Source: The Times, 25, 126 11g
Date: 7 March 1865
WORSHIP-STREET. - Frederick Jackson, George White, Frederick Harrison, Charles Orridge, William Brown, William Kelsey, Alfred Bannister, Henry Bowers, Henry Bainstead, George Rowe, Richard Sharpe, Henry and Frederick Putt, Joseph Pluckrose, Henry Joyce, and George Heath, youths, varying from 13 up to 19 and of various trades and callings, were charged before Mr. COOKE with riotous conduct in London-fields, Hackney, with assaulting Harris, Isted, Jones, and King, constables of the N division, in the execution of their duty, and inciting a mob to rescue prisoners from custody.
For a fortnight past there has been a kind of fair established in London-fields, accompanied by a large menagerie, booths, swings, and other usual accompaniments, and this has caused great annoyance to the respectable inhabitants of the houses which surround the spot. On Sunday, though there was no exhibition or performance of any kind going on, a crowd of about 1,000 noisy and disreputable characters collected. and in spite of resistance got into the swings, indulged in hooting and shouting, and became so noisy and riotous that the police were obliged to interfere and endeavour to disperse them. Stones and other missiles were thrown about in all directions, one of which struck Harris on the back of the head, causing him to fall and become insensible for a time, while another struck Isted on the ear, and King was kicked at, struck on the head, and had his hat knocked off. Other policemen were sent for from the station, who took several lads who were pointed out as having assisted in the disturbance into custody; an attempt was then made by others to rescue them.
The prisoners called two or three witnesses to show that some of them could not have been very active in the affray, as they had not left home and other places long enough; but Mr. COOKE convicted the whole of them, and sentenced them to various penalties of 5s., 3s., and 2s. 6d., in proportion to their ages, or various days’ imprisonment in default, and assured them that if brought there again for a similar disturbance he would inflict a penalty of 40s. in each case.
Mr. Frank Pearson, coachbuilder, of London-place, London-fields, then asked the magistrate what course should be pursued to put a stop to this nuisance, which was so intolerable that many of the more respectable occupiers of houses which adjoined the ground were leaving the neighbourhood. He had had at least 200 boys collected before his house, making the most disgraceful noises and causing his family the greatest annoyance. The menagerie was closed each night about half-past 10, but the other booths were open till 11 and half-past 11. There had been a fair there a few years ago, which lasted only a few days, and on a notice being given of another fair bills were posted setting forth its illegality, and that, therefore, did not take place; but this fair had already lasted a fortnight, and if something were not done to stop it he heard it was likely to last till April. The ground was a large open space of about 27 acres, and no sanction whatever, he understood, had been given to hold the fair by anybody. He had not applied to the parish officers to suppress it, as they knew it was there and must see it, and if they had the power to do so would, he should think, put it in force. His hope was that the magistrate had the power, and if he had and would enforce it it would be a very great benefit. Application had been made to the police, but they had not the power.
Inspector Morris, N division, said the land was Lammas land, with the usual rights attaching to that were claimed to be exercised in this instance. He thought Mr. Pearson’s apprehension as to the fair continuing much longer was not well founded, as several of the people there had left already. The vestry, he believed, had control of the land.
Mr. COOKE said if the fair were held unlawfully the police might interfere to suppress the nuisance complained of; but he had no power to interfere as suggested.
This looks like Joseph Pluckrose [PL1515 in Tree1010] who lived in Hackney and would have been age 19 at the time. He was probably fined 5 shillings.