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1883: Nearly three months inside for stealing three eggs

Cuckfield Petty Sessions

At this Court on Tuesday a lad about 15, named William Burt, was charged before Lieut Col Holden-Rose and Major Sergison, with stealing three hen's eggs, the property of his master, Mr Bertling, of Stanbridge Farm, Staplefield. From the evidence of Henry Appleby it appeared that on going to the barn for some straw on Saturday he saw prisoner examining a hen’s nest, and on his going a way missed three eggs. On challenging him with stealing them, prisoner took them from his pocket and gave them up.

Prisoner pleaded guilty, and his stepfather, John Barnett, said he did not believe he was dishonestly inclined. Mr Bertling said he did not wish to press the case, and had no objection to take the lad back if he would promise not to pilfer again. Colonel Rose observed that they had no alternative but to inflict a fine, which they would mitigate to 1s., with the value of the eggs 4 pence, and costs 19s 10d, telling the lad he was very fortunate in having so kind a master, or he might have been sent to prison for three months.

Book illustration: Master Humphrey's clock.1843. Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870 Cattermole, George, 1800-1868 Browne, Hablot Knight, 1815-1882 Smith, William. University of California Libraries. Wikimedia public domain image.

The Horsham Advertiser, 17 March 1883

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

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