Amazing Stories

Witch Trials & Capital Punishment from The Three Cups (1601-1638)

Witch Trials at the Three Cups in Harwich

Twenty-seven women from Harwich were found guilty of witchcraft and hanged. The hangings were often a very public affair, drawing large crowds, the events were advertised on flyers which attracted entertainers and vendors of food. The punishments were meted out from a mansion house called The Three Cups (the site was at 64 Church Street, and is now in residential use), which was owned by Anthony Seward, and sed to hold sessions of the peace. As was the case in other areas, most of the women accused of witchcraft were widows or spinsters.

Elizabeth Hudson and Elizabeth Hanby were accused of witchcraft and went before the justices at Harwich on 20 April 1601, where they were judged guilty and subsequently hanged. Hanby was the eldest of three generations of women who were thought to be descended rom witches nd to have given birth to witches. Hanby's daughter, Jane Prentice, was tried at the Essex Assizes on 1 August 1634 for bewitching Cecily, the wife of William Field, whereby she died on 20 October. She was acquitted, but faced trial again in 1638, this time with her granddaughter, Susan Practice. 

Elizabeth Hankinson and Alice Babb were also hanged after their trial for witchcraft on 25th August 1601, and on 29 October, Mary Hart was accused of bewitching 7lb of meat which turned putrid. She was found not guilty, but the accusation hung over her, and, fueled by an apparent dislike by the people of the town, she was found guilty on another charge and hanged a year later.

Margaret Butler of Dovercourt, appeared with her sister Anne on 4 August 1615, indicted for sending one of Anne Buller's familiars, a bird, to bewitch John, the 13-year-old son of William Camper, yeoman. Camper testified that his son 'fell ill with stomach pains and awoke during the night much frightened and scared with  thing fluttering on his face in his sleep like a bird and he said, pray God Mother Buller did not send me something unto me this night.' Two days later, John was dead. Both sisters were pronounced guilty and hanged.

The trial of Jane Wiggins took place in 1634, where Thomasine, the wife of Richard Hedge, testified that Wiggins told her she had gone to beg some fish from Anthony Payne, the master of a ship at Harwich (which was being readied for a voyage to sea). He denied her, and she told him not to return in haste. The ship and its crew of sixteen persons were subsequently 'cast away'.

Wiggns also went to the house of one John Hatch for 'fyer,' which was empty but for a girl of about 12 years of age, who refused her because there wasn't enough in the hearth to spare, whereupon Wiggins told the child that she would 'fidle her for it, and immediately after the child was taken strangely sicke and hath continued languishinge and distracted ever since.'

Hedge continued giving her testimony by saying that she was at the house of the said Jane Wiggins, who presently went out:

... 'after her running to fetch fyer, and was no sooner gon out of her house but thear came from under her bed three things much like Ratts only a little lesse with great staring eyes, and fter a wyle gazine (on her) they went away but what they weare (she) knoweth not, nor did the same Jane tell her although she asked her.'

Further to that, Hedge went on to say that about the time of the previous Michaelmas, she saw Wigginscarrying two 'imp lyke Ratts but somewhat bigger' in a box, and left one of them at the house of Edward Maiers, who died four days later, and that she sent another of her 'familiars to terrify Margaret Garrettt with pains and lameness because she the said Margaret would give her no starch.'

Jane Wiggins seemed to have been somewhat handy with her 'imps', as she sent 'two Black Birds aboute the bignes f two penny chikins' to strike Mr Seamen's mare.

Clearly Wiggins was not the most popular person among the inhabitants of Harwich at that time, and she was taken before the assizes held at Chelmsford on 26th Februaryb 1634 for jail delivery. She was subsequently hanged as a witch for her perceived crimes. (Peter C. Brown, Essex Witches, 2014, p.106)

A Capital Good Fellow at The Three Cups (1881)

Mr Bull at the Three Cups in Harwich, Essex


This story of the Three Cups is taken from a book written by Edward Henry Lisle Reeve of Stondon Massey in 1881. Mr Smythies of Colchester is to be remembered among other reasons for his celebrated toast at the hostelrie of the Three Cups at Harwich. The Three Cups was kept by a Mr Bull who was a universal favourite. Mr Smythies being called upon for a toast when dining there one evening gave, to the delight of the party assembled, this following sentiment.

“Here’s to health of Mr Bull

And may his Cups be always full”.

We have said Mr Bull was popular.  And no wonder.  He was a man whom it was impossible to put out of temper.  At any rate he was capable of enduring considerable provocation without a murmur. On one occasion twelve officers [of the West Suffolk Militia] were to dine together at The Three Cups.  While waiting for dinner to be served they began to form a wager among themselves as to the possibility or impossibility of ruffling the temper of Mr Bull, and for the sake of the bet, they divided their number equally, six taking one side, and six the other.  Dinner was served in due course, and Mr Bull, according to his custom, brought on the first dish – a beautiful salmon – himself.  This the officers found great fault with, saying that it was bad, and odoriferous.  And, all through dinner, they took occasion to complain of everything brought to the table.  The very bill at the end they grumbled at, and called the items in question: the wine – the best Mr Bull could produce – they voted positively disagreeable. 

Mr Bull came forward himself to apologise.  He was not the least ruffled, but said that he was truly sorry not to have given satisfaction, as he had taken a great deal of trouble about the dinner, and could only say that he begged they would think no more about the bill, but let it pass.  Upon this they all burst into a hoarse laugh; explained to Mr Bull that they had had a wager at his expense, voted him a capital good fellow, paid the bill, and ordered just such another dinner for the ensuing week.

The Desperadoes at The Three Cups (Before 1780)

Abraham Hinde at the Three Cups in Harwich, Essex

In Harwich, on 5th April, Mr Abraham Hinde, of the Three Cups Tavern, on retiring to bed about eleven or twelve o'clock last night, thinking he smelt fire, immediately made search about his house, when not finding any fire he went out and saw two men in sailors clothes endeavouring to convey fire into the cellar of the dwelling house of Henry Pilham Davies, Esq. 

Mr Hinde desiring to know what their designs were, they cut him down with cutlasses, and in all probability would have murdered him had not some persons, on hearing him cry out, gone to his assistance, at the appearance of whom the villains made off, leaving a bunch of matches and a bottle of gunpowder near Mr Davie's. 

The militia drum, under Colonel Suckling, beat to arms, and the town being soon alarmed, the constables and militia made search after the desperadoes, but they are not yet discovered; several bunches of matches and bottles with gunpowder have been found in various parts of the town. 

Mr. Hinde continues very ill, but it is thought not to be in danger”. (The Country News Monthly Chronologer, 1780, p.237)  

Gone to Sea in a Coach, Drunk at The Three Cups (1827)

Drunk at the Three Cups, Harwich in Essex

A Quartermaster of Infantry, with a nose of the genuine Bardolph complexion, a rosy and eternal smile, a short figure, and a big head, having dined with a party of brother officers at the Three Cups, Harwich - the day on which his regiment marched into the barracks of that town was in the best possible spirits: so much so, that he gave the bottle no rest until about eleven o’clock; and became “glorious,” just as the company broke up. Right or wrong, he would go along with three of the youngest subalterns to ramble by the sea-side in the moonshine, having been “so long i' the sun.” They permitted him reluctantly; perhaps, indeed, because they could not prevent him; but when the party got down to the place where passengers and goods are usually embarked, the Quartermaster became totally overpowered, and sank senseless into a snore. The officers whom he accompanied could not think of carrying his corpus back to the Three Cups Inn; nor were there any persons near whom they could employ for the purpose: one of them, therefore, opened the door of a private carriage which stood near, “un shipped” from the wheels - ready for embarkation - and in a moment the sleeper was bundled into it, where he was left to his repose, with the door fast shut upon him.

