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IF my readers, or any of them, should inquire why, at a time when so many Detective
Stories are before the public, I have the temerity to add another to the list, I may say at
once that had the question of the publication of this book rested with myself alone,
uninfluenced by the suggestions and wishes of others, it is probable that it would not
have seen the light of day.
In yielding, however, to the persuasions of many friends, I have not been
uninfluenced by the knowledge that the stories related in the following pages - unlike
so many of the so-called stories of detectives - are founded on facts, and are, from
first to last, and in all their details, truthful histories of the crimes they purport to
describe, and of the detection and punishment of the criminals. It is upon the intrinsic
interest of the various stories that I rely to make them acceptable to the reader.
Elegance of. style or composition I cannot affect; nor have I indulged in any
embellishments whatever at the expense of truth.
The work consists of over fifty stories, dealing with all manner of crime and
criminals. The methods of quack doctors are exposed, and the credulity of their
victims revealed; the practices of swindlers and impostors of all kinds laid bare,
including exploiters of sham registry offices, bogus agencies of various kinds, nextof-kin frauds, insurance and other swindles; begging letter writers, &c., are exposed,
and the modus operandi of burglars, coiners, pickpockets, watch snatchers, racecourse
thieves, &c., is described and dealt with.
In compiling the Experiences I have guarded myself against giving to individuals
unnecessary offence or pain. I have endeavoured also, when dealing occasionally with
subjects of a delicate or "risky" nature, to do so in language free from offence, that
may be read alike by old and young of both sexes.
At the time I joined the Police Force, the area and character of what I may call
criminal Manchester was very different from what it is to-day. Both sides of
Deansgate, then a narrow street or lane fringed with property of the lowest class, were
hotbeds of crime. Bleackley Street (now Charter Street) was even worse. The
widening of Deansgate, the early closing of public houses, and the building of the
Central Station did much to break up the Deansgate colony; whilst a better
supervision of the police has tended to keep down crime in the other quarters of the
In the performance of my duties, sometimes distasteful enough in themselves, I have
at least had the pleasure of being associated with my fellow officers. To their hearty
and intelligent co-operation, to their promptness and boldness in facing upon
occasions no inconsiderable personal danger, I am deeply indebted.
I cannot here attempt to express to Mr. Charles Malcolm Wood, the Chief Constable
of Manchester, the thanks I owe him, or my gratitude for his uniform and unbroken
consideration and kindness.
It is with perhaps pardonable pride that I recall more than one personal commendation
of Her Majesty's Judges of Assize, and many of the late H. W. West, Esquire, Q.C., for
many years Recorder of Manchester. From F. J. Headlam, Esquire, the Stipendiary of
the City, and from others of the Justices, my work has often received gratifying
In my efforts to detect and diminish crime, I have from time to time earned the
approbation of the Watch Committee ot the Corporation of the City of Manchester.

With these few prefatory words. I leave my book to its readers. If it should add to
their pleasure or information, or save them from becoming the victims of such
enterprising and ingenious "knights of industry" as are therein referred to, I shall feel
that I have not compiled it in vain.
Manchester, 1895.



FIRST OFFENDERS ACT................................................


BEFORE proceeding with the descriptive narratives of my practical work and
experience as a Detective Officer, I have thought it advisable to approach the subject
with an introductory chapter on the criminal condition of Manchester as it presented
itself from twenty to twenty-eight years ago, and thereby to prepare the reader for
what he will find in the chapters following this introduction.
Manchester, with all its great moral, religious and political associations, its
commercial enterprise recognised in every part of the world, and its corresponding
wealth, has still its dark spots. Within an arrow's flight of the princely grandeur of its
Town Hall may be seen many dreary dwellings of misery and wretchedness. Twentyseven years ago, however, things were much worse. Then in Charter Street and Angel
Meadow - not so much of a meadow now - and in the vicious streets around to which
my thoughts are at the same time directed, " the wicked never ceased from troubling,
nor were the weary ever at rest," for their fitful midnight slumbers gave place, as
daylight broke, to the restlessness of evil.
The exterior of one of these houses to which I propose to carry the mind of the reader
will be a fair specimen of the rest. It presents a dingy face of crumbling brick,
begrimed by the soot of years. The elevation consists of three storeys; the first two are
lighted by windows which denote unmistakable antiquity, and multifarious are the
methods employed to refuse wind and rain admittance. Tattered garments, crowns of
old hats, brown paper, and paper rendered brown by exposure, are all pressed into the
service of stopping a hole and so varied are the contrivances utilised for this purpose,
that the several windows are more suggestive of a rag merchant's establishment than a
dwelling house of Christian England in the nineteenth century.
On entering, we proceed along a lobby until we come to a room whence issues a babel
of tongues, and in which a scene as extraordinary as can be conceived presents itself.
The apartment is full of men and women, though the former predominate. Some are
seated on broken-backed chairs, or upon dilapidated stools ranged round a filthy table,
most of the occupants eagerly devouring various kinds of messes, washed down by
tea, coffee or beer. Others, again, are on their knees before the fire - one broiling a red

herring; another a slice of fat bacon. Some appear to have just left their beds, or, as is
more probable, being obliged to quit them, have descended to the common room in a
state of deshabille, and are proceeding to attach their tattered rags to their persons in
the best way they can. Some of the women are patching garments, the primitive
colour of which has long since vanished; others are endeavouring to make a stocking
perform its duty one day more; and crouched on each side of the fire, such as it is, sit
two thinly-clad creatures, whose bruised and disfigured faces are eloquent examples
of the " bully's " brutal treatment which many of Eve's fallen and forlorn daughters
have to endure.
Running along one side of the room is a dirty bench on which are a number of men
smoking and drinking. The furniture is of the most meagre description, and consists of
one table, some half-dozen broken-backed chairs, two stools and a bench. The walls
are dotted with gaudily coloured prints, the subjects of which are mostly of a
licentious nature. A few common ornaments are on the mantel-piece, the principal
one. being a large blue earthenware dog with a brown tail. The room reeks ; the whole
scene is squalid and cheerless; yet no sense of shame is visible on the countenances of
the motley occupants.
The ribaldry of one black-browed fellow is equalled only by the dreadful oaths of the
young girl by his side, and the grossness of the mere child is applauded by a hoaryheaded wretch whose condemnatory substantives are the familiar flowers of his
speech. Then look at that miserable object of pity, once a bright-eyed girl, on whose
lap lies an infant with scarcely a shred to cover its delicate little form. One cannot
help wondering what sort of life is in store for the blameless infant. A happy one it
cannot be. For what chance will it have in future years of escaping the sinful
surroundings of its birth!
Let the reader still follow me in imagination to view the scene upstairs. The passages
are narrow, the plaster broken off the walls in many places, the stairs weak and
yielding to our footsteps. The room we enter contains four dirty rickety bedsmere
pallets the threadbare and ragged covering of which fails to conceal the creaking
bedsteads and dirty straw mattresses beneath. The boards of the floor seem to have
had no contact with the scrubbing brush for years, and we note the absence of all
arrangements for personal cleanliness. On those beds rest, or rather restlessly lie, men
and women of various types and ages, from the frowning confirmed felon to the
innocent bastard babe. There lie old and young - greyheaded convict, wizened hag,
infant and child of tender years - presenting a sickening picture of moral depravity;
the atmosphere being nothing but a fetid composition of pestilential vapour emitted
from filthy beds, dirty clothing, foul breath, and, worse than all, the presence of
offensive matter in the room.
Before we enter, our step is heard upon the stairs, and the wretches, who have learned
from experience the necessity of watchfulness, are awake and on the alert. The word
"D's " (detectives) runs round the room as we enter and commence to inspect the
inmates of the different beds.
"Now then! sit up! let's look at your phizzogs!" and men, women and children
instantly obey, passive as lambs, with the remark, "Oh, is it you, Mr. Jerome?" The
inspection over, and none of them being "wanted," they sink once more into a morbid
slumber until the sorrowful daylight enters, and the unhallowed repose gives place to
trouble, sin, and debauchery.
Doubtless the sad fate of most of those wretches is attributable to their own
persistence in criminal and wayward folly. Yea, they may not only have shaped their

own crooked paths, but have willingly paced them until hardened in heart and reckless
of consequence.
Yet how do you or I know what were the circumstances or environment of some of
those unfortunate creatures? Much, no doubt, was due to the accident of birth. Had
"Bill Sykes," the burglar, been born in a mansion and educated as befitted such a
station in life, he might possibly have been a credit to the aristocracy of England;
whereas had some scion of wealth sprung from the Charter Street gutter and inherited
its vicious surroundings, he might have remained a tatterdemalion to this day.
I have introduced the reader to one only of the many such houses as once existed in
that notorious district - a district deeply stained with drunkenness, debauchery, crime
and vice in every shape - the prevailing callousness of which it was painful to behold:
children of tender years old in crime; hoary-headed debauched systematic trainers of
such children; abandoned reckless girls; thieves of all sorts; a few returned convicts
and other notorious characters, formed the prevailing population of that modern
Gomorrah - that abscess in the side of a great and wealthy City.
Yet there were exceptions, for occasionally we came across men, women, and
children who followed no regular callings, and who as yet were not members of the
criminal class, but whose daily familiarity with hideous aspects of crime and
debauchery - with fallen women and professional thieves - could scarcely-fail in their
ultimate evil effects, especially when honest work became scarce. The occupants of
such houses chiefly graduated from "snow-droppers" (strippers of clothes-lines) to
"cracksmen" (burglars), and fallen women. The latter were often to be seen parading
Market Street in the characteristic blue gown and jacket make-up of factory lasses.
Let us now take a retrospective view of some of the principal thoroughfares at midday. There we find sham "sailors" and "colliers" (whom we had lately seen in one of
those wretched dens), begging along the streets with legs and arms professedly
crippled, and, although they had never been to sea, or down a coal mine, drawling out
in doleful voice, fearful tales of shipwreck and coal mine explosions, and of their own
miraculous escape from death with the loss of an arm or a leg.
But visit them in their lodging, or in their well-known beerhouse rendezvous, the
"Rag and Louse," or some other equally notorious "boozing ken" (beerhouse), and
you would find that they could use their "disabled" limbs in a very nimble manner.
Another class of impostors I might appropriately call land-sharks - street tradesmen in
a small way, known as "dryland sailors." They were to be seen daily parading
Shudehill, or lounging at street corners, or public house doors, in quest of their prey.
The majority of their victims were country rustics whom they plausibly decoyed into
some quiet street, or back room of a public house, under the pretence that they had
some "smuggled articles," which they would sell them very cheap.
Their merchandise consisted chiefly of small remnants of cloth, or silk, and
sometimes tobacco, or cigars, all of them damaged goods purchased from local
tradesmen; but by wearing the typical sailor dress, and chewing tobacco in seaman
fashion, they found little difficulty in disposing of their wares at twice or three times
their value to unsuspecting simpletons, whom they would caution not to say anything
to others. Then after a parting glass and a shake of the hand, the befooled purchaser,
believing he had really got a great bargain, would hasten off quickly, as if afraid to be
captured while in the possession of "smuggled" goods. For many years these land
sharks drove a thriving trade, but the day for dry land sailors and "smuggled" goods
has long since passed away.
In the same locality you would also find the man, or perhaps, the woman (for both
were to be seen) who a short time before had, no doubt, been practising his or her

customary "fit" dodge, before some "swell ken" (gentleman's house), or in some
public thoroughfare, until restored by the expected drop of brandy, some words of
sympathy, and a few coppers, or small coin. Thus relieved, he or she would assume as
miserable a countenance as possible, and proceed to re-enact the trick elsewhere. One
of the male performers of that " fit" imposture would suddenly fall down in one of the
principal streets, having put a small piece of soap into his mouth, the froth of wrhich
he would force out of his lips, that with a twitching of his limbs would persuade a
sympathising crowd that the " poor fellow " was in a fit of convulsions ; but some
remedies being applied he would resume consciousness, and be raised to his feet
again, richer always for some silver coins received from the deluded by-standers.
Such impostors deserve nothing better than a good flogging. In the same
neighbourhood you would most likely meet the woman who might have been seen the
previous day begging with two or three hired children by her side, draped in black and
white (the true professional garb of some beggars). They would sometimes be singing
the "Old Hundredth," or some other popular hymn, the spiritual sentiment of which
had no abiding place in the singer's heart. Then she was a widow; now she is
spending, with a male companion, the money received by her deceitful artifice and
hypocrisy. If now we entered the "boozing ken," as the public house is called, there
would stand the "deaf and dumb" fortune teller, brawling at the top of his voice:"For to-night we'll merry merry be, And to-morrow we'll get sober."
There you would also find the three "weavers" out of work, who a short time before
might have been heard singing through the streets pathetic songs of a "lock-out,"
spending the money obtained by their false professions; for they knew no more about
cotton mills than the mills knew about them as operatives.
Near to them the "high-flier," or begging-letter imposter would be "pattering" to the
"shallow cove," or "shipwrecked sailor;" while a well-known female, who preyed
upon the benevolent as a "destitute widow," would be cursing the pair of them as only
such women can curse. Amongst other frequenters of that "boozing ken," would also
be found the "downright," or cadger from door to door; the "fly," or cadger who begs
from ladies and gentlemen along the "tober "(streets), and the "screeve," or chalk
artist, who draws pictures upon the flags, with such sentences as:Hunger is a sharp thorn, and biteth keen, I cannot get work, and to beg I am ashamed.
He that pitieth the poor lendeth to the Lord.
On leaving the house you would meet the "blind man," whom we had been
accustomed to see led about by his dog, his eyes now wide open; and in company
with him, the "blind pad," who was generally to be found at certain street corners with
a written statement before him of the cause of his blindness; the match-seller, whose
matches were only a cloak for begging; the " old soldier " cadger, who paraded the
streets, hat in hand, complaining that the Government had "discharged him without a
pension,'' although he had been wounded, and was "unable to work," but who could
execute a "step" for the amusement of his companions; the travelling tinker, who in
mending a pan could generally make one hole into four, and with him his "dossy "
(woman), who could manage occasionally to snap up, on the sly, any article within
tempting distance of the tinker's noisy hammer.
Of professional beggars I think it may be safely estimated that there are spread over
England thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of able-bodied men and women
(exclusive of German street-musicians and organ-grinders) who ought to be breadwinners, but who are an absolutely worthless burden to the country, and who travel
from town to town living tolerably well upon the mistaken sympathy of a charitable
public; good-for-nothing people, earning nothing, producing nothing, but consuming

much, and out of whose superfluous collections many a fat pig has been fed ; for it is
well known that many of the begging fraternity dispose of the bread, &c., which has
been given to them to pig-keepers for a few coppers, which go to swell the publican's
coffer. Some of these characters are to be found in Charter Street (as in every large
town), where they locate in winter after their summer rambles. Pity it is that society
does not recognise these facts and compel the professional tramp to seek work by
refusing compliance with the solicitations of all beggars; for it may be taken as
granted that ninety out of every hundred never intend to work so long as public
charity will enable them to lead an idle life.
A poor English artisan out of employment has too much pride and independence of
spirit to go begging; he would prefer to suffer in silence, with the help of neighbours
and the pawnshop, than so degrade himself; and in the last extremity he knows there
is such a person as a relieving officer, on whose assistance he has a just and honest
claim. But suppose some working men out of employment took to begging, it were
surely better to compel ten such persons to seek relief where they would be entitled to
it rather than support ninety undeserving men in idleness and vagrancy.
Professional beggars are a curse and ought to be and could be suppressed if the public
would only cease to give. At the time of which I speak gangs of well known thieves
could be seen loitering at the street corners discoursing over their doings, and many a
hard fight they waged with the police, who did not always come off without serious
In this part also the sharpest of the "crossmen" (thieves) congregated - men who could
pass muster in a crowd, always well-dressed, and with plenty of money to spend.
There was then no difficulty in getting rid of the proceeds of their robberies, as Joe
Hyde, Bob Macfarlane, and Patsey Rearden, three notorious "fences" (receivers of
stolen property), who have long since disappeared, were then always open to take
their ill-gotten gains; while " Cabbage Ann " and " One Armed Kitty " were keepers
of establishments, the fame of which was known to the vast majority of persons "on
the cross" throughout the country.
The neighbourhood of Deansgate also was the rendezvous of thieves and was a very
hot-bed of social iniquity and vice. The women of the locality were of the most
degraded class, and their chief victims were drunken men, collier lads, and country
"flats," whom they picked up and rifled with impunity.
Wood Street, or, as it was called by the fraternitv, "Timber Grove," Spinning Field,
Hardman Street, Dolefield, and the adjacent courts and alleys on the one side, and
Fleet Street, Lombard Street, Lad Lane and Bootle Street on the other side of
Deansgate, were the worst haunts of vice.
Such places as the "Dog and Rat," the "Red, White and Blue," the " Old Ship," the "
Pat M'Carthy," the "Green Man," and other equally notorious places were then in full
swing as licensed beerhouses. Passing these the pedestrian's ear would be arrested by
the sound of music proceeding from mechanical organs, accompanied sometimes with
drums and tambourines. On entering the premises he would find a number of youths
and girls assembled in a room furnished with a few wooden forms and tables. The
women generally lived upon the premises, the proprietor of the den often adding to
his income by the proceeds of their shame. Some rude attempt would probably be
made at an indecent song by a half-drunken girl for the edification of some collier
lads, who were the chief victims of these haunts, but her voice would be drowned by
the incessant quarrelling and obscene language of her companions.

Many places of this kind were carried on which had no licence whatever for the sale
of intoxicating liquors, and there were other noted "cribs" (houses) where intoxicants
could always be had when public houses were closed. There were also well-known
beerhouses which did nearly the whole of their business during prohibited hours, all
sorts of poisonous stuff being sold to the public under the guise of beer and spirits.
Men were employed in these places for the purpose of watching for the police, and
warning the landlords of their approach.
I am glad to say that I have aided during the last twenty-seven years in putting an end
to over 400 such places as those I have described. For a number of years a most
determined course of action was pursued by the police, and one by one the beerhouses
and public-houses in which lawless characters of the worst type nightly assembled
were deprived of .their licences. One cannot compare the present and past state of the
City in this respect without recognising the wonderful improvement which has been
"Bullies," or "Coshers" were another kind of criminals who preyed upon the
community. They got hold of some girl whom they compelled to lead a loose life, and
when she had accosted and decoyed her victim to some convenient place, the
"Cosher" would put in an appearance, and rob him of all the valuables he possessed,
in some cases garotting him, while, should any opposition be offered, the victim
would be severely beaten. Happily those days have passed, and instead of ruffianism
being rampant, the power of the law is in the ascendant, and comparatively few of
these desperate characters can now be found.
Deansgate a quarter of a century ago was a noted place for prize-fighting. In several
of the beerhouse garrets there were regular rings of stakes, ropes, &c., and some of
the "spriest" men known have stripped there. When these battles were stopped, the
fights took place in kitchens, stables, cellars, or in any other place where the police
were not likely to put in an appearance. This is all at an end now, and pugilists have to
be content, so far as Manchester is concerned, with exhibiting their art at fairs, and
such like entertainments, for the amusement of the spectators and their own pecuniary
Many of the beerhouses, too, had their garrets fitted up for dog-fights, and "drawing
the badger"; and "swells" who did not "mind paying for the spectacle used to put in an
appearance - sometimes to their own discomfiture through the loss of a watch or some
other article of value.
Another haunt of iniquity twenty years ago was the neighbourhood of Canal Street,
Minshull Street, Richmond Street, and back Piccadilly. Here vice of a certain kind
reigned triumphant. These plague spots were terrible agencies for recruiting year by
year the ranks of dangerous society from our middle-class population, and many a
clerk and other respectable young man has begun a criminal career by becoming a
secret pilferer from the till to obtain the means of gratifying his appetite in such
haunts of sin.
At the time of which I am speaking public houses were allowed to remain open from
4 a.m. until 1 a.m., and many of them were well-known haunts of thieves and loose
Lotteries on horse races were another great evil. They were generally got up and
drawn for in beerhouses, and sometimes in tobacco shops. Thousands of tickets were
sold at one shilling-each, chiefly to working men, who seldom, if ever, drew winning
numbers, which generally fell to the lot of persons unknown to the supporters of the
lottery, while ninety-nine shillings out of every hundred were, no doubt, pocketed by

the lottery proprietors. If the practice still exists, it is carried on in a very cautious and
secret way.
Betting was also practised openly, many little beerhouses having a betting list and a
I desire to say that in the treatment of our criminals I should like to see a more
uniform mode of sentencing prisoners adopted. I have often stood by when men have
been sentenced to terms of penal servitude which have filled me with sorrow, because
I have been convinced that in many cases the sentence meant either a criminal death
or insanity; for, astounding as the statement may appear, I have never yet known a
man or woman return from a long term of penal servitude in their rational mind; and
yet in all probability the criminal had never in the course of his or her life a single
chance of getting out of the circumstances in which he or she was born, breathing
through poverty an air of temptation.
I remember one day standing in the City Sessions Court by the side of Mr. J. M. Yates,
now a Queen's Counsel, Recorder of Salford, and Stipendiary Magistrate for the
Manchester Division of the County, whom I have known for the last twenty-five years
as a kind-hearted gentleman, when four or five prisoners in a very ragged and forlorn
condition were placed in the dock on a very trifling charge. I remarked that "it seemed
a pity to see them there," when Mr. Yates replied, "Perhaps they have never had an
opportunity of doing better." A few years ago it was the common conversation of
residents in criminal neighbourhoods to talk of who was for "big fulley" (assizes), or
"little fulley" (sessions), as to whether they would get "legged" (sent to penal
servitude) for five, seven, ten, or more years. I have known a man to be sentenced to
fourteen years for stealing twopence ; another to ten years for stealing a pair of boots,
hat, and linen jacket, of the total value of 12s.; two men to seven years for stealing a
halfpenny; whilst another rogue was sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment for
stealing 4,000; and another bound over to appear when called upon for stealing
100. The reader will find further instances embodied in this work. I could go more
into this matter if it were necessary, but I will leave the reader to form his own
judgment as to whether short sentences would not serve in cases of this kind. As long
as our system of punishment for the repression of crime is accompanied by
degradation, it will tend more to foster criminal propensities than to remove them.
Degradation strengthens evil propensities, prevents repentance, and renders reform
almost impossible. You have wandered from the right path. You wish to retrace your
steps, and in all sincerity and earnestness to lead a new life. Your desires are vain.
Society has excommunicated you. You are an outcast. You have no hope. You have
undergone the sentence of the law, and public opinion carries on the punishment and
you are worse off than ever. The law has sentenced you to three months' imprisonment
and degradation; public opinion prolongs it for the remainder of your life. How comes
it that the worst criminals are those who have undergone the most imprisonment?
Punishment is not correction, and degradation only brutalises human nature. The freed
prisoner is a pestiferous thing which society detests and abhors. He therefore goes
from you to your enemies. There he is welcomed; there he is helped; and there he is
strengthened for greater evil.
Alas! is this dark mantle of sin never to be lifted ? Are we to pass by our bruised and
wounded brethren Levite-like; or are we to say with the good Samaritan, "He who has
fallen among thieves must be cared for?" Practical treatment will do more for their
welfare than all the tracts and pious exhortations that can be given. The poor,
miserable wretch would think more of a loaf of bread than tons of tracts and

hundredweights of professions. Improve his temporal condition; show that you care
for him in a temporal sense; that you see the necessity of mending his bodily exterior;
that your heart pities his forlorn and miserable condition. Then will his heart revive
within him then, and not till then, will he receive your orations and your homilies.
I have often heard remarks passed when some poor dejected-looking, ill-clad fellow
has been brought up in Court. "What a bad-looking fellow that is!" whilst a far worse
criminal, of greater danger to society, whose friends have been able to provide him
with clothing to make a respectable appearance in the dock, often excites the
sympathy and pity of the onlookers.
Drink, no doubt, is responsible for many of these people making their appearance in
gaol; but, surrounded as they are by a vast desert of bricks and mortar, with nothing
except the public house in their midst to enliven them, or to arouse pleasant emotions,
is it to be wondered that women become drunken and untidy, and that men desert their
homes for the public house, become selfish and brutal towards their families, or that
they and their children recruit the criminal classes? As we sow so shall we reap.
Wherever the ruling classes neglect their duties towards those over whom they are
placed, they must take the consequences. If the rich man's horses and dogs are better
housed, trained, and cared for than the children of the poor, then the dogs and horses
will be more tractable and docile than the children. "Cant as we may," said the
immortal Dickens, "we shall to the end of all things find it is very much harder for the
poor to be virtuous than it is for the rich, and the good that is in them shines the
brighter for it." In many a noble mansion lives a man, the best of husbands and of
fathers, whose private worth in both capacities is justly lauded to the skies. But strip
from his fair young wife her silken dress and jewels; unbead her braided hair; stamp
early wrinkles on her brow; pinch her pale cheek with cares and much privation; array
her faded form in coarsely-patched attire; let there be nothing but his love to set her
forth or deck her out; and you shall put it to the proof indeed. So change his station in
the world that he shall see in those young things who climb his knee - not records of
his wealth and name, but little wrestlers with him for his daily bread; so many
poachers on his scanty meal; so many units to divide his every sum of comforts, and
further to reduce its small amount; in lieu of the endearments of childhood in its
sweetest aspect, heap upon him all its pains and wants, its sickness and ills, its
fretfulness, caprice and querulous endurance; let its prattle be, not of engaging infant
fancies, but of cold, thirst and hunger. If his fatherly affection outlive all this, and he
be patient, watchful, tender, careful of his children's lives, and mindful always of their
joys and sorrows, then send him back to parliament, and to pulpit, and to quarter
sessions, and when he hears fine talk of the depravity of those who live from hand to
mouth, let him speak up as one who knows, and tell those holders forth that they, by
parallel with such a class, should be high angels in their daily lives, and lay but
humble siege to heaven at last. Which of us shall say what he would be if such
realities, with small relief or change, through all the days were his?
Whenever we feel inclined to recoil from the dark and rugged shadow that crosses our
path, let us remember that it bears the impress of the Almighty from whom it
proceeded ; let us tone down our horror into pity, and in every observation that we
make let mercy temper justice.
Page 22

ONE night whilst on duty, in uniform, in John Dalton Street, Deansgate, in the year
1868, I was called to by some person, and on turning round to answer my usual "Yes
sir," I was asked by some individual, in terms none too polite, "Have I to pay rates
and taxes to keep such lazy fellows as you walking about the streets?" Without
further ceremony or warning he gave me a blow on my nose, which made me reel; but
when I turned upon him he took to his heels and ran into a beerhouse in Ridgefield.
I was certainly a little nonplussed. To get a violent blow on the nose at 10-30 p.m., on
a cold March night, was not a very pleasant experience for a beginner, especially as
the air was keen, and frozen snow was lying on the ground.
I walked away from the beerhouse door, to return to my patrol in John Dalton Street,
and just as I reached the corner of Ridge-field, and was turning into John Dalton
Street, without the slightest warning I received a violent blow on the ear, whilst a
voice exclaimed, "Take that! How do you like it?" I didn't like it at all, and turning
round saw that the person who had delivered the blow was the man who had given me
the one on the nose a few minutes before. On my making for him, he pursued the
same tactics as before and rushed into the beerhouse with me at his heels. Opposite
the front door of the house there was a flight of stairs leading to a club-room of the
very Loyal Order of _____. [manuscript addition "Masons H.R." ]
Up these stairs my assailant rushed, but I managed to clutch him round the legs, and
to drag him to the bottom. In the scuffle he managed to get my hand into his mouth,
and began to bite away in right good fashion. Fortunately, he had no teeth, but he
worked away so vigorously with his gums that I could feel the pain for weeks after. A
crowd had by this time collected round the door. My man was a good deal heavier
than I should like to tackle to-day ; but at last I got fairly hold of him, and dragged
him through the crowd to the Police Station.
On the Monday morning, the prisoner, one Quinn, who kept a beerhouse, was placed
in the dock at the Police Court. He asserted that I had been to his house and demanded
beer, and because he would not give it to me I had threatened to have it in for him.
It was clearly shown, however, that at the time he stated I was in his house, I was on
special duty elsewhere, with a number of other officers. He then fixed another time ;
but this served him no better, as it was before I joined the police; so he was fined 10s.
6d., with 5s. costs.
Though the matter was no joke at the time, I often smile when I come across my
friend, the beerhouse-keeper Quinn.
IN December, 1868, a robbery was committed at a house known as " St. Annes,"
situate at Fairfield, and occupied by a Mr. Edwards, who had just returned from
abroad, where, during a residence of many years, he had accumulated a considerable
Mr. Edwards had brought home with him many valuable articles, and a large number
of nuggets of gold, which he had obtained from the gold-diggers in exchange for
Among his treasured stock was an assortment of fancy meerschaum pipes, one of
which will form a prominent feature in this story.
Upon this particular pipe the owner set a high price, because of its unusual size and
beauty, and he described it as of rich Oriental design, in the form of an Indian's head.

On the afternoon of the 7th December, 1868, the Edwards family temporarily left their
house. Returning after a few hours' absence, they were astonished to find that the door
would not open after being unlocked. Suspecting that something was wrong, Mr.
Edwards ran to the back of the house, and saw the yard and kitchen doors open.
Entering the drawing-room, he observed a cloth laid on the floor with the nuggets of
gold and every small article of value which he had brought to England placed therein,
ready to be packed for removal. The situation was thus disclosed. Thieves had been in
possession, and his unexpected return had caused their hasty retreat by the back of the
When Mr. Edwards began to examine the house, many things were missed, but the
only article that could be properly described to the police was the Indian-headed
meerschaum pipe, on which a price of 34 was placed; and any one who had seen it
would have admitted it to be a grand piece of carving. Inquiries were made
immediately on receipt of information of the robbery; the report, of course, coming
from the County Police in whose district the house stood.
The County authorities asked for the assistance of the City Police in the search for the
thieves, and the recovery of the missing property.
On the day following the robbery, a man went into the pawnbrokers' shop kept by
Messrs. Worthington and Myers, in Deans-gate, and offered in pledge the very Indianheaded pipe which had been stolen from Mr. Edwards.
Mr. Myers, who was over seventy years of age, and had been in business more than
half a century, knew better than to advance too much money upon any article offered
to him in pledge. He recognised the unique character of the pipe, and at the same time
had doubts concerning its legitimate ownership.
The man did not, however, make an unreasonable demand when he asked a loan of
ten shillings on the pipe. Mr. Myers wished to know to whom the pipe belonged, and
this inquiry elicited from the visitor the reply, " It's mine; I won it at a raffle."
Mr. James Smith, the manager of the firm, was present at the time; and, sharing the
doubts of his principal, he walked round the counter and invited the pledger to
accompany him wnile he made some inquiries about the pipe - a request with which
the man readily complied.
The two went together to the Police Station where, to the Inspector in charge,
the gentleman has just been at
Knott Mill, manager said, " This gentleman has just been to offer this pipe in
pledge for ten shillings, and he says he won it in a raffle."
The Inspector replied, " Jerome has been here, and he was speaking about an Indianheaded pipe." Seeing the cat was out, the man waited to hear no more, but made a
dash for the door, knocking the manager and the reserve constable down into the
reserve room, which was two steps lower than the charge room. Off he went through
the Police Station yard, and in a labyrinth of streets and alleys got clear away, leaving
both the manager and the police bewailing his departure.
The telegraph was immediately put in motion, and detectives were summoned to
Knott Mill to learn that a man had escaped who was to have been charged with
burglary. This caused quite a flutter in police circles; for at this time it was a common
occurrence to have half-a-dozen daring dwelling-house robberies during the twentyfour hours. A conference was the result of the man's escape. He was described by the
pawnbroker's manager and by the reserve man on duty at the Police Station as
wearing a pair of striped, shining, cloth trousers.
After a little reflection, I began to think of the striped trousers, when it suddenly
struck me that on passing the " Cotton Tree " public house, off Oxford Road, the week

before, I noticed a couple of men and a woman going into the bar. One of the men I
knew as " Bodger," an old pugilist. At least he had been a member of the prize ring,
and had successfully met rival after rival. Though now " played out," he was still
looked upon as an authority in matters relating to boxing, and he was a leader among
the class with whom he associated. The description of the man wanted looked very
much like that of a "bruiser." Here it is : "About 25 years of age; 5 feet, 9 or 10 inches
high; of stoutish build; very straight, hair cut short, and of pugilistic appearance;
dressed in dark cloth coat and vest, striped trousers - cloth shiny, and of fustian
appearance - black pot hat, and wearing finger ring containing blood-stone." This was
sufficient to make me suspect " Bodger " and his. friend, and I went in search of them.
Thomas Murphy was his name, and " Bodger " was his slang sobriquet. I went into
the neighbourhood of London Road, but could get no trace of the old prize-fighter.
Pump Street knew "Bodger" no longer. Hulme was also searched for several days, but
no clue to the man could be found. All sorts of police rumours began to be circulated.
The robbery at the house of Mr. Edwards was said to have been a "job" perpetrated by
a gang of Sheffielders, or a gang of " Brums.," and so on ; but I quietly held on to the
theory that " Bodger " had been specially interested in the affair. Passing along Oxford
Street one afternoon, after a search of a week without any success, I saw the same
woman who had previously visited the " Cotton Tree " leave a baker's shop with what
I concluded from its bulk was a purchase of bread. Keeping well in the background, I
followed her until I came up to a youngster. " Follow that woman," said I. "take the
number of the house she goes into, and I will give you sixpence." Off went the lad, as
though he had been many years in training, and I after him. We reached Watson
Street, Peter Street, where, to my great surprise, the woman descended the cellar
dwelling, Number 44, opposite what is now the Goods Department of the Cheshire
Lines Railway. I paid the boy for his work, and then began to think what had better be
done next. I decided to wait until night, and then make a descent on the place. I left
the Detective Office at 1-0 a.m., and watched the crowds that generally stood outside
one of the public houses in the neighbourhood, which, at that time, opened at 4-0
a.m., and closed at 1-0 a.m. I thought it likely that " Bodger " might mix in the loose
company assembled in the locality, but no sight of that gentleman was to be obtained.
In no way daunted, I walked to the Knott Mill Police Station, to further question the
officers on duty as to the description of the pipe-pledger.
The same Inspector was on his twenty-four hours tour of duty.
" Could you identify him by gaslight?" I asked.
"Yes," replied the officer, "or by any other light. Have you got him?"
"Not yet," said I, " but I don't intend to rest until I do."
"I hope you will," earnestly said he, "so that the Chief Constable's inquiry may be
closed; for it's a very serious charge against an officer to allow a prisoner to escape an offence for which a number of officers have been reduced, and others dismissed
the service."
The reader may easily imagine the state of mind of the two officers who were held
responsible. The Inspector had served in the force twenty-six years, and the reserve
constable twenty-eight years; so that both were then entitled to pensions.
I left the Police Station and returned to the neighbourhood of Watson Street, by way
of Alport Town, which was at that time the junction of five police beats, and what is
known as a "cross patrol." It was, therefore, a police stronghold. I set to work to call
together all the constables near the point, giving them directions on each beat to be
ready for a surprise, and to render me assistance if required.

These precautions were necessary because of the class of people I was about to visit.
It was impossible to know whether they were in or out of their dwelling-places, and
their hatred of the police was too intense to be realised by anyone who did not possess
an intimate knowledge of their doings. On going to a point where I knew three
constables would then be stationed, one of the officers said in reply to my inquiries, "
There was a noise a bit since in one of the cellars. I was behind Gratrix's warehouse
and heard the voices of three or four men talking of fighting, or fighting-men, and '
knifing' someone if they came, but the name was such a curious one that I could not
make it out. One man's voice was very husky, as though he was hoarse."
" Bodger ! " I exclaimed. " Now keep very quiet, and I will go round Gratrix's
warehouse and ascertain whether it is possible for anyone to get out at the back of the
" They will have to get through the grid," replied the officer.
It was a bitter cold frosty night, with hardened snow lying on the ground; but, so as
not to be heard, I pulled off my boots, dropped my overcoat and muffler, and went
along Cooper's Row and Cooper's Lane to the cellar grid which covered the area at the
back of the cellar dwellings - since condemned and swept out of existence by an
enlightened Sanitary Authority. From the back I proceeded to the front, and crept
stealthily to the cellar. As I descended the steps I was fully conscious as to what the
consequences would be if "Bodger" caught me there. I knew he would "go" for me,
either with a weapon, or with his fists. The window was covered by a shutter, through
which I peered, hoping to get a view of the inside, but I was foiled. Gently
approaching the bottom of the steps, I looked through the key-hole; but nothing could
there be seen except a dull red fire, which gave no light. I could hear the rumbling of a
cart in Great Mount Street. Nearer and nearer it came, and I sat down on the steps of
the cellar to avoid being seen. The vibration of the heavy cart shook the steps under
me, and, loosening the coal in the grate, caused a flame to burst forth. Standing up, I
saw to my delight a reflection through a crevice in the shutter. Brighter and brighter it
grew until it threw a light over the whole cellar.
Lying all in one bed I saw "Bodger," with his clothes on; " Bodgeress," as he chose
to call his wife Lizzie; Joe Dodds, or "Collier Joe;" and "Little Alf." A man and
woman were lying on chairs or boxes placed together before the fire, and on the sofa I
could discern another form, which afterwards turned out to be one of the same school
from a lodging-house in the neighbourhood, kept by a man named Thomas Fox, but
better known by the sobriquet of " Skenning Tom."
Fox's house was a regular resort for young theives. I have seen as many as ten there at
one time. On a table in the room was a large carving-knife, far worn. Murphy's wife
was a fish hawker, and this knife had been used by her; but " Bodger " had obtained
possession of it from her basket, and had placed it on the table with the intention of
using it if, as he had been heard to declare, " Jerome," or any other detective officer,
should effect an entrance. It was intensely cold, and having stood there so long
without boots I was almost stupified. Having hastily made my way to Back Lad Lane
for my boots, I placed the two officers in Gregson Street, and withdrew the others
from a passage in Watson Street to join the first two, and two more from Whitworth's
Court, or " Quaker's Entry," as it was called, and one I ordered to the back of the
premises to stop anyone who might attempt to escape. I told the last-mentioned officer
to stand on the grid, to flourish his staff, and to force anyone down who should try to
ascend. I obtained yet another officer, for, having heard the statement as to the
avowed intention of " knifing" someone, and having seen the partly worn but deadly
weapon on the table, I was determined to be prepared for any emergency. The reader

will probably wonder what all this means, and why eight officers should be engaged
to take five men and boys and two women, or, I ought to say, one man, for, we were in
search of only one at the time, and knew of nothing against the others; but it must be
borne in mind that we could not tell whether the voices the officer had heard were
those of men in the back cellar, or of men in the front cellar, of whom I had already
had a very good view from the edge of the shutter.
I now arranged for the lightest of the men to creep down the steps after me, and to
leave his helmet at the top, for fear of it accidentally falling off. The other officers
were to be in readiness at the entrance of the steps to make a rush, staff in hand. The
arrangements being thus complete, off I went on tip-toe quietly down the steps,
followed by the constable, who had to keep watch through the window. The others
drew round the cellar without a sound. I immediately proceeded to work, and, having
raised the latch, tried to force the door open by throwing my body against, it, but it
would not yield to the pressure. A voice called out from within, " Who's there ?"
" Open the door, Lizzie !'" I said, " Don't make a noise."
This was easily understood by Lizzie.
"Who is it?" said Lizzie, mildly.
"Little Jimmy!" said I.
" What Jimmy ?" asked Lizzie.
"From Skenning Tom's.''
"What do you want?"
" I have got some swag."
"Oh ! wait a minute."
The door was immediately opened and in I rushed, with a staff in one hand and a
policeman's bull's-eye in the other. I dashed to the table, and having obtained
possession of the knife put my staff in my pocket. My companion officers ran down
the steps and into the cellar, and one of them shouted, " Back cellar, Jerome !" I made
my way to the back cellar with the bull's-eye in one hand and the man's own terrible
weapon in the other, and there staring at me, with determination expressed in his face,
was shiny trousers Jack. He coolly asked, "What's up?"
" Put your things on," I answered. He had only to put on his boots, coat, hat, and scarf,
as he was already partly dressed.
The reader can imagine the consternation that had been caused in the place. "
Bodger," his Lizzie, and the other two who were in the same bed, sat erect. " Bodger's
" first fire was at me. " I will see whether you can come in here upsetting people just
as you like. If I had been awake someone would have known about it before you'd got
in, and the result would have been different." So he went on, first grumbling, then
The eight officers and the seven persons who were in the room filled the little
underground tenement, and such a formidable array appeared to completely stun "
Collier Joe."
The man with the shining trousers had dressed by this time, and
was handcuffed with two officers, one on each side of him. He was defiant, and only
seemed to be waiting his chance. No man would have fought more determinedly than
he for liberty had the chance been given him.
" Collier Joe " was the next to be handcuffed. Joe's lament was that Lizzie had opened
the door without notifying the fact. After he had got over the surprise caused by our
sudden and unexpected entry, he was terribly enraged that he had not had a chance of
having a "go" for it. "Someone," said he, "would have felt sore about the shins " -

meaning that he would have kicked out, and, from what little experience I had had of
Joe, I knew he was as good as his word.
"Little Alf " sat on the bed with his legs crossed like a tailor, his face full of smiles
and good humour, and his only remark was, " What a lot of flats you have brought
with you " (flats being the thieves' term for policemen in uniform). Alf was the next to
don the "bracelets," and he was fastened to Joe, for whom he seemed to have a
particular fancy.
Next came " Scotch Johnny." He was very quiet, and seemed thoroughly sick of the
business. He had only been liberated from prison that day, and was very weak. This,
doubtless, kept "Johnny" quieter than usual. He was afterwards discharged.
During the time occupied in securing the men, the women were very boisterous, and
their language can be better imagined than described; intermingled as it was by the
hoarse voice of " Bodger," who by this time was moving about. A young officer in the
service, who had come from a part of the country which had a reputation of being a
very rough place, was watching "Bodger" to see that he did no mischief, and I felt that
"Bodger" was in very safe hands. Business went on smoothly enough until I asked the
question, " To whom does this cellar belong - who is the tenant, and to whom does the
property belong? " Bodger " wished to know if it was mine. The furniture, he said,
was his, and he paid the rent.
"Well," I said, "I shall search the place, and hold you responsible for whatever may be
found here, Mr. Murphy."
Addressing him as "Mr. Murphy" annoyed him very much. In fact, he was more
annoyed at that than at our sudden descent on the cellar. Picture, if you can, the sight
of these desperate men all safe and securely fastened by the police ; picture their
vicious dispositions, arid their looks of savage rage and bitter hatred when I said, " I
am going to search the place." I began the search, and found several small articles on
the bed and in other parts of the room, and in the back cellar several pairs of trousers,
and other things. The knowledge that these articles were in the house accounted for
the uneasiness of the gang at the first entrance of the police. A sudden change came
over them when I put the most likely articles together and said, " Now, Mr. Murphy,
what account have you to give of these articles." There was a dead silence; not a word
was spoken. I gave the order to " move on." "Bodger" grew fierce, but he remained
sullen, while Little Alf laughed and joked all the way to the Police Station.
We got to the Station at 3-10 a.m. The first to enter was the man with the shiny
trousers. He was instantly recognised by the Inspector. The man stoutly declared his
innocence. " I only came from Sheffield last night," said he. "I met him" - referring to
" Bodger " - " in a beerhouse, and he took me with him to sleep at his house for the
night." He gave the name of John S, but his friends called him Jack. Jack stuck to
his tale firm and fast.
"Did your wife come with you?" I asked.
" Yes," he replied.
" And your child?" His answer was again in the affirmative.
The poor little child I had found passed through the whole of the scene in the house
without a cry. It appeared to be about eighteen months or two years old, and was just
able to toddle about.
" Have you been in Manchester with your wife during the last fortnight ?" I next
"No!" was the reply, "we came trom Sheffield yesterday at half-past six, and arrived at
London Road Station at about half-past eight."

The woman tried to save Jack, as he was called by his wife, and " Bodger "
vehemently declared that what Jack said was true.
"Well, sir," I said to the Inspector, "I don't know how this woman can say that, for I
saw her in Oxford Road, leaving Potts
and Parkins' bread shop, two hours before the train she speaks of left Sheffield, and I
followed her and saw her enter the cellar." This caused a murmur of surprise, but
greater still was their astonishment when I spoke of their visit to the " Cotton Tree"
the week before. "Why!" said I, "I saw 'Bodger,' Jack, and you together there."
The men now perceived that they were fairly trapped, but the woman persistently
denied my statement.
" Search the prisoners," said the Inspector, and his order was complied with. The
prisoners were charged with being in possession of the articles found in the house; but
this charge was merged into the more serious one of housebreaking.
The next morning, after the pawnbroker and the reserve constable had identified Jack,
they were all taken before the magistrates, and remanded for a week, in order that
inquiries might be made concerning them.
A house in Greenheys was reported to have been entered, and some clothing and other
articles were missing, but on the day the prisoners were remanded, the owner of this
property went to Greece, and consequently we were unable to establish the identity of
the property.
This was a pleasant surprise for the prisoners, and after being on remand for a week
they were all set at liberty except Jack, who had to answer for the pipe, as well as for
an escape from the Police Station. The escape itself was, of course, no offence at law;
but it probably prejudiced the evidence of housebreaking, making the case stronger
against him, and he was committed for trial at the Sessions.
When in the dock of the Police Court Jack behaved himself very well, and caused no
anxiety to his guardians.
The dock is, as many readers know, in front of the magisterial bench, and is
surrounded by iron rails, spiked at the top, as though intended for the storing of
valuables. Jack was, among other prisoners, awaiting removal to the County Gaol,
which adjoins the Police and Assize Courts. He was standing at the corner of the
dock, holding the iron rail, and swinging his body backwards and forwards. Suddenly
he sprang over the rails and startled the Court with his sudden crash on the floor, a
drop of fully eight feet. He was up and off in an instant. Threading his way through
the passage, he bounded down the steps, and, having reached the street, was racing
away like a greyhound, with the police and court officials in hot pursuit, crying, "
Stop thief! " A policeman on his way to the Court made a grab and got hold of Jack,
but was sent sprawling in the gutter for his pains; while a cabman, who had assisted
the officer in his " catch," was unceremoniously consigned to the same spot. This
delay enabled several officers to lay hold of the fugitive, but he broke away and was
off again. The leap from the dock, the wrestling, and running were, however,
beginning to tell on Jack, and he was becoming exhausted. A soldier who was passing
next seized him amid hue and cry, and another wrestle ensued. This proved too much
even for Jack. Down went the gallant defender and the thief, side by side, in the street.
Jack fought desperately, and was soon uppermost, but it was too late. Five county
police officers pounced upon him, secured and handcuffed him, and led the prisoner
back to the Court in triumph.
Jack was once more lodged in the police dock, this time with two officers to guard

The Superintendent of Police, who was known as the " Gentle Shepherd," on account
of his loud voice and boisterous manner, sarcastically said to Jack, "Would tha' like to
goo agen?'
After lying in prison for about five weeks, Jack was brought up at the Sessions and
sentenced to nine months' imprisonment with hard labour.
Little Alf was, at the time of which I was speaking, enjoying liberty, and I suspected
from his clean and tidy-appearance that he was either from some school, or from a
very respectable family. Passing along Gaythorn one day, I saw Alf with a companion.
The former entered a jeweller's shop, and as soon as he left and joined his friend, I
went into the shop and asked what he had been doing there. As I did not get a
satisfactory answer from the jeweller, I determined to pursue Alf and his pal for the
purpose of searching them. The time which I had spent in the shop gave them an
opportunity of getting a start, and they had evidently availed themselves of it, for
neither Alf nor his companion was now to be seen. But after searching from 11-30
a.m. until 3 in the afternoon, I came up with them in Greengate, Salford. I dragged
them both into a shop and asked the man to kindly send for a policeman, telling him
that I was a detective, and " wanted " both youths for a crime. An officer soon came to
my assistance, and, on searching the prisoners, I found a large sum of money and a
quantity of foreign coins in their possession. I took them into custody, and charged
them on suspicion under the Manchester Police Act with having stolen the coins. I
then made my way to the jeweller's premises, but could not see the shopkeeper as, in
the meantime, he had left the shop. Next morning, however, I was successful in
finding him. I told him I wanted the articles the young man sold to him the previous
day, and that I also wished to see the authority he possessed to buy from the boy. This
ruse acted on the stupid tradesman, who at once gave me the articles, and a paper
which was an authority to sell them. I wish I could place before the reader the articles,
the price paid for them, the written authority, with the seller and the buyer. It would
show how difficult it is at times to perform police duties when dealing with persons
who are not usually regarded as of the lowest type.
Alf at this time gave the name of James Murphy, and was locked up in that name, and
remanded to the old City Prison in Hyde Road. Here the officials failed to recognise
him, although he had previously been there under remand for a week, and in the name
of "John Dean," aged seventeen years, committed to three months' imprisonment for
burglary; while two confederates, being old offenders, were, for participation in the
same crime, sentenced to seven years' penal servitude.
I went to the Police Office ; explained the matter to Mr. Chief Superintendent Gee;
and showed him the property which I believed had been stolen. He looked at it for a
time, then said, " This belongs to a relative of my family, a Mr. Gaddes, of
Warrington, a tea merchant." The Warrington police were communicated with, and
they supplied us with particulars of a burglary at the house of Mr. Gaddes, and
described a number of missing articles, which corresponded with those found in
possession of Alf and his mate.
When brought up on remand at the City Police Court, the two prisoners were charged
with this offence, and on being discharged by the magistrates were handed over to the
authorities from Warrington. The evidence was taken in that town, and the youths
were committed to the Liverpool Assizes, where they were each sentenced to six
months' imprisonment. During his imprisonment I ascertained that he had absconded
from a reformatory school. On his discharge from prison, I gave information to the
school authorities, and he was taken back to Calder Farm Reformatory, Mirfield,

The purchaser of the articles was also taken into custody, but the Superintendent did
not think the case strong enough to warrant him being charged before the magistrates
with the offence. The Warrington Magistrates and the Judge of Assize nevertheless
censured him for his part in the transaction, and ordered the articles to be given up to
their owner without allowing him any compensation. It will be as well to give the
particulars of Alf s career up to this date. He was sentenced at Manchester on the 29th
August, 1867, to seventeen days' imprisonment, and five years in a reformatory for
stealing a watch. Again at Manchester Assizes, in March, 1868, to three calendar
months' imprisonment for housebreaking, with intent to steal; after which followed
the convictions at Manchester and Liverpool previously mentioned.
During the time Alf was in prison, Jack again made his appearance, having emerged
from prison, and I had occasion to again track him under the following
circumstances :
A cashier to a firm of merchants, in 78, George Street, was in the habit of going to
business about 8 a.m., and Jack had either spotted the place, or it had been "put up" to
him, which of the two I could never get to know. One morning, when the cashier went
to business as usual, he espied some one under the desk, and challenged him. "What
are you doing there?" he asked. Without making any reply, the man came from his
hiding-place, and, having struck the cashier, dashed out of the place. The usual cry
was raised, " Where are the police ?"
The man was minutely described. It was Jack. Every effort was made to secure him,
but in vain. No clue as to his whereabouts could be obtained, until some five weeks
afterwards I managed to track his Lizzie to Bond Street, Salford. The house had a card
in the window bearing the inscription, " Lodgings." At night I sent a detective and his
wife, dressed as tramps, to the house to take lodgings. They carried with them a bass
containing tea, bread, and other little necessaries. There was only one furnished room,
they were informed, and that was occupied by a man and woman, with a little girl, but
there was a double-bedded room if they cared to have it. They gladly accepted this
offer, and were at once shown into the room, and paid for the night's lodgings. The
detective's wife left the house to make some purchases. This was an instruction given
so that he might be able to sit up for her. Alas ! she never returned.
As the hours rolled slowly by, the '' tramp " became " uneasy." Yes, poor fellow! very
uneasy indeed, or, at least, he appeared to be.
The night wore on, but still no tidings came of his wife. He became terribly anxious,
and opened the front door every few minutes to look out.
At last all the other inmates had retired. The door was cautiously opened; my friend
the "tramp" gave the signal, and, accompanied by another officer, I went straight
upstairs to the back room. Opening the door and going to the side of the bed, " Well,
Jack ! " said I, "how are you?"
" Hallo !" Jack replied, " are you here ?"
"Yes; get up and dress."
Jack's silence gave me the cue to something being wrong, so I searched the room, and
found property that had been stolen from the warehouse of a glass merchant, about 6
p.m., and reported to me on my last visit to the Detective Office at 9 p.m. the same
evening. That day Jack was identified, and, with a man who was in the bedroom,
named Profitt, and who was taken into custody at the same time, was committed to
the Sessions for trial.
The arrangement had been made between Jack and the man Profitt - who, by the way,
was a cousin to the delinquent before-mentioned - that he (Profitt) should plead guilty
to the charge, in order to allow Jack to escape conviction.

However, it must be explained that this being Profitt's first appearance before the
Stipendiary, he, in all likelihood, would only receive a very short term of
imprisonment, whereas Jack, if convicted, would have received a term of penal
servitude. So far, so good.
They were sent back for trial at the Sessions, and upon their first arraignment before
the jury it was a self-evident fact that the close confinement and solitariness of Belle
Vue Gaol was anything but a pleasant experience for Profitt, for, to the amazement of
Jack, he pleaded " Not guilty."
I saw an ugly look come over Jack's face, and it was strongly impressed on my rnind
that when the twain met outside as free men, whenever that might be, Jack would
make his cousin spend an unpleasant quarter of an hour. Nor was I mistaken, for
retribution overtook Profitt much more speedily than I anticipated. Upon the second
arraignment on the following day, Profitt appeared in the dock with one eye badly
contused, and other portions of his face also bore signs of severe punishment which
had been administered to him whilst in the cells, by Jack. Profitt made an eloquent
appeal to the jury for acquittal, putting forward his bandaged face in a prominent
manner, but it was all to no purpose, as he was brought in guilty and received four
calendar months' imprisonment, whilst Jack was acquitted.
As he left the dock a free man, he shouted to me, " It's the last time you'll have me,
Mr. Jerome." His words were correct, for I have never had occasion to shadow him
since. This was the last I ever saw of Jack.
Soon after this I received a report of a female " shoplifter" having stolen a roll of
shirting from a tradesman's door. The description of the thief answered to that of
Jack's Lizzie, whom I found in Barton Street. On entering the house where she was
lodging, I saw part of the stolen roll of shirting lying on the table. I took Lizzie and
her companion, " Bodger's " Lizzie, into custody. One was sentenced to five months',
and the other to twelve months' imprisonment.
"Scotch Johnny" was arrested by Inspector Atkinson for picking pockets at Knott
Mill, and was sent to the Police Courts, with other prisoners, in the van. Whilst
waiting to be brought before the Court, he managed, with the assistance of two or
three others in the same cell, to get to the air-shaft, up which you would scarcely have
thought a cat could crawl. Through this shaft, however, he ascended to the roof of the
Court House, in Bridge Street, a very lofty building, now occupied as a warehouse
Messrs. Beith, Stevenson & Co.; and, although an officer was on duty at the back of
the Court, Johnny slid safely down the waterspout and got clear away. This feat was
extraordinary, as it must be understood that the man had to wriggle himself up the
shaft through at least three storeys.
I afterwards apprehended him for stealing a watch from a person, and he was
sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment.
Subsequently, he was apprehended at Leeds by Superintendent Stansfield. of the West
Riding Constabulary, for watch-stealing, and in his possession were two watches
which he had stolen.
Whilst in the Police Office he suddenly snatched up a very heavy ruler from the desk,
and belaboured Mr. Stansfield about the head and caused very serious injuries, which
placed him on the sick list for a long time. For this offence he was sentenced to ten
years' penal servitude.
I then thought we were clear of this gang; but one day, on entering the Detective
Office about noon, a telegram was placed in my hands by Mr. Coathupe, the Deputy
Chief Constable, asking for the arrest of one " Jackson," who had escaped from

Calder Farm Reformatory, and was suspected of having broken into a house close to,
and stolen some property therefrom. The telegram added that Jackson was " known to
your Sergeant Caminada." A few months afterwards I saw Alf, who at once took to his
heels. I gave chase, and after a hard run, came up with him and took him into custody.
For this last robbery Alf was sentenced to six months' imprisonment.
On that occasion I took Alf into custody on the outskirts of the City, and, as I had
some other business to transact, left him at one of the outside police stations, with
instructions that he was to be taken to the Detective Office by another officer. When
the reserve constable saw Alf he said, " We had a woman locked up for having some
skeleton keys in her possession a short time ago, and this youth came to inquire about
her." I had been away in London, and had not previously heard of this young lady's
arrest; but I new that Alf was mixed with criminals, although not so vicious a gang as
"Bodger's" school, and for some months past the police had been receiving reports of
houses having been entered and a large quantity of jewellery stolen. I therefore
determined to see if I could get any trace of the thieves. I obtained the skeleton keys
and "jemmy" from the Superintendent of the Division, and found that the keys fitted
the houses reported to have been robbed. I had little doubt that this was the work of
Miss Lizzie. I waited for her to emerge a free woman once more, and then made my
way to the neighbourhood where I thought she was likely to be living. After making
observations for about a fortnight, I saw Lizzie and a companion of hers, known as
"Pudding," turn out. They walked together for some distance, and made purchases in
the most business-like manner.
They were eventually joined by another couple, and the four adjourned to a public
house, where they remained regaling themselves until half-past eight in the evening.
When they left, "Pudding" loudly invited the others to "come out and have tea with
him," and they freely accepted his hospitality. I accompanied them home - of course at
a respectable distance - noted the number of the door, and gauged the house, which I
found was a back-to-back cottage - just the thing for my purpose, because there was to
be no back door watching, and took my departure.
A brother officer and I kept well posted regarding reports and country information of
robberies, particularly of housebreaking, and the class of robberies usually effected by
means of skeleton keys.
On the following Sunday evening about seven o'clock we wended our way towards
the back-to-back cottage, and had the pleasure of seeing, at 8-30 p.m., Lizzie and
"Pudding" come up the street and enter the house, which was already occupied by a
woman and a little girl.
We were fully sixty-five yards away, but just managed to get a glimpse of the inside
of the cottage as the door opened. As soon as Lizzie and her paramour closed the door
we walked up to the house, and, without notifying our entrance by the usual knock of
ceremony, dashed inside. Consternation and defiance showed plainly on the
countenance of Lizzie and "Pudding" when they saw who were the intruders. I went
straight for "Pudding," but he did not intend to let things go smoothly. With a blow
like a steam hammer he sent me reeling across the room. I dropped into a large
washing mug which, unhappily, stood in my way. It broke beneath the force of my fall
and flew into a hundred fragments, slightly cutting the calves of my legs. I picked
myself up as quickly as I could, and heard " Pudding " say, " You'll want no more."
My colleague and "Pudding" were then going it "tooth and nail," and it clearly was
not the intention of either of them to hoist the "flag of truce." In a few seconds more,
bang ! went a staff on " Pudding's " head, causing a ruby stream to freely flow, and
down went "Pudding" like a balloon with a hole pricked in it. The remark, "You'll

want no more," did not this time proceed from " Pudding." " He's killed him," shouted
Lizzie, and for fully a quarter of an hour nothing could be heard but her screams. I
searched "Pudding," who was still bleeding freely from the blow of the staff, but
found nothing on him. I then turned my attention to Lizzie, who, in the confusion,
handed me her purse, which contained a number of pawntickets. "To what do these
refer?" I asked. "To my own property," she replied; "they had them at the Police
Station when they locked me up for my 'drag' ["drag" being the slang term for three
months' imprisonment]. Do you want to make a case out of them, too?" " Well," said
I, " we'll take you to the Police Station and see." I put the " snaps " on " Pudding," and
conveyed him to Oldham Road, where I handed him over to an officer to take to
Livesey Street police station. I returned to my colleague, whom I had left in charge of
the two women and the house, which was situated just above Ravald Street, Oldham
Road. We made a very diligent search, but found nothing to reward us for our trouble,
and so marched off to the Police Station, and detained them till "Pudding" arrived
from the Royal Infirmary, where he had been sent to have his wounds dressed. He
appeared no worse for the blow, and was exceedingly violent. Stamping his foot on
the floor, and striking his fist on the counter, he vowed vengeance. He would " see the
Chief Constable, and make that Jerome suffer for this."
He beseeched me to let his wife and Lizzie out. " Lizzie," he said, "he had only given
shelter to for a few nights, as she had just come out of prison." Lizzie was the woman
who had just come from Sheffield, and who opened the cellar door for me when "
Bodger" and others were arrested for the Indian-headed pipe robbery. The child was
now five or six years old, and said, " Jerome sent dada away ! " After making
inquiries, I had to liberate "Pudding" and Jack's Lizzie. The few years that had passed
had made a great change in the latter. Her language was not so violent, and her tongue
had lost its sting. "Pudding's" wife was detained, and on the following day I turned
out early, visited three pawnbrokers, who let me have the articles of jewellery to
which the tickets referred, and by half-past eleven I had three distinct cases. of
housebreaking against her.
She was remanded till Thursday, when she was committed for trial, and at the
Sessions was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment.
In September, 1872, a large number of complaints were received at the Detective
Office of robberies at dwelling-houses, most of which were committed about the
middle of the day. Nothing brings these things more into prominence than letters to
the papers, and in every local journal letters were to be found, first from one district
and then from another. Communications passed from Chief Constables of one town to
another, asking if something could not be done to throw light on the matter, and each
suggesting a method by which it was hoped the persons doing these "jobs," or
"cracks,'' as we call them, might be brought to justice. The result of it was that
detectives, whose abilities were adapted to this class of work, were sent out at various
hours to watch certain districts, and they had the assistance of a draft of plain clothes
officers from the preventive divisions in their endeavours to detect the numerous
housebreakers who were at work.
In a certain district I called upon two persons who had unfortunately been visited by
these unwelcome guests, and asked if any one had been round selling anything in the
shape of pens, pins, or brushes, or buying old clothes, or asking where Mrs. So-and-so
lived. Adopting this mode of inquiry, I found that a man had been in the
neighbourhood selling brushes the same afternoon, at about half-past three, and that
he had called at two houses, close to two others which had been entered, one in
Cheetham, and the other in Waterloo Road. In one instance the lady of the house went

out at 3-15 p.m., and on returning an hour later found everything "upside down," and
a portion of her property gone. In the other case, a lady left her house at 4-0 p.m.,
drove in an omnibus to St Ann's Square, and on returning about an hour afterwards
discovered the house upset. The wardrobe, dressing case, and jewellery case had been
broken open and ransacked, and a large quantity of valuables carried away. I got a
good description of the brush vendor from a lady who had an affliction of the spine.
She was unable to walk, and was in the habit of sitting at the window during the
afternoon to pass away the time. She appeared to take great interest in watching the
people in the street. Having seen this man, she described him to me, and related
exactly the manner in which he loitered about, apparently to see if any one was
coming. She also explained how he stood at the doors, with his head on one side to
peer down the lobbies of the houses opposite.
I now made it my business to watch the neighbourhood of Cheetwood every
afternoon, and to endeavour to regain the character of our police force; for, to say the
least of it, we were at this time in very bad favour with the public; and an occasional "
You have not got him yet!" from my superiors, which, at this time, meant a lot to me,
urged me onward, and, if possible, made me more determined than ever to catch my
Cheetwood, as all my readers probably know, is a township adjoining Cheetham, and
forms a very ready means of access to the thickly populated and criminal portion of
the city. After I had been at this dreary business of watching for several afternoons,
the monotony was relieved very considerably by the sight of the brush or whisk
hawker coming down Bury New Road, with his whisks in his hand and a bass on his
back, just as the invalid lady had described, and accompanied by two young women. I
was talking to a man who kept a boot shop, and who, in his own opinion, knew
everybody's business for a radius of twenty miles. "You have not caught
this,housebreaker yet?" "No," said I, making this an excuse to enter his shop. " Have
you seen any fresh faces about?" Mr. Shoemaker leaned against the counter in his
shop, and proceeded to abuse some person entirely unknown to me, but for whom he
evidently dld not entertain very friendly feelings. In the midst of the tale the hawker
and his companions passed. I was delighted, and wishing him a hurried good
afternoon, I started in pursuit. I followed them until the Wellington public house was
reached, and this they entered.
I felt confident they had not the proceeds of any robbery with them, but I was very
uneasy about the contents of the bag. Was it empty ? Did it contain whisks or
housebreaking implements ? Presently the trio emerged from the public house, and
my mind was soon set at rest as to the contents of the bass. Just as they were crossing
the bridge at New Bridge Street, Strangeways, a dog rushed out of a house on the
Salford side of the bridge and barked at them in such a mannner as to give one the
impression that it knew who and what they were. The man lost his patience and threw
a whisk at it. Nothing daunted, the little brute still barked on. The hawker ventured a
kick at the dog, but this caused it to bark more than ever. The man, becoming
exasperated, deliberately aimed the bag at the offending animal, when out flew what ? Nothing ! It was empty ! The owner of the dog made his appearance, and they
had a chat about the qualities - good and bad - of the dog. The women walked on, and
were just turning the corner of Chapel Street, Salford, when the whisk hawker
overtook them. Something unpleasant was said, to judge from the high words which
passed between them, and continued until they reached a restaurant in Chapel Street.
This appeared to attract their attention now, for no "throwing the lamps," as it is
called, was indulged in. They walked straight in, without taking the slightest notice as

to whether they were followed or not. I returned to the owner of the dog. "Your dog
nearly got you into trouble a short time ago. The man you were talking to just now
threw a whisk and a bass at it, and appeared in a passion ; I thought from his
appearance and manner he was a fighting man. Do you know him?" I asked. " No," he
replied, and finding there was no information to be obtained from that source, I left
him, and looked up an officer who I knew was in the habit of disguising himself and
"making up." I sent him to watch the inside of the restaurant, while I watched the
outside. One day, while thus engaged, I saw an old friend of mine behind the counter,
" Fat Ann," as she was called, her name being Ann Wood. Mrs. Wood used to keep a
refreshment " cafe " in a cellar in Portland Street, near the " Three Legs of Man"
public house. Some two years before I had summoned her under the Refreshment
House Act, when she was fined twenty shillings and costs. She was afterwards tried at
the City Sessions for receiving stolen property. I knew, therefore, that it was useless to
expect any assistance from her. I compared notes with the " inside man." In the course
of a few days he had got on very familiar terms with the inmates, who were under the
impression that he worked on the railway, and lived in lodgings. At our second night's
meeting he told me the name of the whisk hawker was " Tommy Lewis," and one of
the women they called "Alfs Lizzie." I thought I knew the little woman, but being
equally well-known to her, I had to keep a long way behind. "So it's Lizzie, is it?"
thought I. " Well, Alf won't be far away." I went to the Detective Office and left word
with the officer in charge that if during the night any despatches - which are
forwarded to head quarters every four hours - contained a report of housebreaking,
with property stolen, he was at once to let me know. Having done this I retired to rest.
Soon after 4-0 a.m. I was aroused by a messenger who had brought particulars of a
house that had been entered in Cheetham Hill Village, in the County Police District,
and from which a timepiece, with a very handsome frame of pearls, a number of
foreign coins, a silk dress, a seal-skin jacket, a locket and chain, and other property
had been stolen. Having obtained a cab, I called on another officer, and we drove off
to Blackfriars Bridge, where we alighted about six o'clock. I secured the assistance of
a Salford police officer to enter the house with me, and stationed my colleague to
watch the back of the house. We waited about some time to see if we could get in, but
as no one seemed to be astir, I tapped at the door, and a voice from within cried out, "
Who's there ? " " Post," I replied, and the door was immediately unlocked and opened.
In we walked. " Well, Mrs. Wood, how are you? " I asked. "What's to do, Jerome ? "
replied my old acquaintance. "Who have you living here? " " The only person in the
house is my daughter"
"Which of them - Agnes?" "Yes." "And who else?" I asked.
"A man and two women," she said, at the same telling mewhere I could find them. l
lighted a candle which I had brought with me, went upstairs, and entered the bedroom. Alf was fast asleep. I called him by name. He awoke, looked up at me and
"How have you got in here?" asked Alf. " Ann let me in," I replied. Alf's reply when
he heard this is best indicated thus ----------.
I called the two women and told them to dress. My colleague from the back turned up
on the scene. Alf got quietly out of bed and proceeded to dress, remarking, as he did
so, " I believe you can smell me, Jerome; for wherever I go to live you soon scent
me." When Alf had dressed, I began to search the room, and the first thing I found
was a timepiece with a pearl - mother-of-pearl - frame, and soon afterwards a sealskin jacket. " To whom do these belong? " I asked, and Alf replied, "They belong to
me ; I bought them, and shall tell you no more." " Very well, Alf," I said, " if you

choose to take the responsibility of any charge I may make against you after what I
have found here I cannot help it. I shall take both the women for being concerned in
it, and shall charge them at present on suspicion."
I took Alf to the nearest Police Station and left him in safe custody, and then returned
to the house and had both women taken to the Police Station, Then I made a more
thorough search of the house, and found several articles which I knew did not belong
to people in their sphere of life. These I packed into baskets, removing the most likely
articles to the Police Office, in order, if possible, to have them identified by the
persons whose houses had been entered. In this I was very fortunate, and the first
morning I had evidence of three cases of housebreaking - although the value was but
trifling - which went to swell the number of detected crimes. I persevered with my
inquiries, and before the second day's labour had been brought to a close had traces of
eleven cases of housebreaking against them. I also ascertained that "Tommy Lewis"
worked somewhere in the neighbourhood of Miles Platting. The next move was to
find him. I overhauled my wardrobe and found a pair of cord trousers, vest, striped
check shirt, a cap, and a first-rate pair of clogs. I donned these, and, with a pint can in
my hand, set off out to look after Tommy. I traced him to a small wagon works in
Lamb Lane, Miles Plattmg, and found that he worked there, and was very well known
to the whole of the hands. One man said "He was inclined to be doing something" and
whatever this meant, it was the opinion of his fellow-workmen - "He did not like
getting up in a morning when the bell rang," they agreed.
l presume this meant he did not like working for his living, but was what is termed a
I managed to get pretty well on Tommy's track, and after the works closed at six
o'clock, and a pint or two of ale had been drunk, I found myself actually in the
company of the man who had been working with him. His tongue became loose in
proportion to the quantity of liquor he consumed, and he began to tell me of things
that had passed between them at their work - how Tommy had got 8 for his share of
something or other, and that he was not going to work for fourteen " bob " a week any
" I will take you to see Tommy after a bit," said my companion.
"But," I suggested, "I cannot go into a strange house."
" Oh ! come on," he said, impatiently. " I know his mother and Jack, who lodges there,
very well"
So off we went, and having reached Harrowby Street, off Lamb Lane, my merry
companion pushed at a door, as if trying to knock it down, Open it flew, and he
shouted out, " Is Tommy in ?"
" No," said a woman. " Who wants him?"
"We have a start for him to-morrow morning," said my friend.
" Oh," answered the woman. " I will tell him to come and see you first thing."
" What time mun he start, Harry?"
"Quarter time," I answered, which in Lancashire means breakfast time.
As we left the house I became aware that I was going to have in Harry a very
troublesome companion. Each time we had had any drink it was served to us in a jug,
with glasses, to help ourselves. I took very little, but Harry secured the lion's share,
and it had got into his head as well as into his legs. He was very '' top-heavy," and, to
make matters worse, showed a decided inclination to go to sleep. When the end of
Montague Street was reached, I gave two youths sixpence to help him home. Wishing
my "mate" good-night, I walked along Collyhurst Street to Rochdale Road, took a

'bus to Market Street, and was soon on my way home to change my clothes and
arrange for an early visit to Harrowby Street.
Early next morning one of the officers met me at my house, and after having
breakfast, we started at 6-0 a.m. to Lamb Lane, which was fully three miles away. We
arrived there just before 7-0 o'clock. Smoke was issuing from the chimney of the
house, showing us that someone was about. " See, George," I said to my colleague,
"they are getting Tommy's breakfast ready before he starts work." A good deal of
chaff passed between us while we were dodging about the house for half an hour or
so, waiting for a better chance of catching our bird without a climb ; for Harry had
told me on the previous evening that Tommy could climb up a spout like a cat. I was
always extremely cautious not to be overmanned, for I know that, speaking generally,
there are four persons in a house, and it is impossible for one man to take another by
force if his prisoner is " game," and shows fight, and many times in my police career
had I had experience of this. I have often felt amused since at the " sell " we
experienced on this occasion.
As no policeman in uniform appeared in sight we determined to make a start without
one. We went to the back of the house and I climbed upon the yard wall. A tallow
candle was lit and I could see the shadow of a man walking about the house. I went to
the front of the house, after instructing George to wait at the back, and to come to my
assistance as soon as I had effected an entrance. The door was fastened by a droplatch, which I succeeded in lifting, after some difficulty, by pulling a string which
raised the latch from the outside. I was met on the door-step by a rough-looking
fellow, who brusquely said, " What do you want ? "
"I am a detective officer," I replied, "and I am going to see who is in the house."
He was determined I should not do so. " You must be mistaken," he said; "there's no
one here," and he seized me firmly by the waist. A struggle ensued, during which an
ornament and several other things that stood on the table were smashed, and finally
the table itself came to grief. George entered the room just as Jack came downstairs,
and they were about to follow our example, when - after many cautions - I gave my
antagonist a violent blow in the face, under which he loosed his hold, reeled, and
almost fell.
"It's that young scamp upstairs that brought all this on," said Jack. We dashed
upstairs, but no Tommy could be found. George stood on the stairs at this time. I
searched for Tommy under the beds, and everywhere I could think of, but no trace of
him could be got. I examined the fastenings of the window, thinking he might
perhaps have escaped that way, but they had not been disturbed. Turning from the
windows I happened to look at Jack. He was turning his eyes towards the ceiling,
and instinctively following his gaze I saw Tommy staring at me through a small
manhole in the ceiling. I at once charged Jack in the name of the Queen to assist us
in the capture of the man of whom we were in search, namely, Thomas Lewis. I do
not think from Jack's manner that he had ever before been pressed into the public
service. Holding my staff in one hand, and Jack by the other, I exclaimed, " Up you
go!" but drawing back, Jack suggested, "Perhaps he will hit me on the head with
something." Nevertheless, I ordered him to ascend. We stepped upon the bed, and
" Jack " put his hands to the manhole. I caught hold of his legs and helped him up.
Raising himself an inch or two through the hole he said, "He's not here." "Go on!" I
shouted. I could see Jack did not relish the job. There was the dread of receiving a
blow from above on the one hand, and on the other the wholesome fear of my
enforcing obedience by a free use of the staff.

