Monuments and Dust

Monuments and Dust

London Times: 8 Oct 1850

Two Letters Concerning Crime in London.



Sir, -- A few days ago I, with my wife, got into a first-class carriage at the Spetchley station of the Midland railway. A few minutes before doing so my wife put her purse into her pocket, and during that very short interval it is not likely that any person could have picked her pocket, as it is a small quiet station, with very few people about. The carriage we got into contained, besides ourselves, four women, two of whom, and sitting opposite to us, were very respectable-looking elderly ladies -- I should say, from their appearance, spinsters and sisters, as they were dressed in every respect alike, and had really the appearance of ladies. The two other women in the carriage, and occupying seats opposite to each other (one of them sitting next to my wife), struck us both as being rather questionable in their appearance; still they were dressed like ladies, but one of them evidently wore a wig, which, from her apparent age, could only be in some measure to disguise her. On our arrival at the Cheltenham station, our destination, these two latter ladies made a move to get out with us, affecting to believe it was Glocester. Shortly after we got out of the train my wife felt for her purse, and it was gone. The only thing to be done was to write to the secretaries of the Spetchley and Glocester stations to inquire if a purse was found in the carriage. The answer was, "No," and that another lady in the same train had lost her purse, probably one of the two spinster sisters.

I beg of you to publish this letter in your widely-circulated paper, in order to put ladies on their guard against suspicious-looking ladies in first class railway carriages.

Your obedient servant,


Oct. 6.


Sir, -- having seen a letter in in The Times of Thursday, signed "A Surrey Man," referring to the necessity of the inhabitants of Surrey being armed for the protection of their lives and property, I beg to state that I think it also necessary that persons passing through the streets of London should be armed.

I am now on business at Andover, and have been led into conversation with a Mr. Millar, of Long-acre, who is on a visit here for the recovery of his health, having been brutally treated, doubtless by the same gang who recently attacked Mr. Cureton, of Aldergate-street.

It appears that as Mr. Millar was returning home about three weeks since, at 12 o'clock at night, whilst passing Rose-street, Long-acre, he was seized by three men, and an instrument was placed round his neck, by which he was completely throttled. The instrument is supposed to be of a similar description to that used in the late assault on Mr. Cureton. The gang then attempted to rifle his pockets, but through an active effort made by Mr. Millar, they did not succeed in accomplishing their object. Mr. Millar was then thrown down with great violence on the curb-stones, from the effect of which one of his teeth was broken and other injuries inflicted. No policeman was to be found near the spot. The particulars of this transaction are known to the police authorities at Scotland-yard and also at Bow-street.

I am, sir, yours obediently,


Andover, Oct. 4.