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CHRONICLE.

JANUARY, 1851.

2. BU

URGLARIES.-In the which they broke into the cellar,

CHRONICLE of last year, and from the cellar they got notice was taken of the great pre- through a locked and bolted door valence of this class of crimes, fre- into the kitchen. From the kitquently accompanied by violence chen issued two staircases, one of to the person ; of which a promi- which led to the ladies' bedrooms, nent instance was the burglary and the other to Wood's bedroom. and murder at Frimley. The The robbers were aware of this, present year has been not less and separated into two parties, fertile in offences of the same one of which, well acquainted with nature.

the habits of the family, ascended One of the most daring of these one staircase, and went by stealth was committed on the first night to Wood's door-sill; thence they of the new year, at Downlands, rushed in upon him; he became the residence of the Misses Farns- aware of their presence just the combe, near Uckfield, six miles moment before they made their north of Lewes. The Misses rush, leaped out of bed, and got Farnscombe have only one con- hold of his gun; but one of the fidential man-servant to live on men closed on him before he could their premises, Thomas Wood: bring the gun to a level, and felled his bedroom is on the same floor him with a blow from the butt-end with those of his mistresses, and of a heavy pistol. The gang then for quickness of communication, in wrested his gun away, and mounted case of alarm, his door was always guard over him while it was dekept open at night. Wood was liberated what should be their next armed with a loaded gun and a step. Some of the ruffians were sword. The lawn of the residence armed with pistols, the others had of Downlands abuts on the road staves : all wore masks; and they from Isfield to Ringle's Cross-gate, appeared to obey a leader, who and at its rear is a deep wood. ordered the others with threats of At a late hour of the night, or violence. They took from Wood early in the morning of the 2nd, his watch and money. Some of a night exceedingly dark and tem- the gang left the room and joined pestuous, the gang broke away the the other party, who had ascended lattice-window of the dairy, and so the other staircase and burst into gained access to a window, through the room of Miss Susan FarnsVOL. XCIII.

B

combe, and threatened that if she and appropriated. Hamilton, enscreamed or rung the bell, she raged and tipsy, forgot his prushould be instantly dead. They dence, and gave his friend into took her purse and other valu- custody for robbing him, but was ables. In the meanwhile another wise enough not to appear. In party had burst into the room of the meanwhile, rumours of the robMiss Mary Farnscombe, who was bery at the Misses Farnscombe's ill, and took from her her purse, her were bruited about, and the police, pocket-book containing bank notes, thinking the late complainant and her trinkets and jewellery, among defendant suspicious characters, which was a ring worth 70 guineas. took them into custody, and, on The room in which Misses Char- searching them, found property lotte and Emily Farnscombe slept which was distinctly identified as was then forced, and the terrified part of the plunder. Others of ladies surrendered their valuables, the gang, to the number of six amongst which was a dressing-case (five men and one woman), were containing 201. in gold and notes. taken, and were tried at Lewes at The villains now returned to the the Spring Assizes. They were all butler, whom they compelled to found guilty on the evidence of show them the plate, which they their accomplice, and were sencarried off. After staying some tenced, the men to be transported time longer in the house, the gang for life, and the woman for 14 retreated with plunder worth at years. least 3001.

These villains were distinctly This daring violation of domestic identified as having been consecurity was not long unpunished. cerned in four recent burglaries. The manner of detection was sin. In fact, they were part of an gular, and is but an indifferent organized gang, whose scene of illustration of " honour among operations extended over the rural thieves.” As the gang were re- districts of Surrey, Sussex, and treating, one of them suggested to Kent; the leaders or captains another that he should give him transferred their presence to any the bundle of bank notes, and they spot where business was to be would divide it between them un- done. The stationary members of known to the others. This trap the fraternity were ostensibly shoethe fellow (Hamilton) fell into, makers, basket-makers, labourers, gave up the notes, except one for and so forth, in the rural villages ; 5l., and never heard again of his their spies and the agents of their half! The others of the gang had correspondence travelled about the been equally attentive to their own country as hawkers. They were interests, and, when they divided sworn to obey the orders of their the plunder in a neighbouring captain, and if any one attempted wood, gave Hamilton 11. 7s. 6d. as to back out, or refused to take part his share of the booty! They in any robbery, or murder, if afterwards added another sove necessary, he or she was to be reign. With this money Hamil. instantly shot; and if any one left ton and some of his companions the gang without the consent of went to a beer-shop, where, getting the captain, he or she was to be in liquor, he dropped a sovereign, followed and shot. The gang had which one of his friends picked up a regular agency for the receipt

