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Old Red Lion, 48 East Road (MoC 13/68/53)

Red Lion / Free Library and Reading Room / Working Men’s Reading Room

History of Barnwell Free Library

1881 Red Lion East Road

Alfred Dawson, 37, gardener, b Essex

Victoria, 39, b Malta

Samuel J, 11, b Norwich

Cambridge City plan, 1886

CIP 7.4.1883: Cambridge Borough Quarter Sessions

The general quarter sessions for the borough was held at the Guildhall on Monday before J R Bulwer, Esq QC MP Recorder. There were only two prisoners for trial and they were jointly charged with stealing a pony, trap, harness & the property of Alfred Dawson, publican of East Road………

The usual proclamation against vice, profaneness. and immorality having been read, the learned RECORDER proceeded to charge the grand jury, remarking that he was very happy to meet them again and as usual, congratulate them on the lightness of the calendar and the freedom from crime which the borough enjoys. There was only one case come before them that dav. Two men were charged with stealing a pony and cart, the property of a resident in the borough. Neither of the prisoners – were Cambridge men. and therefore not single Cambridge man had been before him for trial for more than a year, He could not but express his satisfaction at such a  state of things, and hoped it would long continue. With reference to the case, he did not think it at all necessary that he should go through the evidence which would shortly be laid before them. He thought they would come to the conclusion that it was a case in which they should find a true bill. One of the men seemed to have obtained possession of the pony and cart : as it might be suggested on the part of the prosecution with the intention of stealing it and the other was afterwards found selling it at the other side of London. Each prisoner made statements which the other contradicted. He thought it would be  right that the statements prisoners made when before the magistrates should he before the grand jury, in order that they might ascertain the position of affairs. With these observations, he would dismiss them to consider the case.

STEALING PONY. TRAP,  & AT CAMBRIDGE. Joseph Alderson Gardner., (35), described as an agent, was indicted with stealing a pony, trap, harness, horse rug and whip, of the value of £25, the property of Alfred Dawson, landlord of the Red Lion, East-road, on the 23rd of October, 1882.

George Banton (21), also described as an agent was charged with being an accomplice.

Mr. E. Turner (instructed by Messrs. Ellison, Barrows, and Freeman) prosecuted, and prisoners, who pleaded not guilty, were undefended.

Mr. Turner, in opening the case, stated the facts of it, and then called

Alfred Dawson, who said: I am a publican, living on the East-road. I remember the prisoner Gardner coming to me on the 23rd of October. That was on the Monday. He said wanted to hire a pony to go to Newmarket, and that he had been recommended by Messrs. Canham and King. I let it to him for 7s 6d for that day. It was a hog-mane chestnut pony, about 13 hands high, with silver tail. It was stained trap. There were two rings in the trap, also a nose bag and whip. Prisoner said he should not be later than seven o’clock in the evening. I have not seen it since. I  came here before the magistrates on the following Saturday. Gardner was here. He came on bis own accord. He told the magistrates he gave a man, named Banton, a shilling to take the pony and trap home. The value of all the property I have lost is £25.

Gardner said he had questions to ask. He hired the trap, and was responsible.

By Banton: My name was not on the cart.

Mrs. C. V. Dawson, wife of the last witness, said : I was aware my husband let a pony and trap to Gardner. On the 24th, Gardner came into the house with rug on his shoulder, and said “Missus, I have brought your rug.” I looked out the door, expecting to see the pony and trap, but I did not. and asked him where it was. Gardner said, “Haven’t you got it?” I said “You know I haven’t” and he then stated that be had given a man a shilling on the previous evening to bring it home. He afterwards said he would go and find them or pay Mr. Dawson for them. Gardner then went across to Mr. King’s. I followed, and again asked him where the pony and trap were. He then told me would go and find them.

By Banton: Gardner went straight to public-house when he left our house on the Tuesday morning. He did not go straight to the police station.

By Gardner: You said you would go and try to find the trap and if you could not, you would pay my husband the value of it. You did not say you would go to the police-station.

By Banton: I did not hear Gardner make any inquiries.

Luther Wilderspin, butcher, of Gwydir street, said: I remember the Newmarket race week, at the latter end of last October. Three men in a pony and cart came to my house one evening in the fore part the week, about nine o’clock. I knew the pony and trap. It was a chestnut pony, with hog mane and silver tail, and a light stained trap. They ordered a pound of steak which I took out to them. They asked me for change for a £5 note, but I said I could not give it them. They offered to go and get change, or call and pay me in the morning. I kept the steak. They drove off in the direction of Mill-road, which is in an opposite direction to the Red Lio., When one of the men said something about having a pony and trap, I said, ‘’That don’t belong to you ;it belongs to Mr. Dawson.” I said it loud enough for them to hear ; but can’t say whether they did, the trap was making a noise.

By Banton: There were three men the trap. I could not say who was that asked for the steak. I  don’t know whether Gardner said “This is my pony and trap,” ‘or ” Our pony and trap.’’

PC Pammenter said: I was on duty on the Mill road, on the evening of the 23rd of October, I saw Mr. Dawson’s pony and trap being driven down the Mill road towards Parker’s-piece. There was only one man in the trap. It was not Gardner. The man was driving Furiously.

Wm Henry Cardinal, of Bradmore-street, said: On a Monday night in the Newmarket race week, at the end of Octobe, I. was on the Hills road. I saw a pony and trap coming rather fast from the railway bridge to me. The man pulled up and asked me if he was right for Bishop’s Stortford. I told him that I did not know, but I thought he was. It was not Gardner in the trap. It was a young man.

