Kelly v Thompson – Runaway Boy

July 1879

Mexborough and Swinton Times, July 18.

Doncaster County Court.

Kelly versus Thompson

Plaintiff, who resides at Conisborough, sued the defendant, a farmer at Braithwell, for whom Mr Verity appeared for six pounds for services rendered.

Plaintiff, a lad hadto serve the defendant for 12 months for £12. After the lad had been about six months he went home, complaining of ill usage by the foreman. He was taken back, but run away again a few days later. The lad was taken back a second time, but the defendant said he would not have him back again, though the lad said he would stop if not ill used.

As the defendant would not pay the plaintive any wages the plaintiff now sued for six pounds, half the 12 months pay.

Replying to Mr Verity the lad’s mother, said Thompson said he might stay, and the lad said he would be a good boy, but Mrs Thompson said the lad should not stay, or if he did she would not do her duty to him.

The lad said the foreman beat him because he said that he (witness) had been swearing at him, though he did not swear.

When he told Mr Thomson, Mr Thomas said the foreman had served him right. When he ran away the second time, the foreman told him if he said another wrong word to him he would knock his – – – ruination head off.

Defendant said he engaged the lad in March, and he ran away in May. The lad told him that the foreman struck him. He told the lad he should not allow the foreman, but he must be a good lad. The same day the lad ran away.

His father brought him back and in reply to his questions he said he had no complaint to make as to the place. The next day the lad ran away again. This was on a Wednesday.

On the Saturday his mother brought him back. The lad said he should not stay if the foreman stayed, he would run away, but the next time he would not go home.

Witness told the mother if he ran away, he would not pay his wages, and in the end the mother and boy went, the mother taking the lad´s clothes.

Judgement for the defendant

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