seen

and disposal of their plunder. In is termed “sheers,” or “sheer these counties there is a numerous legs.” This girder weighed from population occupying as it were five to six tons; the men had the debatable lands between the raised it to the fourth story, when honest and the dishonest classes suddenly one of the “sheer legs” of society. It is composed partly broke, and the ponderous mass of the numerous squatters who fell with a frightful crash, crushmay be seen upon commons, as in ing everything in its progress the neighbourhood of Woking, and downwards. Two enormous beams the semi-nomades who retire in of timber, which had been placed winter to the villages, but whose over the saw-pit for protection, tent-carts in summer swarm on the were snapped asunder; the plathighways and block up every green form was crushed, and the whole lane. The proceedings of the Uck- driven to the bottom. On the field burglars resemble more the other workmen running to assist, adventures in De Foe's “ Colonel several poor fellows were Jack," or Fielding's “Jonathan floating about in the muddy water, Wild," than could have been ex- clinging to the masses of floating pected in the days of the Metro- timber which had been carried into politan mounted Police. We see it. From the difficulty of getting them carousing on the daintiest at them, upwards of a quarter of an viands and wines, in the green hour elapsed before any could be wood shade, and cheating each rescued. It was then found that other out of their ill-gotten gains, one of the men had been mortally exactly as their predecessors of the injured, and two others frightfully last century did. On common hurt. Another man was altogether occasions these fellows appear to missing; by the use of the drags have moved about in decent so- his corpse was extricated from the ciety, in the guise of honest muddy bottom of the creek, into mechanics, small traders, and which it had been driven. labourers. Eleven members of COLLISION ON THE LONDON the gang were convicted at these AND NORTH-WESTERN Railway.— assizes.

A collision of a serious character, 4. FATAL OCCURRENCE AT THE by which several passengers susGREAT NORTHERN Railway TER- tained injury, occurred at the staMINUS.—About 3 o'clock in the tion at Boxmoor. Shortly before afternoon, an accident occurred at 3 o'clock a goods train, in conthe temporary terminus of the sequence of the defective state of Great Northern Railway, by which its engine, put into the Boxmoor two men lost their lives, and two Station, and remained there whilst others were seriously injured. the necessary repairs were effected.

The company are constructing At this time the Liverpool exan immense granary; and a num- press train was nearly due, and ber of workmen were engaged on the stoppage signals were hoisted a kind of floating saw-pit, on a at the station. The express train creek which flows up to the wall does not stop at Boxmoor; but the of the buildings. At this time driver and guard, on seeing the some workmen were employed in signals, immediately shut off the raising an iron girder to one of the steam, reversed the engine, and upper floorings, by means of what put down the breaks; but as the train, when the signals were seen, cating with the street. The burwas going at the rate of about 35 glars then removed the bricks of miles an hour, it was impossible the partition-wall, bent down the to stop, and the express train iron plate, and thus gained access came in collision with the goods to the shop. The partners do not train whilst still going at a speed reside at the place of business, and of eight or ten miles an hour. The the robbery was discovered by Mr. driver and stoker of the express Clark on Monday morning. He train jumped from the engine. found the shop in perfect conThe driver was but slightly in- fusion; jewellery and watches jured, but the stoker received great worth some 18001, had been carinjuries. The screams and cries ried off. of the passengers now showed that 10. DESTRUCTION OF A COTTON much injury had been sustained. Mill. — Manchester. - A serious It was found that twelve or four fire occurred in the extensive teen persons were more or less hurt. cotton-spinning establishment of One gentleman had his right eye Messrs. Wallace and Co., Chepstow injured; a lady had some of her Street, Manchester. The fire was teeth knocked out, another was discovered in the eighth story of the severely cut about the face, and building, at 5 A.M. An alarm havothers received contusions about ing been given, the engines of the the head and limbs, but no bones fire-brigade were promptly on the were fractured. The carriages spot, and rendered every possible were but slightly damaged, the assistance; but, notwithstanding goods train not at all.

