Boys after beans

Hertfordshire Mercury, 18th September 1915


At Ware Petty Sessions, Herbert Franklin (10) and Richard Scales (9) were charged with stealing beans.  PS Firth said that at 7.30 p.m. on August 18, he saw Franklin, Scales, and a number of other children coming along Collett Road with bags containing beans.  When asked to account for them Franklin at first said they were given to him up the Common by a boy whom he did not know, and later he said he found them on the sticks against the gate.  Scales said he and some other children fetched some sheaves of beans out of a field up the Common and brought the beans away.  The witness added that he went to Franklin’s house and found another lot of beans there, but Mrs Scales would not let him look in her house.

William Sell, of Cundles Farm, bailiff to Mrs R. B. Croft, identified the beans and valued them at about 1 shilling.  The father of the boy Scales was ordered to pay 6 shillings.  Franklin was to be given three strokes of the birch and his father pay a fine of 6 shillings. The Chairman severely reprimanded the boys and said the Bench were determined to put this sort of thing down.  It had been going on too long and was becoming a perfect nuisance to the farmers in the neighbourhood.  If the defendants came up again, or any others were brought before the Bench, they would be severely dealt with.

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