On the Streets – Month in Wakefield

July 1882

Mexborough and Swinton Times, July 28.

On the Streets – Month in Wakefield

Alice Smith, 16 years old, was charged with theft from Mrs Hannah Gibson, wife of a brickmaker of Conisborough.

Alice is daughter to Mrs Gibson, who has been married twice, and she dwelt with her and the stepfather.

Her mother missed a shirt, a jacket, and a turnover shawl, worth 6 shillings; and on Tuesday, July 18, the girl went to the second-hand clothes shop of Abraham Truelove of Mexborough, and told Mrs to love that she was in great trouble, for that her mother had started for America and she wanted to catch at Manchester, and obtained 1s 10d (9p) for the garments.

Policeman Guylee, three days later, after hearing of the theft, called at the shop, and took away the article; and just before the court had begun he arrested Alice.

She now wept, and maintained that the skirt and jacket were hers. She pleaded guilty to the theft of the shawl. The mother denied that either of the garments belong to her, and told that two months ago she was before the Sheffield magistrates, and was locked up for a week.

She added that she behaves very badly, saying,

“We can do anything with her. She’s completely master of the house,” and superintendent Sykes told:

“She has been on the street in Sheffield several weeks, and has had seven days hard Labour for wandering about there; and the parents are compelled to take this step.”

Lord Auckland therefore told her that the best course the magistrates could follow was to send her to Wakefield for a month; and he urged her to begin at the end of that period, a better mode of life.