A Day’s Court Cases

The 19th century newspapers reported extensively on the various appearances in the police courts around the country, pertaining to those who had, in various ways transgressed.

The following round-up appeared in The Echo on Friday the 21st of September, 1888:-



It was the first offence of a man named Arthur Roberts, who was charged at the Marlborough Street Court with selling indecent prints.

The Magistrate, however, sentenced him to three months’ imprisonment, with hard labour.


It was a dear bit of steak  -that which George Shadwell stole from the shop of Alfred Cooper, a butcher, of Mile-end-road.

He took the meat from off the board just outside the shop, put it under his coat, and walked away.

Fortunately he was seen, was followed, was brought up at the Thames Court to-day, and received a month’s hard labour.

The exterior of the Thames Police Court.
The Thames Police Court.


When William Bocutt, who resides at 31, Wilson-street, Burdett-road, got home last night he found his wife drunk.

She aimed a blow at him, and then picked up a poker, striking him a severe blow on the mouth with it, afterwards punching his face.

Altogether poor Bocutt has had a miserable time of it.

Thrice has the woman been charged with assaulting him; his house is denuded of goods pledged by her at the pawn-house.

Today, the Thames Magistrate gave her a month’s hard labour.


James Hazlewood, 24, a bricklayer, of 5, The Terrace, Ladywell, has been deaf and dumb since he was sixteen months old.

He is, however, apparently a dangerous man.

He was charged at the Greenwich Police-court, today, with striking his mother with a stick and assaulting his brother.

He would, it was said, attack his best friends, and he had threatened to commit suicide.

He was remanded for a week, in order that he might be examined by a doctor as to the state of his mind.


This was the story told at the Marlborough Street Court, today, when Edward Montague occupied the dock.

He persuaded his sister to draw a cheque for £12.

He then, having made the acquaintance of Miss Blackmann in Hyde Park, induced her to sign ‘the cheque in the name of  “A. Himp,” Mrs. Himp being engaged at the Marquise dela Vallete’s, in Grosvenor-square.

Miss Blackmann then, at his instigation – so it is asserted – endeavoured to get it changed at a greengrocer’s named Palmer.

The result of this was that she was arrested, and Montague taken into custody.

He was committed or trial.


Railey Knight, aged 21, a labourer, of 147, Cottenham-road, Upper Holloway, and George Willis, aged 20, a labourer, of 45, Scholefield-road, were charged, on a warrant, at the Clerkenwell Police Court, today, the former with assaulting and causing bodily harm to P.C. Barrett, 400 Y, and the latter with assaulting and beating P.C. Baynes 194 Y, at Eltherne-road, Upper Holloway.

Willis had thrown a quantity of fried fish at Baynes, struck him when remonstrated with, and, when arrested, was rescued by a gang of roughs.

A crowd collecting, Barrett came up, and one Jenkins set on him, Knight kicked him while on the ground, and the result was that a small bone in the constable’s leg was broken.

Both prisoners were remanded.


A very young widow was among the applicants to the Dalston Magistrate today,

She said that she had become engaged to a young man, and they had arranged to be married at Christmas.

The young man had been living in apartments, but at his request she let him have her home while she went to reside with her parents.

On Thursday she went to her sweetheart’s house, and then she discovered that he had sold all her things, and had absconded.

She, however, thought she should be able to discover where he was.

Mr. Bros said that, if the applicant’s story was true, the man had stolen her goods. She had better go to the police and have him charged.


Thomas Embers, 14, was charged, at Hammersmith, today, with unlawfully carrying tobacco, money, and a letter into Wormwood Scrubbs Prison.

The principal warder deposed that he was on duty in the prison yesterday, when he saw the prisoner in charge of a horse and van.

The prisoner passed a basket, which was standing on the floor near where some prisoners were at work, and dropped something into it.

After the van had passed witness examined the basket and found some tobacco, a half sovereign, and a letter wrapped up in a piece of a newspaper.

The basket was used by the prisoners for the carrying of tiles and bricks to their work.

Mr. Paget:- “What kind of van was it?”

Witness:- “It was a common carrier’s van, belonging to Pickford.”

Mr. Paget remanded the prisoner for the attendance of the Governor.