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1845: Criminal activity rife in Sussex - horse and cart used to remove stolen goods in Cuckfield

Updated: Jul 2

Kilkenny Journal February 5 1845



Scarcely a night passes without a robbery of some description taking place. On Sunday morning last, at three o’clock, Charles Cowley, the private watchmen employed by the inhabitants of Portslade, near Brighton, was fired at out of a plantation belonging to Eardley Hall, Esq, the banker, who heard the report, and immediately arose, fearing the watchman had fallen by the hand of the midnight assassin. It appears Cowley’s life has been threatened in consequence of his activity in apprehending and conviction of a gang for burglary and fowl stealing. Happily the shot did not take effect; but the darkness of the night enabled the assassin to escape.

The Old Vicarage c 2020

On Friday evening last the rectory at Cuckfield, near Brighton was burglariously entered, and the thieves succeeded in obtaining a considerable booty in plate, money, jewels, watches, linens, and eatables, which from the quantity, must have been removed by a horse and cart. It appears on the examination of the police, that in every instance the same instrument, viz, a powerful centre bit, has been used which leaves no doubt of the robberies having been committed by the same gang. The parsonage houses of Portslade, Cuckfield, Falmer, Balcombe, Southwick, and many other parishes, have been broke into within a few weeks, and the state of the agricultural poor in this country is miserable in the extreme…. Patriot



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