The situation was, after all, perhaps enough to make a stronger man than Jack quake.
He hesitated an instant, but, apparently thinking he was duly " sworn in," he chose the
lesser of the two evils, and up he went. I handed a lighted candle to him and
proceeded to follow him. I placed my hands inside the manhole, when Jack
exclaimed, " You can't get through." It needed a deal of pushing and wriggling, but
I was successful. As soon as I got into the loft I saw Jack's countenance change. I
looked round, but the fugitive was nowhere to be seen. I noticed the partition wall of
the next house was not built near enough to the roof to prevent a man getting over.
Determined not to be outdone, I climbed over the wall into the next house, and again
over another wall into the third house, where I just caught sight of Tommy as he
jumped through the manhole into the room below as though he was diving into water.
I rushed to the manhole and followed him as speedily as possible, bounding
downstairs close at his heels. . He made a tremendous effort to place a greater distance
between us and ran to the back door to escape, but fortune was against him. The bolt
of the door was broken and he could not withdraw it.
As I dashed downstairs he ran to the front door, but it was locked !
The house was unoccupied, and doors and windows had been carefully fastened. I felt
certain I had him now ; but if I thought my man was going to give up so easily I was
mistaken. The next moment he was off up the chimney with the agility of a cat. To
make matters worse the shutters were closed, and the room was in darkness.
As I reached the fireplace down rolled the soot, filling the room and almost blinding
me. That chimney evidently required attention on the part of the sweep ! Despite the
soot, I began to ascend, but for once, at least, fortune smiled on Tommy. Having
climbed to a point just above the mantel-piece, I found I could not get any further on
account of the chimney being so narrow. I tried hard to force my shoulders up, but it
was in vain. Not an inch higher could I go, and so I reluctantly turned my attention to
getting out of the chimney as quickly as possible. In the excitement of the chase the
ascent had seemed easy enough ; the descent was quite another thing. But liberate
myself somehow or other, I must ; and so, calling all my energies together for a final
effort, I slowly and cautiously forced my way down. It was plain that in the pursuit
thus far I had been baffled, indeed, fairly beaten, but I was not disheartened. Opening
the window, I unfastened the shutters, and, throwing them back, jumped out, making
my way back to the house where Tommy lived. My colleague, Jack, and Tommy's
mother all stood in the bedroom when I entered, covered with soot and as black as a
sweep, and cutting a sorry figure. Their faces showed plainly that I need expect no
sympathy from any of them at the failure of my race after Tommy.
"Have you got him?" sarcastically asked Jack.
Thls was almost more than I could bear. " No ! " I thundered. " Where's the man
who stopped me as I was coming in ? "
''I don't know," replied Jack. "He went to the Infirmary to get his lips sewn up and
said he should go on tramp."
I had struck him about the face and head, and if I did not leave permanent marks it is a
wonder. I came off however, second best in the fight, and I shall carry the marks my
opponent gave me to my grave.
Jack and the woman were evidently in high glee at my abortive attempt to apprehend
Tommy. Gathering his clothes together and tying them into a bundle my colleague and
I left the house, remarking as we did so, "If Tommy wants his clothes he must come to
the Detective Office for them." As we turned into Queen's Road, in the direction of
Oldham Road, I saw that we were being carefully watched after our little skirmish. I
soon tired of carrying the clothes, and suggested to George that we should leave them

at the first possible place and double back, as it would be almost certain that Tommy
would have come down the chimney by this time and be in his own house again. We
met a policeman in Oldham Road, and gave him the clothes to take to Livesey Street
Police Station, and then once more turned our steps in the direction of Harrowby
Street. We arranged on the way that my colleague should get through the window of
the empty house and make straight for the manhole.
I opened the door, and called out loudly, " Has he come back yet?" at the same time
running upstairs into the bedroom. There sure enough was Tommy. The moment he
saw me, up through the manhole he went like a mouse. Placing a box upon the bed to
form a step towards the hole, I quickly went after him.
Over the tops of the party walls we went, and Tommy again took a jump through the
manhole into the empty house, but this time he was sorry for it. He had jumped clean
into the arms of George, who was a fine strong young officer. My colleague, looking
up at the manhole bewildered, firmly clasped in his arms Tommy, who was naked, and
as black as a nigger. George seemed quite relieved when I dropped through the
Our prisoner was now safe, but what in the world were we to do with him? He was
quite naked, and all his clothes were at Livesey Street Police Station. I soon found a
solution of this difficulty. Obtaining a newspaper, I pinned it round him, and off we
marched. As we passed a public house Tommy asked for a drink. I took him in and
gave him sixpenny-worth of brandy, then proceeding to Livesey Street Station, where
he dressed. I well remember the remarks of the Deputy Chief Constable when we
reached the Detective Office, by whom we were sent, all unwashed as we were, to the
Police Court, where I applied for a remand, which was at once granted.
I had now taken into custody four of the principal housebreakers who, for some
months, had been a terror to many of the citizens of Manchester and its
neighbourhood. I went home, washed and dressed myself, and was busy at my
inquiries as speedily as possible. In the course of the same day I apprehended a man
and a woman for receiving the proceeds of the robbery, well knowing them to have
been stolen. Soon afterwards I arrested " Fat Ann," who had received jewellery and
other stolen articles. Some of these she had handed over to members of her family,
and others she had disposed of elsewhere.
By this time I had several prisoners, who were charged as follows:Alf, Elizabeth,
Ann, and Bridget were charged with breaking and entering the house of Mr. George
Burnett, and stealing therefrom a watch and other artcles; further, with breaking and
entering the houses of Charles Caldwell and John Simpson. Alf, Bridget, and
Elizabeth were found guilty. Tommy, John L, and Eliza C were charged
with breaking, entering, and stealing from the houses of William Francombe and
Robert Hodge. They were also charged with receiving stolen property; all were found
guilty. Before passing sentence, the Deputy Recorder asked what was known of the
prisoners. A statement was handed to him showing their previous convictions, their
characters as known to the police, and the characters of the people whose company
they generally kept.
When Alf's career was read aloud it took everybody by surprise. He had a very
pleasing countenance, which had deceived many, and was not of the usual stamp of
thieves; but he could be violent enough when he chose, as he showed when he was
sentenced to ten years' penal servitude. Tommy came next, and the Deputy Recorder,
commenting on his escape by the chimney, and in complimentary terms on the
manner in which he had been traced, sentenced him to seven years' penal servitude.
Elizabeth was also sentenced to seven years' penal servitude. John L was

sentenced to six months' hard labour for receiving, and Bridget to five months' hard
labour; while "Fat Ann" and Elizabeth C --- each received a severe lecture from the
Deputy Recorder for their share in the transactions. In acknowledgment of my
services in these cases, about was presented to me by persons who were in the
Court, and a further substantial reward was given to me by the Watch Committee,
through the Chief Constable. I may add that at the close of the prosecution I was
complimented by the Recorder on the way in which I had piloted the case through the
Police Courts without any legal assistance.
As time went on, my colleagues often said to me, " How would you like another Little
Alf and Tommy case?" To which inquiry I invariably replied, " They will probably
turn up again, and give us a startler one of these days." Events proved that in this
conjecture I was not very far wrong.
One Sunday morning we were all put astir in the Detective Office by Mr. Councillor
Haworth coming and reporting that his shop in Oldham Road had been entered during
the previous night and robbed. The thieves had taken away most of the jewellery and
pledges, as well as the whole of the cash which had been received on Saturday. I was
instructed by the Superintendent to investigate the matter, and my first step was to ask
Mr. Haworth how the thieves had contrived to get into the shop.
" By unlocking the door," he replied.
We took a cab to the shop, and were accompanied by the manager, Mr. Lawson, and
also by a man who was in Mr. Haworth's employment as manager at another place of
business. As we drove along I noticed that they were all extremely excited, Mr.
Lawson being particularly nervous. When we arrived at the shop Mr. Lawson said,
"When I locked up last night I put 134 14s. Od. into the safe, with two hundred
gold wedding and other rings. I returned home, had my supper, and went to bed.
During the night someone broke into my house, entered my bedroom, took the keys of
the safe from my trousers pocket, and then came here, opened the safe, and carried all
the money and jewellery away." I looked at him in astonishment, but I thought from
the tremulous way in which he spoke, and from his excited state, that his tale was very
likely true. But most of my colleagues were against me. His story, they said, was a "
put up job." My opinion, as I say, was exactly the opposite, but in deference to their
suggestions I resolved to make an examination of the manager's house in Bradford
Road, Manchester.
His wife - he had not long been married - and his widowed mother were at home. His
mother was a broad spoken Lancashire woman.
" I do not know what I was doing asleep last night," said the old lady. " I generally go
to bed about half-past seven, and wake about one o'clock; but I slept long past that
time last night. I wonder if they [meaning the thieves] gave me something, or put
something into my room to make me sleep."
I felt myself in an awkward position. I still took my own line of argument from the
manager's explanation, and resolutely held to it, while my colleagues were equally as
firm in their opinion. "There was no indication of anyone having entered the house,"
they said. " In fact no robbery was ever committed in the way talked of by the
After making a careful examination of the house, I found that the wall had been
scaled, and a pane of glass broken in the scullery window, the catch of which had
been pushed back a little, but as no progress could be made that way, the sitting-room
window had been operated upon in the same manner and an entrance effected, the
stairs noiselessly ascended, and the keys of the door and safe taken from the trousers

pocket of the sleeping manager. But even all this did not satisfy my colleagues. " It
could not be done," they asserted.
" I am rather a clumsy fellow," said I, " but I will undertake to enter the house in the
same way without leaving a scratch behind me;" and this I did before their own eyes.
This was a victory for me, and it recalled the twenty-eight cases of housebreaking and
burglaries which I had brought home to Alf and Tommy vividly to my mind. I thought
I saw traces of the handiwork of my old friend the hawker of whisks in this particular
case, and on returning to the Detective Office I set to work to find Alf and Tommy. I
searched records and convict papers, and learned that Tommy had been out of prison
some three years and a half; but no one knew of his whereabouts. I managed,
however, to trace him to one of Her Majesty's regiments, and knew that he was at that
time far enough away. Lizzie was married and living with her husband just outside
Manchester, and was leading what is termed a "square life " - that is, she had
given up being a professional thief. I ascertained that Alf had been liberated a
short time before on ticket-of-leave, but I could get no further trace of all hls old
haunts, including "Fat Ann's" house, but Ann had died about six weeks before Alf had
been liberated. I searched Newton Heath, where Alf was born, but no trace could be
obtained of him. Eventually I discovered that his father was living in Royle's Court,
off Abingdon Street, Portland Street. I went several times to this address and, with a
little diplomacy, managed to secure admission. Inside I picked up a shirt belonging to
a convict, traceable by its marks to Reg. No. , Convict Alfred.
I dealt liberally with the woman who lived next door, and arranged for her to receive a
lodger, who was, I said, a labourer, who went about getting in coal. This was, of
course, only an excuse always to have a policeman on duty at the house, waiting for
Alf's return. He had been seen several times before the robbery, but neither Alf nor his
father had appeared in the neighbourhood since. This was a scent too great to let slip,
and I kept well on Alf's track. Having received some information one morning, I went
with another officer to Montague Street. My colleague stationed himself at the back
and I at the front of the house. I knocked several times, but no one opened the door. A
policeman who lived a door or two down the street went to the back of the house and
sent my colleague to me to say that he had seen someone moving about inside. We
then made up our minds to enter, and after receiving a few good "running kicks " the
door fell in, carrying with it the frame and about a barrow-load of bricks into the
bargain. The house was occupied by a man, his wife and three children. He had been
out of work a long time and had not paid any rent. The reason they did not open the
door was that they thought we were bailiffs. Misery and want were plainly stamped
on all their faces, and after giving the poor woman some money I went to the door. A
score of voices yelled out "Bumbs ! Bailiffs ! Yah ! " In the crowd I noticed a man
who had a handcart containing bricks and mortar. Questioning him, he told me he was
on his way to repair some property. I asked how much it would cost to put this little
job right. " Six shillings," said he. I gave him seven-and-sixpence to start at once to
repair the damage, and that was the last I heard of it.
Mr. Haworth gave me an address at the Detective Office one evening, but nothing
came of my inquiries in that direction.
All kinds of theories were probed; house after house was visited, but all in vain, until
we came across one in Churnett Street, Rochdale Road, a house occupied by a tinworker named Gerard, known as " Tush," who worked at Carroll's. I thought the scent
was getting hotter, and, hailing a cab, drove to Carroll's tinworks in Goulden Street.
Mr. Carroll said he had paid " Tush " up, and that he had gone to Glasgow. An old
acquaintance had come back from penal servitude, a row had taken place in the house,

and Mrs. "Tush" had struck her husband, cutting his head. "I shall not have such a
character as ' Tush' among my men again," added Mr. Carroll. I drove to the Detective
Office, and, having obtained the assistance of Inspector Johnson, visited the
neighbourhood where " Tush " had been living. Two children were in the house, in
charge of a woman half drunk. A few coppers sufficed to get rid of the youngsters,
and then we had to " square " the woman. She was servant to this affectionate couple.
Her name was Margaret, but she was better known as " drunken Maggie." We
promised her large sums of money, and gave her five shillings on account, whereupon
she readily came over to the side of the "enemy." Lighting a lamp, she placed it on the
mantel-piece, and we took up our position in the scullery.
In order to prevent Maggie slipping out to quench her " thirst," and also that she might
not regret her bargain, we engaged her in conversation. Alf and " Tush's" wife, a
strong and powerful woman about thirty years of age, a daughter of "Fat Ann's," were
out, she said, and Alf had sworn he would never again be taken alive. It was arranged
I was to tackle Alf.
About half-past eleven at night they returned to the house. As soon as they had got far
enough away from the door to render their escape difficult, we sprang from our
hiding-place. Alf was dazed and bewildered at the suddenness of the attack, and
before he had time to recover his self-possession, I threw him on his back on a sofa
which was in the room, pinned him down with my knee upon his stomach, and,
finding by a hasty search that he was not armed, slipped the handcuffs upon his
wrists. I walked with him until I met a policeman in uniform, and to this officer I
handed him, to be taken to Willert Street Police Station, directing that Alf should not
be placed in the cells, but be kept in the charge office. As I left the house with my
prisoner a crowd of children gathered round and somewhat hampered my way. As I
was gently putting them on one side a man came up, and to him I remarked, "
Children don't go to bed early in this neighbourhood." "No, I said he, "they don't."
Having helped me to keep them away, I asked him to assist the officer in taking Alf,
and then to wait for me at the Station. This he willingly undertook to do.
I returned to the house, and found my colleague standing inside with his back to the
door; Mrs. "Tush" was violent and wrathful. She vowed vengeance on both ourselves
and "Tush," more especially on poor "Tush." It was his jealousy, she said, or rather
yelled, that had put me on their track. All kinds of dreadful things were in store for
him if she could only get at him, and, having exhausted her coarse vocabulary, she
concluded by saying that she would kill him. I searched the house and discovered new
hats, shawls, and other things worth about 26. " Tush," thought I, never had the
pleasure of buying his wife all these things. It was evidently Alf; for nothing troubled
Alf so much as that a woman should be in custody through him, and Alf resorted to all
sorts of excuses and tales to get the woman her liberty.
I asked her what account she had to give of a heavy gold wedding-ring she was
wearing. " Oh, its my wedding-ring," she said. " I wish I had never seen it, or ' Tush'
I took the ring from her finger, examined it, and saw that it corresponded exactly with
a ring described by Mr. Lawson. A couple who were to be married had bought the
ring, and were paying for it by weekly instalments. They had seen it and paid the
usual weekly instalment on the very night of the robbery. The ring was marked on the
inside, and scratched inside was the day, month, and year of purchase. This was a "
clencher" for them, and one they could not easily get over.
Alf was searched and 8 found in his possession, 3 being in florins, which were
quite damp and had a kind of mouldy sludge on them. We held a conference at the

Detective Office. All agreed that the money had been buried in the ground, but where
was a question none could answer.
"Its all up, Alf," I said; "you might as well give up the property and save me a deal of
"No," said he; "I won the money from a man by betting on races ; " but he knew
nothing of the man or the races either. He did not even know where the man lived.
I saw that Alf would not tell anything, so I turned to leave him, when he called me
back. I thought he had perhaps changed his mind and was at last going to inform me
what the stolen property was ; but I was mistaken.
" You might stand me a breakfast," said he, and this I willingly consented to do.
The prisoners were taken before the magistrates and remanded. We then made a
thorough search of the house where they had been living. Boards were taken up, beds
and chimneys examined ; this was the work of hours. It was growing dark when we
went into the yard. We looked under the coals, examined the ashpit, and finally made
our way to the closet. "Nothing here," said my mate. " Lend me the candle. I should
be better satisfied if I had this flag up," I said. So up came the flag. " It looks as
though something had been disturbed here," I remarked.
My colleague gave expression to his feelings in a manner far from pleasant.
"Sit down and have a smoke," I said, "and wait here till I come back." I borrowed pick
and shovel, took off my coat, and began to dig. I had dug out about three feet of earth
when the pick struck something that was not soil. I called my colleague's attention to
"Are you coming to pull the house down to-morrow?" he asked, " for you have nearly
done it to-day."
I kept digging away, and presently saw something bright in the soil. I knelt down and
pulled a mustard tin out of the hole. I removed the lid and triumphantly held it up to
my companion. He seemed dumbfounded, for the tin contained ninety sovereigns,
besides the whole of the rings and jewellery that had been stolen from Mr. Haworth's
shop !
"Well," said my colleague, "I have been in the force twelve years, but I have evidently
a lot to learn yet. This will be a lesson I shall never forget."
I took back the pick and shovel, and on my way to the Town Hall called on Mr.
Lawson and showed him the tin. He was, of course, delighted at the recovery of the
stolen property. I
completed and piloted the case through the Court. The prisoners were committed for
trial at the Sessions. On the 12th April, 1882, they were found guilty of breaking and
entering the shop of Mr. Haworth, Oldham Road, and stealing therefrom 134 14s.
Od. in cash, two hundred gold rings, and other articles of jewellery of the value of
Alf and his paramour stood forward to receive their sentence. Immediately I was
called into the witness box to answer questions put to me by the Recorder, Alf seized
the rail in front of the dock, and with a face like that of a demon, gave vent to his
furious passion, threatening on his release to make me suffer torments for what I had
done. " I am guilty !" he cried. " She is not." He kept up a painful scene for at least ten
minutes, causing quite a sensation in Court.
The sudden outburst of his frenzy was startling, and it sent a thrill of horror through
the spectators. When the Recorder sentenced him to ten years' penal servitude, to be
followed by seven years' police supervision, he became still more violent, and had to
be forcibly removed from the dock.

Mrs. " Tush " was sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment with hard labour. On
hearing the sentence she began to rave and shout, as I had often heard her do before. "
Give me ten years also," she cried; and she declared she would be revenged on both
myself and my colleague. She was seized by two warders and a female warder and
forced to the cells below. Mr. Haworth recovered almost the whole of his lost
property. He presented me with and the costs out of pocket; my assistant with
, and the constable with .
After years of hard work I was able to congratulate myself on having broken up a nest
of some of the most daring and desperate thieves Manchester has ever known.
Alf was released from Portland Prison on the 29th of April, 1892, on a licence which
expired on the 3rd of August, 1893, thence coming under police supervision until the
3rd of August, 1900. Soon after his release several little jobs cropped up which bore
the appearance of his handiwork, and some time after I met him in the street, when I
advised him to try and earn an honest livelihood, him at the same time half-a-crown.
Alf turned over the coin in his hand, looking very suspiciously both at it and me, and
then, evidently coming to the conclusion that it was all right, put it in his pocket,
turned on his heel, and walked away.
I met him again after this, following a woman in Princess Street, and warned him. He
was living at the time in a court off Granby Row, and I got the Rev. E. P. Anderson,
the Rector of St. Simon and St. Jude's Church, to go and talk to him, but he could
make no impression on this hardened felon. He told the clergyman that he did not
wish "to associate with such company" as me, and though this Church of England
clergyman - as well as myself - took great interest in the man, and put himself to
much trouble in trying to reform him, he was unsuccessful.
I then went to see him myself, and tried to persuade him to go to work, for I thought if
I could bring this about, his reformation would be a greater credit to me than his
apprehension for any crime he might commit, and would be more satisfactory to the
community at large. A gentleman had offered him a situation, and I told him that he
could report himself to me by letter every month, and I would arrange that he need not
report himself at the office. When he refused this, I offered to intercede myself with a
firm to find him employment, but I could do no more good than the Rector. In fact, he
seemed to resent any interference on my part with his affairs, and looked upon me as a
very suspicious person indeed, telling me to my face - that he did not want my
Things went on until the 24th of June, 1894, when he was found concealed in the rear
of a house behind the Shrewsbury Hotel, Old Trafford, by Police Constable Thomas
Usher, of the County Constabulary, in the early hours of the morning. On being asked
what he was doing there, he replied that he was watching the house, for there was
someone in it. The officer said they would go and see, on which Jackson asked to be
allowed to go as he was an honest man. The officer, however, took him into custody ;
but on the road to the station he tried to escape, a gentleman coming to the assistance
of the officer. Jackson was lodged in the Police Station, and the officer afterwards
examining the ashpit, a small dark lantern was found. The window of the house had
also been tampered with. A number of keys were also found at the prisoner's lodgings,
one of which was identified as having been stolen from the Shrewsbury Hotel on the
day of the Queen's visit. He denied that he intended to break into the house, and said
that he was watching the Shrewsbury Hotel, and if the police would make inquiries,
they would find that the inmates went to bed at a quarter past one. He was brought up
on remand on the 5th July, and I attended to prove his previous career, which seemed
to astonish the Court. Alf stood silent in the dock, displaying not the least concern,

whilst his grieved and aged mother, verging on feebleness, waited in the corridor to
know the result, exhibiting the greatest sorrow and anxiety. He was charged under the
Prevention of Crimes Act with being a person not earning an honest livelihood, he
being a person who had been previously convicted, and was sentenced to twelve
months' imprisonment with hard labour.
On " Little Alf's " release it is my intention to make a further effort to induce him to
earn an honest living, and to become a good citizen.
The Brecon County Times of July 26, 1889, contained the following report of "Scotch
Johnny" at the above Assizes :The grand jury found a true bill against Charles Marshall (41), clerk, who was
indicted for burglariously entering the County and Borough Stores, Brecon, on the
night of the 19th of April, and stealing therefrom the sum of 2s. 8d., and a small
quantity of tea, the property of Mr. John William Jones, King's Arms.
Prisoner pleaded guilty. He also pleaded guilty to being convicted of felony at Cardiff
in the year 1877, under the name of Joseph King, and also at the Assizes at Brecon, on
July 19th, 1888.
Asked if he had any reason to give why the sentence of the Court should not be
pronounced, prisoner, addressing the judge, said:- First of all l wish you to see these
(handing in documents), and then allow me to speak.
His Lordship, having read the papers, said he (prisoner) could, of course, make any
statement or observation that he thought ought to be made.
Prisoner said it was contrary to his innate modesty to stand there and say what he had
to say. Cruelty was the means of his being there, and he would endeavour to give an
outline of his career from his fifteenth year. He would be as brief as possible, but it
was necessary he should give it. His life had literally been taken, and he wished to
point out that cruelty was the cause of it.
The Judge : If you are going to repeat what you have written, and which I have read, I
don't think it will do you any good. I have read it.
Prisoner, in his own opinion, said it was absolutely necessary, because he had often
been punished when not deserving of punishment, and his life had been wasted in
prison through unjust treatment. He had not always been guilty when punished for
offences ; and when he had been in prison for small offences of which he had been
guilty, he had been treated with more fierceness and brutality than would have been
meted out for great crimes. He would prove this, if his Lordship would let him speak.
He would give nothing but the candid truth, which could be proved, and which should
be brought before the State. I have been murdered, my Lord, said the prisoner, and I
will prove it if you will allow me.
His Lordship : I cannot hear all that. I have read your paper, and I don't think it will do
you any good to repeat it by word of mouth.
Prisoner pointed out that at the Brecon Assizes he was convicted of stealing a watch,
which he did not steal. He was apprehended by Police Constable Williams, when
coming out of Usk Prison, and was kept in prison afterwards, the result being that he
could not get evidence, and consequently the jury in this (Brecon) Court found him
guilty. He was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment, and was transferred from
Brecon Prison to Worcester, where he and the Governor of the Gaol had been on ill
terms for something like five years. (A titter in Court.) Prisoner alleged that the

Governor of Worcester Prison had ill-treated him, and had, amongst other things, kept
him for nine months in a small cell, except when he went to chapel and exercise. He
was afterwards sent to Stafford, where, upon his arrival, he was admitted into the
The Judge: I don't think these observations will do you any good. I have read your
Prisoner : Well, my Lord, I certainly thought by saying I was guilty, and saving the
trouble of ten witnesses being examined, that I should be allowed to speak. May I
continue ?
His Lordship made no remark.
Prisoner: After my last imprisonment I was sent out of prison penniless; and instead of
being sent home I was sent to Brecon. Proceeding, prisoner said that the Governor of
Worcester Prison, after he had asked him to send him to Cardiff, sent him to Brecon,
and he did this after being informed that he (prisoner) was a stranger at Brecon.
His Lordship: I strongly advise you not to go into this matter. It cannot do you any
Prisoner (after tearing up a paper and throwing the pieces on the bar table) said he had
not been getting justice. He was sentenced to ten years' penal servitude once, and he
left the prison in a dying state. " And now," said prisoner, raising his voice, " you
won't let me speak, my Lord. This is Great Britain, where we shout 'Britons won't be
slaves,' and I am not allowed to speak." Proceeding, prisoner said he had been in
prison for thirteen months, and the Governor of Worcester Prison had sent him out
without a farthing, and had also refused to send him home. He had two Acts of
Parliament there to prove that the Governor was wrong. He asked if he might be
allowed to read them.
His Lordship : No.
Prisoner (excitedly) : Will you show me all the mercy in your power, otherwise I
cannot live much longer. I have not been out of prison for thirteen months, except today, and I am now in a weak state and unfit for punishment. My life is not of much
value, but I don't think that any Briton should be allowed to be exposed to cruelty. I
have been cruelly treated, my Lord.
His Lordship: Charles Marshall, it is an extremely painful duty which is imposed on
any judge to deal with a case such as yours.
For twenty years and more you have been committing crime after crime. From the list
I have before me you commenced so far back as May 1866 - twenty-three years ago.
You are now of the age of forty-one, so that you began before you were of age, and
punishments were inflicted upon you, beginning with a few days.
And in the same year - no doubt, after having been warned - you committed another
felony, the first being in the month of May, and the second in the month of August,
and then a. heavier punishment was inflicted - six calendar months. In the following
year (1867) you committed a burglary, and you were then imprisoned for only three
months, and no doubt you were warned of the consequences; and in the month of
May, 1870, you committed another felony (the warning having been of no use) and
you had then eighteen calendar months' hard labour. In 1872 you committed another
felony, and were sent to ten years' penal servitude. Ten years in 1872 ; I take it for
granted that you did not serve the whole of the time.
Prisoner : I did, my Lord, every minute.
His Lordship : It may be that you did, and if you did it is still worse, because in ten
years after that, namely, in April, 1882, you again committed a crime, and a light

punishment was inflicted. This was in the month of April, but in June you were again
committed to prison for six weeks. The six weeks elapsed, and in July of the same
year you were again convicted. In January, 1883, you had fifteen calendar months
with hard labour for another felony, and in May, 1884, you were convicted again. It is
painful to go through this, but it is necessary for the purpose of showing that to deal
lightly with your case is an impossibility. You ask for mercy ; it is not within my
province. Three convictions in 1885 ; three in 1886 ; two in 1887 ; and here you are
Prisoner : My Lord, I have not been allowed to speak. It is quite true my life has been
taken from me.
His Lordship : From your early life to this moment you have been spending your life
in prison or penal servitude. No wonder your health suffers. How could it be
otherwise? I don't believe for a moment that for twenty years you have been cruelly
treated as you say.
Prisoner (in a loud voice): My Lord, you would not let me speak. I would have
convinced you if you had let me speak. You'll be guilty of my blood if you send me to
prison any longer.
His Lordship: If you are in prison and are ill-treated, you must appeal to the Crown,
and not to me, and then the matter will be investigated, and we will see whether there
is any truth in your statement.
Prisoner : My Lord
His Lordship: I can't hear you any more. If you have been ill-treated, you have the
power - as every other person has - of appealing to the Crown, and making a charge
that will be investigated. I cannot believe, and I don't believe, that during those twenty
years in the different prisons, and under different Governors, you have been treated as
you say.
Prisoner : That is quite true, my Lord. I have only been ill-treated at Worcester and
Chatham ; but I have not been allowed to explain.
His Lordship (continuing) : It is a most extraordinary case of persistent crime. I
cannot pass it over lightly. If you have any cause of complaint against anyone for
what you have suffered you have your remedy, but not here.
Prisoner : Listen, my Lord
His Lordship: You may just as well be quiet. When I find such a history it is quite
clear I have no alternative or right to deal lightly with this case.
Prisoner (at the top of his voice) : You have no right to be cruel. I will take my life, by
my God, if I am imprisoned. (Sensation in Court.) I will do it, my Lord. You would
not let me speak.
His Lordship : You are making things far worse. I have read every word.
Prisoner: This is a judge of the country and a ruler of the land, and he won't hear a
poor " dying " convict speak. I have been murdered, and will prove it yet, if you will
allow me. I have been wronged, and I will prove that I have been deliberately brought
His Lordship : You are doing yourself no good.
Prisoner : I beg your pardon, you must let me speak, or else I am not getting justice.
His Lordship : I could send you to penal servitude for the rest of your life, but as it is
you will go for five years.
Prisoner (very excitedly): Three days would have done me more good. I will take my
life, and you will be guilty ! I will speak another word, or else I will kill myself to-day
! That Governor at Worcester - I wish you to investigate this.
His Lordship : You really must not.

Prisoner: My Lord, you have done me an injustice in not hearing me. Will you allow
me to hand this (paper or document) to the reporters ?
His Lordship (sternly): No.
Prisoner (in a loud voice): I wish you to see it. I will take my life. Your heart would
have broken and you would have shed tears if you had let me speak. My Lord, I will
take my life, and you will be guilty for not listening to me.
The Governor of the prison and a warder here endeavoured to induce the prisoner to
leave the dock, but he caught firmly hold of the woodwork and shouted to the judge: I
will not go until I have another word. You will have my blood upon your hands unless
you let me speak.
Another effort was made to induce prisoner to leave the Court, but he persistently
clung to the dock.
His Lordship : Go quietly. If you don't go quietly you must go by force.
Prisoner was then removed, shouting as he left the dock : I am not fairly treated. God
require it of you!
After prisoner arrived below he became very violent: in fact, he could be distinctly
heard in Court threatening to murder someone.
After being placed in the cell, he slammed the cell door, and smashed the ends of two
of Warder Hubbard's fingers.
"Scotch Johnny "had twenty-five convictions in various parts of England and Wales,
besides breaking out of three prisons, namely, Manchester, Gloucester, and


IN February, 1876, Mr. Reginald H , of Birkdale, Southport, on his way from
the Waterloo Coursing Meeting, saw standing at the roadside a man, who inquired
as to the time of day. The information asked was readily given as Mr. H passed
on. The man walked along with him chatting. In front of them, sauntering slowly
along, were two other individuals, and a little further on was a man on his knees
shuffling a pack of cards. As the foremost men came near they appeared to take an
interest in the game. Whereupon the manipulator took three cards, one of which was a
picture card; showed them; threw them upon the rug before him; and offered to bet
that no one looking on could pick out the picture card. The two men took up the
challenge, and when Mr. H and his newly made acquaintance arrived upon the
scene, the former were betting large sums of money in notes and gold. As they drew
near, Mr. H's companion called his attention to the proceedings by the remark, "
Hello ! there's some sport going on here," and after looking on for a short time,
himself began to bet. He won, and Mr. H being persuaded to bet, won also. As
the play proceeded all four men appeared to become excited, and the bets were
doubled and trebled, until Mr. H, who had been constantly losing in the
meantime, found himself without money. Under these circumstances he was induced
to stake his watch against 20. This bet too was lost. When Mr. H reached home
he told his friends of his misfortune. They advised him to put the matter into the
hands of the police, and he gave information to the county police, who recommended
him to see the detective police at Liverpool. Coming to Manchester, Mr. H
mentioned the matter to his brother-in-law, and that gentleman being acquainted with

me, brought him to the Detective Office. It appeared that the sharper who had
possession of Mr. H's watch, told him he could redeem it on forwarding the
money lost upon it to him at the Royal Hotel, or by seeing him there on a given day in
the smoke room.
Another of the gang - for the four men were, of course, confederates - had told him
that he was a commission agent, and did big commissions on races for gentlemen in
various parts of the country; also that he frequented the Millstone Hotel, where he
called for his letters before leaving town. From the description Mr. H gave of this
sharper, I felt satisfied that I knew him; and as the other did not put in an appearance
at the Royal Hotel on the day appointed, I wrote two letters to each of the conspirators
in the names they had given, addressing one to the Royal, and the other to the
Millstone Hotel. Both letters contained the same words, the following being the
"I called to pay you the 20, for which I gave you my watch as security. I am sorry
you could not be seen, as it puts me to the inconvenience and expense of coming to
Manchester again. I do not want my mamma to miss the watch, for she made me a
present of it. I will, therefore, call and see you at the Millstone Hotel on Saturday
night at 6-30 prompt. If this is not convenient please wire me and make your own
" I am, Sir,
"" Yours very sincerely,
" REGINALD H. " Birkdale, Southport."
At the time appointed in these letters, I took up my position in one of those
uninhabited cellars which were formerly dwellings, and from the steps of which,
shaded by the railings, I had an excellent view of the hotel situated in Thomas Street,
one of the principal business thoroughfares of Manchester. I had .previously placed
Mr. H at a spot where I could easily find him when he might be wanted. I had
also arranged for two detectives to meet me. They were, however, twenty minutes
late, and to make the matter worse, they came upon the scene from a direction other
than that ordered, thus increasing the difficulty of the work I had in hand. In the
meantime, looking from my hiding-place through the railings, I saw two card-sharpers
lolling against the rails of a cellar opposite the " Millstone," as if on the look-out, and
at the same time two others entered the hotel.
The rnen on the look-out were Peter , the keeper of the Ship Inn, a beerhouse
in Wood Street, Deansgate. Peter married the widow of a notorious receiver of stolen
property, Harry Snowden, who was committed to prison on one occasion for nine
months for an offence of that character. The second man was John Northern, formerly
a beerhouse keeper, known to me as a thief and card-sharper.
Leaving my hiding-place, I directed the two detectives who had just arrived to take
the men against the rails into custody, and picking up Mr. H and the officer on
the beat, all three of us rushed into the hotel. At the bar parlour window stood the two
card-sharpers I had seen enter, and Mr. H at once recognised them as belonging
to the gang who had robbed him. One was Archibald Coyles, a native of Newcastleon-Tyue, and formerly a pugilist. The other was Mark Hampson, who kept a
beerhouse, known as the " Brown Cow," in Irwell Street. He was a trainer of racing
and fighting dogs, and his wife was a notorious pickpocket.

I laid hold of Coyles, who was known as "Archie," and the uniform officer seized
Mark. They resisted violently, and as they were both strong men, a terrible struggle
ensued, in which staffs played a prominent part. In the midst of the struggle with my
opponent I caught a glance of the other two, arid saw that without assistance the
uniform officer would be overpowered. Putting forth a little extra energy, I got my
prisoner within reach of the two struggling men, and pinioning him against the wall,
struck Mark a blow which stretched him senseless on the floor. I turned again to my
opponent, but the struggle was short, for in a few minutes he was hors de combat, and
sat moaning on a seat, his head resting on his hands. No sooner had we accomplished
this task than Peter, whom I recognised as another card-sharper, walked out of the bar
parlour on his way to the street. I obstructed his passage, with a request to know what
he had about him. As he began to parley I decided to search him. He was several
inches taller than I. As I began to examine his pockets he put his arms over my head
towards a man standing at my back, evidently a confederate of the other rascals. It
struck me that something strange was going on, and relinquishing the search, I seized
Peter and laid him by the side of Mark. Placing my knee on his chest, I found a watch
and chain in his hand which Mr. H at once recognised as his property. The
moment I had handcuffed the three sharpers, the cry of "Stop thief" was raised from
outside, and on getting into the street I found that the two other officers and their
prisoners were nowhere to be seen. It appeared they had given the officers the slip,
and a chase was the result. One was arrested the same night, but the other was never
On the following Monday the four were taken before the Stipendiary magistrate, who
granted a warrant for their removal to Southport, where they were committed to the
Liverpool Assizes. The trial took place before Mr. Justice Brett (now Lord Esher,
Master of the Rolls), and although the prisoners were defended by three eminent
counsel - Messrs. Addison, Cottingham, and Shee - they were found guilty, and each
sentenced to five years' penal servitude.
To show the previous history of these criminals I annex a list of their previous
convictions:In February, 1876, they were convicted of having conspired together to
cheat and defraud a gentleman of a gold watch and albert guard of the value of 30,
and were each sentenced to five years' penal servitude. In addition to this conviction,
Archibald had served four years' penal servitude ; twelve months' imprisonment; and
had been six times summarily punished. Mark had had four years' penal servitude ;
nine mouths' imprisonment; and had been five times summarily convicted. John had
had twelve months' imprisonment on two occasions; four months' imprisonment; and
had been seven times summarily convicted. Peter had had nine months' imprisonment,
and had been three times summarily convicted.

THERE are few things in "Humphrey Clinker" more amusing than the letter in which
plain spoken Matthew Bramble describes the company in the coffee house at Bath. Of
the thirteen who composed that memorable party, seven were lame by reason of gout,
rheumatism, or palsy; three were maimed by accident; and the remainder were either
deaf or blind. One, we are told, " was bent in a horizontal position like a mounted
telescope, shoved in by a couple of chairmen." Another was nothing more than the "

bust of a man set upright in a wheel machine, which the waiter moved from place to
place." Upon considering the countenances of those unfortunate beings a little more
attentively, Mr. Bramble discovered an old acquaintance in Rear Admiral Balderick.
He at once made himself known, and was greeted by what remained of the veteran in
a manner more cordial than agreeable. "In saluting me," says Mr. Bramble, "he thrust
the spring of his spectacles into my eye, and at the same time set his wooden stump on
my gouty toe, an attack that made me shed tears in sad earnest."
It is impossible for a feeling man to read of this motley group without wishing that
they could have benefited by those wonderful discoveries of recent times which
remove every human infirmity, and annihilate all disorders, bodily or mental, that are
liable to overtake us in our passage between the cradle and the grave. If a present day
quack could have got hold of that party at Bath, he would, undoubtedly, have realised
a handsome fortune; and have sent them into the world new men, by means of a
simple medicine. The telescope gentleman might have transformed himself into an
Adonis; the bust might have rendered itself a complete figure ; and it would have
gone hard if a course of pills combined with some " vegetable mixture " had not done
away with Admiral Balderick's wooden stump, and restored to him a leg of flesh and
blood, even as certain milks and balms will make hair grow on a bald head. A course
of quack literature has convinced me that, except, perhaps, in this matter of wooden
legs, there is no human ill that cannot be successfully dealt with by these gentry. I
have read tracts, pamphlets, and almanacks ; and if I am not yet entirely satisfied that
life without somebody's universal medicine is a miserable burden, the reason must be
that I have not been gifted with the fortitude and the faith to make practical
The process of cure is very simple. If you are ill take the pills till you get well - or die.
They may be depended upon to make you better or worse. Testimonials, of course,
can be found in abundance, and some of them are truly astonishing. One man was in
the sad predicament of having twenty-five wounds in his leg, "extending from the
ankle to the hip," and he was obliged to walk on crutches as the leg was drawn up to
the hip, so that the toe scarcely touched the ground. At last the doctors thought they
would have recourse to amputation, but, bad as the limb was - such is the affection we
bear to our members - the man could not make up his mind to part with it. By some
happy chance he heard of 's Pills, and swallowed them by the score night and
day. Such perseverance, or, as the late Mr. Spurgeon would have said, such "faith,"
could not but be rewarded, and the crooked leg became straight and sound !
This was wonderful. But things much more wonderful have been done. Another man
declares that he was nervous; had lost his presence of mind and his memory ; had a
swimming of the head; a twitching of the eyes and legs ; and what was worse, " I
felt," says this poor fellow, " as if I had large stones in my stomach, forcing
outwards." This unhappy object struggled with the sharp stones as long as he could,
and then sent several pecks of pills in search of them with complete success. Like the
penny medicines which hawkers sell at country fairs, the pills are warranted to cure
anything and everything. In fact, everyone may bring his load of infirmities and shoot
it down before the door of these quacksthe bloodsuckers of the human race. The
poorer classes are the chief, though not the only victims of these spurious concoctions
that are palmed off as infallible specifics. Quacks are, in truth, greater enemies to
society than the garotter or the burglar; and their extraordinary success goes far to
justify the old saying that mankind may be roughly divided into two classes - the
knaves and the fools.

To many a reader, advertisements of quack medicines and marvellous cures seem too
preposterous and absurd even to excite a smile ; but it is very certain that hundreds
daily swallow the abominations, and are sent to a premature grave in consequence. It
is not so much that the compounds are in themselves deleterious, as that they induce
an afflicted person to trifle with his disease - to take a medicine that produces an
effect exactly opposite to that which is required, and to go on without competent
treatment and advice until all human skill is ineffectual to save him. So obvious is it
that no one medicine can cure all kinds of disease, that it seems wonderful where the
dupes can be found who help to build up colossal fortunes for the quacks of the day.
An impudent man, who is anxious to get on in the world, cannot err in calculating too
strongly upon the folly and the credulity of mankind.
There was once a quack who professed to be able to cure wounds by putting into
them the scrapings of a brass pot, and there are people who would believe him
now. It is a good paying speculation to go round the country as a converted
collier or weaver, or a reclaimed drunkard, or for a fluent man to set up as a popular
preacher and " Merry Andrew." But better than either is to introduce a new
universal medicine. It involves an outlay at first, but eventually the profits may
be reckoned, not by hundreds, but by thousands of pounds. The desire to escape
from suffering is strong in us all, and the sick man will grasp at any straw to save him
from sinking. When the disease is hopeless, and medical men abandon the patient,
the quack takes him in hand, and gives him an impetus towards the grave, while at the
same time he rifles his pockets. The very essence of the system is to exhaust the
physical powers to such a degree that the nostrums produce no effect unless they are
taken in constantly increasing potions.
It is thus ingeniously contrived that atrophy shall progress in the body and the purse at
an equal ratio. There is no help for all this since the breed of fools will never become
extinct, and foxes, will not be turned from their tendency to prey upon geese. The
poor and the ignorant who fall into the clutches of these pitiless harpies may be
sympathised with; but it is impossible to commiserate those whose education ought to
render them proof against the vulgar and shallow pretensions of illiterate impostors.
Such persons need not be suprised, and ought not to be pitied, if, after placing
themselves in the hands of quacks, they find that, instead of the one evil spirit they
desired to expel, they are possessed by seven others more cruel than the first.
Pursuing my way home one Saturday evening from the Detective Office after a hard
day's toil, on passing a pawnbroker's, shop at the corner of Deansgate and Gregson
Street, I recognised the manager, with whom I was friendly, and bidding him " Good
evening," I entered the shop for the purpose of having five minutes' gossip. My friend
and his assistant were busy at one side of the counter, on which lay some pieces of
prints, while on the other side stood a young man whose appearance was striking in
the extreme. His cheeks were hollow, shrivelled, and cadaverous; his eyes large and
unnaturally bright; his form shrunken and bent; and altogether he had the appearance
of one to whom life was a burden, and to whom a natural death would be a happy
The time of the evening and other matters aroused my suspicions ; and on inquiring if
it was a pledge, received a reply in the affirmative. Turning to the wreck of a man
described above I soon elicited the fact that the prints were stolen from his
employer's, warehouse. On this I locked him up, and proceeded to search his house. I
did not find, as I expected, more of his employer's goods, but what shocked and
astounded me was the fact that in two tin trunks I discovered one hundred and fiftythree doctor's bottles, eighty-six of which either did contain or had contained

medicine, and the rest had been used for lotions. From this circumstance, and some
pamphlets and books which I also found, I concluded that the wretched appearance of
the young fellow was due in a great measure to the contents of these bottles. I strongly
suspected that he had been the silly victim of some designing villain of a quack doctor
for the purpose of plunder, and that here was the key to his present deplorable
I returned to him; and as I knew that at this period the trade of a quack doctor was a
most flourishing one in Manchester, I charged him with the theft of the pieces in order
to raise money to feed the ever hungry maw of some harpy of a quack. At first he was
silent and seemed disposed to be entirely reticent, but ultimately the ice thawed. He
completely broke down on realising the seriousness of his position, and he then made
a clean breast ot as foul a piece of rascality, rapacity, and roguery as I ever met with.
It appears that in a weak moment, and an evil hour, this poor young man had a
pamphlet put in his hands, and he read it, the result being that a morbid and diseased
fancy acted upon a weakened and enfeebled brain and constitution, and forthwith he
jumped to the conclusion that he was hopelessly afflicted with all the horrible
ailments most graphically set forth in that insidious and diabolical pamphlet. His only
hope and refuge seemed to him to be in seeking the aid and benefit of the miraculous
curative powers alleged to he possessed by the man who had issued the demoralising
At this period of the history of the City of Manchester - and I suppose the same
observations will equally well and appropriately apply to most of the large towns and
cities of the kingdom - the trade of the pest known as the " Quack Doctor" was a most
flourishing one ; and his handbills and small advertising placards were to be met with
in every street and iri every quiet corner frequented by men. To such a barefaced and
impudent extent was the practice carried on that the filthy handbills were openly
hawked in the busiest streets and crowded thoroughfares, and thrust into the hands of
all passers by, regardless of age, respectability of appearance, or indignant protest.
The evil was a most monstrous one, and only those who can carry back their
recollections to the period of which I am writing, can form any idea of its magnitude
and demoralising influence.
For some considerable time I had my eye on these quacks. I found that many of them
lived in large and handsomely furnished
houses, and dressed in the height of fashion, sporting splendid jewellery. Some of
them went about in their own broughams, faultlessly appointed, and spent enormous
sums in advertising. From that I began to wonder what the "professional" income
must be, and I felt sure it must be something very considerable. I was convinced that
the whole system was a huge piece of swindling and rascality, and I felt very anxious
to strike a blow at it. But I had to restrain my impatience, for I well knew that to
take premature action would be to destroy every chance of " scotching the snake"
effectively. I determined to approach the tower of corruption step by step, so I
carefully laid on rny mental shelf each piece of information I obtained, for use
at the proper time. I had a profound faith in the maxim that " all comes to him
who waits ;" and I felt sure that sooner or later my chance would arrive. I knew now
that with the arrest of the young man the hour I had been so long and anxiously
waiting for had struck, and that I was on the eve of accomplishing my long cherished
desire to root out this gigantic and festering evil. I questioned the young man, when
he showed a disposition to be communicative, and he unfolded a tale that staggered
even me. Had he consulted some respectable surgeon instead of a quack, how
different might his present position and future prospects have been ! Instead of

being the inmate of a felon's cell, he might have been the possessor of a bright young
wife, a happy home, and a substantial situation, the possessor of property, and a
respectable member of society. That fatal pamphlet, however, had set him on the
downward grade ; and once on that, the road to ruin is easy enough. The quack was
a " cute " man of the world, as all those are who have to live by their wits, or in other
words, prey on society. He was not long in finding out that he had a very plump
pigeon in his hands, and it took even less time to set about devouring it.
He commenced by creating alarm in the mind of his young victim, by conjuring up
visions of a dreadful character. He secured a firm hold on his victim, and promised to
perform a miraculous cure in a very short space of time, which, of course, was never
accomplished; for the very simple reason, as I afterwards ascertained, that there was
nothing the matter with the young man when he first consulted this " leech." The
treatment pursued was the very reverse of what ought to have been adopted. But the
quack knew what he was doing. His object was to depress the spirits of his victim in
order to wring from him his last penny, having wormed the fact out of him that he was
the owner of two houses.
The game went merrily on until the young fellow fell short of ready cash. And no
wonder, considering the ruinous rate at which he was charged for the quack nostrums.
But the plunderer was quite equal to the occasion. His remedies, he said, were so
valuable and costly that he could riot give credit; but he knew a loan office close at
hand, the agent of which was a personal friend of his, and he could, without any
difficulty, manage an advance through him on the most favourable terms. This was
only another part of the spider's web spun to entrap the unwary. The quack knew not
only that he could not recover a bill in a Court of Law, but that such an action would
result in exposure and put an end to his establishment. He, therefore, craftily
devised the loan office scheme with an agent, " his friend," who was prepared to
lend the money required on security. The office, in fact, belonged to the quack, and
was under his own roof, the agent being a convenient tool who took the securities in
his own name, and consequently could sue on them without bringing in his employer
at all.
The victim was induced to contract loan after loan with his "friend" at a ruinous rate
of interest; the doses were multiplied; the charges increased; and, as was inevitable,
the end soon came. The whilom gentle and suave agent now became the hard
exactor. He turned a deaf ear to all appeals and entreaties for time or consideration.
The houses had to be sold to repay the loans, and the poor victim found himself
absolutely penniless, but still in the hard and relentless grip of the quack, who was not
prepared even then to let him go. He knew the power he possessed over his dupe,
and he was determined to use it to the very last pinch. His victim had exhausted all
his own resources, but he could yet beg and borrow from his friends. This source
exhausted, the " leech " knew that he was on ticklish ground. He was fully
conscious of the fact that no more money could be obtained from his dupe in a
legitimate manner, and that the only alternative now left to him, if he was to provide
further means, was to steal. The quack, however, carefully avoided suggesting,
even in the vaguest fashion,
such an idea. He knew an equally effective, and, as far as he was concerned, quite
safe method of procedure which would produce the same results. He cajoled,
persuaded, bantered, and held out the certainty of a speedy cure.
" But, doctor," said the victim, " I really cannot find any more money. I have used up
every resource, and unless "

" Stop ! stop!" said the wary " doctor," who suspected what was coming. " I won't
listen to such nonsense. You are within measureable distance of a complete and
wonderful cure, and now this is absolutely certain you talk of giving it up, after all
you have suffered and gone through. A few more paltry guineas and the end will be
achieved. Then you will be in possession of health, vigour, happiness, a peaceful and
contented mind; the past with all its trials will seem a horrid nightmare, and you will
long live to bless the day you saw me, and took my advice. No ! no ! my dear fellow,
you must not think of giving up."
" But, doctor, I really cannot find any more money. I have exhausted every source.
Surely after all the large sums I have paid you, you will give me a little credit. Restore
me to health and I will repay you."
" Stuff and nonsense, my good man. I assure you it is against my rule and principle to
give credit, and these I never break for any one. Do as you please; your fate is in your
own hands. But seriously let me warn you that if you stop now a total collapse will
follow, and then you can never be cured, so decide for yourself."
The poor young fellow was torn by conflicting emotions and contending passions. On
the one hand he saw visions, skilfully conjured up by the quack, of a bright and happy
future, and on the other, deep, dark despair and ruin. The agony he endured must have
been dreadful, for he was not naturally prone to evil, and his life had hitherto been
upright arid honest. His reputation was unsullied and he was a worthy and trusted
servant. But at last he succumbed to the wiles of the tempter, and, reader, you know
the rest from what I have already told you.
The knowledge of these dreadful facts determined me to root out these villainous
quacks ; or at any rate to deal them such a blow as should cause them henceforth
to."hide their diminished heads" in the good City of Manchester.
The following is a report of the revelations made before the magistrates, with other
information which came to the knowledge of the police in connection with the cases
investigated :The defendants were Isaac John Lewis, of 58 and 60, Booth Street, Chorlton-onMedlock, Manchester; 46, Stafford Street, London Road, Liverpool ; and Rockingham
Street, Leeds ; Charles Henry Davies, alias Charles Davies Henry, St. John Street,
Deansgate, Manchester; Alfred Davies (brother to Charles Henry Davies), alias R. J.
Brodie, 118, Grosvenor Street; Wrn. Henry Woodhead, 58, Grosvenor Street;
Ferdinand Dupre, 107, Grosvenor Street, and also of London; Benjamin Brady, alias
Benjamin Key, a shoemaker by trade, 6, Ashton Street, London Road; James Allen,
alias James Perry, chemist and druggist, 98, Great Ancoats Street; John Butcher, 12,
Hanover Street, Shudehill; Thomas Watson, alias Kirkham, 110, Water Street; Thomas
W. Whitchurch, 53, Tib Street; Edward Casey, 10, Canal Street, Ancoats; and George
Allday, 179, Deansgate. They were summoned for wilfully and falsely pretending to
be physicians, doctors of medicine, or general practitioners, and for wilfully and
falsely using names with an addition or description implying that they were
recognised by law as physicians, surgeons, or practitioners in medicine. Seven of the
defendants were also summoned to show cause why certain obscene books and papers
kept on their premises for the purpose of distribution, which had been seized, should
not be destroyed. Mr. Wm. Cobbett prosecuted. All the defendants were legally
represented. The case against Lewis was taken first.
Detective Sergeant Jerome Caminada said: "On the 24th of October I visited the
defendant's premises. There was the name Dr. Lewis, and No. 58 on the door. On the
windows of No. 60 was ' Loan and Discount Company.' I saw defendant, who said he
was ' Dr.' Lewis. I told him I had a pain at my heart, and said that I was troubled with '

sweaty' hands. He said his fee was ten-and-six, and I paid him that amount. He said, '
Let me examine you.' I refused, and he said, ' I must see what it arises from,' but I
declined to allow him to examine me. He said, 'Well, come to-morrow night at seven
o'clock, and bring your water in a bottle.' I left, and at a chemist's shop in Deaiisgate
purchased a mixture containing six ounces of water, three drops of hydro- sulphide of
ammonia, and ten drops of syrup of saffron. The following night I went to defendant's
house again, and gave him the bottle containing the mixture I had bought. He left the
room, and returning in about ten minutes, asked me to allow him to examine me, but I
refused. He felt my pulse, my hands, calves of my legs, muscles of my arms,
examined my eyes and tongue, applied a stethoscope to my chest and said, 'You are
suffering from extreme nervousness, but your heart is all right. I have some medicine
that will act on. the blood and nerves at once. I will put you right in three weeks for
forty guineas.' I said, 'Do you want it all at once?' (Laughter.) He replied, 'Yes. My
medicines are in cases.' I took half a sovereign out of my purse, and said, ' I will give
you this, and a half sovereign I gave you last night will be a sovereign. You can give
me some medicine. I have a rich uncle and cousin, and I will write to them and see
you on Tuesday or Wednesday night at the latest.' He slapped me on the shoulder and
said, ' Write to your uncle and cousin, get the money, and between your uncle, cousin,
and myself, we will make a man of you.' He asked me to give him the ten shillings. I
said, ' No, not without you give me some medicine.' He said, ' Give it me on principle
and in good faith. I want ten shillings for examining your water.' I said, 'How is the
water? and he replied, ' Very bad.' I then said I would see him on Wednesday. He
again asked me for the ten shillings, and said it would be a sort of guarantee of good
faith. I said, ' No; I shall give you none without I get some medicine.' He said, ' I will
give you a bottle,' and after picking up the half sovereign, said, 'Have you sixpence?' I
replied, 'Yes,' and gave him one. He afterwards gave me the bottle of medicine
produced. I asked him to give me one of his books on the nervous system. He said, '
You are a timid, nervous fellow ; and if you get a book on the nervous system it will
make you very uneasy. You had better not have it.' I visited the premises again on the
29th of October, and by a search warrant seized 12cwt. of obscene books and papers."
Mr. Chas. Estcourt, the Manchester City Analyst, said he had analysed the bottle of
medicine produced by Sergeant Jerome Caminada, and found it to consist of a
compound of tincture of candomoms, sal volatile, and quassia.
Professor E. Lund, Surgeon to the Manchester Royal Infirmary and Owens College,
said this mixture might be given for weakness and faintness. It was a sort of warm
cordial drink. Respecting the mixture Caminada had purchased to give to the
defendant as human water, witness said it was not possible for anyone who examined
it to mistake its component parts. (Sensation in Court.)
Defendant was fined 20, and the full costs were imposed. An order was subsequently
made for the destruction of the papers found on the defendant's premises. These
included a number of publications of a disgusting character, which have frequently
been the subject of loud complaints by the public.
In the case against Charles Davies Henry, Detective Sergeant Caminada said:" On the night of the 20th October I visited the defendant's place of business. I saw
defendant, and told him I was suffering from a pain at my heart, and sweating hands. I
told him my name was John Kenrick, that I lived between Weaste and Eccles, arid that
I was employed in the grey room at the warehouse of Messrs. A. and S. Henry,
Portland Street. Defendant said his fee was ten shillings and sixpence, which I paid.
He examined my tongue, felt the muscles of my arms, felt my pulse, looked into my
eyes, and then said my state was ' a most deplorable one' - that I was ' in a sad

condition of despondency.' He asked me how long I had had 'the complaint,' and I
replied, ' Two or three years.' (Laughter.) In reply to further questions he put to me I
told him that I did not take drink, that I slept well at night, that I went to church, and
that I mostly spent my leisure hours in reading. Defendant said that I was to turn on
the water tap every morning and swill my head and shoulders, then get a rough towel
and rub my head well with it, and afterwards wet my arms, rub them well with a
towel, and have some good exercise, such as with dumb-bells. I was to take a little
brandy and water, a little port and sherry, and a glass of bitter beer to dinner; to take a
cup of milk in the morning ; only drink one cup of tea per day ; to do without that if
possible, and on no account to drink green tea; was to have plenty of company, go to
theatres and concerts, and ride outside omnibuses. (Loud laughter.) I asked him
whether this was good advice, and he replied, ' Yes, it is good advice; but good advice
won't cure you. You want a thorough course of treatment. The results of your case
might be very sad, and I cannot tell how it may end. But now I have given you all the
advice I can, and I cannot give you all you require to make you a healthy, vigorous
man, you know, without expense. My medicine is expensive, but I will make a perfect
cure of you for 10. Have you got it? I said, 'No,' and he asked, ' Have you got 5? I
said, ' No,' and he then said, ' Well, how can you pay it?' I said, ' I will give you ten
shillings now, and ten shillings I have given you, and I will give you thirty shillings
next Friday, and 1 or thirty shillings the Friday after, and so on.' He gave me the two
bottles now produced, and said they would last me till next Friday, when I was to go
to him again."
Mr. Estcourt said the two bottles produced contained nothing but perchlorate of iron.
Mr. Edward Lund said that sweating hands and pain at the heart indicated no
particular disease, but might be traced to general nervousness.
Mr. Cobbett: " Look at Caminada and tell us if he is a person who is in need of
perchlorate of iron." (Loud laughter.) Witness made no reply, but laughed.
In reply to a subsequent question, Mr. Lund said the value of the medicine was
twopence. Defendant was fined 15 and costs.
Copy of a Leading Article taken from the " Manchester Courier,"
October 30th, 1876.
The story of impudent quackery related in the City Police Court, on Friday, by
Detective Sergeant Caminada, forms an alarming revelation of the amount of folly
which is to be found in large communities like Manchester, and of which a sufficient
number of designing and unscrupulous persons are always found ready to take
Mr. I. J. Lewis, of Booth Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock, can scarcely have made such
good use as he might have of the numerous opportunities which he must have enjoyed
of studying human nature, or he would not so easily have arrived at the conclusion
that Sergeant Caminada was " a nervous, timid sort of fellow." It is quite evident,
however, that Mr. Lewis's experience of life must have introduced him to many young
men to whom the above description would properly apply. " Write to your uncles and
cousins," says the genial doctor to his unsophisticated patient, " get the money40
and between your uncle, cousin, and myself we will make a man of you." It is quite
evident that the process of making a man of a " nervous, timid sort of fellow," at a
cost of 40 or more, the subject of experiment, must frequently have been gone
through in Mr. Lewis's establishment.
He has, it appears, been carrying on for a considerable time his illegal business under
the false pretence that he was a properly qualified medical practitioner, for which
offence he has now been fined 20 and costs. We may reasonably presume that his

mode of dealing with his patients is fairly exemplified in his interviews with Sergeant
Caminada. Lewis's conduct in this case may, without any unfairness, be regarded as a
specimen of that class of which he appears to be a distinguished representative, and
most of the Manchester members of which have had to suffer for the defiance of the
law of the land. The offence of this quack does not simply consist in improperly
describing himself as a qualified practitioner - although it would undoubtedly be a
great misfortune if the lives of many of Her Majesty's subjects were entrusted to men
for whose knowledge and skill there is absolutely no guarantee beyond the size of the
brass plate on their hall doors - but in this case it was proved that Lewis's pretence of
dealing with the supposed disease was a sham, and that the money which he actually
received for having done so was the wages of deceit and imposture. He claimed to
have earned ten shillings and sixpence for an analysis which, if he had made it, would
have told him - on the assumption that he was not too ignorant to know the meaning
of the results ; which assumption is perhaps unwarrantable - that he was being fooled
by his pretended patient. But it was very much more important for Mr. Lewis to
secure the 40 from the uncle and the cousin than to make any attempt to learn the
nature of the disease which he was called upon to treat. When it is remembered that
this Lewis is but one - although he may possibly be facile princepsamong a crowd
of similar impostors, it is much to be regretted that the proceedings which took place
in the City Police Court on Friday were not instituted at a much earlier period. The
amount of mischief is simply incalculable which these men have wrought by their
ignorance, their rapacity, and their unscrupulous conduct in dealing with their
patients, during the long years through which they have been permitted to carry on
their nefarious business. The foolish and unfounded notion by which those who
become their victims are generally actuated, that by consulting these quacks the
exposure of folly will be avoided - which would be inevitable were the advice of a
regularly qualified medical man obtained - puts into the hands of these harpies a
weapon of which they don't hesitate to avail themselves. Confidences which, when
reposed in honourable members of the medical profession, would be regarded as a
sacred trust, to be used only for the benefit of the patient himself, are looked upon by
these greedy quacks as only so many appliances for the extortion of money.
The riches which many of them - to judge from outward evidences - must have
accumulated, consist of the pickings from dead men's bones. These men who fatten
upon the fears of their victims are the very ghouls of the society which has the
misfortune to harbour them. It is a lamentable proof of the want of intelligence,
which, in spite of all aids to enlightenment, still prevails in this country, that dupes
should have presented themselves in such numbers to these ignorant quacks as to have
returned them the ample incomes which some of them, at least, seem to have enjoyed.
It is a fact almost as remarkable as the continued success of the "ring dropping trick,"
and the feat of "ringing the changes," and some of the other commoner devices of
thieves and swindlers; although scarcely a day passes without their being fully
exposed in newspaper reports. It is, however, to be hoped that the prosecution which
took place on Friday will have the effect of destroying the abominable trade, at least,
in Manchester.
A fine of 20 is but a small penalty for one who has the means of obtaining twice the
amount from a succession of " timid, nervous young men;" who, being perhaps in as
good a state of health as we hope and believe Sergeant Caminada is, are told by this
ignorant pretender to medical knowledge, that they are "suffering from extreme
nervousness, and are in a very low state." Then follow demands for the enormous
sums of money; in return for which something will probably be given in the nature of

the burnt sugar and coloured water which Mr. Whitechurch, of Tib Street, supplied to
the detective for the purpose of curing "a pain in his heart and sweaty hands." The
subject is an unpleasant one in every sense; but the evil wrought to society by these
rapacious impostors is so enormous that we should certainly not be doing our duty did
we not seek to enforce the plain lesson taught by the relation of Sergeant Caminada's
adventures. There is absolutely nothing to be said in favour of the occupation of these
social pests. There is plenty of good medical advice to be had upon terms which, to
the credit of the profession be it said, are seldom out of proportion to the means of the
patient. The sooner, therefore, the quack with his burnt sugar, his affection of
mysterious secrecy, which is generally a lie, and his habits of plundering his miserable
victims, disappear for ever, the better for society.
Some of these men have amassed fortunes sufficient to relieve them from the
necessity of carrying on either their own unwholesome trade or any other in future.
There are, we trust, strong reasons for their resolving to give up business, at all events
in Manchester.
They may, in fact, very well adopt the language of an unpleasant character whom
Shakesperian students will have encountered in the fourth act of "Pericles, Prince of
Tyre." "If," says this worthy, " in our youths we could pick up some pretty estate
'twere not amiss to keep our door hatched. Besides, the sore terms we stand upon with
the gods, will be strong with us for giving over."
The other interlocutor replies, " Come, other sorts offend as well as we." But the other
speaker who might have just been fined by Mr. Headlam for falsely pretending to
belong to an honourable profession, pertinently answers, " As well as we ! ay, and
better too ; we offend worse. Neither is our profession any trade; it's no calling."


A NUMBER of complaints having been received from one of the principal firms in
Mosley Street, Manchester, respecting robberies from the cash-box and from the coat
pockets of persons employed by them, I made arrangements with one of the junior
members of the firm to enable me to visit the place in the evening after the employes
had left.
After examining the place I got a joiner to bore a hole through a frame, by means of
which I obtained a full view of the place where the coats were hung. It was necessary,
however, to conceal myself from view. For this purpose I had a number of small
parcels made up into a large stack, bearing a memorandum on the front that it was
"not to be touched."
The following morning the junior member of the firm obtained the keys from the keys
office, where they are kept by the police for security, and to be ready in case of fire or
other emergency, and at 7 a.m. I was admitted to the warehouse, and safely " made up
" in my pile. The doors were then locked, and the keys taken back to the keys office,
where one of the employes afterwards obtained them, and opened the place in the
usual way, without having any knowledge of my presence.
The rest of the employes began to arrive about 7-40 a.m., and at 8-30 work
commenced in earnest near the very table where I was concealed. About 9-30, as I had

arranged, a particular coat was hung amongst the others, containing in one of its
pockets some marked money. Exactly four hours later I saw from my peep-hole a man
enter the lavatory, wash his hands, and after a pause of a few minutes, as if listening,
put his fingers into the pocket of the coat. He took out some money, examined it,
returned part of it, and placing the rest in his pocket, left the lavatory. I jumped from
my hiding place, to the infinite amazement of the men working close by. I had,
however, no time to spare for explanations. Rushing after the man who had left the
lavatory, I found that he was one of the clerks in the counting-house. I took him into
the private office of the manager, where he denied that he had touched the coat; but
when by my order he turned out the contents of his pockets, I pointed to the marked
money which he had stolen.
To my great astonishment he stammered, " I am not the one who has done the other."
" What do you mean ?" I asked. "The petty cash book," he replied. This book was
produced, and deficiencies to the amount of 70 were pointed out. This was a clue to
the person who had abstracted 20 from the cash desk.
It afterwards appeared that one of the 5 notes which had been stolen was paid away
by the petty cashier's wife, so that both these servants stood charged with theft. The
firm, however, declined to prosecute, but the petty cashier and junior clerk were
forthwith ordered off the premises.
The most extraordinary part of the case was that the petty cashier had been with the
firm fourteen years, and was considered a most reliable servant. In fact, he was trusted
to such an extent that he was on the premises while I was making my arrangements
the night before ; but he took me at my word, and believed I was a plumber who had
come to rectify something wrong with the pipes!


WALKING quietly down Miller Street, Manchester, one evening a female tapped
me on the shoulder with the words, " Hello ! sharp-shoes ! you haven't got me yet."
It was rather dark at the place, so I walked on a few yards until we came to a vault,
where a light streaming through the window disclosed to me the face of a well-known
begging-letter writer.
" Oh ! it's you, is it Sally ?" I remarked, recognising her.
" Yes. You have not got me yet," she repeated.
" Got you, where ?" I asked, pretending to be puzzled.
" Before Mr. Headlam," she answered.
" I don't know that I have tried," said I.
" Oh yes, you have," with much confidence the woman asserted.
"Well, I'll start from to-night," I said, "and see how long it will take me."
One evening during the same week I was sent on business to the house of Mr.
Alderman King, who was then Mayor of Manchester. Whilst there, the Lady
Mayoress informed me that a woman had been begging, telling a long tale of distress.
This woman she had referred to the warehouse of her husband, Mr. Alderman King,
who had given her a guinea. From the description supplied, I had no doubt that the
beggar was my fair friend "Sally." I quickly arrested her, and she was identified as a
person who had stopped a number of gentlemen as they came out of the trains at the
railway stations, stating that she was begging for the purpose of getting a boy into the
Clinical Hospital in London, the fee of which was twenty guineas. Four of these

gentlemen had given her one guinea each. She was proved to be an impostor and was
sent to prison for three months for each of the four cases, making twelve months in
Sally afterwards confessed she thought it a very unfortunate thing that she had spoken
to me in Miller Street, and she has ever since endeavoured to give me a wide berth.


DURING the year 1869 a large number of complaints were made respecting base
coins, which had been put into circulation amongst the shopkeepers of the City of
Many persons were taken into custody for tendering these coins, but as the complaints
increased, special orders were issued to run down the coiners, and I was one of the
officers told off for this particular duty. Among the persons I was directed to
"shadow" was "Brocky Dave," a notorious criminal, who had been seen in company
with a well-known coiner, and who, it was suspected, was in communication with the
base coin mint.
One Saturday evening about six o'clock I noticed " Dave" coming down Mason Street,
and on getting nearer to him saw that he was carrying a box, from which a number of
wires projected. As I followed him down one side of Shudehill Market I saw that two
other officers were also on his track. I did riot, however, attempt to speak to them, and
we all three followed him through the city to Hardman Street, Deansgate, where he
bolted down a passage and ran up a pair of stairs leading to the upper storeys of one of
the houses. I found shelter behind a handcart standing near, and after awhile I
observed both the officers, neither of whom had seen me, go away. About two hours
later another notorious thief, known by the name of " Raggey Burke," left the
premises "Dave" had entered, and turned in the direction of Salford. When he arrived
opposite the Commercial Hotel, in Hardman Street, I saw him take something from
his pocket and examine it under a lamp. Whilst he was thus engaged I walked up and
arrested him. As soon as he saw me he flung a parcel to the ground, and a working
man standing close by called my attention to it. The interference of the stranger so
disgusted " Raggey " that he said he was not a man or he would assist a fellow when
he saw him in the lion's mouth, and not "snitch" (tell) upon him; upon which the other
retorted by telling him to go and work for his living like other people, then "he would
not have hold of you."
Whilst this was going on I picked up the parcel, and on taking " Raggey " to the
Police Station and searching him found three base half-crowns in his pocket, and
sixteen others in the parcel.
" Where do you live?" I asked.
" You know all about it," he replied.
It soon became evident from his conversation that he suspected "Dave" had "rounded"
upon him. I did not undeceive him, and on mentioning that I had seen " Dave" go into
the same house, he replied, " Yes, he gave you the strength of it. I can see now why he
went for the battery, and his game in going to Marshall Street." This was capital news
for me. At this time I had never seen a "battery," though I had often heard of them, so
taking two other officers with me I immediately set off for the house mentioned.
Arriving there, I took off my shoes, and leaving them with the officers who were

standing in the passage, or hovel, I crept upstairs in my stocking feet. In the back
room of the first floor I heard someone talking, and on carefully examining the
partition found it consisted of wood. I discovered a small opening between the boards,
and through it could see "Dave" and " Scotch Jimmy," a third well-known character,
busily working at something which lay upon a table before them. Listening, I found
that they were talking of the recent death of a well-known receiver of stolen goods.
Returning quickly to my colleagues I put on my boots, and we all three crept quietly
upstairs. Flinging myself with my whole weight against the door it burst open, and in
we all three flew. A few seconds sufficed to secure the coiners. Leaving an officer in
charge until I had taken the prisoners to the Detective Office, I returned, and,
searching the premises, found the battery to which "Raggey Burke" had referred, a
number of moulds, a quantity of tools, plaster of paris, several bottles of acids, and
other things used in the manufacture of base coins.
When the three were placed together at the Detective Office, "Raggey" was very sore
with "Dave," and "Dave" showed a similar feeling towards "Raggey," each believing
that the other had informed of him, whilst " Scotty " was wild with both, telling them
that they had been using " garden staff," meaning that they had been giving
Being placed in a cell together they settled their differences, and on Monday morning
when before the Court admitted that it was "a fair cop," especially as one of my
colleagues gave evidence of watching " Dave " on his way to Hardman Street the
previous Saturday.
The prisoners were sent to the Assizes, and tried before Mr. Justice Brett, on January
15th, 1870, " Raggey " being indicted for having three base half-crowns in his pocket,
and the other two for coining, and being in possession of implements for such a
purpose. " Dave " and " Raggey " were each sentenced to fourteen years', and " Scotch
Jimmy " to seven years' penal servitude.
The previous convictions against " Brocky Dave," whose name was John L, alias
Nicholson, alias Fletcher, wrere as follows:- June 28th, 1850, illegally pawning, 42
days; March, 1851, at Liverpool Assizes, robbery, seven years' penal servitude;
August 25th, 1856, larcency, six years' penal servitude; February 23rd, 1864, stealing
money, six months'; June, 1868, at Manchester Sessions, felony, eighteen months'.
This was the severest blow that the coining fraternity in this quarter had received for
many years, and for a long time after there were no complaints. I may add that "
Raggey" had served previous terms of four years' penal servitude and ten years' penal
servitude, and was one of the convicts tried for the mutiny at Dartmoor about 1865,
and for that offence was flogged.

