it hath been scandalously and falsely reported

WHEREAS it hath been scandalously and falsely reported, that Justice HALL of Shackerstone in the county of Leicester, hath encouraged me to seize Horses from narrow-wheeled Waggons, drawing upon the Turnpike Roads with a greater number than are allowed by Act of Parliament. In Justice to that gentleman’s Character, I hereby declare, such Reports entirely Groundless; having never received any Encouragement, from that Gentleman or any one else, concerning the Seizures I have made, but of my own free will and choice, have endeavoured to bring some Offenders (though but few) to Justice, for offending against the Laws in that case provided.
++WILLIAM WILKES + his Mark.
Orton on the Hill June 8th 1767
witness
++GEO. KELLEY, Vicar of Orton.
++NAT. BERRINGTON.