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Not Brentford


Vic Rosewarne has sent 'odd items I came across whilst researching pubs, mostly connected to the High Street. I thought they might interest your readers'.


A short collection of items found in newspaper reports from 1751 to 1905, being, hopefully, interesting, amusing, informative and quirky : --


Extract of a letter from Brentford, Nov. 22 1784

"On Saturday last was launched from the Church yard in this place, a balloon of great magnitude, filled with inflammable air, under the direction of Mons. Raphine, an ingenious foreigner, and Mr. Cousins, an English gentleman of great scientific knowledge. The gas was not produced, as usual, from vitriolic acid, zinc, &c., but from less expensive materials substituted in their stead, which promises to be an important discovery in the history of air balloons.

"This aerostatick globe was launched at twenty seven minutes past twelve o’clock; suspended from it with cords was a small gallery, in which was Mons. Raphine, with a few mathematical instruments, sand bags, &c. It rose slowly to the height of About 200 feet and then descended; but on throwing out a few sand bags, it again ascended majestically into the atmosphere, in an oblique direction to the height of three quarters of a mile, when it proceeded with great velocity over Twickenham, Kingston, &c. At half past one, the gas being much expended, Mons. Raphine descended near Dorking, Surrey about twenty one miles from hence) where being somewhat fatigued, and sick, with his aerial voyage, he slept that night, and returned to Brentford the next morning."

(Reading Mercury - Monday 29 November 1784)

[Jim Storrar also came across this item in the Kentish Gazette of 27 Nov 1784 - it was printed in a number of papers, a hot topic. Presumably the launch was from St Lawrence's and I wonder if Mr Cousins was a local man - it sounds as if Raphine may have been staying with him. This was one of the earliest manned flights apparently.]



William Drinkwater was fined at Brentford for being drunk, said that he had only had two glasses of beer in two days, but he had eaten a lot of pickles, and they had made him appear drunk.

(Edinburgh Evening News Wednesday 9 August 1905)

[There was a William Drinkwater at the Waterman's Arms, 179 High Street Brentford from 1895: but he died in 1903. Either this news items was printed some time after the event to fill a space; or perhaps it was a son. Vic has researched the history of the Waterman's Arms]



On Wednesday last, a fine bullock belonging to Mr. Goring, the butcher of this town, was being driven home when he became refractory, and after having run up and down the street, suddenly dashed into the shop of Mrs. Simpson, cutler, where he had just room enough to move his head, but apparently not liking the look of the cold steel which hung around, he pushed his way up a step or two into the parlour, where the proprietors was sitting at work, who little imagining a call from so formidable a visitor, beat a hasty retreat out of the back and over her neighbour’s fence. We question if the good lady ever left her house in such haste before. Great care having been used by Mr. Goring and his men, the animal was got out without doing any damage.

(West London Observer 31 July 1858)

[There are a few references to a Goring, butcher, and also to Simpson, a cutler. George Simpson, cutler, was at 107 High Street in 1851 and presumably it was here the fine bullock ended up.]




Elizabeth Berry was summoned for assaulting a female.

Complainant said she was standing in front of a bar of a public house at Brentford, having a glass of ale, when prisoner picked up a pot and struck her on the head with it.

Prisoner, who said the prosecutor called her " carroty headed -------," was fined 10s. or seven days imprisonment.

(Middlesex Mercury - 16 July 1881)



Before Sergeant Wheeler (Judge)


JON MILLER is dead, to be sure, but Brentford County Court is still in existence, and holds its meetings once a month; and this is the kind of thing one listens to : -

Judge (smiling) to a good looking defendant with baby; Now my good woman, how old are you ?

Youthful defendant : Twenty Four years old, and been married six years (slight laughter).

Judge : Six years !

Defendant : Yes, yer Honour; and I’ve got four children.

Judge : Good gracious me ! You’ll have forty before you are my age (much laughter).

Defendant : (curtseying) : I hope so, your Honour (roars of laughter).

Verdict for defendant - Exit with baby, smiling.

(Middlesex Mercury 28 June 1879)



A fire broke out at Mr. H. Thick’s, in Old Brentford, on Friday night, the 30th ult., about 11 o’clock. Mr. Thick’s shop was well stocked with toys, fancy goods generally, and a library of some 3,000 or 4,000 books, the whole of which are either consumed or burst open to such an extent to render them valueless; but it is a singular fact that, although the fire raged with great fierceness in the lower part of the premises, it does not appear to have penetrated to the floors above.