ONE morning in May, 1882, I was passing along Market Street, Manchester, when I
saw a police officer talking to a gentleman. The officer stopped me and said, " This
man complains of having been swindled out of some money." I got into
conversation with the complainant about the matter, and whilst we were so engaged
he pointed to a person crossing the street as the one who had swindled him. After
hearing the story I decided to accompany him to the offices rented by the individual

alluded to at 72, Market Street. I found the premises elaborately furnished, as it

afterwards turned out, on the " hire system."
Entering the office I saw a number of people in a waiting room, while in an inner
office a person named McKenzie, formerly a barrister's clerk, sat at a desk with a
gentleman in front of him, the latter being in the act of paying him 25. I at once said,
" This man charges you with having swindled him out of 32s. 6d., under the pretence
of obtaining for his father some estates in different parts of England and Wales, and he
says that you have caused him expense by going about the country on the business.
Will you please give me the name of any person for whom you have obtained an
estate, or convince me that you are carrying on a legitimate business?"
He replied, " I am only the manager for the Next-of-Kin Agency. The head offices are
in London."
" Who is the proprietor of the concern ?" I asked.
" Mr. J. S. Rogers, Attorney."
" Where is he?"
" In London."
The clerk now assumed a look of indignation, got upon his feet, and ordered me to
leave the office.
I replied, " I shall do nothing of the kind until you satisfy me in this case."
"Our concern," said he, "has been investigated by the authorities of Scotland Yard,
and declared to be bona fide."
" Never mind Scotland Yard; at present you have got to deal with me. Show me the
legitimacy of your business and tell me who you are."
" Get out of this office at once ! "
" Oh, dear no ! I shall do nothing of the kind."
The victim who had accompanied me now broke in with his story. It appeared that he
had seen an advertisement in a Manchester evening newspaper relating to persons
claiming property as riext-of-kin, and as his father had for some years past been
making a claim to an estate, he had waited upon McKenzie, who, having heard the
matter explained, said he had a good case. Two days afterwards he saw Mr. Rogers,
who told him that his terms would be 1 12s. 6d. for the agreement, and ten per cent,
on the value of the property recovered. He told him to get all the papers connected
with the matter from a firm of solicitors who had been acting for his father, and on
taking them to him said he would go through them before the agreement was drawn
up. A few days later he received a note to call at the office, and on doing so Rogers
told him that he had made a pedigree, and as it was a " very difficult job " they would
have to get six of the best Counsel that could be procured so as to keep them away
from the other side. Rogers asked if he was willing to pay these Counsel from 150 to
200 each, providing they got the estate. On his consenting, Rogers said he was going
to London that day to take Counsel's opinion, but the claimant would have to obtain
full authority from his father to act for him. Three or four days after the complainant
received another note stating that the agreement had arrived from London, and he
went to the office, paid the 32s. 6d., and signed it. Shortly afterwards he received
another letter from Rogers telling him to pay 25s. to Mr. McKenzie for searching the
records. On tendering the sum, McKenzie told him there must have been some
mistake; it should have been 2 5s. But no matter, it would be made right by Mr.
In December, 1880, complainant saw Rogers at the office, and was overjoyed to hear
that his father had had judgment given in his favour twice by the Court of Common
Pleas. It was then arranged that Rogers, himself, and his father, should go to Market

Drayton and take with them a lock and chain, when Rogers was to put them into
possession of one of the farms. Two pounds were paid on account of Rogers'
expenses, and on the following Monday they all set off in high glee. Arriving at
Market Drayton the property was gone over, so that Rogers could swear in Court that
he had seen some of it. The Hector was waited upon and given strict injunctions that
the "register" for 1872 was to be carefully guarded. Various hotels were visited, all the
bills, of course, being paid by the grateful litigant. After partaking sufficiently to
endow them with a certain amount of courage, they set off to take possession of the
property, Mr. Rogers telling the father to knock at the front door of Longford Hall
Farm, and when he obtained admittance, at once to shut the door and keep it against
all comers, whether from within or without, for three days and three nights. The
house, however, proved to be empty, and as the tenant was removing, the furniture
stood in the yard. As the door was locked, Mr. Rogers very magnanimously offered
the man in charge of it 100, and the farm to live in for life, if he would let the father
into the house. The man, however, said he could not, as the tenant had gone to deliver
up the key to the landlord. A search now took place for the tenant, and he was at last
found in an hotel, where a private consultation took place between him and Mr.
Rogers, and the father and his two sons were told they were to go about 10-0 p.m. to
Longford Hall Farm and they would find the door undone; they were then to lock the
door and to admit no one for three days and three nights. After they had been in
possession for a short time, two constables came and took their names, and the next
day they came with a large crowd at their heels armed with pitchforks and other
farming utensils, and intimating that they had a warrant for the father and son's arrest
demanded that the door should be opened. This request being refused, the door was
broken open, and the father and one of the sons borne in triumph before the motley
crowd to the Police Station. The other son telegraphed to Rogers for instructions, but
received no answer, and on the following day they were committed for trial.
The son afterwards received a telegram in Rogers' name telling him to ask for a
remand, and Counsel would appear. The son then came to Manchester and saw
McKeuzie, who, after hearing what had taken place, said that they would issue a writ
for 1,000 against Mr. K, who had had his father and brother locked up.
A few days later complainant saw Rogers, who wanted 2 to go down to Market
Drayton to get a copy of the warrant and the depositions, but as he told McKenzie he
could not afford to give that amount, 1 was accepted. He neither got a copy of the
warrant nor of the depositions. The father and son were afterwards discharged.
McKenzie also took instructions for preparing the father's will, appointing himself "
executor." Subsequently he went with them again to Market Drayton to obtain the
church register. He entered the church through the window and told them that he had
thrown the church bible and deed-box into a pond close by. Someone sent a letter to
the clergyman stating that one of the complainant's sons had done it, and a constable
came to Manchester, arrested him, and took him to Shropshire, where he was
discharged for want of evidence. When he came back, Rogers and McKenzie said
they would make the parson pay, and sent him a letter threatening proceedings, but the
parson directed a letter to the son containing a cheque for 3 as compensation. He
showed this to Rogers and McKenzie, who said that as he did not understand cheques
they would get it cashed for him. Innocently enough he produced the cheque, but he
never saw a penny of the money, McKenzie informing him that he was 26 in their
debt. Further than this, he was employed in one of the hotels of the city, and had
recommended these gentlemen for rooms. They had departed without paying their
bill, and he was obliged to pay it for them. On another occasion they sent his father to

an estate for the purpose of putting in a claim by cutting down a tree a day, and, if
possible, he was to cut down two. But as the steward objected to this mode of
procedure he was handed over to the tender mercies of the police, when he was bound
over in sureties to keep the peace. As sureties were not obtained for three weeks, he
lay in prison in default and had never been right since, being now a confirmed invalid
and confined to his bed.
While this story was being told, I was surrounded by forty or fifty people all
clamouring to be heard. Some had brought leather bags and satchels for the purpose
of carrying away the wealth they expected to obtain that morning, whilst others
wished to pay money. One old gentleman, the manager of an establishment carried on
by one of our City aldermen, wanted to pay 8 10s., and he was in a great hurry to get
back to business. He believes to this day that he would have got his estate but for my
As McKenzie could give me no satisfactory information, I took him into custody,
followed by a large, clamorous crowd, which filled the Detective Office, and made
such a noise that it was impossible to hear what was said.
On returning to the premises of the "Next-of-Kin Agency," I found that the crowd was
now so large that I had to obtain the assistance of two police officers to keep it back.
On the premises were about two hundred and seventy bundles of wills, sufficient to
fill a small cart, and for twenty months we were pestered from time to time by having
to sort out papers from amongst this mass of matter for the purpose of forwarding
them to applicants. Plans of estates were also discovered in great quantities. Whilst we
were in possession of the premises people were continually calling, and letters arrived
from all quarters.
The Saturday following the arrest, three old women came to the office in Market
Street, when someone told them that Mr. Rogers was then carrying on his business at
the Detective Office of the Town Hall, and the old ladies, in their simplicity, came
there and inquired for him. On being asked what they wanted, they stated they had
come to receive 9,000, and they carried bags in which they intended to place the
money. Upon an officer mischievously asking how they would have it, one of them
replied she " would have her's in gold."
Upon investigation this proved to be a heartless case. The women had been induced to
part with all their household furniture, and then, at the instigation of Rogers, had
obtained a loan of 15, which they were paying back at five shillings per week. One
of them had a son and daughter working in a factory, the whole earnings of the family
being sixteen shillings per week ; so that when two shillings rent and five shillings for
the loan were paid the family would have nine shillings to live on.
The apprehension of McKenzie led to the arrest of four others, namely, J. S. Rogers, J.
H. Shakespeare, W. Evans, and E. A. B.
Rogers appears to have been a foundling, and having come into possession of some
money from his father, whom he never knew, set up as a money-lender in London ;
but falling into the hands of sharpers, soon found that his capital had vanished. He
now commenced a "Next-of-Kin Agency;" became the lessee of a theatre, which soon
landed him in difficulties ; and then, in partnership with Captain L, opened a club
at a cost of 4,000, but the bailiffs soon put in an appearance. He described himself as
an attorney, but he does not appear to have ever been on the rolls ; and he also
described himself as the Rev. J. S. Rogers, B.A. It is said that his friends had given
him this title as meaning " Bd Artful." He further described himself as " J. S.
Rogers, B.A., Next-of-Kin and Foreign Law Offices," St. Neots, England; and also of

79, Piccadilly, Manchester, afterwards 72, Market Street, Manchester; also of

Burleigh Chambers, New Street, Birmingham, and of 52, Imperial Buildings, Ludgate
Circus, London, E.C. He had likewise an office in Glasgow.
J. H. Shakespeare was a solicitor, and had an office at 10, New Road, Chatham, and at
7, Water Lane, Queen Victoria Street, London, E.C., and at Rogers' Manchester,
Birmingham, and London offices. The name of " J. H. Shakespeare, Solicitor," was
printed upon the door plate of the rooms. By having a real solicitor among them
customers were able to verify for themselves that he was a solicitor, and this gave
them confidence.
E. A. B. occupied the same position at the Birmingham offices as McKenzie did at
Manchester; and W. Evans was a paid servant at the London office.
The system upon which the business was done was to insert advertisements in the
newspapers. Persons expecting property were then induced to buy a book entitled,
"Authentic List of Heirs, Next-of-Kin, Persons Advertised for," by J. S. Rogers, B.A.
If the purchaser found his name in the book - which he was pretty sure to do, for it
contained a list of the most ordinary surnames, without any Christian names, or
initials, or other means of identification - he would go to the office to make inquiries.
There was, of course, a peculiar temptation to that kind of monomaniac who is so
common, and who is under the impression, which nothing can remove, that he is
entitled to large landed property, or funds in Chancery. The inquirer's hopes were
confirmed and excited by a positive and authoritative statement on the part of one of
the confederates, and he was led to sign an agreement, and to pay 1 12s. 6d. The
principal features in the agreement were ten per cent, on all property recovered to be
paid to Rogers, with all costs, for which Rogers was to use his best endeavours to
recover the property on payment of out-of-pocket expenses. The second process was
the power of attorney for which as much money as possible was obtained. Then
declarations had to be made and more money paid.
The next step was to tell the clients that it was necessary to go to London to
administer. It was so contrived as to make the client understand that " administering "
was a judicial proceeding, taking place in open Court, and a haul of from 10 to 20
was generally made on each occasion. What really took place was this - The client
was taken by McKenzie to Rogers' house in London, shown the "sights," and taken
sometimes to the offices in Ludgate Circus. Rogers, McKenzie, and Evans were
generally together. Some administration forms were filled up in the client's presence.
He was taken to the Royal Courts of Justice, or to Somerset House, and sworn to an
affidavit; brought through a few rooms and a Court, and shown a Judge ; then told his
case was adjourned, and sent home. In fact, absolutely nothing was done. This process
was repeated as often as the client's patience and funds would permit.
Another method of obtaining money was to take Counsel's opinion, and also to take
The case for the police was conducted by Mr. William Cobbett, solicitor, and on its
coming before the Magistrates, the Court was crowded to excess, much amusement
being created by the evidence of the witnesses, and the manner in which they gave it,
One old lady on entering the witness box and not seeing Rogers in the dock, remarked
indignantly, "Oh! Attorney Rogers, B.A., is not here." She rattled away at such a
speed that whenever the magistrates attempted to stop her she would remark, " I have
come here to have my say, and I mean to have it, and tell all I know."
This lady, who was a widow and had been in business fourteen years as an undertaker,
informed the Court that, having seen an advertisement in the papers relating to some
property left by a person of a similar name to one from which her family had great

expectations, she and her son visited the "Next-of-Kin Agency," and there saw
Rogers, who, after hearing all she knew about the estate, and learning that her father
gave her to understand that she would become entitled to the estate in time, explained,
" Oh ! Strange to say, I know more than you do about the property. It could be got
very easily. For instance, the Midland Company have paid 20,000 into the Chancery
Court for the ground they had taken up to build St. Pancras Station on, belonging to
the Tyler's Estate." " Oh, indeed !" said the lady; " that's very nice, I'm sure." In due
course the 32s. 6d. was paid, and finding there were four sisters she was induced to
take a copy of the agreement for each, for which six shillings was paid. A few days
after a letter was received asking her for 22s. 6d., and requesting her to call and sign a
deed concerning the will. This being paid, 2 2s. was then wanted for the deeds to go
through the Probate Court. Rogers thought the sisters had better pay 10s. 6d. each ; it
would not be so heavy then. She answered that she thought the 32s. 6d. was all that
would be required, but he told her that he wanted out-of-pocket expenses, and these
he must have. Rogers and McKenzie next called at her house for the purpose of
getting her signature to a document ordering the tenants of the property in London to
pay no more rent except to the Court of Chancery, and directing that it was to be paid
in the name of herself and her sisters. A few days later he sent for her about two
o'clock, and asked her if she could get him 6, 8, or 9 before a quarter past four.
She asked him what it was for, and he said, "To help the cause along;" when she went
and borrowed some money and gave it to him. Subsequently she called at the office in
Market Street to see if they had heard any news, when McKenzie told her that Rogers
wanted 5, and that he had got "news." She paid the money over, and he told her
Rogers would tell her all about it when he came. A few days after they sent for her to
come immediately. The lady thought the money had at length arrived, and, jumping
into a cab with one of her sisters, drove to the office, when Rogers produced a paper
for her to sign, remarking, " We are getting on first class with your business ; we will
have it all directly;" upon which she said, "I don't care how soon." " Well," he replied,
"I want 1 17s. 6d. from you," and she said, "Very well, sir," and paid it. He produced
a long sheet of parchment arid asked her to sign it, telling her it was a document to
keep her from bringing any other lawyer against him. She told him that she had no
desire to do such a thing, if he was doing that which was right; arid then he informed
her that it would "almost transport her " if she brought anyone else against him, and
that it would cost her many hundreds of pounds.
After she had signed the document, he turned round and said, Now, I suppose you will
throw me through the window for what I am going to ask you for."
"No," she replied, " I am not a person of that sort." " Well," he said, "I shall want 15
from you in a day or so to administer at Somerset House."
He also informed her that he would take her to London, and that she would stay at his
home and be his guest, " getting food and lodgings for nothing." He also told her
that she might take her son with her. A few days afterwards she paid him the 15,
and was told that she would have to pay her own railway fares. A day or two later she
and her son, with her sister arid husband, and McKenzie, went to London. On their
arrival, McKenzie told the lady's sister and her husband that they had better meet
them at a given time at Somerset House, and then took the victim and her son to
Rogers' office in Ludgate Circus. Here they met Mr. Rogers and Mr. Shakespeare,
who showed them some papers, and they all went together to Somerset House.
Shakespeare took them first into one room and then into another, saying that the
person he was looking for was not there. Then they came out, got into a cab, and
went to another building. In a small room here she saw an old gentleman, who, she

was told, was a Commissioner. He asked her if she was the daughter of J G.
" Yes," she replied with confidence.
"Are you E. R, that lived at 30, G Street, Manchester?" " Yes, I am," said the
" Are you sure?" "Yes."
Her son was then called in, and the " Commissioner " asked him to sign a paper, but
he refused. He then asked the son's name, and on being told said to him, "Well, I
suppose you know your mother is becoming entitled to a large estate of property and
money ?"
Upon the young man replying in the affirmative, the "Commissioner " informed him
that the document was a " Bond of Government Duty" for 575, and that amount
would have to be paid before she could get her hand upon the estate at all. The son
then signed the document. She stayed at McKenzie's house, who told her there was
another paper to sign, but as she was unwell, he took pity upon her and said he would
sign it himself, so that she might get home. He also told her that she might go and
look at the " Old Red-Cap Hotel," which was a portion of the property, and have a
glass of gingerbeer there, but she was not to give the people any idea of who she was.
After she and her friends had had a look at the place they returned home filled, no
doubt, with the idea that they were within a very short distance of having their desires
A day or two following her return, the lady went to the office in Manchester and
asked to see Rogers. He was not there, but McKenzie said that gentleman wanted 5
from her for Court expenses to push the case on, and in a day or two she paid
McKenzie 3, which was all the money she could raise. A few days later she called at
the office again and saw Rogers, who asked her for 5 for a power of attorney and
Court expenses. The next day Rogers and B called upon her for the 5, and she
gave them 4 7s. 6d.- all the money she could scrape together - and Rogers
generously offered to pay the rest himself. Calling at the office again she saw
McKenzie and another man sitting at a table. McKenzie went into another room, his
conscience having, perhaps, begun to prick him. He had no sooner disappeared than
the other gentleman " bid the lady good morning," arid told her that it was his duty to
instruct her that Mr. Rogers could go no further until she " found him some more
" Indeed ! " said the old lady. " How much does he want ?" " Well, you see," replied
the accomplice, " the affair is a big one arid it will cost a lot of money."
" How much is it you want?" she asked.
"Well, it will take 31 to do all we have to do," was the answer. "I cannot find you
that," exclaimed the victim. " Well, now, let me see ; suppose I say eighteen guineas.
Could you manage that, and we will pay the rest?" "Well, I'll try," she replied. "If you
don't get the money now it will stand over for two years," added the rogue.
McKenzie had come into the room during the latter part of the conversation, and
turning to him the woman said, " Why you have not told me who that gentleman is,
and he has been asking me for money."
" Oh !" he said, " It's Mr. Cressivala, Mr. Rogers' partner."
''Why," she replied, "you told me you were his partner."
" No. I'm only the manager," was the reply.
The next day the lady obtained the sum demanded, and paid it to " Cressivala." A few
days subsequently she went to the office to ask for a receipt for the 18 18s., and saw
McKenzie and Shakespeare, when the latter said he would want 10 for Counsel's
opinion, and that the affair would go straightforward then.

She said, "I wish you had done wanting, for I am tired of finding it."
He replied, " You won't be tired of riding about in your carriage and pair by-and-bye."
He then asked her some questions and wrote the answers on a sheet of paper, and
called it a " pedigree." She paid the money, and shortly afterwards was sent for and
was told that she would have to go to the Court in London for judgment. She and her
son again went to London and were taken to the house of Mr. Rogers. The next day
she and Rogers started in a cab together with the intention, as he said, of proceeding
to Court, her son being told to walk about a bit and meet them at Temple Bar, as he
would not be admitted. Instead of going to Court, they were driven to Shakespeare's
office, where some papers were written out. The old lady now began to get impatient,
and said to Rogers, " How is this? I thought I should have to go through the Court!"
" Oh, no !" said Rogers, " you will not have to go to-day ; you will have to come
again. We had better get a cab and go home."
They went back to Rogers' house, and the lady and her son afterwards returned to
Shortly after this she went to London again, her son accompanying her. She was
driven to Chancery Lane, and next into a room, where she waited some time. She saw
a gentleman with a towel on his arm, and they told her he was a Judge, and that her
case would not be heard as the vacation was coming on.
"You see, Mr. Rogers," said Shakespeare, "your friend Bradlaugh has occupied the
Court till now, and we could not get a chance at all to-day. You will have to undertake
another journey here, my good woman, I am very sorry to tell you." She asked him if
she could not go to Court the next day and he said " No ;" and the old lady lost her
temper and told him he was making a fool of her, and began to swear at him. She then
returned to Manchester.
She did not see Rogers for some time afterwards, and when she spoke to him about
her last journey to London, he told her that Shakespeare was drunk, but they had got
another solicitor who would look after the business properly. She could get no
information about the matter, and McKenzie was never to be seen. A few weeks
before the arrest Rogers requested her to get him another 20, but she told him that
she could not do so. When she and her son waited on McKenzie to ask him how the
business was going on, he said it was before the Master of the Rolls, and that she
ought to take in the Times and the Daily Telegraph. She told him that she had taken in
the Telegraph ever since the commencement of the proceedings, but had seen no
mention of the case. He then told her that she should take in the Law Times, which
she did for awhile.
Whenever a large amount was required from the old lady they provided her with a
kind of bond, and on the security of this worthless paper she raised money from her
friends. Many people invested in these bonds, expecting, of course, an excellent return
for their money in the shape of real estate and very extravagant interest, and great was
their chagrin when they found that the estate was only a myth.
A remarkable matter connected with this case is that the husband of one of the sisters
not being able to get any news as to how the proceedings were progressing, consulted
a firm of eminent solicitors
in this City. A clerk being sent to Rogers to make inquiries, that " gentleman " not
only mentioned but described the property, and said that an administration suit was
about to be commenced.
In the law reports of the Times newspaper, on November 21st, 1882, a notice
appeared re Tyler's Estate. As this was the name of the supposed estate, McKenzie

was asked if this was the case, and he replied that it was. It is needless to say that this
statement was untrue.
Another lady seeing the advertisements of the " Next-of-Kin Agency," which she
thought referred to herself, communicated with the swindlers, who pretended to know
all about her family and the property awaiting them, and suggested that a meeting of
the members of the family should be called.
A meeting accordingly took place at one of the hotels in Manchester, when the
usual agreement was signed. The money demanded was paid, and instructions were
given to obtain a number of certificates of births, marriages, christenings, and
Shortly afterwards 27s. was paid to McKenzie for further search in the Court of
Record, and another 21s. for power of attorney, to enable the lady to act for the
whole of her relations. She was then told to get ready to go to London to sign an
administration, for which she paid 17 10s. In London she was taken to the house of
Mr. Rogers and thence to see the sights of London, and to one of the theatres at night.
Whilst in London they told her they were Government Agents employed to look after
money lying in Chancery, and that the amount due to her family would be about
200,000. As this lady was informed that a Government Agent would wait upon her
at Rogers' house for the purpose of obtaining her signature to the administration,
she became suspicious, especially as they had previously told her that she would
have to go to Somerset House for this purpose ; but they quietened her
suspicions by telling her that she would sign the document there and go to Somerset
House for the stamps. A man now appeared on the scene who said that he was a
Government Commission Agent, and asked her to sign a certain, document. This
declined to do without reading it.
On the top of it appeared the words, " Form of Administration," and as she read it
she found that it represented that she was the administratrix of the estate, and
that she was to be just and right to all whom it might concern. She then signed the
paper, upon which McKenzie asked her for 5 for the Government Commission
Agent; but she declined to give more than this sum. She noticed McKenzie put it into
his own pocket. They then went to Somerset House and she saw a gentleman with a
wig on and saw the " Government Commission Agent " speak to him. No papers were
passed, and she asked McKenzie why the agent had not got the stamps. He replied, "
That man does not sell them." She then said that she must go and see where they got
the stamps from and what she had paid her money for, when McKerizie told her they
would not let her go there. When they got outside, the "Commission Agent" told her
she would have to go again in about a month to sign a Probate before a Judge in the
Court. She and McKenzie returned to Rogers' house, when McKenzie asked her for
1 on behalf of one of her uncles, and this sum she paid. He then asked her if she was
satisfied, and she said she was not; upon which he said it would be all right, and Mr.
Rogers would be glad when he got his commission upon the 200,000.
"Do you think we shall ever get it?" asked the lady. "Oh! yes," said McKenzie ; " we
are acting legally."
She then returned to Manchester, and about ten days afterwards called at the office of
the firm and was introduced by Mr. Rogers to Mr. Shakespeare, who told her all about
the estates, the 200,000, and said she would be driving about in her carriage and pair
before long.
" How do you like going to London?" asked that gentleman. " I would sooner live at
Woodley," replied the lady. " But what I have come about is to know what is going on,

and what I am to go to London again for?" "You will have to go to London arid give
in your claim to Lord Coleridge's agent," was the reply. "What shall I have to say."
"Nothing more than what you know about the case," the man answered. "And what
will that be, Mr. Rogers?" "You must say that your grandfather told you that you had
money and property in Chancery, and we will certify that the claim is true and correct,
for there is no opposition whatever, Mrs. W__."
Shortly afterwards she received a letter stating that her presence
would be required in London, and she went to the office to know why, when she was
told that she would have to go and sign a probate, and go before the Judge to get the
papers from him in order to claim the money.
"Do you think we shall get it?" she asked. "Oh! yes,"said the swindler; " you are
certain to have it; there is no opposition." " Have you looked into it, and are you
certain?" " Yes ! Has not McKenzie shown you the documents ?" " No!" was the
lady's positive reply. McKenzie was not in, and Rogers pretended to look for the
papers but could not find them. " I will leave a note for McKenzie and he must show
them to you when you come again. Will you come to-morrow ? I shall not be in,
however, for I am going to London ; but I shall want 19 14s." " Whatever is all that
money for?" she exclaimed. "You are sure to have it back, and interest with it," the
man answered soothingly. " It is for signing the probate, for power of attorney, taking
you into Court, and Court expenses."
The next day she went and saw McKenzie and told him that Rogers told her that he
had some papers from the Judge relating to their claim. " Has he told you?" " Yes ! "
she said, expecting that her wish was about to be gratified. McKenzie unwrapped a lot
of papers and said, " Mistress, these relate to your claim. Do not tell your uncles we
have them; they have cost us 500, and do you think we should lay out this money if
it was not genuine?" The papers were endorsed with the name of the estate, arid she
wanted to read them, but he would not let her.
She paid him the 19 14s, and arranged to go to London with him a few days later.
Rogers went to meet them at the station, and took them up and down London sightseeing. The next morning the "Government Commissioner" again appeared on the
scene, and a number of forms were filled up. She, however, signed only one, because
she thought they were not genuine, and told them so, when Rogers replied, "Well,
Mrs. W, whether it's genuine or not you will have to go to Court." He then left,
saying he had to go to Birmingham. McKenzie and the " Commissioner " then took
her in a cab to a large building, which McKenzie told her was Somerset House and the
High Court of Chancery, where, in a large room, " a man sat at a raised desk wearing
a black gown and a wig, arid opposite him was a long, gold rod with a crown at the
top." They pointed out this gentleman as the Judge before whom her case was going,
and the "Commissioner" asked her to sit at the back while he and McKenzie took the
papers to him. They went up the Court and disappeared, and in a few minutes the "
Commissioner " came and tapped her on the shoulder and told her that her case was
adjourned for a fortnight.
The lady said " What! The Judge has never called my name. I sat here and never
stirred, and I never heard him." "Hush, don't make a noise," said the man, arid he took
her out of Court. When they got outside she said, " I never heard the Judge call my
name over, or that of the case."
"Be quiet," he replied, "it will be over in a fortnight." "Well, I have a good mind to go
back into Court and ask him." "You must not. You are not allowed to go to the Judge
there. They don't call names over; they are put down on paper, which is hung upon the
wall. Don't put yourself about. I will look after your case arid it will be all right."

The lady and McKenzie went back to Rogers' house, and she was so overcome by the
disappointment that she nearly fainted, and they had to send for a reviver in the shape
of some brandy. McKenzie told her that it was the Judge's fault that it was adjourned,
and she replied, "Well, I never heard the Judge say so." "Well," said McKenzie, "it is
not like a County Court; it is put upon a list which is hung up outside the door. You
will have your money all right. I will see after it; there is no opposition; but they put
cases back sometimes."
They came back to Manchester, and during the next six weeks she called two or three
times a week for the purpose of seeing Rogers, but could never meet him, always
declining to tell McKenzie, who seemed very anxious to know, what she wanted him
for. They were evidently getting afraid of this lady.
In January, 1882, McKenzie told her that if she would look in the London Standard
she would find an account of the sale of the estates. He handed to her a paper, when
she looked first to see if it was the Standard, then looked at the date, and finally at the
Law Reports, where she found an account of some proceedings relating to an estate
bearing the same name as that in which she was supposed to be concerned. Having
read it, she turned round to McKenzie and said, " Well, I don't want to be
Furneauxed." He jumped up in a passion and exclaimed, "What! Me Furneaux? Not
us, indeed ! " " Well," replied the lady, "Lord Clinton took them to Lord Coleridge and
the Prince of Wales, and had letters from those illustrious people; but I don't want to
be Lord Coleridged." "Such a thing cannot be," said the man. "Cannot you believe
your own eyes? We dare not put such things in the London papers. They would
transport us for it. You may know it is genuine when it appears there." While he said
this he was all of a tremble ; big drops of perspiration were rolling down his
forehead ; and it was evident that he was becoming alarmed.
The lady still continued to call at the office, and McKenzie told her that the case was
appearing in the Times every week, and it was before Lord Justice Fry ; also that it
would have to be heard by six Judges before she went to London again to claim her
papers from Lord Coleridge's agent.
In April she saw Rogers, who asked her for 20, but she said, decidedly, " No," and
that she should not pay any money until she paid it in London to the Judge and had
seen what he had done with the papers. He told her they were at the High Court of
Chancery, in London, and would be there twenty years from then.
" Very well, Mr. Rogers," she replied, " I do not think the papers are genuine. The
word 'Form' was printed at the top of them, and I think a form is good for nothing." "
Oh ! yes, but it is ;" and he pulled out a book which contained a number of these
"Forms,"and said, " This shows whether they are genuine. If we did not do things
genuine we should be transported."
" Well, Mr. Rogers, I have no money; nor shall I get any," was her resolute answer. He
then said he had been a solicitor for twenty years and had never been asked what a
"Form" was before. He told her she would have to go to London and appear before
the Judge. It was all right; the case was going on and must not be stopped for 20 ; the
lady was sure to draw her money, " as sure as he sat there;" and it would require 5 to
pay for the papers from the Judge.
" Well," replied the lady, " I can perhaps borrow 5, and I will go up to London by
myself. I can find the place, and I will pay it to the Judge myself, and ask him if the
papers were all right."
Such an answer was not to the liking of Mr. Rogers, arid he began to walk about the
room "squeezing his thumbs and his hands in a very excited state." She then left him.

It is needless to say that the reports of the case appearing in the London papers had
nothing to do with this matter. But, notwithstanding the shrewdness of this woman,
they succeeded in obtaining 43 13s. from her.
There were some scores of cases all carried on in the same way ; but in some
instances the success of the rogues was not so great as in the foregoing.
One gentleman who thought he was entitled to some estate, placed the matter in their
hands. The usual form in the matter of agreement was gone through, then seven
guineas were demanded for a power of attorney, but the rogues were content to take
1 7s. 6d. The usual journey to London followed. Six pounds was required, but 3
was taken. Several other people were picked up at stations on the way.
Proceedings like those described took place there. A second journey to London was
arranged, to "go before the Grand Master." But before it took place McKenzie was
In one case the swindlers advised the claimant of some property in M to take
possession of one of the houses, and hold it, as in the Shrewsbury case, for three
nights and three days. The man collected sixteen men and three women for the
purpose, and at the dead of night knocked at the door of one of the houses, and when
the occupier appeared to see what was wanted, he was seized, turned out into the
street, his furniture bundled out after him, and possession was held against all comers
until the police broke open the door and arrested the men, who were sent for trial at
the Liverpool Assizes, and bound over in their own recognizances to appear when
called upon.
I went to London to see what the modus operandi of the prisoners was, and found that
they had left their clients in the public gallery of the Court, and had gone to the
entrance reserved for members of the legal profession. The swindlers had spoken to
the Clerk, and their clients, seeing this, had come to the conclusion that the
proceedings were bona fide.
The dupes were then taken into Somerset House, where any
person on payment of one shilling has power to look at a will. Then they were
escorted to Somerset Chambers, next door, and sworn on some affidavit before a
commissioner for the administration of oaths.
All five prisoners were committed to the Assizes. The trial took place before Mr.
Justice Day at the Manchester Summer Assizes, in July, 1882. Mr. West, Q.C. (at that
time the Recorder for the City) and Mr. J. H. P. Leresche appeared for the Crown. Mr.
Higgin, Q.C.,.and Mr. Shee defended Shakespeare; Mr. Blair and Mr. Overend Evans
represented McKenzie; whilst the defence of the other prisoners was entrusted to Mr.
The interest of the public in the case was indicated by the crowds of people who
attended the Court throughout the long trial.
The Jury without leaving the box found the prisoners guilty, when Rogers was
sentenced to two years' hard labour, McKenzie to twenty mouths' hard labour,
Shakespeare to twenty-one months' hard labour, and B. to twelve months' hard labour.
Evans, against whom there was not sufficient evidence, was discharged.
Shakespeare died two months after receiving his sentence, and on the 24th of October,
1889, McKenzie was sentenced at the Central Criminal Court, London, to ten years'
penal servitude for a series of frauds, when I appeared and gave evidence against him
as to his past career.
These men adopted every possible device in order to complete their machinery of
fraud. They published a neat little volume in cloth covers entitled " Authentic List of
Heirs, Next-of-Kin, and Persons Advertised for;" and the author of the book was

represented to be "J. S. Rogers, B.A., St. Neots, England; and at London, Manchester,
arid Birmingham." The title page represented that Mr. Rogers had " correspondents
and agents in all parts of the world."
The introduction to this work is well worth reproduction. It is couched in the
following tempting language :
"Although not generally known, the amount of property left by persons dying
intestate, or without any known issue, in England exceeds two hundred millions
sterling, besides enormous sums and vast estates lying unclaimed in the Australias, the
Canadas, and the United States of America, exclusive of many estates and property
held by those not entitled thereto, which properties and funds may be recovered by the
Next-of-Kin, Heirs-at-Law, or their legal representatives, provided their claims are
instituted by persons experienced in conducting such matters, and who combine tact
and resolution in prosecuting such claims. The nominal charge made by me does not
in any way recompense for the trouble and outlay incurred in preparing and proving
claimant's title, but it is to my ultimate success in obtaining property for parties
entitled that I look for my remuneration, being a rate of commission, to be agreed
upon between the parties and myself, and to be paid after the property has been
" Although I do not for a moment venture to attempt impossibilities, I will give my
best attention to any tangible and genuine matter entrusted to my supervision, and
acting in concert with many gentlemen of great experience and high standing, both in
England and abroad, and having correspondents in the chief cities in America and
Australia, am in a position to obtain reliable information speedily and at a small cost,
my custom being to require payment for disbursements only, in case of non-success. I
am continually receiving particulars of unclaimed property matters, besides those
enumerated in my index, and on receipt of five shillings will send reply in reference to
any name required.
"Pedigrees compiled, and certificates of births, marriages, and deaths obtained to
verify the same. Searches made for wills, letters of administration, deeds, &c., and
official copies obtained from all parts of the world through responsible agents.
Missing relatives traced; administrators', trustees', and receivers' accounts prepared,
audited, arid passed through the requisite departments.
" Every one should have in their library my index for reference to persons wanted to
claim money and property. Many have through this little work been made acquainted
and brought into direct intercourse with friends of whom they had long lost trace, and
others have obtained legacies, of which until that time they were unacquainted.
"For the convenience of clients, I have made arrangements and can be interviewed
free of charge by appointment in Manchester, by all persons who believe themselves
entitled to money and property, and such persons are cautioned against trusting their
affairs in the hands of anyone unqualified to conduct matters of such importance.
Every communication will receive immediate and prompt attention from
"J. S. ROGERS, B.A.,
" Compiler of Pedigrees,
" St. Neots, England. " N.B. - Price of Index referred to, 2s. 6d. post free.
" Manchester Office, 79, Piccadilly."
The list was divided into three parts, and contained the names, but no addresses, of
"Heirs, Next-of-Kin, and Persons Advertised for."
The following appeared at the end of the volume, under the title of

"It would seem incredible that sums of money, aggregating so many millions, should
continue to lie in the nation's coffers from year to year awaiting claimants ; and it is
only when some startling incident occurs in the recovery of a fortune by a next-of-kin
claimant that the attention of the general public is attracted to the facts, and a stir is
made, and inquiries instituted. When those fortunate Italians succeeded to the
renowned Mangini Estate, amounting to some 200,000, claimants were induced very
generally to examine family records and prosecute other investigations, which in
many and notable instances resulted successfully.
" We deem it the duty of those who have any reason to suppose that they are interested
in the large sums now lying dormant awaiting claimants, to use all legitimate means
to relieve the Government and the Chancery Paymaster from the burden of looking
after these large accumulations now in their possession.
" Of the sums now waiting for owners, it is well to remember that there is still
unclaimed nearly 80,000,000 in Chancery.
" 900,000 dividends of the Bank of England, the principal thus represented
amounting to fabulous sums; besides large amounts of Naval and Army Prize Money,
Soldiers' balances, lapsed Legacies, &c., &c."
Whenever the swindlers got covered by their dupes, they tried to retreat by suggesting
that the claimant had a rival; and they generally circulated the report that the present
claimant was illegitimate, and that someone would have to be produced who could
prove that he or she had been born in wedlock. In nearly all cases the "illegitimate"
claimant was represented as seventy or eighty years of age. Consequently the proof
required must come from someone who would be about one hundred and ten years
old. Another gigantic scheme of swindling was once organised under the guise of a "
Next-of-Kiri Agency," by means of which many people were duped.
A working man residing at a Lancashire seaport having had a windfall of over
200,000, one of the swindlers managed to secure an introduction to a newspaper
reporter, with the result that the matter was not only made known throughout the
United Kingdom, but the " Next-of-Kin Agency " was credited with having obtained
the money for the man. This was not the fact, the man having come into the money
under the will of a relative.
Whilst this matter was fresh in the memory of the public, one of the swindlers
delivered a lecture at the Stockport Theatre on the " Unclaimed Property of Next-ofKin lying in the hands of the Government," and which they informed the audience
amounted to such a sum - capital and interest - as would pay the National Debt. The
audience was a very large one, and as is usual on such occasions, it was drawn from
that portion of the gullible public who are expecting at some time or other to come
into possession of the estates of their ancestors. At the conclusion of the lecture a
number of those present stayed to consult the lecturer and his legal assistant
respecting claims which they imagined they had to certain estates. The usual
preliminaries were gone through, agreements were signed, registers were to be
searched, powers of attorney given, but above all the fees were never forgotten.
Having once got their victims into their net the usual " milking " process followed.
Another important result of this meeting was the recovery of the Hallsworth Estate,
Pear Tree Farm, which was supposed to include a whole township, and to be worth
from 400,000 to 500,000. A genealogical tree was prepared, sketching the pedigree
of the family from the sixteenth century, with several branches in Lancashire,
Cheshire, and Australia, and this was hung up in the office of the firm in Market
Street, Manchester, together with a map of the estate.

The Hallsworths are a numerous progeny, and on it being known that claimants were
wanted for the pretended estate, a section of the family who lived at Hazel Grove,
near Stockport, waited upon the " Next-of-Kin Agency " respecting it. This led to a
meeting being arranged at the Three Tuns Hotel in that village. An admission fee of
five shillings per head was charged to cover expenses, and from two hundred to three
hundred persons attended. The usual stories were repeated, and at the suggestion of
the lecturer, a committee was appointed to watch the interests of the Hallsworths of
Hazel Grove, with the " Next-of-Kin," of course, as its advisers. As the latter
contrived to work the two sections of the Hallsworths against each other, there was a
deadly feud between the two parties, whilst their trusted agents were regularly
fleecing them. Men of all descriptions of business were to be found among the victims
of the fraud, and as the feud grew and they warmed to the work, subscriptions were
got up on both sides to meet the expenses and demands of the Agency, while many
persons consulted their private solicitors.
When every possible escape had been exhausted, the Hazel Grove claimants were
informed that the Stockport claimants intended to put forth the plea that the Hazel
Grove claimant was illegitimate. In making this suggestion the object of the
conspirators was to sow further dissension between the parties, and to induce each
other to continue his rival claim.
The Hazel Grove gentleman was about seventy-two years of age, and the swindlers
informed him that to get over this last difficulty it would be necessary to prove that he
was born in wedlock, to do which satisfactorily it would be necessary to produce
some person about one hundred years of age, who was present at the claimant's birth,
and was able to swear that he was the person he represented himself to be. Even this
difficulty was surmounted. Whereupon the swindlers turned to the Stockport
claimants and informed them that the Hazel Grove people had told them that they
were prepared to prove that the Stockport claimant was illegitimate.
Now this Stockport claimant was ninety-three years of age, and as his friends were
told that they would have to produce someone who was present at his birth, and
certify that he was the person represented; this, of course, required the production of a
person fully one hundred and twenty years of age.
It was directed that the story about the illegitimacy should be kept a great secret, but
somehow or other it leaked out, and a meeting of the Hazel Grove people was called
at the "Three Tuns," to be addressed by one of the members of the " Next-of-Kiu
Agency." Contrary to expectation the Stockport claimants repaired to the meeting, and
an extraordinary scene of uproar and confusion occurred; in fact, it was with the
greatest difficulty that a riot was prevented, for Hazel Grove was a quiet little village
boasting of one policeman. The further exploits of the " Next-of-Kin " swindlers in
this case was cut short by their arrest.
The Hazel Grove claimant was a very talkative old gentleman, and used to tell the rest
of the family that when they came into possession of the estate they could not expect
to live in the same grand style as himself, but he would take care that they all had a
comfortable living. When the exposure was made the claimant was considered a fair
subject for ridicule, and even the children shouted as he walked along the street, " I
will give you all a comfortable living."
I saw him myself visiting the prisoners whilst they were waiting for trial, and he to
this day believes he would have got his estate but for my interposition.


In March, 1884, an advertisement appeared in a Manchester newspaper requesting a
loan of fifty pounds on first-class security at good interest coupled with the intimation
that no agents need apply.
A young man residing near me, who had an eye to getting rich, quickly answered the
advertisement, expecting to receive the large bonus which was thrown out as a bait. In
a few days he was waited upon by a stylishly dressed man, fluent of speech, who
made such a large display of jewellery that the young fellow naturally thought it
strange that such a person should want to borrow money, especially as the sum named
in the advertisement could easily be obtained on a portion of the jewellery displayed.
My friend began to grow suspicious that the jewellery was not honestly come by, and
declined to have any dealings either with the advertiser or with his jewellery, which
he offered as security. Believing that all was not straightforward, my neighbour
afterwards wrote another letter in answer to the advertisement, giving an assumed
name and address. A day or two later, while I was at home, the door bell rang, and on
answering it I recognised a very accomplished swindler whom I had known for some
years, and who went under the cognomen of " Handsome Charlie." Whether " Charlie
" had forgotten me or not I cannot say, but he left me no time for surmising, and at
once came to the object of his visit. " I have your letter," said he. " What letter ?" I
asked. " Over the loan," he replied. Old reminiscences of years ago sprang into my
mind, and inviting Charlie into my house, we sat together in the drawing-room. "
What amount do you wish to borrow ?" I asked. " Fifty pounds," was his answer. "
What interest do you propose to give ?" was the next question. "I will give you 10
for the loan of the money for one month." Whether "Charlie" had suddenly scented
danger or not I cannot say, but I perceived he was growing very uneasy, and he
immediately added to his last sentence - "but the loan is not for me, it is for a friend,
who has sent me to make inquiries."
In reply to my question as to what security his friend was prepared to give, he
answered that " he had a scrip on the London and North Western Railway and the
Bridgewater Canal." "That is very good security," I replied. "When will your friend
call?" " To-morrow, about two o'clock," he answered without hesitation. "Very well, I
will stay in for him." Thus charged the swindler walked off, arid I never expected that
he or his friend would turn up again, but to my surprise, as I opened the door on the
following day, an old gentleman walked up the garden, and before I could speak
commenced, " I cannot see the numbers for the sun. I have been to the next door,"
and, without the slightest intermission, added, " I have got your letter, and have come
about the loan." " Oh, yes! come in," I replied. Entering the drawing-room I opened
the conversation with, " And now, sir, what is your pleasure?" " Oh, I have come to
negotiate the loan my friend called about yesterday," was his reply. " What amount do
you require?" I asked. "Fifty pounds," said the visitor. "What security do you offer?"
"I will give you," said he, "a promissory note, payable in a month for the amount with
interest, and will deposit with you my gold watch and guard," taking at the same time
from his pocket a gilt watch and a plated brass chain, stamped " 18 ct.," 18 without
the Hall Mark, saying he had 150 to draw at the end of the month. He particularly
impressed upon me the necessity of retaining these articles in my own hands, and not
allowing them to pass into those of others, as they were family heirlooms, which he

would not allow to go from the family under any consideration. Being rather sceptical
on this point, I pressed for some further security, when he produced an imitation
diamond ring, and after a little further persuasion a second ring, then a pawn-ticket,
then another, and finally a third. After I had drained him of his "securities" I calmly
said, "Now, my friend, you can leave the jewellery here and go and bring your friend '
George the Greek.' If you do not I will have you locked up for attempting to defraud
me out of fifty pounds by means
of worthless jewellery." I may say that I had recognised this old scoundrel as the
accomplice of another polished and daring swindler bearing the cognomen of "George
the Greek." On hearing this the old gentleman grew very indignant, asked what I
meant, jumped from his chair, stamped his feet upon the floor, struck the table with
his fist, and used considerably more bluster than I could have done had necessity
required it. Whilst he was in the midst of his indignation I called to my wife, who was
in an adjoining room, to bring me the cashbox. After a storm there generally comes a
calm, and the words last uttered seemed to have a very soothing effect upon the arch
impostor. His excitement vanished as easily as it had been assumed, and in his mildest
and blandest tones he expressed his deep sorrow that any misunderstanding should
have arisen, but in business " these little hitches will occur, you know."
Without taking any notice either of his apology or his philosophy, I produced pen, ink,
and paper, and he wrote a promissory note for 60, payable at Manchester from 20th
March, 1884. I once more roused the ire of the accomplished old rascal by quietly
telling him that he had not got the money yet. "No," he replied, " but I will have it ;"
and he became more violent than ever, stamping his feet, and banging his hands about
the room. "Yes," I answered, "you shall." Seizing him by the collar of his coat I
dragged him out of the house, took him to the County Police Station at Old Trafford,
and gave him into custody. When he saw where I was taking him he whispered to me,
with a grin on his face, "Isn't this a sell?" "Yes," I said, "you'll get the loan here." I
then went to Mawson Street, Ardwick, the address given on the promissory note. The
prisoner did not live there, but at a house almost opposite. I also learned that my first
visitor, " Handsome Charlie," had apartments at the house, the number of which was
given on the promissory note, and whenever the swindler got hold of a dupe, " Charlie
" gave the old man's address, and the old man gave " Charlie's" address. By this
method of working they were able not only to watch their victims from each side of
the street, but if inquiries were made that were at all likely to be troublesome, the
rogues were always apprised of them.
The prisoner was committed for trial at the County Sessions, and after a long hearing
before His Honour Judge Jordan, who was sitting as Deputy Chairman of the
Sessions, was found guilty by the jury without a moment's deliberation, and sentenced
to six months' imprisonment with hard labour.
A warrant was also issued for the arrest of " Charlie," but it has not been executed. It
still lies in the hands of the County Police.
After the prisoner's conviction he made a claim for the property taken from him,
which was handed over to him, as he said he was going to send it to his friends. But
before doing so he made a complaint to the visiting justices that someone had taken
the valuable settings out of his ring and put inferior ones in. The complaint was
forwarded to me. Whereupon I took the jeweller's expert who examined the ring for
the purposes of the trial, to again inspect them at the prison, and compare his notes of
the first examination for the purpose of satisfying the old gentleman of his error.
When the prisoner was brought forward he was dressed in prison clothes. By good
conduct he had earned three stripes, which were placed on his arm, and were similar

to those on an army or police sergeant. In the course of conversation we addressed

him as " Sergeant," which he took as anything but a compliment and again became
very indignant. But stamping and storming was now out of the question, and the old
scoundrel was taken back to his cell where, no doubt, his excitement cooled.


In the year 1880 I received from Mr. C, a Silk Mercer, of St. Ann's Square,
Manchester, complaints respecting a quantity of parcels which had been sent to a
parcel office for delivery to some of his firm's customers, but which had not arrived at
their destination. The men connected with the parcel office were at first suspected, but
after a few days' inquiries it became perfectly clear that the parcels had not reached
the carrier's office. I found that the parcels had been forwarded to the office by an
errand boy who had only worked at the place for two days. The boy had entered the
shop in answer to an advertisement which had appeared in the window for an errand
boy, bringing with him a character from the school he was attending, and one of his
father's business cards, which read thus :JAMES DUMBELL,
Painter, Grainer, and Decorator; Paperhanger and Plasterer. Repairs punctually
attended to.
Workshop ..................'.....................
N.B.None but first-class workmen employed.
The boy was engaged, and was entrusted with a number of valuable parcels, which he
was requested to take to the parcel office named.
The card he presented to his employers had every appearance of being genuine, but on
going to the works mentioned thereon, I found it was a dilapidated empty cottage
which had not been occupied for over eighteen months. When I arrived at the
residence of "Mr. Dumbell," Painter, &c., the house was locked up, and on gaining
access, I could not discover a scrap of furniture. Inquiries in the neighbourhood
elicited the fact that the last tenant had only occupied it for a fortnight, and had been
left for more than a week, a day or two before the lad had obtained the situation.
The card was thus clearly a sham, got up for the purpose of aiding the boy to
secure a situation in which he might rob. No clue could be obtained of the family.
Pursuing my investigations at the school whence the character was said to have
come, I found a lad who knew the painter's boy, and he said they once lived in a
house near him, but they never opened their shutters. Another lad had seen the
painter's boy carrying a yard brush into one of the houses in Silk Street. I went to
the address given arid found the family had removed from this house the day after the
boy left Mr. C's shop. No one seemed to know whither they had gone ; but I
discovered that they were frequent visitors to the next house - a cottage consisting of
two rooms, one up and one down, the ground floor being a foot or two below the level
of the street. Thus I could almost touch the window-sill of the top storey. On
knocking at the door a female opened the window of the top room and asked me in
such a gentle tone what I wanted, that I thought there would be no difficulty in

obtaining the information I required. But I was very soon undeceived, for on asking
her if she would tell me where Mr. Dumbell had removed to, I was assailed by a
volley of epithets quite the reverse of polite, and threatened that if I did not go away I
would be saluted with a bucket of something stronger than water. I was so
thoroughly amazed at the " tartar " I had caught that I resolved to deal with her in a
different fashion.
The following morning found me again in the same neighbourhood, but it was with
some difficulty I recognised the house I had been at the night before. On trying the
door I found it was loose, and entering saw, through the dim light that made its way
through the crevices in the shutters closed from the outside, a small dresser
ornamented with a piece of carved work. On the dresser lay a man, who in answer to
my inquiry as to who was upstairs, said " No one." On going upstairs, however, I saw
a woman fully attired lying on the bed upon which there was no covering. I told her to
get up, and on doing so recognised her by her voice as the woman who had spoken to
me through the window the night previously.
" You are the woman," I said, " who was abusing me through the window last night. I
shall now take you to the Police Station." I went downstairs and got the man to open
the shutters. Daylight was just about breaking. In the meantime the woman came
down and put on a pair of clogs. I told her she had better come along quietly ; but no
she had little inclination to be taken in that fashion. As I went to get hold of her, she
ran to the stairs and a struggle took place, in which she threw herself upon the floor
and called to "Jack" to help her. "Jack" evidently thought that under such
circumstances discretion was the better part of valour, and stood quietly looking on as
I pulled the woman across the floor. She succeeded in getting hold of the carved work
in front of the dresser, and pulled the dresser across the floor to the door step, where it
became wedged. Putting my foot against the edge of the pavement and giving one or
two strong pulls, off flew the ornament to which the woman stuck, and down I went
on my back, with "Pretty Betsy" on the top of me. When I got her to the Police Station
she told me where a parcel of clothing had been left, and said she had seen some of
the silk and other goods. They told this woman that they were going to Bolton, and on
inquiring at the railway station I learned that a trio of similar description had been
seen leaving by train for Liverpool. I communicated with the police of that town, and
the fact that a boy had committed a similar robbery in a shop there, led to the arrest of
all three.
Their modus operandi was for the lad to obtain a situation as errand boy by the means
already described, and on being sent out with parcels he would take some of them to
his father or mother, who would be waiting in a beerhouse in the neighbourhood. The
prisoners were brought to Manchester and charged - the boy with stealing on the 3rd
of January, 1880, six parcels containing a number of vests, trousers, dress-pieces,
corsets and other property from various firms, and the two elder prisoners with having
received the goods, knowing them to be stolen, and with having been previously
convicted. They were all found guilty, and the father was. sentenced to seven years'
penal servitude, and seven years' police supervision. He had been previously
convicted at Manchester Sessions, in January, 1876, for housebreaking and sentenced
to nine months' imprisonment; while at the same Sessions in October of the same
year, for attempting to obtain goods by false pretences, he was sentenced to four
months' imprisonment, and at the Wakefield Sessions, in February, 1878, for
housebreaking, to eighteen months' imprisonment. The mother was sentenced to
twelve mouths' imprisonment. The lad was now fifteen years of age, arid six years
before this, on the 3rd of November, 1874, he was sentenced under the Juvenile

Offenders Act to one mouth's imprisonment, and five years in a reformatory for
larcency. For this last offence he was sentenced to fourteen days' imprisonment and
five years in a reformatory. This result was owing partly to the action of Mr. Malcom
Wood, who always showed a great interest in suppressing juvenile crime. After I
completed my inquiries I mentioned the matter to him, and having himself
investigated the case, he made it clear to the City Prosecutor, the late Mr. McQuahe. I
believe this was the last case in which Mr. John Addison prosecuted before he "took
silk." I do not know that in all the course of my experience I ever felt more
satisfaction in a case than I did in seeing the father and mother of this child convicted.
The father was afterwards convicted on October 14th, 1885, for stealing a timepiece,
and sentenced to seven years' penal servitude and three years' police supervision.
On the 20th of March, 1889, I was informed by the manager for Mr. J. B. Dorning,
Bristle Manufacturer, Shudehill, Manchester, that they had been missing bristles for
some time, and that one of the men, having occasion to remove an errand boy's coat,
had noticed a quantity of bristles in his pocket. I saw that it was of the utmost
importance to find out who was receiving the stolen property, so I arranged to watch
the boy as he left the warehouse, getting under the cover of a shop on the opposite
side of the street. The signal being given to me as the boy left, I followed him through
several streets until he reached Henry Street, Oldham Road, which was quite out of
the route he should have taken had he gone direct home. Coming in an opposite
direction up Henry Street I noticed Thomas C, and knowing him to be a brush
maker and a receiver of stolen property, I opened the door of a cottage and, with the
consent of the occupiers, I took off my coat, rolled up my shirt sleeves, left my hat
inside, and stood on the footpath as if I was speaking to some person standing in one
of the cottage doorways. I saw C, who was accompanied by a man and two
women, speak to the boy as he passed him. C and his friends then went into
the Star Hotel, Great Ancoats Street, and the boy followed shortly afterwards. I went
into the public-house and found the gang standing at the bar window. I got hold of C
and the boy and dragged them into the bar parlour, where I searched them and
found a number of bundles of bristles on the youth. I asked the landlord to call in a
police officer, and I had them both conveyed to the Detective Office. I then examined
C's place of business and found a large quantity of bristles, which were
identified by Mr. Doming as having been stolen from his premises. The boy made a
statement to this effect, that, wanting a brush making for a friend, he asked C,
who was a customer at the shop, if he would make it for him. Having consented, the
boy gave him the material with which to make it; when to oblige him he said he
would make it for him for nothing, and told him to call the same evening for it. When
he called C took him to a public house, and having treated him, commenced to
talk to him about wages, saying ultimately that if he would " get him a bit of bristle an
odd time or two " he would make his wages more than they were. The boy agreed to
the proposal. C met him several times, and always asked him " when he was
going to bring him some bristles." At last the lad commenced to take the bristles, and
these he carried to C.
I had had a suspicion before this time that C had been tampering with another
boy in the employment of Mr. Dorning, so I took the second lad to the Detective
Office and confronted him with the two prisoners. He informed me that C had
wanted him to meet him at a public-house, and having done so, asked him if he
wanted to earn a few shillings. On being asked how, C said that he would go to
the shop when the master was out, bringing a boy with him, and would order some
goods of little value, when he was to put some bristles into the parcel.

This the boy did, and he gave him two shillings. This was done many times, the youth
making the invoice for the inferior goods and putting into the bag along with them
bristles which were never charged for. Not content with this, he got the youth to carry
goods out in his pocket, and to throw goods down the hoist iri the rear of the premises
to a lad in C's employment who was waiting there. On one occasion Mr. Dorning
asked the youth if he had thrown anything down to C's boy, and he replied that
he had not. On reporting this circumstance to C he said they must " leave it off"
for about a month. This they did, but at the expiration of that time they commenced
the same practices.
This youth's statement was corroborated by the lad in the employ of C.
C and the two boys were committed for trial at the Sessions ; but at my request
Mr. Headlam, the Stipendiary Magistrate, let the boys out on bail on their own
recognizances in the sum of 10 each.
At the Sessions C was found guilty, and after the police had spoken of his
antecedents, and a previous conviction for receiving had been proved, he was
sentenced to five years' penal servitude.
I interceded for the boys, who had pleaded guilty, and told the Recorder that they
were both working and obtaining an honest livelihood ; that their employers (one of
whom was the prosecutor) knew of their implication in this case ; that he had let them
off their work to attend the Sessions ; and that if he (the Recorder) would liberate
them on their own recognizances to come up for judgment when called upon, they
could go back to their situations. He asked me who authorised me to make such a
statement, and I replied that I had the authority of the Chief Constable and of their
employers to make it. The Recorder said the application was very unusual, but he
consented, and I am pleased to say that the lads are now doing well and giving their
employers every satisfaction.


IN the year 1878 a deputation from the Manchester and Salford Association of
Pawnbrokers waited upon the Chief Constable of Manchester, and brought to his
notice a system of fraud which was being carried on by means of "duffing" jewellery,
and pawntickets purporting to represent articles of value, but which, when redeemed,
turned out to be worthless. Having supplied some particulars, the deputation urged
that means should be taken to stop this system of swindling. The Chief Constable
placed the matter in my hands with orders that I should make the fullest investigation.
After an inquiry extending over several weeks, I submitted my report, in which I drew
attention to various cases, clearly showing that a deep-laid conspiracy had been
organised by six persons for the purpose of cheating people who were in the habit of
lending money privately; for the purpose, as they said, of assisting deserving cases of
distress - always, however, expecting a good quid pro quo in the shape of interest.
There are many good-natured persons of this kind, with plenty of money and little or
no use for it, always ready to help their neighbours in a city like Manchester. This was
the class picked out by the swindlers as best lending themselves to their schemes, and

as the most likely persons upon whom they could prey with success. To give the
reader an idea of the nature of the conspiracy, I will commence by describing the
members of it.
First, there was Samuel , alias " Diamond Sam," who derived his name from the
fact that he was always in possession of jewellery or pawntickets relating to jewellery,
which he never lost an opportunity of trying to sell.
Next, there was Alexander , alias " Crack Shot," a sobriquet due to the fact that a
gentleman, who bore his surname, and was looked upon as his brother, once won the
Elcho Challenge Shield, a feat of which Alexander was always boasting.
Another member of the confederacy was Edward , alias " Little Ted," alias the "
Take Down." He owed his second alias to the circumstance of his having been a
shopman and having a very fluent expression.
The modus operandi of this gang was to insert an advertisement in the newspapers,
asking for the loan of a sum of money, and the invitation ran somewhat as follows :
" Wanted from a private person a loan of 15, for which 22 will be returned in two
months. Good security given. No money lender need apply."
The bait was successful in a large number of cases. On the victim waiting upon the
advertiser at an address given, he was offered as security jewellery and pawntickets,
supposed to represent a much larger sum than the amount to be borrowed, together
with a promissory note as a means of showing that the security was bona fide ; the
lender of the money was always invited to go to the pawnbrokers - who were parties
to the conspiracy - and make inquiries for himself. If he had any suspicion he would
do so; but, finding his inquiries apparently perfectly satisfactory, he would part with
his money. On the promissory note becoming due no money was forthcoming. To
recoup himself, the lender of the money was compelled to redeem the articles, of
which he held the tickets as security, with a further charge for interest which had
never been paid, as well as another charge for transferring the name in the books. The
roguery of the transaction will at once be apparent when it is stated that these tickets
were purely bogus, given on an article which had never been pledged, and which
when redeemed was found to represent not a tenth part of the value named upon the
Feeling perfectly satisfied that I had a good case, I obtained permission to apply for
warrants, which were granted, and I succeeded in apprehending " Diamond Sam " in
Manchester, and the " Take Down" in Williamson Square, Liverpool. From a letter
found in the possession of the latter, I ascertained that the reply to one of their
advertisements had to be sent to a certain hotel in Manchester. To this place I
addressed several business letters to
" Crack Shot," and in a few days had the pleasure of seeing this gentleman turn up at
the bar, when I lost no time in taking him into custody. After I had secured all three
prisoners I kept up the inquiry, and after a few days I submitted my case to the
magistrates, who granted me warrants on my sworn information against three
The following morning found me watching in one of the principal streets of the city
for two of them - who were in partnership - to open their place of business. This they
did about eight o'clock. After some conversation, I informed them that I had a warrant
for their apprehension, at the same time producing it and reading it over to them. They
at once began to use some high-flown language. "What had they conspired to cheat
me out of?" &c. "I had not heard the last of the matter," they said. I was threatened
with an action for false imprisonment, and so on. I cut the matter short, however, by
hailing a cab, into which we got, and drove to the Detective Office. After I had placed

them in safe custody, I ordered the cabman to drive to the shop of another pawnbroker
in the neighbourhood of London Road, and entering the shop intimated to the
proprietor that I wished to speak to him privately. " Speak to me here," he replied ; " I
don't care who knows my business." " Very well," I returned, drawing the warrant
from my pocket and reading it over to him. "You are never going to take a 15,000
man, are you?" he asked. " It matters not to me if you're a fifteen million pounds man,
you will have to come," I replied. " Very well; I will make this a dear job for you," he
returned. Turning to the people in the shop he called their attention to me with the
words, " See what clever Caminada's going to do ! " - at the same time shutting the
door of the safe and locking it.
I cut his parleying short by informing him that if he did not at once produce his book
of contract pledges it would be my duty to take the keys of the safe from him. After a
threat of resistance he produced the keys, and on examining the books I found the
evidence I was in search of. I immediately arrested the "15,000 man," and placed
him in security along with his friends. Here he asked for a drink, and on a glass of
water being handed to him, requested one of the others to partake. This individual
replied " No"; it has not come to that yet. If it was port or sherry it would be
different." Before the Stipendiary I proved that the prisoner, "Diamond Sam," had
procured a loan of 35 by means of an advertisement from a gentleman whom I
called, having found a letter from him relating to the loan on the person of " Little
Ted." As security for this loan he had deposited with the lender five pawntickets, one
of which related to a piano purporting to be pledged for 24 two months previously,
and which I proved had been bought for 16 a few days earlier.
Another ticket related to a suite of furniture, purporting to be pledged for 13 10s.,
which I showed was bought in the Circuit Road, London, for 5 5s. My last prisoner's
books showed that this pledge was a dummy one, being entered to a person of the
same name as himself, without any address or means of identifying the pledger. I also
proved that the two partners had issued dummy tickets for articles purporting to have
been pledged at their shop, which articles were not worth one-fourth of the value
named upon the tickets.
One of the witnesses, Mr. B, whom they had duped out of 176 10s. 9d., was a
very stout man, about 65 years of age, and by profession a civil engineer. As he began
to tell his story, in a free and easy fashion, one of the solicitors for the defence jumped
up, and objected to his evidence on the ground that he was not the person who had
laid the information for the warrant. " No," he replied, " and I never should have dared
to do so. I should have been content with my loss and said no more about it." "What
brought you here then," asked the solicitor, "if you have no complaint against these
men?" This badgering had an effect quite opposite to that desired by the man of law ;
for the old witness began to warm to his work, especially as another solicitor called
him " a foolish old man to lend money on jewellery he knew nothing about, in his
desire to obtain cent for cent." A running fire now took place between the victim and
the solicitors, in which it came out how the witness had been duped by "Diamond
Sam" giving him bogus tickets for a suite of furniture and a piano as security, and how
I had taken the number and maker's name of the piano, and found it had been bought
for far less than the amount which the pawnticket represented as having been
advanced upon it. Then the witness told the Court how " Diamond Sam." had waited
upon him with another person, not in custody, with a story of a cask of cognac which
had been in the family for years before the death of his father, whose estate in
America was being realised by his uncle over there on that business, and that as soon
as it was divided between himself and his brother he would invest his share. He asked

Mr. B's advice as to the best mode of investment. Unfortunately the cask of
cognac was in pledge, and he produced the ticket, but Mr. B failed to enter the
trap in this instance. A few days afterwards " Diamond Sam " drove up in a cab to this
gentleman's residence with his foot wrapped in bandages, and walking by means of a
crutch and stick. The spectacle of the heir to so much property in such a distressed
condition naturally created much sympathy in the breast of his charitable friend and
adviser; and this feeling was very much increased when " Sam " informed him that he
was in very great trouble. On being asked what was the matter, the pretended heir
stated that he had been compelled to pawn his father's diamond ring, which was a
valuable souvenir in the family; that the pledge was about to " run out;" and that he
was afraid it would fall into the hands of the pawnbroker, who had often offered to
buy it. A few days after, he called with a letter purporting to come from the
pawnbroker, calling his attention to the pledge being about to run out.
Mr. B seeing his young friend in such apparent sorrow was induced to go out
and inspect the ring which the ticket stated was pledged for 50. Whilst he was
examining it, the pawnbroker said he had offered 55 for the ring, and would give 60
if he could get it, adding that the owner, however, was not inclined to sell it. This ruse
on the part of the two conspirators was successful, and Mr. B, full of sympathy
for one who had placed so much confidence in him, and wishing to please him by
saving such a family heirloomall the more as he thought he saw in it good value,
with the prospect of a fair interestredeemed the pledge. But, alas! how can I
describe the feelings of this most charitable gentleman, when he found that he had
been made the victim of the basest ingratitude by the young swindler? On
examination, the ring turned out to be a doublet set with a piece of tin-foil behind so
as to throw up its brilliancy, and placed in a large 18-carat gold ring. The ring to an
inexperienced person looked like a very large brilliant diamond, worth from 90 to
100. Three experts, however, proved the value of the doublet to be about 40s., and
that of the ring to be 5 or 7 in all.
Another pledge related to a suite of furniture, said to have been pawned by two Turks
who lived in Whalley Range; but it was shown that no such persons had ever lived at
the address given. All this furniture was guaranteed to be stuffed with horsehair and
made by the best makers; but, by a remarkable circumstance, it was found to be
stuffed with much less valuable material. A person to whom one of these suites was
sold, owned a pony ; and during the summer months the windows of one of the rooms
of his house overlooking a field where the animal was grazing was left open. The
pony, to the amusement and surprise of its master, could not be kept from pushing its
nose through the windows. At last, the peculiar attraction in the room was explained
by the discovery that the suite of furniture was stuffed with hay and seaweed.
Another victim of the conspirators was a former member of the Metropolitan police,
who at this time kept a public-house in Manchester; and who, in answer to one of
these advertisements, had been induced to lend over 50 on the security of bogus
pawntickets. After some conversation with him, he agreed to answer an advertisement
that was then appearing in one of the newspapers. An appointment was made for a
certain day at the " Royal Archer," a public-house in Dale Street. My friend placed
himself in the " snug," and I took up a position in the bar-parlour, where I could see
all that was going on. I told the waitress that it any one asked for " Mr. Kendrick " she
was to show the visitor into the bar-parlour. Before long in walked a tall person of
gentleman-like appearance, about 26 years of age, who, from his large display of
linen, gold studs, watch guard, and rings, was evidently a masher of the highest order.
Entering the bar-parlour he called for a glass of stout, and after a short chat with the

waitress gave her a rose, at the same time asking her if she knew Mr. Kendrick. "
Yes," she replied, " he is in the snug, waiting for a gentleman." Upon this he went to
the snug, telling the waitress to bring his glass after him. He lost no time in entering
into conversation with the supposed " Mr. Kendrick," as he had no time to lose,
having, he said, an appointment at 3-15 p.m. concerning a situation of 750 per
annum for three years. On being asked how much money he required he replied 35,
but 50 would suit him much better if my friend could see his way to let him have that
amount. For this he was willing to leave, as security, a gold watch, a gold watch
guard, two rings, and four pawntickets relating to valuable property, and he would
also give a promissory note for 65, payable in six weeks.
"As we may be disturbed here," said my friend, "let us walk outside and talk the
matter over." I followed them until my friend's house was reached. This they entered
and went into the bar-parlour. I took up my position in the snug, where I heard the
following conversation : " Where," inquired my friend, " is your companion Samuel G
?" "I don't know him," was the reply.
I then entered the room, and, looking at the masher as if I knew him, beckoned to my
friend to follow me into the snug. As I left the room again, my friend said to his
companion, " Do you know who that is ?" " No," was the reply. " That is Detective
Sergeant Caminada." My friend, who was still in possession of the jewellery, followed
me into the snug, and he had no sooner entered than the masher crept on tip-toe to the
door, took to his heels at full speed, leaving his gold watch and other valuables
behind. This was the sharper " sharped." Whether he obtained the important situation
or not I cannot say, as he never returned for his jewellery.
After several remands, the prisoners were committed to take their trial at the Assizes,
charged with conspiring together, on divers false pretences, to defraud various persons
of no less than 479. After a trial lasting three days, in which the prisoners were all
ably defended, by Mr. Charles Russell, Q.C. (now Lord Russell of Killowen), Mr. W.
H. Higgin, Q.C., Mr. Smyley, Mr. Aigburgh, and Mr. Cottingham, five of them,
including the three pawnbrokers, were found guilty; " Little Ted " being discharged by
the judge on account of a technical error in the indictment. " Crack Shot" was
sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment, and the four others each to five years'
penal servitude.
The Judge, Mr. Justice Lopes, said that " after a long trial they had been found guilty
of a conspiracy artfully planned and skilfully executed, which had been unravelled in
a masterly manner by the officer, Detective-Sergeant Caminada." The prosecution was
conducted by Mr. H. W. West, Q.C., and Mr. J. H. P. Leresche, instructed by Mr.
Hudson, Deputy Town Clerk, and Mr. William Cobbett.
After his conviction " Diamond Sam" said he would never serve his term of
imprisonment, and he had not been in prison more than a week when he flung himself
over the rails of the corridor on the fourth storey of the Strangeways Prison, breaking
his arm, thigh and ribs. He recovered, however, from these injuries ; and after his
discharge, he and his confederates took to earning an honest living, and they are now
well-to-do citizens. The Pawnbrokers' Association paid part of the costs of the


ONE morning I was on duty in Charter Street, which was at that time a very rough
quarter for any officer of the law, when a woman ran screaming past me, followed by
a big fellow who looked like a "navvy." On overtaking her he struck the woman two
frightful blows which felled her, and then commenced to kick her about the body as if
she had been a football. The shrieks of the woman were heartrending. Losing all
command of myself I rushed at the fiend, struck him with my fist a violent blow in the
face, and with a second lifted him off his feet. He fell in the street, his head coming in
contact with the pavement, and for some time he lay senseless. He, however, was a
great powerful fellow, and far from overcome even then. A crowd quickly gathered,
and there were loud shouts that I had " killed the rough." With the aid of another
officer I got him upon his feet, placed him between us, and we walked him up Angel
Meadow. As we did so he seized both of us with his hands by the lower part of our
bodies, and such was the tenacity of his grip that he pulled a piece of cloth clean out
of the front of the other officer's uniform trousers, ripping them from top to bottom.
As soon as I found that he meant further mischief I punished him severely about the
head with my fists, and one of my blows was so violent that I thought I had broken
my arm. Having at length got him to the station, I told other officers to see to him
whilst I went to the Infirmary to have my arm examined. Just as I was leaving the
Police Office, the prisoner, notwithstanding the punishment he had received, made a
determined rush past the officers, and succeeded in reaching the yard. Fortunately the
outer gates were closed, or we should have had a chase and another struggle with him
in the street. As it was, in his headlong flight he did not notice that the gates were
closed, and as a consequence rushed madly against them with his head. This settled
the business, and he was quickly placed in one of the cells. The next morning he was
taken before the magistrates, but as we could not induce his wife to appear against
him, he got off with two months' imprisonment, the Stipendiary remarking, when he
complained of the punishment he had received from me, that he had fallen into the
right hands, and deserved all he got. Fortunately my hand was only strained. I
suffered from it for fifteen months, not being able even to turn a door-handle; but I
had the satisfaction of knowing that I had administered to the big bully a thrashing he
was not likely soon to forget.
A few months after this man's release I had occasion to call at a house in this
neighbourhood, where I again met him. His wife was with him. Inquiring of her how
her husband was then conducting himself, she said, " He is now very good."


OF all the cruel and hard-hearted swindles which affect the public, I know none more
annoying than that of the bogus Registry Office. The usual method adopted by the
promoters of these agencies is to insert in the newspapers a tempting advertisement,
such as " Wanted, a Housekeeper to a Bachelor," or, "A General Servant; no children;
washing given out;" while ladies are often enticed by something of this kind - " A
Young-Shropshire Girl, aged 20," a very paragon, who can " cook, wait, wash, iron,
get up linen, and is a good nurse."

