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1837: Sex, pistol threat and runaway wife


At the Lewes Adjourned Sessions, on Friday, Fitzwilliam Burt, aged 22, was ordered to find good bail, and give 48 hours’ notice thereof, for threatening to do Mr Charles Robertson, of Cuckfield some bodily injury.

It appeared that some time since the prisoner, who is a miller, was out of employ, and Mr Robertson took him into his office as a clerk. On one occasion Mr R. quitted home on business, and on his return he found his wife and the prisoner in a very questionable situation.


The latter was immediately desired to leave the premises, upon which he became very violent, and threatened to put a pistol bullet through Mr Robertson’s head, and remarked that he would not be satisfied until he had pawned the linen off complainant and his wife’s back. The prisoner subsequently decamped to London with Mrs Robertson, where they lived together until she was reduced to the greatest misery and want.

Ultimately Mr R consented to receiving his wife back but the prisoner continued his annoyance by writing letters to her, and hovering about Mr. Robertson’s house. He had also expressed his determination to be revenged to several persons. A letter was read from the prisoner to Mrs Robertson, which was dated from No. 2, Verulem-buildings, London, and commenced with ‘my dear Sally’. After a long tirade of nonsense, telling her she might rely on his love, he subscribed himself her ever true and sincere lover, and concluded by wishing that God might bless her. The prisoner was removed to gaol.

English Chronicle and Whitehall Evening Post, 19 September 1837.


Contributed by Malcolm Davison.




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