Category: Animals – Horses

An Intelligent Horse Delivers the Mail

The Edinburgh and London Royal Mail by John Frederick Herring, 1838.
The Edinburgh and London Royal Mail by John Frederick Herring, 1838.

One night in 1894, while on the mail route from Ramsgate to Dover, the driver of a mail cart was attacked by two armed men.  According to the Leeds Times, he was “cut about the head and face” and then struck in the back of the head with a “heavy implement.”  He was later found unconscious on a roadway near Sandwich.  What the thieves intended to steal from the mail cart is unclear, for they were ultimately thwarted in their goal.  Having seen them attack his master, the mail horse bolted away with the mail before the two villains could catch him.[…]Continue Reading

Victorian Magistrate Orders Child Horse Thieves to be “Well Birched”

A Girl and a Boy Riding Ponies in Wales, 1885 .(National Library of Wales)
A Girl and a Boy Riding Ponies in Wales, 1885 .
(National Library of Wales)

Stealing a horse during the 19th century was a serious crime.  Those convicted could be heavily fined, sent to prison, sentenced to hard labor, or even executed.  But what if the horse thief in question was only a child?  Unsurprisingly, there were many incidents of child horse thieves in Victorian England.  Not all were hardened street criminals.  Some were simply immature youths tempted by the opportunity of an open stable door and the chance to make an easy few pounds.  An 1886 issue of the Dundee Evening Telegraph reports just such a story.  The fiendish criminal in question?  A ten-year-old boy from South Yorkshire.[…]Continue Reading

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