A disgruntled teenager in Drury Lane

In May 1821 a young man was brought up for re-examination at Bow Street. He had been accused of attempting to rob a man in the crowds near  Drury Lane theatre.  The lad was unnamed but aged 18 and he worked in the Mews at Charing Cross. While he wasn’t a member of the Royal household he was employed alongside those that were.

Previously he had worked in the stables of  Lord William Petre,  a keen horseman who had acquired Napoleon’s horse Marengo after Waterloo. The accused stable hand had left his work at 6 in the evening (as he was allowed to do) and had gone out dressed in his ‘civvies’ (therefore not in his livery as a servant).


The King’s Mews at Charing Cross (T. H. Shepherd, engraved by J. Tingle. 1830)

He mingled with the crowd and according to witnesses, he attempted to rob several persons before he was caught by a gentleman whose gold watch he lifted. The young man denied he had done anything wrong and claimed those testifying against her had sworn falsely. In the end he was remanded again and two witnesses were bound over to prosecute. Without any names (either of the boy or the supposed victim) it is impossible to trace this case any further. However, we might look to a possible motive: apparently he was to be let go from his position at the end of the week, so perhaps this was the action of a resentful teenager, having been turned out on the streets without much hope of employment.

         [from The Morning Post, Tuesday, May 21, 1822]

One thought on “A disgruntled teenager in Drury Lane

  1. I quite like the link with Napoleon’s horse, Marengo. Something of a red herring in this story, but a nice link!


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