Mrs. Thick had only been confined about three weeks before, and she, with each of the other inmates, was obliged to get out through an upstairs window. The fire was first discovered by a person passing, who gave the alarm to Mr. Thick’s brother, at his father’s next door. Mr. Hughes, the fireman was promptly on the spot with the Old Brentford engine, which together with Mr. Montgomery’s engine and the New Brentford one, prevented the flames spreading, and all danger was at an end before 12 o’clock. The lower part of the premises is a perfect wreck -- not an article appears to have escaped the flames.

"Insured in the "Sun."

(Windsor & Eton Express - 14 January 1860

[The mention of the "brother next door," refers to Mr. John Thick the long serving landlord of the One Tun Public House. This was at 254 High Street]



Yesterday morning, a few minutes after twelve o’clock, as Inspector Marquard, T Division, was proceeding on his rounds through the township of New Brentford, when he heard cries of "Police, police," proceeding from the Neighbourhood of the Market Place, which he had just passed. On hurrying to the spot, which was not above 70 or 80 yards distant, he heard another voice exclaiming, "Ah, the police are never to be found when they are wanted," and on reaching the spot, he found the family of Mr. Haynes, cheesemonger, &c., residing nearly opposite the Market House, at the windows of the first floor, who stated that a most desperate attempt to break in was being made by some burglars at the rear of the premises, which abut upon a yard leading out of the High Street, and they entreated the inspector to come in at the first floor window to their assistance.

Mr. Marquard declined the offer, unless a ladder was provided for his ascent; and by that time, several policemen having arrived, were placed at the front and rear of the house, when a ladder having been procured from the house of Mr. Hayes, a rival cheesemonger opposite, an entrance was effected by the police, and the house searched, when, on the police reaching the window which was pointed out as having been attempted to be forced, they found that the supposed burglar was a strange member of the Grimalkin family, who having been suddenly enclosed between the shutters and the window, her scratches for deliverance had so alarmed the "Hayneses" as to present their excited vision the ghost of centre bits, crowbars, &c., with all their concomitant dark lanthorns and pistols. Madam puss, in the melée that took place on her discovery, succeeded in making her escape, although the police were provided with handcuffs !

[Lanthorn was an old word for a lantern; Grimalkin another old word meaning an old she cat, or spiteful old woman. The cheesemonger, Jacob Haynes, was at 112 High Street, opposite to and a little to the east of Market Place.]

(Morning Post - 12 February 1842)


A few days ago, a stage, closely pursued by the hounds, made its way into Brentford, and after making three or four circuits round the Market Place, to the great confusion and alarm of the inhabitants, suddenly entered the passage of a house adjoining the river Brent, which he waded, making off over the country towards Heasden (as printed).

(Morning Advertiser - Friday 19 November 1819)




Last week a wager for a rump and dozen was decided at the Castle Inn, Brentford. The wager was, that reckoning three greys to each black or brown horse, passing the above inn, between eight o’clock a.m. and two o’clock, p.m. the greys would far exceed the other colours. As the clock struck eight, a person selected by Mr. Cullen, the proprietor of the inn, was locked into an upper room from whence he was liberated at two o’clock, when the numbers being cast up, it was found that 515 brown, 98 black, and 106 greys, had passed the inn during those hours, and of course, the backers of the greys, lost by 205.

[The numbers given are as reported !]

(Bristol Mercury - 19 March 1836)


Brentford Police Court Tuesday, July 27th.


For the 60th time Bridget Whelan was before the court, charged with being drunk and disorderly, the locale this time being Ealing. Owing to the woman’s industrious habits when in prison as a laundress, she is treated somewhat better than the ordinary run of prisoners and hence no sooner is she set at liberty that she indulges in a glass, gets locked up, an goes back for another month. Sometime it happens that to break this monotony Bridget prefers to rest at the Workhouse for a day or so, where her services as equally appreciated; but her love of liquor proves too strong, and she comes out one morning only to be locked up the same night for being drunk and incapable. She was now sent to prison for a month.

