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Poachers, Tried for Murder of a Gamekeeper.

Illustration: Chalker and Keys Attacking the Gamekeepers.

            At the Bury Assizes, on Thursday the 26th of March, 1835, Edward Chalker and Jeremy Keys, were indicted for the murder of Bryan Green, on the 22nd of November. -- The unfortunate man, whose fatal end led to the inquiry, was one of the under-gamekeepers of. Miss Lloyd, the lady of the manor of Hintlesham; and on the night of the 22nd of November, he and a fellow-servant named Masterman, were on the watch in the great wood upon the manor, which was well stocked with pheasants; and which was separated from a smaller wood by a glade. Nothing particular occurred till half-past three in the morning, when they heard the whiz of an air-gun very near the place where they had posted themselves. The sound proceeded from the little wood, to which they immediately made their way, and on crossing the glade they saw a spotted spaniel dog and a man passing from one wood to the other. The man instantly ran into the little wood, and the keepers pursued and overtook him. He suffered himself to be taken without any struggle, but he was no sooner in hold than he gave a "signal whistle," and two other men ran to his assistance, one of them having in his hand an air-gun. The three men then assailed the two keepers, who were instantly struck to the earth, and Masterman was beaten with a club as he lay on the ground, until he became quite insensible. Green had at first threatened to shoot the men, unless they let him go unharmed; but they swore he should not escape himself, nor harm them, and presently he too was left in a state of insensibility. Upon Masterman's coming to himself, he heard Green groaning most piteously, and upon his crawling to him, he found his head in a pool of blood, which was still flowing profusely. After some time Masterman contrived to get as far as the head-keeper's house, and upon their returning to the scene of the outrage, they took the wounded man on a litter to the keeper's lodge, and sent for a surgeon. It was found, upon examining his head, that there was a wound on one side, through which the brain was escaping, and the skull was extensively fractured. A portion of the bone was pressed into the brain; upon removing this, the patient experienced some relief, and in a few hours could utter a few monosyllables; but he soon afterwards relapsed, and after fluctuating between life and death for a few days, he ceased to suffer. He had, on the night in question, a pistol and a gun with him, and upon searching on the spot on the following morning, they were found lying upon the ground. The cock of the pistol was struck down, but the pan had not risen, and the pistol, consequently, had not gone off. His gun was found with the barrel broken from the stock, and on the breech a piece of skin and hair and some blood were observed, and a recently killed pheasant and a bludgeon were lying close by.

            It appeared that the prisoners were in the habit of frequenting a beer-house, called the "Fox and Grapes," at Ipswich, which was six or seven miles from Hintlesham; and a day or two before the evening in question, Chalker told a Mr. Frost, who was drinking there, that he would give him a pheasant for his Sunday's dinner. In the afternoon of the 22nd, one Upson, the village smith, went to the Fox and Grapes to repair the lock of the cellar door, and whilst he was in the cellar the landlady heard the peculiar sound which is made by discharging an air-gun; and it appeared that the prisoner, Chalker, kept his in the cellar. It was further proved that the prisoners and two other men left the house on that evening, and returned early the next morning, when some mysterious conversation was heard between them, respecting Hintlesham wood. Other corroborative facts were given in evidence, which clearly proved that Chalker had been concerned in the dreadful transaction. The evidence respecting Keys was not so conclusive. Chalker was found guilty, but Keys was acquitted.

            The former received sentence of death, and was executed on the following Monday, the 30th of March.


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