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Notorious Burglar Samuel Thomason


Tracey Bennett
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I stumbled across this article in the Royal Cornwall Gazette (of all places) from February 1875. Frustratingly, I can't find anything else about him, I did wonder if his surname had been mis-spelled and it should be Thompson or something.

 

SamuelThomasonRoyalCornwallGazette6Feb18

 

 

 

So I searched for Samuel Thompson and found this: 

 

SamuelThompsonManchesterMercury14Oct1800

 

Clearly not the same man as it was 75 years earlier and he was 40 then! Though I do wonder whether their deeds/notoriety got entangled?

 

This is all I can find, any ideas where I can try next? It's times like this I really wish the Guardian archive was online!

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I;ve not found anything yet after a quick look other than........

 

There's a Samuel Thomason listed on the Cheshire/Chester Assizes in 1839 (aged 40) being jailed for 6 months for 'misconduct house breaking with intent to steal'.  That would make that one's  DOB c1799 so he would have been 76 in 1875.

 

There is also a Samuel Thomason buried at St Wilfreds Church (Grappenhall) but it doesn't give an age or a date of death.

 

No idea if either of these are the same chap you are looking for though Traceym sorry. 

 

I'll try and have another look tomorrow if I have a bit more  time.

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I'm really surprised there's no other mention of him considering he was so notorious. I'd also imagine he'd have a lengthy criminal record. I don't really know very much about researching criminals, would there be records other than the Criminal registers on Ancestry? Any local Warrington records?

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I've already had a look on there and came up with the same info as Dizzy. From what I can tell, the Criminal Registers seem to reflect 'big' crimes at the Chester and Lancaster assizes, I wonder what happened to the 'smaller' crimes dealt with at smaller, local courts. Those records must exist somewhere? I kind of suspect that local newspapers are the best sources of detail but as the Guardian isn't digitised or indexed that would mean sitting and spooling through decades worth of papers on the off chance of coming up with something. 

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I've not found anything either so far Tracey and like you say it's a pitty that the more 'local' papers of the time around here have never been digitised so they are searchable online too.

 

Saying that we have been saying much the same about all the info from Warrington Library and Warrington's Museum archived records for a long time so maybe one day Warrington will 'catch up' with the rest of the world when it comes to making things more available online considering there is so much interest these days.

 

It really annoyes me to be honest as there must be so much hidden away in all those records which could be the missing jigsaw pieces to many people's research and interests and yet no-one can see them unless, like you say, they book a slot at the local library to trawl though endless reams of microfiches almost blindfolded. :|

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I forgot to add that as a so called notorious burglar.... 'Samuel Thomason' was probably another from the time who just changed his name as he travelled and committed his crimes as we found with other topics.  

 

I was about to say that it's a pitty he didn't murder anyone along the way to make it far easier to trace him but then realised that it would have sounded really really bad :oops:  

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Totally agree Dizzy. Even when you find something on the microfilm in the library it's very often illegible. I just hope the British Newspaper Archive gets on the case.

 

I know it's a regular moan on here but the Museum/Library doesn't seem to do a great job of promoting Warrington history, I wonder if anyone from there checks these boards? I may drop the library a line (if I can find their web page which is no mean feat since they changed it) and see if they can offer any advice on court records. 

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I've not found anything either so far Tracey and like you say it's a pitty that the more 'local' papers of the time around here have never been digitised so they are searchable online too.

 

Saying that we have been saying much the same about all the info from Warrington Library and Warrington's Museum archived records for a long time so maybe one day Warrington will 'catch up' with the rest of the world when it comes to making things more available online considering there is so much interest these days.

 

It really annoyes me to be honest as there must be so much hidden away in all those records which could be the missing jigsaw pieces to many people's research and interests and yet no-one can see them unless, like you say, they book a slot at the local library to trawl though endless reams of microfiches almost blindfolded. :|

Know what!, a couple of weeks ago I used the Museums website email facility to send a query regarding the Shannon & Chesapeake Inn, never received a reply!.

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Know what!, a couple of weeks ago I used the Museums website email facility to send a query regarding the Shannon & Chesapeake Inn, never received a reply!.

 

You should chase that up Algy and ask why you never received a reply and also inform them that YOU actually found the info yourself from elsewhere in the mean time.

 

I'm sure they are busy people but at the end of the day they are employed to provide such services and if they can't be bothered or don't have the time during their working day then maybe we should all take over their jobs as we always seem to manage to find things between us from various other sources with a bit of effort and team work. 

 

It really is bugging me today that all their stuff isn't searchable online so much so that I have a strong urge to complain now and actually ask them WHY and what they plan on doing about it !

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I can but try. The replies I've had from the library are invariably 'No idea, try Cheshire/Lancashire Record Office'. 

 

You can ring Chesire Records Office Tracey and they will do a free search for you as long as it doesn;t tkae them more that 10 mins.  Anything above that is chargeable.

 

You can of course go down and search for FREE but to view things you have to make an appointment (unless that has changed now).

 

I went a few times some years back trying to find info about our local school and we had to search their databases at home, inform them of exactly which records we wanted to view when we went.... take ID to join.... and then book a slot for a specific amount of time and view each individual thing sperately and rather quickly to say the least due due to our 2 hour time slot.  Other things were in the salt mines so we had to go back again to see those.

 

The staff were very friendly though but couldn't really help us anymore that we had helped ourselves in the search for answers but then again being over in Chester they were not really familiar with the school or area we were looking at.

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OMG it gets even worse.

 

The Cheshire (Chester) Records Office website used to be pretty good for seeing what they had and I've just been on it.... a bit of a let down.

 

There is a link on their site which is supposed to show what info is held at Warrington Library.  You click on the link now and it takes you to Warrington Borough Council's website which then returns a 'Page Not Found' error.  Ths't WBC's fault though and it happened with a lot of external links when they revamped their website and moved things around but you would have thought someone would have noticed by now from either side or that users would have reported it :roll: .

 

As if that wasn't bad enough Chester Records office also say they hold the court records for the  'Cheshire County 1/4 sessions'... 'Chester City 1/4 sessions' and also the 'Petty Sessions' records which also include Warrington courts and other local ones etc. 

 

You click on the links to presumably be able to search those or see what is available and guess what.... they all return an internal  '404 File or Directory not found' error :evil:

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I have actually been to the CRO, when we came up north at the October half term holiday Dad and I went. Unfortunately we drew a blank on most stuff we were looking for but the library was well organised and staff very helpful and friendly. I've also reported a few errors on their website and they've been very good about responding and putting things right. Have you tried A2a dizz? The catalogue should be duplicated on there.

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Yes, particularly active threads are labelled 'hot' and we just achieved that status. If you have a look at the front page (not sure if that's the right term) of the 'History' board, you'll see some threads have a small, orange 'Hot' by them. 

Thanks Tracey.

I wonder how they achieve that status, no doubt Dizzy will inform us.

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