(Middlesex Chronicle 31 July 1880)



[When applying for a new licence or of changes to an old one, the publican had to insert a "Public Notice" in the local newspapers of the area. ]

Licensing day at Brentford on Tuesday last, was very dull. It is no fun to be in the room crowded with men (and a few women) waiting to pass (having first paid their money) before the tribunal of "the great unpaid" as tho’ they were guilty of some suspected crime. Many of these people have to come long distances and besides waiting a whole day are put to considerable trouble and expense. Will it never be altered? Why not make those only attend who have committed some wrong during the past year.?

In proving notices at licensing meetings some very peculiar questions are asked and given - thus:-

Solicitor to witness: "I believe you saw to these notices", Witness "Yes Sir."

Solicitor; "and duly posted them on the church and overseers ?"

Witness "Yes Sir."

I presume the reason the notices were posted on the overseers was for the purpose of keeping them warm this cold weather, and not a bad idea.

Witness "Yes Sir."

(Richmond & Twickenham Times - 6 March 1886.



Tuesday William Kelly stood in the pillory for two hours, in the Market Place, Brentford, according to his sentence, for compounding penal laws; he was treated rather severely by the populace. He is to stand again the same place the first of next month.

(Kentish Gazette - Friday 27 November 1789)




Although dull, it had not commenced to rain when I accepted an invitation for a drive to the County Town of Middlesex. "But why Brentford ?" I asked my friend, the atmosphere there always striking me as not being very salubrious. It then transpired that it was the Annual Licensing Day, and when once on the road traps of every description were wending their way in the same direction. This was the sporting "bung" with its fast trotting cob and natty dog cart brewers’ collectors with their pet customers, legal luminaries in hansoms, and a few close cabs containing buxom widows and weatherwise elderly publicans who did not see the fun of getting wet. We reached our final destination wet, but cheerful, in good time, and duly took a stand with sundry others of the British public, or perhaps more correctly speaking, British publicans.

Inside the barrier an official was warming his coat tails and conversing with a long friend in a tourist suit. Two inspectors were laughing, at doubtless a capital joke one of them had just retailed, whilst a tall chief inspector oscillated between the floor of the Court and a mysterious door leading to the Bench. Half a dozen rather hungry-looking gentlemen were seated in front of the empty Bench, waiting like patience on a monument for something which was evidently slow in turning up. In fact, with the exception of a fair, curly-haired youth, who bustled about, there was no sign of anything important about to be brought off, although amongst the throng behind, there were anxious faces. At last when thinking it was getting slow, and with the clock at 11.10, the tall inspector who, somehow I could not get out of my head as a stage manager, having taken a final glance at us, and satisfied himself that we were nicely packed and in fact in apple pie order, rang the curtain up, the official dropped his coat-tails and took a seat under the Bench with a huge volume before him, another official, with rather a bald head, perhaps compensated however, by the possession of a thick cavalry moustache, did the same, the two inspectors finished their anecdotes and looking serious, somebody said "hush" and we hushed up, and the M. C. introduced us to the Bench.

"The procession consisted of Five, Two most potent, grave and revered seigneurs, and bearded like bards, lead the way, then a short gentleman, followed so remarkably keen looking that if he has not been connected with the law, he ought to bring an action against his countenance for defamation of character. A tall military looking man, and a gentleman in cords, riding boots and spurs, and who could not surely have seen thirty summers made up the contingent. It is only fair to say that when the ball commenced rolling, it travelled very smoothly and quickly, the modus operandi being to call out names the owners of which appear at a payable deposit the mysterious sum of 8s. 6d., receive a check in the form of a sheet of blue paper, hands it in to coat-tails, who takes a curious glance at it, and passes it on the cavalry moustache, who in his turn hands it to the Chairman, who consults a certain list and provided there is no mark against you, then you have permission to end more or less, injurious decoctions to Her Majesty’s subjects when sober).

The Chairman, so a bystander informed me, is generally considered decidedly adverse to publicans generally, and I deeply regretted the wet weather, as being likely to create what, in ordinary individuals, would be vulgarly termed "bile" so I was surprised when in the blandest of tones, as if addressing a mothers’ meeting, he expressed his regret that there had been complainants of some of his visitors having been mentioned to him for indulging in the serious crime of a sixpenny draw, for a turkey or a bottle of gin, at Christmas time ! Perhaps they were not aware that they could have three months as rogues and vagabonds, or again, be fined £300.

