Amongst the witnesses:
Susan Hogarth – I live at Longdales. Between six and seven o’clock on Saturday, the 15th of November last, the prisoner came to my house. He had a gun with him. If he had come from Basco Dyke he would pass by his father’s house. He was very tipsy, apparently. He said his father and he had quarrelled about a young horse, and he was going to leave him. He sat down on a chair, and shortly after fell asleep. He slept till nearly ten, when I wakened him. When I awoke him he talked more sensibly, but staggered very much. He took his gun with him, and went to the door. He said it was fine and light, and he would fetch them down. I says, “William, go home and go to bed, that man will be watching.” I meant Mr Fetherstonhaugh’s keeper, but I did not know what they called him. He said, “Then let the b—— stand back.” I said, “Go home William, for God’s sake, go home,” and he said, “I will, Susan,” and he went away. I shut the door and did not see which way he went.
Francis Boustead was then called – Was at work in Mr Goulding’s barn at Basco Dyke, on the Saturday afternoon – about half way between Ainstable and Longlands. I was thrashing oats. Prisoner came into the barn about five o’clock, as near as I can tell. I saw nothing to ail him in drink. There are six or seven steps up to the barn. He said to me, “Now, Frank, is thou at work?” I said I was. He leaned himself against a mow of straw that I had been thashing. He said he was going to shoot that night. He then rose up on his feet off the straw. He said “I know where the game sit – I know every foot and every track of the ground – and if the b—-y keeper comes to me this night, out goes the b—-r’s brains; but I will speak once to him. I will tell him to stand back, and if he stirs an inch, towards me, after I speak, out goes the b—-r’s brains. I neither fear Heaven nor hell, God nor devil. I will be in either Heaven or hell before a month’s over. I will never die with my shoes off. Now, mark my words. This night, this very night, I will be the b—-r’s end. He then put his hand up to his breast and said, “I am the man that will do the deed – thou knowest all about it. There never shall be a b—-r about Staffield Hall take me”. He then put his hand up to his neck, and said, “I don’t care a damn if I be hung tomorrow”. He turned about and walked straight out.
The manner in which witness gave this evidence – unhesitating, but with remarkable emphasis and precision, as if carefully conned, seemed to make a very unfavourable impression in the crowded court; and the excitement increased as the cross examination went on.