Extracts from the Birmingham Gazette -1883 -1884
Highway Robbery
William Thompson [22] who said he came from Manchester, was charged with assaulting William Thomas Mound, a lad about 10 years of age in Cato Street, Nechells, and stealing 10-4d from him. The lad said that on Friday the 18 his father sent him to Carzon Street railway station to get his wages. He received 10-4d and put it in a purse in his pocket in his overcoat. Prior to entering the yard the prisoner spoke to young William Mound and asked if he knew where the London and North Western railway men were paid.William told the man that they were paid in Canal Street. On the way back the prisoner followed him into Henage Street where he put his hands over Williams mouth and took his purse. The lad informed PC Cook who succeeded in arresting Thompson 2 hours afterwards. Thompson had got rid of all the money except for 4-d Thompson admitted taking the money but denied assaulting the boy. Thompson was committed to prison for three months.

Friday December 14 1883

Ann Brown 40 years
Of no fixed occupation or residence was charged with attempting to pick the pockets of shoppers in the Fish Market.Mrs John Barlow of 175 Wilton Street. stated that she was standing near the poultry stall in the fish market about 7pm on Saturday night and she observed the prisoner forcing her way into the crowd, as she got near the witness [Mrs Barlow] she attempted to pick her pockets, she also observed the prisoner push in a suspicious manner near other persons.

The stipendiary magistrates committed her 6 weeks to hard labour.

Tuesday 27 November 1883

Owner Wanted
Laurence Shannon of no Occupation of Cross Street, was charged with stealing a piece of ham weighing about 16lbs the owner at present unknown. The prisoner was met in an entry by Detective ASHBY, who saw the prisoner had the ham under his arm. He was unable to say where he had got it from. He then stated that he had found it lying in the entry and had only just picked it up when the officer detained him.He was remanded until Monday to enable the police to ascertain who the owner of the ham was.

Wednesday 12 December 1883


A Felonious Intent
John West [48] a tailor of Bilston Street Wolverhampton was charged with loitering near the entrance to the Prince of Wales Theatre with the purpose of committing a felony. Detective Sergeant Orr said that the prisoner was in the habit of loitering near the Pitt entrance of the Theatre and was known as societe of thieves. On Tuesday night an old gentleman had his watch stolen as he was going into the Theatre a few moments later the prisoner was seen running away from where the old gentleman was standing . The prisoner was sentenced to three months imprisonment.Thursday 13th December 1883
Stole pair of boots
At Birmingham quarter sessions William Perkins pleaded guilty to stealing a pair of boots belonging to Joseph Harris on the 29 November 1883 was sentenced to 9 months Hard Labour and 1 years police supervision.Friday 4th January 1884
Charge of stealing wheat
James Hacker [32] and John Allen both boat men of Gloucester were charged on remand of stealing 10 cwt of wheat belonging to the New Union Mill Company of Grosoverer Street West on the 14 January. Henry Jelf [67] of 2 Bridge Street a porter and Edward Wainwright [71] back of Navigation Street Inn . A labourer was charged with stealing the corn well knowing it to be stolen. Mr Hugs instructed by Barlow Smith Pinsent prosecuted . Mr Henant defended Hawker and Allen. Mr Chesterton defended Jelf and Wainwright was undefended. Mr Edward Rolands watched the case on behalf of the Corn Dealer who is alleged to have purchased corn from prisoners at different times. Mr H Young said that the stolen property was purchased on behalf of the New Union Mill Company of Gloucester from which the wheat was despatched on two boats to Birmingham. There were 600 sacks in all, and each sack would weigh about 252 pounds or a few pounds over. The loads were brought to Birmingham by the prisoners Hacker and Allen in the canal boats. It appeared that when they passed the lock at Worcester Wharf on the 14 January they landed a number of sacks at the Severn Canal Companies Wharf which was in charge of the prisoner Jelf.They returned later to fetch these sacks away. It is alleged that when they did so they left four and a half behind in Jeffs possesion. The weight of these sacks was about 10cwt.

They did this by extracting a bit of corn from each of the 600 sacks whilst sailing up from Gloucester and putting the wheat into their own sacks . It would be shown in evidence that when each sack was put on the boat each sack weighed 252 lbs. When they were weighed in at the Mill a good many of them were deficent in weight. The total weight short being 1,216 lbs the weight of corn found by the Police was 1,111 lbs the difference in the two weights accounted for by the fact that it was not possible for each sack to weigh exactly the same weight, 252 lbs.

