Aireborough Historical Society

1836 Yeadon Burglary

Yeadon Burglary
Date July 1836
Location Yeadon
Photo ID

                                     Burglary At Yeadon

    Richard Harrison (20) was indicted for having burglariously broken and entered the house of Wm. Dennison of Yeadon near Leeds and stolen a silver watch, four silver teaspoons and other articles.

    Mr Milner was counsel for the prosecution.

The prosecutor is a clothier at Yeadon and on the night of 26th of March last his family retired to bed about half past eleven o'clock having previously secured all the doors and windows.

After two o'clock the son of the prosecutor, who was in bed, was awoke by a person entering his bedroom door with a lighted candle in his hand.

The young man jumped out of bed and the intruder, whom he swore was the prisoner, whom he had known for some time, ran down the stairs immediately, threw the candle down at the bottom of the stairs  and ultimately affected his escape.

     On instituting an examination it was found that the house had been entered through the window and that the above property mentioned had been taken away.

About eight o'clock foot-marks were observed near the window in the ground, which was soft with rain.

These foot-marks were traced to the prisoner's dwelling and on comparing his shoes with the marks they corresponded exactly, even to the number of nail marks.

     The Jury without hesitation found the prisoner Guilty and his Lordship in ordering judgement of Death to be recorded said that he would have to spend the remainder of his days in exile in a far distant land, where he would be exposed to great hardship and privations and he could assure him that if any violence had been committed on any member of the prosecutor's family he would have paid the penalty with his life, for the full sentence of the law would have been carried into effect.

Image courtesy of the British Newspaper Archives, research by Edwy Harling

Further information by Christine Lovedale

From the early 1600s until the American War of independence convicts had been transported to the American colonies, then in 1787 the first fleet of ships left England bound for Australia carrying felons.

They arrived at Port Jackson (now Sydney) to found the first penal colony.

The transportation of criminals officially came to an end in 1868, by then approximately 164,000 people had been sent out to Australia on 806 ships.


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