Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Persevering Vagrant

from my email:-

Transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick from the 9 December 1823 edition of
The Strabane Morning
Post newspaper, by permission of The British Library:

A Persevering Vagrant.

English Police.--In 1823, Mary Crawley, a native of Ireland, and her five children, became chargeable to the parish of Poplar, but having no legal settlement there, it was resolved to pass them over to their native place. They were accordidgly [sic] sent off, but at Coinbrook[,] Mother Mary escaped from the vagrant's cart, and leaving all her children to the kind attentions of the conductor, suddenly disappeared.

On their arrival at Bristol, the Mayor refused to pass them further without the mother, and they were all sent back to the work-house at Poplar.

In May of the present year Mary also found her way back to Poplar; but satisfied by her inquiries that her children were in good keeping, took no pains to see them. Still Poplar was her favourite residence, till she was discovered and taken up by the parish officers, who, determined once for all to get rid of Mary and her five cherubs, sent them off in the mail coach to Bristol, whence they were regularly shipped for Cork.

By what storm they were all blown back on the English coast, or how they reached, is not known; but, to the great surprise of every one, in the following month of July, the four Misses and the little Master Crawley were found safely deposited on the steps of Poplar workhouse. Mary herself was not seen till Tuesday week, when the officers discovered her in the neighbourhood of her old haunts, and took her up.

On Friday she was committed to prison, at the request of the parish officers, who mean to prosecute her. The young travellers, the eldest of whom is only 12 years old, and the youngest 16 months, are good-looking children, and seem to have thriven on parish fare.



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