When application is made employers are usually desired to pay a fee of 3s. 6d.; whilst
2s. 6d. is demanded from poor girls seeking situations. In some cases 10s. is the
regular sum demanded from persons wanting servants.
In the year 1887 a cry was raised in the Manchester press respecting some of these
registry offices. Their victims were numerous, and among them were many poor girls
drawn from the country to be left helpless and homeless in this great city. After
receiving many complaints, Mr. Malcolm Wood, the Chief Constable, requested me to
try and put an end to this mode of swindling. To this end I had caused an
advertisement emanating from a certain registry office to be answered from my own
private house. Before the promoters would move in the matter their fees had to be
paid. I then requested them to send the "Yorkshire girl, aged 18," who was "
disengaged and in want of a situation." In answer to my request they sent me an Irish
woman, with a brogue as broad as if she had just left the Green Isle, and probably she
had been brought up in Connaught - the Yorkshire of Ireland. As it was not a
Yorkshire woman of this kind I had expected, I told her she would scarcely suit. She
informed me that she had been sent to about fifty different places; but no one would
engage her. At first I had my suspicions that this was a domestic kept in "stock" for
the purpose of being sent to those applying for servants; but, after a long chat and a
liberal supply of refreshments, the woman informed me that she was not the only one
who had been bustled about for weeks, besides parting with their money.
As the Irish " Yorkshire woman " did not answer my purpose, I requested the
proprietress of the registry office to send the paragon from Shropshire, aged 20, when
lo! and behold ! there appeared a female fully 58 years of age, blind in one eye !
When I told her I had written and paid the fee for a young girl from Shropshire, she at
once informed me that she could work as well as any girl, and that she had been in
service over forty years. I invited the old lady into the house, and whilst she was
taking some refreshments I learned from her that she had been attending the offices
for five weeks, day after day, after paying the fees, and that she had seen no young
girls of any kind seeking situations.
My next business was to call at the office, 31, Piccadilly, where I saw Miss , the
manageress, and Mrs. Bannister, the proprietress. I told them that I had forwarded the
fees, but they had not sent me the girl I asked for. They acknowledged receiving the
fees, but said the girl I wanted was engaged the same morning my letter reached them.
I could get no further particulars, and as I had not then sufficient evidence to obtain a
warrant for their arrest I had to wait a little longer.
Curiously enough the following week I was waited upon by three women, who stated
that some gentlemen had told them to come and see me in respect to this same registry
office. They informed me that seeing an advertisement for two women who were
wanted to clean offices, "wages 12s. per week, application to be made at Mrs.
Bannister's Registry Office, Piccadilly," they had applied there and paid their fees, btit
could obtain no satisfaction.
This was just what I wanted. I learned from these dupes that about 100 women had
applied for the situation, and that each one had paid a fee ranging from Is. to 5s. "Very
well," said I, "I will go with you, and see what can be done." We started at once, and
on getting near the premises I saw that there was a crowd of about fifty women about
the door. Pushing my way through them I entered the chambers. The registry offices
were on the first floor. At the same moment two or three indignant women were being
ordered out by the manageress.
"What is the matter here?" I asked. " I am Chief Inspector of Detective Police." The
women at once made their complaints, and I asked for the name of the person who

desired to engage the charwoman. This, as I expected, neither proprietress nor

manageress could give; their reply being that it was a gentleman whose name and
address they did not know. " Well," I replied, " my duty is perfectly clear; I shall take
you both into custody for defrauding these poor creatures."
The prisoners were committed for trial, and at the Sessions, held in April, 1887, were
found guilty, and each sentenced to four months' imprisonment with hard labour.
The only reply they made to the charge was that " other offices did it, and they ought
to be prosecuted in the same manner."


ONE day, a complaint was made at the Manchester Detective Office by a very
respectable firm in the City, that music was continually.being stolen from the concerts
which they held in the Free Trade Hall. The matter was taken in hand, but the
pilfering continued. Every concert night music was missing, and no clue could be
obtained to the thief.
At length I arranged with the firm to have a large piano box made in such a manner
that I could enter it and let myself out whenever necessity required. Holes were bored
in such a way that I could see, when inside the case, all that was passing around me.
When the box was completed and had been delivered at the Free Trade Hall, I got
inside it, no one having the slightest knowledge of its unmusical contents. As the time
for the concert drew near, the librarian, who was in charge of the music, took up his
position ; the musicians commenced to tune their instruments, and everything being in
order a move was made for the platform, leaving the worthy knight, who conducted
the orchestra, and the librarian alone with the piano box and myself in the ante-room.
I had often been told in answer to my inquiries of the trust that was reposed in the old
librarian, and not a tittle of suspicion rested upon him in the minds of his employers.
The concert commenced at 7-30 p.m., and Sir having proceeded to his duties,
the old gentleman was then in sole charge of the room.
Everything went on right until the interval of ten minutes at 8-50, when the room was
again filled with the performers, bustling, hurrying and tuning their instruments.
The concert was resumed, the ante-room again cleared, and the old librarian and
myself were once more together. The concert had proceeded about half-an-hour, when
the old gentleman began to be very busy looking over the music.
In a short time I saw by his features that he had come across something which drew
his attention and gave him pleasure. After glancing at the piece of music, he looked
round, made sure, as he supposed, that he was alone, saw that the doors were closed,
and then drew two sheets of music from the pile and put them into his pocket. I
remained perfectly quiet. After the concert the room was again filled, the old
gentleman was exceedingly pleasant and fussy, with a good word and a nod for
everyone, and at length they all dispersed. I was now in a fix. The difficulty with me
was how to get out of my hiding place, for a number of the musicians had placed their
fiddles and other instruments against the case. To add to my troubles, while I was
devising some scheme to release myself, the gasman appeared with the long stick to

turn out the gas. I cried out in a suppressed voice, which, coming from the hollow
box, made it seem unearthly, " Shift these fiddles." "Oh!" cried the man, starting
back, and looking straight at one of the bass fiddles, as if it had addressed him - "
What's that?"
I saw through one of the holes in the box that the man was trembling with fright, and
perhaps would run away; but as he received no answer to his question he became reassured, and again lifted his stick to put out the gas, when I bawled out in right good
earnest, " Shift these fiddles from the piano case, man, and let me out. I am no ghost,
but flesh and blood like yourself." The poor fellow, with hair almost standing on end,
obeyed, and when I emerged from my temporary prison I saw that he was in a cold
perspiration, and almost ready to drop. All the blood having forsaken his face, he
looked really more like a ghost than I did.
I had, however, accomplished my task. The pilferer was found out; but the firm
declined to prosecute.
I have never since been able to conciliate the Free Trade Hall gasman ; nor could Mr.
Tennant, the manager, induce him to speak to me.


INFORMATION having been received that H M, alias John Brown,
who had failed to surrender to his bail at the Central Criminal Court, London, on a
charge of house-breaking at West Ham, was supposed to be living in the
neighbourhood of Manchester, I, in company with Sergeant Harris, began to
make careful inquiries, and after a time found the man was living at Weaste.
Whilst watching, we saw him come out of a certain house. I seized him, and he
asked me what we wanted. I told him we intended taking him on suspicion, when he
asked me to be allowed to go into the house for his overcoat. Having consented to let
him do so, we entered the house together, when he said he wanted to go into the
back yard. This we declined to allow; and as he refused to leave the house, we
proceeded to take him by force. He struggled in a most violent manner to free
himself from my grasp, and made frantic efforts to seize a small black bag which lay
in the room. Two women who were with him in the house rendered him every
assistance in their power to enable him to get clear. He was a very strong,
powerfully built fellow, and as he was aided by the efforts of the women the struggle
was becoming desperate. Watching my opportunity, I succeeded in knocking down
one of the women, and pinioning the man in my arms carried him into the street.
Detective Sergeant Harris, an officer who accompanied me, appeared upon the scene,
and the man was eventually overpowered and handcuffed. On searching the house
we found a number of burglars' implements - jemmies, picklocks, fifty skeleton
keys, a diamond for cutting glass, and a number of articles which we afterwards
traced as the proceeds of a burglary at Longsight. In the black bag, which the
burglar made such frantic efforts to obtain during the struggle, we found a fivechambered revolver, each chamber charged with a bullet. The prisoner was
conveyed to London, tried at the Central Criminal Court, and sentenced to ten years'
penal servitude.

We had official notification from London to warn us that this man was a very
dangerous character and dexterous burglar, and carried a revolver.

DURING the racing season there is a large class of thieves who attend the principal
meetings, not only for the purpose of committing robberies, but for " plucking" any "
greenhorn" across whom they may come. The ranks of this fraternity are recruited
from the gutter-children, who can be seen in the streets of all our large towns, selling
newspapers, matches, and other small articles. Neglected at home, and congregating
together, these waifs naturally learn vice from each other. In competition for a living
they become shrewd and clever, and once they take to bad ways, rapidly develop into
dangerous characters. Another class who supply the ranks of the racecourse thieves is
that of the youth of good education, but limited means. Beginning to dabble in
sporting matters, he soon over-reaches his resources, and often afterwards getting into
trouble and losing his situation, becomes clerk to some book-maker, gradually drifting
thereafter into the dangerous business which too often follows.
The racecourse thief is no ordinary criminal. Men of this stamp are exceedingly
cautious. They deliberately prepare their plans ; so that when they come to perform
their work there is "no hesitation from the time they enter upon the business until they
dispose of their plunder.
These thieves, as a rule, work in gangs. It is not unusual for one of the "blokebuzzers," as they are called, when pressing-through the entrance turn-stile in the crush
at a racecourse, to push off some person's hat. The innocent one puts up his hands to
save the hat; the rest of the group gather round, one taking care to put his arms under
those of his victim and to hold them in this position, while another quickly abstracts
the victim's watch, purse, or pocket-book.
There is no little danger attending the arrest of these thieves on a racecourse,
frequented at times by fifty or sixty thousand people interested in betting, many of
whom are swindlers, sharpers, and others, who have no sympathy with the police. In
such places a great rush can easily be organised ; especially when the distance to the
police station is a mile or two away. In some cases, however, the prison van is brought
on to the course, so that offenders can be locked up at once, and conveyed from the
course at the end of the day. At these times it is customary for detective officers to be
sent from the principal towns in the kingdom to the race meetings for the purpose of
checking the operations of these clever thieves and swindlers.
My first experience of being sent from home was on this very duty. It was the day the
Grand National Steeplechase was run at Aintree Racecourse, near Liverpool, in the
year 1871. The Superintendent of the County Police placed me with a police
constable, who for the occasion had been put in plain clothes. Whilst watching the
arrivals at the railway station, I noticed among them two men whose appearance
seemed to me to denote that they followed no legitimate calling. Intimating to my
colleague that we would follow this couple, I saw them enter one of the booths on the
race ground, where they remained until the bell rang for the course to be cleared.

Among the welshers and others who came out of the booth, I observed the two we had
followed, and told my colleague to keep his eye upon me whilst I " dogged " them.
They went towards the grand stand, but stopped opposite the brick bars, upon which is
a stand of an inferior class. At this point the space between the bars and the enclosure
is considerably narrowed, and being one of the busiest parts of the course a great
crowd always congregates there. A man was consulting his race-card, which he held
in both hands. One of the men I was watching placed himself at one side of this
person and began to consult his own card, at the same time contriving to get one of his
elbows underneath that of the victim, thus holding his arm in its place while
"covering" his confederate. The latter stood behind, and, putting his arms underneath
the elbows of the two men, drew a gold watch from the pocket of the first named.
This was all done in much less time than I have taken to describe it.
On the bell being again rung for the horses to come upon the course, the rush of
people was so great that I was carried away, and lost both of the light-fingered
gentlemen as well as my colleague. It would be impossible for me to attempt to
describe my feelings at that moment. Here, on the first occasion when I was sent away
from home on special duty, I had just been on the point of making an excellent
capture and of earning the approval of my superiors, when all in a moment the
opportunity was swept away. Gloomy and despondent I placed myself against one of
the stumps, which stood in front of the brick bars, and watched the thousands of
people who passed after the race. When the stream had gone by, whom should I see,
to my great delight, advancing towards me but the two thieves I wanted. They were
looking back, evidently with the intention of discovering whether they were followed.
I walked on about fifty yards before them, and coming to a convenient place lay down
upon the grass. I watched them go into a field near the railway station, where they
disguised themselves in such a manner that they could not, as they thought, be
identified. Whilst this change was taking place I caught sight of my colleague, to
whom I contrived to get near, and I induced him to take off his overcoat in order the
better to hide the palpable outline of a policeman. The thieves bought a couple of
oranges from a woman who was standing with a basket near a footpath in the field,
and upon the bell being sounded for the next race, instead of making for the course,
they dashed across the field to the railway station. We followed, and on arriving at the
station I left my colleague outside, having no fear that my make-up would be
discovered. I entered the station after them. They walked up to a person whom I
suspected would be the " fence" or receiver of stolen property, and seeing something
pass from one to the other I made a rush at the two men, grabbed one in each hand,
and dragged them into a wooden shed, which then served as the waiting-room, the "
fence " jumping at the same time into a departing train. The suddenness of the attack
seemed to paralyse the thieves, and the people on the platform, not knowing what to
make of the matter, became alarmed and ran away. This stampede attracted the notice
of the officials, and on their running in to see what was the matter, I called upon them
in the name of the Queen to assist me. This they did; and on searching the thieves I
pulled from the pocket of one a gold watch, minus the bow, about 24 in cash, and a
passage ticket to America ; while from the other I took about 12 10s. in money.
" To whom does this watch belong?" I asked.
" It is my own," replied the man from whom I had received it.
"Do you generally wear it without a bow?" was my next inquiry. But to this I received
no answer.
" What is your business?" I asked.
" A solicitor's clerk," said the first thief, sullenly.

"Where do you come from, and what is your master's name?"

"I decline to tell you" was the curt reply.
The usual threats of pains and penalties followed, and I was to be made to "sit up
properly." Disregarding all this bounce I requested one of the railway servants to call
in my colleague. To him I handed one of the men, and I myself took charge of the
The following day a gentleman who had seen the scuffle at the station informed me
that a gentleman who was staying at the same hotel as himself had lost his watch on
the racecourse. I waited upon the gentleman referred to, and he identified the watch
which I had thus recovered. The prisoners were convicted and sentenced to six
months' imprisonment with hard labour.
My first experience of racecourse duty was therefore distinctly encouraging from a
detective's point of view.
Some years later I was on duty at the same racecourse, Mr. Boyes, now Chief
Inspector of the Liverpool Detective Police, being my colleague. We were asked to
take charge of the grand stand and its surroundings.
On the first day of the race two robberies were reported. The next day, the "Grand
National" was to be run. This event always brings together a large concourse of
people. While Mr. Boyes and I were inspecting the ring, I saw three men whom I
suspected were "working" together. A little further away was an aged gentleman
walking with a stick as if troubled with rheumatism. The shortest of the three men, all
of whom were made up as " swells," knocked against this gentleman, and before the
sufferer could recover from the shock I saw the swell thief put his hand into the
gentleman's inside coat pocket.
"King," I said to my colleague, meaning that we should disguise ourselves, and this
we did immediately, turning to one side for the purpose. I watched the gang over my
colleague's shoulder. They took up their position against a gentleman wearing an
Albert overcoat. One of the three, a tall, dark man, wearing a pair of eye-glasses,
stood close to him, whilst another of the gang, whose appearance much resembled
that of a respectable publican, got behind. This second man pressed forward, while the
other, standing upon his toes, as if to see over the people's heads in front of him, held
his glasses to his eyes with one hand, and placed the other on the shoulder of the
gentleman as if to steady himself. As this was taking place the little "swell," with
lightning speed, unbuttoned the gentleman's coat, and felt his pockets, but without
finding anything.
The gang then separated, but met again a short distance away. After some
conversation they went upon the grand stand. As the principal race of the meeting was
in progress it caused a great flutter and bustle, everyone being anxious to obtain as
good a view as possible, and there was a considerable crush.
In the crowd was a gentleman, who, as he afterwards told us, had for safety buttoned
both his overcoat and undercoat from top to bottom, placing his purse in his inside
breast pocket. The game tactics were pursued upon him as in the other case. The little
swell boldly unbuttoned both the coats, detached the bar of the gentleman's albert
chain from the buttonhole and drew the watch from his pocket with the chain attached
and handed it to the tall man, who at once hurried down the stairs. With all their
cleverness, however, they had fallen into a trap, for on the receiver's arrival at the
bottom I stopped him and gave him into the custody of the Liverpool police. I
repeated the operation upon his little companion who followed, and gave instructions
that the hands of the men were to be secured until my arrival at the Detective Office.
The third man did not come down the stairs until the race was over. He had no sooner

made his appearance than I seized him and lifted him completely off his feet, carrying
him bodily into the Police Office, a distance of thirty or forty yards away, to the
astonishment of a good many people.
As I began to search them, the first arrested inquired, " What do you want?"
" Clocks " (the slang name for watches), I replied. Whereupon the thief took from his
trousers pocket a gold repeater watch and albert guard.
" Whose is this?" I asked.
" Mine," said the robber.
" Where did you get it?" was the next inquiry.
" Find the owner," he tauntingly replied.
As the police office was only a temporary shed, and as I was afraid of a rush being
made for the purpose of rescuing them, after searching them I handcuffed the three
together, and picking up a constable in uniform - a tall, strapping fellow measuring at
least six feet three inches in height, and weighing, I should say, from eighteen to
twenty stones - I fastened the trio to him by means of a pair of handcuffs.
Whilst these arrangements were being carried out, we were startled by a gentleman
rushing into the office, and excitedly exclaiming, " Where is the Chief Constable ? " "
Where is the Superintendent? I am the Chief Constable of , and I have just had a
gold repeater watch and albert chain taken from my vest pocket, and my purse from
my inside coat pocket, on the grand stand."
This confession caused a smile to come over the countenances of the officers present,
and the faces of the prisoners showed that they too appreciated the situation. I turned
to the Chief Constable, and pointed out to him that his inside coat had been cut under
the breast pocket, and his purse extracted in that way. I asked if he could identify his
watch, at the same time producing it from my pocket. The appearance of my
colleague and myself in our disguise was hardly calculated to command much respect,
and the plundered Chief Constable turned sharply upon me with the question, " Where
did you get it from?"
This innocent inquiry was too much for the officers present, who immediately burst
into a loud fit of laughter, in which the prisoners joined; and this was not diminished
when I coolly pointed to the latter with the remark, " You had better ask these
The next day the three prisoners were brought before the Liverpool justices, and
pleading guilty, one was sentenced to six months' imprisonment and the other two to
three months each.
This story shows that even responsible officers of police sometimes become as easy
prey to thieves as other people.
Another time, being on duty at Lincoln Race Meeting, I noticed a man of distinctly
"horsey" appearance rush up to a gentleman, who was a captain in the army. He told
him, as I afterwards learned, to back a certain horse. The captain wished to have some
conversation with his adviser, but the tipster pretended that he had no time, his
presence " being required in the stables." He had no sooner left than a man of
gentleman-like appearance accosted the captain, and, after some talk in which he
informed the officer that he was a bookmaker, asked him what he wished to back?
Whilst this conversation was going on, another man came up and put twenty pounds
upon a horse, on what is called "the nod " (that is, no money passes at the time but a
settlement is made afterwards). Subsequently, a third man appeared on the scene and
made a large bet, thus giving the bookmaker the appearance of being a substantial
man. The captain was at length induced to back the "tip" which had been given to

him, to win ten pounds. The selected horse won, and the bookmaker was ten pounds
in the captain's debt.
When the bell for the next race rang, the captain and the bookmaker were surrounded
by those confederates of the latter, who were professedly betting largely with him. In
due time the " horsey " man from the stables turned up with his "tip " for the captain;
and the bookmaker pressed him to back his choice for fifty pounds, as the others had
done. The captain, however, declined to put more than ten pounds upon the horse.
This time the " tip " was a failure, and under ordinary circumstances the captain and
the bookmaker would have been quits. The confederates of the latter appeared upon
the scene as soon as the race was over, and in a very short time a large sum of money
passed in settlement.
False notes, dummy cheques, and drafts made out to the " man in the moon" were
flying about in abundance, whilst the military gentleman was pinned up in the midst
of the gang.
After all the others had been settled with the sharper turned to the captain and
demanded a settlement from him. The captain protested that he had only backed the
horse for 10, and they were therefore quits; but the sharper was not going to let his
victim escape so easily. He stuck to it that the captain had backed the horse for 50,
and as proof produced his pocket-book in which the bet was entered, the owner's
name and that of the club to which he belonged being impressed in gilt letters upon its
An appeal to the sharper's confederates standing around soon simplified matters, and
judgment was given against the military gentleman, who was pronounced a defaulter
on the turf. A general bustle took place, and in this they carried the captain in their
midst into a corner. Becoming alarmed, he turned out his pockets, in which he had
only 5. But the sharpers were very accommodating - promissory notes or cheques
would do - and the captain at last produced his cheque book and made out a cheque
for the balance of 35 ; the 5 he paid in cash, and the 10 he won on the first race
from the bookmaker, making up the 50.
During the afternoon the captain mentioned the matter to a friend, and a consultation
took place with a detective officer from Nottingham, who undertook to get the cheque
back for the captain. At night a search was made through the billiard rooms, a sharper
assisting them.
The latter endeavoured to entice the captain to play at billiards. Of course, the captain
had to pay the expenses of his friend, two detective officers, and the sharper assistant.
The only result of the search was, that an arrangement was made for the sharper to
meet the captain at the entrance to the grand stand, on the Aintree racecourse, during
the Liverpool Meeting.
On the following day, the captain was moving about the racecourse, towards the close
of the meeting, looking for the sharpers, when up came another horsey-looking
fellow, who wanted to give him a " tip" for the Liverpool meeting. One of the
detective officers who had accompanied the captain the previous day saw this, and,
going up, wanted to know what the fellow wanted with the gentleman. " What's that
got to do with you?" asked the tipster. " He has been swindled out of a cheque and
five pounds," was the reply. "Who are you?" "I am a detective from Nottingham."
"Well, take that, Mr. Detective," said the horsey man, dealing him a violent blow on
the nose, which made him reel and covered his face with blood.
Away flew " horsey," followed by the cry of " stop thief," which being taken up, the
fellow was soon caught and brought back. The captain was compelled to stay

overnight to give evidence, thus adding further to his expense; but of this, however, he
thought little compared with the exposure, whilst "horsey" was fined 20s. and costs. I
offered to take the case in hand and arrest the men, but the captain begged me not to
do so; public proceedings in Court might do him serious injury. He frankly confessed
that he deserved all he got for mixing with such fellows, and said it would be a lesson
to him in the future. The thieves thus escaped scot
My object in mentioning this incident is to expose one of the favourite practices of
racecourse swindlers, and to put incautious people a little more on their guard.
In the year 1877 I was directed to go on duty at the Goodwood Race Meeting, which,
being a great rendezvous of fashion, attracts thieves from all parts of the kingdom.
Whilst on the look out for suspicious characters leaving Victoria Station, London,.
I was accosted by a stylishly-dressed man, carrying a macintosh across his arm. He
inquired whether the train about to depart was an express, and whether I knew at what
time it was due at Chichester ? From the anxiety he showed to get into conversation
with me, and also to enter the same compartment - for I had informed him I was going
to Goodwood - I was satisfied that he took me for a " greenhorn." Soon after we
started he offered me a cigar, and was very communicative as to his affairs. He was,
he said, pleased to get away from business. He generally spent his holiday by going
to Goodwood and then journeying to the Isle of Wight. He was very glad to think he
had got a pleasant companion, though he knew nothing whatever about me. He then
began to tell me some pretty little stories as to how men had made large fortunes by
betting and he confided to me the fact that he himself had won 64 at the last
Goodwood Races. A small flask of spirits was next produced, and I could have had
anything for nothing from him, particularly as I was "not able to give him change for
a 5 note on account of my money being all in bank notes." He always made a
practice of drinking out of his flask first, as he confessed, " in order to show friends
that it contains no poison !" I wore a travelling cap, my hat, bag, and umbrella being
on the rack over my head.
As we neared Chichester I saw that the platform was crowded with people awaiting
the arrival of the express, and amongst them I noticed " Besom George," " Flying
Gib," " Keough the Stall," " Brocky Kelly," "Dicky Drag" - the same swell pickpocket
who stole the Chief Constable's watch at Liverpool, as before related - and other
well-known thieves.
I quickly detected that there was some " move " on, and whilst watching them
perform the " ramp "a sudden rush and bustle in which robberies are committed - a
gentleman was almost pushed off the platform. While they were hustling him among
them I saw one take his gold watch from his vest pocket. The speed of the train
slackening just at the moment I threw open the carriage door, sprang out upon the
platform, and seizing two of the thieves dragged them along the platform into the
lavatory, which went down a step. The local police seeing the scuffle interferred, and,
not knowing me, seized me by the neck; whilst the rest of the thieves, possessing
better knowledge as to my identity, bolted in an instant.
In the scuffle the thieves and I went down together. I shouted to the police that I was a
detective officer; whereupon they rendered me assistance. Having searched the
prisoners, I handed them over to the local constables whilst I examined the train, from
which I took three other men who had been concerned in the robbery ; but the watch
was not found.

Whilst in the lavatory I was followed by my travelling companion, who kindly

brought me my hat, bag, and umbrella. I opened the bag without removing it from his
hands, and took therefrom a pair of handcuffs.
Seeing these the lower jaw of my friend fell considerably. A look of horror came over
his countenance ; and though I entreated him to hold the bag for a few minutes, he
flung it to the ground with indignation and disgust, and made " strides," as the
Yankees say, in double quick march. The five were secured, and when taken before
the magistrates all pleaded guilty to stealing the watch. Three of them were sentenced
to two months' imprisonment, and the other two to fourteen, days each under the
Vagrant Act.
I have often been told by some of the London thieves how " Red 'Un," as my
travelling companion was called by his shady associates, related to them his
experience of entertaining the detective whom he took for a " flat." Even when I
jumped from the train " Red 'Un " had no idea of my intention. He thought I was a
Britisher indignant at the rough treatment the old gentleman was receiving, and it was
only when he saw the " snaps " that he understood the situation.

ONE day I was on duty in the neighbourhood of London Road, Manchester, when I
noticed two suspicious looking men, known by the names of " The Baron," and " Red
Peggy," loitering about near the approach to the railway station. One was dressed very
stylishly, and the other "made up" as a clergyman, wearing a long frock coat and the
peculiar round hat used by many ministers of religion. After watching their
movements for some time, I saw that they were following a woman with whom at
times they got into conversation. It soon became evident that they were acting as
bullies, or "coshers," a class of criminals for whom a certain section of unfortunates
act as decoys. The women accost and get into conversation with some likely person,
and prevail upon him to accompany them to a retired place. There the " coshers " set
upon him and rob him of his watch, purse, and any other valuables he may have in his
possession. In the event of resistance the victim would probably be illused, and it was
not unusual in such cases to deal him a dangerous blow, and in others to garotte him.
As the two men to whom I refer stood together at the corner of Lees Street, I
approached and asked their purpose in loitering about the neighbourhood. The
pseudo-clergyman became every indignant, but finding this mode of argument would
not do, took to his heels, whilst I secured the other after a pretty sharp fight in which
we both rolled upon the ground. The next morning the prisoner was taken to the
Police Court, and there I saw the woman whom he had been following the previous
day, shouting to him through the windows which lighted the cells below. I took her
into custody and went straight to the address she gave, securing on my way the
assistance of another police officer. We entered the house, and the first thing I saw
was the clergyman's hat lying upon the table.
We searched the house, and on my return from the upper rooms, the officer who
accompanied me having been to the coal-hole - a recess under the stairs - said he felt
certain someone was there; so I at once entered the place and found crouching at the
farthest corner the very man of whom I was in search. We brought him out, and taking

hold of his coat collar in one hand and my staff in the other, we brought him through
the streets of a notoriously bad neighbourhood to the Police Station.
The two men were committed to the Sessions as incorrigible rogues, and being proved
to be dangerous characters, were sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment with hard
labour. The woman was committed to three months' hard labour.

IT can never be a matter of indifference whether money given to the poor is given
rightly or wrongly; it either does a great deal of good, or a great deal of harm. Given
to one person it may tide him over a moment of difficulty, and rescue him from
hopeless beggary; given to another, it merely supplies him with the means of spending
one more night in the gin-shop, and encourages his neighbours to do the like. It is not
always easy, even for an experienced person, to distinguish between the two ; and a
novice who gives himself to the work might just as well embark upon the Stock
Exchange without advice, or adventure himself at Tattersall's without any knowledge
of a horse. A stranger's impulse is always to relieve the cases of the greatest apparent
A filthy room without a scrap of furniture, and nothing but a heap of rubbish to lie on,
with mother and children emaciated and half naked, are sights that seem to him to
justify immediate and liberal relief; but if he acts on that idea, he will probably be
throwing his money into a bottomless well. Before night his well-meant gift will have
passed into the till of the publican at the corner, and the room will be just as bare, the
children just as starving ; or, possibly the relief will simply put off the inevitable hour
when the drunken couple are unable to pay their rent, and have to go into the
workhouse. All, therefore, that the charitable person does in such circumstances is to
postpone the only chance the children have of being fed, and the only opportunity the
parents have of at least temporary sobriety.
Of course, the sympathetic stranger makes blunders quite as great on the other side.
Where the furniture and clothes have not as yet all been pawned, and the children look
comparatively clean, and the room tolerably tidy, he will not believe in genuine
destitution. Yet, very possibly this is a case in which very slight assistance might
determine the permanent lot in life of a whole family. The man has been ill, or has
been hit hard by some change in trade, and the family are drawing towards the close
of a desperate struggle to keep their heads above water till better times return.
With relief they may possibly float; without it they will probably sink. A few shillings
may make all the difference. Yet, you never find people of this class cadging in the
streets, and those ladies and gentlemen who put their hands into their pockets to
relieve street cadgers unconsciously form themselves into a society for promoting the
sale of gin. To undertake it safely they would require frequent practice in the
administration of relief, long familiarity with the neighbourhood, something like a
knowledge of the personal history of each family - in short, a set of acquirements
which only a life devoted to that object could secure. Nothing can abate the distress
which springs from vicious habits.

It appears to be assumed that because people relieve the poor out of a kindly feeling,
they are therefore bound to execute their intentions in an unbusiness-like and
sentimental manner. Sensible men ought no more to give their alms, except through
those who are thoroughly familiar with the circumstances of the case, than invest in
lands or houses regarding which they have not the fullest information.
Some time ago street cadging was encouraged to such an extent in Manchester that
complaints were constantly being made by gentlemen of the manner in which they
were pestered by professional beggars.
The Chief Constable then directed me to put a stop to the practice. The trick of the
beggars was to meet gentlemen or ladies coming from the theatres arid similar places
of amusement, and walk alongside them as if in their company, all the time whining
out some pitiful tale, expressly prepared for the occasion. They were determined not
to be shaken off until a coin of some kind had been extracted. All this was very
unpleasant to any gentleman concerned. It was excessively annoying if he happened
to have a lady with him ; but perhaps more so if he was by himself; for, as these
impostors were mostly women, it was not very agreeable to be seen by his friends
walking along one of the
principal streets of the city as if in friendly conversation with a person of this kind.
Consequently the system of outdoor blackmailing for a time proved rather successful.
After receiving instructions, I took my station in Oxford Street, and after walking
about for some time, my attention was drawn about 10-50 p.m. to a woman known as
" Soldier Mary Ann," who appeared to be carrying a child in her arms, covered with a
shawl that hung around her neck.
The woman stood near the Prince's Theatre, and on a lady and gentleman passing, she
at once commenced her patter, asking for help, as she "had been deserted by her
husband, had walked all the way from Liverpool to seek him, had nowhere to lay her
head, and no money to pay for either food or lodgings. She could bear all herself, but
for her poor innocent child - she could not see it suffer." This pathetic tale went on for
about two hundred and fifty yards, until the gentleman was obliged to give something
to get rid of the pest. When I heard the usual thanks and blessings poured on the head
of the donor and his fair companion, with the hope that she might never come to be in
the same position as herself (that is, a deserted wife ! - flattering, no doubt, to the
gentleman), I thought it time to intervene.
" Well, Mary Ann," said I, " are you very poor ?" "Yes, sir, I have had to walk all the
way from Liverpool in search of my husband," was her answer. I invited her to walk
along with me, and as we got into conversation I noticed that she was continually
putting her hand into the shawl as if arranging for breathing space for the baby. As I
did not feel over proud in locking up a cadger, I walked a yard or two in front.
Turning my head to keep an eye on Mary Ann, I was amazed to see her running at full
speed up Oxford Street. She had dropped the baby, in the shape of a good big lad, who
had taken to his heels down Portland Street. This decidedly altered the position of
affairs, and prone as I was to laugh - for the position was decidedly amusing - I gave
chase, and coming up with the woman handed her over to the keeping of two
gentlemen whom I asked to detain her, whilst I followed the boy, whom I overtook in
Princess Street.
Getting the assistance of a constable, I relieved the gentlemen of their charge, and
took Mary Ann and her famous " baby " to the Detective Office. Subsequently I
accompanied the boy home, and found tnat he was let out on hire to Mary Ann at
threepence per night; so the young rascal was in a fair way of learning a "business"
without a premium - in fact, his tutor took the unusual course of paying a premium of

Is. 9d. per week, or 4 11s. per annum for him, and so enabled his parents to have
sundry more " pints " at the public house, whence they rolled home drunk and
completed the education of the " baby" by the example of their drunken quarrelling.
Is it to be wondered at that youngsters of this kind, made to earn their living from
childhood, soon become independent of their parents, and follow their vicious
example? At this time there was no law to punish parents for this kind of neglect and
ill-usage of their children, and I had to be content with giving the parents a severe
lecture. I was determined, however, to stop Mary Ann's " nursing " of such babies for
a time. She was brought up at the Police Court, and remanded to see what was known
of her, and such a lot of convictions came up that she was sent to the Sessions, having
in the meantime to enjoy hard labour under the Incorrigible Rogues Act. When
brought up for trial she was found guilty, and the Recorder sentenced her to twelve
months' imprisonment with hard labour. For a time Mary Ann had to be content, as
prisoners say, with "nursing the iron baby."
On another occasion, whilst going along Chapel Street, Salford, I noticed two women
who were passing with something rather bulky in their possession. I followed, and
they walked over the bridge into Manchester and through several streets. On arrival at
Fleet Street, they went up a passage. I followed them, when they turned into a yard
and went up the stairs of a house into the garret. The other portions of the house were
let off in tenements, every one being separately let. I followed them into the garret
where Mary Ann resided, when I saw the three women looking at a bundle of ladies'
corsets. On seeing me enter the room, one of the women came forward and asked
what I wanted. I replied, " I am a detective officer; where have you got those corsets
from?" I was immediately pinioned round the body and arms and held tightly. The
other two opened the back window and threw the corsets through, and down the stairs
went the two women. Now came the tug of war. I loosened my arms, and down the
stairs went " Soldier Mary Ann " and I together into the back yard, Mary Ann having
had her hair considerably ruffled in the skirmish. I got the corsets, and Mary Ann was
sent to gaol for two months.
A few months afterwards I got the other two women, and they were sentenced to three
months' imprisonment each.
The corsets were stolen from a draper's shop in Chapel Street, Salford.
" Soldier Mary Ann's" real name was Ann Ryan. She had three aliases: "Mary Ann
Ryan," "Mary Ann Birtwistle," and the one by which she was generally known in the
professional begging fraternity, " Soldier Mary Ann." She was a regular gaol bird for
sixteen years, as the following record of her convictions in Manchester clearly
shows:RECORD OF CONVICTIONS. April 9th, 1873, as Ann Ryan, committed to
Sessions, three months ; December 20th, 1873, as Ann Ryan, begging, one month;
January 30th, 1874, as Ann Ryan, drunkenness, 10s. or seven days; March 17th, 1874,
as Ann Ryan, begging, three months ; March 10th, 1875, as Ann Ryan, begging,
Sessions, twelve months as an incorrigible rogue ; Nov. 3rd, 1876, as Ann Ryan,
drunkenness, 10s. 6d. or fourteen days ; December 7th, 1876, as Ann Ryan, drunk and
disorderly, one month ; July 14th, 1877, as Ann Ryan, drunkenness, 10s. 6d. or
fourteen days ; April 5th, 1879, as Ann Ryan, begging, one month ; March 24th, 1880,
as Ann Ryan, begging, one month; August 10th, 1880, as Ann Ryan, breach of peace,
10s. 6d. and costs or fourteen days ; May 8th, 1882, as Ann Ryan, begging, one month
; November 21st, 1883, as Ann Ryan, drunk and disorderly, 21s. and costs or one
month ; June 3rd, 1885, as Ann Ryan, begging, three months ; August 7th, 1886, as
Ann Ryan, begging, one month; January 20th, 1888, as Ann Ryan, begging, three

months; December 14th, 1888, as Ann Ryan, drunk and disorderly, one month; August
14th, 1889, as Ann Ryan, begging, one month ; October 17th, 1889, as Ann Ryan,
begging, one month.
But even this list is not complete. Mary Ann had several times been in custody before
April, 1873. This woman was a fair specimen of the average street beggar.


FORMERLY the mountebank doctor was as constant a visitor at every market-place
as was the pedlar with his pack. But almost all our old customs have ceased, and these
itinerants are now rarely to be seen at rural gatherings. Many of us remember, some
thirty or thirty-five years ago, the awe with which we looked upon one of these
celebrated characters, who erected his stage at the fairs and wakes of the surrounding
towns and villages. The platform was about six feet from the ground, and was
ascended by a short step-ladder. On one side was a table, with medicine chest and
surgical apparatus displayed. In the centre of the platform was an arm chair in which
the patient was seated, and before the doctor commenced his operations he advanced,
taking off his gold-laced cocked hat, and, bowing right and left, began addressing the
populace which crowded before the stage.
The following dialogue, which I produce verbatim et literatim, will afford the reader a
characteristic specimen of the quack doctor of our youth. It will be observed that the
doctor was a humorist. An aged woman was helped up the ladder and seated in the
chair. She had been deaf, nearly blind, and was lame to boot; indeed she might be said
to have been visited with Mrs. Thrales' three warnings; and death would have walked
in at the door only that our good-natured ." doctor " blocked the passage. The "doctor"
asked questions with an audible voice, and the patient responded, he usually repeating
the response in his Anglo-German dialect.
Doctor : " Dis poora voman vot ishow old vosh you ? " Old Woman : " I be almost
eighty, sir; seventy-nine last birthday." Doctor : " Ah ! tat is an incurable disease." Old
Woman : " O, dear ! O, dear ! say not soincurable! Why, you have restored my
sight; I can hear again ; and I can walk without my crutch."
Doctor (smiling) : " No, no, goot voman, old age is vot is incurable ; but by the
plessing of Got, I vill cure you of vot elshe. Dis poora voman vas lame, and deaf, and
almost blind. How many hospitals have you been in ?" Old Woman : " Three, sir."
Doctor : "Vot! and you found no reliefs - vot none, not at all?" Old Woman : " No,
none at all, sir." Doctor : " And how many medical professioners have attended you?"
Old Woman : " Some twenty or thirty, sir." Doctor: " Oh, mein Got! these sick
hospitals and dirty (thirty) doctors ! I should vender vot if you have not enough to kill
you twenty times. Dis poora voman has become mine patient. Doctor Boozey gain all
patients bronounced incurables ; pote, 'mid the plessings of Brovidence, I shall make
short work of it, and set you upon your legs again. Goode peoples, dis poora voman
vas as teaf as a toor nails (holding up his watch to her ear and striking the repeater).
Can you hear tat pell? " Old Woman : "Yes, sir." Doctor : " Oh, den be tankful to
Brovidence " (offering her his arm). Old Woman: " Yes, sir." Doctor : " Sit you town
again, goot vomane. Can you see ?" Old Woman : "Pretty fair, doctor." Doctor : "Vat

can you see, goot vomans?" Old Woman: "I can see the baker here." Doctor: " And
vot else can you see, goot vomans ?" Old Woman : " The poll parrot there " (pointing
to a parrot hanging outside one of the booths). "Lying old - " screamed the parrot,
causing the crowd to shout with laughter. Doctor Boozey waited until the laughter had
subsided, and looking across the way significantly shook his head at the parrot, and
gravely exclaimed, laying his hand on his bosom, "'Tis no lie, you silly pird; 'tis all as
true as the gospel;" and so is, reader, the story I am about to relate.
The reader may be amused at the foregoing sketch of the mountebank doctor of our
youth, and wonder how the people could be so simple as to be deceived in such a
manner; but it never appears to strike them that they have worse impostors in their
midst, some of whom are not within using the title and garb of a clergyman for the
purpose of imposing their quack remedies upon a credulous public.
Doctor Boozey certainly had the merit of amusing his audience for the few coppers he
extracted from their pockets, and if his remedies did no good they were certainly
innocuous, being merely a little coloured water, or a few bread pills. Like many of the
reverend quacks of to-day, he relied more upon faith than upon his medicines. " Only
believe in me," said Doctor Boozey, " and I will cure you; faith in the doctor will do
more good than his medicines.''
The successor of the " mountebank doctor," though he is more ambitious than his
predecessor, resorts to much the same practices, but on an extended scale.
The rude booth at the fair has given way to elaborately furnished consulting rooms,
the amusing speeches to expensive advertisements ; and though the pills and the water
remain they are bartered for pounds instead of pence.
About the year 1877 I noticed in many papers, especially in certain prints which had a
large circulation among religious people, an advertisement recommending a medicine
of the Rev. E. J. Silverton's, of Nottingham, called "Food of Foods." This gentleman
had, according to his testimonials, performed miracles in the way of removing
deafness. He now undertook to cure every disease to which flesh is heir, and offered
his advice gratis. As I did not like the look of the advertisement, I determined to get
on the track of this reverend benefactor. With this object I addressed a letter to him,
stating that I was 32 years of age, a superintendent of a Sunday school, and was very
anxious to get married. I described an imaginary disease, asked him to devote his
attention to it, and let me have a reply as early as possible. By return of post I
received from the reverend gentleman a circular containing further testimonials of his
marvellous cures, and the usual questions in such cases convinced me that I was on
the track of a quack. I filled up the circular and returned it. Without delay I received a
lithographed letter, on which a picture of Solomon's Temple occupied a conspicuous
place, and in which the clever gentleman stated that he had preached to 60,000 people
during the visit of the Prince of Wales to Nottingham, thus bringing his name into
prominence with that of the Prince, in such a manner as to mislead the ignorant into
thinking that they were on intimate terms, or that he had preached at the request of the
Prince. That my case had received no special consideration was proved by the
lithographed letter, which was evidently sent to all applicants seeking the reverend "
impostor's " advice. He, however, did not forget to ask for twenty-seven shillings and
sixpence as his fees. Convinced that the man was a rogue I carried on the
correspondence for a little while longer, and then handed over the whole to a society
which was interested in the matter. Further inquiries were made, and these led the
reverend gentleman to remove his quarters to London. Nevertheless I kept my eye
upon his advertisements, and noticed that he was travelling round the country, visiting

the fashionable watering-places during the season, no doubt making a very good thing
out of " advice gratis."
In May, 1884, I was extremely pleased to see by the large placards on the hoardings,
in various parts of the City and its vicinity, that this "Good Samaritan" was about to
bestow the benefit of his large experience upon the poor inhabitants of Manchester,
and, like the celebrated " Doctor Boozey," cure the deaf, blind, and lame, if not that
incurable disease, according to Boozey, " old age." Like the amusing doctor of our
youth, " all pronounced incurables " were invited to apply, notwithstanding " the
hospitals and the dirty doctors," and " mid the plessings of Brovidence, he would
make short work of it and set them upon their legs again."
No less a building than the Free Trade Hall had, however, taken the place of the
doctor's stall, and, what was still more remarkable, advice was to be given gratis.
Feeling rather sceptical about " advice gratis" paying the expenses of the Free Trade
Hall, the extensive advertising, and the elaborate preparations, I determined to pay the
reverend and charitable gentleman a visit for the purpose of solving the mystery, and
with this object pretended to be suddenly seized with the gout. Putting on an old shoe
and limping into the Free Trade Hall, I was ushered into the presence of a gentleman
who was called the physician, Mr. Silverton not being in attendance. This gentleman
asked me what was the matter, when I told him something was wrong with my foot.
Instead of looking at it, he examined my tongue, felt my pulse, and asked me a few
questions, told me I wanted a good clearing out, and ended by saying that the
medicine would be thirty-five shillings.
This is "advice gratis," thought I, with a vengeance. Poor Boozey's method was a fool
to this. " Do you want it all at once ?" I asked. "Yes," was the firm reply. "Won't you
take it by instalments?" I pleaded. "No," was his reply, "but I will take it in thirds
eleven shillings for the medicine and thirteen pence halfpenny for a box of pills would
be twelve shillings and
three halfpence."
" Had you not better examine my foot?" I enquired, feigning some astonishment. " Oh
! there's no necessity," was the physician's reply; " it's only an ordinary case of
rheumatism, and we have scores of such cases."
I paid my money and received the medicine. On going out I met the reverend and
Good Samaritan himself, and as he asked me if I wished to see him I returned to the
consulting room with him, and told him what had passed between myself and the
physician, when he said, "We will make a cure of you."
The words of the parrot that had interrupted the dialogue between Doctor Boozey and
the old woman thirty-five years before rang in my ears, but preserving my gravity I
took my departure.
A few days afterwards I paid a second visit to the miraculous doctor, when the same
performance was gone through. My tongue was examined instead of my foot; more
money was extracted from my pocket, and I promised to make another call. In the
meantime I had sent two female detectives to seek advice from the reverend quack,
each of whom pretended to be plagued with different complaints. After asking a
number of questions, which it would be impossible for me to particularise, and after
extracting as much as he could for his fees, Dr. Silverton allowed the ladies to depart
with their medicines; these on analysis proved to be exactly the same as that which I
had received for rheumatism in the foot, whilst the wonderful " Food of Foods "
consisted of nothing but lentils, bran, and brown flour and water. This was the " Elixir
for all Diseases."

I now applied for and obtained summonses against the reverend gentleman and his
assistant for conspiracy in practising as medical advisers, and as soon as publicity was
given to the matter their victims, as is usual in such cases, turned up in great numbers
with complaints of their extortionate charges. One poor fellow who visited Silverton
for deafness admitted that he was very ill, when the far-seeing and learned parson told
him that he was in very good health; but he was afraid to acknowledge it, lest he
might charge him for his advice on this head as well as for deafness. He also
undertook to cure another man who had been deaf from birth. Many of the patients
were examined by the police-surgeon and two specialists on the ear, who said it was
quite impossible that any of them could ever be cured. There were some most
distressing and heartless cases. One poor woman sold the bed from under her in order
to obtain advice for her son.
The result of the investigation before the magistrates was that the Stipendiary offered
to bind me over to prosecute at the Assizes, but as neither the Medico-Ethical Society
nor the Public Prosecutor would take the matter up, and as I thought that the publicity
which the matter had obtained would have the effect of putting the public upon their
guard, and would be quite sufficient to destroy the system - which was all that was
wanted - I declined to carry the case any further at my cost.
My expectations have not been fully realised, for we hear of the reverend
philanthropist now-a-days advertising from Ludgate Circus, London. I have forced
him again and again to withdraw .his advertisement from papers in which it was
inserted. I feel confident that I broke the back of this scoundrel, and I shall continue to
apply the lash at every opportunity.
When I had additional summonses to serve upon the defendants, I met the reverend
gentleman and his assistant walking about outside the office of the solicitor who was
appearing for them. I offered the reverend gentleman these summonses, but he
declined to accept them ; so, taking hold of him with my left hand, I thrust the
document into the breast of his vest with my right. " Now you've got them," I said. " I
will fight this case to the House of Lords," he replied, " for it's worth 50 a week to
me." " You can fight it to the house of ds," I answered, " if you like, but I will
spoil your game ; " and raising my hat I bade this would-be gentleman "good
The following is an extract from a leading article in the Manchester Guardian,
Saturday, May 31st, 1884 :
A person styling himself the "Rev. E. J. Silverton, Baptist Minister," was charged at
the City Police Court, yesterday, in company with C. C. Mitchinson, his " physician in
attendance," with conspiracy to defraud. The "rev." gentleman has taken a room in the
Free Trade Hall, and thence issues advertisements announcing his ability to cure
nearly every disease to which mankind is subject. One of the " sufferers " attracted by
the advertisements was Chief Detective Inspector Caminada, who in his time has had
to deal with some very remarkable cases. Caminada presented himself as a "patient,"
and intimated that something was wrong with one of his feet. The defendant
Mitchinson, who is said to be a regularly qualified surgeon, by way of ascertaining the
state of Caminada's foot examined his tongue, and prescribed some medicine at the
ridiculously low charge, inclusive of the bottle, of 35s. A negociation between the
physician and patient ended, however, in a reduction of the amount, a concession
which was possibly due to a desire to benefit suffering humanity even at a pecuniary
loss to the benefactor. Caminada subsequently saw the " rev." defendant and received
the comfortable assurance that he would certainly be cured. It need scarcely be said
that the Inspector's malady was purely imaginary. The medicine hereceived turned out

on analysis to be something usually given for indigestion. It appears, also, that the
defendants prescribed an article called the " Food of Foods," which was composed of
wheat flour and pulse. It will be seen that they deal largely in " simples." Two women
who consulted the defendants for ailments, real in one case and imaginary in the
other, had gone to them in good faith. One sought the blessing which was bestowed
on the wife of Abraham in her old age, and the defendants for a consideration assisted
her with a harmless cough mixture. It is worthy of note that Mr. Silverton has to his
own great regret felt compelled to give up the cure of souls in Nottingham in order to
undertake the healing of the sick in this and other cities. His advertisements breathe a
spirit of high-minded philanthropy which should meet its due reward. The advocate
for the defendants submitted that no conspiracy had been proved, and Mr. Headlam
took time to consider whether or not he should send the case before a jury.
During the month of January, 1895, the following advertisement appeared in the
Manchester newspapers :
from January 15th until February 2nd.
Hours from 11 till 1, 3 till 5, and 6-30 till 8 o'clock. The Rev. E. J. Silverton, of
Imperial Buildings, Ludgate Circus, London, cures Deafness, Head Noises, and
Discharges from the Ears without the use of instruments, operations, or pain.
Wonderful cures ! A person cured after 40 years' deafness. A remarkable case of a lady
at Lincoln, substantiated by a clergyman. A gentleman after 17 years' deafness cured,
and one cured at the age of 90.
Miracles are not performed, but the results witnessed are the effects of Mr. Stlverton's
method, and are indisputable. Lady sufferers are specially invited to pay a visit, and
all afflicted with deafness should take the opportunity. Consultations free. A charge is
made for the remedy only.
A similar advertisement headed " Thirty Years' Success among the Deaf" appears in
the Manchester Evening New* for March 9th, 1895.
Having some remembrance of the reverend gentleman, I caused two women to visit
the hotel under the pretence of consulting the quack, but he was not to be seen, being
detained on business in the metropolis. Two detectives, Sergeants Harris and Wilson,
next paid a visit to the rooms. The former, in the disguise of a cattle dealer, which
business exposed him a good deal to the weather, pretending to be deaf and wearing a
pair of blue spectacles, was led into the presence of Miss Silverton, upon whom the
mantle of her almost miracle-performing father has evidently fallen, he being still
detained in London.
This lady quack, a worthy descendant of her " wonderful-curing " papa, had not been
tutored in vain. She had learned her task well. The pseudo deaf Harris was put
through an examination, and whilst the two detectives gravely kept their
countenances, she as gravely informed them that it was a very serious case, and that
unless something were immediately done the poor deaf fellow would lose his hearing
altogether. Taking her cue from the blue spectacles, she added for his comfort that his
sight was being-affected by the disease of the ear. Of course she had to shout very

hard to make the " afflicted " Harris understand this; but she scarcely shouted hard
enough to make him believe it, for he departed with his friend. Wilson, evidently to
the lady quack's sorrow, without putting down the money to pay for the course of
treatment which was to arrest the disease. Wisely as the siren sang, the charm was
scarcely strong enough to make the acute Harris believe he was deaf; but the spell was
completely broken when she wanted to make him believe he was going blind ; for a.
blind and deaf detective would have been a rarity indeed, and no wonder the two
friends fled from the presence of the " truthful "' prophetess, whose papa heads his
pamphlet with the quotation from Scripture, " Be not faithless, but believing."
Another of his quotations is, " He that hath ears to hear let him hear." The latter is
perhaps an unfortunate one, for if this were the case with all people the reverend
quack's business would be gone. Fortunately Sergeant Harris " hath ears to hear " and
" eyes to see," and heard and saw so well that he came away "faithless" and
unbelieving. I would suggest to the reverend gentleman that he should adopt the
mottoes: "Deceive not;" "Thy sins will find, thee out."
I next determined to pay a visit to the rooms of this good and kind Samaritan myself.
Arriving at the " Mosley " I was hoisted by the elevator to the second floor, where I
found a number of women, some of whom had come long distances, waiting to
receive advice, which was offered " free," " a charge" being " made for the remedy
only." Three of these I learned had been deaf from birth, and had been under some of
the ablest practitioners in the country, without success ; and though they had been
informed that their case was hopeless, they had been induced by the pamphlets of this
quack to seek his aid in the hope of receiving relief.
This pamphlet is one of the usual quack productions, interspersed with quotations
from Scripture - benevolent remarks ; and would lead the simple to believe that its
author does not seek the "filthy lucre" of this world, but does all out of charity. It is
specially designed to bring religious people into the net. It informs us that this
reverend " doctor " has " preached the Gospel to thousands in his time," and would
lead us to believe that he was first induced to enter into this business for the purpose
of making deaf people " capable of hearing the Word." Then, of course, there are the
usual wood-cuts and hard-sounding names which no one but professional men
understand ; and for the success of his system he points to the number of letters
received. And truly these are most wonderful productions. The Rev. E. J. Silverton,
Baptist Minister, quack without diploma, and inventor of the " aural remedy," does not
lay claim to " perform miracles ; " but if some of these cases are not miracles, it is
difficult to say what they are. To cure people of 70 or 90 is a small matter. There is a "
wonderful case of a deaf and dumb child ;" a " remarkable case of a little girl deaf and
dumb;" the cure of a " deaf and dumb boy ;" another " wonderful case in Ireland," in
which " hearing, sight, and speech " were "all restored ; " a case of a person " born
deaf and cured after twenty-five years' deafness ;" and so on.
The grateful air that runs through these letters must be very gratifying to the reverend
gentleman ; and there is no mistaking the pious and religious mien of many of them ;
but there are two or three circumstances connected with these letters which are worthy
of note. Only in two cases are the names and addresses given ; if more were given
they would be of very little use, for the
simple reason that they are dated years back, some of them as far back as 1870, and to
find people after this lapse of time is almost impossible.
Of the two addresses given one is not in this country, and the other is "Joseph W.
Alvey, 64, Cricket Road, Sheffield, dated November 29, 1882," who states - "You can

use this letter if you choose in any way to suit your purpose." If anyone is inquisitive
enough to inquire they will find that the supposed writer is not the address
given. In answer to an inquiry relating to this man Alvey, the Sheffield police write - "
No. 64, Cricket Road is occupied by a man named Daniels, a boot and shoe repairer.
Our officer cannot ascertain anything of the above-named " (Alvey).
We see then the value of these testimonials; but the parson quack is no doubt fully
aware that few people trouble themselves to make inquiries. It is not surprising that
simple-minded people in want of relief are imposed upon by these accounts of such
wonderful cures, and I was not at all astonished to see so many visitors who were "
not faithless, but believing ;" but I impressed upon them the importance of not parting
with any money, unless they received relief, which I felt certain they would not, and I
had the satisfaction of knowing that the lady quack only succeeded in obtaining
money in one case during my stay. The routine in each case was much the same. Each
applicant underwent a sort of examination, and was then told that the remedy would
be supplied on payment of a certain sum of money. But this parson quack is so clever
that he advertises that " a personal consultation is not necessary." He thus knocks into
a " cocked hat" all those professional gentlemen who have spent hundreds of pounds
on their education before obtaining their diplomas. No! the Rev. E. J. Silverton is so
clever that all he requires is "a statement setting forth how long the deafness has
existed, if the ears are mattery or dry, if noises in the ears or head, age, state of health,
&c., &c." What the " &c., &c." is I cannot say, as the Rev. E. J. S., Baptist Minister,
does not inform us; but when the patient has solved the riddle and forwarded it on, the
parson quack will " ascertain the probable cost of treatment;" and, when he has
pocketed the same, he will undertake to cure the sufferer "without operation or pain."
No, the reverend gentleman scorns to use instruments. How nice to sit in our carpet
slippers, write an account of our ailings, draw a cheque, send to the Rev. E. J. S., and
receive a cure per return ! Her Majesty's Government ought to pass a vote of thanks to
the reverend gentleman; for such a method, when it once becomes known, cannot fail
to increase the revenue of the post-office. Fancy the postmen struggling to Ludgate
Circus, the headquarters of this quack family, under piles of letters, and the busy
scene in forwarding the remedies to all parts.
My turn at length came, and I was ushered into the sanctum sanctorum of the female
quack by a stylishly-dressed woman. From the appearance of the room it was quite
evident that effect had been studied. The table was covered with ear trumpets, and the
"aural remedy" was much in evidence. A most fashionably-dressed female, who sat
near the fire, rose on my entrance and in the most silvery tones asked what I required.
Of course something was wrong with one of my ears, and the lady had some difficulty
in making me hear herin fact, the tones of her voice became anything but silvery
before she succeeded. At length she was made to understand, and then I had to
undergo an examination. The lady practitioner took up a small lamp, and, lighting it,
placed a tube which projected from it in my ear. Now, as the Rev. E. J. Silverton is
prepared to cure people without a " personal consultation," I wondered how he was
going to make an examination of this kind through the post, or whether Edison had
found out some wonderful invention by which it could be done by aid of electricity;
but my wondering was brought to an end by the examination being brought to a close,
and the lady shouting at the top of her voice, so as to make me understand that " the
sense of hearing in my right ear was partly destroyed, and that in the other was
entirely gone." I thought it was a bad case, but bad as it was I declined to pay 29s. 6d.
for a four months' course, or even 11s. for immediate remedies, and came away fully
convinced that Miss Silverton was as big a fraud as her father.

Here is a person who professes to make a minute examination or your ear with an
instrument used for that purpose, and by means of that examination pretends to find
out that your ears are diseased - in the same way that she found out the blindness of
Sergeant Harris by means of his blue spectacles - when nothing at all ails them. What,
then, shall we say of these people who profess to work these wonderful cures, and
who, to curry favour with the benevolent and charitable, advertise that "any
clergyman or minister of the Gospel may obtain help for any of his congregation, and
the cost will be made, as far as possible, to suit the circumstances of those for whom
such help is obtained." The Rev. E. J. Silverton is a clergyman. He knows the
influence of ministers of religion with their flocks, and their desire to alleviate
suffering. Their good word, he knows, is better than any advertisement. Therefore it is
not surprising to find him in the character of a quack attempting to make people
believe that he is acting out of pure benevolence. But whether it is out of charity, or
for the gain of "filthy lucre," can anyone say that in the two cases given above the
lady quack was not imposing upon the implied credulity of the detectives? And if she
could not detect the assumed deafness in either of these cases, but rather pretended to
give them the cause, what guarantee is there that she knows anything at all about other
cases for which she prescribes? Immediately after consulting Miss Silverton, Sergeant
Harris and myself were examined by Dr. Wm. Heslop, the police-surgeon, who could
find nothing ailing our hearing, and nothing the matter with Harris's eyes or his throat,
which this lady had stated would both be affected by the disease of his ears.


EVERY one possessed of a moderate stock of worldly wisdom ought to be a little
cautious in making known his wants through the medium of an advertisement. There
is no possible harm in advertising and often great good. Your requirements may be
stated concisely, modestly, and what is not always the case, grammatically. You may
fully intend to deal conscientiously with those who respond to your appeal. Nothing
can seem more natural or reasonable. Yet it is not the less true that the very fact of
publishing your wants, particularly if you descend into details, places you at a
disadvantage and lays you open to imposition. Say you advertise for a serious
gamekeeper; for a lady's maid who prefers the country to the town; or for quiet
apartments in some part of the town. There is no objection to your endeavouring to
secure any of these, and patient inquiry may in process of time obtain for you what
you want. But a public announcement places you at the mercy of the evil-disposed.
You have proclaimed your weak points and will probably have to suffer for it. Your
serious gamekeeper may turn out to be a convicted poacher, who, having been
carefully taught to write at the County Gaol, has turned his accomplishments to
account by forging the unctuous testimonials that induced you to secure his services.
Your lady's maid so weary of town life, and pining for country air, is possibly a young
person summarily turned out of doors for improper behaviour by her virtuous
employer, who tempered justice with mercy by presenting her with a very excellent
character. Your apartments are perhaps as quiet as can be expected, but an amateur
photographer fills the house with an abominable smell of collodion; whilst a

gentleman of unsound mind, said to be harmless, is taken care of on the floor above,
and makes grimaces at you every time he meets you on the stairs.
There is one branch of advertisingthe "money wanted" branchwhich at first
sight seems tolerably plain sailing, and free from the perils and hindrances just
glanced at. An unsuccessful business man, or a gentleman of slender income,
advertises for money, and seems to be on pretty safe ground. Money is money. Be it
gold or silver, it does not greatly matter ; there are ways and means of dealing with it,
if the lenders will only come down handsome.
At all events, so thought two worthies who came to Manchester in March, 1886. They
boldly launched an advertisement into half-a-dozen respectable papers, avoiding that
portion which circulates among the working class, on account of their aristocratic
taste, which shrank from everything low. That advertisement! What labour it cost the
worthy men! A score of abortive attempts were made before the correct form was hit
off. Finally, the advertisement went to press - "Money, 25. A gentleman requires this
amount for a month. Will give 5 interest and deposit his railway bond for 200.
Strictly private."
These two men, named respectively Samuel Bush and Thomas Holliday, arrived in
Manchester from Liverpool on the 24th of March, 1886, Holliday taking up his
quarters with an engineer in Molyneux Street, Stockport Road, whilst Bush stayed at a
beerhouse in Great Ducie Street. Although Bush had resided in Liverpool for 15
years, little appears to have been known of his antecedents. Holliday formerly lived at
Stoke Newington, where he described himself as a merchant and financial agent. He
went to Liverpool about 1879 ; and subsequently carried on business at 2, Billiter
Street, in the city of London. Here he is said to have had a partner, who represented
himself to be the owner of a sugar plantation, and who promised to introduce 500
into the business, which promise, however, he seemed to have forgotten. The only
trade the two appear to have done was to order a quantity of goods from a firm in
Birmingham. These they shipped to Italy, and having received the proceeds forgot to
pay the Birmingham people. The business was then closed, Holliday having first
contrived to discount a bill for 122, which afterwards turned out to be worthless, and
as he was being pressed for payment of the rent and taxes of the offices, and a
judgment was obtained against him for 5 owing to his tailor, he once more made his
way to Liverpool, leaving a balance of 17s. 6d. in the hands of his bankers for the
benefit of his creditors. He then commenced business as an endorser of bills of
exchange for various persons on commission, and got possession of some Kansas
Railway bonds which had been originally issued in 1880 or 1881 in respect of
railroads to which they referred. But such railroads never having been made, in
consequence of a concession only of the land over which they were to pass having
been obtained, the scheme had long since dropped and the bonds had become waste
These bonds had their coupons attached, and were supplied from London for the
purpose of " padding " or adding to the assets of insolvent firms and others, a large
amount of nominal value being sold for very small sums, the purchaser taking all the
responsibility in connection with them. The bonds of which Holliday became
possessed were of the nominal value of 1,000 dollars with half-yearly coupons at the
rate of six per cent attached, and it appears that he was to have paid 25s. each for them
; but his memory once more played him false, and the seller never got his money.
Having obtained possession of these bonds, Holliday handed them to Bush for the
purpose of representing them to be of substantial value, and pledging them for loans
which it was never intended to repay. On the llth November, 1885, they began

operations in Liverpool by inserting an advertisement in the Liverpool newspapers for

a loan of 25 for a month, 4 interest to be given, and a preference share, value 200,
lodged as security. As such substantial security was to be left in the hands of the
lenders, the borrowers of course required references. The first victim who answered
the advertisement was waited upon by Bush, who gave the name of Birch, and after
mentioning several of the victim's friends with whom he said he was intimate, Bush
produced a worthless mortgage bond of the Iowa Pacific Railroad Company for 200,
to be redeemed on 1st January, 1894, interest to be paid half-yearly, at the rate of 7 per
cent per annum, the coupons for which were attached. He intimated that he was hard
up for money to pay his taxes, and that he owned property and could have the money
for asking, but that he did not wish to trouble his friends. On the victim expressing
doubts about the genuineness of the bond, Bush, like a business man, pointed to the
coupons which had yet to be paid, each worth 7, those which had been paid having
been cut off. It was hardly likely, he added, that he would leave a bond worth 200,
with a number of 7 coupons attached, in any person's hands for a paltry 25 without
redeeming it. In fact, so well did he play his cards, that he got the 25 in exchange for
his bond, but he forgot to return " in a few days " as he promised, to redeem it. The
victim wrote to the address he had given him, and the letter was returned. On making
further inquiries, he found that the railway had been defunct years ago, and he did not
see Mr. Bush again until the latter was in custody.
About three weeks later Bush waited upon another gentleman who had answered the
same advertisement, and, on being asked what security he intended to offer for the
25, produced a six per cent 30 years' first mortgage bond of the Kansas Central and
South Western Railroad Company for 1,000 dollars. He again gave the name of "
Birch " and the gentleman took the name of the railway company and made some
inquiries, but learned nothing definite respecting it. At the beginning of December
Bush again called upon him, and after some conversation the gentleman agreed to let
him have 8 on the bond, for which he also gave him an I. O. U. The lender then
instituted some further inquiries, the result being that he wrote Mr. Bush to say he
could not advance him any more money on the bond; but he might have saved himself
this trouble as the letter was returned and the borrower was not to be found.
Bush next visited a master mariner who had answered the advertisement, and
produced a convertible bond of the American Fire Proof Warehouse Company for
1,000 dollars to be redeemed on the 10th of November, 1909, bearing interest at the
rate of 7 per cent up to that date. As the bond, to the eyes of the master mariner,
seemed perfectly genuine he advanced the sum of 7 upon it, and two or three days
afterwards let Bush have another sovereign. On the following day Bush introduced to
the mariner a friend who asked him to discount a bill; but this he declined to do and
the two did not meet again.
Bush afterwards operated upon a house painter, who had also answered the
advertisement, and producing as security another bond of the Kansas Central and
South Western Railway Company, asked for the loan of 6, which was to be repaid in
14 days.
The painter, thinking the bond genuine, advanced the money at once; but as usual the
borrower forgot to fulfil his promise and did not put in an appearance afterwards, but
with Holliday commenced the tricky work in Manchester. Their first attempt here was
a failure. To a commercial traveller who replied to the advertisement Bush represented
himself as a Scotch draper, and for a loan of 30 offered to deposit a mortgage bond
of the Kansas Central and South Western Railway Company, and also to draw a bill
for the amount. The traveller, however, was not so easily deceived. He declined to

advance the money without making inquiries and arranged to meet Bush at the
Clarence Hotel the next day.
The result of his inquiries was not satisfactory, and he wrote asking the advertiser to
meet him next morning at eleven o'clock at the above named hotel. Wisely coming to
the conclusion that it was useless to trouble the traveller further, Bush replied : " Have
arranged for what I want; sorry to have troubled you;" and forthwith proceeded to
practice more successfully upon a warehouseman who had, in like manner, answered
the Manchester advertisement.
Having produced one of the usual worthless bonds with " six per cent coupons
attached due every half-year, payable in London," and represented himself as a Scotch
draper residing in Molyneux Street, Bush extracted 2 from the pocket of the
warehouseman, the remainder of the loan wanted to be paid on the Monday evening
following. It was then Saturday, and on Monday the warehouseman went to Molyneux
Street and found that Bush did not live there ; nor did he carry on the business of a
Scotch draper. He then became suspicious and went to a stock and sharebroker, who
informed him that the bond was worthless.
The daring proceedings of these two rogues had now come under my observation, and
as Bush did not turn up as arranged at the warehouseman's house for the balance on
the Monday evening, we waited until the following morning, when a letter arrived
from him making an appointment at an office in town, asking the warehouseman to
bring the bond with him, and expressing sorrow that he had given him the trouble of
calling at Molyneux Street without finding him there, adding, "I took too much of
your medicine (whisky), which made me ill."
I accompanied the warehouseman to the address given and apprehended Bush. On
asking him to account for the possession of the bond, he said he had dealt in stocks
arid had received it from Holliday, to whom he had to pay 5, and who was then
waiting at the Thatched House Hotel. I failed, however, to find Holliday there, but
later on captured him at the end of Callender Street, Stockport Road. At the Detective
Office he gave me the name of the person from whom he had obtained the bonds in
London, but declined to say what he had paid for them. At his house I found, relating
to the bonds, a quantity of correspondence with the person who supplied them from
London, clearly proving that Holliday knew them to be of no value whatever.
The two prisoners were committed for trial at the Liverpool Assizes and found guilty.
Bush was sentenced on the 21st of May, 1886, by Mr. Justice Grantham, to eighteen
months' and Holliday to twelve months' imprisonment, each with hard labour.
In order to let the unsuspecting public know how the traffic in worthless bonds of this
character is conducted, I append some of the correspondence which took place
between Bush and the person in London, from whom he purchased the bonds, the
possession of which enabled the frauds to be so successfully carried on for a
considerable time.
"March 9th, 1886.
" London. " Dear Sir,
" I know nothing of the Kansas document, and sell them with all faults and take no
responsibility of any kind. I don't know anything of the documents you mention on
your printed memo.
" I was not at business yesterday or should have written. I don't care to send nominal
priced things ' on sale or return ;' but if you will send me 35s. I will send you one
bond, and you need not have any more unless you like.

" I have about 30 shares of the ' Pantographic Voltaique' (new issue), 20 shares. I will
take 1 per share for them; but again I take no responsibility. They are a very goodlooking share, and may answer your purpose.
" I have a very large quantity120,000 nominal valueof American bonds; but I
want 7 per cent (seven and a half per cent) at least for these. There is a dispute
between the mortgagees of the bonds and the trustees, and therefore the bonds can be
bought cheap. Perhaps these would suit your friend for a large operation.
" If you will send me 53s. per return I will send you one Iowa and one Pantographic.
" Yours truly,
S. W. M. "J. Holliday, Esq.
" P.S.Could your friend among his connections place 300,000 of 6 per cent first
mortgage American railway bonds of a line of which 50 miles are built and 50 are to
be constructed. These bonds can be had at 95, and will be redeemed at 110. The
com. is 2 per cent, which I shall be glad to divide. If your friend has 200 or 300
clients I think he could easily arrange this matter, and it would be a good thing for
himself and his clients.
"The trustees for the debenture holders are the 'Loaut Hush Co.,' of New York, and
this fact is a sufficient guarantee of the bona fide and high-class character of the
"S. W. M."
"March 13th, 1886.
"London. " Dear Sir,
" Yours of yesterday to hand and contents noted. Will you buy the 30 Pantographics in
a lump sum for 30? The bonds I want 7 per cent for are those of the ' Indiana Coal
and Railway Co.,' of which I have spoken to you before; but it is no use going into
this unless you can do the whole 120,000 on terms to be arranged. I could, I think,
influence a transaction to be made if you could manage say one-third cash and twothirds fairly good bills.
" The new bonds I am asked to place are those of the ' Iowa and North-Western
Railway," of which line, as I mentioned, 50 miles are already made and running, and
earning good results, and 50 miles have to be constructed to complete the 100 miles,
when the net earnings will pay over double the amount required for the interest on the
" Of course I don't want you or your friends to bring either of these matters - whether
directly or indirectly - to London, as I know as well as you do all the channels here,
and it would be simply a waste of time and trouble on your part to do so.
" The Indiana bonds will do well for ' padding;' and if there are any firms who want to
add 120,000 to their assets for a small sum in cash and rest for acceptance, and could
combine for this purpose, this is a good chance for them.
" In reference to the ' Iowa and North-Western' bonds, these are a splendid security.
The line passes through one of the best and richest districts in the States, and as it is
really a genuine and bond fide first class security, it is well worth the serious attention
of investors, who would receive about 6 per cent for their money, and a premium of
15 per cent on the investment.
" Can you place, privately, one thousand 10 ten per cent preferred shares in a
Spanish Copper Co. ? The property lies between the 'Rio Tinto' and the ' Tharsis,' and
will be a great success. You are of course aware that copper has advanced recently
about 5 per ton, and is still advancing; and the general impression is that the next

great ' boom' will be in copper, and will exceed that of the recent furore in Indian
Gold Mines.
" Yours truly,
" S. W. M..
" J. Holliday, Esq."
"March 15th, 1886.
" Dear Sir,I will write you re Kansas and Iowa to-morrow. The Pantographics are in
each daily Paris official list, but the price is not quoted; it simply states ' 500 frs,
Pantographics Voltaique. Gx 9 Coupons.'
" I will try and get you an official list to-morrow and send it. I know nothing about
these shares, and make no representation and take no responsbility. Of course if 800
nominal value is sold for 20, the buyer must take the risk ; but as I said before the
shares are good-looking ones, and I should think would answer your purpose.Yours
."J. Holliday."
'S. W. M-


DURING the summer of 1887, the jubilee year of Her Majesty, Queen Victoria,
England was visited by a very large number of American and Continental thieves,
many of whom made their way to Manchester, attracted thither by the Exhibition.
These "gentlemen" not only plied their trade at Old Trafford, but at the various banks
and hotels in the city.
On the 19th July, 1887, I was in the Detective Office, when a cashier from the
Manchester and Liverpool District Bank came in and related a very suspicious
circumstance that had just taken place at that establishment. He stated that while a
depositor was engaged in filling up a deposit note, having a large amount of money in
gold, notes, and cheques on the counter before him, he was addressed by a stranger,
who seemed to be busily engaged in filling up a paying-in form on his left. On turning
his head to see what the man required, he noticed another individual, who was
standing on his right, extract a fifty pound note from the money on the counter and
leave a five pound note in its place.
" Here," said the depositor, " you have got the wrong note; you have picked up one of
" Oh ! " was the speedy reply, " I beg your pardon. Where shall I get change for this
The answer, the apology, and the inquiry, came so quickly and naturally, that the
depositor thought that some mistake might possibly have been made, and took no
further notice then of the matter. He went to the pay-in counter, and to the clerk there
engaged related his adventure.