Next morning at day-break, (about three o'clock,) the coach, with its contents, was put on board the Hamburgh packet, and stowed away at the very bottom of the hold: in half-an-hour after this, the vessel put to sea. For the whole of the day the packet had a brisk breeze, and at midnight was a good hundred miles away from Harwich: a dead calm set in. It was a beautiful might in July, and the passengers were not all gone to bed: some walked the deck, and others sat below at cards - everything was silent, except the rattling of the ropes as the ship yielded to the smooth and gentle swell of the sleeping North Sea. About this time, the Quartermaster, it is supposed, awoke; at least he had not been heard before to utter his complaints, probably from the bustle consequent on the managing of the vessel in a stiff breeze. However, it was at this time that his cracked and buried voice first fell upon the ears of the crew; and for about twenty minutes the panic it created is indescribable. The whist company in the cabin at first thought it was one of the sailors in a chest, and called the captain, who declared he had been that minute examining into the cause of the unearthly sounds, and had mustered his crew, all of whom were on deck, as much astonished as he was - nay, more so, for one of them, a Welshman, felt convinced that the voice proceeded from the speaking trumpet of the ghost of David Jones, his former shipmate, “who had died in ill-will with him.” “Let me out, you rascals' let me out - let me out, I say!” screamed the voice with increased vigour. These exclamations the Welshman declared were addressed to devils that were tormenting his deceased enemy, David; and he uttered a fervent prayer for the peace of the wandering and unhappy soul: but a different idea was awakened in the mind of the captain by the words, “Let me out.” “There is somebody packed up in the hold,” exclaimed he; and instantly ordering the men to follow him down, all began to remove the upper layer of articles; which being done, the voice became louder and more distinct. “Where are you?” bawled the captain. “I’m here in a coach, confound you!” answered the Quartermaster.

Quartermaster. - The mystery was now solved, and the Welshman made easy; but no one could imagine how a human being could have got into the carriage. However, satisfaction on this point was not to be waited for; so the men fell to work, , and after about half-an-hour's hard exertion, succeeded indisincumbering the vehicle. They then proceeded to unpack the Quartermaster, whose astonishment amounted almost to madness when he found that he had not only been confined in a coach, but in a ship, and that the said ship was then in the middle of the German Ocean' It was impossible to put back to Harwich, so no remedy was left the little fat gentleman, but to proceed to the end of the voyage, and to take a passage back from Hamburgh as soon as possible. This was bad enough; but his hopes of an early return were almost destroyed by the setting in of adverse winds, which kept the vessel beating about in a most bile-brewing and stomach-stirring ocean, for ten days and nights; during which time, when not sea-sick, the Quartermaster was employed in profoundly meditating how he could have got into the coach; and even after having taken the opinion of the captain, the crew, and all the passengers, upon the matter, he felt himself as much in the dark as ever. The last thing he could recollect of “the land he had left,” was that he had dined and wined at the Three Cups.

What followed was chaos. But the worst of the affair decidedly was, that the day on which he had been put to sea was the 22d of the month, and as it was impossible for him to make his appearance with his regiment on the 24th, he knew he must, as a matter of course, be reported “Absent without leave” at head quarters, and that he would most probably be superseded. This reflection was even worse than the weather to the Quartermaster, though the rough sea had almost already “brought his heart up.” However, he had great hopes of being able to join his regiment on the 10th of the following month - the next return day - and, by due application, he thought he might contrive to prevent supersession. Ten days of this time was, however, consumed before he set a foot upon the German shore, and then only half of his excursion was over: all his hopes rested upon a quick passage back to Harwich. This, however, the fates denied him; for, having drawn on the agent - got the cash - engaged his passage to England - laid in sea-stock, and all things necessary - the packet, just as she was leaving Hamburgh, was run foul of by a five hundred ton ship, and so much injured that she was obliged to put back, and the unfortunate Quartermaster was thus compelled to wait a fortnight for another opportunity of returning to England. He not only was delayed beyond the 10th, (return-day.) but beyond the following 24th, and when he did arrive, he found that he had been not only superseded by the Commander-in-chief, but considered dead by all his friends and relations! However, on personally applying for reinstatement, he obtained it, and once more joined his old corps at Harwich, where he many a night amused the mess with the recital of his trip to sea in the coach; which was always given with most effect when he was half-seas over! (Robertson & Atkinson, The Ant, Glasgow, 1827).    

Inquest at The Three Cups, Drowned at The Pier (1869)

Drowned from drinking at the Three Cups, Harwich in Essex

On Monday morning an inquest was heard at the Three Cups Hotel, before W. Codd, coroner, when the following particulars were given in evidence It appears that on Saturday a party of coast guardsmen arrived here to proceed by the Magnet Gunboat to Sheerness. Sidney Clarke a carpenter on board HMS Pembroke said he was with the deceased till 11 o’ clock on Saturday night, at which time he left him to get lodgings. Deceased appeared perfectly sober when he last saw him. 

Mr. Charles Durrant, a customs officer said he saw deceased lying on the pier at half-past 12 on Saturday night. He touched him with his foot and said “It’s a cold night”, and deceased said “All Right”, and went to sleep. At one o’ clock on Sunday morning, a boatman named George Puxley saw deceased lying asleep on the Pier. At Half past one a Coastguardsman picked up a Coastguardsman hat but did not see anyone lying on the pier. 

At nine o’clock in the morning James Hart, a fisherman saw a body floating in three feet of water close under the Pier. It was at once got into a boat and taken to the Coastguard Station when it was identified as James William Cobbett. The jury found a verdict of “Found Drowned”. The Deceased leaves a widow and one child. (The Ipswich Journal, Saturday, May 8, 1869) 

Three Million US Dollars Captured, Body at The Three Cups (1799)

Another body at the Three Cups, Harwich in Essex


We  are happy to confirm the statement in our last, reflecting the capture  of a second Spanish galleon, called the Santa Brigada, mounting 42 guns,  and 320 men. Besides the treasure on board, which is estimated at three  millions of dollars, there is also a very valuable cargo of cochineal,  sugar, coffee, etc. The capture of these rich prizes is entitled to be considered not nearly as the success of the merits Officers, whose fortunes they will  make. They will add a million sterling in bullion to the capital of  England.

General Moore and some other wounded Officers arrived at Sheerness on Wednesday, from Holland, in the Amethyst frigate. On Tuesday and Wednesday, a great number of wounded men were bought  ashore at Harwich, and conveyed to the hospitals, where they were  dressed and the principal part of them returned on board the transports, which are ordered to proceed to Colchester.

Lieutenant Colonel Dawkins, of the guards, who left the Helder on Friday last, died on his passage on Sunday morning. His body has been bought on  shore, and lies at the Three Cups Inn at Harwich, till directions for  his interment are received from his family. (The London Chronicle, vol.85, Saturday October 26th 1799)

Three Cups Attempted Murder (1746)



Harwich, Dec. 18, 1746. This is to give Notice,

That Anne Rote, lately living at Emsworth in Hampshire, whose Husband being drowned in the Storm on Midsummer Day last, between Dover and Deal, she was thereupon (having no Relations in England) put upon the necessity of disposing of what Goods and Effects she had, to raise money in order to carry her to Hamburg, where she has a Mother that has promised to provide for her. Accordingly she proceeds from Emsworth to Harwich, in order to go by Packet Boat to Holland; but when she came to Harwich on Saturday Evening the 29th November last past, she was robb'd of a large Brown Box, and 1 large Woman's Trunk with two Draws at the Bottom, (by some Persons at present not perfectly known) in which was contained all her wearing Apparel of considerable Value, besides two Diamond Rings, a Pair of Diamond Pendants, and fix Breast Buckles for Woman's stays sparkled with Diamonds, to the Value of about sixty or seventy Pounds.

