Arson at Manor Farm in 1895
The charge of Arson is a serious one but from the newspaper report of this case of two Abbotsley teenagers setting fire to a straw stack in 1895 it does seem the punishment they received of eight months imprisonment with hard labour was severe.
This took place at Manor Farm which was farmed then by Charles Chapman who lived there with his mother Elizabeth. His father William had farmed here until his death in 1889. The accused, Henry Harper and John Cade were said to have done this as a joke and were said to be of good character and hard working. Charles Chapman himself spoke up for them but the Court decided to impose the sentence of imprisonment.