their utmost exertions, the entire 5. ROBBERY AT LIVERPOOL. — building was enveloped in flames, An extensive robbery was com- and in a short time totally demitted at Liverpool, from the pre- stroyed. An adjacent mill, belongmises of Messrs Clark and Morris, ing to the same parties, scarcely silversmiths. The shop of Messrs. sustained any damage. The buildClark and Morris is somewhating and stock were insured for conspicuous, and has a double 22,0001., but the damage greatly frontage, in Church Street and exceeds that sum. Tarleton Street. The firm also FALLING OF A MILL AND occupy a cellar, which is entered Loss of Life.Belfast.-An acciby a trap-door from the back part dent, attended with most melanof the shop. This door was found choly consequences, happened at open, and an iron plate fixed for Belfast. A flax-preparing mill had security against the partition-wall been commenced in the month of of the next cellar had been par- October last, and was rapidly aptially bent down so as to admit the proaching completion. There were body of a man, the brick-work a number of workmen engaged behind having been removed to a upon the premises, carpenters and corresponding extent. The ad- bricklayers, with a few labourers, joining cellar, it appears, is used who were sinking a drain to carry for storing coals by Mr. Jones, who off the water, along the base of the occupies offices in Tarleton Street. columns within the building. The The lock of the door to Mr. Jones's building had been roofed, and the cellar appears to have been picked, slating all but finished; but it is and also that of the door communi- supposed that the heavy rain of

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the previous night had loosened room—they had been suffocated
the brick-work to such an extent by the smoke.
as to unfit it for the support of the 16. EXTRAORDINARY HOMICIDE.
beams. The workmen commenced -A labourer in the Regent's
their operations at 77 A.M., and had Canal Dock met his death under
been about three-quarters of an singular circumstances, arising from
hour at work, when the whole most culpable carelessness. In
building came down with a fearful the south-east corner of the dock,
crash. The ruin was complete near the river, a schooner, the
and instantaneous ; and thirteen of Lively, from Guernsey, was dis-
the unfortunate men, who were charging her cargo of stone, and
employed in preparations for arch- a labouring man, named Robert
ing the second floor of the mill Appling, was heaving up the winch,
(which was three stories high, with his face towards the south-
and about 80 feet in length), west, when the report of fire-arms
were buried in the ruins; but for was heard, and almost at the same
tunately those in the lower stories moment Appling put his hand on
effected their escape. Seven of his breast, and exclaimed, “Oh, my
the thirteen were dug out of the God, I am shot.” He immediately
ruins alive but dreadfully injured; fell on his back, a lifeless corpse.
the others perished.

The men about him were hor15. FIRE AND Loss OF LIFE IN ror-struck at the occurrence, and ST. MARTIN's LANE.- A fire broke were for a few seconds quite paraout in a public house kept by lyzed. A neighbouring surgeon Caunt

, the well-known pugilist and promptly attended. Upon examinex-champion of England, in St. ing the body, he ascertained that a Martin's Lane, just after the in- shot had entered it in a slanting mates had retired to rest, at 2 direction, just under the nipple o'clock in the morning. Caunt of the right breast, leaving an was in the country. Mrs. Caunt orifice about the size of a shilling. and a niece slept on the second From the position of the wound floor, just over the room first on there was reason to think the gun fire; in one of the attic rooms or pistol from which the shot was slept her children, and Ruth Lowe, discharged was at an elevation a relative; in separate attics were considerably above the deceased. the bar-man and other servants. The police instantly searched a Mrs. Caunt and her niece escaped lofty sugar-house adjoining. The down stairs; the fire had laid hold inmates denied having fired any of the staircase when the bar-man weapon. Two pistols were found, discovered it, so there was but they had not been fired for retreat from the attics except over

many years, and were covered with the roof. He got everybody on to

rust. After the lapse of some time, the tiles except Ruth Lowe and it was discovered that the fatal two of the three children with shot had been fired by one East, a her; these, as he could not see hoop-bender, of 39, London Street, them through the smoke in their which is close to the dock, and that room, he hoped had escaped earlier, he had been practising at an earthor by means of the fire-escape; but enware jug, fixed on the top of a when the fire was extinguished, post in the rear of his premises; their bodies were found in the he was now tranquilly pursuing

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