The Damaged Oak Tree

A set of fiche from Wiltshire Family History Society entitled Rough Justice mentions a William BREADMORE of Mildenhall convicted of damaging an oak tree in Savernake Forest in 1844.

I was able to obtain a copy of the original document which states that William along with three others

‘did on the twenty sixth day of March in Savernake Forest unlawfully and maliciously damage a certain Oak tree, by then and there setting fire to it and burning the said tree, the said Tree being then and there the property of the Most Honourable Marquess of Ailesbury.’

The four were found guilty and each was ordered to pay £4 plus seven shillings and sixpence costs - ‘and in default of immediate payment of the said sums, to be imprisoned in the House of Correction at Devizes for two calendar months unless the said sums shall be paid sooner’

I have yet to find if the money was paid or if time was spent in the House of Correction, although The Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette of 4 April 1844 included the following statement

'COMMITTED TO THE NEW PRISON DEVIZES - John Greenaway, Charles Cripps, William Breadmore and Henry Hurlbutt, for two months each, for maliciously setting fire and burning an oak tree, the property of the Marquis of Ailsbury at Savernake Forest.'

William died at Mildenhall on 3 September 1845, aged 68.

Andrew Young - - © Margaret and Andrew Young
Breadmore One-Name Study - The Damaged Oak Tree -