Christmas Chickens and Probation

Quarter Session Minutes, part seven

Anne Langley

William Glassbrook and three other men stole six live tame fowls at Aston in December 1884 (presumably for the Christmas market). They all had previous convictions and each received eight months in prison with hard labour followed by one year of police supervision. This seems to be an early form of probation that appears in the Quarter Session minutes towards the end of the 19th century. I’ve not found any report on quite what this supervision consisted of (was it regular meetings with the local policeman or just a warning that the law was keeping an eye on you?) Nor do we know how successful it was at preventing future offending.

Warwickshire County Record Office reference QS 39/26 p. 459 (1884).

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