Then a mild joke about the British public not requiring any artificial stimulants, as his experience taught him that the aforesaid B. P. drank quite sufficiently without them. My readers may remember that when Mr. Pickwick was brought before Mr. Napkins, and that worthy magistrate made a joke, the constables, and the unwashed laughed consumedly and unchecked; but there was an air of gravity about the Brentford audience, which could not afford to indulge in boisterous cachinnation. You see, even a publican or a ticket-of-leave man, and I really fail to see any difference between them, are allowed to have a wife and family, and very often a suspension, or "putting back" means the brewers bundling you out, which may then mean starvation and the workhouse, which is no joke. However, as I said before, everything worked smoothly, the five quill pens on the dais, ran along rapidly, until a pull-up was made to caution a gentleman, with what looked uncommonly like a red wig. Meanwhile the legal gentleman had only to look at the coins flowing in with longing eyes and watery mouths. The procession, somehow, reminded me of a Queen’s drawing room or levee, although probably not so crowded. On they came, there was always a very tall man following immediately after a short one, and a very fat one after a lean one. One culprit managed to get a severe caution, the villain had nearly been convicted of allowing somebody to bet half-a-crown in his garden. This was a case of Tom Hood’s lines :

"He killed his cat on Monday,
For killing a mouse on Sunday."

Now, again, the Sunday School teacher, we beg pardon, the worthy magistrate, exhorts his friends to take his caution in good faith. They were friendly ones, and meant in good part. Then there came a man who had given a drunken fellow half a pint to get rid of him; another, for permitting drunkenness; whilst a third was informed that he was going to be summoned for permitting gambling, the facts being that there was a pigeon shooting match a few days before and some half-crowns changed hands. Well, this is sub judice, so I will only say that within the last month I’ve seen some thousands change hands, all in the County of Middlesex, over similar meetings, with dozens of police looking on. In my ignorance I thought the Castle, at Brentford, was like Caesar’s wife, above suspicion; but no, that, too got a serious caution.

Having witnessed the comical fact of long Fisher following on the heels of little Alf, and that amateur tec. Turner, "put back," to know how his smashing case was getting on at the Central Criminal Court, we departed a sadder and a wiser man, the smell of mackintoshes and damp people generally, becoming decidedly unpleasant.

(Middlesex Chronicle - 7 March 1885)




Last week the Wife of a Scottish Pedlar, residing at Brentford, brought him three sons, all of full Growth, and likely to live, at one Birth; and about two Years ago the same prolific Woman brought forth a son and a daughter, who are now alive. Some years before the Rebellion, he was servant to the noted Laird of Glenbucket, and often waited at Table when that Gentleman dined with fourteen Sons and seven Daughters, all married except the youngest.

(Derby Mercury - 29 November 1751)


[Diluting milk was a very common practice by milkmen, here one was fined, at the Brentford Sessions.)


"We cannot punish the cow," said the magistrate at Brentford yesterday, "Pay two guineas costs." The case was one in which a milk dealer had sold milk, yielded by one of his cows, which was 20 percent deficient in butter fats.

(Nottingham Evening Post - 30 May 1902)



The town was visited by a succession of sharp thunderstorms on Thursday, and during one of these, not long after noon, a very heavy shower of large balls fell for some minutes, accompanied by a strong squall, the two together rendering matters very unpleasant for those whose ill fortune it was to be abroad at the time. No serious damage is reported, though the fruit suffered a little in consequence. The fall was very local.

(Richmond and Twickenham Times - 1 August 1891)



A long train of wagons and merry-go-round horses on frames passed through the High Street on Wednesday morning, the whole being drawn by a locomotive of peculiar and extremely inelegant construction. The train was itself at least fifty yards in length, and the procession was further extended rearwards by a number of vehicles, the drivers of which did not appear to relish an attempt to force their horses ahead of this formidable competitor. Other gee-gees, who had to face the puffing monster, expressed their dislike thereto in characteristic equine fashion; and altogether the visitor succeeded -- perhaps not unwillingly -- in creating quite a little excitement in the drowsy old town. Subsequently the big round-about was set up behind the Town Hall, and did a brisk business.