As the two men - one of whom was still busy pretending to fill in a form - appeared to
be strangers, the clerk's suspicion was aroused, and he quietly communicated with the
manager, who ordered the information to be at once conveyed to the Detective Office.
As the Exhibition and the Summer Assizes were both proceeding at the time, the
Detective Office was left very bare of officersin fact I was the only one available,
having been left at headquarters by the Chief Constable.
I saw, however, that the chance was too good to let slip, so I accompanied the
gentleman on whom the attempt had been made to endeavour to find the two men.
The first bank to which we went was the Manchester and Liverpool District Branch
Bank in King Street, but the suspect was not there, so we called at the Manchester and
County Bank in the same street. As we entered the porch I noticed a man with a
lighted cigar in his fingers. He appeared to be paying about as much attention to an
examination of the swing door as a cat generally does to a mouse-hole.
" Ah ! " thought I, " the stop immediately ! " The duty of this gentleman when his
confederate has succeeded in effecting a robbery inside the bank, and got through the
door, was to take the handle in his hand, and, under the pretence of passing through,
to block the progress of anyone who might attempt to follow.
These bank thieves are also provided with large envelopes, ready directed, so that, if
any alarm is given, after they succeed in getting outside with the plunder they put the
notes into the envelopes and post them at the earliest opportunity. By this means, if
they are apprehended, nothing is found upon them, and thus their identity is difficult
to prove. Consequently great precaution is necessary lest there might be an action for
illegal arrest.
On seeing this well-dressed individual paying such attention to the door, I turned to
the gentleman who was with me and asked him as he passed through the door to take
a good look at the man for the purpose of identifying him. He, however, failed to
recognise him as one of the men who had been to the Manchester and Liverpool
District Bank. So we went into the bank.
Amongst the crowd I noticed two men who were looking about without, apparently,
having any legitimate business. The gentleman failed, however, to recognise either of
them. I watched them leave the bank and go along King Street separately. I directed,
the gentleman who accompanied me to look through the glass panel of a door, and he
then thought one of them was the person who had picked up his note; but as I had the
greatest difficulty in keeping him out of sight, I was at length compelled to let him go
and use my own discretion.
I followed and saw that the three men were working in concert. They visited several
banks, including the Joint Stock Bank, The Consolidated, the Lancashire and
Yorkshire, Brooks's, the Manchester and County, and ultimately the Bank of England.
One went into the bank, and as a police officer turned the corner of Pall Mall at that
moment, I took hold of one of the others and handed him over to the officer. I then
followed his companion into the bank, and as he was leaving I took him into custody,
when he at once began to dispute the arrest by a display of physical force, which had
to be subdued. After conveying the two to the Detective Office I went in search of
their companion, but he had disappeared and was nowhere to be found. I then went to
the Queen's Hotel, and found that they had been staying there for a few days, having
arrived late one evening, as they said, from London.
One of the people connected with the hotel identified them, but they refused to give
any account of themselves, and we were unable to make anything out of their
antecedents. Their claim, however, to see the American Consul was loud and

persistent. This gentleman was quite deceived by them, and up to their trial he
expressed himself as believing them to be respectable people.
At this point, a very unfortunate circumstance for the accused turned up. We began to
trace to these " respectable " American citizens, a robbery of 140 from the counter of
a bank in Liverpool, accomplished much in the same manner as the attempt made in
the case of the Manchester Bank. The gentleman who had been robbed, however, was
not quite sure as to the identification of the men, so as a little bounce I let it fall that I
had some knowledge of the Liverpool robbery, which seemed to make them very
Then complaints reached us of a similar bank robbery in London, and as the prisoners
were told that they answered the description given, and that someone would shortly be
over to identify them, it did not tend to make them more comfortable.
Ultimately they were committed by the Stipendary Magistrate for trial at the Sessions,
where one was sentenced to eight, and the other to nine months' imprisonment.
When taken into custody and searched, a considerable sum of money was found in the
possession of each of these men, and sewn in the seam of the trousers worn by one,
was a 50 note. Trace was afterwards obtained of the luggage of these gentlemen, and
in a leather dressing case was found about 90 in notes, folded up and pushed in with
a brush, a number of new gold watches and chains, a number of diamond studs, all
kinds of jewellery, and a full set of watchmaker's implements, together with a set of
burglars' tools for opening safes, including alderman, punches, wedges, lead caps (to
prevent sound when working at a safe), drills, &c. There were also three revolvers,
and a box of cartridges. The jewellery was no doubt the proceeds of some safe
robbery. The money was handed over to the solicitor for the defence, but the rest of
the articles were detained, though many claims were made through him for the
property. Whilst they were in prison, however, a photograph of each was sent to the
United States, and the following record of crime was returned :
George Goodwin alias William Stetson, Bill Snow, Bill Howard, and Bill the Brute,
Trade Estate Agent; address refused. 1880, Hoboken, Jersey, U.S.A., Post-Office
robbery, did not surrender to bail; 1881, Philadelphia, robbery, 3 years' imprisonment;
1887, August 7th, Manchester Sessions, 9 months.
William Brown, alias Roberts, Watson, Wylie's Kid, Big Bill, Commercial Traveller;
address refused. 1880, New York : burglary, 6 months; 1882, burglary, acquitted;
1885, robbery, 2 years. August 7th, 1887, Manchester Sessions, 8 months.
After a time the American Consul was changed in Manchester, and several requests
were made through him for the burglars' tools, and other property in the possession of
the police ; but this novel claim was not successful.
The foregoing illustration represents some of the tools - out of a large quantity - found
in a portmanteau, the property of the prisoners. These tools I found at the left luggage
office, in Liverpool Street Railway Station, London.


THOMAS McMURROUGH PATRICK KAVANAGH was a young gentleman of faith

and credit. That is to say, he had unbounded faith in his personal attractions, and
unlimited credit with his tailor. Fortunate had it been for him had he served an
apprenticeship with the said tailor, for he would then probably have learnt the
economical art of " cutting his coat according to his cloth ;" whereas, the extravagant
habits of juvenility had left him rather " out at elbows" in the matter of his private
fortune. To repair his pecuniary losses he had come to the resolution of opening a
suite of offices in one of the principal chambers of Manchester, ostensibly for the
purpose of carrying on his profession as a barrister-at-law ; but as his fees were few
and far between, the gentleman with the big and aristocratic name began to look
round for some other means of replenishing his coffers.
Thomas was an agreeable and pleasant sort of person. He had a fluent tongue, and a
smiling, laughing, chatty way about him that was very attractive ; besides which he
was a cunning fellow, and could give anyone who made his acquaintance a world of
trouble before they had done with him. Besides, Thomas was acquainted with a lot of
kindred spirits, under the name of " University loungers," and it is a puzzle to a good
many to understand how these individuals live. These gentlemen do nothing whatever,
for nobody will have anything to do with them, and finding themselves thrown off by
the world in turn, kith and kin, they objure kith and kin, having first objured
themselves, and connect themselves with a set of persons who, like themselves
disgusted and annoyed with the crushing and squeezing, and the difficulty of keeping
their places in society have withdrawn from its pressure to hover on its skirts, and
to contemplate with philosophic eye the vain and anxious turmoil from which they
have retired. Heaven knows how they live. It is a mystery. But a still greater mystery
is where they live. It is in some strange out-of-the-way purlieus of the city. If you
endeavour to trace them to their quarters, the turnings arid windings and doublings
through narrow alleys and tortuous passages are sure to throw you out in the long run,
and baffle all attempts to see them fairly kennelled. We have said they do nothing.
This is true of them generally; but they pick up a trifle now arid then by teaching
roguery to small swindling bankrupts, whom they put in the way of " doing " their
creditors. Nevertheless, they are barristers, members of a learned profession, educated
gentlemen in fact, who are capable, no doubt, if they only got the chance, of earning
lots of money.
Mr. Thomas McMurrough Patrick Kavanagh was not slow to notice all the endless
artifices and ingenuities of advertisers in their perpetual efforts to place themselves in
one way or other before the eyes of their fellow-citizens. Nor did he overlook the
instances of statesmen, ministers, senators, generals, admirals, players, authors,
painters, and musicians, and the pranks of the smaller fry of " public men with public
lives," all willing to lend their names to any scheme for the sake of popularity.
Thomas knew enough of the world, too, to be aware that there were many little frogs
of society who were ambitious to blow themselves up into the size and proportion of
its oxen. After taking counsel with the " kindred spirits " mentioned, it was announced
that a valuable patent of a fire extinguisher had been secured by a gentleman, who had
entrusted the eminent and learned Thomas McMurrough Patrick Kavanagh with the
formation of a limited liability company for the working of the said patent. Of course,
Thomas was not slow to get to work in his client's interest, and a very promising and
seductive prospectus soon made its appearance, bearing a large number of names,
amongst which were many of the "kindred spirits " who might plead with Falstaff that
they did not " labour in their vocation."

Orders were sent out right and left; canisters were ordered from the tinman; bottles
from the glass-works; chemicals from the chemist; and printing in profusion was
supplied to carry on the business. Nor did the industrious Mr. Kavanagh forget in his
prosperity to patronise tradesmen who were eager to come under the notice of such a
rising and promising young man. Wiries, cigars, furniture, hosiery, hats, shoes,
clothes, jewellery, and even ladies' wearing apparel were ordered with a profusion that
must have gladdened the hearts of the delighted vendors. Even the money-lenders
were not overlooked, and one of them, an old ex-London police officer, was induced
to part with his well-earned cash on the security of some of the canisters, containing a
little chemical matter mixed freely with water. Many a weary and hopeless call,
however, did the " promoters" make in their attempt to get the money out of him.
Complaints at last began to reach the Manchester Detective Office, and as one of the
tradesmen, unfortunately for Mr. Kavanagh, was not to be trifled with, a warrant was
applied for. The wily barrister was forthwith arrested, and sentenced at the
Manchester City Sessions, on December 10th, 1879, to five calendar months'
imprisonment for obtaining money by false pretences.
On his discharge it was not long before he was again exercising his talents. Entering a
jeweller's shop in Oxford Street, Manchester, Kavanagh produced a small shell, which
he said he prized exceedingly, not so much on account of its value, but because it was
the gift of a dear departed friend. He wished it to be set in gold, but as the jeweller
had no patterns which suited him, he left the shell and promised to call in a day or two
with a design which he said he would have specially drawn. With this design he
subsequently presented himself, and giving very particular directions as to the manner
in which the work was to be carried out, and as to the fine, gold of which it was to be
composed, selected a very fine cameo pin, which he was to pay for when he called for
his shell. His memory, however, failed him this time and he did not return, but left the
worthless shell with its valuable mounting on the hands of the credulous jeweller,
while as a set off against the value of the shell, he pledged the cameo pin and then
sold the pawn ticket. As this was rather a profitable method of carrying on business,
he gave the advantage of his discovery to many other tradesmen, who were soon in
hot " hue and cry " after the genial barrister.
One day this versatile gentleman noticed in a newspaper a paragraph notifying the
death of a butcher in a large way of business, and the event appeared to offer an
opportunity of doing a little trade on his own behalf. He waited upon the disconsolate
widow, and after lamenting with her on the death of her dearly beloved husband, as a
means of consoling her promised to give her his trade, and to show her that he was in
earnest, there and then ordered four pounds of rump steak and a leg of mutton, which
were immediately sent to his house. The lad in charge of the meat, not happening to
know exactly the situation of the house, inquired from a lady who lived opposite.
Now ladies are not proverbial for their reticence, and as a gentleman like our versatile
barrister is not a very pleasant companion in a respectable neighbourhood, and as no
doubt the lady had some twinges of conscience as to how far she might be an
accessory to the swindle for by some unaccountable means ladies generally get to
know all that is passing in their immediate neighbourhood - if she did not speak out,
told the lad that if he left the meat it would probably never be paid for. A writ was at
once served on her husband claiming damages for slander, and an apology and costs
were at once forthcoming.
Whilst our barrister was engaged in this process of utilising his neighbour's pocket as
a gold mine, he met one day in the anteroom of a solicitor's office a clerk who
introduced him to a Jew. The solicitor, whose name was Oram, who was afterwards

convicted in the Arson case, of which I have given a history elsewhere, had a
connection amongst money lenders and doubtful characters of all kinds. The Jew was
a jeweller, and kept a seedy-looking shop in Salford, where he also carried on
business .as a cigar dealer. The Jew, having an eye to business, imagined he saw in the
barrister a good customer, and prevailed upon him to take a gold watch and other
jewellery on approbation. The articles, however, were not returned; nor was the
money paid. After being kept running about for some time from place to place, the
Jew came to me and explained the circumstances.
I took him to the City Police Court, where a warrant was obtained, and we went in
search of the barrister arid his friend, the solicitor's clerk. We found the latter
comfortably seated in the
bar parlour of the " Clock Face," or " Scotch Vaults," in Deansgate. This house has a
long passage at the back, along which only one person can pass at a time. As the clerk
had had some drink, he began to dispute his arrest. He became violent, and a struggle
took place. Whilst I was dragging him along in front, the Jew in the rear converted his
umbrella into a kind of crowbar, with which he gave him a few gentle touches on the
leverage principle. By this means we got the prisoner into the street, where I handed
him over to a uniform officer. As the officer took him away, I saw the clerk drop
something, which a street arab picked up and made off with. I gave chase to the
youngster, whose sympathies were no doubt with the criminal, and on overtaking him
I found that I had obtained a very valuable piece of documentary evidence, which was
conclusive in proving that there was a conspiracy to defraud various tradesmen
between the prisoner and the barrister.
We then went to the office of Oram and asked for that gentleman. Whilst I was
waiting I heard someone talking in an adjoining room. Without hesitation I opened the
door, and there found no less a person than Thomas McMurrough Patrick Kavanagh
in private conference with a lady, a solicitor, a clerk, and a gentleman friend. I told
him that I had come to take him into custody, arid the lady at once got up to go away.
I put a stop to this proceeding by forcing her into a chair, and as this act was
challenged by Mr. Kavanagh I repeated the proceeding upon him. I then commenced
to search Kavanagh, and whilst doing so observed him pass something to Oram's
clerk, who had followed us into the room. This, which I had to take from him by
force, proved to be a 5 note, and as things were beginning to look serious, I got the
Jew to bring an officer while I kept Kavanagh, his lady friend, and the other two in
the office. The lady protested over and over again that she had nothing upon her, but
when we got to the Police Station the female searcher found upon her a gold watch
and chain, which were identified by the Jew as part of the property. The note was
stamped with the name of a person in the neighbourhood, from whom I learned that
about an hour before he had advanced it on the security of another article of value.
One clue led to another, and I soon discovered that articles too numerous to mention
had been obtained by fraud and conspiracy by these three persons from various
tradesmen. There were bedsteads, mattresses, shoes, collars, vests, trousers, rings,
watches, chains, gloves, collarettes, muffs, overcoats, &c. At length after a number of
hearings at the Police Court, I succeeded in getting the prisoners committed for trial at
the Manchester Sessions, and at twelve o'clock on Saturday, the 10th of February,
1881, they were found guilty of obtaining goods by false pretences, and of conspiring
to defraud. Kavanagh was sentenced to five years' penal servitude, and the other two
prisoners to twelve calendar months' imprisonment, each with hard labour. Kavanagh
at this time was thirty-six years of age.

Almost the whole of the property which the prisoners had fraudulently obtained was
recovered, including the Jew's jewellery.
After Kavanagh's release, and whilst he was at liberty on ticket-of-leave in London,
he was again arrested, and I appeared against him at the Central Criminal Court.
Kavanagh conducted his own defence, and a spirited passage of arms took place
between him and Mr. Montague Williams, Q.C., now one of the best of the
Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrates, who was then counsel for the prosecution. Mr.
Williams was suffering very severely from the complaint which afterwards led to his
retirement from the Bar, and as Kavanagh charged him with " hardly couching his
language in truth," it aroused all the old fire in the eminent barrister, and the result
was a very successful address to the jury.
Kavanagh was again found guilty and sentenced by the Common Sergeant to five
years' penal servitude, but he died in Chatham Convict Prison in May, 1890, before
his term had been completed.
His lady friend died in prison soon after her conviction, and I was instrumental in
sending out to their father in Australia her two children, a boy and a girl. The woman
had been separated from her husband by the gee-gaw attractions of this educated and
dangerous scoundrel.


IN March, 1884, Mr. J---- R---, a Cheshire farmer, was returning from the market
when he was accosted in Market Street, Manchester, by a man who made some
inquiries respecting a Stretford train. After answering these the man invited him to
have a drink, after which they went into a public house, where they were joined by a
third man. In the course of conversation the farmer happened to mention the part of
Cheshire to which he belonged, when the last comer said that his father had lately
died and left a large amount of money, 400 of which was to be distributed among the
poor and needy of Cheshire. He proposed to give to each of his companions 200 to
distribute, with 20 each for their trouble, on condition that they each provided
securities to show that they were worth this amount. R , no doubt exhilarated at
the idea of being of such service to his poorer brethren, besides having the chance of
earning the bounty, accepted the offer, as also did his first acquaintance, and it was
arranged that they would meet the following day at a public house in the
neighbourhood of Oxford Road, and there produce the securities.
They assembled at the appointed time, when R 's first acquaintance showed his
securities to the stranger, and these proving satisfactory, R produced his own,
consisting of two 100 Bank of England notes, which had been deposited in an
envelope. Whilst the stranger was taking the notes from the envelopes to examine
them, R 's first acquaintance took off his hat, as if to wipe the perspiration from
his brow, but held it in such a mariner before R 's face that he could not see
what the stranger was doing. The latter, however, was busy transferring the notes from
R 's envelope to his own pocket book, and having substituted two leaves of a
penny " Bradshaw's Railway Guide," returned the envelope to R . The

countryman now turned aside to examine the envelope arid see that his notes were
right, and whilst thus engaged the two " sharpers " made off, and getting into a
passing hansom were soon lost to sight.
One of the notes a few minutes afterwards found its way into the Bank of England,
where it was cashed for notes and gold, and a description of the men, with the
numbers of the notes, was immediately put into circulation.
The description of one of the men, who wore a long beard and had signed his name on
the back of the cashed note as " Henry Johnson," resembled that of a man I had
previously arrested along with another for " ringing the changes," for which offence
they had each been sentenced to nine months' imprisonment. On his release he had
signed his name " Henry Johnson" in the police book, on receiving back the property
taken from him on his arrest. Comparing the signature with that on the back of the
note, I found the two to be in the same handwriting. My next task was to search for "
Johnson;" but although his usual haunts were watched, no clue to his whereabouts
could be found. I managed, however, to trace some of the notes, one having been
cashed at a London tradesman's for a suit of clothes, and shortly afterwards the other
100 note was traced through the bank to a cafe keeper in Boulogne, who was a wellknown " fence," or receiver of stolen property, and whose house was frequented by
English and French railway and steamboat thieves. Some time later than this I saw "
Johnson " in Manchester, but his whiskers, which had previously been about twelve
inches long, giving him a very gentleman-like appearance, had been shaved off. This
made such a difference in his looks that I was rather amazed, and was afraid that if I
took him then there would be some difficulty in getting him identified. I therefore
determined to keep my eye upon him, waiting until his beard had grown again.
In the meantime I interviewed the farmer, the cashier at the bank who had cashed the
note, the barmaid of the public house, and two other persons who had seen the three
men together. I found that the case was too strong even for this London "sharp" to set
up an alibi.
One evening about half-past five, after resolving to arrest " Johnson," I was passing
along Oak Street, and, nearing the Old Fleece Inn, a house noted as the haunt of
thieves, I noticed that a fight was taking place outside, arising, no .doubt, out ot one of
the usual " allocations" of its frequenters. As soon as I was noticed a general stampede
took place, and Mr. " Johnson" and another flew up the street as fast as their legs
could carry them. I gave chase and coming up alongside "Johnson" took hold of him.
We walked along together for a short distance, when he suddenly turned round at the
corner of a narrow street, and having given me a violent blow which made me reel,
took once more to his heels. I managed, however, to keep my feet, and again coming
up with him, seized him by the neck and dragged him into a cheese factor's shop,
where I detained him until I received assistance. He was then removed to the
Detective Office.
When the witnesses were taken to identify him, he tried every means in his power to
deceive them; first putting on a muffler, then taking it off, putting on and taking off
his overcoat, changing his hat, etc. But it was all useless. He was clearly identified,
committed for trial at the Assizes, found guilty, and sentenced to ten years' penal
As for the old farmer - who made a practice of hiding his money in the chimney for
fear of thieves, not daring to trust it to banks lest they might fail - nothing grieved him
so much as to think he had taken 200 out of his hoard to entrust it to such a rogue as
" Johnson."


IN 1882 I was instructed by the Chief Constable of Manchester to investigate a
lottery, for which several shopkeepers in the city were in defiance of the law selling
tickets. The ramifications of the scheme extended throughout the country. I first
visited a tobacconist's shop, in Stretford Road, in the window of which was displayed
a small placard bearing the figure of a racehorse in full gallop with a jockey on its
back. Underneath was printed the following tempting morsel:
"'The West-End Investigator,'issued weekly. Sold within. Every sportsman should buy
one. Every issue contains something really good. We are in form. Apply early to
prevent disappointment. Price only sixpence."
On purchasing one of these " investments " I found that it was a small octavo leaflet
of four pages, printed on pink paper, containing the entry of one of the handicaps,
with a tip, giving the first, second, and third horses for the race, and signed " The
Jockey." Besides this information was a number, with an address of the Chief Office
at Boulogne-sur-Mer; but no printer's or publisher's name, or other address, appeared.
I ascertained that the number on the " Investigator " related to a lottery which
professed to offer substantial prizes to those who purchased the publication, each
copy purporting to bear a winning number in the " draw." It was further set forth
that, on a certain day after each race, a "tissue" was sent out giving what were
represented as the winning numbers for prizes, ranging in value from 100 to 2s. 6d.
I caused tickets to be purchased from the agents in Manchester, five in number, and
then obtained warrants against these agents for " knowingly suffering a lottery to be
kept open and exercised in a certain place," &c. The most important object,
however, was to reach the principals in the transaction. This task was attended with
some difficulty, owing to the absence of any name or address; but after searching the
premises of the agents, I gathered information which induced me to visit No. 9,
Graham Street, Toxteth Park, Liverpool. This I found to be an unoccupied house,
and as
I could not learn anything respecting the former tenants, I determined to explore the
premises myself.
Climbing over the yard wall, with a hammer and chisel I forced the back door off its
hinges, and found that the place was absolutely empty, with the exception of a solitary
table that stood near the window. In the front door was a hole through which letters
were pushed on to the floor, the number arriving being so large that a letter-box had to
be dispensed with.
Without further ceremony I decided to take up my quarters in the empty house, and to
secure possession of all the letters that arrived. Those which contained valuables I
retained, and those I thought unimportant i threw again upon the floor, as if they had
fallen through the slit in the door.
About noon on the third day a man opened the front door quickly, packed up the
letters lying on the floor, and made them up into a parcel which he tied round with
string. As he was about to leave I rushed out of my hiding-place and seized him.
"What brings you here?" I demanded. The suddenness of my appearance startled him
to such a degree that he seemed paralysed with fear, and for a time was unable to

speak. I thought he was going to faint. But at last, in reply to my question, he gave me
a name and address, both of which proved to be false.
" What are you going to do with those letters?" I asked.
"I work for a man whose name and address I do not know," said he.
"Where, then, are you going to take those letters?" I inquired.
" I have to meet him at the Edge Hill Railway Station at 2 p.m. He always comes by
rail and goes away the same day, taking the letters with him. I neither know whence
he comes nor whither he goes," was his answer.
This colloquy did not help me much, especially as, after walking me about for several
hours, he pretended he could not find me the man. Nevertheless I determined to stick
to him, and took him to the Detective Office. Soon afterwards I ascertained from a
person living in the neighbourhood of the empty premises that a man known as "
Tom," who did odd jobs for a certain furniture remover, used to visit this house, and at
times engaged her uncle's pony and trap for the purpose of removing the waste paper
to the paper dealers. This was always done early in the morning, before the general
public began to stir.
After a good deal of " skirmishing " I found that " Tom" was fond of his beer ; that his
devotion to Bacchus had in fact caused him to lose his situation ; and that he had been
very poorly lately. At length I learned the name of the street in which he lived.
Disguising myself, I set out in search of " Tom," and arriving at the house said in a
familiar tone, "Is Tom in?" "Yes, come in,'' was the invitation "Tom" himself extended
to me. "No; come here a moment," I said, apologetically; " I wish to speak privately to
you; let us go to some place where we can have a drink and a chat."
" Tom," nothing loth, led the way to a quiet hostelry in the neighbourhood, where I
ordered a gill of whisky punch. This quickly put " Tom " in a good humour, and in the
course of his conversation, which I encouraged, he admitted that he had been with
Connolly and Sidebottom's lottery, a case which I had previously been engaged in
Believing my story that I was a publican, and the St. Helen's agent of the West End
Lottery - a man whose name I had seen in one of the letters I had opened - I asked
him, " Do you remember being at my house ? " " Yes," he innocently replied. " Are
you with Connolly and Sidebottom's now ?" I inquired. " No," said " Tom."
I expressed regret that he had left the West End Lottery. I could see that he was in low
water, for although it was the beginning of December, with snow upon the ground, his
boots had hardly a bit of sole upon them, and he informed me that he was glad to
obtain a job wherever he could. " Well, Tom," I said, sympathetically, "I want to trust
you with a secret. The police have been making some inquiries respecting my selling
tickets for the lottery, and I have destroyed all the bills, tissues, tickets, and everything
else connected with it, and I don't want them to forward any more, lest the police
should drop in whilst the postman is delivering them. If you will help me to make
matters right, I will see that you don't go without shoes." With hot whisky and new
shoes in prospect, " Tom " became exceedingly communicative, and I soon learned
that a person named C had got the job that " Tom " formerly had, and that the
business was then carried on at the new-comer's house.
I procured a cab and, driving " Tom " to the Detective Office, placed before him the
man who had come for the letters. I saw at once by this man's countenance and the
way he ground his teeth that he knew " Tom." " Do you know this man?" I asked of
Tom. " Yes," answered my companion. " What do you call him?" " Charles. I am glad
to see him here, for he lost me my shop." Leaving " Tom" at the police station I set off

in company of one of the Liverpool detectives for C's address, which I found was
a tobacconist's shop as described by " Tom " in his merry moments.
I walked into the shop and asked if C was in. " No," was the reply. I crossed over
the street to the Liverpool officer, who had remained outside the shop. Whilst we
stood in a passage watching, a person came out of the entry which led to the back part
of the shop, and as I believed this man was the one of whom I was in search, I put
myself in his way. " Well, C, how are you ? " I asked. " Very well," he
answered. " Is it you that has been asking for me?" "Yes," I said. I took hold of C
and we all three entered the shop, where he denied that he knew anything about the
matter. I produced the warrant and having read it, commenced to search the premises,
when it soon became evident that I had come across the very workshop of the "
concern." In the attics I found the tables strewn with " Investigator" tickets, price lists,
and all the machinery for conducting the lottery. There were thousands of letters and
envelopes from all parts of the country, and so great was the number to be disposed of
that a bed tick was hung up, unstitched at one of the sides, with two bars of wood
stretched across the mouth to keep it open whilst the letters were flung into it.
Altogether there was about three hundredweight of paper. Amongst it I found a
number of copies of a circular to agents, which read as follows :
" West End Investigator, 9, Street,
" Toxteth Park, Liverpool.
" My Dear Sir,We have much pleasure in offering you the agency for the ' West End
Investigator' which is published every week. They are sent on sale or return. Your
commission for selling is a 1s. per dozen. You post your returns (if any) on every
Monday throughout the year, so as to arrive here by first post every Tuesday morning.
Any returns arriving later will be charged to the agent.
" You receive the Result Lists of Division of Profits every Tuesday morning, for
which you charge your subscribers one halfpenny each. We make no charge for them.
Your subscribers will derive the following benefits by purchasing the ' Investigator,'
viz. - we shall make known to them the very best turf information possible to obtain,
and they have a chance of obtaining shares in the division of profits, which are
divided as follows : 1st horse, 10 guineas; 2nd horse, 7 guineas; 3rd horse, 5 guineas;
starters, 10s. 6d.; non-starters, 7s. 6d.; 50 shares at 2 each; 100 shares at 1 each; 200
shares at 10s. each; 400 shares at 5s. each; and 500 shares at 2s. 6d. each - I am,
faithfully yours,
C G.
" P. S.When remitting amounts due to us, please make P. O. O. payable at the
General Post Office, Liverpool, to C G."
I also found a number of books which contained the names of the agents, with the
number of tickets which had been sent to each. There was a written document ready
for printing, giving the " award " of prizes in connection with a race that was in reality
not to be run until a fortnight later.
A calculation showed that if all the prizes in this race had been bona-fide, there still
remained a surplus of considerably over 100 to pay the expenses of printing, &c.
These books further made it clear that the net profits ranged from 15 on some one
race, to considerably over 40 on others.
After arresting C, who said that he was only a clerk of G's at 30s. per
week, I ascertained the latter person's address, and went to his house at Tuebrook.
Walking down the garden, I peeped through the drawing-room window ; but I had
evidently been heard, for G came to the door. Before he could speak, I said " I

am glad you have come out, for I have come from C to tell you that he has
been locked up for the lottery."
He invited me into the house, which was sumptuously furnished. It was
evident that he was living in. magnificent style. In fact he told me during our
conversation that the furniture had cost from 3,000 to 4,000. After entering the
drawing-room, he asked me all particulars about C's arrest, and I told him just
enough to interest him. Taking me for a friend of C's the spirit decanters were
produced, and he became very communicative about the affairs of the lottery. When I
had learned sufficient to assure me that I had got hold of the right -man, I remarked
quite casually, " I have left a friend of yours outside." " Oh! tell him to come in," he
said. As soon as my colleague, Detective Inspector Collingwood, of Liverpool,
appeared, my communicative friend, who knew him well, evidently saw the game was
up, for his countenance assumed an aspect of blank amazement. As it was not likely I
should obtain further voluntary information, I produced my warrant, read it to him,
and searched the house. Here, however, I found nothing except a few letters of little
consequence, which were deposited in the pocket of his overcoat. On being charged at
the Detective Office, he said, " Why don't you do Sidebottom ?" He answered his own
inquiry with a significant " I know."
"Charlie" and "Tom" were now released and would have fought had they not been
prevented. The other two prisoners I brought to Manchester, and after a remand they
were finally examined before Mr. F. J. Headlam, the Stipendiary Magistrate. They
confessed their guilt, G being sentenced to three months' imprisonment with hard
labour, and ordered to pay 25 towards the cost of the prosecution, or in default to
undergo another month's imprisonment. His friends made great efforts to get him off
with a fine ; but the Stipendiary remarked that " to fine him would be useless." C
was fined 15 and the five agents 40s. each and 20s. costs.
The large prizes offered in these lotteries were absolutely bogus, and the general rule
appeared to have been that a few small amounts were distributed in places where
agents were doing well, in order to encourage the sale of the tickets.


NEXT to betraying one's country into the hands of an enemy, there is no crime so
abhorrent to the patriotic man as that of divulging the military secrets of one's own
people, and playing the spy for a rival power.
In the middle of February, 1892, I received instructions to watch the movements of
Edmund Holden, an ex-Quartermaster Sergeant of the Royal Engineers, at that time
residing at 4, Homer Terrace, Cornbrook Park Road, Hulme, Manchester. Holden in
his youth had been articled to the Borough Surveyor of Bolton, and after being
employed for some time as an assistant in that gentleman's office, he enlisted, in
August, 1872, in the Royal Engineers. After serving a short time in Ireland he was
sent to Gibraltar in March, 1874, where he remained until January, 1881, when he
Whilst at Gibraltar he was employed in the Draughtsman's Office on the staff of the
Royal Engineers. After his return his promotion was rapid. In July, 1881, he was

promoted to Company Sergeant-Major, and in the following July he was made

Quartermaster. After spending some time in Ireland, he embarked in August, 1885, for
Malta, where he remained until the beginning of July, 1888. The duties at Gibraltar
and Malta enabled him to have access to all the forts and batteries at these places.
While at Malta he applied to be transferred to a home station, on the ground that his
wife's health was affected by reason of the climate, and he was for a time separated
from her, she returning to Ireland whilst he stayed at Malta. As his period of foreign
service at that station had not expired his request was not acceded to. At this time he
had been sixteen years in the army, and had he served another twelve months he
would have been entitled to a pension ; but, in order to get to his family, he appears to
have applied for his discharge from the army, with a view of getting to England and
then obtaining employment in the Corps of Royal Engineers in some civil capacity.
Before leaving Malta he appears to have got into money difficulties. After arriving in
this country he applied to have his discharge withdrawn, but this the authorities
refused to sanction. He then applied for temporary employment in the Engineer's
Department, and he was offered a situation as Civil Foreman of Works, which
necessitated his residence at Parkhurst, in the Isle of Wight, arid this he accepted. In
November, 1891, he left Parkhurst for another employment at the Curragh Camp
Ireland, and subsequently obtained employment at Belfast, where he remained until
June, 1892, when he was discharged for fraudulently misapplying money entrusted to
him. After this he was unable to obtain further employment in the Royal Engineers,
though he tried to do so.
For a period of nearly twenty years Holden had been engaged in special army work,
his experience having been principally in the surveying and erection of forts and
batteries, and it was obvious that he would have difficulty in obtaining civilian
employment. A letter at this time written to his uncle also set out his pecuniary
difficulties. Whilst at Malta Holden was in charge of the drawing office, and he had
control, under his commanding officer, of the whole of the plans of fortresses on the
line of Malta, which plans gave full particulars with regard to the batteries, forts,
guns, departments, depths of emplacement, ditches, &c. Just before Holden left Malta,
in 1888, he, with Lance-Corporal McCartriey, and others under his control, surveyed
ground upon which new forts were about to be erected, and entrenchments made in or
near Valetta. Holden appeared to have taken sufficient notes to enable him to make
certain plans, which he offered for sale to the French or other authorities ; but he
could not complete these on account of a lot of new works having been carried out
since he left the island. A letter found among his papers from a soldier named Reilley,
who was at Malta in 1890, showed that other batteries had been started since Holden
left. In fact the alterations had been so large that the writer says, " If I was to tell you
the whole of the alterations I should require five or six sheets of notepaper. There is
no doubt you would be surprised to see them." In that letter Reilley also informs him
that McCartney had gone to Gibraltar.
Among the letters found in Holden's papers after his arrest was one dated October 8th,
1891, the signature of which appeared to be hieroglyphics. The letter enclosed a sum
of 10, "to cover the expenses of his journey, and remaining in Paris." It then went on
to state, " As you propose, 40 shall be paid on your arrival in Paris before proceeding
to M. You tell us that you shall be able to leave for here on the 20th of this mouth. It
will be sufficient that you inform us of the precise day of your arrival and of the hotel
at which you shall put up. You shall find on your arrival a letter giving you a precise
rendezvous." It was evident that the letter "M" referred to Malta, the writer of the
letter thinking it was desirable for Holden to make a journey to that place. Another

letter found among Holden's papers was dated October 20th, 1891, and addressed to
him at 26, Rue d'Amsterdam, Paris. It is evident that he was in Paris on this date. In
this letter an appointment is made for the next afternoon, arid the writer was to
communicate again in the course of the morning if the meeting could riot take place.
It was also understood that he would be indemnified for his prolonged stay. An
appointment was made on the 27th, for four o'clock in the afternoon, at Austin's
Commercial Hotel, 26, Rue d'Amsterdam, the proprietor of which was an
Englishman, and where Holden was staying. There is little doubt that this interview
took place, after which Holden is supposed to have left for Manchester.
On the 26th of November, 1891, he received another letter enclosing 36, in which
the writer says, " I hope that this proof of trust shall encourage you to accomplish
your mission as soon as possible and encourage good relations."
The next letter of which any trace was found was addressed to him at Austin's Hotel,
Paris, on the 7th of January, 1892, and made an appointment for three o'clock next day
at the hotel. It was conjectured that this interview took place, and that Holden left
Paris, for a letter dated the 19th acknowledges his letter of the 12th, and states that his
proposition is not acceptable, and goes on - "On your presenting the tracings showing
more correct positions of guns, &c., we can only pay what we have not advanced
upon the sum of 64." The letter then continues, " With reference to Gibraltar, if you
have something interesting, you can forward. After control we will question
generously the value of it and send immediately. We have been called to order for the
advances made to you, and henceforth we can give money only in all cases where we
have been put into possession of wares." This letter was apparently signed by the
person who signed the previous ones. There could be no doubt as to the meaning of
this letter; " tracings showing the correct positions of guns, &c.," are openly spoken of
; and it seemed equally clear that Holden must have made some suggestion with
regard to Gibraltar, where he had been stationed for nearly seven years. On leaving
Malta he had sailed in a vessel calling at Gibraltar, writing to his wife that he would
like to have another look at the place for a few hours.
It is needless to say that the information asked for with regard to "tracings showing
the correct position of guns, &c.," would be invaluable to an enemy. Holden would
receive the letter asking for this information on the 20th of January. A letter then
appears to have been immediately written by him to Lance-Corporal McCartney,
whom he knew, from Reilley's letter before referred to, had left Malta for Gibraltar.
The envelope to the letter shows the post mark as January 20th, 1892, and the
Gibraltar post mark of January 26th, 1892. The envelope contained a letter,
memorandum, and form. After an introduction, Holden says in his letter, " Now I want
you to do me a little favour, only it must be strictly confidential. I want certain
information according to enclosed form, and I feel sure you can get it for me by
writing to one of the draughtsmen at Malta that you know and can trust. Simply
forward the papers and ask him to fill in the levels of forts and batteries opposite
each ; they can all be got from record plans. There is not the slightest danger - only it
must be done on the quiet." After a few other remarks it continues, " I shall pay both
you and the individual who gives you the information for your trouble. Write me by
return of post if you will do this for me ; also let me know what has been done in
connection with the ground I surveyed at Sliema just off the main road, also Spinola
Hospital site and Della Grazia - if you know what guns (that is 6 or 10 inch) have
been mounted, and where there are batteries erected on these places, also the names
given them, such as Della Grazia Battery, or whatever names they go by." He
continues, " I want the information without delay, so kindly send off by first post and

let me know what you have done." In a postscript he says, " Destroy this as soon as
you have noted what I want."
The memorandum contained most important notes and instructions. Among others he
wrote, "Outer forts most important. Note the description of guns - that is, size and
number in each fort where shown on record drawings." In the form the columns were
headed, "Fort or Battery," "Level of Guns," "Emplacement," "Nature of Ordnance,"
and, "Remarks." Most elaborate particulars were also asked for - among other things of the various forts, level of outer ditch, name and number of class of guns ; also
levels, level of parade centre of fort and the lower platform on the north face, and the
gun platform on the east face. This information would enable an enemy at sea to know
what elevation to give to their guns in order to reach the forts, and the size of the guns
would enable them to know where to direct their heavy ordnance, and from which
points they might expect to receive the severest attack.
On the receipt of this letter McCartney was very much astonished, as he had never
had any previous correspondence with Holden. He recognised Holden's writing,
however, as soon as he saw the envelope, but he hesitated about taking the letter as
there was a charge of sixpence for extra postage. He decided to take it, and if he was
astonished at receiving a letter from his old comrade, he was more surprised at
reading its contents. Instead, however, of supplying the information asked for he
consulted some of his comrades, with the result that the letter was placed in the hands
of his commanding officer, and through him it was forwarded to the War Office, and
then to the Solicitor of the Treasury, from whom orders were received on the 14th of
February, 1892, to watch the prisoner at Manchester. On the day following Holden
wrote to Paris, and on the 16th received a reply which said, " It is not worth while to
come here. You can send the wares - the whole complete. After examination and
control by our specialist will send you immediately 64, which represents the balance
of our account." The writer continues, " After that new experiment we must decide
what we have to do with your proposal on the subject of G. and a possible meeting." It
was suggested that the word " wares " in this letter had taken the place of the word
"tracings," as used previously, and 'that the letter " G " referred to Gibraltar.
On the 21st February a letter arrived acknowledging the receipt of "16 samples,"
evidently tracings, and stating, "As soon as we should receive the remainder we will
submit the whole to the examination of our specialist, and if his report is favourable,
as we hope, we will immediately send what is due. As you are quite out of funds we
send you to-day 6 on account. It is possible our specialist will want to see you for
explanations. In that case we will send money for journey, and the whole sum shall be
paid here. If we could have some understanding about G. we will do our best in that
matter." On the receipt of this letter Holden seems to have sent something further, for
on the 26th of February he received a letter from Paris acknowledging the
"compliment," and enclosing 10 to enable him to go to Paris, where he was expected
on the 4th of March to give explanations.
In the meantime McCartney was ordered by the military authorities to proceed to
England, and after an interview with the Treasury Solicitor, Messrs. Boote and Edgar,
of Manchester, were instructed to issue a warrant on his information, which was done
on the morning of the 3rd of March, 1892. On the same day I traced the prisoner to
London, and arranged for his arrest there on the evening of the same day, as he was on
his way to keep the appointment at Paris on the following day.
Though a history of the prisoner's transactions with his foreign correspondent has
been attempted in the previous pages, it is necessary to state that up to the time of his
arrest the only information in possession of the authorities with regard to the matter

was his letter to Lance-Corporal McCartney, asking for information respecting the
Malta forts. Why he needed this information was at the time a matter of conjecture.
Immediately upon his arrest I searched the prisoner's house, and there, and upon him,
I found a number of letters and documents referred to in the previous pages. These
have enabled me to give a history of the prisoner's dealings as far as known with some
agent of a foreign power, and which showed conclusively that he was selling the
information which he had acquired as a servant of the Queen, or which he could
induce others to give him, which could be used
against us in time of war. It was also evident that whatever information he had
acquired whilst at Gibraltar had also been sold. In fact it was almost impossible to say
what secrets he had divulged; and it was evident that an enormous outlay must be
entailed in order to make such alterations in the fortresses as would make useless
whatever information the foreigner had received. His papers contained a reference to
a lot of forts and names of officials at Malta. There was also a list of symbols, which
indicated the calibre of guns, and had probably been used by the prisoner to show on
the plans what guns were in different positions. Entries were found in his books
containing reference to two visits to Malta, and a payment of money to Corporal
Brown on the completion ot information. As neither the name of the vessel in which
he is said to have returned from Malta on one of these visits, nor the name of its
captain, could be found in the Register of Shipping, it was thought that these entries
were not true, and were made for the purpose of misleading the people in Paris.
It may be noted that had McCartney complied with the prisoner's request and sent the
information asked for, he would have placed himself in the prisoner's power for
supplying the information in regard to Gibraltar, McCartney then being in the drawing
office at the latter place, from whence he could obtain any information that might be
required by the prisoner with regard to his proposed scheme of supplying information
with regard to that fortress.
As there was no information in the hands of the Government at the time the warrant
was issued, beyond the letter to McCartney, the prisoner was charged with inciting
McCartney to give information; but after the letters and other documents were found
the prisoner was further charged with communicating to certain persons information
regarding certain fortresses of Her Majesty at Malta, and after three adjournments he
was committed for trial on both charges. The Government, however, took a lenient
view of the matter, and the prisoner was only indicted on the minor count. He was
tried before Lord Chief Justice Coleridge at the Liverpool Winter Assizes, 1892.
Besides the evidence of McCartney and myself bearing out the statements before
mentioned. Major James Frederick Lewis, of the War Office, deposed that had Holden
obtained the information asked for in the second column of the document sent to
McCartney, it would have been of great value to an enemy, and could only be filled in
with secret information. There was also a vast amount of other information in the
document, he said, which ought not to be in any other hands than our own.
The prisoner was found guilty, arid his Lordship in passing sentence said the prisoner
had to thank the War Office that they had not indicted him under the statute for
felony; because nobody who had heard the evidence could doubt that the information
was obtained for the use of a foreign Government. The information as to levels and so
on might be of great value. The sentence for such an offence was penal servitude for
life. Had he been, indicted for that offence, and had the jury found him guilty, he
would have received a sentence of penal servitude, perhaps not for life, but certainly
for a long period. His Lordship concluded by saying, "Anything more detestable,
treasonable, or inconsistent with the first duty to any country I can't conceive than

what you have done. However, the Act of Parliament limits your punishment, and I
can't go beyond it. I will give you the extreme penalty of the Act"
Prisoner : " My Lord ! "
His Lordship : " The extreme penalty of the Act, which is that you be imprisoned with
hard labour for twelve calendar months, and I will add, I wish I could make it more."

IN September, 1892, Messrs. Cobbett, Wheeler, and Cobbett, solicitors, acting on
behalf of Messrs. W. Agnew and Sons, fine art publishers, made a complaint that
spurious copies of their copyrights were being sold about the streets in considerable
numbers, at prices far below those charged for the authorised copies. I was ordered to
investigate the matter. I found that I had a somewhat difficult task, Messrs. Agnew's
manager having cautioned several of the Jew vendors, who had displayed their wares
in various streets of the city.
After some inquiries, accompanied by Inspector's Manson and Hargreaves, I visited
the house of one of these Jew dealers, in Mary Street, Strangeways, and in his
travelling case I found several spurious copies of the "Village Wedding," "Diana or
Christ," " Daniel in the Lion's Den," &c. It was quite evident that if the trade was to
be stopped we must trace it to the source of supply. But this was not so easy a matter.
On taking this man to the Detective Office, he denied all knowledge of the address of
the piratical adventurer, stating that he had never seen him but once, having been
introduced to him by a man who had since gone to America.
We then visited the house of Louis Harris, in Sagar Street, and afterwards that of
Julius Kauffmann, in Lord Street. Both parties denied having any of the pictures ; but
on searching we found a considerable quantity at each house. At the Detective Office,
Kauffman stated that he was supplied by a man in London, to whom he had been
introduced, and that his letters containing orders were addressed to Walter Perry, 2,
Coleman Street, Islington. He had never been to this person's house, but when in
London he was in the habit of meeting him at a public house called the "White
Horse," situated in one of the narrow streets, in the East end of London.
The prisoners were remanded pending inquiries. But no trace of Perry could be got at
the address given; while a person - afterwards found to be connected with the business
- professed to be engaged as a commission agent. After the prisoners had been
remanded a second time, I took one of them to London, and, in company with
Inspector Johnson, watched the place. About midnight a person answering the
description of Perry came to the house, and was spoken to and identified by the man I
had brought from Manchester. We took him into custody. But as he resolutely refused
to give us his proper address, and we could not find his stock of spurious plates, I
brought him to Manchester, where he was charged with making two copies of " The
Village Wedding," without the consent of Messrs. Agnew and Sons, the proprietors,
and fined 10 and costs, or two months' imprisonment in each case. The fines were
paid, and the other three prisoners were discharged.

In September, 1893, another complaint was made of pirated pictures. Through pedlars
and others the country was being flooded with unauthorised copies of works, for the
copyright of which large sums had been paid by art publishers, and I was again
instructed to institute inquiries. I proceeded to London in search of Perry, and traced
him to no less than five different addresses which he had in connection with this
business. His sons and daughters carried on businesses in various parts of the city and
lived in high style; but I at last ran him to earth at Grove, Tottenham
I was referred to the London solicitors of Messrs. Agnew and Sons for any legal
assistance that I might require, and after completing my inquiries I was in attendance
for the purpose of procuring a warrant for the arrest of Perry, when it was found that
the justices in the Metropolitan Police District had no power to issue one, and that the
application would have to be made at Tottenham, where the Court sat twice a week.
On .proceeding thither, we found the magistrate had an important engagement and
could not attend to us; but it was arranged that we should attend on the following day,
when another hitch occurred. It was found that the Clerk to the Magistrates was at
Waltham Abbey, some thirteen miles away; so we had to proceed thither. At length the
warrant was issued, and I proceeded back again to Tottenham to execute it. After
placing two officers to watch the house at the back, I went to the front door with
another officer ; but, receiving no reply to my request for admission, I took a running
kick at the door and burst it open. Mrs. Perry, a son, and a daughter, said they had not
heard my knocking, and denied that Perry was in the house, or that they knew where
he was.
I searched the house through and through, but could find no trace of him. But from the
nervous manner of Mrs. Perry it was evident that she was very uneasy, and I felt sure
that her husband was somewhere about. I searched the house again, trying the beds in
vain; and the chimneys would not permit anyone to ascend. On the ground-floor was a
recess boarded off from the stairs, which was evidently used as a store for boxes.
Putting down my hand I found that there was a break in the boarding of the floor. I
obtained a light, and removing an empty case I stepped into a hole. Looking under the
boards of the floor I saw the picture pirate lying at full length, with his neck screwed
aside watching my proceedings.
"Well, my lad," I said, "you had better get out of the grave till I read the funeral
service." Seeing that he was discovered, he got up, and I read the warrant over to him.
" That's the funeral service, is it?" he asked. I told him that I was going to search the
house, and he had better accompany me. Everything necessary for carrying on the
business of pirating pictures was found in the place ; but he denied that they had been
used since his last conviction. We took him and the utensils to the police station,
where we had the usual threats in such cases. We should hear from his solicitors about
breaking into his house, false imprisonment, and so on; he would be particularly glad
if an officer would lay his hands upon him, which would constitute an assault. To
oblige him I got hold of him and bundled him into a cell. On measuring the "grave" I
found it was 26 inches deep below the flooring, and 6 feet 8 inches long.
Up to this time we had nothing to show that he had been carrying on the business
since his last prosecution. But inquiries elicited the fact that he had removed three
cases from Lower Edmonton to a barber's shop in Edmonton. The barber at first took
a firm stand against the police, and refused to divulge anything; but after being
informed that he was rendering himself liable to prosecution, and that we were not
inclined to stand any nonsense, he came down from his " high horse," and admitted
that three cases had been brought to his premises by a man who occasionally called to

be shaved - his name he did not know. One of the cases had been removed, and on
examining the other two, we found they contained a large number of negatives. The
barber, on being confronted with Perry, recognised him as the man who had sent the
cases, and who had paid him five shillings for
On the following day he was brought before the magistrates and remanded for a week,
bail being refused. I was then assisted by Sergeant Kean, and a young woman - who
was formerly in his employment as a clerk - was traced to Kent, where she was
holding a situation as a barmaid. She gave evidence of the sending away of many of
the pirated pictures, and she was corroborated by a man who packed them.
On searching the house I found some correspondence hidden under the drawing-room
carpet, including two letters, one from Jacob Benjamin, and another from Louis
Goodman, both of Liverpool. I went over to that town, and in company with Inspector
Robins and Sergeant Edwards paid a visit to Goodman who, after denying all
knowledge of Perry, admitted that he had received a few, but said he had none then in
his possession. At this point Mrs. Goodman appeared upon the scene. After the matter
had been explained to her, she at once realised the position. She pleaded for mercy on
account of her children, and I promised to do my best for her, on condition that she
made a " full breast" of the matter, and that no conversation should take place between
herself and her husband in our presence except in English. This she consented to and
fully carried out. She then commanded " Louis " to bring forward all the prints he had
got, and he obediently produced about thirty copies.
My next visit was to Mr. Jacob Benjamin. But here we had to proceed very cautiously.
I did not know the man; neither did either of my colleagues. And if the wily fellow
had received the slightest information of what was happening, either from Goodman,
from a newspaper report, or otherwise, I should no doubt have had my trouble for
nothing. Taking the parcel which I had received from Goodman under my arm, I
determined to try and get a description of my man, who lived at 38, Bamber Street.
So, going up to a house in the same street, I rang the bell, and inquired if they knew
an artist or fine art dealer who lived anywhere near. They directed me to No. 38, the
house I wanted, and in reply to my inquiries said the man who lived there dealt in
pictures. On my giving a fictitious description of the man I wanted, they fell into the
trap and said that would not be the man I wanted, for he was "a little dark man, not
thirty years of age," about the height of a girl standing near, and went about selling
pictures in different towns.
I went on at once to Benjamin's, leaving my colleagues near at hand. Having received
a reply in the affirmative to my question as to whether that was Benjamin's, I said that
the parcel was for him, and that I wished to speak a word or two with him ; but I was
told that he had not returned to dinner, which was waiting for him. I was shown into
the dining-rom, where two others were evidently waiting for dinner; but as there
appeared to be nothing here, I asked to be excused from interrupting dinner, and was
shown into the drawing-room. At this moment the bell rang, and in came my
colleagues, which at once warned them that something was wrong, and the guests
disappeared in the "twinkling of an eye." Looking round we came across some
mounted pictures without frames, which I knew at once to be pirated copies.
After waiting about three hours, as Benjamin did not turn up, we decided to have a
look through the house, but were assured that there was nothing to find, as Mr.
Benjamin did not keep a stock in the house; but on going up stairs we found about
nine dozen of the pirated pictures. I made the same arrangement with Mrs. Benjamin
as I had done with Mrs. Goodman, and to give them confidence I wrote them that I

would call upon them on the following Tuesday; but on arriving I found that
Benjamin had joined the lost tribes, and that in his eagerness to depart he had
forgotten to pay his landlord the quarter's rent of the house in which he lived, though
the landlord only lived a few doors away.
Finding the copies in his house, and the two employs of Perry proving that they
had been sent from Perry's pirate works, with an expert's evidence to the effect that
they were from negatives found at the barber's, was far better evidence than the
missing man might have given, and I paid Goodman to attend on subpoena. The case
was opened on the 8th of December, 1893, and adjourned from Tottenham to Wood
Green Police Court. In the meantime Perry had been served with sixty-four
summonses, and apprehended on a warrant. Mr. Wontner, instructed by Mr.
Austin, prosecuted, and the prisoner was defended by Mr. Hutton, barrister. He was
convicted and condemned to fines amounting to a total of 280, with costs of nine
guineas, or in default 56 weeks' imprisonment. The fines were paid. Perry told me
himself that the business was worth from 15 to 20 per week. Since that time we
have not had any complaints of offences against the Copyright Act. Though this is
the only case I know that was taken under the Act, it appears to have strangled the
business. A London evening paper made the following comments : " Fine art
publishers who have been victimised for many years past by piratical adventurers
have good reason to rejoice at having unearthed - literally speaking as well as
figuratively - the man Walter Perry. A warrant having being issued for his arrest
Perry was found hiding in a hole under the kitchen floor in a house at Tottenham Hill,
London. It was proved against him that he did a large business over the country in
the sale of pirated copies of paintings and engravings of well-known pictures. Firms
like Messrs. Agnew and Sons, Messrs. Dowdeswell, and Messrs. Tooth, who invest
large sums in copyrights of this description, have been heavy losers by the piracies
of a gang of utterly unscrupulous men of the Perry type. The business must be a
profitable one, as proved by the fact that a prosecution and a stiff fine imposed upon
Perry only twelve months ago induced him to move his headquarters, but did not
drive him out of the trade. Here he ' bobs up serenely' with sixty-four summonses
and one warrant against him, and with the mean plea in his mouth that he cannot
afford to pay a heavy penalty, inasmuch as his business is not such a lucrative one as
people imagine. The Bench were not to be imposed upon by an appeal of that kind,
having regard to the accused's conviction for the same offence only a year ago. On the
present occasion he is condemned to fines amounting to a total of 280, with costs of
nine guineas, or in default, fifty-six weeks' imprisonment. The pirated pictures, a
number of the copies of which found their way to Liverpool among other towns,
included such well-known works of art as 'The Roll Call,' 'The Village Wedding,' 'In
Disgrace,' 'Diana or Christ?' ' The Empty Saddle,' ' The Peacemaker,' and ' For Love or
Country.' Through pedlars and certain dealers the country has been flooded for some
time with unauthorised copies of these and similar works, for the copyright of which
very large sums have been paid by art publishers. It is impossible to say that this trade
of impudent piracy will be altogether checked by the capture and punishment of Perry,
but the victimised firms have no intention of staying their hand here. They mean to
make the art piracy business a profitless and a risky one ; and there can be no doubt
that both public opinion and the law will thoroughly support them in clearing out this
nest of despoiling adventurers."
The following appeared in the London Letter of the Carlisle Journal, November 24,
1894 :

" The well-known Manchester detective, Caminada by name, has just run to earth a
cunning and daring fellow who has been driving a very lucrative trade all over the
country by pirating popular pictures, the copyright of which is vested in certain art
publishers. The fraud was detected many months ago, when it was found that spurious
copies of such prints as ' Diana or Christ,' 'The Village Wedding,' and 'The Roll Call'
were being sold to the public in considerable numbers at prices far below those
charged for the authorised copies. Great difficulty was experienced in discovering the
source of supply, but the officer named traced it to one of the suburbs of London,
where the piracy business was being conducted on a wholesale scale. A certain Walter
Perry, an expert photographer, was proved to be the offender, and his guilt has now
been clearly brought home to him. His modus operandi was to obtain genuine copies
of favourite pictures and to reproduce them from photographic negatives, the pirated
copies being hawked for sale all over the kingdom by pedlars, and,
judging from the extent of the system, it is certain that many thousands of spurious
prints have thus been circulated."
The following is a list of fine art publishers whose copyrights were pirated by Perry :

Messrs. Thos. Agnew and Sons, 39b, Old Bond Street, London, W.; Mr. J. P.
Mendoza, 4a, King Street, St. James's, W.; Messrs. Dowdeswell and Dowdeswells
Limited, 160, New Bond Street, W.; The Fine Art Society Limited, 148, New Bond
Street, W.; Mr. Arthur Lucas, 31, New Bond Street, W.; Mr. Thos. McLean, 7,
Haymarket, S.W.; Messrs. Arthur Tooth and Sons, 5 and 6, Haymarket, S.W.; The
Berlin Photographic Co., 133, New Bond Street, W.; Messrs. C. E. Clifford and Co.,
200, Piccadilly, W.; Ramsden, c/o Messrs. Raymond Groom and Co., 46, Pall Mall,
S.W.; Hayman, Dor Gallery; Arthur Brook, Long ; Henry Greaves and Co.,
6, Pall Mall.


For some years we were in Manchester constantly receiving reports from various parts
of the country respecting the uttering of forged bank notes, and in some cases large
rewards were offered for private information which would lead to the apprehension
arid conviction of the forgers.
At this time we had in Manchester a man named John T , who was known as
"Johnny the Lawyer" among the "crooks" (thieves), from the fact that he was always
posted up in law, and kept at his house "Stone's Justices' Manual," and other works on
criminal jurisprudence. Whenever any swell thief fell into the clutches of the law, "
Johnny" was waited upon by the thief's friends, arid he gave them advice as to the
particular line of defence which should be pursued.
We had also in Manchester at that period two men who were carrying on business as
shopkeepers. One of them had served fourteen years' penal servitude for forgery, and
the other, who had a residence in the country, and had been Clerk to the Chief of
Police in a neighbouring borough, had previously been sentenced to five years' penal
servitude for the Christmas hamper swindle at Birmingham, ten years' penal servitude

for forgery, and two months' imprisonment at Sheffield Sessions for receiving stolen
property. He was afterwards concerned in the great Leipsic frauds of 1887, in which,
for obtaining 2,000 by means of a forged letter of credit, he was sentenced to five
years' penal servitude, and ordered to pay a fine of three hundred marks, or in default
four hundred days' extra imprisonment. This man went by the name of "Big Jim."
One day information arrived that a forged cheque had been uttered at one of the
Manchester Banks, upon which 80 had been obtained. A description of two men who
had been concerned in the matter was handed in, and it was at once seen that " Big
Jim" was one of the persons referred to. He was watched for and at last apprehended.
When at the Detective Office he admitted that he was one of the men, and said, " A
gentleman asked me the way to Bank, and having nothing to do I took him there
and waited until he got his money, for which he gave me the price of a drink. I had
nothing to do with either the forgery or the uttering of the cheque." As his statement
could not be controverted, he was discharged, and many a hearty laugh he and I have
had since over the affair. He used to tell me that if he could pick up a couple of
thousands "he would not trouble me any more."
One day, as I was visiting a suburb of Manchester, I saw from a tram-car window "
Johnny the Lawyer," " Bottle Wilson," " Charlie the Barman," "Jack the Carpenter,"
and a person who went by the cognomen of " Starve." I got out of the car, and
following them saw them enter a public house in Harpurhey. About an hour after,
from the bedroom window of a shop opposite, which the occupant had kindly placed
at my service, I saw " Jack" and " Starve " come out and take the tram. " Bottle " and "
Charlie " followed in the next tram, and "Johnny the Lawyer" went to his house in
I noticed that the Iast mentioned was somewhat disguised ; he had shaved his chin,
and was wearing his whiskers in the " Lord Dundreary" style. I felt sure that their
hour's chat had not been fruitless, and knowing them to be a very dangerous gang, I
determined to keep my eye upon them - the more so as I had received many offers of
a good reward if I could bring them to justice; for every few months they played sad
havoc amongst the mercantile community in various parts of the country.
About a month later I received from Mr. Malcom Wood, the Chief Constable - who
knew that I had been watching this gang for four years - a private communication
which had been sent to him from the Chief Constable of Wakefleld, asking if anything
could be done to throw light on forged notes which were being circulated in that
neighbourhood. On the 4th of December, 1883, the following circular was issued from
Wakefield :
" Borough Police Office,
: "Wakefield, Dec. 16th, 1883. " Re Forged Bank Notes.
" Sir,
" Attached above I beg to hand you photographs of specimens of signatures endorsed
on the backs of the forged notes uttered at Hull on the 30th ult., and at Huddersfield
and Bradford on the 1st and 2nd inst.
" In all the known utterings the same two men appear to have taken part, either
individually or together. The one described as the tall man is about thirty-eight years
of age, fully five feet eleven inches high, slender figure, dark or black hair, whiskers
and moustache, small space shaved on and under the chin, whiskers not bushy but
rather wiry and straggling, dark piercing eyes; speaks rather slowly and correctly.
Dress dark, tight-fitting overcoat, dark trousers, silk hat, dark scarf, with breast-pin,
and black kid gloves, one of which he left in a shop where a note was changed, and
which are rather a small size for so tall a man. He is, no doubt, a frequenter of race
meetings, gambling houses, &c., and an associate of thieves and forgers. He was

accompanied by a tall, stout, good-looking woman, dark hair and fresh complexion,
dressed in dark ulster and black hat with feathers; had several rings on her fingers and
wore earrings.
"The second man is described as short and stout, about thirty-five years of age, five
feet five inches high, fresh complexion, light brown hair cut short, whiskers and
moustache, clean shaven on chin and well up the sides of his face, thick necked, rather
prominent eyes, corpulent, and looks ' horsey.' Dress - short drab top-coat, light
trousers, and black billy-cock hat.
" Their modus operandi is for one of them to enter a shop arid purchase an article of
more or less value and tender in payment one of the forged notes, receiving the
change in cash.
" As they will probably launch some new scheme of forgery, as they have no doubt
done others before this, I am naturally very anxious that no effort should be spared to
effect the arrest of these men.
" Would you, therefore, be kind enough to minutely compare the above with any
signatures or handwriting you may have of persons you have had in custody at any
time, and favour me with the result at your early convenience ?
" Your obedient servant, " (Signed)
" Chief Constable."
Upon the receipt of this communication I began to look the gang up again, but could
find no trace whatever of them. Newspaper reports kept appearing of forged notes,
and it was ascertained that some 800 worth of these were in circulation. Photographs
of the endorsements upon them had been sent round to various towns, but were
returned as "not recognised." In the. meantime I kept my eyes open ; and though I
now and then saw one or another of the suspected men in Manchester, I could never
drop upon two of them together. After some conversation with the Chief Constable it
was decided that I should not act until such time as I could find them together.
One day, having an hour to spare, I sauntered in the direction of the house of " Johnny
the Lawyer " to see what news I could gather, and on my way who should I drop
across but "Johnny" himself. I could see that he was ill at ease, for his " Dundreary "
whiskers had disappeared, and he would have avoided me if possible. I thought the
best plan would be to appear unconcerned, not to give the slightest hint that I knew
anything about the forgeries, and to try to worm myself into the confidence of "
Johnny" to such an extent as to entirely deceive him as to my motive, with a view of
thus inducing him to recall his " pals " to their old haunts, which I thought he might
do if he got it into his head that they were safe in Manchester, for I had little doubt in
my own mind that these were the gang who were doing all the mischief.
" Well, Johnny," I commenced, " I hear you have had a bad bout of sickness and been
laid up at home." This was, of course, only a ruse on my part, but " Johnny" replied, "
Yes; I have not been very well."
" I suppose that accounts for you not having been down town latterly. I hear that the
fever has been rather prevalent in this quarter. You see the foundation on which this
property is built is purely refuse, and it is not considered healthy. I suppose the fever
has been busy in your family, for I see you have had your whiskers and hair shaved
off. I hope, however, you will soon be well."
Having said this I made off without giving " Johnny " time to reply. The baitevidently took, for after this I could see him about daily in town, but there were no
signs of any of his pals joining him. As I appeared to get no further I put a "plant" on
his house, and another on that of " Charlie the Barman," keeping watch over the

houses of the other three myself. "Starve " and " Jack the Carpenter" I never saw in
town again. But after some months' close observation, during which " Johnny the
Lawyer " kept going backwards and forwards, I received a communication on Sunday,
27th August, 1881, that he was in town. Going to the man who had kept observation
on " Charlie the Barman's" old haunt, I ascertained that this gentleman had at last
arrived in town. I then went to " Bottle's " house, and saw him through the window in
company with two men who had lately arrived from Australia, arid whom I knew to
be noted thieves.
About half-past eleven the same night I started for the house of " Charlie the
Barman," in Upper Moss Lane, and after watching a while saw the shadow of his
figure on the window blind in the room over the shop. I obtained admittance, arrested
him, and sent him to the Police Station in charge of two officers. I then went to
"Bottle's" house in Denmark Road, and placing two officers at the back, directed
another in uniform to go to the front door, and to say that " he had been sent by '
Charlie' to ask ' Bottle ' to come to the Police Office and bail him out." " Bottle "
declined the invitation, and made an attempt to escape by the back. On seeing the
officers he turned into the house again, and the uniform officer was told that he was
not in. I had been watching from a garden on the opposite side of the street, and on the
uniform officer leaving the door, I advanced towards it; as I did so the door was
opened and "Bottle" was preparing for a run, but catching a glimpse of me he closed
the door with a bang and ran down the lobby. I threatened to burst the door in if they
did not open it. After some time my request was complied with, and I entered the
house. I found " Bottle " in the kitchen, and after a good deal of parleying on his part,
I got him to the Detective Office.
It was now 3 a.m., but I drove to the house of " Johnny the Lawyer," and after
knocking him up told him that I had come to take him into custody. " Where's your
warrant ?" he roared. " I have none. I am taking you on suspicion of being concerned
in some forgery frauds," was my answer. " Well, we'll see about this suspicion," he
replied, defiantly. On the way to the Police Station I heard him say to the officers to
whom he was handcuffed, " I saw him up here some time ago. I thought then he was
on for something. He has been waiting, and I expect some surprise is in store for me."
The look of amazement that came over " Johnny's " face when I called the other two
confederates out of a cell at the Station, and asked if they would like to be placed
together, could never be forgotten by those who witnessed it.
They elected to be placed together, though they denied that they were known to each
other. They were afterwards identified by witnesses from Hull, York, and
Scarborough, and being taken first to Wakefield, and thence to Hull, were committed
for trial at York Assizes.
They were defended by Mr. Lockwood, Q.C., and Mr. Blackburn; Mr. Tyndall
Atkinson, Q.C., and Mr. Wortley prosecuting. All three were found guilty on
November 2nd, 1881, and the " Lawyer " was sentenced to seven years', the "
Barman" to ten years', and " Bottle " to fourteen years' penal servitude.
When before the magistrates at Wakefield Police Court the prosecuting solicitor in
saying that he had made out a prima, facie case used the phrase several times,
whereupon " Johnny the Lawyer," leaning over the dock, coolly remarked to the
solicitor for the defence, " There's a good deal of prima facie about it. What will he
say when he comes to the substance?"
After their conviction I received rewards from Messrs. Woodall, of Scarborough, and
Messrs. Leatham, Tew & Co., of Wakefield.

After "Johnny's "release I saw him one day at Victoria Station, London, and knowing
that he had no business there without reporting himself, I telegraphed to Manchester
and asked my colleagues to visit " Johnny's " house, my intention being to arrest him
at the end of the forty-eight hours for being absent from home without reporting
himself as he was required to do by law; but "Johnny" was one too many for me this
time. He had seen me in London, and had taken the very next train to Manchester.
When the officer called at his house, he politely opened the door and invited him
inside, telling him at the same time to give his compliments to Caminada.
I had him again soon afterwards, however, on a charge of stealing from the person, for
which he and two others were each sentenced, at the Llangollen Sessions on January
4th, 1888, to seven years' penal servitude ; while a fourth prisoner with them was
committed for twelve months. "Johnny" evidently expected a much longer sentence,
for on our way to the prison he remarked, " There's nothing for it now but wishing the
old woman dead." Thinking that he referred to his mother, I asked why, when he soon
undeceived me with the answer, " Oh ! when the son and heir comes to the throne he
may let some of us poor fellows loose."
"Johnny's" previous convictions were:1864, Edinburgh, thirty-two days for pocket
picking ; 1868, Manchester, three mouths' for pocket picking; 1869, Manchester,
twelve months' for larcency. "Bottle" had served five years' penal servitude, and the
"Barman" twelve months' and other terms of imprisonment.


THERE are many charitable ladies and gentlemen in Manchester and other places
who are continually pestered by applications from this or that institution for
subscriptions. Many of these people without reflection send large sums annually to
institutions of which they know nothing whatever.
They never inquire whether such places are needed ; how they are managed; in what
way the money is expended; whether the managers ever issue a balance sheet;
whether such balance sheets are genuine ; or whether their money could not be better
disposed of among the poor of their own neighbourhood.
A little inquiry would often show them that a considerable portion of their money is
squandered in official and other expenses, and that poor people in their own
immediate vicinity have to walk in many cases miles in all kinds of inclement weather
in order that they may become partakers of the pittance which is left.
A little consideration would indeed satisfy them that by distributing their own bounty
they could not only spare their poorer brothers and sisters this hardship, but save a
good deal of the expense, and thus relieve a much larger number of persons.
This trait of human nature has not escaped the sharp observation of swindlers and
others who wish to make a living without taking their coats off their backs. The. easy

way in which subscriptions for such purposes can be obtained, and the charitable
public thus gulled, is well illustrated in the story which I will in this chapter relate.
About the end of 1888 I was waited upon by a gentleman who had been " appointed "
chairman of a Ragged School and Mission, said to be in Canning Street in this city,
towards whose funds subscriptions to a large amount had been obtained from families
residing in or near Manchester. One family alone had contributed about 30.
This gentleman, whose suspicions had been aroused in some way, wished me to make
inquiries into the working of the institution.
Going in search of the School and Mission I soon found that no such institution
A person calling himself "Mr. Barlow," who was going round collecting money for the
"School," gave a reference to Mr. W , a tradesman of Miles Platting. Proceeding
thither I ascertained that Mr. W knew nothing either about the school or the
subscriptions, beyond the fact that he had been asked for a few pounds towards it; but
he had declined the invitation.
I traced to the Manchester and Salford Bank a cheque which had been endorsed by
Mr. W . The people who had sent this cheque had offered the use of a field
belonging to them to the children of the school for Whit-week, 1888, but as "Mr.
Barlow" had no scholars to take he wrote the following letter in reply :
" 42, Back Piccadilly, Manchester,
"May 3rd, 1888. "W. D. W , Esq.
" Dear Sir,We were not able to get a school at Weaste on suitable terms, so that we
have decided to take them on to Worsley, Lord Mulgrave having kindly granted us the
use of the field and school for a small fee.
" I am desired to thank you for your great kindness in placing your field at our
disposal. We should have been pleased to have come to Weaste to spend the day, as it
would have saved us a matter of 5, being so much nearer home.
" Last year's trip to Worsley cost us 12 18s., which is more than we like to spend,
considering our reduced list of subscriptions for that object; although we have had a
very gratifying letter from Mrs. G , of H Hall, who has sent us 2, and
offered us the use of the grounds and a field at H Hall.
" Thanking you very sincerely for your kindness, " I am, dear sir,
"Your obedient servant,
Proceeding to the address given in this letter, I found it was a beerhouse. I succeeded
eventually in discovering the address of the writer, whose name was Chadwick, but I
failed to see him. As I wished to question him particularly respecting a subscription to
the school, I made an appointment to call the next morning; but on arriving there I
was informed that Mr. Chadwick had had to leave early by rail for Bolton on business
of very great importance. I told his wife I would call the following morning, and
thinking I might catch " Mr. Barlow " this time, I arrived an hour before the time
arranged ; but I discovered that the bird had flown, and that the house was empty, not
a scrap of any kind having been left behind.
For a time I lost all trace of Mr. Chadwick, until one day, as I was making some
inquiries at Fallowfield, on my way to the train, I saw a boy whom I recognised as
having noticed at Mr. Chadwick's house. Following him, I saw him speak to a woman
whom I identified as the one with whom I had previously made the arrangement to
meet Mr. Chadwick. I tracked them to the house at which they lived; but, thinking it
very likely that Mr. Chadwick might still be engaged on the "important business" of

collecting subscriptions for an institution which did not exist, I deferred my visit until
six o'clock the next morning, when I found him in the house. Searching him, I
obtained a number of documents, and amongst them were two collecting books,
having on the front page the following statement:
"Canning Street Ragged School and Mission Room, Ancoats. Established 1887.
" Dear Sir,
" The teachers and committee of this school are desirous of extending the school and
adding a classroom at a probable cost of 180. Great inconvenience was felt last
winter for want of a room, and teachers were reluctantly compelled to turn away
every Sunday night large numbers of poor ragged children.
" We earnestly appeal to you as a friend of the little ones to help us to carry out this
desirable object. Donations will be most thankfully received by the treasurer, Mr.
George Wilson, Messrs. D and W , V Street, Oldham Road, or the
secretary, Mr. L. C. Everett, 391, Bradford Road, Manchester."
Then followed a statement about the Canning Street Ragged School and Mission
Room Free Breakfast Fund, 1887-8, which proceeded : " Last season 6,275 meals
were given at a total cost of 59 lls. 2d.; 319 articles of clothing and 106 pairs of clogs
and boots were also distributed. Any parcels of clothing will be most useful, and they
may be sent to the school, or to Mr. J. W. Barlow, hon. secretary, 128, Oldham Road,
Manchester; or to George W treasurer, Lime Street, Manchester."
The .prisoner Chadwick had also in his possession what purported to be a balancesheet. This showed that the subscription list amounted to 89 15s. 6d., and that 1
10s. had been realised by letting the school, making a total of 91 5s. 6d. The
expenditure was set down at 78 4s. l0d. There were alleged to be 383 scholars, with
13 male and 17 female teachers, and it was stated that 7,287 free meals had been
given, and 323 articles of clothing (including clogs and shoes) distributed. Particulars
were also attached as to band of hope meetings, bible class, distribution of bibles,
mother's meetings, &c. The only person mentioned in the appeals who had any actual
existence was Mr. Wilson.
When arrested the prisoner admitted that there was no such institution as the Canning
Street Ragged School and Mission Hall, and asked me if other " soup kitchens " were
going to be " riddled up." Remarking that his was a " genuine affair," he added, " I
don't stick to the thick and give the thin; it's a right genuine case of sticking to the
Among the victims of this man were merchants, brewers, and tradesmen of all kinds ;
and it appeared that he had lived upon the proceeds of these frauds for many years. He
waited upon a gentleman, from whom he obtained a subscription, and called upon him
from time to time, keeping him well informed of all the work of the school.
After securing several contributions, he asked the donor if he could suggest a new
president for the establishment.
Eventually he induced the gentleman himself to become president, and to give him 5
for the school. He never proposed, however, that the new president should visit the
school, and some people will be amused when I say that the gentleman had never
asked to see it.
At one time the prisoner said the annual meeting of the school was about to be held,
and the gentleman would be required to preside; but something shortly afterwards
came to the knowledge of the victim which induced him to communicate with me.
Chadwick was committed to the Sessions for trial, and was sentenced to nine months'
imprisonment with hard labour.

