CRIME IN EVERTON
There are few records of crimes reported in Everton. In 1270 there was a local incident reported in the Bedfordshire Coroners’ Rolls which provides fascinating insight into life in the area at the time. It happened just over the parish boundary with Sandy.
“After vespers on 9 Oct. 1270 Gilbert the Shepherd of Kinwick (a small hamlet near Hasells Hall), went from his house in the hamlet of Kinwick in the parish of Sandy to his sheepfold a furlong outside the town on the east and did not return that night. His wife Rose searched for him with her neighbours, and on the next day through the neighbourhood in towns and fields and could not find him. On 13 Oct. Gilbert’s son Hugh was watching sheep on Sandy Heath and there found his father slain, being struck through the middle of the hattrel apparently with an axe, raised the hue and ran to the town. The neighbours came and the hue was followed. Hugh found pledges, Ralph Wybet and Henry Blanfrunt, both of Kinwick.
Inquest before the same coroner by Sutton, Potton, Everton and Sandy, who did not know who killed Gilbert or where he was killed, but they knew that he was not killed where he was found . Rose found pledges, Ralph Wybet and Peter the Shepherd of Kinwick. The neighbours were attached : Peter the Shepherd by Hugh Rikeld and Martyn Petyt; Martin Pretit by Hugh Aubre and Peter the Shepherd; William Aylline by John Ayline and Robert the clerk; Richard Muriel by Hugh Ambre and William le Marchant.
[At the eyre it was presented that Gilbert, who was called Gilbert the Shepherd of the prior of Chicksands, was slain by unknown felons’ who immediately fled. No Englishry were presented so murdrum was imposed upon the hundred. The neighbours did not come and were not suspected; their pledges were therefore amerced (fined). Martin Petit’s first pledge was called Hugh Auvore. The four townships were amerced for not coming to the inquest. (sic) J.I. 1/10, m.29d]”
(Bedfordshire Coroners’ Rolls, Bedfordshire Historical Record Society vol. 41)
In the nineteenth century, landowners had strong control over their tenants. Crimes such as poaching might end up with people being “transported“ to the colonies in Australia. Charlie Smith was caught poaching and taken to the County Court in Bedford. What his punishment was is uncertain but he was sent to see Mr Pym. He claimed that he's lost his gun and Mr Pym sent him up to Northampton to clean up a farm house.
Burglary and car theft became the most common crime in the late-20th century. The village shop was ram-raided a number of times in the 1990s, one of the reasons why it closed down.