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1812: Crossdresser's attempted robbery thwarted

Kentish Gazette - Tuesday 18 February 1812


—A singular attempt to rob the public house situate at the toll gate, called Pease Pottage gate, on the Cuckfield-road to London, was made a few nights since.

'The Grapes' pub c1905 (colourised) where the attempted robbery occurred. Postcard courtesy of Barry Ray (The Slaugham archives)

Towards evening a person, decently attired as a female, applied for refreshments and a bed, both of which were obtained. Soon after retiring to the latter, the house-maid hinted her suspicions that the stranger was a man, in women's clothes. After much had been said on the subject, three or four persons agreed to sit up all night in the tap-room, in the dark.

In the night the sound of footsteps, cautiously descending the stairs, was heard by those below, and some one, soon afterwards, from within, made an essay to open the front door, sounding a whistle at the same time. The party on the watch rushed forward, secured the mysterious personage on the inside of the door, and the suspicions of the house-maid were confirmed.

The detected ruffian has been fully committed for trial.



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