Friday 25 January 1884


Thieving old woman
Mary Jones aged 60, a respectably attired old woman living in Sherbourne St Ballsall Heath, was charged with attempting to commit a felony. The prisoner who had twice previously been convicted of stealing was brought up before the magistrates on Saturday and remanded for enquiries to be made as to how she came by several pairs of new stockings in her possession.Police Constable Barns stated that he had been unable to ascertain if she had stolen them or not. On Friday evening last it was alleged that the prisoner had uncovered to unhang a pair of ladies boots witch were hanging outside a shop of Andrew Bailey- bootmaker of Coventry Road, but being disturbed before she could accomplish her purpose she walked away. Being followed by P.C Barns who spoke to her about her behaviour. He deposed then to say that he had seen the prisoner make several attempts at stealing in the Coventry Road but had been unsuccessful in every case she returned to Mr Bailees and then again attempted to un hang the boots the entrance of a customer disturbed her. On turning around she saw that the officer was observing her so she hurriedly made off. P.C Barnes followed her and arrested her in her bag she was carrying several new pairs of stockings and a purse. The prisoner who had stated she was only looking was sent to Gaol for three months.

Wednesday January 30 1884

Man stole till
Robert Bryant aged 27 a ragged individual was charged that on Saturday 2 February 1884 he stole a till from the shop owned by Mary Dell a greengrocer of Bishopgate Street.The circumstances of the case are that:- On Saturday night the prisoner crept into the shop on his hands and knees and got to the till. As the prisoner got up Mrs Dell saw him and he stood up and ran out Mrs Dell ran after and followed him into William Street where he went up to a entry and threw the till away. As the prisoner ran down the entry he was arrested. The prisoner pleaded that he was drunk at the time or he would not have done it. He admitted that he had some drink and he did not know if he was on his head or his heels “quite upside down” (laughter). He was sentenced to three months Hard Labour.

Monday 4 February 1884


Man steals dress and skirt
Henry Foster [32] a carter of King Edwards Road was charged with stealing a dress and a skirt.The prisoner was in the employ of Mr Thomas Evans a furniture remover and on 1-12-1884 whilst removing some goods the property of Mr Goodwin from Devonshire Street, Hockly, to Harbown and stole a skirt from the van. The skirt was found pledged at a pawnbrokers shop in Spring Hill. The prisoner was sentenced to three months imprisonment.

Monday February 18 1884

Men steal cloth from shop
Two men George Allbutt [37] a drapers assistant and Joseph Keen were charged with stealing some cloth. Both pleaded guilty and they were sentenced to 2 months imprisonment with hard labour.Wednesday 20 February 1884
10 dead rabbits go missing
George Ansell [24] a labourer of New Canal Street and James Chief [31] a labourer of New John Street West were charged with stealing 10 dead rabbits from a shop of Edwin Ernest Ashmore game dealer of Jamaca Row. Det Sgt Dobbs had received some information that a crime was to be committed from the shop in Jamaca Row. He obtained the assistance of Det Inspector Shroud and Det Constable Bowen and observations were commenced. A few minutes before 11pm they saw the prisoners walk up to the shop door, do something at the fastening they then went in the shop. The officers went over only to bump into the two prisoners as they were leaving. DI Dobbs arrested Ansell who had several rabbits with him. D I Shroud arrested Chief and on grabbing hold of him the rabbits fell at his feet . The prisoners pleaded guilty and they were sentenced to three months imprisonment with hard labour.Monday 25 February


Pickpockets at New Street Railway Station
Edward Coniffe, 17, a tube drawer 38 Count Cheapside and William Ivers, 16, of 13 Park Lane were charged with attempting to pick pockets.It was stated that on Saturday night at 11pm the prisoners were on number one platform and they were mixing with the passengers a large number who were returning off excursion trains.

Both Ivers and Coniffe were observed to be put their hands in several ladies pockets. They were both apprehended and it was proved that both had been previously convicted for committing petty offences.

Both boys were sentenced to three months imprisonement/

Tuesday 26 February 1884

James Wells age 28 and William Smith [18] both umbrella makers were charged with attempting to Pick Pocket. Detective Stroud stated that on Thursday afternoon last he saw the prisoners attempting to open several ladies satchels. And a detective named Kynerson in employ of the London and North west railway company said that about a week ago he saw the prisoners for half an hour attempt to pick pockets.Both prisoners were sentanced to 6 weeks imprisonment.

Tuesday 26 February 1884

Burgled pawnbroker
Thomas Bryan [16], a labourer who refused to give his address was charged with burglariously entering the premises of Mr Richard Dixon [60] a pawnbroker of Coleshill Street. The prisoner was caught at 4am in the morning climbing over a near wall at Mr Richard Dixons premises. When seized he said, “Please don`t hit me. Look at me I am sore with bricks falling on me , my arm is bleeding, and I am weak as an infant through loss of blood.”On examination this was found to be correct. Bryan was conveyed to the General Hospital where his injures, which were caused by glass cemented into the top of the brick wall he had attempted to climb over were dressed. On the request of Supt Robinson the case was remanded for a week for enquiries to be made.

Thursday 13 March 1884.