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Evidence of the Widow

12 Kimbolton Road May 2009
12 Kimbolton Road May 2009

“Frances Mary Budd: I am the widow of Frederick Budd. I do not now reside at 12 Kimbolton Road; but did at the time of my husband’s death. I remember Sunday, the 10th of May. I left Mr. Pulley’s house on the night at ten minutes or a quarter past eleven with Mr. Budd. We went from thence along Castle-lane on our way home. I had hold of Mr. Budd’s arm. When we got to Mr. Higgins’s brewery we saw five men; they appeared to be across the road. None of the men were dressed as soldiers. They were standing still as we came up. I do not know whether we passed any of the men. The first thing I knew I heard my husband say, was “What do you mean by that?” I turned and saw a man’s arm raised. He struck my husband. My husband raised his stick, but did not strike. He did not raise his stick before the man struck him first. My husband asked his name, upon which he received another blow upon his face. I cannot say whether the same man gave him a second blow. The two men then set upon him. They struck him several times; he fell down. They struck him on his face. After he fell down I helped him up. We went a short distance, when they attacked him again and knocked him down again. I saw both men strike him repeatedly when he was on the ground. They then left us and appeared to go towards the High-street. After they left us I asked if any one would come and help me. A young man came up, and presently a soldier came as well. They both helped my husband up. After that some more soldiers came up. I do not know how many. They walked by the side of me and my husband as far as Lurke-lane. As the soldiers were walking by our side some man came behind. He said my husband was drunk and incapable. I could not see who it was, it was too dark. He asked my husband how he liked his nose flat on his face? My husband asked the soldiers if they would like to know his name? Some one said yes. He told them his name. He said, “My name is Mr. Budd” and then he spelt the same, and gave his address, 12, Kimbolton-road. All the soldiers then left. We than went to 12, Kimbolton-road. We did not go in; we went to Captain Boultbee’s. We did not go in at 12-Kimbolton-road, because my husband wished to go to Captain Boultbee’s to show him what state he was in. I went with my husband to Captain Boultbee’s; I saw young Mr. Boultbee. He went home with us. Presently my husband went upstairs. I sent for Mr. Couchman, and he came. My husband undressed himself and went to bed. He complained very much of his head. He subsequently became worse. About three o’clock I sent for Mr. Couchman again. When he arrived Mr. Budd was dead. I am quite certain that between the time the two men struck my husband and the time he got home no men in uniform struck him. From the time of the first attack and the time he got home no one but the two men struck my husband. My husband lost his hat. The two men took it away with them. I saw them kicking it about. I did not see them kick my husband”.

William CraddockRobert Jordan
William Craddock and Robert Jordan in the Bedford Gaol Register [QGV10/4]

“Cross-examined by Serjt. Tozer: the prosecution was commenced upon my instructions. I have a brother-in-law in the county in the profession, but he has not conducted the case. I instructed Mr. Sharman in the first instance. I do not know whether three militiamen were taken into custody on this charge”.

“His Lordship interposed, observing that he could not see that anything could possibly turn upon the case by pursuing the subject further”.

“Mr. Serjeant Tozer said he would at once yield to the judgement of his Lordship”.

High Street entrance to Castle Lane May 2009
High Street entrance to Castle Lane May 2009

“Cross-examination continued: The High-street and by St. Peter’s Church is not the shortest way from Mr. Pulley’s to Kimbolton-road. We were in the habit of going along Castle-lane as the shorter way home. The five persons extended across the road, so that it was difficult to pass without brushing against one or the other. When my husband said “What do you mean by that?” we were in the group of five men. My husband had a stick but he did not strike with it. He merely raised it in self-defence to ward off the blows. I did not see him waving the stick about. Mr. Boultbee walked with us home and remained some little time. My husband thought the attack was made upon him by the soldiers. He told Mr. Boultbee so. I then replied that they were not soldiers. I afterwards saw police-constable Pedley, who was present with Mr. Boultbee. Pedley asked my husband who assaulted him, and he said soldiers. Pedley asked him if there were any civilians, and he said there were not. I raised my husband myself the first time without any interference at all. When I got him up he held my arm with his left hand, helping himself with his stick I his right. There were no other persons near my husband except two men when he was knocked down the second time. I cannot say whether they were the same two men who knocked my husband down the first time. I do not know whether my husband turned around in going along after he was struck the first time. I do not believe he did, but will not undertake to say that he did not”.

“Re-examined: My husband’s stick was an ordinary walking stick. The deceased was sitting in an easy chair in the dining room when he said he believed the soldiers attacked him. He was confused at the time when he spoke to Mr. Boultbee, and also when he spoke to Pedley. When he was reclining on Capt. Boultbee’s step his mind was wandering. He asked, “Why is Patience so long coming?” Patience is the name of our servant at Buckingham, and my husband seemed to fancy he was at his own door at Buckingham. When Pedley asked me if there were any civilians I said there was one civilian. I alluded to the person who helped him up”.