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April 26, 2013 / viewsfromasmallisland

Getting tough on crime old style

Prosecution of fellons r

Just to show that we keep up with modern crime fighting methods here in the UK I thought I would post this picture of the latest notice of the local association for the ‘Prosecution of Felons’ in my village.  This notice is still posted regularly in prominent places around the village as it has been since 1784.  I believe the rewards offered haven’t change since then either, which begs the question, why?  The answer is, I have no idea but these posters still promote rewards in a currency that no longer exists for people committing such acts as ‘sheep worrying’  and ‘stealing coal’.  For anyone not familiar with 18th century UK terminology for ne’er-do-wells,  a ‘footpad’ would be the 18th century equivalent of a mugger; not quite so grand as a highwayman.  The association still meets regularly.  I might try to collect on the stealing coal reward, I know some characters who wouldn’t stop at nicking the odd lump or two.

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4 Comments

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  1. kiwiskan / Apr 26 2013 8:51 pm

    Obviously it’s as bad to set fire to the corn as it is to murder…

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Apr 26 2013 10:00 pm

      Also, the reward was only payable if the crime was committed against a member of the Association. If the victim was not a member, no reward. An interesting record of how people (who could afford it) tried to protect themselves in the days before such a thing as police or Bobby Peelers existed. I have no idea why it is still posted with absolute regularity throughout the village. I expect it is required by some local by-law and someone has forgotten to repeal it.

    • stanze / Apr 26 2013 10:02 pm

      Since losing all the belongings can lead to suicide and possibly destroy a whole family, I guess that’s not that unjustified. But I wonder what’s sheep worrying, somebody shows the sheep a captive bolt gun? -“Look at this!” -“Oh no, mäh mäh mäh.” (worried sheep runs away)

  2. Gallivanta / Apr 27 2013 2:52 am

    Perhaps someone needs to post a reward notice for an explanation of the poster.

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