And likewise one of the said Persons that are supposed to have robbed her, (who appeared to her to be a Gentleman Servant) enticed her out of the Three Cups Kitchen where she was at Harwich, by a false Pretence that he would shew her the Way to the Packet Boat; but instead of that, another Person joined him in the Street, dress'd like a Gentleman, who led her to some lonesome Fields near Harwich, where they offered to be rude with her; and on her refusing to comply with their Importunity, one of them knocked her down with the Handle of a Hanger, which fractur'd her Scull and took her Senses, where they left her till she was found the next Day in the Field almost dead, and at the same Time she was robb'd of a green Purse out of her Pocket, in which was twenty Guineas and one shilling; of which said fracture in her Scull she lay dangerously ill for almost a Fortnight.

If any Persons can discover any of the above Goods that she hath lost, or the Persons that robbed her and treated her in the aforesaid cruel Manner, they shall be handsomely rewarded for the same. The said Anne Rote continues now in a bad State of Health, and is to be spoke with at Mr. Mark Duland's at Harwich. (The Ipswich Journal, Staturday 27th December, 1746)

Flying Stage Coach from the Three Cups (1747)


HARWICH, Flying Stage-Coach, in one day to London, began on Tuesday the 31st March, 1747, and sets out every Tuesday and Friday from the Three Cups in Harwich, and three o'clock in the morning, and goes through Dedham and calls at the Sign of the Sun, there to take in passengers and parcels, to be in London the same evening; and returns every Wednesday morning from the Spread Eagle Inn in Grace-church Street, and every Saturday morning from the King's-arms in Leadenhall-Street, London, to be at Harwich the same days to save the packet-Boats for Holland. Each passenger within to pay nine shillings, and to be allowed twenty pounds weight, and all above to pay one penny a pound; and each passenger with outside to pay 5 shillings. Likewise there sets out at the places above mentioned another coach, every day, except Saturdays, to go to London in a day and half, at the above prices, at either of the above-mentioned places. (The Ipswich Journal, 11th April 1747)

The 'Three Cups' at Harwich provided a wide variety of private transport with 'very well dressed attendants'. The coach she hired carried five comfortably, was lined with fine cloth and lacquered, and had four horses and two postillions. (Brown, A. F. J. Essex at Work, 1700-1815, Chelmsford, 1969, p.85)

The impression created by the country's passenger transport was a very favourable one. A German lady, who in 1874 set out from Harwich 'Three Cups' for London in a hired coach, recorded her journey as follows:

'We encountered a number of coaches and vehicles, especially goods-vans, whose wheels, by Act of Parliament, are over a hand's breadth; and so, constantly on the look-out for new and pleasant objects, we arrived in the lovely village of Ingatestone, were at once given a choice of a number of well papered rooms, fitted with every comfort and carpeted, as were stairs and corridors, by which means, even with the house full of guests, there is a kind of hushed effect, which is just as pleasant in its way as the cleanliness of everything one sees and wants. I have not had a better bed or table linen than was provided here. All of the bed covers are of white cotton material with fringe decorations woven in. Everything we had was spotlessly white and, until our meal was ready, we had the fun of watching the Colchester mail-coach arrive. Its name is quite rightly the Colchester Machine, seating six people inside, in front outside behind the coachman four more, and at the back, where trunks usually go, as many again within a neat enclosure with benches, while eight people were sitting above on deck, their feet dangling overboard, holding fast with their hands to screwed-in-brass rings. This was a new experience for us; we called to each other to come, and my Karl investigated the structure of the machine as soon as it was empty; this took place with all possible convenience to the passengers, as not only those occupying the seats of honour inside were able to descend as in every other good coach, but the rest could climb down too with the aid of small, prettily worked and painted ladders placed alongside, like those found at home in well-appointed libraries. Travellers cannot take many or large parcels with them, though they can manage quite well for themselves alone, as such good roads should not jolt them much. Half an hour after we saw the re-enter, supplied with horses just as good and swift as those on our coach. We enjoyed the first English supper immensely. We were given slices of beef and veal, cut very thin and beaten tender, about the size of a hand, sprinkled with bread crumbs and grilled nicely served on a silver dish; fine, big potatoes with salt butter to follow; delicious beer and a good Bordeaux wine.' [15. Ch.Ch., 20.2.1778; 7.8.1778], (Brown, A. F. J. Essex at Work, 1700-1815, Chelmsford, 1969, p.88) 

Interrogating the Dutch Fishermen (1781)


 The taking of the Anna On December 18th, 1780, two days before the British declaration of war, the Anna had sailed away from Vlaardingen. Paulus Drossaart owned the ship; he had been active in the herring fishery from 1775 and he had named the ship after his wife, Anna Drop. His mate Arij van der Gaag had compiled his crew of eleven men (including four boys) himself. Van der Gaag was born in the neighbouring town of Maassluis in December 1748, coming from a seafaring family. An early widower, Van der Gaag remarried in November 1774 with a girl from Vlaardingen. With this Pietertje van der Eijck he moved to Vlaardingen, where their three daughters were born between 1775 and 1780. Van der Gaag’s second on board was his contemporary Pieter Goudswaard, born in Vlaardingen around 1749 and married to Maria van Galen. The other ten crewmembers all originated from Vlaardingen. 

On January 15th the Anna was on its return voyage to the Dutch coast, fully loaded with 39 barrels of salted cod and 300 barrels of unsalted cod, ling and other fishes. Three Dutch sea miles south east of  introduction 13 ‘Scheeveland’ (probably Gravesend) two English cutters – the Bee and the Angus - appeared. The captains of these cutters, John Batten and William Haggis, were privateers, not pirates. With their letter of marque they were legally commissioned to seize enemy ships during wartime. Those ships were taken to an English port, where it was decided whether or not the conquered ship was “a good and lawful prize”. The taking of the Anna by Batten and Haggis was a non-violent affair. Merchant ships and fishing boats, with their light or non-existing armoury on board, were much-wanted victims of privateers. Apart from this, the British Prize Acts prescribed that “violence to male prisoners, or indecency to female prisoners” was not allowed. And of course privateers in general were not inclined to violate or damage a conquered ship, as this would diminish the proceeds of selling it. After the taking one of Batten’s and Haggis’ officers took command of the Anna, and Van der Gaag and his crew were placed on board on the cutters and the ships sailed to Harwich. All ship’s papers on board of the Anna were confiscated and the cargo was inspected. The captains of the cutters had to be patient now, because first the High Court of Admiralty (HCA) had to determine whether the ship from Vlaardingen was a good prize, i.e. whether its seizure was legally justified. It was the task of the HCA’s Prize Court to check this. Many times privateers would get their proceeds, although there were also cases in which the conquered ship was returned to its owner. All of this brought about a large bureaucracy. The HCA employed many civil servants, lawyers, notaries, bookkeepers, copy clerks, interpreters and translators of foreign documents. During wartime many of them worked in overtime, and accessing legitimacy of a prize could take months or even years. To reach a verdict from Prize Court evidence had to be presented. Privateers had to make statements and official commissioners of the HCA interrogated seafarers from the conquered ships. These interrogations were standardized and expanded over the years. 