If anything I have said here should induce the charitable public to inquire into cases of
distress for themselves, I shall not have thought my labour in vain. The present system
of indiscriminately giving away money not only places a premium on dishonesty, but
also tends to pauperise.
Cases have come under my notice where it has been impossible for respectable people
to keep their children away from these promiscuous places of charity, because they
have been drawn thither by their companions. Of course, in many of these institutions
it is said that inquiries are made into every case; but when one looks at the great
number of investigations that would have to be instituted daily, and knows the devices
to which those in the habit of attending such places resort in order to circumvent any
one making inquiries, one is forced to admit that many of these so-called charitable
institutions are absolutely vicious, both in their origin and in their operation.


FEW cities in the world have within them so many thieves as Manchester. The
pavement of Cottonopolis is incessantly trodden by rogues. This is not surprising.
The facility afforded for hiding in a crowd induces those who are badly disposed to
resort hither from all parts of the globe.
A great number of these persons are fixed constantly in this great City. Some come
only like birds of passage - at the approach of great occasions, or during the racing or
other busy seasons.
Among those permanently located in the City are a class of thieves of incredible
effrontery, who work what is called the " confidence trick."
Some years ago a young man living in Lincolnshire took advantage of one of the
summer excursions to that well-known, place of entertainment - Belle Vue Gardens intending at the same time to visit his uncle who resided in the City. On his arrival at
London Road Railway Station he was accosted with an inquiry as to whether he came
from Louth, by a sharper who was on the look-out for a suitable victim among the "
country Johnnies." The bow thus drawn at a venture scarcely hit the mark, as the
young man came from Conisboro'; but it served the purpose of opening a
conversation, and the two walked along together. The usual invitation to " have a glass
" was given, and an adjournment to a public house followed. Here they were joined by
a third man, and in course of conversation it was suggested that the first "sharper" was
on the look-out for someone who would distribute in Lincolnshire a large sum of
money which was to be given to a public charity, or to the poor of that county.
After various modes of distribution had been discussed, it was only natural that the
conversation should turn upon the honesty of the persons who would have to be
Sharper No. 1 was a very confiding man. He was charitable not only in money
matters, but had much of the charity of which St. Paul speaketh ; he had great
confidence in the honesty of his fellow creatures. To prove this he proposed to give
his purse into the possession of the " stranger " who had last joined them.

He would allow him to walk out of the house for five minutes, after which time he
was to return and prove that he was an honest man, or to be ever afterwards branded
with dishonesty. The stranger, nothing loath to prove his honesty, accepted the
invitation, and sallied forth with the purse, returning at the end of the stipulated time,
thus proving himself an honest man, and satisfactorily establishing that there was
something in the theory of the "benevolent gentleman," who insisted that all men were
not rogues. The stranger, it was hinted, ought now to try the honesty of the charitable
gentleman, which he did by entrusting him with his purse whilst he went through the
same performance. It is surely needless to say that such a benefactor to his race
proved himself eminently trustworthy.
Now up went a chorus of approval. Could three honester men be found in the world ?
But, ah ! there was one little defect. The confidence of the Lincolnshire excursionist
had riot yet been tried ! This was the time to prove his faith in the honesty of his
companions. Ashamed to be doubted in such excellent company, the visitor put his
purse, containing seven pounds twelve shillings, into the hands of his first
acquaintance, who went for the usual walk; but as he stayed rather over the stipulated
time, the " stranger " became uneasy, and began to look around for his "friends."
Noticing his trouble the barman asked what was the matter, whereupon the story was
told. The barman advised him to waste no time, but to seek his uncle and report the
matter to the police. When the uncle heard the story, he took him to the railway
station, paid his fare, and sent him back to Conisboro' a sadder, but, let us hope, a
wiser man.
This is only one of the many cases of this kind which I have come across during my
career. If it were not for the hard facts established over and over again, it would be
almost incredible that full-grown men should be found ready to become the dupes of
those who so successfully practice the " confidence trick."


THIS is a class of theft which differs from all others, in that it requires a good deal of
boldness and self-possession. Thieves who " ring the changes " usually, work in
couples, and the places selected for their operations are those which are busiest. Two
of these people enter a place of business at an appropriate moment. One of them
orders something and tenders a sovereign in payment. No sooner does he get the
change than the other in a hurry says, " Oh ! I have got less change than that, I'll pay,"
and at the same moment presents half-a-sovereign. " Very well," replies the first;
"give me my sovereign back." Then when the person supplying the goods gets the half
sovereign, the purchaser finds that he has got a shilling, and the half sovereign is
asked for back, and the shilling is given in its place.
The object is to " bustle " the person who is supplying the goods, and the dodge
invariably succeeds, the purchasers getting hold of their own sovereign, the change
for the sovereign, the change for the half sovereign, and the change for the shilling;
while the person serving them seldom finds out the mistake until going to the till for
change, when the " sharps" have, of course, flown. Should the mistake be discovered

before they can get away, or if the tradesman or servant be too sharp for them, it is
always easy to confess to a mistake.
About the year 1884 there were many complaints from business people in various
parts of Manchester regarding this sort of fraud. From the description given it
appeared that two men were engaged in these transactions, one described as a very
easy-going fellow, a slow talker, and the other a man of gentleman-like appearance
who, in almost every case, produced from his coat pocket patterns of cloth at which
his companion looked.
At the time we had in Manchester two men who were a mystery to me. I could
neither ascertain what they did nor where they lived. Complaints continued to roll in,
and after between thirty or forty had been received - sometimes as many as five in one
day, the complainants in many cases declining to prosecute - I made up my mind to
tackle these mysterious strangers on the subject.
One day passing along City Road I saw the younger of the two coming in an opposite
direction, and as we met face to face I accosted him with, " Good morning. How are
you ?" There was no reply, so I continued, " I am a detective officer, and as I believe
you are a man who is wanted for an offence, I must request you to accompany me to
the Detective Office."
Of course, the usual pains and penalties were threatened if I attempted to put my
hands on him, but I gave him clearly to understand that I was not to be bounced out of
the matter, and succeeded in getting him to the Detective Office where he was
identified. He declined to give any address on the ground that it would disgrace his
family, and that it was a case of mistaken identity which could soon be set right. On
searching him I found the pattern book and a number of business cards in his
possession, inscribed as follows :
" Cloth Manufacturer and Commission Agent for the Colonies." The difficulty now
was to get hold of the slow-speaking gentleman. I had seen him several times get off
the Stretford tram-car, and I learned from one of the old drivers who saw me noticing
him, and who appeared to pay as much attention to him as I did, that he had observed
him going into some new property off King Street, Stretford.
On the following morning I went to the place named, and after about half-an-hour's
inquiry found that my man of mystery was also a mystery in the neighbourhood in
which he lived. All that was known about him was that he called himself a " dealer in
antiquities." I took him to town where he was identified. He and his companion were
committed and tried at the Sessions on seven cases, and were each sentenced to nine
months' imprisonment.

ROBERT HORRIDGE (he was more familiarly called "Bob" Horridge), who forms
the subject of this story, was born in Rochdale Road, Manchester, in the year 1849, of
very respectable and industrious parents. When a boy he was sent to St. Paul's
School, Rochdale Road, and he had also to assist his father in his business as smith
and maker of fenders. When "Bob" was quite young he showed signs of unusual

depravity. These speedily developed, as a result most probably of bad companions,

and at the age of thirteen years he was sentenced to six months' imprisonment.
On his release from gaol he again went to work with his father, and for a time
behaved exceedingly well. He appeared to have given up his evil habits, but was again
apprehended and sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment. At the expiration of
this further term of imprisonment, he resumed work for his father, and by his industry
managed to save sufficient money to start business on his own account. He took into
partnership an Italian - a steady and industrious man - who worked for one of the
telegraph companies which existed before the telegraphs were acquired by the
During the year 1869, we received at the Manchester Detective Office a large number
of complaints of errand boys, sent out by tradesmen with parcels, being met by a man
who asked if the parcel was for Mr. or Mrs. , having by some means or other
ascertained the name and address of the person to whom the parcel was consigned. On
receiving a reply in the affirmative, he said he had been instructed to call for the
parcel and take it with him. The parcels were invariably given up, but, needless to say,
they never reached their proper destination. For a long time no clue could be obtained
to the offender nor to the parcels, until one day a youngster who had been persuaded
to part with a parcel in this way, immediately afterwards regretted having done so, and
cried out, "He's stole my parcel." That cry was taken up by another boy, and the thief
was caught. The culprit, " Ned " by name, was a well known pal of "Bob's," and was
in his company on every possible occasion.
After inquiring, it was ascertained that " Ned " had many times been observed going
to " Bob's " house with brown paper parcels - always very hurriedly - and been seen
to leave equally quickly without the parcels. It was therefore decided to overhaul "
Bob's " house. I was taken by one of our Inspectors to assist in the search, and this
was my first introduction to Mr. Horridge.
When we entered " Bob's " house, he became very sullen, and, learning our errand,
threatened violence. This led me to seize him and force him into a corner of the room,
where I kept him until the search was completed. We always knew each other
afterwards, and whenever we met " Bob " would clench his teeth at me ; but I always
kept up a bold front to him, and never allowed him to think I was afraid of him.
Shortly after this affair, a man reported to the police that he had been robbed of his
watch in close proximity to one of the railway stations in Manchester, and, thinking it
was just possible that the theft had been witnessed by some of the shopkeepers in the
neighbourhood, a watchmaker who lived hard by was spoken to, and the watch
described to him. The face of the watch had, it appeared, on one occasion been
opened with a knife, and the knife slipping had caused a piece of metal to be chipped
off the dial. On the morning following the robbery, a colleague and I were passing the
watchmaker's shop, when we saw " Bob " leave in front of us. My colleague
immediately entered the shop and asked what " Bob" had been doing there. He had
left a watch to be repaired. The watchmaker produced the watch, looked at us, and
laughed, saying, " Why, it's the watch you spoke to me about, and he will call for it tomorrow morning." We compared the watch with the description given to us, and
found it corresponded exactly.
We were at the shop early the next morning, and as soon as " Bob " came in for the
watch we suddenly emerged from our place of concealment and took him into
custody. When questioned, he said, "I bought it from a man I do not know." "You had
better tell that to the magistrates; no doubt they will believe you," I answered. Soon
afterwards the Italian partner, who had taken a receiver's share in the robbery, was

arrested. Both were committed for trial, and at the Sessions were found guilty of
stealing and receiving. Horridge, on account of his previous bad character, was
sentenced to seven years' penal servitude, and the Italian to four months'
It was, however, only subsequently that " Bob's " real career of crime began. He was a
smart, athletic fellow, and was always ready for a boxing bout. Men who had an
intimate knowledge of him have told me that he was a first-class workman, and that a
better man at his trade - the fire and anvil - could not be found, for he could do half as
much work again as any other smith in the country.
On his release from penal servitude, "Bob" again went into business for himself in
Style Street, Rochdale Road. He was very- successful, and soon bought a pony and a
long cart with low sides, which was necessary for him to convey his goods to the
various wholesale houses with which he did business. It was very well known that
when " Bob " was not in prison robberies occurred more frequently in Manchester
than when he was confined. Every now and again, during his days of liberty, a safe in
some secluded spot would be overturned, and the side or back cut out, and everything
of value removed therefrom. First a furrier's shop was broken into, then a silk
mercer's, and so on, the robberies occurring in rapid succession. One Sunday morning
about six o'clock, a jeweller's shop in Bradshaw Street, Shudehill, was entered. A
number of officers were out looking for Horridge's gang, but we could get no further
than that he had been seen about 6-30 going in the direction of his house carrying a
heavy hammer. This circumstance made it clear to us that " Bob " had had a hand in
the robbery that morning. Shortly afterwards, he was suspected of a robbery in the
county, and the police arrived from that district to try and effect his capture. We went
to a house, in which he then was, in Gould Street. Between twenty and thirty officers
surrounded the house, and a loud knock was given at the door. " Bob " jumped up and
tapped at the window; broke his way through the laths and plaster of the ceiling, and
was soon out on the roofs. Away over the slates he scampered, until he reached
Ludgate Hill, an adjoining street, when through the roof he dashed. Making his way
through the ceiling, he dropped into a bedroom in which a number of harvestmen
were sleeping. They were naturally considerably startled at "Bob's" sudden and
unsuspected entry, but they made no effort to detain him. " Bob " ran down the
bedroom stairs, and on opening the front door, which was reached by four steps from
the street, saw two constables ready to receive him. Without a moment's hesitation! he
took what I cannot otherwise describe than as a flying-leap into the street, over the
heads of the two officers. He dropped upon his feet, and, wearing only his shirt and
trousers, got safely away from all his pursuers.
" Bob's " next exploit was in a fancy goods shop in Thomas Street. The shutter of the
shop was made with an aperture, for the purpose of giving the police a view of the
interior. The policeman on the beat, looking through this aperture, saw " Bob " and a
companion known as " Long Dick " busily at work in the shop. Each was wearing an
apron, and one was reaching the parcels down from the shelves while the other was
examining them. On seeing the officer "Bob" cried out, "It's all right, guv'nor ; we're
taking stock ! " The officer had only just come on his beat, and as it was his first visit,
he went round to the back of the shop to see that all was safe. "Bob," who thought the
officer had gone to the back for the purpose of apprehending them, made his way out,
and meeting the officer in the passage, struck him a violent blow in the face, knocked
him down, and made his own escape. The officer's call for help brought another
constable to the scene, when " Long Dick "rushed out of the shop; but he was at once

secured. He was forthwith taken before the court, and sentenced to five years' penal
" Bob " kept well out of the way during the trial. A few days afterwards, two
detective-sergeants entered a house in Addington Street, Oldham Road, where "Bob"
was living. He was upstairs at the time, and must have seen them enter, for they had
not been in the house long before he leaned over the bannisters and cried out, " Have
they gone?" " No," said one of the officers ; " we are here," running upstairs at the
same time. "Bob" resorted to his usual tactics - jumped on the bed, through the
manhole, along the ceiling, and dropped through into an adjoining house. He ran
rapidly downstairs, and again made his escape. The officer who followed " Bob " over
the rafters lost his watch and chain, damaged his clothes, and presented a sorry
spectacle after the chase was over. "Bob" was not long before he was again at his old
tricks, and his next escapade worthy of notice was at a mill at Bradford, near
Manchester. It was usual at this mill to draw out of the bank on Friday the cash that
was required to pay the wages on Saturday. " Bob's " tactics in this case showed the
extent of the measures he was prepared to take in order to effect a robbery.
He first of all, in some way or other, learned the secret that a good deal of cash was in
the safe on Friday night, and thus he selected the time for operation. His next
observation was directed to the watchman, and he soon discovered that it was the
practice of this peaceful guardian each morning about half-past four to leave the office
by the mill door, and go round to the boiler-house in order to get up steam, so that
work might be started by six o'clock. It was further noticed that, on Saturday morning,
the watchman took the precaution to lock the front door and carry away the key in his
pocket. Having thus discovered when and how he could best gain admission to the
premises, " Bob " fitted a false key to the door, and thus all was ready for the visit.
One Saturday morning, " Bob " and three of his companions drove in his cart to the
neighbourhood of the mill. They were later in reaching their destination than they
anticipated, and the watchman was later than usual in leaving the office. The
consequence was that the cart was driven near the mill, which was fronted by a croft,
and when the watchman turned out he noticed the group. " Bob " and one of his
companions immediately began to fight, or rather pretended to fight; but by moral
suasion on the part of the others, assisted by the unsuspicious watchman, the quarrel
was made up. The " antagonists " parted good friends, and the watchman proceeded to
the boiler house to get up the steam. The cart was then brought close up to the mill,
the office easily entered by means of the false key, and the safe, weighing 450 Ibs,
containing about 600 in gold and silver, taken away.
This was certainly a startling inquiry for the police to enter upon. The papers teemed
with accounts of a " Daring Safe Robbery in Manchester," and people stared when
they heard that no arrest had been made. The daring and boldness of the robbery
almost took people's breath away. One could scarcely picture a watchman on the spot,
a safe and its contents stolen, and the thieves to get clear away ! " Whatever will
happen next ?" " Where are the police ?" and " What are the detectives doing?" were
questions everybody asked. We were, however, not long before we had Bob's gang
"spotted" for the "job," and the next thing was to get them identified. But this was a
most difficult matter. The watchman could not recognise them, and several others who
saw them were unable to swear to them. " Bob " had, it seemed, clearly beaten us this
time. But about a fortnight after the robbery we got a " wrinkle " where the safe was
to be found. " Bob's " workshop consisted of three cellars under dwelling-houses, and
behind the workshop was a reservoir which supplied with water an old mill adjoining.
This reservoir had been made the resting-place of the empty safe ! It was in about 5ft.

of water, and could not be seen from the surface. The millowner was induced to lower
the water sufficiently to allow of lifting tackle being put round the safe, and it was
hoisted out. An examination showed that everything had gone, the back of the safe
having been cut completely away.
In the month of July, 1880, an officer in uniform was going his rounds, and on trying
the door of a warehouse in Redfern Street found it was insecure. Pressing against it, it
yielded a little. Pushing it again and again, it suddenly gave way, when out rushed
"Bob." He struck the officer a violent blow which felled him, and made off at full
speed along Redfern Street, Mayes Street, and Long Millgate. The constable soon
regained his feet, and was in hot pursuit crying " Stop thief ! " An officer in the
distance heard the cry, and went straight for " Bob;" but it was of no use. He toppled
over like a skittle under " Bob's" heavy blows, and a gentleman connected with one of
the newspaper offices who essayed to capture " Bob " shared the same fate. Down the
steps that once formed an approach to Victoria Station by the foot-bridge Horridge
rushed, bounding over the parapet into the filthy Irk, dashed along the river into the
tunnel running under the Grammar School, Walker's Croft, and Hunt's Bank,
emerging at the junction of the waters into the River Irwell, until he came to a croft in
Moreton Street, Strangeways, where he got clear away. "Bob" was thus once more a
free man. In a few days he was again seen at work, and it was decided to try a fresh
plan with him. An inspector went to his smithy, and, looking through the window, thus
addressed him " Well, Bob, how are you? Shall you be busy to-night?" "No," replied Bob.
" Then," said the Inspector, " I should like to see you at the Prince's Feathers, at 7
o'clock, if it is convenient.
"Bob" swallowed the bait, singular as the fact may appear, and kept the appointment.
As soon as he entered the place, two other officers walked in and invited "Bob" to
accompany them to the Detective Office. There he was placed with a number of
others, and was identified by both the police officers, and also by the civilian, from
whom he had previously escaped. He was committed for trial, found guilty, and
sentenced to 7 years' penal servitude, to be followed by 7 years' police supervision.
This put a stop to his performances for a time. At this period it was customary to
remove the prisoners a few weeks after conviction from the ordinary prisons to the
convict establishment, and while "Bob' was being conveyed to London by rail,
chained with about fifteen other convicts, he told his companions that it would not be
long before he regained his liberty, or he would take care that there was a mutiny in
the prison. This was overheard by the officer in charge, and he informed the Governor
of the prison on his arrival so that the warders could be in readiness to prevent an
escape. But "Bob" was as good as his word. He induced the convicts to agree to his
plan; but when the signal was given, only two besides himself had the courage to
attempt it. An alarm was raised, the guard turned out, and called upon the prisoners to
stand. Two of them threw up their arms as an intimation of surrender, but "Bob"
continued his flight. The guard fired and wounded him, but still he went on. Again
they fired and hit him, but the runaway was gifted with more determination than most
men, and, in spite of his wounds, he continued his flight. A third time the guard
discharged his carbine, and "Bob" was then compelled to surrender. He was
marched back to prison, and very carefully watched until the day of his liberation
arrived in April, 1887.
One of the first things he did on coming out of prison was to inquire the whereabouts
of his two companions who had shown the " white feather " when the attempt to
escape was made, and he would be revenged, he said, for their cowardice.

His next exploit was to break into the shop of Mr. Angus Wood, in Rochdale Road, by
means of false keys. This time he was assisted by a woman. They were surprised
about 4-30 a.m. by the officer on beat, who summoned to his assistance a letter carrier
and two other persons, one of whom, assisted by the letter carrier, watched the side
door of the shop. " Bob " unbolted the back door of the shop and let himself into the
yard behind, saying as he did so, " I will not be taken alive." As soon as he opened the
yard door he discharged a revolver at the constable's head. The bullet scarred his neck
sharply, and dazed him. " Bob " and the officer's assistants all took to flight by
different routes. Another officer met " Bob " in his flight and endeavoured to stop
him, but the desperado fired again and shot the officer in the breast, causing him to
stagger and fall. " Bob " then once more got clear away. The wounded constable was
taken in a passing market cart to the Infirmary, where he remained for about three
weeks, and I may safely say that he will never be right again.
On it becoming known that two police officers had been shot at, and that the would-be
murderer remained at large, no little uneasiness was caused in the minds of the public,
who probably feared he would pay some of them a visit.
I was at this time at Chichester on other business, and there I received a telegram
informing me of the occurrence and requesting my immediate return to headquarters.
I reached Manchester about 5-30 in the afternoon and at once set to work to make
inquiries, and soon ascertained that " Bob" was the man wanted for the attempted
murder and the robbery. I was cautioned by " Bob's " father and sister to be very
careful what I was doing, as, since his discharge from Parkhurst on the 5th of April,
1887, they had often heard him say he would shoot me. This, certainly, was very
pleasant news; but, knowing the desperate character of the man, I was not surprised to
hear it. I traced " Bob " to the house of a relative at Moss Side, and from there in turn
to Ardwick, Stockport, and Tiviot Dale, where I learned he had taken train for
Liverpool. I instructed officers to watch the house in Manchester where he lived - his
wife being away at this time - and also to watch the house of a friend of his wife's.
Then, with other members of the detective staff, I went to Liverpool and made a close
search for " Bob." While we were in Liverpool his wife was taken into custody at
Manchester, to which place we returned, when she stated she had left her husband in
At night we went to the latter town, and walked about with her until three o'clock the
next morning, when she laid down on the flags and fell sound asleep. She was the
only clue we had, and it was necessary to watch her keenly to prevent her getting
On the following evening, whilst observing her house, I saw her leave with a mantle
over her head, hail a cab and drive to Knott Mill Station, the ascent to which is by two
flights of steps, so that it would be easy for her to ascertain if she was followed by
turning her head. After a short time I entered the station, and learned that she had
booked to Liverpool by the South Junction line. I hurried to the Central Station and
took train for the same place. It was during the strike of the railway men, and my
arrival was half-an-hour later than that of "Bob's" wife, or "Little Ada'' as she was
called. We searched all night, and saw Ada leave Liverpool on the following evening.
We kept up our disguise, and went to the neighbourhood of the docks to search for "
Bob " there. In walking along Duke Street, I saw one of my colleagues enter the "
Prince of Wales " public-house, and a little further on another colleague came up to
me and said, "Did you see that man who has just passed?" " Yes ! " I replied. He
answered, " I saw him look very hard at you." I turned round to get a better view, and

at once recognised "Bob" by his walk. "It's him!" I exclaimed. " Bob " was just
crossing Duke Street, and was apparently about to enter the "Prince of Wales" publichouse. Stooping down I ran up to "Bob" and seized him by the arms. "Hallo ! Bob,
how are you?" I asked. He quickly put his hand towards his pocket, when I drew a
revolver and, placing the muzzle to his mouth with the weapon at full cock, said, " If
there's any nonsense with you, you'll get the contents of this." " Bob's " experience of
our first meeting twenty years before caused him to think there was trouble in store
for him, and again he tried to get his hand to his pocket. I shouted to Inspector
Schofield, who was near, "Double up, Will," and he ran to my assistance. "Bob's"
arms Were firmly held. He refused to walk, and, as we were dragging him along to the
nearest police station, he made a desperate effort to free himself, saying, as he did so,
"I have nothing," trying to make us believe he was not armed. I struck him on the
head with my revolver, and said, "Perhaps you'll come quietly now." In Bold Street
we met a policeman in uniform who gladly assisted us, remarking, when told who the
prisoner was, " He might have killed a dozen police officers if he had not been
"I have nothing," again protested "Bob" at the Detective Office; but I knew he only
wanted an opportunity to shoot both of us. Directing Schofield' to hold one of his
hands, and having myself secured the other, I was about to search him. Seeing that he
could not deceive me, he sullenly exclaimed, "It's in there." Thrusting my hand into
his trouser's pocket, I pulled out a six-chambered revolver, fully loaded, together with
a small tin box containing some loose cartridges. Sergeant Standen was the officer
who entered the " Prince of Wales " public house, and he did not know we had made
the arrest until I returned in a cab to Duke Street.
It was in the neighbourhood that we had seen "Little Ada" cross to the Central Station,
and this was the only quarter of Liverpool which we had not explored. While
searching that city for "Bob," I determined to visit the house of a notorious
Birmingham thief known as "Wingey," from the fact that he had lost the fingers of one
hand. Inspector Robins, of the Liverpool detective police, accompanied me to the
house. We were refused admission, and, on entering, a large bull dog confronted us in
the lobby. Producing my revolver, I threatened to shoot it if the inmates did not take it
away. They saw that I meant what I said, and wisely secured the brute, while we went
over the place to satisfy ourselves that Horridge was not in hiding there.
"Bob" was conveyed to Manchester by the 11-30 p.m. train, and at the Detective
Office he made a written statement in accordance with my depositions given below.
Next morning he was clearly identified when placed in the company of a number of
other men. Before the Magistrates, he was charged with "having broken and entered
the shop of Mr. Wood, and stolen six pairs of boots " (he had removed these boots
from one place to another whilst he was in the shop). He was further charged with
"having shot with a revolver, loaded with bullet, Police Constable Parkin, with intent
and malice aforethought to kill and murder him;" and a similar charge was preferred
against him in regard to Police Constable Bannon. He was committed for trial at the
In view of the great public interest which the capture of Horridge created I append a
copy of my deposition in the case, which was as follows :
" Jerome Caminada, Chief Inspector of Police in this city, says ; On the evening of the
8th of August last I was in Duke Street, Liverpool, between ten and eleven o'clock. I
was looking for the male prisoner [Elizabeth Ann Stone was indicted with ' Bob'].
Inspector Schofield and Sergeant Standen were with me, Schofield and I being armed.
I have known Horridge for nineteen years. I was walking along the street alone.

Standen was in a public-house, and Schofield a little distance away. The prisoner
came along the street from the other direction. I passed him by and then turned back
and got hold of him, putting my arms round his arms. I said ' Hallo, Bob ! how are
you?' and shook him up. Schofield then came towards me. We were all dressed as
labourers, He did not seem to recognise me at first, but put his arms down towards his
pockets, and tried to get his hand into his right hand trousers pocket. I got hold of his
arm to prevent his doing so. He said, ' What's it about ? Loose my hands; I have got
nothing about me.' I said, ' Now if there is any nonsense, Bob, we will settle it
between us,' and I showed him my revolver. Schofield ran up and got hold of him, and
we took him along Duke Street towards Great George Street. At the top of Duke
Street he made a final effort to get loose, and I struck him on the head with my
revolver. This made him half dazed, and as we dragged him along he said, ' I have had
to do what I did, or they would have killed me; it was the officer's own fault he was
shot - he would come on to it.' This was before I told him with what he would be
charged, and was not in reply to any remark of mine. Up to then I had said nothing
more than I have stated. I took him to the detective office, Dale Street, Liverpool, and
there charged him with breaking and entering a boot shop, 633, Rochdale Road,
Manchester, on the morning of the 30th of July, and stealing a quantity of boots value
40s., and told him that he would be further charged with attempting to murder PoliceConstables Bannon and Parkin whilst in the execution of their duty by shooting them
with a revolver. He said, ' I did not intend to kill them or hurt them I only intended
to frighten them.' I searched him and found on him in his right hand trousers pocket
the six-chambered revolver produced, all the chambers being loaded, and also six
other cartridges produced. When charged at Manchester, I repeated to the prisoner
what he had said at Liverpool and it was written down. Prisoner said, 'I will plead
guilty to all the charges you bring against me.' Inspector Schofield and Sergeant
Standen were present and heard this."
In the meantime his pals had resolved to give him a last chance, subscribing among
them the necessary sum, 23s. 6d., for a dock-brief.
At the close of the evidence for the prosecution the barrister who held the dock-brief
rose with all the dignity which the grave nature of the proceedings demanded, and,
pulling his gown over his shoulders and fixing his wig more firmly on his head, glared
round the Court, and then at the opposing Counsel, as though ready if need be to
defend by physical force the innocence of the prisoner. Turning his face to the gallery,
and fixing his thumb in the arm-holes of his gown, the learned luminary of the law
began his address in a stentorian voice. After referring to the heavy responsibility
which rested upon his shoulders, he proceeded to air his eloquence to the gallery in
one of those speeches so common on such occasions when there is no defence - that
is, to blackguard the prosecution. After indulging in some high-flown, bombastic
language, merely to tickle the vanity of his patrons, he concluded by appealing to the
high-minded and intelligent jury to let the cause of truth and justice prevail by the
acquittal of his much-injured and most oppressed client.
When the loquacious advocate sat down, the Judge in a few words demolished the
whole fabric he had so diligently erected ; and the high-minded and intelligent jury,
ignoring his appeal without so much as leaving the box, found the prisoner guilty, the
Judge sentencing him to penal servitude for life.
The following is a rough copy of " Bob's " convictions in Manchester :1862:
Stealing money - 6 months'imprisonment; May, 1867: Receiving stolen property
18 months' imprisonment; March, 1870: Stealing a watch - 7 years' penal servitude
and 7 years police supervision; August 4, 1880: Breaking into warehouse - 8 years'

penal servitude and 7 years' police supervision; Nov. 2, 1887: Attempted murder and
robbery - penal servitude for life.
In addition to the above sentences, Horridge made other appearances before the
magistrates. On one occasion early in his career he was committed to gaol because he
failed to find sureties for his good behaviour. Again, in August, 1876, he was tried for
doing malicious damage by cutting the bellows of a rival smith, or "rattening" him.
This offence could not, however, be clearly brought home to him. In October of the
following year Horridge was indicted for shop-breaking, and his plea of not guilty
again stood him in good stead, for his identity as the actual thief could not be
positively established to the satisfaction of the jury.
When Horridge was sent into penal servitude for life the public had the pleasure of
knowing that the career of one of the most accomplished and desperate thieves that
ever lived in Manchester was brought to an end. " Bob " is at the present time
confined in one of Her Majesty's convict prisons, and after his previous doings the
greatest possible care is taken of him.

NO class of people are more liable to be imposed upon than amateur money lenders.
In 1883 a case came into my hands of a somewhat similar nature to the Bogus
Railway Frauds described in this book, save that a different class of securities was
used for the purpose of deceiving the money lenders. The leading character in this
swindle was one James Melville, who described himself as a commission agent,
residing at various places in the suburbs. Closely connected with him was George
Beck, styling himself a "commercial traveller," and residing with his daughter in
Leamington Avenue, Chorlton-on-Medlock. The " commercial" character of the latter
may be gathered from the fact that about the year 1870 he was convicted of
embezzlement from his employers and sentenced to several months' imprisonment.
The modus operandi of this couple when they came together appears to have been to
insert in some newspaper an advertisement something to this effect:
" Wanted 16 for two months. 2 interest will be paid ; good security. No loan
company need apply."
Tempted probably by the large interest offered, a great number of applications were
usually received, and Melville would then wait upon the persons who answered the
advertisements, promising as security for the loan a warrant on a case of cigars
deposited at the bonding warehouse in Salford.
In some cases where the loan was larger, the warrants for two cases would be offered,
and occasionally the warrants, were accompanied by Melville's promissory note,
payable at the end of one month, or two months. Melville, as a rule, stated that the
cigars were of a value far in excess of the amount of the loan, but in no single instance
was the loan repaid. In some cases the time was extended at his request, on the plea
that trade was bad and money difficult to get in; but as soon as he perceived that the
person lending the money would no longer willingly be trifled with, Beck, who
played the inglorious part of the jackal, appeared upon the scene as a person "who did
business in cigars among publicans, and was willing to take up the warrant and
purchase the cigars."

Never, however, did Beck pay cash on the transaction, and wherever an immediate
settlement was insisted upon, the agreement fell through. He usually gave a
promissory note or bill, which was always dishonoured, and nothing was ever paid to
the lenders, who by these means were induced first to part with their money, and then
with the warrant or security. Whenever proceedings were taken against Beck for
payment, it turned out that 'he was entirely without resources, the contents of the
house in which he resided being the property of his step-daughter, who on several
occasions in answer to executions levied by judgment creditors against Beck,
interpleaded and established her right to the property. As soon as Beck obtained
possession of the warrant it was handed back to Melville, and he applied to the
Bonded Warehouse Company for another warrant in exchange for it. In this way
Melville killed two birds with one stone; for by creating a civil liability on the part of
Beck he got rid of his own liability, and also obtained the warrant by means of which
he was able to procure money from other people on the same security.
Thus, on the 6th November, 1883, a gentleman at old Trafford answered an
advertisement which appeared in a Manchester newspaper, requesting for two months
a loan of 16, on which 2 interest was to be paid. On the following day, Melville
called upon him respecting the matter. In answer to a question as to what security he
could give, Melville said " he had a case of Bahia cigars in bond worth 40."
After considering the matter, the gentleman agreed to let him have the money on the
deposit as security of a promissory note for 18, together with a warrant for the cigars
numbered 4,492. When the promissory note became due it was not met, and after
numerous attempts to get the money, and a certain time had been given to Melville,
the gentleman informed him that he intended to raise the money upon the warrant.
The swindler is invariably well practised in the art of shuffling, and as a rule is a very
agreeable and pleasant character. He has a smiling, cheerful manner which is quite
captivating. But beware of him. He is a cunning fellow, and will probably give you a
world of trouble before you have done with him. Many a weary fruitless call you will
have to make before you get your money out of him if you once get into his clutches.
Indeed, so hopeles does the prospect in time become, that you make the calls rather as
a matter of course, or from habit, rather than from any idea of receiving payment. It
may seem strange that the shuffler should be so long tolerated by those whom he
treats in this way; but the indulgence is usually accounted for by the fact that the
shuffler is after all believed to be a man of substance. It is because you think he can
pay that you do not compel him to do so. If you fancied he could not pay, you would
have him in gaol in a week; it being one of the world's weaknesses to harass to death
the man who cannot pay, and to treat with every indulgence the man who can, but
won't. The shuffler then has always a mysterious, undefinable sort of wealth
somewhere. No one can precisely say where this exists; but there is a vague notion
that he has means, and it is this silly belief which procures him credit in the first
place, and saves him from punishment in the second. It is this, too, that enables him to
go on shuffling until he has " shuffled off this mortal coil." Then and not till then does
trickery end. He is an artful dog. Witness the cunning smile and affable manner with
which he meets you when you come to dun him - a smile and manner that at once
disarm you of all that makes a dun formidable.
Without being aware of it yourself, he softens you with his smirking affability, until
you become as plastic as wax, and then he tells you some capital little stories, or
amusing anecdotes. In this he has a purpose, which is to prevent you broaching the
one great and important subject - your demands. You can't get near it, although it is
the one question which you have called for the purpose of discussing. For this,

however, he takes care you shall have neither time nor opportunity. If he can only get
you to laugh, or join him in a little conversation, or even take an interest in what he
can tell you, he considers himself safe for the time. And so he is, for you cannot press
very hard, or say anything very harsh to, a man to whom you have just been listening
with pleasure, or with whom you have been in friendly and familiar, conversation.
You will, doubtless, in the long run force the object of your call on his notice, but
your urgency has by this time of course been considerably discounted. Your demand,
in place of being bold and peremptory as you first intended, degenerates into a feeble,
civil, half-muttered allusion to a certain small account.
A request so gently made the shuffler has little difficulty in parrying. He turns it aside
with a humorous remark about the scarcity of cash, and you finally walk off without
having got an inch beyond the point at which you have been sticking for the last
twelve months.
You have not been long gone, however, before you get exceedingly angry with
yourself; you remember, at least, that this is the hundred and fiftieth time he has
cozened you; and you declare that you will not be trifled with in this way again - that
you will no longer take smirks and smiles for good hard cash. But the very next time
you call upon the shuffler the familiar scene is re-enacted.
The shuffler smiles and smirks as before, and you depart without having obtained a
glimpse of his coin. Though he always receives you graciously and with excessive
affability, he would, after all, much rather avoid than encounter you. He will get out of
your way if he can. And if he has only notice of your approach, he will dash down one
staircase, or up another, glide into a dark recess, or pop into an unoccupied room, or
even, if no better shift offer itself, will ensconce himself behind some bulky
commodity, and be thus probably within a yard of you, while his little errand boy is
answering, according to instructions, your inquiry for him with a " Just gone out, sir."
It is a curious sight to catch the shuffler, as may sometimes be done, in the act of
retreating into his hiding-place. He is in a tremendous hurry, as may readily be
believed, for he is acting under the stimulus of an enemy at his heels, and is therefore
extremely alert in his movements. You can, in fact, rarely get sight of more than the
skirts of his coat, just as they are disappearing. If he cannot avoid you he makes the
best of a bad business, and greets you with his assumed affability, betraying nothing
in his manner which could lead you for a moment to believe that he would have got
out of your way if he could. On the contrary he receives you as if there was no other
person on earth whom he would be happier to see.
Such is the treatment the lender of the money in question had received, when, in sheer
desperation, he informed Melville that he would dispose of the warrant.
Thereupon Beck was introduced as a gentleman who dealt largely among publicans in
cigars, and as willing to take up the warrant. Beck, however, could not give cash for
it, and after some conversation the gentleman took Beck's bill for 20 at two months,
and delivered the warrant to him. Of course the bill was in due course dishonoured,
and the warrant was exchanged for another number, 2,907. This was in the following
month disposed of'in a similiar way to a joiner for a loan of 14, for which he was to
receive 17 in return. But on the bill falling due the lender found that Melville had
disappeared. Besides the above cases I found that Melville had obtained in the course
of a few weeks from other persons, two loans of 20, two of 15, and two of 40
In nearly every instance Beck succeeded in getting the warrants back on worthless
promissory notes. He handed the warrants to Melville, who was thus enabled to
procure further loans, while those who stuck to their warrants discovered that they

were possessed of worthless securities. Six cases of cigars had actually been received
in bond on December 5th, 1874, and the duty and charges owing upon them amounted
to 159 18s. 3d. An expert who examined the cigars proved, however, that they were
not Bahia, as represented, but Continental cigars of a very cheap and common sort,
costing from Is. to Is. 6d. per box, also that if all charges were paid they were not
worth more than about 2s. per box.
Each case contained about 100 boxes. Therefore, with the duty and storage fees owing
upon them, they were absolutely valueless to a purchaser. The quality was in fact so
poor, and they had been in bond so long that the cigars were fit for nothing but a snuff
manufacturer, and were valueless except for this purpose.
When I arrested Melville, he said he had an answer to the charges. The following
morning I arrested Beck, who alleged that Melville had taken advantage of his
straitened circumstances to induce him to obtain the dock warrants from the people
who had lent Melville money, for which services Melville rewarded him with certain
sums of money. This statement Melville did not deny, but replied that Beck was very
foolish to give bills when he had no money to meet them; and that he could not see
there was anything wrong. If there was, it was Beck who was to blame.
The prisoners were committed and tried before Mr. Justice Day, at the Manchester
Summer Assizes, 1884, charged with conspiring to defraud J C S of
the sum of 10 ; B W of the sum of 20; C T of the sum of
20; S W of the sum of 15; S H of the sum of 25 and 15,
and J- of the sum of 14.
They were also indicted for conspiracy to procure the warrants given as security for
the respective advances, for falsely representing the value of the cigars referred to in
the warrants, and for falsely representing that certain bills were good and valid
securities. It was proved in evidence that judgment had been entered in the Court of
Record for the Hundred of Salford against Beck, on the following dates:1st June,
1874; 14th December, 1874; 31st August, 1876; 6th April, 1878; 14th November,
1879; 30th January, 1880; 23rd February, 1882; 8th May, 1882; 1st December, 1882;
14th December, 1883; 20th December, 1883; 18th March, 1884.
Executions were also issued on the following dates :18th November, 1879; 30th
January, 1880; 13th July, 1880; 8th April, 1882 ; 19th March, 1884.
In none of these cases was a single halfpenny ever recovered by the victims.
The prisoners were found guilty, and each sentenced to two years' imprisonment, with
hard labour.
Melville was formerly a cashier in a well-known Manchester bank, and took great
interest in a certain chapel, often occupying the pulpit.
Beck was at one period the owner of a large ironworks, near Manchester, and kept a
carriage and pair of horses ; but gambling on the Stock Exchange had reduced him to
abject poverty. He then became Melville's tool.
Some time before these convictions were obtained, I had answered one of Melville's
advertisements asking for a loan. I had an interview with him at a shop in Lower
Mosley Street, and from that day suspected he was a rogue. I resolved to play a
waiting game until I could establish a clear case against him.


DURING the year 1889 complaints reached the Detective Office regarding a firm
who were carrying on business under the name of " Rayner and Company," and
obtaining, under somewhat suspicious circumstances, goods for which the consignees
could not get paid.
The modus operandi of the swindlers was similar to that I have already described.
They took offices in various parts of the city to carry on business under different
names, and were thus able to give references one to the other. They first commenced
business in Watling Street, and, among other goods, obtained a quantity of oil, leather
strapping, laces, and fancy goods from the continent. I had my doubts about the firm
at the time, but as I wished to have a clear case, so that they could not escape and
carry on their nefarious practices elsewhere, I came to the conclusion that it would be
best not to alarm them, but give them plenty of " rope." However, as the complaints
were pressed I paid them a visit of inquiry, and shortly afterwards received a letter
from their solicitor questioning my legal authority to put the members of the firm
through a course of examination. I took no notice of the communication, but, as I
expected, the "firm" suddenly vanished. I subsequently traced them to 83, Silver
Street, Portland Street, where they were carrying on business under the name of "
Henry and Co., manufacturers, agents, and merchants." Here I again kept my eye
upon them. But a serious difficulty now arose. As they had adopted the motto "pay no
rent," the landlord put the bailiffs in.
Now the "bum-bailiff" has never been a popular character. He who attaches either
person or goods for debt acts albeit in a civil process in a penal character. It would be
easy to show that the feeling against such persons, in a certain sense, naturally leads
to an injustice. But I am at present concerned only to establish that it is mischievous.
They are thrust out of respectable society, and ally themselves with what is directly
vicious, as having a common enemy.
Now one of the firm to which I refer happened to be a solicitor, belonging to the class
of whom it is said that they do their utmost to brow-beat their opponent's witnesses; to
abuse and vilify, or at least to insinuate unworthy motives against and depreciate their
opponent's client. Their immediate object is not truth but victory. They manipulate the
evidence, give a false colour to facts, warp the meaning of plain words, wrest the law
to their side, appeal to the known bias or probably prejudice of the jury, and seek to
sophisticate the judge. It is argued with great plausibility that such practices must
deaden the mind to the value of truth, and tend to make justice a game of chance, or,
at least, of unscrupulous skill. Litigation is undoubtedly an evil, especially when
conducted by such gentlemen as these, however necessary it may be; and more
exasperation, rancour, and uncharitableness is probably stirred up in a single term in
connection with it than accompanies all the " bum-bailiff's " work for the whole year.
The bailiff in this particular case was on duty before the warehouse of Messrs. Henry
and Co., waiting his chance to gain possession, but our solicitor, expecting something
of the kind, kept the front door locked. However, as he was not a Signor Succi, he
could not stop there for ever; and as the stomach of the bailiff appeared to hold out the
longer there was nothing for it but to run the risk of getting away without letting in the
gentleman outside. So, carefully locking the inner door which opened into the
warehouse, he slowly unlocked the outer one. But no sooner had it opened a few
inches than in came the bailiff with a rush, and the two gentlemen faced each other.
There is no reason whatever why the two men should not have shaken hands first,
gone to work in a spirit of perfect chivalry, and commenced a round with the temper

and conscience of Bayard himself. They, however, simply glared at each other, and
the solicitor passed out with the keys in his pocket, refusing to open the inner door,
and the baffled bailiff was left looking through the key-hole like the fox at the grapes.
Round No. 1 to the solicitor. The bailiff, however, was not inclined to throw up the
sponge. He probably remembered the advice of Polonius to his son" Beware of
entrance to a quarrel; but being
in, bear it, that the opposer may beware of thee." And as he stood with his eye to the
key-hole, longing for the grapes inside, he suddenly became conscious of a footstep.
Taking his eye from the key-hole and placing his ear there instead, it became evident
that the footstep was inside. "All is not lost yet," moralised Mr. Bum. He was looking
round for safe quarters whence to besiege the place, when once more placing his eye
to the key-hole he saw another of the firm, who, it afterwards appeared, had missed
his partner and walked in at another entrance, coming towards the door with the key
in his hand. The besieger prepared, and no sooner was the key turned in the lock than
he threw himself upon the door with the force of a battering ram, and besieged and
besieger rolled upon the floor. The citadel was captured, the keys handed over, and
Mr. Bum left in charge of the premises to chuckle over his well-earned victory, while
the enemy departed crestfallen. Round No. 2 for the bailiff.
" Faint heart never won fair lady." Messrs. Henry and Co. were not inclined to haul
down their flag without another trial of strength; so the solicitor now appeared upon
the scene, and, after expressing most heartfelt sympathy for the firm for which he of
course had been " instructed, to act," they commenced to take an inventory of the
goods, having completed which, as a matter of friendliness and more intimate
acquaintance in the future, they adjourned to the Olive Branch Hotel close to; the
bailiff, however, taking good care to secure the citadel by locking the outer door a
very proper precaution when there is only one set of keys. Our solicitor was no
ordinary mortal. He had some knowledge of human nature, and, knowing what a
magnet" the public-house is for a certain class of individuals, had made his
arrangements accordingly, and had handed over the keys with which he walked away
on his first encounter with the bailiff to his partner, who was hard at work whilst the
two myrmidons of the law (for the bailiff had an assistant) were enjoying their pipes
and ale, condoling themselves no doubt with the reflection that the misfortunes of the
unfortunate firm of Messrs. Henry and Co. had .brought them a little business.
"What is one man's loss is another man's gain," moralised the bailiff, and he soon had
an opportunity of realising the truth of the maxim, for on returning to his charge, like
a giant refreshed, and opening the front or outer door he found that the inner door, in
which he had left the key on the inside, would not open. Now, although Mr. Bum had
been enjoying the " social glass," he was not in that state we sometimes see depicted
of men trying to place the key in the knocker instead of the key-hole ; but,
nevertheless, he thought it very strange that the door would not open.
So, once more applying his eye to the key-hole, a sight met his gaze which sent his
spirit down to his shoes. Murder ! No, gentle reader, not quite so bad as that, though I
question whether the effect upon him would have been any the greater - the key was
gone ! The citadel had been stormed in his absence ! Here was news ! He at once
burst open the door, but, alas, the place was empty ! He flew across to the Olive
Branch, but the solicitor had gone. He had gone to partake in the success of his client
and partner who had been so busy whilst he had been in his cause, and the poor " bum
" was left to reflect on the truism that " what is one man's gain is another man's loss."
Round No. 3 for the solicitor: - the bum-bailiff knocked out of time.

Messrs. Henry and Co., however, had another office in Bull's Head Yard, where they
carried on business under the name of "Rayner and Co.," and to this place the goods
were removed from Silver Street. Amongst them was a quantity of oil of the value of
about 67, some paper, and other articles. This oil had been ordered from a firm at
Hull by Messrs. Henry and Co., who, on being asked for references, referred the Hull
firm to Messrs. Rayner and Co. The latter being applied to of course answered that
they knew the firm of Messrs. Henry and Co. well, had the greatest confidence in
them, had had an open account with them for some time, and the business had always
been done to their entire satisfaction. Now this was all very true. Who could know
them better, have greater confidence in them, or give them more satisfaction ? It
would be difficult for a man to know his neighbour better, or to have greater
confidence in him than in himself. Consequently Messrs. Henry and Co. got the oil,
which was captured by the bailiff and recaptured by the firm. This, however, was no
satisfaction to the Hull firm, and the complaints were pressed both by the firm and the
police. Knowing the real character of the firm with whom I had to deal I had no
intention of losing my "round" with them if I could help it, so, after keeping my eye
on them for some time, I noticed the solicitor enter the office of Messrs. Rayner and
Co., and I and Inspector Hargreaves at once
"You know Mr. ?" I asked.
"Yes," he replied.
" And you know me?" '
" Yes," was his frank answer.
" What about the oil from Hull?"
" Well, what about it ?" he inquired.
" Where is it?" I demanded.
" It has been sold," he said.
" But the money has not yet been paid."
" To whom has it been sold?" was my next question. Whereupon he gave me the
name of Airey and Co.
This I knew to be another branch of the same firm, and as I did not intend to lose sight
of my gentleman I insisted upon him accompanying me to Airey and Co.'s place of
business ; but as he could not see the party he wished to see we proceeded to the
Stock Exchange. There, he said, he had to meet a member of the firm, and, after
waiting for some time, during which I put a little pressure upon him, he went upstairs
to an office and asked for Mr. . On that gentleman making his appearance my
companion asked, "Have you been at home ill?" "No," replied the other laughing, "
nor do I want to be ill." The solicitor then left the office, and turning to me said, " I
see how it is. I have been deceived. Rayner and Co. have been bringing me to
their office for the last six weeks telling me that the man to whom they sold the oil
was at home ill. There is little doubt they have received the money."
After a little more fencing it was decided to return to the office of Messrs. Rayner and
Co., and send the office boy for his confederate. This was done, and as he knew
nothing of what occurred he hastened to meet his partner, but his jaunty air
disappeared as soon as he saw me. It was too late, however ; his retreat was cut off.
" You know me ?" I asked.
" Yes," he answered plaintively.
" I am inquiring for the barrels of oil from Hull; where are they?"
"They are sold," he said.
" To whom?" I asked.

"Messrs. ."
" Where's the money ?" I inquired.
" I gave it to (mentioning the solicitor).
"You did not," interrupted the other.
I waited for no more, but invited them to accompany me to the Detective Office,
where I showed them the reference letter, and asked whose handwriting it was ?
" Mine," said the solicitor. " I wrote it by 's instructions."
"Who," I asked, "is Henry and Co?"
"There is the firm," said the solicitor, pointing to his confederate.
"No," rejoined the partner, "you are."
When client and solicitor took to quarrelling I thought it as well to confront them with
the bailiff, and the scene that followed would have delighted a painter. The bailiff
looked as if he was " going" for them on the spot, whilst their countenances showed
complete amazement. They were struggling to suppress the laughter ready to break
forth, and were yet afraid of saying anything for fear of committing themselves. The
bailiff, however, identified them and I locked them up. On searching their offices in
various parts of the city, nothing of consequence was found, except two beer barrels in
the office of Rayner and Co. As these barrels had been got in the usual course, the
firm had evidently been obtaining their beer on the cheap.
The prisoners were committed for trial at the Assizes, and on the 28th February, 1890,
they pleaded guilty, and were sentenced by Mr. Justice Charles to 15 months'
imprisonment with hard labour.
Thus was the battle won and the poor bailiff avenged.


IN April, 1886, I received information of a rather suspicious circumstance relating to
a shop in Chorlton Road, Hulme, in charge of a young lady. A nurse, who was
engaged by the wife of a plumber who had met with an accident, alleged that whilst
sitting up with that lady's husband she heard during the night certain noises in the next
shop - a tobacconist's - after it had been closed. As no one was supposed to live on the
premises referred to, I set to work to see how these noises could be explained. I called
at the shop, ostensibly to purchase a box of cigars of a special brand and quality. After
a little conversation I suggested that a splendid business might be done in the
neighbourhood if a good and choice stock of cigars were kept. The young lady was of
a communicative disposition, and I ascertained that one of her employers occasionally
came to the shop and remained for some time after she had gone away, taking the key
to her house on leaving. I endeavoured to make an appointment to meet her. She said
she had to see her young gentleman, who worked in a shop near at hand, at half-past
eight that night; but she promised to meet me an hour earlier when she left the shop. I
took the precaution to have a lady assistant with me, and after a little persuasion we
prevailed upon the shop assistant to take tea with us, which I had previously ordered
for half-past seven. To guard against being seen with the young lady I walked on in

front, the two ladies following. As the tea proceeded I learned that one of her
employers was a builder ; but she did not know the occupation of the other, who,
however, often visited the place - always at night - when he generally walked right
through into the back portion of the premises without stopping or speaking to her. I
also ascertained that she did not know what the back premises or the rooms above the
shop contained, as the door was always locked, and every care taken to prevent her
seeing inside. The partners had met there several times, and one of them had been
working on the premises for several days; but she was told it was a private business
and was cautioned against going upstairs. In answer to further questions she told me
that the "takings" were about 6s. per week, that her salary was 8s. per week, and the
rent of the shop 10s. per week.
After tea the young lady took her departure, and, with a promise from me of
something handsome for her trouble, left the keys of the outer door in my charge.
With these I gained admission to the shop, and by means of a pick-lock made a
thorough search of the premises. The door of each room was securely locked. Blinds
were hung to the windows of the front rooms, the window openings being covered up
inside by thin boards, which were moveable, so that it was impossible for anyone to
see from the outside what was taking place within. The front room on the first floor
was fitted up with counters containing " dummy " drawers, and shelves ranged round
the room were filled with empty cigar boxes. In the back room was a large empty
wooden case. In the front top room I found about 120 square frames, made of quarterinch deal boards, for which I could assign no use. In another room were a few framed
oleographs, a portmanteau containing old clothes, shoes, etc., and a large quantity of
shavings packed inside a counter. Everything seemed to point to preparations for a
case of arson. I remarked to detective officers Standen and Manson, who were with
me, " This place will most likely be heavily insured, and we shall evidently have to
keep a sharp eye upon it." For some time I maintained a close watch upon the
premises, occasionally meeting the young lady in charge, and she was very desirous
of giving me all the information in her power, with a view to obtain whatever reward
might be granted in the matter. On the Whit-Sunday I had a couple of detectives
stationed in a room opposite the premises, so that they might notice what was going
on, or follow anyone who left the place. At dusk they met me by appointment at a
certain place, and reported that two men had entered the shop under very suspicious
circumstances. One had gone up to the door, and after carefully looking round and
seeing no one about had unlocked it. Whereupon the other, a gentleman-like person,
quickly approached the door. They both darted inside, and the door was immediately
closed. As both the men were still on the premises I took up a position where I had a
full view of the door. About 9-50 p.m., the gentleman-like person came out and stood
near a lamp in the road! I entered into conversation with two young ladies who were
passing, and as we went by the individual referred to I recognised him as an old
acquaintance, Mr. O, a solicitor, to whom I refer in the story of " The Jew and the
This confirmed the statement of the young lady assistant. For on questioning her as to
how she procured the situation she had informed me that, having answered an
advertisement, she was waited upon by the other partner, who informed her that Mr. O
had the making of the engagement, and that if she would be opposite the Post
Office in Brown Street at half-past seven on a certain, evening, she would meet with
him. I now remembered - and the fact was a singular coincidence - that I had passed
them at the very time mentioned at the appointed place, when Mr. O, noticing
me, turned down a side street. After I had kept an eye on Mr. O for some little

time in Chorlton Road, the officers reported that the other man had locked the door,
and was coming up the road. He immediately joined the solicitor, and they went down
a number of side streets where they thought they would be likely to escape
recognition. In Moss Lane they parted. One of them I knew. We therefore
concentrated our attention upon the unknown person, whom we followed for a
distance of two miles and a half and then saw him enter a house in Sussex Street,
Broughton, with the number of which I was already familiar from a previous incident,
which may be here briefly related.
One day a person in a highly excited state came to the Detec-Office, bringing with
him a circular which had been delivered at his address that morning. It ran as follows :

" Sir, Knight, and Brother, - You are requested to attend the preceptory, No. 2,444 of
St. John, Knight of Jerusalem, on
, 188 . - Yours fraternally,
" S K ."
I saw at once that it was a circular calling a meeting of some association ; but the
complainant protested that he did not belong to any such society, that he had no
knowledge of " the Knights of Jerusalem " or of " S K ," who addressed
him so " fraternally."
Just at this time the newspapers teemed with the doings of the Fenian and American
Dynamitards, and the foolish fellow had got it into his head that it was some " move "
on the part of the " brotherhood," and that the penalty for non-attendance might be
death. He went away, but came again in the evening in a cab, and was so terribly
excited that I promised to make inquiries into the matter. Going to the address given,
which was the very same house in Sussex Street, I found that so far from emanating
from the " Fenian Brotherhood," the circular was a summons to attend a meeting of a
lodge of their mortal enemies, the Orangemen, and that having been addressed to one
of the members of the same name as the complainant, living in the same street, it had
inadvertently been left at the wrong house. K at this time appeared to be a very
respectable man.
Resuming the story of the Arson case, I remember that early the next morning I saw
the landlord and agent of the property and ascertained the name of the person to
whom the shop had been let. It appeared clear to me that both the men I had seen on
the previous night were concerned with the matter. On Whit-Wednesday, the young
lady assistant informed me that she had been paid a week's wages, and was told that
as it was Whit-week she could have a holiday until the following Monday. On the
Saturday I received information of a fire on the premises, and proceeding to the place
found that the fire had been extinguished by the fire brigade. Mr. Superintendent
Tozer and I examined the place, and I noticed that a number of meerschaum pipes,
cigar-holders, and oleographs were missing, and no trace of them could be found. On
inspecting the gas-fittings, we found they had been cut in several places in the shop,
under the shop floor, in the cellar, under the stairs, under the boards in the front room
of the first storey, and in the room over it. Two pipes had also been specially laid from
the original work of the plumber, for the purpose of conveying gas into different parts
of the building, and these had neither burners nor taps. In order to start this
mechanism, a piece of string had been tied to the handle of the main in such a manner
that a person pulling the string from outside could turn on the gas. Phosphorus had
also been put down in the premises to help on the flames. All this was made clear in
an analysis conducted by the police surgeon, Dr. Heslop. The wave of the flames
could be distinctly traced to each of the pipes which had begun to effect their purpose.
Fortunately the string had only partially done its work, for on being pulled, instead of

turning on the gas, it had jerked the key on to the floor, and it could not be found by
one of the firemen, who, smelling gas on entering the premises, ran to the meter to
turn it off. The next morning I found string and handle complete. I took steps to
secure the two men whom I had observed leaving the premises; but as it was a very
delicate matter, I thought it best to use a little discretion. I had pointed out Mr. O
as he was leaving his chambers to the two officers who were acting with me. Placing
them inside the shop, I gave instructions that if either of the two men appeared he was
to be detained.
On Saturday no one came near the place, but on the following day a man appeared
about noon, with the statement that he had been ordered to take possession of the
premises by his employer, and he produced a note containing the order which he
stated had been sent to him. He pretended that he knew nothing of the fire, and made
inquiries as to the damage done. One of the detectives in charge of the shop brought
this man to me. I questioned him as to how he came into possession of the note. First
he said it had been delivered to him by post; but on my asking for the envelope, he
admitted that it had been delivered by a messenger, who was a stranger to him. He
gave me the name of his employer, who I found was the person I had followed to
Sussex Street. I procured a cab and we drove to this address, to find that the person I
wanted had gone out and was not expected back until late at night. We then drove to
10, Greenheys Lane, the residence of his servant, whom I had detained. This was a
tobacconist and confectioner's shop. On arriving, I jumped out of the cab and walked
through the shop into the sitting-room, where a man was resting on the sofa. In
answer to my inquiries, he admitted that he was Mr. K , a builder, and a relative
of the man who had brought the note. I told him that if he was interested in the shop in
Chorlton Road, he had better take possession of it, otherwise he would have to pay the
expenses of the police who were in charge.
I added that it looked very queer that no one had been near the place since the fire. He
said that the shop did not belong to him ; he had simply been doing some joinery
work for Mr. O , the proprietor. I asked, " Where is Mr. O ?" As he did not
reply, I produced the letter, saying, "This is from him." He answered, " Yes, I met him
this morning coming in from London, but he did not know that the place had been
burnt down until I told him." I then said, " The best thing that you can do is to find
Mr. O."
He was beginning to move for this purpose, when a woman who was present turned to
him with the questions - " What have you to do with this?" "Where did you leave O
?" He replied, " At his offices, in Wellington Chambers." Having ascertained
this, he, I, his servant, and a detective officer got into the cab and drove to the address
mentioned. K opened the front door with a latch-key, and we ascended the
stairs to the third floor. K knocked at the door, and O opened it. We
walked into an outer office or waiting-room, and O requested me to take a seat.
He then walked into his private office, and I followed him. On the desk lay two
books open. He immediately closed one, and was in the act of closing the other
when I seized it across the table, and succeeded in placing my thumb between the
pages where it had been open. It was Taylor's "Medical Jurisprudence," page 242,
and treated on combustible materials. The particular page that he had been reading
was on phosphorous. O sat down, when I said, " You know me, Mr. O, and I
have come to see you about the fire in Chorlton Road." In answer to my inquiries he
admitted that the shop belonged to him, and that it was insured in the Westminster
Fire Office for 950. At first he said he did not know where the policy was, but on
my threatening to search the premises he went to a deed-box and produced it. I then

told them I should take them both into custody for conspiring together to set fire to the
premises with intent to defraud. I was threatened with actions for libel, illegal
arrest, and false imprisonment; was asked to show my warrant, and, after several
other legal quibbles, O refused to go to the Detective Office unless I put my
hands upon him, to enable him to take proceedings for an assault. He dared me to do
so. K at the same time began to move towards the stairs, with the evident
intention of getting away; but my colleague followed and seized him, whilst I secured
Mr. O. Hauling him out of the office I closed the door behind me, forced him
down stairs, and into the cab. The other man, who was simply a tool of the prisoners,
we let go, informing him that we might require him, but would let him know. We
drove to the Detective Office, where I informed them that I had been keeping
observations on the shop for some time, and that I had seen them both leave the
premises. As neither of them made any reply, the charge was entered. I asked O
if he chose to account for himself on the Friday and Saturday ? He replied that on the
former day he was at Belle Vue Gardens, and on the following day at " Stockport and
that road." He declined to answer any further questions. I asked K who had fixed
the gasfittings, and he said he did not know, as O had engaged the man. On
further questioning O
by himself, he said that K---- had engaged him but on confronting the prisoners O
admitted that he engaged him. He declined to give any further information. The
same day I searched O's apartment at 40, Cornbrook Grove, where I discovered
the oleographs and other valuables which I had failed to find in the shop, as they had
been removed before the fire. The next day I searched his office, and found a quantity
of papers and books.
When the prisoners were brought before the Stipendiary Magistrate evidence was
produced which showed that K had rented the shop in Chorlton Road, under the
pretence of setting up his two daughters as milliners and dressmakers, and that the
rent was paid regularly by him down to the date of the fire. From the papers which I
discovered in the office, I produced a document purporting to transfer the premises
from K to O. Evidence was also given to show that K was constantly
working at the shop, and that the policy of insurance was effected on the 8th of June.
A short time before the fire the young lady assistant proved the amount of the takings,
and also that she had orders to leave the shop before there was any necessity to light
the gas. She also spoke as to the visits of the prisoners. The police fully substantiated
the allegations made in the previous part of this story.
Among the documents found I produced one which represented that 1 17s. 3d. was
the total value of the stock in the shop.
On this evidence the prisoners were committed to the Assizes. The trial took place on
the 20th July, 1886, before Mr. Justice Cave, when they were charged with wilfully
and maliciously setting fire to a shop; also with conspiring together to set fire to the
shop at 24, Chorlton Road. Mr. H. W. West, Q.C., the Recorder of Manchester, and
Mr. Richard Smith appeared for the prosecution ; and the prisoners were defended by
Mr. J. Addison, Q.C., the Recorder of Preston, Mr. Cottingham, and Mr. Bradbury.
Both prisoners were found guilty. O was sentenced to ten years' penal servitude,
and K to seven years' penal servitude.

IN the year 1884 I was instructed to institute inquiries into a case of "robbery from the
person by force." Whenever a report with such a heading comes into the hands of an
experienced officer, he looks upon it as a most important matter, and always considers
it a special duty to clear the books of this class of crime.
A Mr. , from Edinburgh, was in Manchester on business when he was accosted
by a man named Jack Savery, in the neighbourhood of the Globe Public House, in
Gartside Street. The gentleman, who was a stranger to the town, was accosted by this
worthy, who was a very old hand at the game, and after a few moments' conversation
the son of Scotia found himself embracing mother earth. On getting over his surprise
and gaining his feet, he found that he was minus his watch and chain and that his new
acquaintance had suddenly disappeared.
The case was immediately reported to the police, and a very good description of Jack
was given. It appeared that the complainant had told him that he was leaving that
night for the North; but the son of Scotia now said that he would remain any length of
time to have the offender brought to justice, for to be robbed of his watch and chain,
as well as to receive a violent blow, was more than our Edinburgh friend could stand.
After receiving particulars of the case I went into the neighbourhood of Gartside
Street, and very speedily heard that the " Terror " (Jack Savery) had been at work on
the Saturday night. Soon afterwards I saw Jack coming along the street towards me,
and knowing his dangerous character I was quite prepared for a tussle. Before
reaching me, however, he turned into a shoe dealer's and leaned with his face and
body over the counter. For a few minutes I was at a loss to know whether Jack was
reaching a tool from the shoemaker's stool or was trying to hide his features from me.
I, however, entered the shop, and addressing him said, " Well, Jack, I am looking for
you. I want you to just go with me to the Town Hall." I took hold of him, and to my
surprise he walked quickly along with me. At the Town Hall I placed him with seven
others, and the prosecutor immediately identified him, at the same time remarking that
he could pick him out of a thousand.
" Could you tell the other ?" asked an Inspector who was standing by.
" No," replied the Scotchman.
I was rather surprised at the question as no mention had up to this been made of a
second man, when the question was repeated and the same reply given. I then asked
the prosecutor whether any other man had spoken to him or struck him, and he replied
in the negative.
On the following morning Jack was committed to take his trial at the Sessions. When
called upon for his defence, he proceeded to say that the prosecutor had failed to
identify another who had been arrested for the robbery, and called upon the Inspector
to substantiate his statement. The prosecutor and myself were recalled, and both
denied the statement. The jury found the prisoner guilty, and he was sentenced to
eight years' penal servitude.
An inquiry was afterwards instituted, when it was proved beyond all doubt that the
Inspector, instead of attending to the solemn duty of identification, was indulging in a
practical joke. This led to the discovery of other irregularities, and the result was that
the Inspector was asked to resign, and he retired on superannuation.

After Savery was sentenced, he sent the following letter to his father:
" Her Majesty's Prison, Manchester,
" 12th February, 1884. " Dear Father, " Come up and see me as I have got eight years. I want to see you. I will tell you
more when you come.
"Your affectionate son,
Shortly afterwards I received a visit from his father who wished to know if the reward
was still available for the recovery of the watch, the son having heard the prosecutor
say that he would give twenty shillings reward for its recovery and pay all expenses. I
told him the reward still stood good in our books, and it then appeared that the son,
anxious to get the reward for the father, had sent for him to the gaol and told him that
the watch was pledged at a pawnbroker's in Chester Road for 8s., in the name of John
Bates, of 20, Paradise Court. On learning this I went to the shop of Mr. Tatton,
pawnbroker, Chester Road, and recovered the property.
Jack has returned, and the first time he saw me after he came back, he called out, " I
nearly done you, but the twelve (meaning the jury) would not have it. Didn't Inspector
fizz well? One of my companions got it up from hearing him talk in a
public-house one night."
It appeared that the Inspector had been talking of the practical joke he had attempted
to play upon the Scotchman, when the idea seized a "pal" of Jack's to try to turn it to
good account by calling upon the Inspector to prove that some other person than Jack
had been arrested for the robbery whom the Scotchman had failed to identify, thus
casting a doubt upon the identification.



