Black Sheep Sunday – Eleanor Hopkinson (Part 2)

I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with baited breath to find out what happened to Eleanor Hopkinson and George Carradice since last week’s revelations.

Below is the newspaper account of the trial as reported in the Kendal Mercury on 21 October 1865.

Kendal MercuryWESTMORLAND QUARTER SESSIONS

STEALING £10 FROM THE PERSON – MOON’S CASE

Eleanor Hopkinson and George Carradice were charged with stealing £10 from the person of John Moon, on the 1st October. Both were also indicted for receiving the money. They were also charged on another count with stealing a silver watch from the person of Leonard Metcalfe on the 1st of October. Prisoners pleaded Not Guilty.

Mr Mc”Oubrey addressed the jury for the prosecution, said: Mr Moon was a basket maker in Kendal, at the time of the robbery. He received £60 in 12 £5 notes from Mr C G Thomson, as a legacy. On receiving this money, perhaps he was not so careful of his conduct as he might have been. At any rate he was in the house about 12 o’clock. He had at this time five £5 notes, and had occasion to go to the privy. On his way there he had to pass the house where the two prisoners lived. While there the female prisoner came and used him very indecently. He made his way out as soon as possible, and on getting up on Sunday morning he found the five notes were gone. He gave notice of the robbery immediately to Serge. Hogarth. When, on Sunday evening Eleanor Hopkinson was in the Black Bull, she asked for change for a £5 note. Now, this note note was one of the very numbers which Mr Moon gave to the police, 257E. A boy named Mark went for change to Mr Break’s. Breaks went up stairs to get change, and, very properly took it himself over to Mrs Thompson. This note was afterwards given to Mr Hibberd. Mr Hibberd on this went to the house and apprehended the prisoner Hopkinson, and he afterwards found the other note, number 90G in a heap of ashes, a very unlikely place to find notes honestly come by.

He then called John Moon, who was sworn and said; I live in yard No. 109, Highgate; I am a basket maker. The prisoners Carradice and Hopkinson live in the same yard. I remember last Sunday morning; early on that morning, I had occasion to go to the privy – it was then about twenty minutes past twelve; to get to the closet I had to pass the prisoners’ house. The female prisoner came to me whilst I was in the closet; she used me very roughly; I had had some drink in the evening, I knew what I was doing. I left her in the privy, I was not more than three or four minutes in the place. When I went to the privy I had five five pound notes in my pocket. They were five notes issued by the Kendal Bank. I first missed the notes about seven o’clock on the same morning. I gave the number of two of the notes at the Bank, on Monday morning. It was directly the Bank opened. (The notes were here handed to the witness for identification.) I can identify these as two of the notes. I have not seen the notes since Saturday up to this minute. The numbers of the notes are 90G and 257E. I speak from memory. They are two of the notes I lost on Sunday morning.

Cross-examined: I received the money on Friday night about six o’clock.

Did you drink at all that night? – I had a glass or two.

Did you drink on Saturday? – Oh, yes, I had a good sup.

Well, were you so drunk that you did know what you were doing? – No, I was fresh but I knew what I was about.

Were you “fresh” at six o’clock? – Yes

And I suppose you got “fresher” afterwards? – I was better afterwards.

What! did you get better the more you drank? – Yes.

How much drink did you have on Saturday? – Oh, I can’t say.

Did you have twenty glasses? – I don’t think i did, I might have had a dozen.
A dozen glasses of what? – Oh, ale.

Did you have no spirits? – I had a glass of rum in the morning.

As “freshener” I suppose. Did you have anything else in the day, except ale? – No. I was last in the White Hart, I had a glass or two of ale there. I have a wife, it was not my wife I met. I met the woman at the Exchange, she did not get any £5 notes from me – we took a walk down Miller-field, to Miller-bridge. That was between eight and nine o’clock. I am certain she had nothing to do with the loss of the notes. I gave her a glass or two. I had the notes in my inside waistcoat pocket. I knew well I was doing when I got home. I gave several people a glass of ale, they knew that I had the money. When I was in the privy the woman came in to me – I was not there two minutes. I got out as soon as I could. I felt her “rummaging” about my breast. I did not examine my pockets when I got in the house. I felt that the notes were there about twelve o’clock. It was about twenty minutes past twelve when I was in the privy. The numbers of the two notes were 257E and 90G. I know the numbers of several more.

Name them. – I have an objection to doing so.

Being ordered by the Bench to do so he gave numbers of two more of the notes.

Examination resumed: I had the numbers in my memory. I am a basket maker.

