Birch for Conisborough Boys

May 1901

Mexborough and Swinton Times, May 24

The Birch for Conisborough Boys.

Arthur Blackburn, Thomas Wagstaff, and Thomas Handley, all schoolboys, each about nine years of age, of New Conisborough, were charged with having stolen a watch, the property of Harriet Armstrong, a schoolteacher, on 15th inst.

The prosecutrix is engaged at the Denaby Main School and teaches a class of girls.

During the forenoon of the 15th inst. she laid her watch, which she valued at £2 10s on a desk, and on leaving at noon for dinner forgot to take it with her. When she came back the watch had gone. The prisoners had no right in the room where the girls class was taught.

A pawnbroker’s assistant named White, who is engaged at Mr Ed Wragg’s shop, High Street Mexborough, said that about half past one on the 15th inst. the boys Blackburn and Wagstaff went to the shop, and one of them asked if it was a pawn shop, at the same time telling the assistant that his mother had sent them to pawn a watch. The witness asked if the story was correct, when Wagstaff said, “Do you think we have pinched it?”

Handley was waiting outside the shop, and witness beckoned to him to come in, but instead of doing so he ran away.

The witness then sent for PC Farr who subsequently handed the lads over to PC Kilner

It was ordered that the boys should each receive six strokes with the Birch Rod

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