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Police Evidence

1 Goldington Road in May 2009 - note the steps on which Frederick Budd sat
1 Goldington Road in May 2009 - note the steps on which Frederick Budd sat

“Edward Joseph Boultbee sworn: Am a lieutenant in Her Majesty’s 15th Regiment [later the East Yorkshire Regiment]; and the son of Captain Boultbee, chief constable of Bedfordshire. On the night of Sunday, May 10th, just about half-past 11, I heard a ringing at the door bell. I went down to the door and saw Mrs. Budd; Mr. Bud was lying on the steps. I noticed his appearance. He appeared stunned and confused. He was bloody. In answer to by question he said he had been assaulted by some soldiers. He said he had appealed to a picket, and said he had been assaulted. The sergeant told him he was drunk, and did not know what he was about. I accompanied him to his house and remained with him about three quarters of an hour. I was present when Pedley asked him if there were any civilians with the soldiers. He said, no, there were not. I heard Mrs. Budd say first of all that there were soldiers, and afterwards that there might have been a civilian amongst the party. I have seen Warner and believe he is not a soldier”.

“Cross-examined by Mr. Metcalfe: When Mrs. Budd first came to me, as far as I can remember, she said that soldiers had been assaulting her husband. The deceased said all through that the men were soldiers. He said it was soldiers, and nobody else”.

“Cross-examined by Serjeant Tozer: I walked with him from my father’s house with young Mr. Graham. I thought he was confused from being stunned. He did not state anything at one time which he contradicted at another. As far as anything he said I had no reason to suppose he was confused in his mind. His language was coherent, and the sentences were put together correctly”.

“Re-examined: I thought he was in such a state as not to be able to hold an argument. I heard him say that soldiers had assaulted him, but I did not hear him say when they assaulted him”.

Sergeant Matthew Pedley with other members of the Borough force about 1875
Sergeant Matthew Pedley with other members of the Borough force about 1875 [Z49/836 - detail]

“Police-constable Pedley: I am a police-constable of Bedford. I know the Ram-yard; it runs from the High-street to Castle-lane. There is a public-house about 30 yards from the bottom of Ram-yard, in Castle-lane. It is called the Eagle. I received information of Mr. Budd’s assault on the night of the 10th of May, and went to No. 12, Kimbolton-road. I saw the deceased in the presence of Mr. Boultbee jun., and heard him say he had been assaulted by soldiers. He said the soldiers were in Castle-lane when they assaulted him; and after he had left the soldiers in Castle-lane and had got to the end of Lurke-lane he met some more soldiers, and said to them, “Who are you?” One of them replied, “I am the sergeant of the picket”. “What name?” “Brown”. Mr. Budd then said “I have been assaulted by some of your comrades”. The sergeant replied, “Pass on, man, you are drunk”. He said the sergeant told him this at the end of Lurke-lane. He seemed to be in a very exhausted state, and looked very wild”.

Robert Jordan in the Bedford Gaol Register [QGV10/4]
Robert Jordan in the Bedford Gaol Register [QGV10/4]

“By Mr. Metcalfe: I asked Mr. Budd if there were any civilians there, and he said “No, soldiers, soldiers”. I said, “Was any one with you?” He said, “Yes; my wife”. I then turned to Mrs. Budd and asked if there were any civilians present? She said there was one, and he was the worse for drink. I then said “I shall find the case out”. I saw the prisoners at about twenty minutes past 11 that night, in company with four soldiers. They were standing opposite the Ship, in St. Cuthbert’s-street, within a few yards of the church. The soldiers were the witnesses Hopcroft, Scott and Webster. They were making a disturbance. I recommended the soldiers to go to their billets, and told Craddock and Jordan it was time they were at home and in bed. The soldiers accordingly went away to their respective billets, and the two prisoners went towards their homes. About a quarter before four the next morning I took Jordan into custody at his father’s house, when he was in bed. I did not find any blood upon his clothes”.

William Craddock in the Bedford Gaol Register [QGV10/4]
William Craddock in the Bedford Gaol Register [QGV10/4]

“By Serjeant Tozer: the Rifle public-house is in the High-street, opposite the Ram-yard, and would be the straightest way to the prisoners’ homes. Craddock had been drinking and was the worse for drink. He is a native of the town. I never knew anything wrong in the man before in my life. As far as I know I never saw him otherwise than sober and quiet before. I have been in the borough police about eight years”.