DURING the spring and summer of 1884 a number of letters appeared in various
newspapers advocating the formation of Emigration Clubs. Shortly afterwards, an
attractive and skilfully worded advertisement was placarded upon the walls in
different parts of the country, setting forth that there had been established " The
British Employment, Emigration and Aid Society," for the purpose of providing every
man in England with work ; or, if he preferred it, of sending him abroad, and setting
him up in one of the colonies as a farmer, or in some other way of business. The
society had offices in Princess Street, Manchester, and was endowed with all the
talismanic adjectives and participles that bewildered plain people in such matters. It
had, as usual, letters from, clergymen and others, including the Bishop of Manchester,
giving their moral support to the scheme. In furtherance of this benevolent object, the
ubiquitous gentleman who acted as manager, enlisted the services of several
assistants, whom he sent out to collect subscriptions, having as a precaution first
obtained from them various sums of money as a guarantee of good faith. These
collectors were kept hard at work. In addition to the Employment, Emigration and Aid
Society, their talented employer combined the business of an Insurance Agent, and a
bogus Art Union. He made periodical visits to the manufacturing districts, where he
delivered lectures, giving glowing accounts of the benefits he intended to confer upon
the human race, and his agents were kept busy exchanging tickets for money. The
collectors were treated as confidential servants. They were told that something good

would come of the affair, and they were to have a salary. They never interfered with
the books ; nor were they asked to interfere with the cash. When they applied for their
salaries, our philanthropist could not see his way to pay them there and then, but put
them off with some plausible excuse, telling them to have a little patience and all
would come right in the end.
This talented gentleman had no time to attend to such trifles as " cash payments."
Besides taking all the money, he engaged the officers, wrote the prospectuses,
employed - but did not pay - the printer, and gave instructions to the agents.
Furthermore, he was the director, shareholder, solicitor, banker, and the indispensable
secretary, all rolled into one.
He had another little affair or two on hand. It was a beautiful fancy of the past that
marriages were made in heaven. As a matter of fact, during the regime of Mr. Walter
Hamilton - for such was the name of our Adonisthey were made in Manchester in
the most business-like way. Matrimony followed emigration, and preceded insurance.
Marriage was one of his peculiar products, as carpets are products of Axminster, and
ribbons of Coventry.
" A " had got so much money, such coloured hair, such an amount of religious
principle. Walter was gushing, talented, and aristocratic looking. Why should not "A"
and Walter come together ? The theory of the thing was perfect. This was a marriage
that might have been made in heaven. But practice was a little at fault. How was " A"
to know anything of Walter? How was Walter to let the dreamy idea of himself float
into the mind of " A?" Somehow events did not seem inclined to facilitate as rapidly
as might be expected the union of an adorable swindler and an adorable milliner. But
Walter found a method. He looked down the list of his clients and his soul rejected
one fair applicant after another. " S " is a widow - glossy; no money; and fond of her
local Ebenezer. She will not do. " D " is too businesslike. She distinctly balances her
20 against a wooden leg. Neither will do. But "A," dear delightful "A," is all that
Walter's soul can long for ; she is the autotype of the form of his most soaring
imagination. She is the young woman who has been reserved to him from her cradle,
and last, though not least, she has saved 30 or 40 from her earnings. He makes love,
satisfies her that he is not hoaxing, persuades her to let him take care of her money
and all is in train.
We are told that there is in England a surplus of something like a million of unmarried
females - Walter was aware of the fact. Breach of promise had no terrors for Walter.
He contrived to become engaged to several of his clients, and, never losing sight of
his favourite motto - " Money is the root of all evil"always suceeeded in persuading
his fair admirers to get rid of the temptation by making him their banker.
The misery that this scoundrel brought upon many confiding girls in this manner was
greater than I care to describe. Altogether Mr. Walter Hamilton was having a good
time of it.
His office was elaborately fitted up, and he had apartments in one of the most
aristocratic suburbs of Manchester. Unfortunately for him the scheme broke down.
When some of his victims found that there was no money, no credit, no employment,
no lands - in fact nothing ; and that they were left to settle down as best they could,
whiling away their leisure hours in realising Dickens's bright ideal of the city of Eden,
and reducing Mark Tapley's theory of "the folly" into rather lugubrious practice, the
matter came under my observation. I soon found that I had some knowledge of Mr.
Hamilton, and that he had, twelve or eighteen months previously, under the name of "
Mr. W. R. Garland," perpetrated a similar swindle, whereby he had robbed a number

of poor people of all their savings under the pretence of sending them out to the
colonies. On that occasion he had managed to escape conviction.
Nothing succeeds like success, and Mr. Hamilton's success had emboldened him to
again commence the business. When he first came under my notice he was lodging in
a house the rental of which was 5s. per week, and his landlady gained a livelihood by
turning one of the old-fashioned mangles which are now rarely seen except in country
places. This lady had a daughter, and our Adonis pretended to fall deeply in love with
her. He removed her from her mother's modest home to the more aristocratic quarter
of Denmark Road, where they took up lodgings with an ex-policeman, who informed
me that he could make nothing of his lodger. He would send out in a morning for
victuals to last the day, and after breakfast would disappear, leaving his lady-love to
get through the rest of the day as best she could.
I was not long in making up my mind that this man had not the slightest intention of
carrying any benevolent object into effect, but that his object was to swindle people
out of their money. I was more convinced of this as he declined to give me any
account of himself. When he was apprehended he was delivering one of his lectures
on emigration in Burnley Market Place, and he was greeted by the jeers of the people,
some of whom shouted that he was himself on the way for " emigration." He was
charged with obtaining 5 from Alfred Nesbit, 10 from Joseph Yeowart, 1 from
John Phoenix Case, 5 from John Pitts, 10 from William Ashley, 2 from James Kay,
and 3 from John Turner, by false pretences with intent to defraud.
I searched the premises occupied by the prisoner, and found a book containing the
names of many prominent public men, including members of parliament, magistrates,
and ministers of religion. In another book was a prospectus in the prisoner's
handwriting, headed " Commencement of the Unemployed Movement," in which it
was stated that no results had been obtained from monied men. in promoting such an
institution; that strikes were essential to the advance of wages ; and that " Nothing but
a desperate effort will remove the evil of hard work and little or no pay. Emigration is
the only door of escape." A pamphlet had also been issued, setting forth the
advantages of the association. This pamphlet was an extraordinary production of
fifteen pages, entitled, " The Witty Old Gardener, and Lord Hay's Questions." It was a
comical anecdote of a " grand old man," whose name was Lord Hay. The moral of the
story was " Money makes the man, the want of it the fellow," and the people were
exhorted in the following doggerel verses to buy the book :
The funniest tale that ever was told,
The best and truest moral given,
'Twas how the witty old Gardener bold,
Contrived to gain an easy living.
Buy this short but funny tale,
And help if you can ;
The price is only one penny,
'Tis by a Manchester man.
The title page represented that the pamphlet was published to raise a fund for the
benefit of the unemployed in Manchester, and that it was sold and distributed by the
British Emigration, Labour, Aid, and Unemployed Association. Offices, Tib Lane,
Manchester. After the story, the objects of the Association set forth were as follows :

1. To assist the poor and unemployed of all classes to find employment according to
their abilities.
2. To keep a Free Register for employers and unemployed of both sexes.
3. To investigate the characters of servants generally before recommending them to
4. To provide temporary employment for those who are able and willing to work in
every way possible.
5. To procure suitable homes for the respectable poor, outcast, friendless, widow,
orphan, stranger, traveller, and foreigner, where they may live free of charge when out
of employment, and pay a small sum weekly when in receipt of wages.
6. To provide suitable accommodation at the homes where ladies and gentlemen may
meet suitable servants daily, without fee or fixed charge.
7. To grant free passages to America, Canada, and the Colonies, by the aid of the
public relief fund promulgated by this Association for the benefit of its poorest
8. To grant assisted passages to those who can afford to pay but a small sum per week
towards their outfit and passage; such sums to be collected by the Association when
deemed necessary.
9. To purchase land in America, Canada, and the Colonies, enclose it, build upon it,
raise stock, and thoroughly cultivate it.
10. To make an appeal to the benevolent public on behalf of this scheme, whereby a
fund may be raised to carry it out at once.
11. To publish a book showing the advantages derived from the Association by its
members and the public generally during the first year.
12. To present a copy of the publication to every subscriber when ready at the close of
the year.
13. To solicit the, aid and influence of ladies and gentlemen as patrons prior to the
work being made public, and engage agents who shall be qualified to take out parties
of emigrants and prepare homes for them in the new country and superintend their
work over there, avoiding thickly populated states and towns, and claim the free
grants of land to be obtained by this Association from the Government.
14. To make special arrangements with the shippers to send certain numbers of
members as emigrants on certain dates, in proportion to the amount standing to the
credit of the Association for emigration purposes.
15. To publish a list of subscriptions in the daily papers as received, and a complete
list in the annual report.
16. To issue printed receipts for subscriptions, and exchange the receipts at the end of
the year for the book in question.
17. To make a charge of one shilling per member as entrance fee to all those who are
in good situations, and enrol all those who are out of employment as members free of
charge on approved character.
18. The money paid in by members towards their passage shall be held by the bankers
as a separate fund, which shall require the signature of at least three trustees, in
addition to one of the treasurers - the whole to be appointed by the Committee of
19. The expenses of the Emigration Department, so far as free passages are concerned
for the destitute, will be chiefly borne by the public subscriptions until such time as
the Association shall be self-supporting.

20. Rules and Regulations respecting members, officers, and agents shall be submitted
to the Committee of Management at the first provisional meeting, held on Tuesday,
July 8th, 1884.
21. To make special provision in special cases, and to do all or any such acts as are
incidental or conducive to the attainment of all or any of the above objects. Members'
entrance fees and scale of weekly or monthly payments towards the required sum for
Government assisted passages to America, Canada, and the Colonies.
The scales hereunder apply only to persons who are bona fide intending emigrants,
and in no case will the money paid be returnable through any other channel. Members
are not transferable. The amounts agreed upon at the outset may be altered by
arrangement - that is to say, if a family in the first place book for New Zealand they
may emigrate to Canada, or other less expensive passage, and receive the balance of
what they have paid in excess
in property to be selected by them, or by so much redemption money being paid for
house and furniture provided by the Association in the new home or country.
The interest given on deposits will be independent of any gratuity which may be
added from the public relief fund from time to time, in proportion to the amount
subscribed for the poorest members.
Every member of the Association will be installed on a farm with as much property as
a stranger who arrives in the new country with 250 in his pocket.
Members of this association have another advantage. The land is selected for them
and their house or tent erected and stocked with every requisite and food before they
get there to prevent privation.
The interest of the Association in securing good land and best situations for the
market is that every member may succeed and repay his debt as soon as he can.
No specified time is yet fixed in which members must repay. The rule is, and always
will be, that as long as every member does his duty and continues to cultivate the land
and improve it he shall be allowed to repay the loan by half his net profits yearly.
Those who do not wish to purchase may work as servants, and receive good wages
upon the farms and stock-raising ranches of the Association.
The farms will be under the superintendence of an experienced agent, who will
instruct those who are ignorant of farming, &c., for a small premium. Every
opportunity will be given to members to become independent, and secure a thousand
pounds in clear profits and all debts paid by the end of five years from joining this
Farming by association has been proved to be a success here, and by working upon
the same principles abroad the success must be more sure, for the advantages are
more than double there for farming, on account of land being obtained for a few
shillings per acre and by free grants.
Those who are not in receipt of 4 per week here will better themselves by joining
this Association and working upon mutual principles, for " Unity is Strength."
Entrance Fees
Single young .men and women, widows and widowers...Is.
Married couples without family .....................Is. 9d.
Married couples with family (each child extra).........3d.
All under 18 years considered as children when in the care of parents ; over that age
as single men and women. Orphans free.

For one penny per week 2s. in the pound will be added or allowed towards the amount
agreed upon at the outset for passage money, &c. For twopence per week 2s. Id. in the
pound will be added or allowed as interest on the aggregate amount deposited, quite
independent of gratuities which may be from 10s. to 15s. per member per month
according to income by charity.
For 5s. per month 3s. 6d. in the , and for every shilling extra, per month, fourpence
in the will be added on to the aggregate amount deposited, quite independent of any
gratuity which the Committee may think fit to add. Members may pay in any other
extra sum when they are able for the purpose of paying their passage money in less
time than they would do by confining their payment to one fixed sum, and for all such
sums shall receive an additional amount as interest in proportion.
The land and the property deposited upon it may remain the property of the
Association, who will pay wages for services rendered in cultivation; but every
member shall have a right of purchase. The wages proposed are three-fourths of the
profits accruing from their labour as shown herein, which shall enable every family to
pay a redemption fee to claim the property in from ten to fifteen years or less.
The interest shall be nominal, say 7 per cent, on invested capital in securing the
members' settlement in comfort and independence.
A prospectus of the progress made is also included, in the calculation of which care
has been taken not to over-estimate what can be done with care, perseverance, and
energy. At the end of the fifth year the produce and stock on the farm are estimated to
be worth 1,213, and the total credit to farm and profit to be divided between eight
persons at 151 12s. 6d. each.
The policy of undertaking such a scheme as this is obvious
-for making money - besides doing thousands of poor persons a real good turn, which
they will be glad to repay at a good interest, and redeem the land by paying a rent
saved out of wages given for services during the time arranged for redemption, say
from ten to fifteen years.
" Those who feel another's woe" are invited to subscribe a small sum to aid the work
of this Association in assisting the destitute who are worthy of such assistance, and
who are willing to help themselves when work is found for them at good wages.
Every subscriber of one guinea per annum shall have power to nominate certain poor
persons as members for the charity in free emigration and outfit.
Subscribers shall be entitled to receive a copy of the publications, which will be
issued from time to time, showing the work and progress of the Association in
England and abroad. Each book will be bound in cloth and gilt edges, and will be
suitable for any library.
Penny pamphlets, containing very interesting stories, are issued at short intervals.
Orders for any of these will assist the work of the Association. For every donation,
however small, some book or pamphlet will be sent in acknowledgment, and a list of
subscribers will be published every month.
The public may rely upon this fact, that the Committee who will dispense the charity
are well-known clergymen, who will be pleased to reply to any questions as to where
the money goes, and any other matter of importance, on addressing a letter to the
Committee, in care of the Secretary or Managing Director, Mr. W. Hamilton, at the
Offices, 14, Tib Lane, Manchester.
Persons who are able and willing to work, and desire to improve their condition by
emigration, may apply to the Managing Director, as above, and state their present

position and necessities, when a form of application will be sent at once, which must
be filled up correctly and returned by post.
Any person wanting any article whatever that can be purchased in this country will
assist the work of the Association by sending their order to Mr. Hamilton, as above,
who will supply the article whatever it is at wholesale prices direct from the
A list of articles most generally supplied will be sent on application. Every order will
receive prompt attention, and be delivered on the shortest possible notice. Only write
and state your wants, and the article will be at once supplied.
A number of letters were also found in the prisoner's possession, including two from
the Lord Bishop of Manchester, which read as follows:
" June 4th, 1884,
" Manchester.
" Sirs,
" The scheme which you have submitted to me is a very ambitious one, and could
only be carried out with any hope of success by the possession of a large capital. As I
see no reasonable hope of raising such an amount, I must decline committing myself
to an enterprise which seems only likely to bring disappointment to all concerned.
This is the third scheme of the kind which has been attempted to be floated in
Manchester since the question was raised, a few months ago, about the extent to
which distress, owing to want of employment, was prevailing here. Very much of
what you propose is done already by established agencies.
" I am, gentlemen,
" Yours faithfully,
"J. MANCHESTER. " To Messrs. Hamilton & Ledger."
The second letter was as follows :
"June 7th, 1884,
" Manchester.
" Gentlemen,
" The more you develop your scheme the more entirely it appears to me beyond
likelihood of accomplishment. What probability is there of your being able to launch a
limited liability company with a capital of 5,000? You do not mention to me the
name of a single influential person who has given even a conditional assent to take
part in the enterprise, and I really cannot consent to lend rny name to a scheme which
probably, after spending a large sum of money as preliminary expenses, seems certain
to end in failure and disappointment.
" I am, gentlemen,
" Yours faithfully,
The prisoner was committed for trial at the October Sessions, 1884, and was found
guilty. The Recorder passed upon him a sentence, which, had the transportation of
criminals been still in vogue, would have enabled Mr. Walter Hamilton, "Agent," to
realise his dream of emigration free of cost to himself. As it was, his efforts for the
amelioration of the unemployed were brought to an end for some time, the Recorder
sentencing him to five years' penal servitude and three years' police supervision,

remarking at the same time that " great credit was due to Chief Detective Inspector
Caminada for having nipped in the bud this last attempt of the prisoner's roguery."
Amongst his other business Hamilton found time also to carry on a Registry Office,
and advertisements paid for by him appeared in the newspapers for " Experienced
clerks and bookkeepers for London Offices, and also a few French and German
writers at good salaries. Apply to Mr. Garland, 12, Belleek Street, Hulme. Early
application necessary." Thousands of letters arrived by every post, and after his arrest
amongst those arriving at his office in Princess Street, was one from three sisters who
had lately come from Ireland, enclosing the weekly fee of Is. 6d., which they had paid
for some time, and pressing to be sent out at the earliest opportunity. On inquiry I
learned that these sisters were aged respectively 10, 16, and 19 years. The two eldest
earned at a mill 15s. a week between them; the youngest being too young to earn
anything. They thought they would be able to better their condition by going abroad,
and so had got into the hands of this swindler.
I made their cause known at the Sessions Court, and the Recorder headed a
subscription, by which means I raised 12. I also obtained an outfit of clothing for
them from a number of ladies. The wish of the girls was gratified by being sent out to
The following convictions stand against this emigration "agent" : October, 1882,
Manchester Sessions, obtaining money by false pretences, 12 months as "Walter
Garland"; September, 1884, Manchester Sessions, obtaining money by false
pretences, five years' penal servitude and three years' police supervision; apprehended
in Manchester, April, 1894, for bigamy, sent to Woolwich, and sentenced to six years'
penal servitude.
Honourable men little know what harm they are doing when they lend their names to
any scheme of which they are not thoroughly informed.
There is a wide field for philanthropy to explore - not perhaps very profitable, but at
all events harmless. Honest people ought not, however, to be decoy ducks of bogus
insurance offices and so-called " art unions;" nor allow themselves to be made the
means of entrapping unwary emigrants into bubble emigration schemes. There is a
peculiar cruelty in unwarily giving countenance to these last, both because they often
inflict irreparable injury on their victims, and because they offer to the schemer
peculiar facilities for fraud.
One of the things that is most astonishing in cases of this kind is the marvellous
amount of Arcadian virtue that there seems to be in men who ought to know the
world. Had it not been for the happy accident that a few of the "British Employment,
Emigration and Aid Society's " victims possessed just a little more sense than falls to
the lot of victims in general, who always fear exposure, we should probably never
have heard of their miseries, and Mr. Walter Hamilton might have been a great man
on the Stock Exchange, or busy yachting at this moment. True, the adventurer in this
case has not escaped the clutches of the law. But what consolation can this be to the
people who have lost their money? At the present day there is no necessity for such
societies. Passages are so low as to be within the reach of every working man, and
reliable information can always be obtained from the Agents General of the Colonies,
who have offices in London; or from the Emigrants' Information Society - an agency
which, under the control of the British Government, is performing a most useful work.

QUACK doctors have unfortunately infested society for many generations. Although
many attempts have been made to expose them, yet they have, by means of fraudulent
pretences and almost fabulous sums spent in advertising, carried on a lucrative
business in all parts of the kingdom. It is no uncommon thing to find the " quack "
living in princely style, and driving about in a magnificent "turn-out." Instances are
known where persons have been alarmed and terrified to such a degree that they have
parted with fortunes in order to get rid of a dreadful malady with which they have
been induced to believe they were afflicted, when really nothing whatever ailed them.
The " quack's " mode of operation is much the same in all instances. The victim on
presenting himself for advice is shown into a sumptuously furnished apartment, which
at once suggests that he has come to a man with a large and aristocratic practice. He is
put through an examination, and finally told that he is in " a sad state." A cure, of
course, can be effected for so many pounds, and the terrified victim is prepared to
scrape together every penny he can possibly command for the purpose of turning it
into the capacious maw of these extortioners. The great difficulty the police
experience in dealing with such cases is that the victims will never attempt to expose
these villains, because in so doing they expose themselves.
About the year 1886 I received instructions from the Chief Constable of Manchester
to investigate a complaint which had been received from a gentleman residing in
Devonshire. The letter in which the complaint was made stated that whilst he and his
wife were engaged in a jeweller's shop, two pamphlets, one of which was entitled, "A
Grain of Gold," were thrown into his carriage, that these pamphlets, which bore no
printer's name, emanated from certain premises in Manchester, and that they were
unfit for publication.
My instructions were to spare neither trouble nor expense in getting to the bottom of
the matter. I immediately told off two detectives to watch the premises in Manchester;
but neither pamphlets nor bills were seen to leave the place. I then endeavoured to get
hold of some one connected with the business whom I could " sound." My efforts
failed in this direction also. In the meantime complaints kept arriving from different
parts of the country, and these were handed to me by the Chief Constable.
I was not in a very pleasant state of mind at being checkmated by these pseudodoctors, when I at last secured one of the men who was employed by them to placard
small gummed labels, which only needed moistening with the tongue. I found,
however, that I was not likely to learn anything from this source, for the man was as
much in the dark as I was myself. In sheer desperation I sought out their clerk. I was
not in his company long before I discovered that he was a man of some literary
attainments. I confess I was rather surprised to find such a person connected with a
firm of "quacks." I was successful in gaining his confidence, and he not only told me
how the system was being worked, but gave me the names and addresses of many of
their patients.
One evening I presented myself at the surgery, which was styled "Acton House," and
was situate in Bridge Street. I was carrying a black bag, a travelling rug, and a stick.
The door was opened by an old man about 65 years of age, who ushered me into an
apartment elegantly furnished. Long curtains were hanging from the ceiling, giving it
a look of privacy, and the place looked like that of a man in good professional
practice. Beyond was another room with a pair of long curtains drawn across the door.
This chamber also was sumptuously furnished.

After I had remained in the room a few minutes, during which I quietly observed the
situation, a superior-looking person entered with great dignity, wearing a long cloak,
which gave him the appearance of a professional gentleman.
" What is your trouble, my friend?" I told him my imaginary complaint. He sounded
me, felt my pulse, and examined my tongue. " What is your business ?" he asked. "
Managing clerk to a firm of solicitors, at Buxton," I replied. " You are in a very bad
way ; but I can cure you in about three weeks." " What will your charge be?" " Ten
pounds " was the modest demand. " I have not that amount of money upon me, but I
will give you a pound now, and when I come again will pay you the balance," was my
answer. " Oh ! I will not trouble you to come again ; you can give me the sovereign,
and send me a bottle, and when I have analysed the contents I shall be able to
prescribe for you; but I will send you a bottle or two of medicine to be going on with."
One of the gentlemen who had complained had forwarded to the Detective Office a
packet of papers he had received from this very place by post, enclosed in an
envelope, thousands of which we afterwards ascertained were being distributed
throughout the country. The packet contained a pamphlet of 48 pages, the title-page of
which read
"Words of Warning, or Guide to Marriage. A Medical Treatise on Consumption and
Nervous Debility. Embracing Physiological Admonitions to the married and single of
both sexes, and the cause of Unproductive Unions; also indicating the means by
which the human race may be Happy, Healthy, and Vigorous. By H. Buchanan, 44,
Bridge Street, Manchester. 'When blasted youth, vice-blasted, creeps through tedious
years towards manhood's goal, no ripeness comes, no life-spring leaps through wasted
frame, nor cheers the deaden'd soul.' Price Is. Copyright. Entered at Stationers' Hall.
The right of translation reserved." The pamphlet was of the most filthy character.
Accompanying it was the following letter :
"44, Bridge Street, Manchester. " Dear Sir,
"No doubt on receiving the enclosed pamphlet and memoranda you will be surprised
how I became acquainted with your address, and very likely ask yourself the question
why I should communicate with you, which I could readily answer, but am in honour
bound not to divulge why or wherefore. I deem it incumbent upon me to forward you
my little work, 'Words of Warning,' which, upon perusal, I trust will be of great
benefit to you - especially if you are in need of advice about some complaint that you
feel a diffidence to consult your local physician upon. If you are in robust health and
happily do not require its aid, probably you know some poor sufferer to whom you
might hand the pamphlet, which very likely may prove a blessing to him. Before
parting with the book I ask you in good faith to read it deliberately, and I trust the
contents will convince you of my earnest desire to relieve the afflicted and restore
them to mental and bodily vigour. I have for many years made the subjects treated in
this work my special study, and am confident that during my very extensive practice I
have restored thousands from the lowest depths of despair to health and happiness.
You and I may never meet; our lot in life may be cast in diverging channels ; this little
book is the only medium I may ever have of communicating with you, and by it alone
can I discharge my conscience of its solemn obligation to relieve the distressed.
Therefore I entreat you, however personal my words may be, whether you are a
bachelor, a married man, or a widower, and that you do now or have ... or are
unfortunately suffering from their evil effects. I then implore you not to delay, but at
once lay your case before me by filling up the enclosed form, or, if convenient, visit
me ; either way, your case will be treated confidentially by myself, and very quickly
brought to a successful issue. As secrecy is the first principle of my practice, it is my

rule to destroy all letters or memoranda received from my patients. Therefore you can
safely rely on my doing so, and I hope you will assist me to carry out my mission by
keeping in mind the Christian sentence, ' Do unto others as you wish to be done by ;'
therefore you will do a good action, and privately favour me with any person's name
and address to whom the ' Words of Warning' would be of service. In conclusion I
pledge myself that no patient within the reach of medical skill shall leave my care
until completely restored to health.
" I am, dear sir, yours sincerely,
In the printed pamphlet which accompanied this appeal was the following :
" It is earnestly requested that all patients who are in correspondence with Mr.
Buchanan will always preserve the same signature or initial, as all letters are arranged
alphabetically, it being necessary on frequent occasions to refer to previous letters."
So that the poor patient was invited in one breath to confide in his adviser, who
destroys his letters, and in the next warned that the letters were filed, and might be
brought up against him at a future period.
" The enclosed form," mentioned in the letter, ran thus :
Gentlemen desiring to consult me in reference to any disease whatever will please
answer as briefly as possible the following questions, or such of them as appertain to
their cases, and direct to me,
44, Bridge Street, Manchester.
When received I will give each case consideration, and reply fully and promptly. I
cannot, therefore, too strongly urge the necessity of immediate application, as the cure
is rendered more difficult by even a short delay.
1. Name
2. Address in full
3. Age
4. Occupation
5. Married or single
6. If in the habit of taking intoxicating drinks
7. State of bowels
8. Appetite
9. Memory
10. Mind
17. If ever under medical treatment
18. If so, what for
19. To what address or station remedies to be sent
This communication must be accompanied with the sum of 1 Is., which in slight
cases will include the full course of treatment. In all cases where the patient cannot

visit it is necessary to forward a small bottle for microscopic examination. The best
way for sending it is in a small box by parcel post, with name of sender enclosed. Post
Office Orders or cheques to be made payable to H. Buchanan.
Any other particulars. Address. Date. To H. Buchanan.
A printed envelope bearing the address, " Mr. H. Buchanan, 44, Bridge Street," was
also enclosed. On the day after my visit to the "Doctor," who was the author of the
pamphlet, I addressed the following letter to him :
" Sir, - Having read one of your books, entitled " Words of Warning ; or, A Guide to
Marriage," I am coming to Manchester to see you to-day.
" P.S. If this is not a convenient day for ladies, please wire me to 18, New Street,
Huddersfield. I shall leave here by the 2-15 p.m. train."
The address given was that of a son of a Detective Officer in whom I had confidence.
At 4 p.m. the same day two ladies arrived at the " surgery " of the individual who had
such a desire to make the human race "healthy, happy, and vigorous." They were
shown into the sumptuously furnished waiting-room, and one of the ladies having
described her imaginary complaint to the " eminent specialist " a fee of twelve
guineas was demanded. Two guineas were paid on account; a case of medicine was to
be forwarded to an address given; three guineas were to be remitted and more
medicine sent. The other lady represented, by my instructions, that she had seen her
brother reading " The Philosophy of Life," - another pamphlet of the filthy order
which, coming from the same source, was being distributed throughout the country and she wished to consult him on a certain disease. The fee in this as in the other case
was twelve guineas, three of which were paid on account; the medicine was to be
forwarded and the balance remitted.
On leaving the premises the ladies asked the distance to Rylands' warehouse, to which
place they ordered a cabman to drive, and arriving there they walked in at one door
and out of another. This I directed them to do in order to baffle anyone who might
watch them. The medicine duly arrived at the address given by the ladies, and was
immediately consigned to me. I placed it in the hands of Dr. Heslop, the police
surgeon, for analysis.
Another place of business of this " gang " was 20, King Street, West, where they
traded as "Nelson and Co." Here an equally elaborate show was made. The woodwork
outside was painted black, and ornamented with gold ; large gilt letters on the
windows intimated to the public that it was the " Medical Institute ;" rustic flower
boxes stood upon the window sills ; and a large lamp with coloured glass hung over
the door. A small entrance porch led to a door bearing the names " Nelson and Co.,"
and " J. Nelson, Specialist." The door was furnished with a white knob, brass handle,
and a bell. Passing through this door the visitor found himself in a room about eight
feet long by seven feet wide, handsomely furnished, and adorned with oil paintings
sunk in deep gilt frames and by statuary on pedestals. Several doors opened into
smaller rooms, which were used for consulting purposes; and in these instruments
used for surgical purposes were conspicuously displayed, as if they had been left
carelessly about. To this den I sent two Detective Officers, Sergeants Standen and
Wilson, at different times ; one disguised as a butcher from Bakewell, and the other as
a factory operative from Accrington. Each was informed by the specialist " that he
was suffering from a serious illness," and both learned that they had " germs of
consumption and were not fit to be married ;" the truth being that at the time they
were married men with families. On their return from the quack, they were
immediately examined by both the police surgeons, Drs. Heslop and Dearden, as I

was also after my visit to Buchanan, and all three of us were pronounced to be free
from any disease whatever.
I found that on different days each member of the gang represented a different
person - the usher of one day appearing as the manager the next, the doctor on
another, and later as the consulting physician - and as I wished to get all connected
with the place identified I sent two female detectives. But a little hitch now occurred
which somewhat precipitated matters.
After my visit to Buchanan I forwarded him a bottle of water obtained from a cow,
upon which he wrote me to say that he found it "anything but satisfactory;" but that he
had the "greatest confidence in his remedies having the desired effect;" and that no
doubt he would shortly have my "thanks for being the means of restoring me to health
and happiness." He also intimated that the full cost of the special remedies would be
seven guineas. Upon receipt of this amount he would forward them; adding that, if I
could not send the whole of the amount, he recommended me to remit for half of the
case and send the balance afterwards. I forwarded 2 12s. 6d., the balance of half the
fees, by a detective who passed as a book dealer from Buxton, and in the meantime I
made arrangements that the medicine should be sent to the railway station, Buxton, in
the name of " John Jerome," having arranged with an officer of police in that town to
call for it. The Buxton policeman went, however, to the wrong station, and not finding
the bottles there he neither advised me nor troubled more about them. In the meantime
I remitted a portion of the balance as arranged, and as no one called for the medicine
the railway company returned it. Buchanan then went to Buxton, and, finding that his
inquiries were not satisfactory, sent the money back advising me to consult some local
After his arrest Buchanan, whose real name was Chadwick, admitted to me that he
had " smelt a rat." " Jerome, Jerome," he meditated. " Oh, I have it. If Jerome
Caminada's on this job he'll blow up the machine."
This made the quacks very careful, and as the two female detectives were a little too
pressing they returned them the fee which they had paid, and told them that all they
required was a little kitchen medicine. After the ladies left the premises the quacks
followed them through the city for over an hour. I was watching all this and saw that
the time had come to act. The next day, owing to some information I had received, I
kept observation upon premises at 13, Queen Street, Deansgate, used as a parcel
depot. The quack rented the basement which communicated with the parcel office on
the ground floor, and large quantities of packages containing books and pamphlets,
which were printed in another town, arrived here and were forwarded up and down
the country by means of the adjoining parcel depot - thus avoiding all suspicion.
Having watched the arrival of some of these packages and the departure of numerous
parcels of all sizes, I obtained warrants for the apprehension of Buchanan and Nelson
on the charge of obtaining money by false pretences. The former lived at a large house
in Rusholme. About 9 p.m. the same evening I saw Buchanan and Nelson leave this
house, and, after a short consultation in the garden, go to a cabstand and call a hansom
cab. After they had entered, I jumped on to the step behind, and, holding fast with
both hands, contrived to draw the attention of two officers who followed. Stopping
the cab I got down, and introduced myself with the words "Well, doctors, the game's
up." I handed them over to the officers and put them all in a "four wheeler," with
instructions to drive to the Detective Office. I jumped into the hansom and went
straight to the Medical Institute, King Street West, telling one of the officers to follow
me. At the Institute I found two men very busy making up into packets the money
they had received for the purpose of handing it over to Buchanan, whom they had to

meet with Nelson at the Star Hotel, a respectable and old established hostelry in the
neighbourhood much frequented by commercial men.
I had no sooner begun to question them than I was ordered off the premises and
threatened, of course, with the usual " pains and penalties." I waited till the officer
arrived, and then took them to the Detective Office in a cab, when I read the warrants
over to them and informed them that they would also be charged with conspiring
together to defraud divers persons of various sums of money.
I next obtained a search warrant, with which I went to the parcel depot, and here
found a lurry load of books, pamphlets, and bills for distribution, besides many
thousands of such books as those mentioned above. There were 58,000 copies of a
volume of 100 pages, entitled "The Science of Life; or, Self-preservation : A Medical
Treatise on Nervous and Physical Debility ....
with Practical Observations on the Treatment ....
By J. Nelson, 20, King Street
West, Manchester."
This publication was divided into chapters, respectively addressed to " The Young
Man," " The Bachelor," " The Married," " The Widower," " The Sceptic," and
concluded with a few parting words about the author of this vile effusion, who was
evidently desirous that no class of reader should escape from his clutches. It was
assumed that all and every class of humanity must have some secrets, or something
for which they should consult the quack, and the book gave highly-spiced details
respecting the manner in which youths may be drawn into sin. There were also some
thousands of a leaflet containing forty-seven questions of a most obscene character,
with a notice that the "communication must be accompanied with the sum of 1 Is."
This was evidently sent out with the following letter, lithographed copies of which
were found upon the premises :
"20, King Street West,
" Manchester.
" Dear Sir,
" I am in receipt of your letter, and beg to enclose my pamphlet, which merits your
careful perusal. As you do not give full particulars of your case I enclose advice, for
which if you will fill up and return to me with the sum of 21s. (Postal Order or
otherwise), I will immediately forward you a package of suitable remedies, together
with a full report upon your case and the necessary advice for your future guidance.
" I am, yours faithfully,
There were also other lithographed letters of a very obscene character. The total
weight of the pamphlets seized was 39 cwt., and the vile stuff was ordered by the
Stipendiary Magistrate to be destroyed. I afterwards sold the paper to the makers for
15, and this amount was paid into the City Fund. These filthy books, which were
sent to the agents of the prisoners in different towns, spoke of their qualifications,
experience, &c., and gave what purported to be testimonials from, numerous people
who had been under their treatment.
The introduction to one of the books stated : "After a careful and thorough course of
medical instruction, and after years of extensive practice, by which the authors were
brought largely into contact with the alarming ills treated of in the main portions of
their books they put forth so much of knowledge gained by their exhaustive study and
experience as could be comprised in this concise and comprehensive volume. From
their extensive experience and observation, such as never before fell to the lot of man,
and through the advice of the greatest philanthropist of this or any age, the Medical

Institute was established for the special and skilful treatment of these most distressing
maladies. . . . Furthermore I take this occasion to admonish one and all to shun the
numerous and bogus ' Medical Institutes' that abound in this as in other great cities.
The managers or self-styled doctors could not cure you if they would. .... Their only
object is to rob the suffering invalid. Much as I have seen of suffering from disease it
has come far short of the trouble, misery, and agony caused by the malpractices of
these ignorant, unscrupulous scoundrels. .... The author of this work, and the chief
consulting physician, Dr. Houghton, have called to their assistance the ablest medical
and surgical talent of the age. In addition to a thorough coflegiate instruction in the
best universities in the world, they have had the advantage of a careful, thorough, and
long continued practical experience, under the immediate instruction of Messrs.
Nelson and Co., and Dr. Houghton himself. Let our last words be, 'Avoid all quacks,
charlatans, empirics, pretenders, and bogus medical institutes throughout the world.'"
This is another piece of bounce of the same kind : " We find it necessary to inform the
readers of our medical works that Dr. Houghton, who has obtained such a wide
celebrity, is still our private and confidential assistant. This explanation has been
rendered necessary because letters are continually received inquiring if Dr. Houghton
is still our head consulting physician. With the exception of a short tour abroad,
undertaken for the purpose of recruiting his health, and partly for the purpose of
investigations in the line of our profession, Dr. Houghton's connection with our
establishment has been unbroken."
Dr. Houghton at this time had, as a matter of fact, been dead for three or four years,
and whilst living he certainly obtained no " wide celebrity," except among the low
public-houses of Manchester, where he was known by the pseudonym of " Rum Hot."
On another page of one of the pamphlets it was stated that Buchanan had been in
business for twenty years, and that he had an intimate acquaintance with a certain
disease, for which he had a safe and sure remedy. As a matter of fact this man did not
commence business as a "specialist" until 1884. Previous to this he was a tailor's
apprentice, and, conspiring with two others to rob his master, was arrested, but
discharged on account of his youth, the other two being convicted. He then became a
betting man's clerk, then a bookmaker, a companion of persons of questionable
character, and afterwards an "eminent specialist."
The last-mentioned business succeeded so well that he employed thirty-three men,
and kept seven depots, viz., "Medical Hall," King Street West, rent 34; "Acton
House," Bridge Street, rent 45 " Beech Cottage," Cross Lane, Salford, rent 24;
office in Dumville Street, rent 17 ; office in Brazennose Street, rent 12 ; and the
parcel depot in Queen Street, rent 16.
This extensive organisation enabled him to live in princely style in Woodfield House,
Wilmslow Road, Rusholme, rented at 55 per annum, from which a telephone
communicated with the premises in King Street West. He had his carriage fitted with
noiseless tyre-wheels, and it was drawn by a pair of magnificent steel grey horses.
This man's real name was Arthur Chadwick, and he sometimes took the alias of "
Henry Nelson." He also kept a tipster's establishment, which he called " Veterinary
House," carrying on this agency under the name of " Protector."
Nelson, whose real name was William Kay, alias " Madame de Vere, of Beech House,
Salford," was formerly a weighing clerk at a colliery in Derbyshire, and gradually
went through the real or fictitious grades of labeller, bill-poster, dispenser of
medicine, surgeon, consulting physician, and finally became a partner in the "
Medical Institute." Another of these " specialists " was Reuben Shiers, alias "Doctor
Bell," the son of a cotton broker, and formerly a clerk in the surveyor's office at the

Town Hall, Manchester. The latter became an interpreter, next a dealer in fine arts having his show-room at the street corners, one end of the picture standing in the
mud, the other against the wall - then a bill-poster for a firm of " quacks,"
subsequently a patent medicine dealer, a dispenser of medicine, and ultimately rose
(without qualification of course) to the rank of " consulting physician " in Buchanan's
Another of the gang was H T , a man of gentlemanlike appearance and
fairly educated. He had been an assistant to several medical gentlemen, a bookmaker's
clerk, manager of a patent medicine shop, and finally a doctor. This gentleman at
times went out on a "lecturing tour," for which Buchanan's drag and grey horses were
used, and he was accompanied by all the usual paraphernalia of " quacks." Public
halls were at times taken in order that lectures might be given by him to "men only,"
and an admission fee was always charged.
After searching the cellar in Queen Street, I ascertained that the members of the
confederacy occupied a suite of offices in Brazennose Street. These could be entered
at the back by a passage from Queen Street, and from this passage a door opened into
the parcel office, which in turn gave access to the cellar. The offices were very
handsomely furnished, and among other articles were decanters containing wine and
spirits, boxes of cigars, cigarettes, and fancy biscuits. This was evidently the
addressing and postal department. Hundreds of addressed wrappers, envelopes,
packages and letters, ready for posting to all parts of the world, were found on these
premises. In fact every conceivable plan seemed to be adopted for assuring a wide
circulation of the pamphlets and advertisements, even to distributing them among the
passengers on board the ships sailing from the different ports.
After searching Beech Cottage, Salford, which was used as a consulting-room, I
proceeded to offices in Dumville Street, occupied by another of the gang named
Wilson, a draper's assistant. There I found a large correspondence being carried on.
Officers were left in charge of each place, and H T , calling at the Parcel
Depot in Queen Street, was detained and charged with being a party to the conspiracy.
He afterwards made a written statement of his connection with the business.
No sooner were the police officers in charge than letters containing remittances began
to arrive from all quarters, and these were sent back with an explanatory note, which
had to be printed on account of the number being so large.
Among the letters were two from a man who was in charge of a party distributing
literature at Grampound, near Truro, asking for instructions and requesting that money
might be sent to pay their wages. As neither of the letters was answered he
telegraphed and paid for reply, which was sent as follows :
" Nelson and Co. are now residing in Her Majesty's prison, Strangeways. Please walk
The distance is about 400 miles. People also came asking for medicine and advice, in
which cases the officers endeavoured to obtain all particulars from them, and in some
cases even " donned the cloak " for the purpose. When we had obtained their names
and addresses, the amount they had paid, and the nature of their imaginary ailments,
we took them before Dr. Heslop, the police surgeon, who in almost every case
declared that there was nothing whatever the matter with them.
One of these patients, in removing a piano, had sprained himself a little, and feeling
worse next day began to grow uneasy. He spoke to a friend about the matter, who
advised him to see a medical man. Passing the " Medical Institute," and believing it to
be the premises of a duly qualified medical practitioner, he called for the purpose of
consulting him. The usual routine was gone through, the man prescribed for, and a fee

of two guineas paid. The next time he called he was " examined," and a case of
medicine provided, for which a fee of ten guineas was charged. A few days afterwards
he was again " examined," and a further fee of fifteen guineas paid. He was now
found " very bad," and a physician would have to be called down specially from
London to " examine" him. At the appointed time the patient put in an appearance, but
the physician had not arrived. Shortly afterwards a cab drove up to the door, out of
which jumped Buchanan, made up in travelling costume, with a portmanteau
containing a box of surgical instruments. The dignified person had no time to lose, for
he had a very important operation to attend at 4 p.m. The victim was again put
through an examination, for which the pseudo-physician " from London " charged 20
guineas, and advised an expensive medicine which could only be purchased in Paris at
a cost of fifteen guineas a bottle. It was said, however, that one would be sufficient for
the purpose, and the money demanded was actually paid. Very careful instructions
were given that the light was not to be allowed to reach it, or its virtue would be
spoiled. A German "specialist" was next recommended; but it was difficult to get to
see him as he had a very large practice. The doctor would like to hear what he had to
say, and as the specialist's residence was only a short distance away he would
accompany him, charging no fee for himself. Away they went to Bridge Street, and on
inquiring for " Dr. Buchanan " were told that he was engaged with a patient, who had
been with him for an hour and a half. Shortly afterwards the made-up patient left in a
cab, and the "doctor" introduced his victim to the "physician." A fee of 50 was at
once demanded, but the man demurred, and ultimately 30 was accepted. He was now
said to be suffering from a rupture of a small bowel, and a course of galvanic
treatment was recommended. A galvanic belt and battery were procured, for which the
patient was charged another 30, although the articles were afterwards shown to be
worth only 5s. 6d.
Altogether the rascals succeeded in extracting from the pockets of this very gullible
gentleman no less a sum than 192 - all for an imaginary complaint which never
existed !
Whilst I was at "Acton House," Bridge Street, a man walked in with a patch over his
eye, and asked to see Dr. Buchanan. I told him that he was not to be seen just then,
whereupon the visitor laid 10 upon the table. I asked him what he had paid
previously, when he said 80, 40, 20, 10, and now 10, "and the remainder I will
pay you next month." I gave him his 10 back, and told him how he had been
swindled. Amongst the victims of the gang were merchants, solicitors, barristers, and
others of good position. But the cases given will be sufficient to show the manner in
which the quacks worked their business.
After several remands, during which time I had to procure summonses to compel the
attendance of witnesses - such was their fear of being exposed - the prisoners were
sent for trial to the Assizes, where Chadwick, Shiers and Kay pleaded guilty, and the
other two not guilty.
Mr. West, Q.C., in addressing the Court, said he proposed to take a course which
would relieve his lordship and the jury from a very painful and demoralising
investigation. The two who had pleaded not guilty were simply the servants of the
other three, and he did not think it was advantageous to the public morals that the
Court should be occupied in pursuing these filthy investigations. He consented to the
discharge of the two who had pleaded not guilty.
Chadwick was sentenced to eighteen months', and Shiers and Kay to six months'
imprisonment each with hard labour.

Amongst the callers while the police were in possession of the premises was the
printer of the pamphlets, from whom we obtained 20,000, which he still had in his
possession. Being afterwards proceeded against he was fined 20.
Upon Chadwick's arrest I found he had a banking account in the name of his wife,
with 526 standing to her credit. The Chief Constable gave me a note to the bank
indemnifying them from all actions and costs, and I at once placed a lien upon it. I
then saw the prisoner's solicitor, and told him that I accepted all responsibility, and
that he might serve me with all notices in the matter. After being served with a writ I
was asked to meet the prisoner and his solicitor at the gaol, and after some
conversation they offered to give up 300 if I would take my lien off the money. This
I consented to do, and adding the 300 to the money taken trom Chadwick at the time
of his arrest, viz., 106 17s. 6d., I was able to repay those who appeared to prosecute
the whole of the money which they had been swindled out of.

AT the beginning of May, 1894, I was directed to make inquiries into some suspicious
transactions relating to shares in the Albion Fire Assurance, Limited, belonging to an
old gentleman of the name of Nourse. Owing to the unfavourable condition of the
Insurance business generally, the directors of the above company had entered into an
arrangement for the transfer of their business to the Manchester Fire Assurance, on the
terms that for every ten shares of the Albion the shareholders should receive one share
in the Manchester company, or that they should be paid in cash at the rate of ten
shillings per share.
In one of the circulars which the directors of the Albion Company sent out to their
shareholders, they pointed out that the 20 nominal shares of the Manchester
company, with 2 paid up, were worth on the Stock Exchange from 7 15s. to 8, so
that the result of the transfer would be that each Albion share, with ten shillings paid
up would be worth 15s. 6d. to 16s. This seems to have given one of the parties
implicated in the frauds an idea on which he was not slow to act.
The agreement between the two companies was registered in February, 1894, and
about the middle of March the liquidators of the Albion Fire Association appear to
have received information in some way that Mrs. Watt, a shareholder, had lost the
certificate for one hundred shares which she held in the company, and a letter for
idemnity was sent her for signature, to an address furnished to the company, with the
intimation that on its receipt properly signed, a cheque for 50 (the value of the
shares) would be sent. This was done, and on the 4th of April the money was
forwarded, and the draft, after being duly endorsed, was cashed at the Cheque Bank,
Limited, to a person describing himself as Charles E. Watt, the son of Mrs. Watt.
On the 19th of March the following letter was brought to the offices of the Albion
Association by a messenger :
"Morley's Hotel,
" Charing Cross,
"March 19th, 1894.

" The Liquidators of the Albion Insurance Co.,

" 90, Cannon Street.
" Dear Sirs,
" I have been away for some time, or otherwise I should have replied to your letter
before. I shall be glad to accept the Manchester shares, but regret that I cannot in any
way trace my certificate. Will you, therefore, kindly inform me what I am to do. " I
herewith enclose my application signed, and shall be glad if you will hand bearer a
" Apologising for the trouble given.
" Faithfully yours,
Enclosed with this letter was the form sent out by the company, and purporting to be
signed by " Henry Nourse, The Albany, Shrewsbury," asking for an allotment of fifty
shares in the Manchester company, in place of his five hundred in the Albion
company. In reply to this a letter of indemnity was prepared and given to the
messenger, with a note asking for a prompt return of the document, and also if future
communications were to be addressed to Morley's Hotel. This letter of indemnity was
promptly returned, signed " Henry Nourse," with an intimation, that his future address
would be The Albany, Shrewsbury. In the same month the Manchester office
forwarded an allotment letter for the fifty shares to Shrewsbury, and received a reply
asking for the certificates and warrants to be sent on. On the 6th of April a letter was
received at the Manchester office asking again for the dividend warrant of Mr.
Nourse's, shares, and a reply was forwarded to Shrewsbury intimating that when the
allotment letter was returned the certificate and dividend warrant would be sent. This
resulted in the following correspondence :
" The Albany,
" Shrewsbury,
"23rd April, 1894.
"Mr. Henry Nourse's compliments to the manager, and he forwarded, on the 13th,
letter of allotment, and is much surprised that the certificate and warrant has not yet
reached him. He will be glad to receive same per return. If it has been forwarded
an immediate wire will oblige, as the same must have miscarried. " The Manager,
Manchester Fire Office, " 98, King Street, Manchester."
A telegram was sent in reply stating that a letter containing the warrant and certificate
was sent on the 14th instant to 74, St. James' Street, London, by mistake, and the same
evening a letter was sent confirming the wire, and adding - " The envelope bore our
address outside, so that in the event of it not being delivered to you the postal
authorities will return same to us. Kindly advise us if you do not receive same in a day
or two, and we will make inquiries."
This brought the following reply :
" The Albany,
" Shrewsbury,
" 27th April, 1894.
" Mr. Nourse returns his compliments to Mr. Moffat for both his telegram and letter
duly to hand. He regrets to say that he is still without certificate or warrant, and would
be glad if Mr. M. could cancel the shares issued and let Mr. N. have a fresh certificate
forwarded per registered letter to this address, and Mr. Nourse will sign and return any
required letter of indemnity. Mr. N. is dealing with the shares, and is placed very
awkwardly through being unable to deliver.

" Mr. N. will make due inquiry as to the missing documents, and return same if found;
he would also be glad if the payment of the dividend warrant can be temporarily
stopped. A prompt reply will oblige."
The company replied on the 28th :
" We are in receipt of your favour of yesterday, which will be submitted to the
directors next week."
As the scrip was not returned through the dead letter office, and as no satisfactory
information could be obtained at 74, St. James' Street, London (which was a club),
either respecting the scrip or Mr. Nourse, suspicions were aroused, and the matter was
placed in my hands for inquiry.
At Shrewsbury I found that there was no such person as Mr. Henry Nourse. The
Albany Buildings, I ascertained, belonged to the wife of a photographer, arid that her
husband, who managed the property for her had let a portion of the buildings, called
the "Albany Temperance Hotel," to a person of the name of Rogers, who had taken
possession in March, and had hastily decamped about the 28th of April without
paying any rent. I also ascertained that soon after Rogers had entered into possession
of the premises (at the beginning of March) a telegram came addressed to "The
Manager of the Albany, Shrewsbury," and the photographer thinking that the telegram
was for himself opened it, but finding it was not, he handed it to Rogers, who said it
was from a friend of his. This telegram was to the following effect - " Please retain
any letters addressed to me until my arrival. From Henry Nourse, London." Having
become suspicious from the fact that Rogers brought no furniture into the place, and
did not seem to be carrying on any business, the photographer appears to have
overhauled Rogers' correspondence whenever possible, arid the following letter which
he had taken from that gentleman's office table he handed over to the police :
" Victoria House,
" Newcastle Street, Strand,
"March 19th, 1894. " Dear Rogers,
" Kindly take in and send me at once any letters addressed to ' Henry Nourse, Esq.,
The Albany, Shrewsbury.' Any inquiries that may be made for him please answer as
follows : Make his headquarters the Albany. Is a very old and feeble gentleman. Is out
of town at present, and you cannot, or are not allowed, or in a position to divulge his
present address. You understand all this ? Try and arrange for me to come to you and I
can then explain fully respecting the bottles and boxes, &c.
" Believe me,
" Yours very truly,
"P.S. - Re H. N. Do comply with instructions; I will fully explain hereafter." S.S."
It was quite evident from this correspondence that something was going on with
regard to Mr. Nourse's affairs that was not straightforward, and that both Rogers and
Saxby, whoever they were, were in at it. But this photographer, having become
suspicious, determined to find out all he could about his curious tenant, who was
seldom on the premises; and for this purpose began to open his correspondence and
take photographs of his letters, after which he again fastened them up in their
envelopes. From these photographs I found that much of the correspondence that had
passed between the person calling himself Mr. Nourse, of the Albany, Shrewsbury,
and the Manchester Fire Office, had been sent from London by Saxby for the purpose
of being posted in Shrewsbury. Among these letters was the following :
"April 4th, 1894.

"Dear Rogers,
" For God's sake expunge the idea that Nourse is a friend of mine immediately, as he
will call for any letters for him, and I must not at any cost have my name mixed up in
the matter - even that I know him. When I receive your wire that letter or letters have
arrived for him, I will wire you when he will call. I must ask if you have told your
boss that he is a travelling friend of mine. To square it off effectually, burn this and all
immediately on receipt.
" Yours very truly,
" S. X."
It also transpired that the photographer had communicated with the Shrewsbury
police, and that a police officer had called .during Rogers' absence on the 28th of
April, to whom he had shown the latter's portrait. A Mrs. Alders, with whom Rogers
was connected, however, evidently saw the transaction, and informed Rogers on his
return, for the next day he asked the photographer what this officer wanted, and
whose portrait he had shown him. The answer, it would seem, was not satisfactory, for
on the 30th Rogers burnt his papers and disappeared.
Everything went to confirm the view that a conspiracy of some kind was hatching,
and what was wanted now was to get at the principals. I had an idea that this Mr.
James Rogers, of the Albany Hotel, Shrewsbury, would turn out to be Mr. James
Stadden Rogers, who had previously been convicted for the " Next-of-Kin" frauds.
Having traced this gentleman to Birmingham, I proceeded thither, and on the 3rd of
May found him at a refreshment house in Spark Hill, bearing the euphonious name of
the Pomona Hotel. There was scarcely any necessity to inform Rogers who I was. He
knew me well enough. But I told him I was making inquiries respecting a complaint
made by the Manchester Fire Assurance Company of an attempt to obtain 400 from
them by false pretences. He replied, " I suspected there was something wrong, and I
have written to Inspector Outram, London, telling him to go to the London office of
the Manchester Assurance Company and see the manager." He then gave me the
following letter :
" Forest Gate,
"May 1st, 1894.
" Dear Sir,
" Yours to hand with the enclosure. The enclosure simply says that the proposal to
issue a fresh certificate will be submitted to the directors next week. Meanwhile a
very searching investigation is going on, the office having smelt a rat. I want you
please to be strictly on your guard re inquiries. Try to let them imagine that N. is
genuinely in existence ; is old and eccentric; that one day he is in one place, and
another another; that he left yesterday, whatever day they may happen to inquire on,
and write me full extent of their inquiries. I will keep you fully posted up and act as
straight as a die, if you will do so with me.
Of course, you will give my address to no one, nor will you allow it to be given. We
have a difficult task, but if we can still play the game it may yet come off, and I will
take care you share equally with myself.
Please note, when forwarding, do not put N.'s name outside at all - simply enclose and
address to me. You will use your own discretion as to what you say you do with his
letters. I think my idea is best. Left yesterday. No letters to hand since. Expected back.
"Will write again; with best thanks.
"J. H. PHILLIPS. "Destroy this at once - dangerous."

" Oh, oh ! " said I to myself after reading this letter, " I am evidently on the right
track." It is probable that the conduct of the Shrewsbury photographer had made
Rogers suspicious, and that the receipt of the above letter had alarmed him, and in his
terror he had written to Inspector Outram with the intention of securing himself
should anything happen. This letter, which Inspector Outram afterwards handed to
me, ran as follows :
" The writer (personally known to Mr. Outram) believes a scheme is on foot to secure
from the Manchester Fire Company a considerable sum of money from the London
office of this Company. It does not appear quite clear to the writer how this is to be
effected, but probably through some transfer on the Stock Exchange. As yet it is not
carried out, and it might, the writer thinks, be a useful hint to Mr. O. It is believed to
be 400, or thereabouts. In approaching the Company's chief do not let any under
officials connected therewith recognise you. Will see you in a few days; wiring if
learning anything more definite."
Amongst the papers of Rogers I also found a note containing the following, addressed
to the Secretary of the Manchester Fire Office:
" Police in London have been advised of scheme to rob the Company. Birmingham
representative will be interviewed tomorrow. Wire him to treat interview with
confidence; writer well-known in this city.
"Birmingham, May 2nd, 1894."
There was also a letter dated April 29th, and signed "Nourse," in which the following
sentences occurred :
" I wired you on Saturday as to instructions in the event of certain inquiry which I
now expect. I also expect that by the time this reaches you a further letter will arrive
from Manchester, possibly containing a duplicate certificate. It is useless of any of us
acting independently. It is to our mutual advantage to act together, and I will take care
that everyone's interest is protected if no liberties are taken ; otherwise I shall simply
spoil the whole thing and there will be nothing for anybody. .... Please see that due
care is exercised re answer to inquiries, for I expect they will be of a vigilant nature."
It was quite evident from all this that whoever "Nourse " was, he was not Mr. Henry
Nourse, the rightful owner of the shares; but I found among the papers the following
address : - " Mr. H. Nourse, c/o Mr. Phillips, 1, Horace Road, Forest Gate." From this,
and the letter from Phillips, I gathered that he evidently knew something about the
mysterious Mr. Nourse. Rogers informed me that he had never seen Phillips but once,
having been introduced to him by Saxby.
I arrested Rogers and brought him to Manchester, where he wished to make a
statement, but I informed him that he had better put it into writing, which he did. It
read as follows:
"The matter referred to by Mr. Caminada was introduced to my notice by a letter
saying a Mr. Nourse would stay at the Albany, Shrewsbury, arid letters, &c., were
to be accepted. I informed the writer that as yet the place was not in a state to
receive guests, but any letters should be accepted arid forwarded to such address as
might be given by Mr. Nourse, and I forwarded one a few days afterwards to Victoria
House, Newcastle Street, Strand, and when I was in London I handed in a telegram
received at the Albany (and sent on to me) when a gentleman requested any further
communication to an address then given me at Forest Gate, but I was led to believe
that they suspected me of tampering with the telegram. I suggested that some other
medium than myself be used, as I was told Mr. Nourse had not received any letter as
stated therein, and that he should stop payment. At the office I suggested that the
telegram be repeated. If this was done my statement would be verified ; it was of no

interest to me to alter the same; the original could be produced. Later in the
afternoon I decided to call at the Company's office in Cheapside, and inquire for Mr.
Phillips. This I did, and was informed that he had left for the day, I having in the
interim received a second letter, which I decided should go direct and be
acknowledged. I registered the same (Forest Gate) from St. Martins le Grand.
Nothing further was heard by me until my return to Shrewsbury, when I found a
telegram authorising letters to be sent on still to Forest Gate, which I did. On
Tuesday (May 1st) I received a letter which, not understanding, I wrote to London
(Old Jewry, Mr. Outram) as to the matter appearing doubtful, and suggesting that an
interview thereon be obtained with the chief of the department,
Nothing further was heard until Mr. Caminada came to request my accompanying
In the meantime a letter had arrived at the Albany Buildings, Shrewsbury, which the
photographer handed over to the police, this time without opening, for across the flag
of the letter was written, "Mr. Rogersprivate." It read as follows : "I, Horace
Road, " Forest Gate,
"Tuesday Night (May 1st).
" Dear Mr. Rogers,
"Agreeably with my promise to keep you fully posted up, I again write you. Before
proceeding further, I wish you to understand that I do not want all our efforts to be
thrown away. Any interference with what I am doing will cause this. Whilst left to
myself there is still a prospect of eventual success, and, as I said before, if I am treated
straight I will be strictly so myself; if not, I cannot and shall not 'squeal.' I shall simply
put a stop on the transfer, which I can do in ten minutes through the telegraph.
"Now, having said so much, the exact position is this : The certificate and dividend
warrant were sent to the Conservative Club, as you know, and they forwarded them to
the address they have in the country of the proper owner (this information is through
inquiry made by the office). This man, however, is either dead or lying dark, and the
Club have positively declined to give any information as to his whereabouts. Thus, so
far as I can gather, they conclude that the certificate, &c., have somehow never
reached the proper owner, who they conclude is at Shrewsbury. I (as N.) have applied
for a duplicate and requested the warrant to be stopped - the latter as a blind; and it is
on the tapis that if they hear nothing more, and are met with satisfactory answers to
inquiries at Shrewsbury, they will grant it and cancel the missing one on a letter of
indemnity which I have agreed to give. You will thus see that the matter must be very
carefully handled, and I think you and myself can work it through, but you must
follow my request as to N. staying with you, or they will doubt it. We shall know
more in a day or two. Forward anything received to me direct, and allow no one to
choke you off my
instructions. They are comparing signatures, &c. I hold a facsimile of the correct one,
so I fear nothing on that score. Help me through with it and you shall, as promised,
share with myself and the others. I want all to be satisfied, but I don't intend to let
anyone deal with it except ourselves - you and I - for they don't possess the necessary
knowledge and ability.
" Yours faithfully,
"A very nice little plot," thought I to myself after reading it; " but whatever your
intentions may be I propose to have a deal in it, and I think it is likely you will hear
something without having to wait a day or two." But the game was expanding. Mrs.

Watt, who was the widow of a clergyman, had arrived home from abroad, where she
had been travelling, and finding the papers respecting the transfer of the business of
the Albion to the Manchester Company awaiting her, she instructed Messrs. Coutts,
her bankers, to see to it. It then came out that the previous transaction in connection
with her shares was a fraud.
On the 4th of May (the day after I arrested Rogers) I proceeded to London, and, going
to the office of the Manchester Fire Association in Cheapside, arrested John Henry
Brougham Phillips, a clerk in their employ, whom they had taken over with the Albion
Company, on a charge of a conspiracy with others to defraud the Manchester Fire
Association of 400, and also of obtaining 50 from the same company under false
pretences. I showed him the letter given me by Rogers, arid also the one handed by
the photographer at Shrewsbury to the police, both bearing his signature, and he
admitted that they were in his handwriting. He then gave me a paper containing a
tracing of the signatures of Mrs. Watt and Mr. Nourse, which he had evidently
obtained from original documents in possession of the company. I brought him to
Manchester and placed him with Rogers and the woman Alders, who had been
arrested in Shrewsbury, but was afterwards discharged, and charged them with
conspiracy and fraud. Stanley Saxby was afterwards arrested and placed with them.
He said he was led into the business by Phillips, and was starving at the time. He
.afterwards made the following statement in writing :
" I have been shown the four letters by Mr. Caminada. They are in my writing. I
wrote them at the instigation of Phillips. He first asked me to call on Mr. Nourse to
see if the shares could be bought cheap, as he had someone who would buy them, or
find the money, and he would share what profit was made into three equal portions. I
reported to him that I was unable to find Mr. Nourse at the address given. I was led
into doing what I did through Phillips knowing I was destitute, and he promised all
kinds of help."
Further inquiries brought out the way in which Phillips had obtained the information
on which he worked. When the transfer of the business of the Albion Company took
place it was the duty of a fellow clerk to explain matters to such shareholders as
desired to transfer their shares. Phillips pointed out to him that the shares were worth
considerably more than ten shillings each if they could get possession of them, and he
suggested that by getting the shares transferred to him at a little larger price than the
Manchester Company were giving, a considerable profit might be made on the
transaction. By a promise of a gratuity he induced this gentleman to show him the list
of the members of the Albion Company, and from it he wrote out the names of those
who had not applied to have their shares dealt with. Amongst these were the names of
Mrs. Watt and Mr. Nourse.
As we have seen, Mrs. Watt was not at home at the time, and she was very often
travelling upon the continent. Mr. Nourse was a very old man, very infirm, deaf, and
almost blind. For three years he had only left his room on two occasions, and declined
to see any persons except his housekeeper and doctor. All his letters, were addressed
to his club, from whence they were sent on, the club authorities invariably declining
to give any information whatever concerning him.
It is probable from the inquiries of Saxby that these matters, were known to the
conspirators, and Phillips acted accordingly, being successful in the case of Mrs. Watt.
He would undoubtedly have also obtained the shares of Mr. Nourse had it not been for
the fortunate mistake of the scrip having been sent to the address of the proper party;
and even then, by the eccentricity of Mr. Nourse,, and the difficulty of obtaining any
information respecting him, Phillips still clung to the possibility of bringing off the

coup by false representations, and, as his last letter shows, might possibly have
succeeded had it not been for the arrest of Rogers and himself.
Phillips succeeded in keeping his name out of any of the documents or letters
connected with the matter until things were coming to a climax, and it was necessary
to urge Rogers to stand firm. As his writing would evidently have been known at the
office of the Company, he got Saxby to write the body of the letters connected with
the business, attaching the signature himself.
The prisoners were tried at the Manchester July Assizes, 1894, before Mr. Justice
Brace; Mr. Shee, Q.C., and Mr. Overend Evans being counsel for the prosecution,
instructed by the Deputy Town Clerk and Mr. Cobbett; whilst Saxby was defended by
Mr. McNabb. The other two prisoners defended themselves with great ability. After a
trial lasting the greater portion of two days, all three were found guilty. Phillips was
then arraigned for Mrs. Watt's case. It was proved that he had passed as the Charles E.
Watt who had cashed the cheque obtained by the forged signature of Mrs. Watt, and
that the signature, " C. E. Watt," on the endorsements of the drafts of the Cheque Bank
given in exchange for the cheque was in his handwriting. This he denied, and
endeavoured to throw the blame on Saxby, whom he actually called into the witness
box to speak to the writing, but Saxby denied all knowledge of it. Phillips was again
found guilty, the jury expressing much sympathy for Saxby.
On being called up for sentence, the Judge pointed out that Rogers had a previous
conviction against him of two years' imprisonment for a similar offence, and again
sentenced him to the same term. Phillips he characterised as a very dangerous man,
from whom society ought to be protected, and sentenced him to seven years' penal
servitude for forgery, and six months' hard labour for conspiracy, both sentences to
run concurrently. Saxby, against whom there was a previous conviction, was
sentenced to nine months' imprisonment.


TOWARDS the close of September, 1893, complaints were made by residents of
obstruction, on Sunday mornings, at Ardwick Green, by a number of irresponsible
young men who called themselves the "Manchester Anarchist Communist Group." It
was very difficult to make out what these foolish fellows advocated, their principles
appearing to be " What's yours is mine, and what's mine's my own." But it was also
complained that very strong language was used, which tended to a breach of the
peace. One of the speakers at the early meetings was the notorious Samuels, of whom
it was stated in the House of Commons (see Times, September 22nd, 1893) that he
gave the following counsel to the miners, who were then out on strike : "If they did
not go in a body and fight, let them do it individually, with torch, knife, and bomb."
Again, he is reported to have described the bomb outrage at the Barcelona Theatre as
" a great and good act." At length a deputation of the residents of the neighbourhood
waited upon the Chief Constable, and asked that the police should interfere and put a
stop to what had become a serious nuisance. The Chief Constable, after hearing the
views of the deputation, attended these meetings, and tried to reason with the

obstructionists, pointing out to them that it was a very improper place to hold their
meetings and offering them the use of Stevenson Square, where they could air their
grievances from morning till night without being interfered with. It was only when
matters grew worse, and a gentleman who expressed disapproval of the speakers'
views had to be protected by the police, that the Chief Constable decided to interfere.
On Sunday, October 1st, I went to the Green with Sergeant Button, in accordance with
instructions, and found the Chief Constable present. About 11-30 a Belgian, named
Pellier, mounted a chair, and began to address a crowd of several hundred people, his
remarks being of a revolutionary character. The drift of the argument of this "
Solomon " appeared to be that if all the land was cultivated, and everybody did his
fair share of labour ("Which tha won't " shouted one of the crowd), two hours a day
would suffice. Under this new millenium there would be no unemployed, and no
paupers ("And no spouters," chimed in somebody).
He had been speaking for some time when the Chief Constable desired me to tell him
that he would be glad to have a few words with him. Pellier at once got down from his
chair, when the Chief Constable told him that the meeting was an obstruction and
could not be allowed to go on; but no objection would be offered if they adjourned to
Stevenson Square ; or any of the Police Yards were open to them. Pellier replied that
he had no wish to create a disturbance. He had a wife and family and had no desire to
get into trouble, and would advise the meeting to break up. He then walked away. His
place on the chair, however, was immediately taken by a young fellow named Alfred
Barton, who was at once pulled down, when another man mounted the chair. When he
in turn was seized, the rostrum was taken by a young mechanic named Patrick
McCabe, who also fell into the hands of the police.
Things were now getting lively. The crowd had become excited. When McCabe was
pulled off the chair, a shout was raised, and a general rush made in the direction of the
eight or nine policemen present. A young fellow named Barton seized the chair, which
had served as a rostrum, and aimed a blow at me with it, hitting me on the chest,
whilst some one struck me on the back of my head, knocking off my hat. To defend
myself I grasped my umbrella and struck out right and left until I had cleared a space
around me. In doing this I injured my umbrella, for which these young gentlemen had
to pay, and it afterwards became a historical article in the annals ot the Manchester
Anarchist group; for " Caminada and his gamp " (umbrella) was one of the texts upon
which these juveniles founded their lectures. Burrows was not taken at the meeting,
but was afterwards arrested in Fairneld Street, where he was heard to remark, "If I had
a revolver I would blow the d d policeman's brains out." After the arrests the
meeting soon dwindled away.
On Monday morning, the precincts of the court were besieged by a large crowd of
persons anxious to witness the trial of the defendants, and when the doors were
thrown open to the public, both the sitting and standing accommodation was quickly
taken up, the occupants of the gallery being chiefly friends of the prisoners.
The prisoners were Patrick McCabe, mechanic, aged 20, William Haughton,
pattern maker, aged 20, Ernest Stockton, engineer, aged 19, and Henry Burrows,
clerk, aged 19. Such were the youths who had undertaken to introduce a new regime
into the government of the country, and to convert the people of Manchester to views
which they did not understand themselves.
Upon the case being called, McCabe became very excited, and began to exclaim that
his friends were being kept out of the court by the police. This was denied, and, in
response to Mr. Headlam, the prisoners called out the names of certain persons whom
they wished to call as witnesses. These having been brought in and McCabe appeased,

Haughton commenced to shout that they had been already tried and condemned in the
press, which assertion drew from the Stipendiary Magistrate the remark that it was no
good talking like that, as he ignored the press in such matters, and only went by the
evidence given in court. The prisoner, however, continued to shout; but Mr. Headlam
declined to hear him.
The evidence was continually interrupted by Burrows shouting " It's a lie," and by
derisive laughter and hisses by the friends of the Anarchists in the gallery, which led
the Stipendiary to threaten to have that portion of the court in which they were seated
cleared. The prisoners cross-examined the witnesses in a very loud and insolent
manner. Haughton began by remarking that " Caminada had a bad memory, like all
policemen." Stockton commenced by informing the bench that he weighed 6 stone 5
pounds, to which I remarked that he " weighed a good deal more in cheek."
Before the whole of the evidence had been given, Mr. Headlam said he was satisfied.
Whereupon the prisoners asked that the Chief Constable should be put into the
witness-box. On this being complied with, Burrows asked him to " point out the brute
who struck him," and the Chief Constable replied that he thought it was Caminada.
He further stated that he had attended these meetings and warned the Anarchists of the
consequences, and it was only when they grew worse, and it became a question as to
whether the law or the Anarchists was to be master, that he had interfered. Burrows
then put a number of irrelevant questions to Mr. Wood, which the latter could not
answer, and as he left the witness-box Haughton shouted, " Are we to be gagged ? He
is in the hole and wants to get out of it." McCabe also commenced to shout, and for a
few moments the court was a scene of uproar. Several witnesses were called on behalf
of the Anarchists, all their own friends, to prove that there was no obstruction; but the
Court was satisfied, and inflicted a fine of 21s. and costs, or in default, one month's
All, however, was not yet over, for immediately on hearing the decision one of the
prisoners raised the cry " Hurrah for Anarchy," and this was taken up by Mr. Alfred
Barton, another of these renovators of the world, aged 25, and following the
occupation of a clerk, who, on leaving the court, shouted "To h--l with law and order."
This hater of the law was immediately arrested, and hauled before its representative.
In answer to Mr. Headlam, this terrible fellow, who proposed to turn the world upside
down, admitted that he had made use of the expression, but only did so because he
was indignant at the way in which his comrades had been treated " for doing their
duty;" the presumption, of course, being that their duty and obedience to the Anarchist
group came before their duty as citizens, and ought therefore to be approved rather
than punished. Mr. Headlam, however, refused to take this view of the case, and Mr.
Alfred Barton was bound over, in his own recognisance of 5, to keep the peace for
six months. Notwithstanding his hatred to all "law and order," he consented to be so
bound, and the "tyrannical" fines of his colleagues or " comrades," as they love to call
each other, were paid.
One of the principal Manchester papers, commenting on the affair, said:
" In Manchester there is a handful of persons who delight in regarding themselves as
Anarchists. They are chiefly tailors, and some of them allow their hair to grow long.
There is nothing they dislike more than the laws and regulations provided for the
peace and safety of the population. They cannot endure restraint. It is all very well for
common people to be compelled to conform to orders, but they prefer to please
themselves. There are few things they are more desirous of doing than the things
which the authorities say must be left undone, and there is nothing belonging to other
people in which they do not claim to have a proprietary interest. Their motto is, in

effect, 'What's yours is mine, and what's mine is my own.' They are always amiable
when they are permitted to defy the law and put other people to loss and
inconvenience. To restrain them from doing these things is to offend them, and when
they are offended they are terrible people. They are invariably fluent of speech, and
their vocabulary is largely composed of epithets of an irritating and alarming kind. In
Manchester the authorities have an objection to persons obstructing the thoroughfares.
They seem to fancy it is their business to prevent the inhabitants from being
inconvenienced by such proceedings. That is not the view the Anarchists take. It is all
very well for ordinary citizens to be bound down by such tyrannical restrictions, but
Anarchists are not ordinary beings. They chafe at law, and have no particular partiality
for order. As a rule they have no worldly possessions, and they very much object to
other people differing from them in that respect. They are in reality very peculiar
people. But, as there are peculiar people who are law-abiding and inoffensive, they
prefer to be known as Anarchists, which is supposed to mean something very
different. There are open spaces in Manchester which may be used on a Sunday by
people afflicted with crazes which they like to air in public. In such places such crazes
may be promulgated without offending anybody. They are not the places for
Anarchists. What is the use of being Anarchists unless they can be offensive, and can
interfere with the comfort and safety of other people? Holding a meeting in Stevenson
Square, or on a police drill ground, on a Sunday, would not do any harm to anybody,
therefore the Manchester members of this singular Order determine to hold their
meetings on the high road. They held one on Sunday morning and created a serious
obstruction. The police had the temerity to interfere. They actually stopped the
meeting, and marched some of the more persistent of the ringleaders to the Police
Office. That was more than Anarchical flesh and blood could stand, and they
showered anathemas on their captors and their sympathisers, and solemnly warned
them of bombs. With surprising indifference the police actually went the length,
yesterday, of taking them before the magistrates, and Detective-Inspector Caminada
had the audacity to speak of them as prisoners. They regarded the whole proceeding
with lofty disdain, expostulated with the Stipendiary Magistrate on his want of due
perspicacity, and denounced the prosecution as an attack upon freedom of speech.
Whatever would they have said had they been members of the House of Commons
during the ' discussion' of the Home Rule Bill ? However, Mr. Headlam was callous of
consequences. He seemed to be indifferent to the terrors consequent upon an offence
against Anarchists, and he actually imposed a substantial penalty upon them for
inconveniencing their neighbours by obstructing the high road. What will happen
now? Perhaps they will take possession of the Mayor's parlour, or the Chief
Constable's private office for their next meeting. Such a proceeding would certainly
inconvenience fewer persons than that for which they have been subjected to the
indignity of arrest and punishment."
The gentleman referred to in a preceding paragraph, who allowed his hair to grow
long, was of course the Anarchist poet; like the strength of Samson, the wisdom of the
man did not lie in his head but in the hair outside it, and for that reason was afraid of
having it cut, lest the poetical instinct should depart. On such a historical occasion as
this, the first prosecution of the Anarchists in Manchester, the poet was called upon to
take up his lyre and compose an ode to perpetuate the memory of the marytrs, and
execrate their persecutors. What poet would not wish for such a theme ? How the old
Welsh harpist would have revelled in such a subject! Alas! how we are degenerated. It
is enough to make Apollo weep ! But our Anarchist laureate is not an ordinary being,

and it would be well for some of our poets to look to their laurels. After lying on his
back for some time, seeking for inspiration, he sang :
The Anarchists held meetings that were orderly and good,
And the workers they did go
Just to hear the Anarchists show
How the rich church-going thieves live upon their sweat and blood,
And how the masters try and (sic) crush them low.
And as they walk about the street With an independent air,
The people all declare, They must have knowledge rare ;
And they do say, We wish the day,
When Anarchists shall have fair play,
And hold their meetings free at Ardwick Green, O.
But Nunn he was a bigot and didn't like the truth,
And he to the meetings went, On making mischief bent.
He got policemen and detectives to attack them without ruth
I think it's time that he to heaven was sent.
And as he walks about the church With an hypocritical air,
The people all do swear, He is a humbug rare,
For he does yell, And the people tell,
That all (who) think will go to hell,
The parson who interfered at Ardwick Green, O.
Caminada showed his valour by knocking people down,
And using his gamp well, Good citizens to fell.
He collared all the Anarchists, and marched them through the town,
And put them in the Fairfleld station cell.
And he walks along the street With an independent air,
The people all declare, He is a scoundrel rare,
His head is " Wood," And is no good,
Except to provide the pig's with food,
The scamp who broke his gamp at Ardwiak Green, O.
He brought them before the beak, and thought to give it them hot,
But his little game was off, And he got it rather rough,
The Anarchists did bravely, and of cheek give him a lot,
And it won't be very long before he's had enough.
And as he walks along the court With a "big bug" sort of air,
The people all declare, Oh ! what a fall was there.
And they are sure, He will never more

The Anarchists attempt to floor,

The D. who broke his gamp at Ardwick Green, O.
He told a lot of thumpers, and spun some awful fibs,
But they soon proved him to be A liar of high degree.
And though Headlam, like an idiot,
made them fork out their " dibs,"
They fairly got old Cam. up a tree.
And he walks about the street, With an independent air,
The people all do swear, He is a detective rare,
For he can lie, And none can vie
In the list of scamps, none stands so high
As the D. who broke his gamp at Ardwick Green, O.
But the time is coming quickly when Cam. will repent
Of having tried his game The Anarchists to lame,
Or he and his d d crew
will to that warm land be sent,
And never trouble honest folks again.
And he walks along the court,
With a hanging vicious air,
.The people will declare,
Oh ! what an awful scare.
And they will cry,
Oh ! let him die,
And deep down the gutter lie
The D. who broke his gamp at Ardwick Green, O.
It is said that there is only one step between the sublime and the ridiculous. The
sublimity of the profession of a poet is no doubt something grand. But the productions
of some of these versifiers are the merest rubbish, and our readers must excuse me for
inflicting upon them a copy of the Anarchist laureate's effusion, our object being to
show the grand and noble ideas held by these martyrs to the cause of disorder. The
idea of sending the reverend gentleman to heaven, and the detectives to a "warmer
land," where of course there are no "honest folks," is very suggestive. But I suppose
we must content ourselves by knowing we are placed in the same category as lawyers,
whom we know, according to the old adage, have a very great difficulty in entering
into the kingdom of heaven. As regards their being "sure" that "he (Caminada) will
never more the Anarchists attempt to floor," the writer has come to the conclusion that
it is never safe to prophesy unless you know.
Having encouraged themselves by the strains of poetry, and got up their courage to
the sticking point, they vowed vengeance on the immortal "gamp" and its owner. The
next thing was to get a number of handbills printed, calling a meeting, which would
be held at Ardwick Green, on the following Sunday morning, "in spite of Caminada
and his crew," to defend the right of freedom of speech. These were distributed
throughout the city ; whilst some of these terrible gentlemen, armed with paste-can

and brush, occupied themselves at midnight in pasting the walls of St. Thomas's
churchyard - of which church the Rev. Canon Nunn is the rector - with these
handbills, taking care, however, to place sentries to give the alarm in case of the
approach of a policeman.
Sunday arrived, and there was a crowd of several hundred people at the meetingplace, most of whom had turned up, as they expressed it, "to see the fun." About 11-30
a young fellow, named Patrick John Kelly, about 22 years of age, and who followed
the business of a taxidermist, mounted the rostrum, and the crowd gathered round. He
commenced - "Comrades and working-men, I come here on behalf of my comrades
who were locked up last Sunday morning. In spite of Caminada and the police we are
going to hold our meeting." He got no further, for he was immediately pulled off the
chair, on which he cried, " Three cheers for Anarchy and revolution ;" but his
invitation met with no response. As .he was rushed down to Fairfield Street Police
Station a large crowd followed, mostly out of curiosity to get a glimpse at him.
To these he kept appealing, " If you are men be men," evidently inviting a rescue, but
the crowd only laughed at him.
When brought before Mr. Headlam, at the Police Court, in reply to the magistrate he
said that he was charged under a law that was passed by a section of society calling
themselves Government, and passed by them regardless of the interests of other
people. He was charged with an obstruction of the public highway, although how it
could be a public highway when the public were not allowed to use it he failed to see.
He was quite aware that the Anarchists had been told that they could go to Stevenson
Square and hold their meetings. But what was the good of that ? The people would
not come to them, so they had to go to the people. He compared Caminada's making
his comrades pay for the umbrella, which he broke over their heads in the melee, to
the Government charging the Featherstone miners for the bullets with which they
were shot. The meetings would go on, and men would be found week by week to
speak, and ready to go to prison if necessary in defence of their rights. Mr. Headlam
cut the harangue short with "21s. and costs, or in default one month !" and the martyr,
Joseph Patrick Kelly who failed to see the difference between using and obstructing a
public highway, was hurried below until the fine was paid, as he was not quite " ready
to go to prison in defence of their rights."
Handbills were again put out setting the authorities at defiance, and announcing that
the Anarchists were determined to hold their meeting on Sunday morning next,
October 16th. The contest between the upholders of law and order and those of
Anarchy and disorder had now become the talk of the city. The consequence was that
a crowd of 3,000 or 4,000 persons was drawn together from mere curiosity,
necessitating a large staff of police. The people were kept on the move, and as the
Anarchists appeared they were ordered away. At length a young fellow, named James
Coates, a lithographic printer, seized the opportunity to mount the rostrum, and said
he was there to protest against the action of Carion Nunn, in interfering with the right
of free speech, aided by "a man called Caminada." He was taken into custody, and a
number of his comrades who pressed round were also arrested and taken to Fairfield
Street Police Station. Here two men, named Taylor and Payne, who had taken part in
the obstruction at Ardwick Green, and had followed the prisoners down, applied to
give bail for two of their comrades, but as they did not know the names of the men for
whom they offered bail, they were told to go to the Town Hall. This they refused to do
or to leave the office, and had to be ejected. They were subseqiiently arrested for
causing an obstruction in Fairfield Street.

