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.