During the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War the commissioners used a (sometimes written but mostly) printed ten-page list of 32 explicit questions (“Interrogations on behalf of our sovereign Lord George the Third”): by whom, when, where and under what circumstances was the ship taken? What kind of ship was it, who were the owners and officers, what was its origin and destination? The Prize Court also plunged into the other evidence, that is, the confiscated ship’s papers, like bills of lading,  introduction 14 official documents like passports, letters and other personal documents taken from the vessel. In the case of the Anna, the amount of ship’s papers was very limited, not unusual for a fishing boat. The only relevant documents were two original sea briefs (or passports) dated April 1st, 1780, one in Dutch and one in French, signed by the major of Vlaardingen. The set was accompanied by John Batten’s written declaration dated January 27th, 1781, on obtaining the letters, a declaration by one of the commissioners on receiving the papers from Batten, and an English translation of the sea brief. Preparing a case for the Prize Court (inventory, interrogations and translations) usually took place in the English port where the conquered ship was taken, in this occasion Harwich. 

On January 26 Arij van der Gaag and Pieter Goudswaard were interrogated in a Harwich inn called The Sign of the Three Cups, also known as the Three Cups Tavern. The owner of this establishment in Church Street was a Mr Abraham Hinde, who had recently recovered from an attack on his life by two men dressed in sailors’ clothes who tried to burn down his neighbour’s house (published in the London Gazette of April 5th, 1780). Hinde’s inn was frequently used for interrogations purposes in wartime. HCA-commissioner Thomas Harrold interrogated the two Dutchmen, who did not speak the English language. Because of this, Harwich based interpreter and translator Robert Stanfield was present. The local notary Henry Johnston Enefer made the resulting “depositions of witnesses” (signed by all present) official. The complete depositions of “Arij van der Gaag of Vlaerdingen in Holland aged thirty one years” and “Pieter Goudswaard of Vlaerdingen in the province of Holland, mariner, age about 31 years” were preserved for posterity and offer a detailed and fascinating view in the modus operandi of the High Court of Admiralty. As far as can be judged both fishermen answered all questions truthfully. Van der Graaf declared to be born in Maassluis (“Maislandsluijs in Holland”), but had moved to Vlaardingen when he was 24 years of age. He became a citizen of Vlaardingen in 1775 and was still living there with his wife. He had seen the ship Anna for the first time eighteen months before and was appointed master by its bookkeeper or owner Paulus Drossaart (noted down as “Poulijs Drosserdt”). He had selected the crew himself and the  introduction 15 ship carried no passengers or soldiers. None of the fishermen owned part of the Anna, but according to the custom in Vlaardingen, they would all share in the revenue of the sales of the fish. Van der Gaag did not know the other owners, but thought they were all from Vlaardingen. The Anna had sailed out on December 18th, 1780, to the Dogger Bank. During the time of its seizure the ship had “about thirty nine barrels of cod and ling, which are salted down, and about fifteen score of cod, ling & other fish” on board. On the 15th of January its position was three or four Dutch sea miles (one sea mile is 1,852 meters/PM) south south east of “Scheeveland”. The unarmed Van der Gaag had not resisted the English privateers and his ship was not damaged during the taking and the voyage to Harwich. The ship was Dutch and had no commission of war. The only documents carried by the Anna were two sea briefs from the major of Vlaardingen. The answers to the same 32 questions given by Pieter Goudswaard did not contradict the ones of his master. He lived in Vlaardingen all of his life, more than thirty years, and had known Van der Gaag for four years. Goudswaard thought that Anna had been built around 1761. Both Van der Gaag and Goudswaard signed their interrogations. Aftermath The crew of the Anna was to be imprisoned, just like Van der Gaag and Goudswaard, and basically had to wait until the war was over. The civil court case on the Anna took place in London, at Doctor’s Commons, not far from St Paul’s Cathedral. Doubtless the fishing boat from Vlaardingen was declared a good and lawful prize. After the war the crew returned to the Dutch Republic. Van der Gaag and Goudswaard returned to their jobs in Vlaardingen and lived to see the darkest period of Dutch fisheries, its inevitable decline during the wars starting 1795. Arij van der Gaag died at 72 on April 5th, 1821 in Vlaardingen, two years after Pieter Goudswaard. (The National Archives, Kew)

A Common Strumpet (1752)


In March 1752 whilst being questioned over suspected smuggling, Mrs De Bardieux 'depracted some indecent treatment' from the customs officers at Harwich. Griffith Davies replied:

'When we enquired of the officers, we found no indecancys asked but by herself. For when the tyde-surveyor found that she had something concealed in her stays she took him round the neck and held him and kissed him a considerable time in the presence of several people. And when Mr Orlibar and Mr Pelham went to see her in the Publick House and acquainted her that they had some information that she had some prohibited goods concealed about her, she immediately lifted her petticoats up to her waist, so that her whole behaviour while there was very like a common strumpet. We are therefore humbly of the opinion that the officers were not guilty of any indecancy towards her.'

The 'Publick House' was the Three Cups in Church Street, directly opposite the Guildhall; it was this inn where passengers and visitors waited for the packets and coaches to London. (Smith, G. Smuggling in Essex, Newbury, 2005, p.208-9)

Opening of the Harwich Railway (15th August 1854)


"This important line of railway, which will considerably shorten the distance between the metropolis and the Hague and the northern part of Europe, has just been completed and surveyed by the Government Inspector, preparatory to its being opened for passenger traffic. The line braches off from the Eastern Counties, at Manningtree, and the works are of a solid and generally favourable character. The harbour of refuge is making rapid progress; ample accommodation is being provided for the steam-boat traffic, and so rendering the port the principle passenger and mail-packet station on the east coast. With a view of seeing what could be done, a trial trip was recently made to Antwerp, by the new iron mail steam-ship Aquilla, one of the fleet of the North of Europe Steam Navigation Company. Several gentleman were on board: among them were Mr. R. Stephenson, M.P.; Mr. Peto, M.P.; Mr. Bidder, C.E.; and Captain Andrews. The Aquilla, which is about 300 tons burden, was designed by Mr. John Dudgeon, and is a first-class mail-packet. She is fitted with a pair of oscillating engines of 120-horse power. Her average speed was seventeen miles an hour during the trip, which she accomplished in a very satisfactory manner, proving herself to be an excellent sea-boat. On the return trip the Aquilla proceeded to Gravesend, which distance she performed in twelve hours, a remarkably rapid run. By the opening of this branch line and the running of the steamers, passengers leaving the metropolis in the morning will reach Antwerp or Rotterdam early in the evening.

The line was opened to the public on Tuesday last. The day was fixed on Monday, when the authorities called a public meeting at the Town-hall, at which a resolution was passed calling upon the people generally to regard the next day as a public holiday, and the shop-keepers  to close their shops. Meanwhile, arches were erected, banners, &c, were provided, and Tuesday opened with prospects as cheering as the morning was bright. The bell's rang early, and a large crowd assembled to witness the departure of the first train, at eight o'clock.

