Inherited Craziness
A place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Showing posts with label Brickmaker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brickmaker. Show all posts

Sunday, 13 December 2020

The Case of Lucy Smith, found Guilty of Larceny

Scene of the crime: Waterloo House, 21 Market Square, Northampton.
A walk through the history of Northampton Market Square

It's Saint Lucy's Day, so let me tell you a story about a Lucy who definitely wasn't a saint, Lucy Smith, who along with Mary Bottrill (sic) and Elizabeth Tompson (sic), daughters of Solomon Thompson Jnr and Maria Willis, were among my 3x great-grand aunts, sisters of my 3x great-grandfather, Daniel Thompson. In addition, Mary Bottrill (née Thompson) was also mother of Daniel Botterill, publican, my 2x great-grand uncle.

This appeared in the Northampton Mercury of Saturday 13 April 1844, reporting on the Northampton Borough Sessions of Tuesday 9 Apr 1844:

LUCY SMITH, wife of Thomas Smith, was indicted for stealing a quantity of ribbon, the property of Mr. T. S. Wright. 

Mr. Scriven appeared for the prosecution.

Charles Goosey, one of Mr. Wright's assistants, saw the prisoner come in and out of the shop quite as many as twelve times on Saturday last. Some persons were looking at some ribbons, when the prisoner put her hand over the shoulders of the parties, took a piece of ribbon up, concealed it under her shawl, and ultimately put it in her basket. She had previously asked to be shown some net. Witness was engaged with a customer when she took the ribbon, and upon observing what had occurred, he went to the prisoner, and served her with some net, for which she tendered a shilling. Witness went under pretense of getting change and sent for a policeman, and she was given into custody. The ribbon was found in her basket.

Sessions House, Northampton 
StJaBe, CC BY 3.0,
via Wikimedia Commons
Prisoner comes from West Haddon, and a Mrs. Hoole of that place, said she had an excellent character. Her sister, Mrs. Bottrill, a respectably dressed person, who cried bitterly, also said she had always borne a good character. The distress of her sister affected the prisoner who had hitherto exhibited no signs of emotion. 

The jury found the prisoner Guilty.

There were two other indictments against her, one for stealing a pair of shoes, the property of Henry Freeman, and the other for stealing 14 yards of cotton print, the property of J. Phipps, both on the same day. At the suggestion, however, of the Recorder, no evidence was offered in either of these cases. After a feeling address, the Recorder sentenced the prisoner to Six Months' Imprisonment.

The Cast of Characters:
  1. Thomas Smith was a Brickmaker. In 1841, he and his wife, Lucy Thompson (25), lived in West Haddon. Staying with them was Elizabeth Tompson (10) - actually 12 - she too was Lucy's sister.
  2. Thomas Wright (35) was a Draper at Waterloo House, 21 Market Square, Northampton in 1841 and had a Charles Goosey (15), Draper's Apprentice, listed in his considerable household (employ) of 27 people. 
  3. Mr. Thos. Scriven, of the Town of Northampton, Solicitor, according to the 1841 census, when he was aged 40, lived in St Giles Square.
  4. Mrs. Hoole, will have been Ann Hoole, wife of Thomas Hoole, Brazier, who in 1841 lived next door to Stephen and Mary Bottrill, then of The Bell Inn, West Haddon.
  5. Henry Freeman (35), Shoemaker, in 1841, resided at Great Russell Street, Northampton. (Great Russell Street, Northampton, in 1974 waiting to be demolished.) Perhaps he sold his wares in the market?
  6. In 1841 there was a John Phipps (40), Draper, in Albion Place, Northampton and a John Phipps (15), Draper, in Gold Street, Northampton. We can assume it was one of these. 
  7. The Recorder was N. R. Clarke, Esq., Sergeant-at-Law.
Presumably, Lucy will have served her sentence at the Northampton Borough Gaol and House of Correction, at that time located at Fish Lane (now Fish Street), Northampton. Built in 1792–4 this gaol and bridewell were erected to the south of the County Hall and held 120 prisoners. She was lucky that her punishment wasn't transportation, still very much in use at that time. 

Northampton: St Giles
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © John Sutton -

Thomas Smith and Lucy Tompson had married, on 26 Feb 1838, at St Giles Church, Northampton. Thomas Smith, Brickmaker, was son of Thomas Smith, Labourer. Lucy Tompson was the daughter of Solomon Tompson, a Carpenter. Both gave their address at the time as "Butcher's Yard". One of the two witnesses was Catherine Willis. (Lucy's mother was Maria Willis.)

In 1851, we find them in Foleshill, Warwickshire - literally 'Send to Coventry'. Well, Thomas Smith is listed as James Smith (40) - this could be an error or it might be deliberate - Brickmaker, but it is clearly Lucy Smith (36), birthplace Cransley, Northamptonshire. Living with them is Lucy's older brother, Thomas Thompson (40), Carpenter and Ann Smith (9), born in West Haddon. 
  1. Ann Smith born in the 4th quarter of 1841

If you're related to any of the people written about, I'm guessing you'll recognise them from the surnames. If you are, do please get in touch.