Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The Rightful Hair

Well, I wanted to give Mercedes' words star billing, so I've avoided posting any other blog entries since. But, like all good things, there comes a time to move on. I wish Mercedes well—she's a really nice person, and she deserves all the success she can achieve.

I've been working on the 'Wife's family tree' project this week. I took a week-long subscription to an online archive of nineteenth century newspapers, and I've been having a ball reading what some of the barn-pots and simpletons of old got up to.

Not that the wife's ancestors are barn-pots and simpletons, of course; rogues, perhaps, but by and large loveable ones.

Here's one I particularly loved:


NOT THE RIGHTFUL HAIR--Mary Judge, a fish-hawker, was charged on remand with seriously assaulting Alexander May and Mary Cheers. On the night of the 20th instant, the prisoner was selling fish in Kitchen Street, and, in consequence of a remark by Mrs Cheers, picked up a brick and struck her on the head. May went to call a police-officer, and the prisoner followed him and struck him on the head with another brick, inflicting serious injuries. In defence, the prisoner said the prosecutor assaulted her; and she produced a bundle of hair as having been pulled from her head by him. The hair was, however, not of the same colour as that on her head. She was committed to hard labour for two months.

Liverpool Mercury, 30th May, 1871

I love daft people like this.


Cate Gardner said...

Ha! Brilliant.

Steven Pirie said...

It is, isn't it? Can't you just hear the words: "I have a cunning plan..." with the hairthing? :-)

Anonymous said...

Mmm, sounds like something my ancestors would do. Bet they were in cahoots.