My brother spoke to me and said the gamekeeper had come to him and broken the gun. He told me to take it down with me and put it in the stable loft or somewhere out of gait. The gun was standing beside the bed head, broken. The barrel was end way up, and the stock ligging down. I took them as he had directed, and put them among some wheat sheaves in the stable loft. I did not observe any marks upon the stock or barrel, only that they were broke. My brother came down stairs at breakfast time, at 9 o’clock. He came out to me in the fold, and said the gamekeeper had came out to him last night; that he came up and told him to stand – that he kent him, and he need not run away. He said that he did run away, and that the gamekeeper fired a pistol at him; that he tripped himself up and the gun flew out of his hand; that the gamekeeper got to him and got hold of the gun, and he thought he fired it off, or that it was fired off. He said he thought it might as easy been him shot as the gamekeeper killed. William said he struck at the keeper with the gun, and than the gun broke. Then he said he struck at him with the gunstock till he was dead. Then he went away to a spot called Wallow Brough, where he missed his shot bag. He turned back and went to the spot again, and found his shot bag and a pistol lying. He put the pistol and shot bag into his pocket and then trailed the man to the water. He said he never got such a sweating in his life. Then he threw the pistol into the water….
We went to Ruckcroft on Sunday evening. There was nothing more said then. We met John Relph on the Monday morning. We went to search for the man. I knew he was in the water but I did not know where. I went to a place on Eden Banks where there was some blood. I did not go down to the Eden. My brother came with a horse just after. I went down and got hold of the horse, and William came a bit after me. In the afternoon he said to me that he must have that gun put further out of gait. I was in the stable loft and he told me to put the barrel through the window and he would get it, and I was to put the stock where I thought fit. I could not see him put the gun in the thatch. I put the stock in a wet spot in Tommy Moses’s field. The gun had been mended by Winter. I was taken up on suspicion, and was in prison along with another brother, who was discharged along with me. After our discharge I offered myself as a witness. That was after my brother William made a statement, and I think it was the first time I had told these facts.
Cross examined by Mr Monk – I was first in prison at Penrith. I was taken into a cell to see my brother. He was very unwell and he said he thought he was going to die. I thought so too. Then the superintendent was brought in and my brother made a statement. I have been in custody ever since.
By the Judge – I am in custody at the present time.
Cross-examination continued – the gun my brother took out was my father’s. the gun my mother was burning on Monday was not the one he took out on Saturday. The gun he had was never in the fire at all. I knew my father’s gun very well. It has been in the house ever since I could think. When I got out of bed on Sunday morning my brother was not asleep I think, it was just when I was donning myself that he told me the gamekeeper had told him to stand. I can recollect now he said that the gamekeeper told him he had a different sort of man to lake with than ever he had before, that the keeper got the gun from him and that they had a hard scuffle together. When he went out on the Saturday night he put the shot in a bag and put it in his pocket. He had on the same coat as he has on now. When he told me on Sunday morning what he had done he cried very sair (the gun barrel and stock were here handed to the witness) This was my father’s gun.
Mr Monk here handed the fragment of stock up to the Judge and said it was evident it had been charred. The Judge said he thought the marks were powder marks.
Witness, in answer to the Judge, said the gun had once a flint lock. The Judge said that would at once account for the marks.