Source 3


[Oval stamp for Secretary G.N.R. for Great Northern Railway, 10 January 1867]

Inspectors Office

Kings Cross Station

9th February 1867

Horatio Holland convicted of stealing a copper tap at Leeds [Station]


This boy who is 10 years old was apprehended [stopped] at Leeds by our Borough Police on suspicion of stealing a copper tap value 7 shillings. He was taken before a Magistrate [judge] on the 20th ultimo [of last month] and remanded until the 4th instant [kept in custody until the 4th of the present month].

Subsequent enquiry shewed that the tap was stolen from the urinal yard [men’s toilets] at the Central Station Leeds and was therefore the property of this Company [Great Northern Railway].

He was convicted of the offence on the 4th instant by Joseph Bateson & Edwin Esquires Borough Justices and sentenced to receive 12 strokes with a birch rod on his bare back which sentence was carried out under the inspection of Mr. Bateson.

This is for your information, after perusal [looking over] please forward [this letter] to the Secretary.

I am Sir,

Yours obediently,

Thomas Williams


C. Johnson Esquire

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Look at Source 3

Extract from a report about the theft of a copper tap at Leeds Station written for the Board of the Great Northern Railway. (Catalogue ref: RAIL 236/299/11)

  • What type of document is it?
  • Who has written it?
  • What is the report is about?
  • What was age of the boy concerned?
  • Why do you think he carried out this theft?
  • Does this source give any insight into police methods at the time?
  • Why do you think this boy was punished like this?
  • Do you think sources 1 & 3 suggest that crime increased because of the railways?
  • Can you think of other reasons why people turned to crime in the 19th century?

What other sources could you use to find out?