5. Bostock Fuller JP

Whipping at the cart’s tail was a common punishment. The last such whipping up
Guildford High Street was in 1830.

Unfortunately, no records for the Surrey Quarter Sessions survive before 1660. The earlier documents seem to have been lost or destroyed in the turbulent times of the Civil Wars and the Commonwealth.

The only record of the work of a Surrey magistrate that survives from before 1660 is a notebook kept by Bostock Fuller JP of Tandridge Court from 1608 to 1622. Most of his work was carried out either at his own home or convenient hostelries. In 1618, he describes a case in which some of the parties were fined £4, from which the justices extracted £1 to provide themselves with dinner.

The stocks at Shalford (much restored)
still stand by the parish church
(image courtesy of Matthew Alexander).

Corporal punishment was frequently used. Vagrants or petty thieves could expect a whipping. Branding was used to mark a vagrant or beggar permanently so that others could later recognise him as a previous offender. Confinement in the stocks was also common. Each parish had its stocks: the Shalford stocks still stand
by the church.

The title page of this magistrate’s manual depicts famous lawyers. From The British Museum Collection (Ref: AN216858001).

A magistrate by this date could not himself impose the death penalty, though we note that in 1613 Fuller had a dog hanged for worrying sheep. He did not have access to qualified legal advice, other than the many handbooks published for the guidance of Justices of the Peace.

Contributor:Mr Matthew Alexander, Hon. Remembrancer of Guildford

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