Lincolnshire magistrate's reports from 200 years ago exposed in new book
THE details of trials carried out by a Lincolnshire magistrate more than 200 years ago can now be read for the first time.
Notes that the late Thomas Dixon, of Riby, made during his time in court have been published in a new book.
The Country Justice And The Case Of The Blackamoor's Head is written in two parts, with the first about Mr Dixon's Justice Books, detailing accounts of various trials.
It has been published by the Lincoln Record Society, whose members thought of no better place to launch it than Riby, the village where Mr Dixon lived from 1758 to 1798.
History enthusiasts gathered inside St Edmund's Church, where Brain Davey, of Keelby, the book's editor, gave a short speech as part of the official launch.
In it, he recited some of Mr Dixon's trials, the details of which are rare and unique for Lincolnshire, as he was the only magistrate during the 18th century to leave reports of his work.
An extract from the book reads: "October 15, 1788. Robt Rollisson, of Rothwell, blacksmith was this day convicted before me Thos Dixon for profane cursing and swearing and paid the penalty of two shillings."
Another reads: "Thomas Starke of the parish of Keelby labourer convicted before me Thomas Dixon said Parts upon the oath of Thomas Sommerscales of the parish of Keelby farmer for being drunk on Sunday and he paid the penalty of five shillings."
Geoffrey Idle, 66, of Humberston, travelled to Riby for the launch.
"I am a member of the historical association and find local history especially interesting," he said.
"With Mr Dixon being a Lincolnshire man, it is nice to be able to visualise the village which he lived and worked in when reading the book."
Dr Nicholas Bennett, the general editor of the book, is thrilled to now have Mr Dixon's work available for everyone to see. He explained: "Mr Dixon's private trials have never been exposed in this way before so the Lincoln Record Society is delighted to have had such a rare opportunity like this.
"The book will be available to order from the society's website and in the coming weeks it will soon appear in libraries.
"It is the first ever book about Mr Dixon to have been released so I hope it gets a great reception from the public."
To order a copy, visit www.lincoln-record-society.org.uk. To join the Lincoln Record Society, call 01522 561640.