A story of Guy Fawkes Day

Hertfordshire Mercury, 20th November 1915


At Cheshunt Petty Sessions on Wednesday, Frederick Taylor (13), Joseph William Dyson (12), Frank Thomas Warman (12), and Ernest Edward Smith (13), schoolboys, all of Goffs Oak, were charged with being concerned together in stealing from the grounds at Claramont, Goffs Lane, four children’s coats and one pair of boy’s knickers, value £1, the property of the Countess of Carrick, on November 5.  Albert Keen, gardener on the Claramont Estate, identified the clothing produced as the property of the Countess of Carrick.

In reply to Smith’s mother the witness denied telling the boys they could have the clothes when they went as ‘Guy Fawkes’.  Godfrey Butler, aged 8, son of the Earl of Carrick, said that at 4 p.m. on November 5, he was in the yard when 10 boys came in.  He recognized the four defendants.  The witness had a ‘Guy Fawkes’, which was dressed up in one of the coats.  His brother and himself were wearing the other clothes.  After they had been playing they took the clothes off and left them near the gate leading into the yard.  He did not give them to anybody.  One of the party of boys spoke to him.

Sergt. Bowden, of Goffs Oak, said that on the morning of November 6 he went to the houses of the four defendants and recovered the property in question.  When Warman, Taylor, and Dyson were detained at the police station they all made statements about the clothes.  Smith, when seen, said ‘Taylor took the lot’.  On the way to Cheshunt Police Station Taylor said ‘I thought the little boy (meaning Lord Godfrey Butler) said we could take them.’

Each of the defendants said they were under the impression that the witness Butler gave them permission to have the clothes, and the Bench dismissed the case.

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