A band of music, having paraded the street, ascended a decorated platform built over the line near the Harwich Station; and the train started, amid music, firing of cannon, &c. A large number of the inhabitants were passengers in the train, which passed along the Essex bank of the river Stour, which, with its beautiful scenery, is scarcely lost sight of for the entire distance to Manningtree. On arrival  of the down-train at eleven o'clock, an immense concourse had collected to cheer most enthusiastically their friends and the authorities it conveyed. Altogether it was a day of promise for the people of Harwich, who are looking for great things from this line and the North of Europe steamers which are shortly to be put on the station. In the evening a large party of gentleman - including M. J. Bagshaw, M.P. for the Borough; the Mayor, &c. - dined together at the Three Cups Hotel." (The Illustrated London News, 19 August 1854, p.161, see library)

Kitty Canham's Coach

‘You wouldn’t have said to him in his younger days, Sir. Not to him. He would have run you through as soon as look at you, Sir’.

‘Who? That snivelling fool?’

The traveller was not sparing in his dislike of the man who had tried to help with uploading his luggage, but dropped a precious valise into the mud and horse manure of the road, spilling its contents. He’d called him a no-good hapless scoundrel and shown him the toe of his boot. Some younger passers-by had joined in with embarrassing and tormenting the old man, joking: ‘He thinks it’s Kitty Canham’s coach ...,’ before going on their way, laughing. The old man seemed to be used to the treatment and did not respond.

Speaking to the gentleman traveller later at The Three Cups Inn close by the harbour was the landlord, mine host John Golding, as he personally served the evening meal, so impressed was he with the traveller’s opulent status and fame: ‘No disrespect, Sir, but older people hereabouts will tell you that most anybody would get the shivers when he was about, they were that afeared.’ The learned traveller had heard it all before, landlords showing off with anything and any character they could think off in their area, just to have him avail himself of their hospitality longer than let him just pass through.

‘Aye, he may not look it now, Sir, but he was the worst there was with the cutlass and the pistols. Many’s the time the revenue men searched these premises an’ ev’rythin’ in the neighbourhood and many’s the time he got the better o’ them, Sir. Anything they found, he’d have it back afore mornin’. An’ he did not spare life nor limb, nor his own, when he was roused. There were some bad-uns about then, Sir. These waters an’ the roads are safe now, Sir, but there was a time ... I’m talking too much, Sir, please forgive me? Must get on. Enjoy your fare, Sir.’

The innkeeper turned to leave when the traveller recalled him. He enjoyed the attention his fame evoked, more tales to tell in the smoking room after dining with other members of his club. ‘I find that difficult to believe,’ he ventured in an effort to encourage the man to enlarge on his tale. ‘It is something that young cockscomb said out in the street. What is or was Kitty Canham’s coach? Please, later perhaps, when the chores are done, you’ll join me for a dram? I’d like to hear more of your tales ...’

It was a quiet time between ships in the tavern that relied heavily on the passing trade from the sloops and packet boats that left from and travelled in the nearby harbour. Frequented by captains and coastguards and officers from the Landguard Fort, the lively bar occasionally rung to shouts and songs that rose above the constant customary murmurs, though all in all, the landlord’s stern discipline and insistence on his being a superior establishment resulted in a far better reputation and clientele than some of the other brawling and questionable taverns in the street enjoyed. Royalty was known to have frequented the tavern on leaving or entering the country.

Youny Arthur the ostler had finished tending the inn’s horses and made himself useful by stacking firewood and feeding the lusty flames in the hearth, as the landlord removed his customary leather apron and joined the famous traveller in the ‘snug’ by the warming fire, his best rum close to hand. As they relaxed in the comfortable armchairs the traveller complimented mine host on the excellence of his establishment and the3 so-honoured landlord ensured the guest’s tankard was suitably replenished before he attentively lit the man’s meerschaum pipe by bringing a smouldering taper to it.

The traveller, on his part, while drawing deeply of the glowing aromatic leaves, suggested: ‘Please, my man, help yourself as well to that excellent drop. It’ll oil the throat. And put it on my bill o’ fare, please. I shall not enquire as to its route of transport to these premises.’ He added the latter with a knowing smile, before he continued: ‘Kitty Canham’s coach. Can you perhaps enlarge on the story? It must be a local tale, one that I have not heard of?’

‘Ah, it’s not so much a Harwich story, Sir, as one from a little further down the coast, at Thorpe-le-Soken. Took place centuries ago, if it be true. “Kitty Canham, the beautiful bigamist”, as folks came to remember her. At the time, well, it must have aroused quite a lot of attention and gossip, Sir. As I say ... if it be true’.

He re-lit his own clay pipe, sure he had captured hia audience, before continuing: ‘She were born way back in 1720, Sir. A man like you will be a connoisseur of beauty, and people say there was one such young lady blessed with such an appeal at the Hall at Beaumont-cum-Moze, high up above the seanear the said Thorpe. Only a farmer’s daughter – though some say a grocer’s. So enamoured was the young local clergyman, he asked for her hand. In marriage, Sir. An’ ev’ryone would have advised her to accept such a good catch. And she did, but it is said that after some three years she was ailing and had to see a doctor in London. Perhaps all was not well up at the vicarage, but as I have heard it, she found hersen’ a new suitor in the city, the son of a nobleman no less. He married her and whisked her away to his ancestral home in Italy. Verona, I think. It must have been quite a puzzle for the Revd Gough, as was her husband’s name. But this Kitty, she never told her new husband about the other, not until she fell ill an’ lay on her death bed, did she confess. She wanted to be buried in Thorpe-le-Soken, she told the son of Lord Dalmeny, as she already had a husband there and that was from whence she came. And her only thirty-two. But now comes the strange bit, Sir. That noble gentleman, Lord Dalmeny, he forgives her and when she dies, he has her body embalmed and shipped to England. It was not without mishaps either, as there was a storm an’ they had to put in at Brightlingsea an’ there the customs men had their suspicions aroused by the strange cargo. They took them to the Hythe in Colchester, where they insisted on openin’ the coffin for fear of some new trick o’ smugglin’ by the “free traders”,. But it was not old Geneva, they found, Sir, but young Kitty.’

The landlord chuckled to himself as he thought of the silly antics of the revenue me. Then, in the absence of young Arthur, he got up personally to attend to the faltering fire. His companion smiled appreciatively.

‘They suspected foul play, then an’ locked the grieving man into the little chapel there with his wife’s body whilst they checked out the story and then it was Revd Gough who got another surprise when he was told his wife had died in Italy and was on her way back to be buried.’

‘Hmm, that would have been some surprise ...?’ the traveller smiled, confirming his agreement, then he nodded as if to apologise for the interruption.

‘And buried she was,’ he added the so-encouraged teller of the tale, ‘... in the crypt at St Mary in Thorpe-le-Soken in some style an’ with two husbands a’ grievin’ by her side. They say it was a funeral as rich as anything, with black horses all trimmed in feathers and a black coach draped over an’ all ...’

‘Hmm,’ said the traveller again in appreciation, while ftreely puffing on his meerschaum pipe, ‘and that really happened?’

‘Well, Sir, it must ‘ave, as some people still swear they have seen that coach a ‘hurryin’ back to the Hall at Beaumont.’

The traveller raised his tankard and toasted his companion, but he had another question to aid his studies in anthropology, now that he had found geniel confidante: ‘There was a story about the murder of a coastguard cutter’s crew some good few years hence. Would you be aware of any of that?’

‘Oh, Sir, I wish you hadn’t asked me that. It’s not something we are proud of hearabouts. Such things are sooner forgotten, Sir.

‘Ah, but from what I have heard, the whole company was found dead, slaughtered in not very pleasant ways. It must have been discussed in establishments such as yours? And then the funeral ...’

‘Well, yes, but we suffered greatly afterwards, when the revenue sent in reinforcements and they suspected everyone.’

‘The culprits were never found, though?’

