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1874: Robbery at The Kings Head Hotel

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

Chichester Express and West Sussex Journal - Tuesday 14 July 1874


—A daring robbery was committed at this house in the middle of Tuesday night by some thieves who managed to effect entrance through one of the bedroom windows.

It seems that they must have climbed up on the leads, by no means a difficult job, out of an alley leading to the side door of the smoking-room, and entered the window of the bedroom usually occupied by Miss Jenner, who was from home at the time, and here were baulked in their attempt to ransack a chest of drawers they moved out of their position against the wall, but being locked do not seem to have attempted to force them.

Kings Head Hotel Cuckfield

They then got into a passage leading to a suite of rooms occupied by Captain and Mrs. Millett and their daughter, consisting of a sitting and two bedrooms, all on the same floor and adjoining each other: the two ladies sleeping in the middle room, the door being unfastened, and the Captain in the room adjoining, the door of which was left open. It seems that Mrs. Millett during the night fancied she heard something moving in her room, but it being dark and the move not being repeated did not give an alarm, everything being so still and quiet.

The Captain it appears was also aroused by hearing someone in his room open a drawer, and supposing it be his wife in search for some article she required, suggested her lighting the candle, but the person made no reply, and he heard them step softly as if in their stocking feet into the passage, and got out bed; it not being until the morning that it was discovered that some one had carried off from the ladies’ room a valuable and highly prized double action lever gold hunting watch, jewelled in 13 holes; a gold chain and eyeglass; and also abstracted from her purse a sovereign and eight shillings in silver, with which they got clear off by stepping through a different window from that which they entered on to the leads.

It was fortunate that Captain Millett was sleeping so lightly, for had they not been disturbed they would no doubt have appropriated his purse, that contained a considerable sum of money, and a number of valuables lying about his room. Supt. Pocock was at once apprised of the robbery, and the number of the watch obtained by telegraph at once, but no clue to the depredators has as yet been arrived at. Mr. And Mrs. Jenner, and the servants, were sleeping in other parts of the house, and heard nothing stirring during the night.


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