Next morning (Monday) the following prisoners were brought before the magistrates:
Arthur Booth, joiner, aged 32; Max Falk, tailor, aged 28; Abraham Lewis, tailor, aged
21 ; James Coates, lithographic printer, aged 21; Edmund George Taylor, tutor, aged
51 ; Thomas Spaine, shoemaker, aged 26 ; Walter Payne, clerk, aged 29 ; William
Downey Allen, printer, aged 26; James Beale, porter, aged 28; Charles Watts,
newsagent, aged 23 ; and William Lancaster, labourer, aged 28.
In reply to the bench the prisoners denied that there was any obstruction. Coates, who
read his reply, which had evidently been prepared for him, created much amusement.
He said the character of the prosecution was utterly absurd, and " initiated by
parsons." They expected no justice in the law courts, which were only places of
villainy and hypocrisy. The whole had been done at the bidding of that "
sanctimonious parasite, Nunn." Spaine, Beale, and Lancaster were fined 21s. and
costs, or in default one month's imprisonment; the rest were fined 40s. and costs, or a
month's imprisonment.
On the following Sunday the police were present in considerable force in view of a
possible demonstration. Some thousands of people turned up, apparently out of
curiosity, and rushed backwards and forwards through the neighbourhood in rather an
alarming manner, as reports were raised as to the presence of some of the martyrs.
The crowds, however, were kept under control until the public-houses opened, when,
without enjoying any further excitement, they dispersed. These meetings were a little
harvest for the publicans of the neighbourhood, some of whom had to engage extra
waiters for Sundays during the agitation.
It afterwards appeared that the reason for the absence of the apostles of disorder was a
compact made with Dr. Sinclair the night previous ; the Anarchists promising to hold
no meeting until he put their case before the authorities. Accordingly on October 25th
Dr. Sinclair brought the matter before the City Council. He pointed out that the
offenders were a lot of foolish young men, and suggested that the press should let all
decent citizens understand that the Lord Mayor personally would be glad if they
would stay away from Ardwick Green, and leave those young men severely alone. If
some means could be taken to bring the meetings into ridicule there would be a
chance of finding a remedy. He also expressed an opinion that the police had acted in
a very highhanded, hasty fashion, which was met with cries of " No."
Mr. Rawson replied that it was only because there was a danger of disturbance in the
public thoroughfares that action by the police had been taken. There was no ground
whatever for the insinuation that the Watch Committee was actuated by any desire to
suppress free speech. The whole question was one of ruling the town. The police did
not interfere until all the means of private persuasion had been tried and failed. Mr.
Alderman Lloyd added that, in addition to seriously obstructing the traffic, the
language used by these men was at times of a disgusting nature. Mr. Alderman Mark,
chairman of the Watch Committee, handed round a collecting box, amidst much
amusement, on which the words "Manchester Anarchist Group" were embroidered in
black satin. It did not come to my knowledge whether any of the worthy councillors
subscribed, or what the alderman would have done with the money had they done so.
As the Anarchists - who, though they object to the laws, do not hesitate to appeal to
the authorities when it suits them - did not attain their object, the following handbill
was issued:
" The Anarchists and Ardwick Green ! Obstruction or Oppression! The City Council
uphold Perjury and Violence ! Overtures of Peace rejected! Caminada authorised to
break the heads of Manchester Citizens! This Tyranny shall not succeed! The
Anarchists will be at Ardwick Green on Sunday next, October 29, at 11-30. An

Indignation Meeting will be held in Stevenson Square at 3. Attend in your

thousands !"
The consequence was that a great crowd congregated on the Sunday morning, which
was kept running in different directions as various false rumours of arrests or other
excitement cropped up.
For wherever there is anything to be seen an Englishman must needs go and see it;
and in the eager warmth of excited spirits he will run after it. No matter whether
caravan or carriage ; no matter whence it comes or whither it goes; no matter whether
its contents be a kangaroo or a cannibal chief, a giraffe or a princess, Rusty Fusty, a
baboon, or an Anarchist, the interesting stranger is cheered with enthusiasm, and
speeds along graced with all the honours of extemporaneous popularity.
At length, as the crowd, weary of waiting, was beginning to disperse, Herbert
Stockton, a bootmaker, about 23 years of age, and a relative of one of the previous
martyrs, was seen crossing the park accompanied by about 200 people, and, taking his
stand upon the pedestal of the lamp in the centre of the five cross roads, commenced
to address the crowd, but was at once removed. It was my intention to have let him go
and to issue a summons against him ; but he said that he did not want any quarter
from the police or from the authorities. His friends would persist in holding the
meetings, and the police had better give it up as a bad job.
In reply to the magistrates Stockton said that it seemed to him that by adopting a
police censorship policemen were to have the power of telling the citizens of
Manchester what they should listen to, and what they should not. That might of course
do for Russia, but it was not the right sort of thing for Manchester. In their case they
were fighting for freedom of speech - for which their ancestors died - and they were
not going to let that right be taken from them without a struggle. They were not going
to be ridden over roughshod by the police, the parsons, or anyone else. Mr. Armitage
pointed out from the bench that it was not a question of liberty of speech; for there
were at least half a dozen places in the city where the defendant and his friends could
express their opinions from morning till night if they liked; but they were determined
that "they would be a law unto themselves." He would be fined 40s. and costs, or one
month's imprisonment, and if he came again he would be sent to gaol without the
option of a fine. The fine was paid.
The struggle still went on. The public were informed, by means of handbills, that on
the following Sunday "the sermon would be preached by an Anarchist, the lessons
read by Chief
Inspector Caminada, and the psalms sung by his crew " (detectives), the people being
asked to assemble in their thousands. They did so. The crowd reached from the lamp
opposite Brunswick Street to Rusholme Road in one direction, and extended up
Brunswick Street, Hyde Road, Stockport Road, and Higher Ardwick, in other
directions, the park and its environs being crowded.
At the appointed time, the candidate for martyrdom, James Birch, a mechanic, about
21 years of age, mounted the lamp, and, striking a dramatic attitude, waved a baton in
the shape of a rolled up newspaper to attract attention. His speech, the delivery of
which was stopped rather abruptly, was accompanied by a blaze of fireworks. It was
the Fifth of November, and a number of youths thought it a good opportunity of
keeping up the holiday. The would-be martyr was soon the target for squibs, crackers,
and other fireworks, and the cry was raised, " Duck him in the horse trough," which
stood near for the purpose of watering horses. He was then taken into custody, so
much of his speech as he could deliver being of the usual character : " He himself

would fight the matter to the bitter end, and it was intended by himself and friends to
hold meetings in spite of Canon Nunn and Caminada."
In Court he created great amusement by trying to read an evidently prepared defence.
He described the prosecution as a "vexatious" one, got up by bigotted meddlers who
wanted to interfere with the liberty of the citizens. The law, he said, was " sprained "
in order to crush out the right of public meeting, and the charge of obstruction was
"merely a fake." He denied being an Anarchist, but gloried in being a member of the
Labour Church. All bodies, he continued, who worked on behalf of labour were with
them in the struggle, and they would not be stamped out until the whole labour
movement had been extinguished. A. fine of 40s. and costs was imposed, which was
again paid.
On the following Wednesday the terrible bomb outrage was committed at the Liceo
Theatre, Barcelona, spreading death and destruction on all sides ; and Europe stood
aghast. Samuels, one of the earliest speakers at these Ardwick Green meetings, and
connected we believe with an Anarchist periodical, described the deed as " a great and
good act." Herbert Stockton, one of the Ardwick Green martyrs, whilst everyone
was deploring the calamity, wrote to the Manchester Guardian (Nov. 11), and, after
sounding the trumpet of the local Anarchists, said the Watch Committee were
watching the effect of this suppression on the citizens, with a view to stopping all
outdoor meetings of a political nature if
possible. The Watch Committee had been badly beaten, and it was only a question
of time as to when they would realise it.
On Sunday, the 12th of November, some thousands of persons " again congregated at
Ardwick Green, and the efforts of the police were chiefly directed, to keeping them in
motion and so preventing obstruction. Herbert Stockton at length mounted the lamp,
and said they were determined to hold meetings in spite of Canon Nunn or anyone
else. Whilst his " comrades " were shouting approval, a man quietly approached and,
suddenly shoving his head between the speaker's legs, mounted him upon his back,
and rushed off with him towards the water-trough, followed by an excited and
approving crowd, who shouted, " Baptise him ! Baptise him !" while the small knot of
Anarchists looked on with dismay. The police promptly interfered, and rescued the
youthful martyr from his tormentors; whilst he and several others who were
encouraging him to defy the law were arrested. On the way to the Police Station, a
conversation took place in the cab between Birch and Stockton, with respect to
bombs, which was overheard by a police officer, Stockton openly saying that their
society was determined to hold their meetings at Ardwick Green, and that they should
resort to extreme measures. The movement, he remarked, was going on all right, and
they had got two or three Rothschilds behind them.
In response to the bench, Stockton said that the citizens of Manchester should be
congratulated on having such a versatile detective inspector. He combined his ability
as a detective with that of a stage manager. He managed a most beautiful and dramatic
scene in which he (Stockton) was to be dipped in a water-trough. Mr. Headlam
reminded the prisoner that he would have to prove such a statement, as it was denied;
to which he replied, amidst some laughter, "Well, I don't think t shall attempt to prove
it." The reference to the bombs and Rothschilds, he said, it was only a joke, and
concluded by saying that the society had decided not to pay any more fines. Whatever
punishment was inflicted upon their members would, he supposed, have to be
expiated in gaol. The same thing would happen to a dozen, to hundreds - he might say
to thousands - of young men, who knew that the liberties of the people were in
danger, and who were determined to do what they could to keep them safe. He,

himself, if he was not in prison, was determined to address other meetings at Ardwick
Green. Birch said that there were a great many determined to fight out the matter to
the bitter end, no matter what treatment they received from the hands of the
authorities, under laws passed by those classes of society who lived in luxury by the
exploitation of labour.
If every person were to be allowed to repudiate the laws because they were passed by
" classes " with whom they had no sympathy, I am afraid we should soon have a state
of Anarchy which would bring even the Anarchists to their senses. These gentlemen
work on an ideal state of society. They take every man and woman to be perfect; they
make no allowance for different tastes, feelings, or inherited tendencies ; nor have
they any idea that the stronger would oppress the weak. Under their millenium every
man would drop into his proper place; every woman would be mated with the right
man ; there would be no envy, hatred, un-charitableness, or laziness. Two hours a
day's work, as one speaker said, would serve everybody, and the eight hours day
would be knocked into a "cocked hat." Then I suppose we should be able to sing :
Two hours work,
Twelve hours play,
Ten hours sleep,
And one ''quid" a day.
But in these good days there will be no use for money. Every man will have what he
wants, and there will be no rushing to obtain the best places. The anti-smoker will be
content to work to provide another man with tobacco ; the teetotaller will delight, by
the sweat of his brow, to provide the boozer with his beer; there will be no rows about
denominational education, for every religion will be supported out of a common fund,
and Secularists will not grumble about it ; adultery and theft will not be known ;
government and law will not be needed; and lawyers, judges, and policemen will be
out of work. Oh, happy times ! Knowing, however, what we do about human nature,
we are afraid these youthful Anarchists will have a difficult job before them before all
this is brought about.
Herbert Stockton and James Birch, two old offenders, were fined 30s. and costs, or in
default one month's imprisonment, and to be bound over in two sureties of 25 for six
months ; James Welling, a labourer, aged 24, 40s. and costs, or one month ; George
Storey, a tailor, aged 49, 21s. and costs, or one month ; Alfred Roberts, dyer, aged 20,
Robert Warburton, warehouseman, aged 19, Frederick Froggat, turner, aged 14, and
James Taylor, warehouseman, aged 16, were all bound over in one surety of 10 to
keep the peace for six months.
A local newspaper commented on these prosecutions in the following terms :
" The Manchester ' Anarchist group ' still keep up their Sunday recreation at Ardwick
Green, and their Monday privilege of being fined. The law has given them the
notoriety they desired. Their wildest flights of fancy, their most sweeping
condemnations, would not have attracted more than a handful of idlers had the law '
winked' at their proceedings. Now, however, the obstruction has become serious, and
week after week the police ' vindicate the majesty of the law' by arresting the bolder '
Anarchists.' But that is all. The obstruction continues, and the people flock to the
Green in the hope of seeing some lively struggles between the police and the
Anarchists. Who will get tired of this unseemly farce first, the police, the public, or
the Anarchists? Perhaps, if a few of the people who assemble were summoned with
the Anarchists there would be less obstruction ; but we doubt whether this would
mend matters. On the other hand, the law must be supreme. There are many other

places at which the Anarchists can meet; but, simply because the police and public
wish them to go elsewhere, the 'group' invite the law to do its worst. It is all very silly
and foolish. The Anarchists are undoubtedly to blame, because they have taken up a
very idiotic attitude. Were any religious body to cause a similar obstruction we should
strongly condemn it; and nothing can be
further from the truth than to say that the Anarchists are prosecuted because they hold
opinions with which we cannot agree. Dr. Sinclair declares that the disturbances are
largely owing to the bureaucratic methods of the police authorities, and to the
violence employed by some officers. Whether this be true or not, there is no excuse
for the young men who wilfully break the law. If no other site could be found the
Anarchists might receive some sympathy, but they gather together in a forbidden
place merely to defy the police and to show their contempt for the law."
On the two following Sundays much the same thing occurred, Henry Salop, a
labourer, aged 26, being fined 40s. and costs, or a month, for the first meeting; and for
the second, James Coates, who had previously been fined 40s. and costs, was ordered
to find two sureties in 30 for six months, or in default one month's imprisonment.
By this time the public seemed to be losing interest in the struggle, and the meetings
had dwindled to a few hundreds. The morning of Sunday, the third of December, was
damp and raw, yet for nearly an hour the space encircling the lamp-post, which the
Anarchists claimed as their forum, was patrolled by groups of people, looking
suspiciously one upon another, and evidently impatient for someone to begin. Just as
the crowd had reached its biggest dimensions, and was beginning to dwindle, Henry
Burrows, one of the original offenders, advanced rapidly towards the lamppost, where
he was at once encircled by the people pressing in from every side. He began in a low,
tremulous voice to address the meeting. I advised him to be quiet and go away, but he
replied that nothing would prevent him and his friends from holding meetings there
every Sunday. I asked him again to desist, but he continued speaking, the purport of
his observations being that there would be another meeting there on the Sunday
following, and one in Stevenson Square that afternoon. As he would not desist, a cab
was hailed, in which he was placed, and driven away amid general laughter.
In the court he described me as the biggest liar he had ever known, and on leaving the
clock he called out, "Long live Anarchy !" He was bound over in two sureties of 30,
or two months' imprisonment. Both he and Coates elected to go to prison, probably
from the difficulty of finding bail. As the fines ceased to be paid, one or two of the
other Anarchists had to go to gaol. At their meetings in Stevenson Square, which were
not interfered with, the collecting box was sent round every Sunday afternoon ; but
after the Barcelona outrage, followed by others, the subscriptions evidently dropped
off. Then came the martyrdom. How they suffered it the following letters will show :

" Strangeways,
"December 2, 1893.
" My dear Father,
" I am writing this in the depth of despair, to know if you will be one of the sureties of
30, and get Alf. or our Albert to be the other, and I will be bound myself in 50. I
shall be eternally obliged if you would, for another week in here will drive me mad, I
believe. Hoping you are quite well, and mother also,
" I remain, "Your almost broken-hearted son,

" P.S.There are also 9s. in costs to pay, which please beg or borrow for me. I will
pay it back if I have to starve.JIM.
"P.S.If you can't, please go to Bednal's and ask the boss. I think he will (Peter I
This letter was written six days after his conviction. On the 27th of December
Burrows wrote:
" My dearest Father,
"I am sorry to have to write this, but I am afraid my health is giving way. Will you go
to comrade Barton and ask him to send sureties AS SOON AS HE POSSIBLY CAN. I
can't stand much more of this.
" With love to all,
" Your affectionate son,
"Barton's address is 13, Shaftesbury Street, C-on-M.H. B."
Ecce homoBehold the man !
Quantum mutatus ab illoHow cha.nged from what he once was !
Under the heading of "A 'Broken-hearted' Hero," a leading Manchester newspaper,
commenting on the first letter, says :
" By their weekly conflicts with the city police, the Manchester group of Anarchists
have been trying to pose as heroes during the last few months ; but it seems their
courage and fortitude are by no means equal to their grandiloquence. One of the most
valiant of the group was James Coates, who delighted his friends a week ago last
Monday by telling Mr. Headlam, the stipendiary, before whom he appeared, that the
sentences he passed on his Anarchist comrades the week before were brutal, and that
his remarks on that occasion were the most ridiculous nonsense man ever talked.
Criticism so frank disturbed the stipendiary's official gravity, and he was constrained
to join in the general laughter which it evoked. Coates, it will be remembered, defied
the police on the previous Sunday by addressing an Anarchist meeting on forbidden
ground at Ardwick Green. He declared that he should hold a meeting on the public
highway, and assert the right of free speech in spite of both the law and the police.
Yea, he was prepared to go to prison and to suffer death before he would forfeit that
right. This speech would have been, in its way, a masterpiece of invective had it not
been suddenly interrupted by Chief Inspector Caminada arresting him, for on his MSS
notes appeared, among other choice headings : ' Right of free speech in spite of bigot
Nunn and his followers' - ' Cami. (Caminada) and his gamp' (the damaged umbrella
the Anarchists had to pay for)' Caminada's crew''Not to be daunted by Headlam's
brutal sentences.' Coates, who had already been fined for a similar offence, was
ordered to find two sureties of 30 each, and to be bound himself in 50 to be of good
behaviour for six months. The one month's imprisonment in default, and the letter
which was addressed by him to his father, show to the full the extent of his valour and
fine professions."
After quoting the letter the article concludes
" Coates' friends are in no way disposed to remove him from his temporary
confinement, and there is every probability that he will have to do his time."
In the meantime Messrs. E. G. Taylor and W. Payne had been complaining that they
had not been justly dealt with, and after a newspaper correspondence, signing
declarations, and failing to obtain what they considered satisfaction from the Watch
Committee, on the 29th of November a public meeting was held in the Co-operative

Hall, Downing Street, for the purpose of protesting against the violence and perjury of
the police in connection with the arrest of the two gentlemen.
The meeting was not unanimous, and on occasions there were somewhat noisy
manifestations of feeling. Mr. S. Norbury Williams, who had recently been elected
Citizens' Auditor, presided. He opened the meeting with a rather lengthy speech, but,
instead of keeping to the subject for which the meeting was called, he wandered off to
the particular topics which interested him as Citizens' Auditor, and amid cries of "
That's old," " We've heard it all before," he began to inform the meeting how the
councillors spent their money in wines, beer, mineral waters, gloves, trips to
Thirlmere, &c. Amid cries of " Keep to the subject," a lighted cracker was thrown into
the middle of the hall, which created much confusion and alarm, many of the
audience, having the bomb outrages on the Continent in mind, hastily decamping.
Several others spoke, but crackers and fireworks continued to go off, causing
confusion, and having a tendency to thin the audience. The chairman said that he
believed a number of plain clothes men were in the room, and asked the audience to
take down their names ; but the audience did not appear to concern themselves about
the matter. Two gentlemen then addressed the meeting, moving an amendment
thanking the Watch Committee for the action they had taken in regard to the
Anarchists ; but the disorder became so great that the chairman appealed in vain for
order, and described the proceedings as un-English. At length amid much noise a
resolution was passed asking for an inquiry into the matter, and a deputation was
appointed to present it. Then the meeting broke up, the audience on their way out
running the gauntlet of a number of men with collecting boxes, seeking for coppers to
defray the expenses.
In connection with the Downing Street meeting a question was asked in the House of
Commons respecting the remarks of Mr. Charles Rowley, a Justice of the Peace, who
took a prominent part in it, and he was called upon for an explanation.
As the Lord Mayor refused to receive the deputation, the matter was brought up in
the City Council, by Dr. Sinclair, who expressed regret that the Watch Committee did
not see their way to make inquiry; but the Lord Mayor ruled the matter out of order,
and pointed out that it was a question for the law courts to settle. If any one had any
complaint to make respecting the conduct of the police they might place a notice upon
the agenda. No one, however, took the trouble to do this, and nothing further was
heard of the matter, except the braggadocio of a few agitators who, as usual, said the
matter could not rest where it was, and threatened all sorts of pains and penalties. But
even these appeared to find out that the game was not worth the candle, and quietly
The ridicule heaped upon the Anarchists on showing the " white feather,'"' after their
fine professions, made them a laughing stock, and things began to look very flat on
Sunday mornings, and the crowds to diminish. No one, I presume, regretted the
matter, except the publicans in the neighbourhood of the meeting place. On Sunday,
the 10th of December, a change of tactics was tried. Patrick Joseph Kelly was seen
approaching the Green, carrying his platform with him in the shape of a soap-box
covered with white paper. He did not, however, make for the lamp, but on reaching
the corner of Union Street, he placed his box on the ground, and mounting it
proceeded to address the crowd. I asked him to move on, but he declined, and was
taken into custody. His defence was that he was not guilty of obstruction as there was
no one on the footpath at the time. He was fined 40s. and costs, or one month's

On the Sunday following, the martyr was William Haughton, who was bound in two
sureties to keep the peace for six months, or one month's imprisonment.
On Sunday, the 24th, no martyr appeared, as probably none of them were inclined to
eat their Christmas dinner in the police station. But on the 31st Morris Mendelssohn, a
mackintosh maker, aged 24, made his first appearance, and commenced the New Year
by being ordered to find two sureties of 10 each to keep the peace for three months,
or to go to prison for a month; and then, as the public interest in the matter appeared
to have died out, and the stock of "patriots and martyrs" seemed to have been
exhausted, Ardwick Green assumed its normal condition. After a contest of three
months the police were allowed to enjoy their Sundays in peace.
The generality of the speeches delivered by these men were of one type. After abusing
Her Majesty and the Royal Family, and giving a version of their own respecting the
emoluments of the Royal Family, they would go on to describe how many paupers
might be kept in comfort if this money were divided amongst them. They would then
turn their attention to the House of Lords, or, as they described it, the House of
robbers and plunderers, and talk of the land stolen by their forefathers. " Every man,"
said one of these reformers, "should work two hours a day - no more and no less. All
priests, parsons, bishops, and ecclesiastics of all sorts were useless and should be
unfrocked. Policemen should be made to go down coal pits, and might thank their
stars that they were not sent to even a deeper and hotter region. He would pay the
national debt with a stroke of the pen. He would " The sentence was incomplete,
for a " stroke " on the side of the head brought him from his perch, and when taken to
the Police Station and searched threepence halfpenny in money and a collecting box,
on which was written the "Manchester Anarchist Communist Group," was found in
his possession.
The following handbill has recently been circulated in the neighbourhood of Gorton :

" Commune of Paris !! The Manchester Anarchists will celebrate the Revolt of the
Paris Workers against Masters and Governments on Sunday, March 17th, 1895, in
Stevenson Square, at 3 p.m; New Cross (Oldham Road), at 8 p.m. Rebellion is


HERE is the appendix promised in the introduction to this book. I think the reader
will agree with me that it calls aloud for the change I advocate in regard to
the imposition of short sentences. I have reproduced official particulars of the
careers of five Manchester thieves, but the illustration might be indefinitely
Take the case of Patrick McHugh, alias Joseph McCormack, alias James McGuire,
alias James Wilson, alias Patrick Dagman, alias James Brown, alias William Johnson,
alias James Sullivan. This thief was convicted under the Juvenile Offenders Act of
stealing. As Patrick McHugh, Manchester City Police Court, 12th December, 1857,
imprisoned for 6 days and whipped. As Patrick McHugh, Manchester City Police
Court, 5th October, 1859, stealing sweets, 3 calendar months. As Joseph McCormack,

Manchester City Police Court, 23rd May, 1860, attempted larceny, 3 calendar mouths.
As James McGuire, Manchester City Police Court, 24th January, 1861, stealing tea, 6
calendar months. As James Wilson, Manchester City Police Court, 26th July, 1861,
stealing a handkerchief, 6 calendar months. As Patrick Dagman, Manchester City
Police Court, 28th February, 1862, stealing a dress piece, 3 calendar months. As
Patrick McHugh, Manchester City Sessions, 22nd February, 1864, stealing on the 5th
of January, 1864, from the person of Jane Williams, one purse containing 9s. 0d.,
her property, sentenced to 4 years' penal servitude. As James Brown, Manchester City
Sessions, 15th October, 1867, stealing on the 14th September, 1867, from the person
of Catherine Riley, one purse and 10s. 6d. in money, her property, sentenced to 10
years' penal servitude. As William Johnson, Manchester City Sessions, 21st February,
1878, before the Deputy Recorder, stealing on the 6th February, 1878, from the person
of Mary Jane Bray, 2d. in money, one purse and one key, her property, sentenced to 14
years' penal servitude. Liberated 12th October, 1889. Manchester Sessions, 12th
December, 1889, larceny, attempting to steal from a lady's pocket, 18 months'
imprisonment with hard labour, as James Sullivan, Manchester Police Court. As
James McHugh, 3 mouths, Vagrant Act, viz., loitering with intent to steal, 4th January,
1893. As James Sullivan, gunsmith, aged forty-six years, Manchester City Sessions,
unlawfully attempting to steal the property of Jane Rigby from her person, found
guilty of attempting to commit larceny from the person, sentenced to 18 calendar
months' imprisonment with hard labour. As Patrick McHugh, Manchester City
Sessions, 12th December, 1894, larceny,
12 months.
The aggregate sentences of this man McHugh amount to thirty-three years, three
months, six days, and a whipping, and the total value of the goods stolen by him did
not exceed 2 17s. 6d.
Here are the antecedents of Thomas Norton, alias Thomas Artle, alias John Hartwell:

As Thomas Norton, Manchester, 22nd January, 1856, stealing a potato pie, value 1s.,
sentenced to 14 days. As Thomas Artle, Salford, 17th January, 1857, stealing a
bag, &c., valued at 6d., sentenced to 3 calendar months. As James Norton, Salford,
20th July, 1859, stealing a jacket, value 4s., sentenced to . 2 calendar months. As
John Hartwell, Manchester Sessions, May, 1860, stealing a coat, value 14s.,
sentenced to 6 calendar mouths. As Thomas Norton, Manchester Sessions,
April, 1861, stealing a coat, value 12s., 12 calendar months.
Thomas Norton, Manchester Sessions, February, 1863, stealing two lamps,
value 30s., 5 years' penal servitude. As Thomas Norton, Salford Sessions,
26th October, 1868, stealing a muffler, &c., value Is. 6d., 7 years' penal servitude.
As Thomas Norton, Manchester Sessions, 6th March, 1876, stealing a rug, value 18s.,
7 years' penal servitude. As Thomas Norton, Manchester Sessions, 16th October,
1882, stealing a coat, value 12s., 7 years' penal servitude, and 7 years' police
supervision. As Thomas Norton, Salford Hundred Sessions, 15th April, 1889,
having at Salford, on the 5th of March, 1889, stolen one horse rug, the property of
Matthew Sharracks; and also with having on the 7th of March, 1889, at Pendlebury
stolen one coat, the property of Thomas Woodworth ; sentenced by W. H. Higgin,
Esq., to 7 years' penal servitude, and 5 years' police supervision. Four times as a
reputed thief and for assaulting the police.
This man served one year, eleven months, and fourteen days' imprisonment, and was
at different times sentenced to thirty-three years' penal servitude, and twelve years'
police supervision for thefts committed by him to the amount of 5 15s. 0d.

William Lingard, alias John Brady, alias John Tomlinson, alias John Williams :
As James Brady, Manchester, 25th May, 1864, as a reputed thief, 1 calendar month.
As James Brady, Manchester, 17th October, 1864, stealing a coat, value 10s., 1
calendar month, and 5 years to a reformatory school. As William Lingard, Salford,
29th May, 1869, as a reputed thief, 1 calendar mouth. As James Brady, Manchester,
21st March, 1870, stealing a shawl, value 2s., 3 calendar months. As James Brady,
labourer, aged twenty years, Salford Hundred Sessions, 27th February, 1871, stealing
a purse one halfpenny, and two pawntickets, the property of John Whitham, from the
person of his wife at Bradford, sentenced to 7 years' penal servitude, and 7 years'
police supervision. As John Tomlinson, Manchester Sessions, 14th December, 1876,
stealing a commercial traveller's case, value 5, 7 years' penal servitude. As John
Williams, Manchester Assizes, 21st January, 1884, attempting to steal a watch from
the person, 6 calendar months. As James Brady, Manchester Assizes, 30th October,
1885, having at the City of Manchester on the 7th of August, 1886, unlawfully and
knowingly tendered to one, Maria Ainsworth, one piece of false and counterfeit coin,
also to other persons. Found guilty in two cases and sentenced to 9 months in each
case, to run consecutively, viz., 18 months in all.
This man served two years' and six months' imprisonment, and was sentenced to
fourteen years' penal servitude, and seven years' police supervision; yet the amount of
thefts did not exceed 5 12s. 2d. He was also detained at a reformatory school for
five years.
William Henry Hines, alias John Owen, alias Richard Jones, alias John Jones, alias
William Mulaney :
As William Henry Hines, labourer, aged fifteen years, Manchester, 14th August, 1867,
stealing a purse and 4s. from the person, sentenced to 3 calendar months. As John
Owen, Manchester, 3rd August, 1868, stealing 11s. 9d. in money from the person,
sentenced to 6 calendar months. As Richard Jones, Manchester Sessions, 21st
October, 1869, indicted with two other persons for breaking into a shop and stealing
goods to the value of 10, sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment, and 7 years' police
supervision. Salford Hundred Sessions, 27th February, 1871, stealing at Bradford one
halfpenny and two pawntickets, the property of John Whitham, from the person of his
wife, sentenced to 7 years' penal servitude, and 7 years' police supervision. As John
Jones, Manchester Sessions, 6th June, 1877, stealing a purse and Is. 3d. from the
person, sentenced to 8 years' penal servitude, and 7 years' police supervision. As John
Owen, Manchester, 28th April, 1885, stealing 6s. 5d. in money from the person,
sentenced to 2 calendar months. Manchester, August 4th, 1885, supposed to be getting
his living by dishonest means, sentenced to 9 calendar months. As William Mulaney,
Manchester Assizes, 28th October, 1886, stolen from the person of Edith Thompson
2s. 6d. in money and other articles, her property, at Manchester on the 9th of
October, 1886, sentenced to 5 years' penal servitude.
This man was seven times in Strangeways and Manchester prisons for frequent
assaults, drunkenness, &c. He served two years' and eight months' imprisonment, and
was sentenced to an aggregate of twenty years' penal servitude, and twenty-one years'
police supervision. The total amount stolen did not exceed 14 12s. 10|d.
Thomas Aldridge, alias Thomas Aldred, alias Frederick .Johnson, alias Alfred Hall,
alias Alfred Johnson, alias John Watson:

As Thomas Aldridge, Manchester, 27th June, 1866, stealing a jacket, value 3s.,
sentenced to 1 calendar month. As Thomas Aldridge, Manchester, 22nd September,
1866, stealing a jacket, value 6s., sentenced to 2 calendar months. As Thomas
Aldridge, Manchester, 11th July, 1867, stealing a coat, value 30s., sentenced to 1
calendar month. As Thomas Aldridge, Manchester, April, 1868, tendering base coin, 4
calendar months. As Alfred Hall, Manchester, 31st August, 1868, stealing brass
ornaments, value Is. 6d., sentenced to 14 days. As Alfred Hall, Manchester, October,
1868, housebreaking and stealing a coat, &c., value 2 3s. 2d., sentenced to 6
calendar months. As John Watson, Manchester, 11th October, 1869, stealing a coat,
value Is. 6d., sentenced to 3 calendar months. As Alfred Hall, Manchester, August,
1870, stealing a coat, value 15s., sentenced to 18 calendar months, and 7 years' police
supervision. As Thomas Aldridge, Salford Hundred Sessions, 26th May, 1873,
stealing a pair of shoes, a hat and slop, value 12s., sentenced to 10 years' penal
servitude, and 7 years' police supervision.
This man served two years, eleven months, and fourteen days' imprisonment, ten
years' penal servitude, and fourteen years' police supervision, and the total amount of
thefts committed for which he was convicted did not exceed 3 13s. 2d.
George Gregson Brierley, thirty-five years of age, cashier, was charged, with having
at the City of Manchester, on the 23rd of December, 1887, forged an acceptance to a
bill of exchange, and with having uttered the same, well knowing it to have been
forged, with intent to defraud, and with having on the 10th February, 1888, and divers
other days at the said city, he being a servant to George Haworth and Company,
Limited, embezzled the several sums of 94 12s., 25 18s., 1,811 6s., and 50, their
At the Manchester Assizes on the 23rd of April, 1888, Brierley pleaded guilty to
indictments for forgery, larceny, and embezzlement, and was sentenced to one
calendar month's hard labour for the forgery and larceny, the second term of
imprisonment to commence at the expiration of the first term; for the embezzlement
he was sentenced to penal servitude for five years. The total amount of his
defalcations was 5,200, and none of the money was recovered.
Brierley was employed for years in the firm of George Haworth and Company, with a
good salary, acting as cashier and collector to the firm. He was also carrying on a
business which his wife managed, and had a number of hands employed. He was also
a member of a betting club, and Superintendent of a Sunday School, and was known
as " Hansom Cab " amongst betting men, from the fact of his driving about so much
in hansoms.
John Horton, forty years of age, clerk, having at the City of Manchester on the 31st of
October, 1882, forged a certain cheque, or order, for the payment of money, to wit,
1,000, with intent to defraud, and with having on the 21st December, 1882, at the
said city feloniously forged a certain cheque, or order, for the payment of money, to
wit, 2,000, with intent to defraud, and with having on the 2nd of March, 1883, at the
said city, feloniously forged a certain cheque or order for the payment of money, to
wit, 1,500, with intent to defraud, and with having feloniously uttered the same, well
knowing the same to have been forged, with intent to defraud. Was tried on the 26th
January, 1886, arid pleaded guilty of forging orders for the payment of money, and
uttering them, knowing them to have been forged, with intent to defraud - three
indictments - arid on another indictment of obtaining money by false pretences, and
was sentenced to five years' penal servitude.

Horton was clerk in the Wesleyan Chapel Committee's Offices, and a very active
member of the Wesleyan body, usually occupying the pulpit. This he did whilst he had
in his possession part of the moneys obtained by his frauds, arid he disappeared on the
Tuesday following the Sunday on which he preached his last sermon at Urmston, near
Manchester. He may have got off lightly on account of his previous calling, for he had
a regular situation with a good salary for years before, and was not subject to
temptation through want. Horton's defalcations amounted to 5,200, and not one
penny was ever recovered.
Arthur Poster was sentenced to fourteen years. (See page 425 "A Clever Forger.") Out
of forgeries amounting to 5,200, over 4,500 was recovered arid handed over to the
firm of solicitors At his trial I was called into the witness box by his Counsel and
stated that he had done all in his power to make restitution.


In October, 1887, I was sent for by a firm of solicitors in Manchester, and desired to
institute inquiries respecting a proposal for the insurance of life made by one of their
agents, who was also a medical agent and a dealer in fine arts, carrying on business in
Brazennose Street.
It appeared that the wife of a doctor had been insured in the English and Scottish Law
Life Insurance Company for the sum of 1,000, and that the husband, having his
suspicions aroused, had communicated with an agent of one of the companies, and
declared his wife was not in a fit state to be assured.
On instituting inquiries, I found that the doctor had been recommended to this medical
agent as a person likely to find him engagements as locum tenens; that they dined
together; and that the agent had visited the doctor several times, and thus learned that
his wife was suffering from an ailment that was incurable and was not likely to live
many weeks.
The doctor, who had commenced business for himself, had engaged, through an
advertisement, an assistant who knew A, the medical agent. This assistant
informed him that A had a lady's life insured, and when she died he expected
to get a pretty large sum of money. A had previously suggested to the doctor that
he should insure his wife's life, but the doctor would not consent. His wife afterwards
informed him that she had signed a paper for the insurance of her life in a sick club at
A's suggestion, and the doctor ascertained that the name of the company was the
English and Scottish Law Life Assurance Association. He subsequently spoke to A
on the matter, and took exception to the company as not being a sick club. He
asked him what the paper was his wife had signed, and whether it was for a sick club
or for an assurance company ? A told him to leave the whole matter in his hands
and he would forward the papers to him; but he never did so.
This aroused the doctor's suspicion that A was in some manner dealing with the
life of his wife, and knowing that A was one of the agents of the Caledonian

Insurance Society, from the fact that negotiations had been passing between himself
and A for the insurance of his own life in that office, the doctor waited upon the
secretary, and asked him if any insurance had been effected upon the life of his wife?
On being answered in the negative he told the secretary of his suspicion that his wife's
life had been insured in some office. He also explained the nature of the illness from
which she was suffering, and said that no doctor could possibly pass her life for an
insurance after an examination. The doctor and the secretary went together to the
English and Scottish Law Life Assurance Office, where, on the doctor's suspicions
being related, it was found that A had proposed an insurance on the life of the
doctor's wife for 1,000.
Some time afterwards, in passing through Manchester, the doctor met A at
Victoria Station. A told him that he had with him the papers about which the
doctor had been inquiring. A gave him some papers which he put into his pocket,
and on coming to look at them the doctor found that his wife had also been insured in
the Guardian Assurance Company for 1,000. The forms of proposal were properly
filled, as also were the references, and medical reports. Inquiries had been made from
A as to the largeness of the amounts, and he replied that the lady had means, and
the insurance was meant as an investment. He also intimated that the lady had just
been married, and was living in Radnor Street, Hulme. On going to the address I saw
the house was empty, and learned that it belonged to A, also that the doctor did
not know A's address.
Calling upon the medical men who had passed the lady, I found that in one instance a
man had called and said that he had brought a lady for medical examination for
insurance. He stated that her name was A C, the wife of a medical man in
the country, and when the doctor requested him to go into the next room while the
examination was made, the visitor replied that he was a medical man and would like
to stay in the room. Seeing that the lady did not object, the gentleman who was to
make the examination said that if that was so he had no objection to his remaining.
The usual examination was then conducted, the heart and lungs being found in a
healthy condition. The examiner wished to pursue his inquiries further, but A
said it would not be convenient to do so that day, and added that, having himself
already examined the proposer, his word might be taken that she was a fit subject for
insurance. He especially wished to have the medical certificate of examination that
day as the lady, he said, " lived in the country," and it would not be convenient for her
to come again.
Seeing that there were apparently no signs of disease of the kidneys about the lady,
and believing the man's statement as to his own examination, the examiner filled up
his own form in every particular, showing that the examination had been satistactory.
The surgeon who had signed the certificate in the other case next informed me that a
man, who told him he was a medical practitioner, waited upon him accompanied by a
lady, whose name he gave as A C, and said she was the wife of a doctor.
Requesting the man to leave the room he examined the lady in the usual way, but
found that she was not perfectly healthy. She stated that she had only been married
three days ; but the doctor told A that he could not accept her without further
The man thereupon asked whether, under the circumstances, the doctor could not pass
her, as she was " leaving Manchester for London," and that it would be impossible for
further examination to take place. The surgeon, however, declined to certify, but said
if he could be satisfied on a particular point in a week's time he would pass her. A

trick was played upon the doctor within the next few days, and he was then led to pass
the proposal for the. insurance of the lady's life.
From the descriptions given of the lady and gentleman, it was evident to me that the
man was none other than A, but who the lady was I could not imagine. One of
the references or friend's reports was filled up by a person named P, living at
Rochdale ; the other purported to have been written by a person in Canal Street,
Manchester; but no such individual could be found.
Finding that the wife of the doctor was living apart from her husband with her mother,
who was looking after her during her illness, I discovered her address, and paying a
visit to the house succeeded - after a little persuasion, and by representing that my
business might place a large sum of money at her disposal - in getting to see the
invalid. She told me that she knew nothing of any insurance, and she was certain that
her husband did not. She knew A, who at one time had brought her a box of
Her husband, she said, detested him, and had requested him to discontinue his visits.
The medical gentlemen who made the examinations were taken to see if they could
identify the lady, but they both stated that she was not the lady they examined.
I now learned that A had passed a good deal of his time at a beerhouse in Water
Street, Manchester, where he represented himself as a doctor. He was very fond of
frequenting the beer-seller's kitchen, and of borrowing money from the woman who
kept the house. Here he became acquainted with an unfortunate woman whom he
engaged to clean his offices. After a good deal of trouble I traced the girl, and she
confessed to me that she was the woman whom A had induced to go through the
medical examinations.
The following is the substance of the statement made to me by this woman, Ellen S
, who was a general servant, living in Chorlton-on-Medlock:
" I remember the 2nd of August last. I knew A; he came to where I was living in
Water Street, Bridge Street, Manchester. He said he wanted to take me to a doctor to
have my heart sounded. It would do him good, and put him on his feet, as he was
going to commence business. He said I was to be examined for a life insurance. I had
only known him for about six months, through seeing him in this beerhouse, and I had
cleaned his office in Brazennose Street. He took me to a doctor in St. John Street, The
doctor examined my chest and I signed the form Annie C. This was done by his
directions. We went from there to Dr. , in Mosley Street. A told me to tell
Dr. that I
was Annie CI signed my name Annie CI was examined there. A said this also was for insurance, and this was in the
papers. He gave me nothing for it, saying ' he was hard up,' and borrowed one shilling
from me the day before. A once brought the prisoner P to me at the
beerhouse in Water Street, and he introduced me to P . I don't know Mrs, O
, the lady whom she had been dressed up to represent, nor do I know Dr. C
, her husband. I am a single woman. The office I cleaned was 27, Brazennose
Street. Dr. Armstrong is on the door."
P was a doctor's assistant, who had got into the clutches of A , and had
stated in his references that he had known Mrs. C for 6 years, and was in the
habit of seeing her pretty frequently, but Mrs. C said that she knew nothing of
Everything being now clear, I laid an information, and obtained an " Open Warrant "
in the following terms :


To the Constables of the City of Manchester, in the said County of Lancaster.
WHEREAS information and complaint have this day been laid and made upon oath
before the undersigned one of her Majesty's Justices of the Peace in and for the said
city for that Joseph Armstrong and Owen Jones on the 2nd 10th and 11th days of
August in the year of Our Lord 1887 at the said city and other places in the said
county unlawfully and wickedly did conspire combine confederate and agree together
by divers subtle devices and false pretences to defraud the Guardian Fire and Life
Assurance Company Limited and the English and Scottish Life Assurance Association
respectively against the peace of our sovereign Lady the Queen her crown and dignity.
THESE are therefore to command you in Her Majesty's name forthwith to apprehend
the said Joseph Armstrong and Owen Jones and bring them before me or some other
of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace in and for the said city to answer unto the said
charge and to be further dealt with according to LAW.
GIVEN under my hand and seal this twenty-second day of October in the year of our
Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven at the city aforesaid.
SIGNED, Robert A. Armitage.
I arrested Dr. Armstrong at his residence, Alder Forest, Worsley, and the same evening
I brought P from Rochdale. The two were tried on the 22nd of October, 1887,
at the Liverpool Assizes. Mr. Shee and Mr. Overend Evans, instructed by the Deputy
Town Clerk arid Messrs. Boote and Edgar, appeared for the prosecution. Mr.
McKeand defended Armstrong; whilst Mr. Byrne represented the other prisoner. Both
men were convicted. Armstrong was sentenced to five years' penal servitude, and P
to six months' imprisonment.
This was one of the most barefaced frauds upon insurance companies that ever


LONG firm frauds are principally carried on by experienced swindlers, who work into
each others' hands, and whilst at times very difficult to track they cause great loss to
the mercantile community.
The first thing they do on commencing operations is to take an office or warehouse in
some business part ot the town, and to give orders for elaborately fitting and
furnishing the same. They next proceed to the printer and stationer, to whom orders
are given for business cards, invoices, books, circulars, &c. Having obtained these,
the " firm " are now ready to commence business, and orders are given right and left
for every conceivable article. If references are required these are offered to firms of "
equal standing " with themselves, or in some cases no such name is to be found at the
address given, and the postal authorities having received instructions to forward such
letters to the address of the "long firm," these gentlemen then obtain the privilege of
answering their own references.

The goods are always disposed of as fast as they can be obtained, and when the day
for payment arrives neither the members of the firm nor their references are to be
Some years ago, a warehouse was taken in Aytoun Street, Manchester, by a person
who described himself as a " General Merchant." Having as usual fitted up the place
elaborately, and furnished the offices in sumptuous manner - for which extravagance
however, he never paid a penny - he and another of the " firm " commenced issuing
orders for stationary, satteens, jeans, calicos, prints, silks, carpets, umbrellas, and any
other kind of goods which they could by any means dispose of.
Their mode of procedure was first to request samples and prices of goods, which of
course were promptly sent and quoted. After the lapse of a few days, so as not to give
rise to suspicion by undue haste, the " firm" would despatch orders. In some cases
where the amount was small, cash was paid. Thus confidence was created, and larger
orders followed. At other times references were required, and these they had always
ready, to vouch for their respectability, uprightness, integrity, and so on. In this way
the swindlers managed in a short time to secure some thousands of pounds' worth of
goods, which were immediately either pawned, sold by auction, or otherwise cleared.
After a very brief career, the crash came, and on pay-day arriving both the principals
of the "firm" and their "references " had disappeared.
A meeting was called of the victims of the conspiracy, and this was attended by
several solicitors in the interests of their clients. I also was requested to be present.
Some were for issuing writs ; others for taking criminal proceedings. Ultimately it
was agreed that they should consult an eminent criminal solicitor on the matter.
The carpet firm, however, believed that I had a good criminal case, and determined to
back me up. I therefore applied for warrants, which were granted, and I proceeded to
the house of one of the partners, but was unsuccessful in finding any trace of him. I
learned that a great quantity of goods had been removed from the warehouse by
porters plying for hire. By means of these men and others, who were well paid for
their time and trouble, I succeeded in tracing the goods to different places. At an
auctioneer's I discovered a considerable portion of the missing-goods, and in the
office was shown a receipt for 100 in money as well as other memoranda relating to
the exchange of goods for 250 worth of jewellery.
No trace of either of the partners could be obtained for some time. At length a
salesman, who knew one of them, on passing along Booth Street, recognised him in a
cab, on the top of which was a box similar to the one described by the woman of the
house in which his partner lived as having been taken away with him. After some
inquiries at the railway station I found a porter who had lifted such a box from a cab,
and the time corresponded with the warehouseman's story, but the railway official
could give me no further information. The next day I started for Liverpool, in search
of the box, taking with me one of the salesmen from the carpet warehouse for the
purpose of recognising its owner. As we were passing along the side of one of the
docks in an omnibus, my companion suddenly exclaimed, "There's one of them !"
Looking in the direction of his finger, I saw that he was pointing towards a gentleman
who was carrying a black bag in one hand, and escorting a lady on his other arm. I
jumped out of the 'bus, and, hurrying after him, took him to the station, where, on
searching the bag, I found in it the jewellery which had been exchanged for the goods.
I also discovered amongst his property a card of his partner's, bearing the address
; Islington, London.
After bringing the prisoner to Manchester, I saw the principal of the firm of carpet
manufacturers, who gave me 20 to go to London and continue my search for the

other partner. After a couple of days' inquiry, I went to the address indicated upon the
card, carrying a large paper parcel, and asked for Mr. D.
I was told that he had not yet come down stairs. Intimating that my business was
important, and that I would speak to him at his bedroom door, I walked upstairs
before anyone could interfere with me, and, entering the bedroom, saw from the
description given to me that I had run my man to earth.
" Are you Mr. D?" I asked.
" Have you seen Mr. C in London?"
" No ; I don't know where he is we have dissolved partnership. What is it you want ?"
he inquired, somewhat anxiously.
Looking round, I saw a portion of the property that had been described to me in
Manchester, and then said :
" I have a warrant for your arrest."
Jumping up suddenly he seized a razor, with the evident intention of committing
suicide. I flew at him. A struggle ensued for the possession of the dangerous
instrument, and I was successful in wresting it from him; but so violent was he that I
was compelled to handcuff him. Having brought him to Manchester, he and his
confederate were committed to the Assizes, where they were tried before Mr. Justice
Brett, at the January Assizes, 1880, on seven counts, for conspiring together and
fraudulently obtaining goods from various persons.
Having been found guilty, a previous conviction for fraud was proved against C
for which he was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment at Clerkenwell
Sessions, 1873. He was now sentenced to seven years' penal servitude, and D to
five years' penal servitude.


THE last decade in the history of the empire has been full of stirring political
incidents. It is within the recollection of all what a sensation was caused when a
world-renowned statesman suddenly sprung a Home Rule scheme upon his party and
the country, and since then a constant series of startling events have followed one
another in frequent, if irregular, succession.
One of the most graphic and best recollected of this group of political events was the
arrest of Mr. William O'Brien in Manchester, and his subsequent treatment whilst in
the custody of the Chief Constable of that city in the palatial buildings known as the
Town Hall. But what lent great point to this event was the halo that surrounded the
prisoner and made him the hero of the hour with his countrymen and the political
party to which he belonged. Mr. O'Brien had just previously escaped from the Courthouse of Carrick-on-Suir, and this caused attention to be concentrated on him, as he
was then a fugitive from justice in his native land. Towards the end of January, 1889,
it had been announced, by means of advertisements in the Manchester newspapers,
and by large placards extensively posted on the walls of that city, that Mr. O'Brien
would address a meeting in the Hulme Town Hall on the 29th of January, the

gathering being styled an "indignation meeting against the Government of Lord

Salisbury." The intense public excitement existing naturally led to the gathering of a
large and excited crowd to see and hear the hero who was defying the British
Acting under the instructions of the Chief Constable of Manchester (Mr. C. Malcolm
Wood), I took a prominent part in the arrest of Mr. O'Brien at the meeting, and
subsequently accompanied him in custody to Dublin. The following may be taken as
absolutely authentic.
On the 29th January, 1889, I was called into the office of the Chief Constable, and
instructed to take charge of a warrant which had been brought to Manchester from.
Ireland by one of the Head Constables of the Royal Irish Constabulary for the arrest
of Mr. William O'Brien.
The Head Constable was accompanied by one of the Irish constables permanently
stationed in Manchester. On asking these constables for a description of Mr. O'Brien,
whom I had not previously seen, it turned out that the execution of the warrant had
been entrusted to the hands of men who were totally unacquainted with the person of
whom they were in search, and neither of the Irish officers could give the simple
information I wanted. As the day wore on all sorts of rumours filled the air. It was said
that Mr. O'Brien had arrived ; that a band of armed Radicals and Irishmen had been
organised to protect him ; that there would be bloodshed if his arrest was attempted;
and so on.
In the meantime I got the warrant endorsed by Mr. Headlam, the Stipendiary
Magistrate, and the Chief Constable communicated with the Mayor, informing him
that if the arrest took place in Manchester he had reason to believe that it would cause
great excitement, and possibly disturbance. His Worship thereupon made
arrangements to remain at the Town Hall in case he should be required. As Mr.
O'Brien was unknown to any of us, there was nothing for it but to allow him to
establish his own identity. At 5-30 p.m. I told off the detective staff, ordering them to
proceed to the Hulme Town Hall, and obtain entrance by one of the private doors,
without giving offence to any of the persons assembled. Even at that early hour
Stretford Road, in which the hall is situate, was packed by a rough and noisy crowd,
and the adjacent streets were occupied by thousands of fiery spirits, who seemed more
inclined for a row than a lecture. The utmost excitement prevailed.
About seven o'clock one of the detective officers was challenged by a well-known
foreign gentleman of princely name, who at that time figured very prominently in the
Socialist movement. He was one of those people who neglect their own affairs to
attend to those
of the community, who do not care one jot how their own particular business goes,
provided they can keep themselves well before the public and have full scope to air
their own peculiar notions for the regeneration of society at large. To accomplish this
object they run about from morning till night, going through an immense amount of
labour and fatigue. A man of this stamp is always ready to remove all nuisances
(except himself), to remedy all local grievances, head all sorts of deputations, take the
lead in all sorts of public movements; but you seldom see his name on a subscription
list, or hear of him doing " good by stealth and blushing to find it fame ! " The answer
the officer gave this individual led him to come to discuss matters with me. He did
not, however, learn much, and as I did not like his manner I followed him up the stairs
from the basement of the Town Hall, and was just in time to hear him thus haranguing
in the yard of the hall about 100 silly fellows who had no more sense than to listen to
him -

" You must defend Mr. O'Brien at the cost of your lives. He must not be taken alive;"
and so on.
Such was the language of this man, who was one of the shining lights of the Hulme
Radical Club, the organisation which appeared to have control of the meeting. I hardly
need add that this hater of princes took good care to keep his precious skin far enough
away from any part of the hall where there was likely to be a melee during the
evening, though he was exciting the crowd to violence in the manner I have described.
Turning on my heel, I said to the crowd, "I suppose you are aware that this person
keeps a small shop in Stretford Road. He is not a wealthy man. Now, before you
follow his instructions I would ask you to consider whether he is likely to pay for any
damage that may be done ; whether he will be able to free you from any punishment
that you may bring upon yourselves; or whether he is even able to find money to
provide counsel to defend him." " If Mr. O'Brien comes here to-night will you stop
him?" asked the prince. " I don't know whether he is coming or not," he continued. "
If he comes," I replied, " I will see him safely on to the platform, and no one shall
interfere with him."
At the time this gentlemen was advocating violence, I was the only officer in the hall
(with the exception of Detective Officers Schofield, Hargraves, and Wilson, whom I
had placed amongst the audience for the purpose of gathering information of any ruse
that might be arranged for Mr. O'Brien's escape), the others being in the basement of
the building, out of sight.
Soon after half-past seven a cab drove up to the front of the hall. A cry was raised that
it contained Mr. O'Brien, and a great cheer was sent up by the crowd. Out of the cab
jumped a man, muffled up, of a similar stature to the description given me of Mr.
O'Brien, who was immediately surrounded by as rough and determined a crowd as I
ever saw in my life, and he was hustled upstairs into the ante-room.
As I was perfectly well acquainted with the dodge, no one attempted to interfere with
the muffled gentleman, and they had their trouble for nothing, whilst the air was filled
with cries of " O'Brien ! " " O'Brien!" " He has arrived! " "He has arrived!" I was
standing by myself in the yard, leaning upon a hose-cart, when the gate was suddenly
opened and a crowd rushed in, augmenting the number present to between two and
three hundred. Mr. O'Brien and others came in this way, and were immediately
surrounded by the great prince and his body guard, and pushed up the stairs into the
ante-room. I could not help smiling at the great precautions taken, seeing that I was
the only officer on the scene. Mr. O'Brien himself appeared to be very indignant at the
treatment he received from his enthusiastic but inconsiderate supporters, and
remonstrated with them. The ante-room, which was used as a committee-room, and
from which there was access to the platform, was in possession of the organisers of
the meeting, and they immediately proceeded to post a staff of " lambs " round the
door to resist any effort on the part of the police to enter. These precautions were
entirely uncalled for, as no one had any intention of entering at that time. I saw,
however, that things were looking ugly, and that if the gentleman with the princely
name and one or two others were to have their way there would be trouble. I therefore
went into the basement, and after telling the officers that things were looking black,
warned them to take no orders but from me direct, and to act altogether. I also
despatched an officer for the Chief-Constable, but Mr. Malcolm Wood had already
arrived in the hall.
After a conference with him I asked that the reserves should be called out, and in less
than twenty minutes we had over four hundred officers and constables on the spot.
Two hundred and fifty were brought in at the principal entrance to the hall, and

formed in line on each side, and the doors were partially closed, so that only one
person at a time could pass through their lines. One hundred and fifty police held a
good front outside, with the hall in their rear, and with thirty on the landing I had
sufficient force at my disposal to block every entrance in such a manner that no
person could make an exit without my permission. I was sure that Mr. O'Brien was in
the hall, and that he was now safely in the trap. Soon afterwards I was spoken to by
two members of the Committee, both Justices of the Peace, and a truce was about to
be proclaimed, on condition that Mr. O'Brien should surrender himself at the close of
the meeting. To arrange this matter I was invited to enter the ante-room. As I
proceeded thither with the two gentlemen referred to, with the object of negotiating
the matter, a rush was made by the "lambs" who protected the door. I was seized by
some of the " gentlemen" from behind, and surrounded by others. Whilst being thus
rushed from the scene, I received a good kicking, of which my shins bore the marks
for many a day. Nevertheless, I kept myself cool. To have called for the aid of the
force at that time, in the excited state of the meeting, would probably have occasioned
a riot, so I acted on the principle that he who waits may win. Statements were freely
made that blood would be shed before Mr. O'Brien should be taken, and that he was
protected by forty men armed with revolvers.
Upon this the Chief Constable thought proper to send for Mr. Jacob Bright, M.P., who
was the principal speaker at the meeting, and told him that he held a warrant for the
arrest of Mr. O'Brien, that the hall was filled with police, and that it was impossible
for Mr. O'Brien to escape. He then pointed out that in the temper of the meeting there
was great danger of a riot and bloodshed, and to save any loss of life he asked him to
see Mr. O'Brien, and get to know whether he would consent to surrender peaceably.
Mr. Bright, who was greatly excited, consented to see Mr. O'Brien, and soon returned
with the message that Mr. O'Brien would make no terms with anyone. "Very well
then," said the Chief Constable, " you must take the responsibility of what occurs,"
and Mr. Bright returned to the platform. War being now declared, we began to prepare
for the capture in earnest. I made sure that no ladder was prepared for the purpose of
aiding Mr. O'Brien's escape by the window of the ante-room, which appeared our only
weak spot, and then returned to a position in the corridor where I could see all that
was going on in the hall through the open doorway. Whilst standing here for a time,
some of those present amused themselves by jeering at me through the glass window
of a door of the ante-room, asking me, "Have you got him?" "Wouldn't you like him?"
"Does your mother know you're out ?" &c. Showing me bacon, they placed
themselves in all kinds of ignoble attitudes. Whilst, however, I was their target for
ridicule twenty detectives, whom I had placed in the corridor, had instructions from
me to keep pressing the " lambs " who filled the corridor, and whilst I was attracting
the attention of the "lambs" the officers were steadily gaining ground by acting in
concert, without raising a hand, until the " lambs " were all forced downstairs and we
were left in sole possession of the corridor. A disaster befel them. They were not
content with the meeting inside, and it occurred to one that the great crowd outside
could be worked up to a higher pitch of excitement, and that it would be a splendid
opportunity for some of the stump orators, who were bursting with enthusiasm, to air
their eloquence. For this purpose the door of the ante-room was opened sufficiently
wide to allow one of these gentlemen to pass, when Detective Sergeant Goodwin
(who looks anything but a detective officer) by my orders slipped into the room, upon
which they commenced to pull him about, with the intention of turning him out,
tearing his clothes, and otherwise ill-using him. Whilst they were thus engaged I
rushed into the room, followed by a number of detective officers whom I had ready, in

expectation of such an occurrence. As those inside immediately tried to shut the door
the poor orator was jammed between the door and the post, and I fear all the
eloquence was well-nigh crushed out of him. We had, however, no time to make
inquiry on that subject. He was a sufficient barrier to prevent the door being closed,
and we soon carried the room. These fellows now found out that there were two sides
to a ladder. The officers immediately began to clear the room, and, considering all
they had to put up with, and remembering the manner in which they had heard me
treated shortly before, the " chucking out" process was perhaps not so gentle as might
have been desired. After the occupants of the room had been ejected they were
quickly run through a line of officers into the street, where they found themselves,
without any necessity of asking their mothers if they knew they were out. Their
bombast at once collapsed, and the woebegone looks of the valiant body guard, who
had so lately been talking of "blood and thunder," were not a little amusing. The
only means of escape for Mr. O'Brien was now cut off, and we had full admission to
the platform from the rear at anytime we thought proper to use it; whilst we had a
large body of men ready to storm it in front if that movement became necessary.
Mr. O'Brien mounted the platform at the close of Mr. Bright's speech amidst a
tempest of applause, and at once identified himself by announcing that he was
William O'Brien, the escaped prisoner, from Carrick. We now knew our man. With
our 400 drilled men, properly led and all acting in unison, we could have cleared the
hall in a few minutes; but the Chief Constable, who felt himself responsible for the
safety of the city, gave distinct orders that nothing should be done to provoke disorder,
and that to avoid riot and bloodshed the meeting must be allowed to terminate before
any attempt was made to effect the arrest.
The end, however, soon came without any violence on the part of the police ; but, as
we had been defied, I got upon the platform and faced the meeting. At the conclusion
of Mr. O'Brien's speech an excited crowd immediately made a dash for the platform,
scrambling over the reporters' tables.
The tables, chairs, forms, and other articles were soon overthrown, and the hero of the
night was quickly surrounded by an excited and angry crowd, some threatening to
dislocate his arms by shaking them, others prepared " to do and die" rather than allow
him to be taken. How insignificant such an opposition must have been to a number of
trained men acting together under authorised leaders must be apparent to many of
these people in their calmer moments ; but the action of the " defenders " only
hastened the end which they wished to put off. Mr. O'Brien was being pulled about by
his excited friends, and it was soon evident that if something was not done he would
be overpowered, notwithstanding their good intentions. I beckoned from the platform
to the Chief Constable, who at once joined me, accompanied by a number of
detectives. He was immediately struck on the chest and knocked backwards off the
platform, carrying in his fall four of the detective officers who were following him up.
I immediately struck the man who had committed the assault a violent blow on the
side of the head, which sent him after the officers. The platform stands about four feet
above the level of the floor, and it was not a gentle fall. Fortunately the attack upon
the Chief Constable was not seen by the main body of the police; but it was difficult
to restrain those who did witness it. A little space was cleared, and the Chief
Constable again ascended the platform.
I immediately made my way across the platform to Mr; O'Brien, who was in a
fainting condition, surrounded by an excited crowd of friends.
Having reached him I assisted him along the platform, down the steps, and into the
ante-room, and the reader may readily imagine what a scene of excitement followed.

It became a question of who was to hold the fort. A general " chucking-out" match
was at once in full force, and we soon cleared the room.
Mr. O'Brien then asked to see the warrant, and on its being shown him he surrendered
without more ado. In fact there was no option for him. By this time the crowd outside
had attained enormous proportions, and the question now was, " How is Mr. O'Brien
to be conveyed to the Town Hall?" To take a cab meant its being overturned, an
attempt at rescue, and lives probably lost. The Chief Constable therefore decided to
form his men into a square, place Mr. O'Brien in the midst of them, and walk with
him to the Town Hall. This was done, and we were followed all the way by an excited
and angry crowd, amongst which there were very many of Manchester's best citizens,
and a portion of the crowd singing "He's a jolly good fellow," &c. The Chief
Constable drew the attention of Mr. O'Brien to the harmony which existed between
the police and the people, and the fact caused Mr. O'Brien to laugh heartily.
Immediately after the arrest, the Chief Constable telegraphed to Ireland for orders
respecting Mr. O'Brien, and received a reply desiring that he should be sent on to
Dublin by the first available boat. I was instructed to see this duty safely
accomplished. As it was extremely desirable, in the heated state of political opinion
which had been aroused, to prevent a crowd from assembling on our route, it was
given out that Mr. O'Brien would be taken to Minshull Street Police Court the next
morning at 10 o'clock; but there was no necessity to do this, as the warrant under
which he had been arrested was one for commitment to gaol. The Chief Constable
arranged with the London and North Western Railway Company to stop the 9-40,
train from Manchester to Holyhead, at Ordsal Lane Station, and twenty minutes
before the hour at which the crowd expected to have their curiosity gratified at
Minshull Street, three Manchester Detectives, two Head Constables of the Royal Irish
Constabulary, Mr. O'Brien, and I were en route for Kingstown.
On the way, I had the pleasure of telling Mr. O'Brien many little incidents of my
experience of Irish affairs. With these he was very much amused, and my companion
was a pleasant and agreeable man, bearing no resemblance to the excited politician,
agitator, and demagogue of whom I had heard. We had a pleasant journey until
Kingstown was reached, when the orders carried into effect were something very
different from what we were accustomed to in Manchester. We first got into a railway
carriage, then out at the opposite door, to enter a brougham in which we were driven
to Kingsbridge Station. There we had to wait about three hours, during which time
Mr. O'Brien was visited by a large number of his friends.
Mr. Timothy Healy, M.P., who was proceeding to Carrick, for the purpose of
conducting legal proceedings in connection with the case, arrived on the scene about
half-an-hour before the train started, and asked that he might be allowed to
accompany Mr. O'Brien on the journey, as it was impossible for him to receive proper
instructions whilst waiting at the station.
On Mr. Healy speaking to the Head Constable who had come with us from
Manchester, he was referred to another Head Constable in charge of the guard, and he,
on being asked, hesitated to grant the request. Thus each of the constables declined to
accept the responsibility. This angered Mr. O'Brien's friends, whereupon I tried to "
throw oil on the troubled waters." Taking Mr. Healy by the arm, I walked to where the
Head Constable in charge of the guard was stationed, and after fully discussing the
question with him, I succeeded in persuading him that the only way to preserve the
temper of Mr. O'Brien's friends was to allow Mr. Healy to go with him in the carriage,
which was eventually done.

On the train starting, Mr. O'Brien came to the window of the carriage and requested
me to approach him, when, to the great astonishment of the crowd, he publicly
thanked me and the Manchester Police for our kindness to him. And so the train
steamed away amidst the ringing cheers of the thousands of people who had
assembled on the platform, amongst whom were the Lord Mayor, the High Sheriff of
Dublin, and many Members of Parliament.


A BOY was charged with stealing postage stamps and money from the drawer of the
till in the cashier's office of the place where he was employed.
After being detected, he was sentenced by the Stipendiary Magistrate to receive
twelve strokes with the birch rod.
Before a juvenile is birched, the Police Surgeon examines him; he is then strapped to
the horse, his wrists and ankles are strapped, and a body-belt goes over his back.
These preliminaries are worse than the birching. The little fellow, not knowing what
will really take place, shouts and screams during the strapping process, making it
painful to be within hearing. The birching itself is not severe, but the effect is very
deterrent, and has prevented many juveniles from having to be sent to prison.
The Police Surgeon and a Police Inspector have to be present in every case of

ONE of H.M. Judges of Assize in a case of robbery with violence, at the trial of
prisoners charged with the offence, and who were found guilty by the Jury, proceeded
to pass sentence, and informed the prisoners, who were from sixteen to twenty years
of age, that they were charged with a very serious offence and very properly found
guilty by the Jury ; also that to send them to penal servitude would be considerable
expense to the community. As they had applied great violence to the prosecutor, he
would only give them a short sentence of a few months' imprisonment, but each
would receive twenty lashes of the cat-o'-nine-tails. The gang referred to were similar
to the Manchester Scuttlers.
The illustration shows the prisoners being flogged, the doctor standing by.
Exclamation after lash No. 1. " Oh ! Oh !! Oh !!! "

No. 2. "Murder!"

No. 3. " You're killing me!"

No. 4. "Oh! Mother!"

,, No. 5. " I'll never do it again!;'

No. 6. " Do stop him!" &c., &c.

I can quite believe the promise given after lash No. 5, for I have never known a case
where prisoners have come for a second dose of this sort. By the police these
sentences are called healthy ones.

A GOOD deal has been said at times in various parts of the country about the hardship
of discharged prisoners having to report themselves to the police; but, during the
whole of my twenty-eight years' service, I have never known a case in this city in
which a convict on licence, or a discharged prisoner under police supervision, has
suffered any injustice or hardship on account of the system.
In a large city like this the number of convicts on licence, and of discharged prisoners
who have to report themselves, is necessarily great, though there has been a steady
decrease during the last few years. Taking the last decade, the greatest number of
cases which we have had to deal with in any one year was in 1886, when the total
number reached 1,042, made up as follows :
Convicts on licence:
Under police supervision:
Females 333
Total 1,042
Every discharged prisoner in this city, who is under police supervision, can report
himself on the first two days of the month at any hour, either day or night; and in case
he is working and cannot conveniently attend in person he has the privilege of
communicating by letter. Even when repor