Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The anniversary of the death of Queen Victoria

Today in 1901, Queen Victoria died aged 81, at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.  By coincidence, this week, we have just begun to Catalogue the Quarter Session Rolls for 1901.  As our project covers all of Queen Victoria's reign, it feels rather strange to now be referring to the King in our cataloguing process rather than to Her Majesty the Queen.

The Quarter Session Minutes book for the period contains the Address sent by the Justices of the Peace of Bedfordshire to the new king, Edward VII.  The address expresses both their sympathy for the great loss which has befallen His Majesty and the whole Empire but then goes on to offer sincere congratulations to the King on his accession to the throne.

Address to King Edward VII

To celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, the Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Record Service document of the month, featured the visit of Queen Victoria to Woburn Abbey.  The case involved a member of Queen Victoria's escort being arrested and charged with stealing a pocket watch.  Click here to review the document.

QSM 49

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Stealing the boss's clothes

Francis Poole was engaged as manager of the ‘Lindslade Iron Ore Company’ at Leighton Buzzard and had been the employer of the prisoner, John Ross.  However, on 9 November Ross absented himself without authority.  On returning to his lodging Francis Poole was informed by his landlady that the cheeky prisoner had not only disappeared but also been to his lodging and fetched away some of his clothes. In fact he had stolen a whole outfit consisting of a black coat, a double breasted vest, a pair of black trousers, a linen shirt and a silk neck tie.

Mardling Parsons was the landlady of the Nags Head in Leighton Buzzard were Francis Poole was a lodger. She knew the prisoner to be employed by Mr Poole, so had no reason to doubt the tale he told her on 9 November.  The prisoner came to her and told her a serious affair had happened and that Mr Poole had fallen into the water out of a boat.  He instructed Mrs Parson that he was to take clean dry clothes back to Mr Poole and so Mrs Parson went to Mr Poole’s room and brought down a coat, vest, trousers, shirt and neck tie.  She tied them in a small handkerchief of her own and gave them to the prisoner.  However, soon after the prisoner had gone, a safe and dry Mr Poole returned and denied giving anyone authority to fetched away his clothes.

The prisoner went went on to pawn the set of clothes for 10 shillings.  This assisted the local Police Constable, George Mardlin, in tracing the prisoner to Little Brickhill, where he found him in a public house.

John Ross was found guilty of obtaining goods by false pretences and sentenced to 3 calendar months hard labour.