I am the son of William Mark, who was an innkeeper. My mother keeps the Black Bull, in Kirkland. I live with her. I remember Sunday last. The female prisoner was in our house on that day. About nine at night she asked mother if she could change the note. Mother could not. The prisoner offered to give me a penny if I would change it. She had some other notes in a piece of white calico, they were folded up. She took one out to give to me to change. I went to several places. I went Richard Breaks, who took the note and went across with me to our house with the change.

Cross-examined: It was about half-past nine. She used to come to the house to clean.

Richard Breaks was then sworn – I am a grocer, living in Kirkland. I remember the last witness coming to my house; it was a little past nine on Sunday night. he asked if I could change his mother a five-pound note. I asked what kind of note it was. He said, “ A Kendal note”. He handed the note to me. I took it upstairs and changed it. I left the note upstairs, and took the change to the Black Bull. I found the landlady and a good many women there. I asked who wanted change: none of the women would take to the note or the change. I called the landlady into the kitchen. She said it belonged to Eleanor Musgrove (the female prisoner goes by this name), but that she the landlady would have nothing to do with it. I gave the note back to Mrs Thompson.

Margaret Thompson, was sworn, and said: My husband kept the Black Bull. On the 1st of October the prisoner came in on the Sunday evening and asked for change. She sent the boy for it. Mr Breaks afterwards came across with the money. She was in the lobby waiting, when se asked me for the money. I told her I would give it to the right owner. I fetched the note from Mr Breaks and gave it to Mr Hibberd.

Edward Hibberd said: I am superintendent of police. On Monday morning last, a little after ten o’clock, I received this note I now produce, No 257E, from the last witness, Mrs Thompson. Shortly afterwards I apprehended the prisoner, Eleanor Hopkinson, at her house in a yard in Highgate. I charged her with stealing five five-pound notes from John Moon, whilst in a privy together late on Saturday night, or early on Sunday morning. She took from some part of her dress these two keys (produced in court), which she gave to a woman named Mary Barber. I took the keys from her. She said that one belonged to a tea caddy, an the other to the lower room or coal cellar. I locked the prisoner up. The house door was locked. I returned to the house soon after, and partially searched the house. The room where the prisoners lived was locked. I locked the door again when I left. When I returned again to the room I found the lock broken off and the door standing open. The prisoner Carradice was sitting on the floor at the far end of the room. he was the worse for liquor. I searched the room and found beneath some ashes and rubbish about eighteen inches from where the prisoner was sitting a piece of rag and a five pound note, No 90G. I took Carradice into custody and brought him to the office. I charged him with being concerned in the robbery of notes from Mr Moon on Sunday morning.

This was the case for the prosecution. Mr Fawcett then addressed the jury for the defence. He said he appeared only on behalf of the female prisoner. he not disguise from himself or from the jury that it was a very serious charge, and at first glance it did seem as if the prisoner were guilty. He then explained the law on felony, and said that unless he could persuade them that the woman could satisfactorily account for the amount of money it would go very hard against them. he must say there was something very curious about the manner in which the money was lost. Did the jury really think the woman was the one who took the notes? and, although he did not appear on the part of the man he could not see any fact against him. He then sifted the whole evidence, and left the case with the jury.

The jury retired, and on re-entering gave in a verdict of “guilt against the woman”, but found the man innocent. The woman was sentenced to seven years’ penal servitude.

WATCH STEALING

The prisoners were then further charged with stealing a watch, the property of Leonard Metcalfe, on the 1st of October.

Mr Mounsey appeared for the prosecution, and called Leonard Metcalfe, who said: He is a driver at the Commercial Hotel, and started about eleven o’clock on the night of Saturday, the 30th of September, to take a party to Holme. he started from that place about two o’clock on Sunday morning. Falling asleep several times, he was at length aroused by two men unknown to him shouting “Len”. On looking up to see what time it was, he found his watch was gone.

Superintendent Hibberd deposed to findning the watch, with the bank-notes, in the prisoner Carradice’s room.

The jury acquitted both prisoners.

Interestingly, despite giving quite a full account of the trial the Kendal Mercury did not include Eleanor’s reaction to being found guilty and to her sentence. Unlike the Westmorland Gazette and the Carlisle Journal which both reported – The prisoner screamed out vile malediction against the Chairman, and was removed from the dock cursing.

So what is “penal servitude”? It really just means a term of imprisonment that usually included hard labour.

Eleanor spent about ten months in prison at Kendal and was then transferred to Brixton Prison in July 1866.

Below you can see the:-

  • Criminal Register for Kendal for 20 October 1865 showing Eleanor Hopkinson and George Carradice
  • Record showing that Eleanor was transferred to Brixton Prison on 27 July 1866.

Kendal Criminal Register

Brixton Prison

Clearly Eleanor did not complete seven years locked up because as I said in Part 1 of this story last week she appears in the 1871 census living with George Carradice in Kendal.

Kendal 1871 Census

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