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116 AFFAIRS OF EGYPT, 1909

"Gypsies to move from Blackpool Sands"
This process of packing up took an unconscionable time to accomplish apparently, for six weeks later most of the Gypsies were still there, and still dukerin' too in spite of the belated and somewhat inconsistent prosecution of April 14. An attempt was made to secure exemption from the ban for some of those who were born on the sands, notably the descendants of Sarah and Ned Boswell, whilst later in
the year — in November — Mrs. Franklin addressed the following appeal to the King on behalf of all the Gypsies on the South Shore : —

' To His Majesty, — I am very sorry to have to trouble you, but it is for a cause of necessity. It concerns all the gipsies at Blackpool. We have been resident here for the past forty years, and have always been encamped on one jjlot
of ground. We all pay £20 to £25 for the season, and also pay rates and taxes. Our tents were the first things on the show ground, and now they want to get rid of us by giving us only one week's notice.
' It is very hard for us all. It is driving us from our homes after being here for so many years. Most of our children have been born, christened, and educated here. We appeal to His Majesty for his kind help and sympathy. We are English gipsies, and we look to our King for justice. — Your humble servant,
(Signed), Mrs. Franklin."
His Majesty (through his Secretary) replied that Mrs. Franklin's letter had been passed on to the Local Government Board for inquiries to be made. What was the ultimate fate of the Blackpool Gypsies the Press-cuttings for 1909 do not state, but it is common knowledge that Gypsy Sarah's descendants alone succeeded in retaining their pitch on the sands. Some of the rest took houses in Blackpool, others secured places on which to stand their vans and put up their tents on the outskirts of the town, whilst Noah and Oscar Young and Bendigo Lee removed with their families to Preston. Next summer, however, most of them continued to ply their trade on the sands, although they were not allowed to camp there.

122 AFFAIRS OF EGYPT, 1909
The trivial offences of the fifteen Hampshire Gypsies, Richard Sheen and Alice Day (damaging turf in New Forest and Gadshill Wood), Ernest Smith (pony astray at Yateley),
Margaret Stone and Tom Loveridge (no name on vans at Crookham), John Ayres (obscene language at Crookham), Maurice Ayres (obscene language at Deadwater),
Charlie Green (poaching at Kingsworthy), Alice Day (theft of game-eggs at Broughton), Amos Wells (horses astray at Medstead), Henry and Mary Rogers and Esther Rawlings (bad language at Tadley), and James and Edward Lamb and
Nipton Hibberd (killing a pheasant in close season at Hickfield), who were convicted at various dates from the middle of April to the end of May.
Perhaps the triviality of the crimes was due to the influence of the New Forest Gipsy Mission, which, in addition to its spiritual ministrations, assisted fifty families with parcels of warm clothing, provided two families with ponies, four
with hawkers' licences, and several with money for the journey to the hop-fields. Since the work began it has induced over forty couples to marry.

On the 29th of April, too, Stephen Hewitt (husband of Pamela Smith) of Great Yarmouth, and John Taylor of Hopton, were fined at Woodbridge for turning their horses onto growing grass — or, in more familiar language, poovin' the grai. This
John Taylor is no relation to Sylvester Taylor, who, a day or two later, was fined at Oswestry for encamping on the highway ; nor to Isaac Taylor, who, in the first week in May, was convicted at Abergele for allowing his horses to stray ; nor to Benjamin Taylor, who, at the same place, on September 4, had to pay 12s. 6d. for taking his three year old child wdth him into a public-house ; nor to Richard
Taylor, for stealing whose donkey John Ward, a groom, was sent to gaol for a week at Mold on November 8. The four last-named all belong to Longsnout's Breed.

124 AFFAIRS OF EGYPT, 1909

The rest of the doings of the Gypsies during June were of an unimportant but varied character.

13th. Bias Boswell (26) accused at Liscard of being drunk whilst in charge of a horse, and with ill-treating the same.

25th. Funeral of one of the Kent Lees at Chatham.

Rodney Smith, the preacher, returned from America.

30th. John Thomas Holland (a descendant possibly of the famous Closes) was fined at Loughborough for taking tish from the river Soar during the close season.

On July 10 it was reported that William Blythe, 'a well-known Border Gypsy of the royal lineage of the Kings and Queens of Yetholm,' had died at Chirnside, aged seventy-six.

On the same date Jemima or Jessie Smith, hawker, Pontypool, was summoned at Hereford for camping on Whitmore Common, Burghill, but the Bench refused to convict.

Meanwhile various people, bearing such names as Rose, Sines. Matthews, Willett, Wenman, and Denman, all described as Gypsies, had appeared before the Surrey and Sussex magistrates.

On July 12 Levi Dighton, farm labourer, 1 Epsom Cottages, Foot's Cray, was fined at Bromley for assaulting Alfred Lee, dock-labourer, living in a van at Hurst Farm, Bexley a place, by the way, where Gypsies may always be found, for Mr. Harry Vinson encourages them to camp and work on his land. Harriett Lee, daughter of the prosecutor, gave evidence.

A fortnight later Annie Lee, of the encampment in Day's Lane, Sidcup, brought a charge against a Japanese officer.

As a point of interest, it may be mentioned that the whole district round about Sidcup including Bexley, Eltham, Farnborough, and Plumstead has an abnormally large Gypsy population.

At St. Austell, on July 15, a small fine was inflicted on Sophia Broadway, wife of the Charles Broadway mentioned above, for telling fortunes. It was stated that defendant had told her much-to-be-pitied victim to put a lock of her hair and a pinch of salt in paper and burn it, in order to break a bad spell that
was hanging over her head.

On the 16th Reuben Smith (12), son of Shandres Smith, was convicted at Milnthorpe of stealing four eggs.

Shortly afterwards Richard Price (18) was sent to prison at Swansea for stealing a silver chain, the property of another Gypsy named Caradoc Price ; and Ben Boswell, otherwise known as Stanley Evans, was charged at Narbeth with
indecent assault.

Hampshire Gypsies in trouble about the same time were Walter Bowers, Emily Ayres, and Tom Gregory, the last named for using obscene language and threatening Leonard Lee, labourer, Eversley.

During the first week in August James Penfold and George Penfold were fined at Camelford for releasing three horses from a pound ; also Aaron Fletcher and Alfred Light at Tottenham for squatting on common land in contravention to a bye-law passed in 1883, but never applied during the intervening twenty-six years.

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