The front page of The English Chronicle, 25 January 1838

I recently reshared a blog post about my 3x great-grandfather, James Whipp, as part of #52Ancestors. This was in response to the prompt "in the news" and I thought sharing the time when PC Whipp was involved in a case where a pheasant and a hare were thrown out of a brothel window:

Whipp, 86 D, deposed that on Saturday afternoon he saw a great crowd in Shepherd-street [now called Dering Street], Oxford-street, and on going to the spot, ascertained that the defendant had thrown from the first floor of a house of ill fame a hare and a pheasant, which were picked up, and quickly carried off.

Anyway, curiosity got me thinking about how many more articles I could find mentioning him.

I bought myself some credits for the British Newspaper Archive and started searching. A few more came up, including in 1837 when he went to assist in the arrest of a man who attempted to murder one of his colleagues:

On Monday [16 January 1837], Mr William Kelly ... was charged with having attempted to blow out the brains of policeman Richard Bourke, 70 D, by firing at him a loaded pistol under circumstances of a most determined and extraordinary character. ...

James Whipp, 86 D, said, that he saw the prisoner running, and secured him, and at the same moment Bourke came up. He (Bourke) was spitting something from his mouth, and said that he had been fired at.

-- The Weekly Dispatch, 22 January 1837, p38.

Mr Kelly was detained without bail for trial at Newgate. His trial was a week later, on the 30th January. He was found not guilty on the count of being non compos mentis. You can read more about his trial on the Proceedings of the Old Bailey website.

It was only when I realised I should search for his surname and badge number, Whipp 86 D, that more search results came back.

The first I read was a horrible case from October 1851, where a woman burned her 8-year-old daughter with a red hot poker. James gave his statement that Ann Davis had confessed to causing the injury at the time he arrested her, and that he had examined the girl and seen the burn.

Ann later went to trial and was imprisoned for six months with hard labour.

Edward Trubshaw

James was also caught up with the "notorious" Edward Trubshaw, a 12-year-old boy who made claims about The Children's Friend Society, an organisation that sent children who were caught up in theivery, vagrancy, and begging to British colonies, namely the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), Canada, Mauritius and Australia. Trubshaw alleged that, after being transported to the Cape, he was abused and "sold to a Dutchman for ten guineas a-piece".

In June 1839, James took charge of Trubshaw, where he was also accused of stealing boots and a smock frock, amongst other things. At the time of writing this, I wasn't able to find out what the outcome of his trial was, but I did find a few more texts mentioning Edward that you may be interested in - details at the bottom of the page.

Let's end this post with my favourite of the articles I discovered today, which I'm going to reproduce here in full (as it's public domain) headlined:

The Omnibus Nuisance

Henry Beecham, the driver of Bardell's Paddington omnibus, No. 146, and Henry Scales, the driver of a rival vehicle belonging to Warburton and Co., No 373, were charged with racing together furiously, in Oxford-street.

Police-constable Whipp, 86 D, stated that he was on duty at the west end of the above street, about seven o'clock on Tuesday evening, the 16th inst. [16 January 1838], when his attention was attracted by cries of alarm, and the loud rumbling of two heavy vehicles, and on turning round he saw the defendants engaged in a most furious race with each other, lashing their horses into the utmost speed. The defendant Beecham was on the wrong side of the way, and kept continually darting across the road in front of his opponent, so that the most serious consequences were apprehended. Though repeatedly called on to stop, the defendants continued their career without taking the least notice.

After a sharp lecture, Beecham was fined 40s and costs, and his opponest half that sum and costs.

-- The English Chronicle and Whitehall Evening Post, 25 January 1838, p8. Read online (public domain, free account required).

Rather than the nature of the crime, unlike the house of ill fame story article, it's the language used in this one I love. "racing together furiously" ... "engaged in a most furious race" ... "so that the most serious consequences were apprehended." ... "After a sharp lecture...".

Love it.

More reading about Edward Trubshaw

Ashurst, Francesca, and Couze Venn. Inequality, poverty, education: a political economy of school exclusion. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. pp. 62. Accessed 26 August 2023.

Jordan, Thomas Edward. Victorian childhood: themes and variations. Suny Press, 1987. pp. 316. Accessed 26 August 2023.

Swartz, Rebecca. "Children’s experiences of the Children’s Friend Society emigration scheme to the colonial Cape, 1833– 41: snapshots
from compliance to rebellion". Children's experiences of welfare in modern Britain, edited by Siân Pooley and Jonathan Taylor. University of London Press, 2021. Accessed 26 August 2023.

Williams, Kate. The Children's Friend Society in the Cape of Good Hope and the question of labour c. 1830-1842. University of Cape Town, 2013. pp. 99, 107-109. Accessed 26 August 2023.