‘No, Sir, they may have been from some other parts of the coast, Sir. Country folk don’t like nosey parkers a’snoopin in their business. Beggin’ your pardon m’Lord, no offence intended, I assure you.’

‘No offence taken. It’s long in the past now anyways, and there can be no harm in the telling this far in the future?’

‘Well, yes, Sir, but country people ...’

The traveller interrupted him genially: ‘We’re among educated folk here, are we not?’ He appreciated his companion’s reluctance to talk about such matters, nevertheless he pressed on with his question: ‘The unfortunate dead, they were not from around here?’ The answer came speedily and readily this time.

‘Oh, no Sir. They never were. Not revenue riders. They were recruited from far away so as they would not fraternise with people, local people, that is. Local people would allus be friendly so as not to arouse suspicion, Sir.’

‘There were a great many me involved, then, in the attack?’

‘Aye, there were, then, Sir. Times were hard and a man has to earn his livin’.’

‘Quite. Quite. As I understand it, there was a baqttle out to sea and the revenue men impounded the smugglers’ boat, an oyster dredger, was it not?’

‘Oh, no, Sir. It was the finest sloop with the ablest crew in the land. Fast she was, Sir. The revenue men would never have been able to catch up with her, not in open water. It was never claimed, but the riders had special information on that day. They must have. They knew things they ought not to have known an’ they trapped the Endeavour afore she could be lightened.’ And quickly he added, so as not to seem to have inside knowledge: ‘As I heard it, Sir’.

The traveller smiled at the realisation of the landlord’s knowledge of something he tried to be vague about: ‘Of course, you would have been far too young then ...’

‘Barely out of swaddling clothes, Sir. This had been going on for some time, cat and mouse with the revenue an’ the free traders could not go about their bus’ness without them government busybodies breathing down their gun sights. Not with a full hold of merchandise, Sir. That’s why they fired the cannon, just to scare them off, you understand. That’s when the trouble started, Sir. The shot jammed the steering and the cutter just kept coming. A refill, Sir?’

‘Yes, please, but don’t forget yourself.’

‘Thanks, Sir, just the one, then ...’ He rose and refilled their glasses, replaced the stopper on his best decanter and after ampling his own ware, cleared his throat to continue: ‘Aye, it was a bad business an’ it must ‘a been like in the days of the Spanish Main when men fought hand to hand at close quarters when the government ship rammed the sloop. It was them or ... or the men just tryin’ to protect their livin’, Sir.’

The traveller had listened attentively, not interrupting the teller. Now he thanked him by silently raising his glass, offering a toast to show his appreciation. Understanding the nodded gesture, the landlord continued: ‘Things is a little unclear, as to what happened exactly, but the gen’lemen had to protect their livin’ as the government hired guns were tryin’ to arrest ‘em and things got out of hand, so to speak, as neither side would retreat, Sir.’

‘But waren’t they found with their throats cut, all twenty-two of the government men? Young men who were expected to uphold the law, laid out on their own ship? At least that is my information.’

‘Oh, I canna say as to that, Sir, such reports are always enlarged. There may have been a few ... it’s a long time past, Sir.’

‘Off Dead Man’s Island, was it not?’ The traveller shook and shivered as if the room had suddenly gone cold.

‘No, no. Sunken Island, down by Salcott-cum-Virley. It’s a lonely spot, Sir. A lonely spot to die.’

As if he’d anticipated the traveller’s discomfort, young Arthur the ostler had entered the room quietly to check on the state of the fire. The landlord seized the opportunity: ‘Young Arthur can take you in the trap to see it, tomorrow, if your Eminence wishes. Young Arthur is a natural with horses and your Excellence might enjoy the ride? ‘Young Arthur’s face reddened as his name was mentioned and, nodding and grinning sheepishly, he left the scene without uttering a word.

‘It might be a pleasure at that, my man. We’ll see about in the morrow ...’ The visitor kept the offer open. ‘I understand the whole crew were buried under the hull of their upturned boast at the time, Am I correct in my information?’

‘It was damaged, the boat, when it rammed the men’s, Sir. Damaged badly. A fitting memorial. Will you do us the honour and accept a drink on the house, Sir, to a genial traveller in history?’

The much-travelled gentleman accepted the offer with grace, but then remembered a question that had troubled him since earlier that evening: ‘The old man, outside, when I arrived, he wore an eye patch. Wasn’t there a One-Eyed Jack involved, if my memory serves me right?’

‘Oh, no Sir, that was much earlier. But aye, there was, later. Now that is a story I’m better acquainted with, Sir. That’s a local story I have been told in confidence, Sir, but as you say, it’s a long time ago ... The smug ... I mean the free traders, they were on the southern road, on a moonlit night, well afore sunrise. One-Eyed Jack, he was the leader then, close by the pack horse. He leads his men down that road, moving contraband to Thorpe-le-Soken or thereabouts. They usually ravelled by night to avoid trouble. You see, after the incident with the revenue men, there was allus the possibility of someone giving them away, for the money, Sir. The reward. Anyroad, as I heard it, they hear the crack of a whip an’ then the clatterin’ of fast moving horses – coming towards ‘em. Perhaps they are slow to react, but they are men an’ they don’t give way to no one, Sir, One-Eyed Jack least of all. But so sudden and unexpected is the approach, there is scarce time to move aside anyhow. So they’re standing their ground, cutlasses drawn. One-Eyed Jack pulls his pistols from his belt, a cussin’ an’ swearin,’ when they see the horses coming towards ‘em around a bend. They’ll give short shrift to the coachman, but there is no coachman and the black coach doesn’t stop. Jack shouts a warning, then fires his pistols. The black horses in black reins an’ with tall black plumes on their harnesses keep coming. The packhorse spooks, it moves backwards, front legs stretched, it pushes against the restraining hands. Backwards. Its handler can’t hold it. Now the men, who thought themselves invincible moments earlier, throw themselves aside, out of harms way. Only Big Jack grimly stands his ground, dropping his discharged pistols, coiling ready to jump and grab the horses’ reins. His hands stay empty as the horses and the black-draped coach drive straight through him ... Straight through him, Sir, as if he wasn’t there. He’s never been able to talk about it, Sir.’

The guest had listened smilingly, even forgetting his trusty pipe. Now he took a deep draught in order to rekindle the content. The landlord was in his element now and carried on without interruption.

‘As the bewildered men rise to their feet, shiverin’ with cold, shaking off mud and brambles, their horse has gone. They scan the horizon an’ they soon notice it out on the marshes, where the terrified animal has come to stop, spilling casks and contraband behind it. Truggling, neighing piteously and foaming at the mouth, its legs sink ever deeper into the mud. Silently the men pick up what they can and follow the horse to the edge of the marshes. Bleary-eyed they watch the struggle. One or two of them, used to handling horses, follow in after it, but get stuck themselves. The most determined loses his boots, but reaches for the nag, pulls himself up and manages to loosen the rest of its load. The horse still shudders an’ struggles. Others move closer, jumping from tussock to tussock, making a human chain and manage the casks and bundles hand to hand back to safe ground. The man by the horse then makes an observation, Sir: “It’s leg is broke,” are the first words anyone has uttered since the incident in the road.’

‘Damn that coach,’ says one of the men.

‘I’ll make that cockscombe pay,’ swears another.

‘The horse will have to be shot. Only their leader has the pistols. They turn their attention back to John Golding. Nobody in their right mind would call him ‘One-Eyed Jack’ to his face, Sir. But he just stands there, in the road, pistols at his feet, mouth wide open, but silent. As frozen to the spot. His former rustic complexion suddenly sallow, ashen-faced. He stares unseeing into the distance – a changed man. His former dark locks, that allus spilled unkempt and unwashed from under his cap, they have turned white, Sir, or rather a dirty pale grey. Slowly his lips begin to tremble and nothin’ but gibberish escapes ‘em. The summer night has turned as cold as ice ...’

