A Collection of Crimes


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There's so much bad in the best of us,

and so much good in the worst of us,
that it little behoves any of us,
to say anything about the rest of us
Source:Johnson, 1938

The following crime took place in the Calf Pasture area of Augusta County in 1747, and well outside the bounds of the Southwest Virginia Project. The description is not entirely clear, but it seems that two indentured servents, Patrick Burk, a "well set servant man", and Birdget O'Dowland, a "tall, pockfretted woman with curly hair", ran off and took various goods with them. Perhaps the goods were to sell, or perhaps they intended to set up housekeeping somewhere. In any case, they didn't seem to get very far, as the following note attests.


From Source:Chalkley, 1912 vol.1:529

To All Head Boroughs and Constables Within His Majesty's Colony and Dominion to Whom These Presents Shall Come:

Whereas, Robert Bratton and James Kirk, inhabitants of ye Calf Pasture, have this day, being the 7th of this instant, September, made oath before me, one of his Majesty's Justices of ye Peace for Augusta County, that they were last night robbed of two black horses and a sorrel mare having a star and snip and a yearling colt with her, one orange-colored sitting gown, a pale china gown, one striped blue and white cotton gown, one single petticoat, one light-colored broadcloth coat, two beaver hats, one black velvet cap, one old hunting saddle, one woman's saddle of buckskin, one blue jacket of home-made cloth, one hat of Bermuda platt with a red ribbon band, shifts, shirts, table linen, sheets, women's head cloths, four pairs of men's shoes, three pairs of women's shoes, two bridles and a halter, a curb and a snaffle, a rifle gun (double tricked), and a plaid gown.

The servant man is well set, with black curled hair, pockf retted, having a scar on ye right side of his face, to a scar on his jaw blade. The woman is tall, has curled hair and is pockfretted. Both of them native Irish.

Whoever secures said servants, so as that they shall be brought to their master, shall have six pistoles for a reward and reasonable charges besides, paid by Robert Bratton and James Kirk. Therefore, in his Majesty's name, I charge and command you and every (one) of you in your several precincts to search diligently for ye said persons, by whom the said robbery was committed, and to make hue and cry after them from town to town and from county to county, as well by horsemen as footmen, and if you find them, that then you apprehend and bring them before a Justice of ye Peace of ye County where they shall be taken, to be dealt with as ye law directs.

Given under my hand and seal ye 7th of September, 1747.



From Source:Chalkley, 1912 vol 1:31

SEPTEMBER 16, 1747. (286) Called Court for examination of Patrick Burk and Bridget O'Dowland, convict servants belonging to Robert Bratton, for horse stealing — convicted.

Chalkley's Chronicles

Anthony Mustoe vs. Andrew Moore--Case. Bath, 24th June, 1793. Spa. to Bath for James Kelso and Joel Walker. Spa. to Rockingham for William Millor and Samuel Brawford. Spa. to Bath for John White and John Oliver. Defendant said: "I have every reason to suspect Anthony Mustoe for stealing from me the sum of £10 in two parcels, which I had for the purpose of carrying to Richmond, and if he had got his deserts in London or been drowned in the sea and the rocks of damnation laid on him...."'


From Chalkley's Chronicles

MAY 25, 1761.

Page (49) Examination of Edward McGarry, on suspicion of felony. Principal begged the Court to consider his unhappy circumstances, and prayed the Court that he receive his punishment immediately without further trial. Given his choice of standing in the pillory for one-quarter hour or be removed to Williamsburg for trial--chose the former.

JUNE 17, 1761. (49) Called Court for examination of Robt. McGarry, on suspicion of his breaking the jail and setting at large Edward McGarry and other prisoners. Acquitted.