A Trifling Offence in St Giles
North Devon Journal, 14th March 1861, page 8
DIVISIONAL PETTY SESSIONS MARKET HALL, SATURDAY March 9
[PRESENT: Rev. C. D. M. Drake, Chairman, Hon. Mark Rolle, W. A. Deane, J. G. Johnson, and A. R. Hole, Esqrs.]
Mary Cole and Mary Ann Couch, two young girls residing at Saint Giles in the Wood, were charged for that they, on the 26th ult. at the above parish did steal, take, and carry away a quantity of wood, the property of the Hon. Mark Rolle. (The hon. gentleman retired from the Bench when this case was called.) The Bench having been informed that Mr. Rolle did not wish to have the charge pressed against the defendants on account of their youth and the trifling nature of the offence, the Chairman gave them a suitable caution and they were discharged on payment of 5s. 6d. the expenses.
Mary COLE was born about 1841 in St Giles in the Wood. She was the daughter of John and Susannah COLE. Her father was an agricultural labourer and her mother was a gloveress. Mary Ann COUCH was born in 1848 in St Giles in the Wood. She was the daughter of John COUCH, a boot and shoemaker, and Ann PLUCKNET, a glover and boot binder. At the time of the 1861 census on 7th April the COLE and the COUCH families were both living at Alford's Tenement in St Giles. Mary COLE, 20, was working as a gloveress and Mary Ann COUCH, 12, was a scholar. Ten years earlier in the 1851 census the two families were also neighbours with Mary Cole, 10, and Mary Ann Couch, 2, living respectively at 1 and 2 Lower Dodscott Moor, St Giles.