The landlord took a long sip from his tankard, dampened his lips, then, realising the fire had burnt low, got up to place a few more cuts of wood in the hearth. He glanced at his companion, who had rested back in his chair, nodding and smiling his appreciation. So the landlord simply continued his story, while making himself comfortable again: ‘Behind the commotion the coach from hell had changed direction into Church Lane and hurried uphill to the Hall at Beaumont-cum-Moze ...’

“Let’s be after him,” someone suggests, eager for the teachin’ of lessons.

“It were Kitty Canham’s coach ...” adds another with some reverence. “They say she visits her old home on occasion ...”. Others nod. The men, Sir, without their leader, they were quite like fish out of water, Sir. That was when things hereabouts got quiet. There wasn’t much smugglin’ after that, not as it used to be, anyroad, Sir.’

Deep in his own thoughts, he added: ‘Folk tell of a farmer, Sir, he heard the shots in his bed: “ ... It is the gentleman abroad on the Harwich Road. Don’t mind their bus’ness ...” he calls to his wife as she rushes to the window. “Don’t be seen awashin’,” he shouts to her with some alarm in his voice. “Don’t move a curtain ... “You see, Sir, people did have respect for the gen’lemen in those days.’

The traveller rose slowly, moving arms and torso to shake of the fatigue of a long day. ‘Please,’ he said, ‘accept my thanks, my man, for so well told a tale. Your amenities and service are to be recommended. But pray, tell me one more thing, Mr Golding – the old man in your service, at my arrival earlier, he wore an eye patch. That fits your description ... could that be One-Eyed Jack? You like the old scoundrel, do you not?’

The landlord coughed a little self-consciously: ‘Aye, Sir, I should. Can I do otherwise? He is, after all, my father.’ Hallmann, Robert Essex Ghost Stories, Stroud, 2009, Kitty Canham’s Coach, p.79-85.

The Mayflower of Harwich by Paul H. Simmons


There have been many books written about the historical crossing of the Mayflower which in 1620 carried the Pilgrim Fathers to the New World and many that have tried to separate the truth from the fantasy and folklore. What this book does, perhaps for the first time, is to collate all known data and suppositions from many ancient documents and modern writings and outline the most probable, possible and likeliest scenario. The Three Cups is mentioned a couple of times...

King Charles II

When Harwich was fortified against a Dutch invasion in 1666, Charles II, “having proceeded from Newmarket to Landguard fort, sailed hither in his yacht, accompanied by the Dukes of York, Monmouth, Richmond, and Buckingham”. To the cheers of the hundreds of local townsfolk and dignitaries the yacht moored alongside the Harwich Quay and the party walked past Christopher Jones’s old home and the many alehouses. They attended divine service at the parish church of St. Nichollas and later supped ale and ate a hearty meal in an inn – perhaps the Three Cups

Christopher Jones in Harwich

“To be home here in Harwich, amongst our families is fine for a while Robert, but I hanker to be back at sea within another week – what say you?” Jones asked his first mate Robert Coppin  

“Aye Christopher, I hear the Whales calling our names from afar, taunting us to come chase them again – life in Essex is hum-drum and as you say, fine for a while, but there is nothing quite like the sting of the chill North Wind on a fine summers day sailing like the wind itself across the ocean” Coppins replied. “Then muster the crew and tell them to have their last drinks at the Three Cups on Monday next, for we sail for Iceland to start our new chase of the sea monsters – I will pay the normal share to each of the crew on the Mayflower’s safe return to Harwich in three months.”  

A Gigantic Creeper


SIR- In the quaint old seaport of Harwich, beneath the shadow of the Church tower, there stands an ancient hostelry- the Three Cups - a most interesting relic of the old coaching and posting days, and immortalised by the visit of Good Queen Bess, whose banquetting chamber, still visible upstairs, and the fine old four-poster in which she slept- recently brought from Christ Church Park, Ipswich, by the present landlord- are objects of historic interest. We do not all seek to dwell in marble halls of modern fashion, nor to pay fabulous prices for the privilege of inhabiting their comfortless grandeur. Better by far, and more refreshing, to rest awhile beneath the handsome surroundings of the Thirteenth Century, where the excellence of cookery and the refinement of home comforts are not entirely sacrificed upon the altar of novelty and empty display. No, the old is better, and a house with a history is better than a mushroom palace, especially in these days of over-pressure, when we are weary of inventions, and the ruthless hand of the destroyer is rapidly sweeping from the face pf the earth all that is either interesting or instructive, in town or country. Our country cousins across the Atlantic are not quite such Vandals as we are, and their taste for archaeology and appreciation of history and a pedigree is fast developing, and they would willingly pay a king’s ransom to transplant the good old inn bodily, with its history of six centuries, into the centre of their Western Continent, and there bestow upon it reverence it to so well deserves. But to our subject. There has been another attraction, which has drawn many sightseers and scientific men from far and near to visit the hotel. Fifty-five years ago there was planted by a lady in its central court a root and little tendril of the Wild Clematis, called in Bucks. “Old Man’s Beard,” by reason of the silky whiteness of its hair-like seeds. Through the kindness and courtesy of the landlord, I am enabled to give a few facts. A porous cane, like the vine, it ramifies with incredible speed, both above and below ground (in a sandy soil). Within the central court of the hotel- along one side of which on the first floor runs an open passage and balustrade, upon which abut some of the apartments- at the foot of a water-pipe grows a gigantic specimen of the Wild Clematis, which measures 3ft. 6in. in circumference at its base, within four feet of which it has crushed an old metal water-pipe flat in its snake-like coils. Running round all sides of the court, which embraces over 100 square yards, its extremities are trained up to the summit of a central flagstaff, whence its tendrils hang down in beautiful curtains and festoons, from 20 to 30 ft. The total length of many of these stems is over 100 ft. Last winter it came necessary to thin out large portions of the creeper to let light and air upon the rooms abutting on the Court. Some idea of its size may be imagined from the fact that five men were occupied all day on the task, and a godly pile of faggots was the result. Formerly, on the State occasions, the green canopy was lit up by Chinese lanterns, and the scene is described by eye-witnesses as “Fairyland.” The roots, ramifying from the neighbourhood of a tank or rain-beck, extend beneath the hotel and stables into the ground beyond from 25 to 30 yards.

Yours faithfully,


(Essex Chronicle, 12th October 1895)

Corruption and Attempted Kidnapping at the Three Cups

3124. DO you know Nathan Chisnel?— Yes. 

3125. On the polling-day, about three o'clock, were you going up towards the polling place ? — I was. 

3126. Did you see anything of Chisnel in the street as you were going up ?— I saw him in the street; in the road we call it. 

3127. Which way was he going then r — He was going towards the hustings. 

3128. Did you have any talk with him ? — Not then I did not. 

3129. Did you see him afterwards? — There is what we call the Forward Leet, there is a place to go to the hustings, a place to go to the Cups, a road southward and to the westward ; he was then standing about the Forward Leet, and he said he was going to vote. 

