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1851: Sheep thief apprehended in Whiteman's Green after a 40 mile pursuit

Brighton Gazette - Thursday 16 January 1851

CUCKFIELD. Charge of Sheep Stealing.

-A person, named William Haylar, a native of this place, but who had left for some years, was apprehended here on Thursday night on a change of stealing fat sheep, the property of Mr Cox, a large grazier of Hadlow, in Kent. It appears that no less than from 30 to 40 sheep have been lately stolen from that neighbourhood and the one in question was slaughtered under a hop-pole stack, and part of the meat left behind.

The portion carried away was found in a house occupied by Haylar, who is a married man, and another person, also having a family, who was at once apprehended by Superintendent Hilton of the Town Mailing division, who found in Haylar’s apartments a set of skeleton keys of very superior manufacture, a quantity of hop bagging, and some jewellery, supposed to be the produce of a robbery, also a considerable amount of money in gold and silver.

While at work digging in a hop garden, it seems that Haylar suspected that something was wrong, and therefore “downed” with his tools and “brushed off”. In the course of the night Hilton received information that induced him to start for Cuckfield on Thursday morning; and he soon hit on the track of the prisoner, which corresponded with the footmarks of one of the men who stole the sheep.

Whitemans Green (photographed circa 1900) where thief was caught

At Edenbridge he found that the prisoner had passed through some hours previously. He then, accompanied by a local constable from Hadlow, pushed on for Lindfield where they arrived late at night. His brother, Mr Hilton, of the Tiger lnn, drove them to Cuckfield, and, accompanied by Superintendent Akehurst, and Stubberfield, the night watch, succeeded in tracing Haylar to his brother’s house at Whiteman's Green, where he had only arrived three hours before, and after a chase of 40 miles, apprehended him, as it appears just in time, for he told them if they had not “nabbed” him as they did, he should have given them much more trouble. He was taken to Tunbridge the following morning.



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