It’s the rich wot gets the pleasure

And the poor knew their place.

This is the story from the Bow St Magistrate’s Court in 1862. It’s the tale of a cheapo toff who was embarrassed when a short-changed cabby chased him and shouted at him in the street for underpaying. Using his position in society the man turned the tables on the cabman by dragging him to court.

Putting two and two together and making five, the ‘gentleman’ who brought the charges against the cabby could have been the cricketer and cleric Edmund Henry Lacon Willes, (Winchester and Oxford, fast bowler for Kent and Hampshire). I only say that as one of his stops he made was at the newspaper Sporting Life. If not then I defame the memory of Willes, but you know what they say about fast bowlers…

The poor cabby knew he would never be believed, even though his story sounds like the truth. On the balance of probabilities he is unlikely to have done what he did unless he knew that Willes was in the wrong. Victorian sense of place was not to be on his side, however…it's the rich

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3 Responses to It’s the rich wot gets the pleasure

  1. the Police Magistrate says:

    it probably did help that cab drivers had a very poor reputation in the 1800s. I do find magistrate’s taking their side but generally when the ‘fare’ has acted badly, was drunk, or there are witnesses.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. the Police Magistrate says:

    didn’t help I meant!

    Like

  3. That will be with me for the rest of the evening, full-mouthed accent included!

    Like

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