Calling all bounty hunters!

CCHS Archives

Oxford Journal 1758

The ‘WANTED’ ads in old newspapers reveal much about life in the villages and towns before the county police forces were established. Anyone could apprehend someone who had absconded and take the reward.  It was usually men who left their families behind but also apprentices who might have been treated badly or wanted a better life in the towns.

We have been able to trace some of them through our parish records but there is more to do – Volunteers WANTED!

Oxford Journal 19 May 1832

TO MASTER TAILORS.

WHEREAS WILLIAM FLETCHER, apprentice to Mr. Thomas Rogers, tailor, of Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, has absconded from his said master’s service; this is to caution all persons against employing or harbouring him. The said William Fletcher is about 16 years of age, 4 feet 3 or 4 inches high, light complexion, and is a good-looking lad: had on when he went away a short brown coat, blue trowsers, and a pair of quarter boots.

William Fletcher came back – he appears in the 1841 census, a 25yr-old (qualified) tailor, living with his wife Charlotte and 3 month-old baby in Cow Fair, Campden.

Oxford Journal 21 March 1778

Chipping-Campden, Gloucestershire, March 14, 1778 WHEREAS THOMAS TOMBLINGS, of Chipping Campden, Weaver, lately eloped from his Wife, leaving her chargeable to the Parish of Chipping Campden: Any Person that will apprehend the said Thomas Tomblings, by Virtue of a Warrant from one of his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace, and deliver him to the Overseers the Poor of Campden, shall receive of the said Overseers Half a Guinea Reward, and all reasonable Expences. He is a remarkable thin black Man, between fifty and sixty Years of Age, about five Feet six Inches high; had on, when he went away, a Raven Grey Coat, and Pair of greasy leather Breeches.

Also, GEORGE DAVISS, Pedlar, or Cork Seller, and JOHN JAMES, lately a Carter, leaving Charges and Incumbrances Upon the aforesaid Parish of Campden. Any Person apprehending either or both of the said George Daviss and John James, by Warrant as aforesaid, and delivering them, or either of them, to the aforesaid Parish Officers, shall receive Half a Guinea for each of them, and all reasonable expences. George Daviss is a lusty tall Man, with black Hair, about twenty years of age, has a long Visage, and a large Nose, and used to wear a blue close-bodied Great Coat. John James is about twenty-two Years of Age, five Feet five or six Inches high; had on, when he went away, a light coloured Coat; has light-brown Hair, and a small Cast with one of his Eyes. R. KEYTE, N. SMITH, Overseers.

Oxford Journal 1 March 1783

PARISH POOR.

WHEREAS William Pearce, employed upwards of a Year and a Half last past, under a very considerable Salary, in the Care and Management of the Parish Poor belonging to the Parish of Campden, in the County of Gloucester, has lately absconded without settling his Accounts; and it being strongly suspected that he has embezzled and taken away with him, very considerable Property belonging to the said Parish. Notice is hereby given That whosoever will give Information to the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of the said Parish of Campden, so that the said William Pearce may be apprehended and dealt with according to Law, will be handsomely rewarded for their Trouble. The said William Pearce has left a Wife and Child, who are chargeable to the Parish. N.B. Pearce is middle-aged Man, about five Feet eight Inches high, wears his own Hair, which (is) brown, and hangs loose upon his Shoulders; and was about two Years ago employed In the Management of the Poor of Hook-Norton, in Oxfordshire, and has been private Soldier in the Regulars.

Oxford Journal 5 April 1783

CAMPDEN, Gloucestershire, April 2d, 1783 WHEREAS Thomas Timbrill. Apprentice to Wm. Taylor, Breeches-Maker, has eloped from his Master without the least Provocation or Discord — Whoever will bring the said Thomas Timbrill to his said Master, receive, for their Trouble Half an Ounce of Twopenny Thread And whosoever shall harbour or employ him after this Advertisement, will, if found out, be prosecuted according to Law; but if the Apprentice will return to his Duty, he will receive his Master’s Pardon. N. B. The said Thomas Timbrill is about 19 Years of Age, fresh Complexion, and about five Feet five Inches high. Had on when eloped, a brown Coat, Buff Waistcoat, and leather Breeches.

Oxford Journal 10 May 1828

TWO GUINEAS REWARD.

WHEREAS JOHN HARROD, stone mason, late of Chipping-Campden, Gloucestershire, has left his wife and family chargeable to the parish; This is to give notice, whoever will apprehend and deliver the said John Harrod to the Overseers of the said parish, shall receive a reward of Two Guineas. The said John Harrod is of fair complexion, light hair and eyes, and stands five feet seven inches high; had on when he left Campden a fustian frock and trowsers.

John Harrod was found or returned – a Campden Removal order: 11 Aug 1828 John Harrod, wife Mary and child John 15 months to Over Norton in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.

Oxford Journal 19 May 1832

TO MASTER TAILORS.

WHEREAS WILLIAM FLETCHER, apprentice to Mr. Thomas Rogers, tailor, of Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, has absconded from his said master’s service; this is to caution all persons against employing or harbouring him. The said William Fletcher is about 16 years of age, 4 feet 3 or 4 inches high, light complexion, and is a good-looking lad: had on when he went away a short brown coat, blue trowsers, and a pair of quarter boots.

William Fletcher came back – he appears in the 1841 census, a 25 yr-old tailor, living with his wife Charlotte and 3 month-old baby in Cow Fair, Campden

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