Thursday, October 4 1759

In the forenoon walked down in the park to look at an old pollard from whence a swarm of bees had been taken. Paid Thomas Fuller, chandler, in cash £10 in full for a bill my brother drew on me the 26th ult., payable to Mr Thomas Fuller or order, and which is in full for the £10 I borrowed of my brother the 23rd ult… In the afternoon my wife paid a visit to Mrs Fuller…

In the evening went down to Jones’s to make up the following trifling affair: some time in the summer Master Bull of Whitesmith and a little boy of Francis Rich’s, being together in Halland Park, found a swarm of bees which they agreed to divide between them, and accordingly sometime after, they sent a person to Mr Gibbs the keeper to ask his consent to take the bees at the proper time for taking then. The answer he brought again was that Mr Gibbs gave them his free consent so to do (though the fellow had never seen Mr Gibbs, and only told them lies all the time) but however they, knowing no other but what they had the keeper’s good will and free consent for taking they ventured (innocently enough) to proceed to action and about 3 [weeks?] ago took the bees.

Somebody next day told the keeper of it and he before night committed it into the hands of on attorney, and now it was agreed to be left to me (in behalf of Rich and Bull) and Mr John Goldsmith (in behalf of the keeper) to decide, when it was agreed between us for them to pay 2/6 each, the value of the honey and wax, spend one shilling each and pay the lawyer’s letter, which they did, and then I came away. But the keeper saying he did not want the money, I do imagine he spent most of the 5/- upon them, but sure it must appear cruel in the keeper to use his power in so arbitrary a manner, for he owned that he was thoroughly persuaded the men were honest and that they would by no means have taken the bees if they had not been assured in their own minds that they had his permission for so doing, but yet as it was in some measure contrary to law, he was determined to show his power that no one for the future should dare transgress, but what they must expect the law. Or at least if they disobliged him and the law open against them, they must expect to know something of the charge of law. But however I think that if showing of power tend only to oppress the honest and industrious poor (as it did in the afore going cause) happy is the man that hath least of it.

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