(Richmond and Twickenham Times - 22 March 1890)


Mr. G. C. Collier has a pretty wit, though you might not think it, gentleman. The Board was discussing t’other night, the desirability of requesting financial contributions form the frontagers towards the making up of a certain roadway. The name of a gentleman living at Isleworth was mentioned, and opinions were divided as to whether he could be induced to write a cheque. "He is one of the freeholders," said an honourable member.

"He may be a freeholder." muttered G. C., "but I know he isn’t a free parter." And then the Board proceeded with unusually celerity to the next business.

[Mr. Collier was landlord of the Catherine Wheel public house, High Street, Brentford, c. 1860 to 1905): read Vic's history of this house.]

(Richmond and Twickenham Times - 21 March 1891)



On Wednesday, Con Daul, a Frenchman, of no abode, was charged with having exhibited a performing bear to the danger of the public that morning, in the High Street, Brentford.

Police Sergeant Cox stated he was passing along the High Street that morning, when he saw the prisoner and two other men go by, each with a bear led by a rope. The prisoner’s bear was the last of the three, and it got up on its hind legs and put out its paws. This action frightened a horse attached to a cart, and it threw the driver into the road, fortunately without hurting him. The prisoner was informed that it actions were dangerous, and he was taken into custody.

The prisoner could not speak English, but Mr. J. Allen Brown, one of the Bench, interrogated him in French, and dismissed him with a caution not to be caught in the neighbourhood again.

(Richmond and Twickenham Times - 27 April 1895)




Shortly after six on Wednesday afternoon, Brentford, in common with other London suburbs, was visited with a tremendous storm, accompanied with heavy peals of thunder from the north-east. The downfall of water flooded the basements of houses in the low-lying parts of the town and along the banks of the Thames. The storm increased in intensity, the thunder became louder, and the lighting more vivid later on, the electric discharges assuming a zigzag shape, and seeming to emit a series of miniature fireballs. This phenomena continued almost without intermission between two and three hours, when the storm moderated. Little damage was done, though in one instance, at Brentford End, a portion of the roof of a shed was torn off.

(Richmond & Twickenham Times - 20 Aug. 1887)



At the Brentford Petty Sessions, on Saturday, last, John Brown, a native of Brentford, was charged with playing a certain game of chance or lottery, in Market Place, New Brentford, in contravention of an Act of Parliament.

Police constable Holland stated that on the 16th of July last, he saw the prisoner with a stand or store on which was displayed a number of articles, including a number of vases and Dutch pictures. He had in his hand a number of cards, which he invited the bystanders to purchase, saying "Will any lady or gentleman have another lucky one? They are one penny, or seven for sixpence." He then showed a card with a prize on it, and said he would give a certain number of the prizes in each pack of cards. He would then pretend to mix the cards, but did not do so, retaining instead the prizes between his fingers and thumbs, the blank cards being at the bottom. He (the witness) kept observation for some time, and he saw the prisoner dispose of about nine dozen of the cards. Of the number only three persons received prizes. Prisoner did not allow the packet to get out of his hands.

The prisoner denied that he showed the prizes, and said he had been only five weeks at the business. He did not do it in the same was as the other gentlemen who was brought up on the previous week.

The presiding magistrate said that it did not matter whether the prisoner showed the prizes or not; it was the manner in which he dealt with the cards. He had rendered himself liable to a penalty of £500.

Prisoner : Oh.

The Magistrate : Suppose we should fine you that sum.

Prisoner : I would have to stop in prison till I died.

The Magistrate : Yours is not an honest living - it is deceiving the public. The decision is that you be fined £5, or go to prison for one month.

Prisoner : Please sir, give me a months to pay it in.

Presiding Magistrate : If we do so, we shall not have the pleasure of seeing you again.

Prisoner : I won’t run away. I have lived all my days in Brentford, and I have my wife and family here.

It was decided that he should pay half of the fine in a fortnight, and the other half at the end of the month.

(Richmond & Twickenham Times - 6 August 1881)



NOTE - THE OLD HOUSE adjoining the St. Lawrence’s Vicarage, in which lived Sir Wm Roy, attorney general to Queen Elizabeth, is being pulled down. The ancient windows, and some of the fine walnut panelling will be preserved, but the new Vicarage is to be built upon the site.