By Gardner: He drove off very quick.

By Banton; When before the magistrates, you acknowledged meeting me.

Ebenezer Canham said : I don t know Mr. Dawson. I know Gardner. I did not recommend him to apply to Dawson for a trap in the Cambridgeshire week.

Charles King said: I know Gardner. I have seen him several times. I did not recommend Gardner to go to Dawson to hire a trap in the Cambridgeshire week.

By the Recorder : I don’t know how he gets his living.

Detective Sergt Kirbyshire said:  The loss of this trap was brought to my notice first on the 24th of October. When I went to the police-station I found this piece of paper, which Gardner had left. The first intimation we had of this was that Gardner and another man had called at the police-station and made a report. It was undoubtedly after Gardner had seen Mrs. Dawson that he went to the police-station.  On the following Friday evening, I saw Gardner get out of the Newmarket train. I spoke to him about Mr. Dawson’s trap, and he admitted that he was responsible for the trap, and that if it was not forthcoming he would make it right. He stated that he gave a man a shilling to take the pony and trap home. I asked him to meet me here at the Guildhall the following morning, so that we could have it over. I told Dawson that Gardner would be here. A conversation took place, in the course of which Gardner repeated what he had said. In consequence of a suggestion, Gardner was then given into custody, but discharged for want of evidence, after having been remanded twice. On February 2Sth, a telegram was received from London, and in consequence I went to Black burn-street station. Southwark. I was taken to a cell where I saw the prisoner Banton, who was told that I was an officer from Cambridge. I told him he would be charged with stealing a pony and trap, belonging Mr. Dawson, at Cambridge. He said did not steal it. He was walking from Newmarket to Cambridge, when two men in a pony and trap overtook him. They asked him to have a ride, and he got in. Some conversation ensued about betting. They called at several places to have some drink. Banton bet Gardner £60 to £10 against Shrewsbury winning the Cambridgeshire, and expected the £10 but Gardner said he always betted on the “nod.” Eventually Gardner said he (Banton) might have the pony and trap if he was not satisfied ; and if he won the bet, Gardner would let him have the money in return for the pony and trap. Gardner told Banton that he kept a large hotel at Brighton, and if he, Banton, paid him a visit he would make him welcome. Banton said he had the pony and trap ; but not knowing where to stay, he drove off London, and reached there the middle of the following day. He eventually sold the pony and trap for £6. I have known Gardner for some years. He occasionally lives in Cambridge. He is a betting man.

Gardner: You did not attempt to get out of anything. You said you would your best to find Banton.

Banton : When you told me you did not steal the pony and trap, you might have said that you did not know it was stolen.

The Clerk of the Peace then read the prisoners’ statements made before the magistrates.

Inspector said: I was duty at the police station, at 10.30 a m., on the 24th of October, when Gardner called with a man, named Garland, and stated that on the previous day he hired a pony and trap of Mr. Dawson to go to Newmarket. Upon their return they overtook a young man, named Banton. who rode with them. When they arrived at Cambridge, he (Gardner) gave the man Banton shilling to take the pony and trap home, but it had not been seen since. Gardner further stated that he knew Banton well, and felt there must some mistake. He would make inquiries, and call again at the police-station.

Detective Sergeant Kirbyshire said he had made inquiries about Garland, but could not find out who he was.

Gardner then addressed the jury, denying that he ever had a bet with Banton, and stating that it was through Garland he entrusted the pony and trap to Banton.

Banton also addressed the jury, pointing out that Gardner had not 10d to  pay for the steak, but yet a few minutes after he stated he gave him a 1s. to take the trap home. He contradicted Gardner’s statement, about having a shilling to take the pony and trap home. He stated that he did not steal the pony and trap and never thought of doing such thing.

The Recorder then summed the case the jury, remarking that it was rather important for them to know the circumstances under which the prosecutor let the pony and trap to Gardner, and calling attention to what transpired at Wilderspin’s. He observed that they might ask what should prevent Gardner driving the trap home after going within 150 yards of the place where he hired it, but that should profer trusting it to man whom he had picked up on the road. The learned Recorder also alluded to the point put forward by the prisoner Banton, respecting the giving to him of a shilling.  In conclusion, he pointed out that Gardner’s friend, Garland, who could have cleared up the case about the bet, was not called, and the inference to be drawn was that he did not wish to be mixed up with the case.

Jury retired, and after a short absence, returned with verdict of guilty against both prisoners.

Gardner observed that ought to have taken the pony trap home ; he was responsible for it.

Banton contended that it was impossible for both of them to be guilty, and was proceeding to argue the  point, when

The learned RECORDER said it was not at all impossible but he was not going to argue the point. He was satisfied that Gardner was the worst of the  two, certainly the oldest, and he would be sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment, while Banton would be sentences to six months.

East Road Reading Room c1900 (MoC336/63)


Free Library and Reading Room, Barnwell Branch

James Ingall, custodian

The first anniversary of the old Barnwell Working Men’s Reading Room (now under a widened East Road!) 13 Jan 1855

J C Hill, farrier and builder’s smith


By 1920 the farrier business had been taken over by John Child Junior, son of farrier John Child of Northampton Street

John Child junior, farrier, East Road

1937 (44)

Charles Long, upholsterer

Reading Rooms (Branch of Free Library), C Lindsay, custodian

J Child, blacksmith

Old Red Lion Yard, (MoC 15/68/53)




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