A hand in his pocket

Convictions in the County of Hertford, 1891


On June 14th Robert Hamilton was charged with the robbery of a purse containing a gold sovereign belonging to a William Collins in St Albans.

Collins was a labourer lodging at the City Lodging House whilst working in the area, and was asleep in the tap room at 5 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. He was awoken and discovered a hand in his pocket.

“What are you doing with your hand in my pocket?”

Hamilton replied that it was “Bloody hard if anyone can’t look for a match!”

Collins then realised his purse had gone and rushed to see the landlord, who advised he called the police.  When they arrived, Collins lead PCs Brotherton and Bateman to a beerhouse where Hamilton was confronted. They asked to search Hamilton, who agreed, but Bateman spotted him throw the sovereign under a table. Hamilton was arrested and after further searching the purse was discovered hidden in the fireplace.

Hamilton was found guilty on the day and sentenced to a month’s hard labour.

This page was added on 19/12/2013.

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