(Middlesex Chronicle - 25 May 1889)



Brentford Petty Sessions, Saturday, March 14th

ROUGH MUSIC - New Brentford

Caroline Newman was summoned for disturbing the public peace, at New Brentford, on the 2nd March, by beating a tin kettle with a stick.

Inspector Tarling said as he was passing Catherine Wheel Yard on the day in question he herd a great noise, and on going down the yard he saw defendant and a number of girls and boys making a noise by beating tin cans and kettles. He requested them to desist, and they all ran away with the exception of defendant, who refused to go away. She said she had a right to do it. He threatened to take her into custody. She then attempted to escape, and eventually ceased her disturbance. When spoken to, she said there had been a wedding, and she was only giving them some rough music. He had received complainants of disturbances in this yard.

Defendant admitted the offence, and said she would take care no to do it again.

The Chairman cautioned her not to act in such a way again, and fined her 5s., in default 7 days imprisonment.

[The custom of "Rough Music" was an ancient way of members of a community expressing disapproval of the behaviour of one or more of the inhabitants. They would parade through the locality often using kitchen instruments, pots and pans, any thing that would make a discordant noise, as an expression of their disapproval.

It was also described as "Tinkering Out.".

The custom was particularly associated with Weddings, especially where there was a large age difference between the couple, or of a bereaved person marrying to quickly after their partner’s death. By the late 19th century it was often accompanying a wedding, apparently just for the fun of it, as above. There were other cases recorded, all involving weddings, in Twickenham and Hounslow.]

(Middlesex Chronicle - 14 March 1874)



At about four o’clock on Wednesday afternoon, the High Street, Brentford, was thrown into a state of come consternation caused by the freaks of a furious cow. The beast had become unmanageable and ran around wildly for some time. Eventually it was secured and driven in to the One Tun public house. No personal injury was sustained, but some damage done to vehicles.

(Richmond & Twickenham Times 10 January 1885)



A strange scene was witnessed in the High Street, Old Brentford, yesterday morning. A short time since, Mr. Chandler, clothier, &c., of the Golden Ball, disposed of his stock and business to Messrs. Carrick and Coles of, Uxbridge. He was, however, left in charge of the stock-in-trade, and with the assistance of one of their employees, was selling the goods off at very reduced prices. On the morning in question, before the shop was opened. Mr. Chandler proceeded towards the bridge crossing the canal at Brentford, and seeing six sturdy fellows lounging about, he told them if they would follow him he would give them a new suit of clothes each. They, of course, went with him to his shop, where they were soon attired in a new suit, even to shirt, stockings and waterproof boots. After giving them each a shilling to drink his health with, he dismissed them.

This rare news soon spread over the town, and shortly afterwards, when the shop doors were thrown open, a mob of roughs made a rush into the shop, and laid hands upon everything within reach. One man was seen going down the street with two over coats on his back, another had got four or five waistcoats, old women secreted a number of pairs of shoes under their aprons, and, to keep well within truth, the "rabble" had their own sweet way.

Fortunately, police constables Harris and Green came on the spot at this juncture, and with the assistance of neighbouring tradesmen, made a forcible entry into the shop, and turned the people out, making each leave his goods previous to departure, on pain of being immediately locked up. Each one stoutly declared that he had purchased the articles found upon them. It is known that Mr. Chandler has been doing a little in the way of amateur auctioneering, selling suits of clothes, hats, and boots, for nominal prices, and in some cases , besides that named, the goods have been given away.

Telegrams were immediately despatched to Uxbridge and Mr. Brown, foreman, and an assistant came over in a trap post haste, and found the shelves almost completely emptied of their stock, whilst on the floor, trampled under foot, were clothes, lying in indescribable confusion. With the aid of the police, the shutters were put up and the shop closed, but the mob remained outside for about an hour, many of them threatening to break open the door.

Mr. Chandler states that it was his intention to have made the six men carrying sandwich boards about the town announcing the sale, but directly he opened the door for the purpose of distributing the boards, the mob rushed in and overpowered him.

Upwards of £220 worth of clothing is alleged to have been removed, and much more would have been taken but for the prompt action of the police. During the day a constable was specially told off to watch the premises.

(Richmond and Twickenham Times 20 October 1877)

[The Golden Ball was at 97 High Street]




At the Brentford Sessions on Saturday, Henry Grey, aged 55, described as a commercial traveller, was charged on a warrant with having unlawfully taken possession of and retained a number of articles, the property of Thomas Henwood, with whose wife the prisoner was alleged to have eloped.

