It's those Foxes again

Hertfordshire Mercury, 13th May 1916


At Welwyn Sessions, on the 12th of May, The ‘Stevenage twins’, Albert Ebenezer Fox and Ebenezer Albert Fox, together with Percy Gower of Codicote, were together charged with stealing eight fowls from the property of Burch Reynolds Watler of Codicote, on the 26th April.

Mary King, of Tidds Farm, Codicote, said that she was the caretaker of the farm, whilst her husband was foreman to the owner.  All the fowls were safe on the 25th of April, but on the 28th she noticed that eight were missing.  She said that anyone could have taken them from their perch in the shed as a board had been wrenched off the side of the fowlhouse.  She reported the robbery to the police, where she also said that she had seen all three defendants in the yard.

PC Day confirmed that he had found three fowls in Gower’s allotment garden, covered over with some allotment produce.  As a consequence of what Gower had told him, PC Day had gone to Ayot St Lawrence and had there arrested the Fox twins.

On 1st May, PC Day had arrested Gower who said that he had been walking along Kimpton Road when Albert Ebenezer Fox had asked him to get rid of some fowls for him.  He had told Fox that he didn’t want to get into any sort of bother over the matter, but that he did then take them home and put them on his allotment.  He said that when Fox had given them to him they had been in a sack.

Albert Ebenezer Fox advised the Bench that he had been having a lot of drink that week, whilst Ebenezer Albert Fox said that he had known nothing about the fowls.

Gower told the Bench that he was sorry to now be before them but that it was Albert Ebenezer Fox who had persuaded him to take away the fowls.  He had not been able to resist the temptation.

A list of 101 convictions were recorded against Albert Ebenezer Fox, 65 against Ebenezer Albert Fox, and 8 against Gower.  The first-named was fined £2 or a month’s hard labour, the case against Ebenezer Albert Fox was dismissed, and Gower was fined 10 shillings or 7 days’ hard labour.  Albert Ebenezer Fox chose to go to prison.

This page was added on 14/05/2014.

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  • Burch (actually Birch) Reynolds Watler was my Great Grand Uncle (My Grandfather’s Uncle). What’s also interesting is that my Grandfather (Cecil Claude Watler) was a Constable in the Herts Constabulary from 1914 in Hemel Hempstead. By 1922 He was a Sergeant in Hemel. Would be fascinated to learn if there is any information or any stories relating to Cecil Claude Watler

    By Dave Watler (04/01/2016)