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On Tuesday last Boustead appeared before the magistrates at Penrith, with the view of endeavouring to show that the testimony which he gave at the trial was the evidence of the truth. He produced the following witnesses – Sarah Boustead his wife said that on the Monday night immediately following. . her husband told her of the conversation Graham had had with him in the barn on the day preceding, and that she told it to her neighbour, Ann Harrison, about ten o’clock on Tuesday night but that she (Ann Harrison) was too unwell to appear that day. In corroboration however of this statement, Thomas Harrison, her son, said that he heard from his mother, on the Tuesday after the body was found, that William Graham had been threatening that he would murder the Staffield gamekeeper, which she told him she had heard from Boustead’s wife. He also produced Isaac Barnes, who said that Boustead recounted to him the conversation between him and William Graham in the barn, on the 30th of November, about a fortnight after the murder, and the reward was not alluded to in any of the county newspapers until the 2nd of December. Jane McWhain said that on the 29th of November Sarah Boustead told her that her husband had informed her that William Graham had said he would be the keeper’s end that night, and that he had said to in Goulding’s barn. Boustead accounted for not giving the information sooner, by saying he was afraid of losing his work under Goulding, Graham’s uncle, and also of personal violence from Graham, if he had happened to hear that he had mentioned this conversation. The Secretary of State’s letter, authorising the reward to be offered, bears date the 8th of December. Mr Superintendent Robinson said that several other witnesses could be brought, whose evidence would tend to corroborate Boustead’s statement. He also stated that when Boustead was examined by the magistrates at the Penrith House of Correction, Mr Moore, Graham’s solicitor, turned to Graham and said, “Do you hear that, Graham?” to which Graham replied, “Yes, its all true.”


April 10th 1857 Carlisle Journal

The Staffield Murder

To the Editor of the Carlisle Journal

Sir – In your impression of the 20th of March a condensed report is given of the examination of certain witnesses before the magistrates at Penrith, respecting the evidence given by Francis Boustead against William Graham at the last assizes.

In the last sentence of that report it is stated that Mr Superintendent Robinson informed the Justices “That when Boustead was examined by the magistrates at the Penrith House of Correction, Mr Moore, Graham’s solicitor, turned to Graham and said, “Do you hear that Graham?”  to which Graham replied, “Yes, its all true.”

As William Graham’s attorney, and the person referred to by Mr Superintendent Robinson, I emphatically and unequivocally deny this conversation. I never spoke to Wm Graham during the enquiry adverted to, nor on that day, except in the morning before the court opened, when I asked him if he was better.

If Mr Robinson wishes to exculpate Boustead, I must beg of him not to do so at the expense of truth.

I told Mr Robinson some time before the assizes that Boustead’s evidence would be seriously assailed upon the trial.

I deem it my duty to correct this misstatement in self justification.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant

R B Moore

Carlisle April 6 1857.