Prosecutor was said to be sixty years of age, and his wife about sixty six.

Mr. Lay prosecuted and Mr. Mitton defended.

Prosecutor said he lived at Northfield Villas, Ealing, and on leaving work on the 11th of August, he went home and found his wife gone. He missed a lot of things, amongst them being some sheets, window curtains, a table cover, a wash hand basin, carpet, hearth rug, some knives and spoons, a set of china, some glasses, a teapot, a writing desk, &c., &c.

Five or six weeks afterwards he discovered that his wife was living with the prisoner at Pinner. On going there he saw a writing desk, his property, on the piano. He also identified a tea pot, some china, and a number of chimney piece ornaments as his property. Grey was there at the time and said the things belonged to him.

Prosecutor’s wife, who was there, went upstairs, and he followed her, and in a room saw the hearth rug. A man named Stewart Ball, who had accompanied him there at his request read a list of things which had been taken from his house over to the prisoner. Witness’s wife was also present, and did not deny that the things had been taken away. A sum of £163 was deposited in their joint names in a bank at Brentford, and he had ascertained that this had been drawn out. He had never given his consent.

In cross-examination witness said he arrived at Grey’s house about two o’clock, and himself and his companion had some bread and cheese there. They left about four o’clock. He had slept at prisoner’s house twice since his wife left him. On leaving when he first called, he did not want to take away the writing desk. He "behaved himself very well, but he was not at all happy there." He told his wife she had no business to take the things away.

Evidence was given showing that on the 11th of August, Grey was seen going to prosecutor’s house and come out with a bag, a parcel and Mrs. Henwood’s shawl, which he put into his trap and drove away. Mrs. Henwood was heard to say to Grey, "Take this parcel to the station for me." Mrs. Henwood left the house three-quarters of an hour later.

Mr. Lay asked for a remand to procure further evidence, and said he wished to trace some notes to prisoner, and to show that in a house where he had been staying some china ornaments and other things belonging to prosecutor had been found.

The Bench thought that the evidence was insufficient to warrant the detention of the prisoner, especially as the money was alleged by the prosecutor to be in the joint names of himself and his wife, and that being the case it could not be withdrawn without his consent.

The prisoner was then discharged, and left the court in company with Mrs. Henwood.

[The respective participants were, Thomas Henwood, 60, Prosecutor, and his (ex) Wife 66, and Henry Grey 55, the prospective lover.]

(Richmond and Twickenham Times 8 December 1877)


Lastly this account of a young woman going to the rescue of a policeman being attacked by two men.



William Hannan pleaded "Guilty" to assaulting Sydney Daborn, a police constable, in the execution of his duty. It appeared that on the night of the 27th of last month, Daborn was on duty at Old Brentford, where he found the prisoner and four other men creating a disturbance. Having attempted in vain to get them away, he took the prisoner, as being the worst of the lot, into custody, but while taking him along the constable was knocked down by the companion of the prisoner, and the latter kicked him while down upon the face, completely smashing his nose. At the same moment a respectable young woman, named Charlotte Beese, who lived close by, heard the disturbance, and when she went towards the men, found, in the words of her deposition, "the prisoner holding the constable by the throat against the steps until he was black in the face." She immediately went behind the police-constable and put her arms round his head so that the men should not hit his eyes, and she pulled the prisoner’s hand from the policeman’s throat. At this time Dobson, who was covered with blood, managed to seize his staff and strike the prisoner Hannan a heavy blow with it upon the eye.

Inspector Tarling now came forward and said that on the night in question there were grave doubts whether the constable would survive or not. It was feared that his nose would be errantly injured to the extent of preventing breathing through one nostril. The young woman now in Court, who, at great personal risk, covered the constable’s head to save him from further injuries. She was a milliner and dressmaker, living at Brentford, a very respectable young woman, and had, in fact, saved Daborn’s life.

The Assistant-judge sentenced the prisoner to hard labour for 12 months, and ordered Miss Beese to receive one sovereign to mark the sense of the Court of her claim to the consideration of the public for conduct which was most creditable and courageous.

(Lloyd’s Weekly London Newspaper - 11 July 1869)



Page published January 2020