Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Bonfire Night

Last November our document of the month was a deposition from a case in which a gang of boys in Houghton Regis stole straw to put on a bonfire on November 5th. In a bit of timely cataloguing I just came across a similar case in which Charles Kitchener of Luton was accused of stealing faggots (bundles of wood) from Peter Wilson in Luton. Joseph Matthews was to guard his master's faggot stack at 11pm on November 5th. A few minutes later Kitchener and two friends arrived. The friends helped Kitchener to climb the stack, from which he threw down faggots which the other two gathered. When he came down Kitchener picked up a faggot himself, only to be apprehended by Matthews and taken to the Old English Gentleman public house where he was handed over to the police. Matthews stated that nearly one hundred faggots had been taken from the stack that night. Presumably once the excitement of Bonfire Night had settled Wilson was feeling in merciful mood as the case was not prosecuted and Kitchener was discharged.

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