Poaching and Petty Thieving in St Albans

A Talk by Chris Reynolds

The Stratton Family

Joseph's wife steals water in 1878


Wednesday, Jan 30

Before Mr R H Prior , M.D. (Mayor), Mr W C Smith  and Mr E S Wiles .

Proceedings by the Water Company

Eliza Butler and Mary Ann Stratton were charged by the St Albans Water Company with taking water in the parish of St Alban on the 12th Jan., and Mary Ann Hanmer for supplying water to the said Mary Ann Stratton.

Mr Phillips, the manager, said the object of the company was to put a stop to the petty robberies of water which had been going on all over the city for some time. In some instances where only one person in a yard paid for water, as many as six or seven other people were supplied. The company did not wish to press for a penalty if the defendants would admit the charge and pay the expenses.

The Mayor said it was necessary that the poor should be supplied with water; the landlords should lay it on to each house.

Mr Phillips said several persons had been caught before, but the company had now determined to put a stop to the practice.

The defendants then consented to pay the expenses, 7s 6d, in each case, a week being allowed to find the money.

Herts Advertiser 2nd February 1878