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1848: Attempted swindle foiled at Haywards Heath Station

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Sussex Advertiser - Tuesday 15 August 1848


Attempt at Swindling


We wish to draw the attention of the public to the following facts which occurred here on Sunday: The previous day a person who represented himself as a farmer, having lately occupied a large farm in Dorsetshire, arrived at Mr Jenner's, at the King's Head Inn, and requested information as to hiring a farm in this neighbourhood, as he wished to settle in Sussex.


Mr Jenner gave him directions as to viewing some land at Bolney, and our gentleman forthwith started to make a survey. On his return he did not appear satisfied with the land, and after regaling himself and offering to treat the landlord, he announced his intention of staying over the next day, and looking farther on Monday.


The next morning Mr Jenner heard that a farm in the neighbourhood was to be let, and accompanied his guest to look at it, with which he was much pleased and said he should call on the parties the next day and close the bargain.


Dinner and tea over, he proposed .taking a walk and looking over the park, but circumstances arising that raised suspicion in the mind of Mr Jenner, and he having discovered that the stranger had found out a back way to the station, was determined not to be done, and, putting his horse in harness, started to forelay his customer. It was as he suspected for soon after he arrived at the station, the “soi disant” farmer arrived as well, and the greeting was anything but friendly, one having taken a ticket for Brighton, and the other insisting on payment of the score at Cuckfield, before he visited, as he threatened, Brighton and Lewes.


Haywards Heath Railway Station c1900

The account was at length settled, and the gentleman went off, but that our friends at Brighton and Lewes may be on the look out, they may as well beware of a person about 5 feet 10 in height, of from 28 to 30 years of age, with thick pouting lips, dark hair, and reddish whiskers; with a West-country accent, and dressed in dark cloth jacket, with trousers, and fancy light blue figured drab neckcloth, and fancy lilac fronted shirt.

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