Two Revolver Cases

In 1888, there was an acknowledged problem with the number of firearms that people possessed.

There were no gun controls as such, and, in consequence, there were so many altercations that involved guns that the press was referring to it as “The Revolver Nuisance.”

The Morning Post, in its edition of Saturday, 19th May 1888, published details of two court cases that involved people threatening others with guns:-


Yesterday, at the Westminster Police court, John Broadwood, 32, of 31, Carlyle-square, Chelsea, was charged before Mr. Partridge with assaulting Joseph Prior, an omnibus conductor, by presenting a loaded revolver at him.

The prosecutor deposed that between twelve and one o’clock yesterday morning he started with his omnibus on his last journey from Walham-green to Chelsea, having as passengers the accused and another gentleman, who rode outside, and a lady, said to be the wife of the former, who was inside the omnibus.

The witness went outside to collect the fares, and on his return to the footboard the lady complained that she had been insulted by a man who got in as a passenger, but who was, in fact, another conductor attached to one of the company’s buses.

The witness told the lady he was sorry for what had occurred, and the man got out.

An illustration showing an omnibus driver.
An Omnibus Driver.


When she arrived at her destination she told her husband, and, thinking that she had been insulted by the witness, the defendant presented a revolver at him.

The gentleman had made a mistake, and he had made an apology since.


Mr. Broadwood, in reply to the charge, said he was sorry.

He was in the habit of travelling abroad – in America “and Wales,” where it was usual to carry firearms.

Mr. Partridge: “Wales or Ireland?” (A laugh. )

The witness said that he always carried the revolver when travelling. He did not exactly point the weapon at the conductor; he merely took it out and showed it to him.


Mr. Partridge told the defendant that it was a very reprehensive practice, and his conduct was very foolish.

He should require him to find bail, and would fix the amount when he knew whom he offered as security.


Edward Andes, a builder, of Whitefield-street, yesterday appeared at the Marlborough Street Police Court, charged with presenting a pistol at and threatening to shoot Charles Eiseler, of 34, St. Martins-street.

Eiseler said that the defendant came to his rooms in St. Martin’s Street, and said he would give him into custody for having stolen the lock and knocker of a street door.

He replied that the prisoner was a fool; whereupon the latter threatened to shoot him, at the same time producing a revolver, remarking “I will shoot you dead.”

He (the witness) seized the pistol and sent for a policeman.


The prisoner, on the other hand, asserted that he merely went to the prosecutor to demand why he had left a house which he had rented off him in such a disgraceful condition when he was assaulted.

His pistol was then taken out of his pocket.

Mr. Mansfield thought the case would be met by the prisoner finding one surety to keep the peace for three months.