: Col. Burrows: and Messrs. J. Mordaunt, J. H. Blagrave, and R. Castle.) Thomas Harrold and Frederick Oatway, of Long Ashton were summoned by Alfred Biss, a gamekeeper in the employ of Sir Grenville Smyth, for trespassing on land in the occupation of Richmond Harding, in pursuit of game, on the 22nd June. The same defendant was charged with assaulting Charles Biss, a son of the gamekeeper, on the same day. After hearing the evidence, the magistrates dismissed both cases.

Bristol Mercury Saturday November 3rd 1866
NORTH SOMERSET AGRICULTURAL ASSOCIATION. (Excerpts). – The ploughing match took place in a field on Failand farm. . . . .There were 50 entries, and 49 ploughs started. . . . .In the second class, the only ploughman who finished his work in time was Frederick Oatway, and consequently, he received the first prize.

The Bristol Mercury And Western Counties Advertiser, Saturday September 4th 1869
LONG ASHTON PETTY SESSIONS. – This was the annual licensing day for the renewal of licences and for hearing the applications for fresh licences for the sale of spirits. . . . . Mark Oatway, beerhouse-keeper, of Bedminster-down, applied for and obtained a spirit licence, his application being supported by Mr. Mossly.

The Western Daily Press. Saturday July 5th 1871.
BRISTOL POLICE COURT. – LONG ASHTON PETTY SESSIONS. – Solomom Oatway, of Long Ashton, for assault on Hannah Granger, was fined 6s. 6d. including costs.

The Bristol Mercury and Western Counties Advertiser, Saturday July 8th 1871.
LONG ASHTON PETTY SESSIONS. – Solomon Oatway was summoned for assaulting Hannah Granger, on the 23rd of June. The parties happened to meet in a public-house together, and came to high words, and eventually the defendant flung a cup of beer in the complainants face. The defendant alleged that the complainant aggravated him by making very improper statements about his mother and his sister. He was ordered to pay 6s. 6d., or in default seven days imprisonment.

The Bristol Mercury And Western Counties Advertiser, Saturday March 16th 1872.
Solomon Oatway, a sturdy-looking fellow, was charged by Alfred Biss with having threatened him, whereby he went in bodily fear. Biss a gamekeeper to Sir Wm. Miles, stated that on March 6th the defendant came to his placeand asked what had become of a little dog that belonged to him (defendant). Witness told him he did know, and he then became very abusive, and said the first dark night he could catch him under his nail he would do for him; that he should not have a chance of running for Shore or anyone else. Defendant denied the threats, and the magistrate did not think there was sufficient evidence to warrant binding their over the defendant. He was discharged with a caution.

The Western Daily Press. Saturday March 16th 1872
BRISTOL POLICE COURT. – LONG ASHTON PETTY SESSIONS. – Solomon Oatway, of Long Ashton, was charged with using threatening language towards Alfred Bliss, gamekeeper to Sir G. Smyth, Bart. But as the magistrate did not consider the case proved, it was dismissed with costs.

The Bristol Mercury And Western Counties Advertiser, Saturday January 18th 1873.
LONG ASHTON PETTY SESSIONS. – John Carter, a youth of 19, was charged with violently assaulting John  Oatway, of Long Ashton. Two other men, not yet in custody, were alleged to have been the principal actors in a savage attack on the complainant, and Carter was remanded on his own recognisance.

The Taunton Courier Wednesday April 2nd 1873.

Steven Ball, Solomon Oatway, Joseph Poole and William Shaw, who surrendered on bail, were charged that they, being each armed with guns, did enter a certain close of land in the occupation of Sir William Miles, Bart., about the hour of ten o’clock, for the purpose of taking and destroying game, at Abbot’s Leigh, on the 24th of December, 1872.

Mr.. Saunders and Mr.. Horner (instructed by Mr. O’Donoghue) prosecuted, and Mr. Collins defended.

Henry Morse gamekeeper, identified the prisoners as having being in the wood on the night in question. In cross-examination he said he wouldn’t swear to the gun; the wood was a young cover wood; there were young oaks and beeches; the underwood had been cut, but the young trees were allowed to grow; raining a little, and was not very dark; not two minutes from the time he had a knock on the head till they ran away he struggled with one man on the grass; Oatway struck him on the head with the barrel of the gun, and nearly stunned him; he had a gash on the cheek at the same time; the gun was also pointed at him; could see the bore of the gun; the men were there about two minutes; it wasn’t moonlight.

Re-examined: About one and a half miles from the suspension bridge; iron works about one and a half miles off.

Wm. Pennell, lives at Abbot’s Leigh; met Henry Moss; went to the wood first, and heard two guns, afterwards heard  several birds shot; Morse caught one man, and witness caught Ball; was dragged through the brushes; called to Morse; when Morse came up the blood was running from his cheek.

Cross-examined: Couldn’t see the other man as it was dark; they did not turn their faces towards him; it was raining a little; a little starlight.

Isaac Watts, one of the keepers, went out with Morse, after hearing the two shots, looked at his watch; it was quarter past nine; about half an hour afterwards heard a shot; knew where Poole’s father lived.

William Tilley, police constable, stationed at Wraxall, on the 26th of December went to Oatway’s  house, which is near  Poole’s shop, in Long Ashton; found a gun there (the one produced); the muzzle was dirty, and a little rust on the nipple (it transpired that the gun was loaded, and his lordship gave orders for it to be immediately unloaded); the gun had no ramrod; also found a stick which appeared to have been used for loading the gun; Shores face was much scratched.

Cross-examined: couldn’t say his wife hadn’t scratched his face.

Henry Ball, living at Long Ashton, brother of one of the prisoners, saw the prisoners on the day referred to, at the Angel Inn, Long Ashton; had on a fur cap similar to the one produced; Shore hadt a hat like the one produced, “a bowler,” they left the inn at eight o’clock; on the Christmas Day, Oatway asked him “what was up;” Oatway told him he was there; said they had had several shots, and that Morse came up, and “catched” hold of one of them; that Morse sang out for help, and a scuffle took place; the gun produced was Oatway’s gun: his gun had no ramrod.

Cross-examined: Had first told his evidence accidentally, and didn’t expect to be pulled up here; told Morse of it about a month ago; Morse was in the road, didn’t think it was any harm;  Morse didn’t say his brother would be let off easier if witness told what he knew, never went poaching himself.

Re-examined: Had since told Mr. O’Donoghue.

Mister Collins, in addressing the jury for the defense, complained that witnesses had been brought forward who had not previously been examined by the magistrates, and that he (Mr.. Collins) had had no copy of their depositions before coming into court; this he strongly denounced as being unfair, and looked as if there was one law for the rich and another for the poor (applause, upon which the Judge said he should immediately commit any person for contempt of court who made any attempt to interfere with the course of justice.)

The jury returned a verdict of guilty against each prisoner.

His lordship, in giving judgment, drew a distinction between Ball and Shore, who had not used any violence, and Oatway and Poole, who had assaulted the keeper.  Shore, who has previously been imprisoned for a month for poaching, was committed to prison for 6 months with hard labour; Ball. Who had been convicted several times, to eight months hard labour, and each of the prisoners Oatway and Poole to twelve months hard labour.

On leaving the dock one of the prisoners accused the last witness of perjury in saying he had never been punished for poaching  himself.


Bristol Mercury Saturday September 9th 1876
DEATH – September 1, at the Plough Inn, Bedminster, Mark Oatway, aged 79, deeply regretted. His and was peace. 


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