3130. Did you understand whom he was going to vote for? — He was going to vote for Mr. Bngshaw, he said. 

3131. How far is that from the polling-place? — I am sure I cannot say; about 100 yards, I should say.

3338. ON the night of the nomination, were you out and about at Harwich ? Yes, I was. 

3339. There were a good many people about, I believe, that night i— A great many. . 

3340. Did you see some people dressed up in rather a curious way .'—In all manner of disguise. 3341. What do you call disguise? -They had turned, as you may say, almost the world upside down. 3342. What do you mean by that; did you see some men in women s clothes amongst the rest; "what do you mean by disguise?— They had turned their caps inside out, and they had gut apparel on, which was quite out of their line altogether ; their dresses.

3343. Costume, you mean ? — The parties had

3344. Who ; whom did you see, my learned Friend wishes to know ? — A number that there was

3345. Just mention one or two? -There were stone-men, and a bricklayer, there was. I knew the men by sight, but I cannot exactly say their names ; there are a lot of stone-men who were employed ; to the amount of 200 employed. 

3346. Can you tell the names of any of them ; were they Harwich people or strangers ? — They were Harwich people, I am sure ; as for their names I cannot say ; there was a lot of them ; Cobbinger was one of them; I saw him sauntering about there. 

3347. Do you know a man of the name of William Osborn ? — Yes. 

3348. Did you see anything of William Osborn on that night; the Humiliation night ?— I did.

3349. Where did you see him ? — In the Cups yard

3350. About what time of night? — When I first saw him ? 

3351. Yes. — I think, to the best of my remembrance, it was about 1O o'clock. 

3352. What do you mean by the Cups yard; where is that? — The Three Cups ; there is a largish yard in the Three Cups, so that you can go right through, and then there is a passage betwixt, like, and so he was standing in the Cups yard. 

3353. That is the inn where Mr. Peacocke and Mr. Waddington were staying ? — Exactly. 

3354. Did you speak to him ? — Not then ; I did not. 

3355. You know Patrick Daniells ? — I know him very well. 

3356. Did you see him at all ? — Yes. 

3357. That night? — Yes, and the morning too. 

3358. You had seen Osborn ; what did you do when you saw Osborn? — Seeing Osborn walking backwards and forwards there some length of time. 

3359. Did it attract your notice ? -It did, because that was quite out of his beat. 

3360. In the Cups yard you saw Osborn at 10 o'clock at night walking up and down ? — Yes ; now and then I went on the other side of the yard, and fixed my eye upon him. 

3361. You were watching him ? — Yes, I did ; and every now and then he kept casting up, looking up at the Little Oaks and the Great Oaks; there are rooms called the Little and Great Oaks, the kidnapper knowing where it is ; Haste, I mean. 

3362. You say you saw Osborn walking up and down there, that attracted your attention? — It did. 3363. Then you watched him ? — I did. 

3364. How long did you see him there going up and down in this way r — He kept, I should say, not five yards from one place from 10 o'clock, or thereabouts, till, I should say, past one in the morning, pacing backwards and forwards. 

3365. Did you see a man of the name of Haylett ? — Yes. 

3366. Where did you see him? — I saw him in the street. 

3367. About what time? — I think that was about one o'clock in the morning. 3368. Did you speak to him anything about Osborn? — Not then ; I did not say anything to him about Osborn. 3369. Did you see Daniells ? — I saw Mr. Daniells come down the stairs. 

3370. When was that ? — Previous to that taking place I had some conversation with Osborn. 

3371. What was that about? — I asked him - Mr. James objected to the evidence. 

3372. Mr. Serjeant Kinglake.~] You had some talk with Osborn ? — Yes. 

3373- I wil not ask you what; was it before or after you had that talk that you saw Daniells ? — I saw Mr. Daniells two or three times coming backwards and forwards, going up stairs. 

3374. When did you first see Daniells ? — I think that the first time I saw him was about 11 o'clock. 3375. Where was Daniells then? — Going up stairs. 

3376. Going up what stairs? — That leads to the Little Oaks and the Great Oaks ; those are two rooms in the Cups which they had got there as a committee room. 

3377. You saw him going up the stairs, you say, about 11 o'clock : — Yes, I think it was about 11 o'clock. 

3378. Did you speak to him ? — No. 

3379 What then? — I still waited about; I went in at one door and came round to see whether this Osborn was still stopping there, and I think it was about one o'clock, or it might be a little more ; he came down and spoke to him. 

3380. Who did ? — Mr. Daniells. 

3381. You had seen him go up the stairs? — I had. 

3382. The way that led to the room which you call the committee-room? — Yes. 

3383. About one o'clock you saw him come down stairs? — I think it was a little before one. 

3384. When he came down stairs you say he spoke to Osborn? — He spoke to Osborn. 

3385. Did you hear what he said to him ?— I did. 

3386. What did he say to him ? — Osborn first spoke to him. 

3387. What did you hear pass between Osborn and Daniells ? — Osborn says <f What a time I have been stopping." 

3388. Did Daniells give any answer to that? — He says, "Well, you must wait a little longer." 

3389. Did he say anything more ? — And then he went towards the front door of the Cups, and says, " I have spent all my money, but will go and get some more." 

3390. Mr. James.] Who said so ? — Mr. Daniells. 

3391. Mr. Serjeant Kinglake.~\ Which way did Daniells go? — Out at the front door. 

3392. Did you follow him ? — No, I went out at the back door. 

3393. Do you know where he went? — I ran round and got into the street, and there I saw Haylett and several more. 

3394. That is the last witness, William Haylett; did you speak then to Haylett? — I said, "Which way has Daniells gone?" and he says 'Down the street." 

3395. Upon that what did you do? — I says, " Come on," and we went down the street and we fell in with some more that were there, and I says, " Where is Daniells gone into ?" they said, " He has gone into Haste's." 

3396. Did you go to Haste's? — I did, at the door. 

3397. Is that Alfred Haste? — Yes. 

3398. Did you wait there? — I did. 

3399. After some time did you see anything of the man ? — I saw him come out. 

3400. You saw him come out of Alfred Haste's house? — Yes. 

3401. Was there anyone with him ? — There were two other persons. 

3402. Were they strangers or not to you ? — They were both strangers, but to the best of my belief I thought it was Mr. Horsley's son that was with him. 

3403. Do YOU know his son ? — I have seen him once or twice. 

3404. They were not Harwich people ? — No. 

3405. When he came out with these two persons, did you see where he went then ? — I stopped him there, that there should be no mistake about it ; that is to say, I told him of his conduct. 

3406. Just tell us what you said to Danielis ? — I asked him whether he was not ashamed of himself. 3407. What did he say ? — He says, " What do you mean ?" " What do I mean," I said ; " Why to go about bribing people in this manner." 

3408. Did you see what became of Daniells afterwards ? — He seemed amazing confused, and he stood 1 should say a minute or two, and at last he whispers to one of the gentlemen ; he says, " Follow me," and then they made their way up towards the Cups, and I thought as I had heard him give one order, I would give another,}! said, "Then we will all follow you, and therefore we will have quick march." 

3409. Which way did you go then ? — I followed him up to the Cups door. Mr. John Baker. 

3410. What did you do when you got to the Cups door ? — He had to stop and rap at the Cups door, but I, leaving the back door undone, I could run round, and get in to this Osborn before he could. 

341 1. Did you get in that way? — Yes, because I had left the door on the jar ; I kept my eye open. 

3412. Did yon come out by the back door? — Yes. 

3413. By the Committee. Do you mean into the house or into the yard? — There is a front door and a back door ; the back door leads into the yard, and so does the front door ; in the day time it is a passage almost, but at night they close the doors. 

3414. Mr. Serjeant Kittglake. Is it a large house, built round a square? — Yes. 

3415. A large yard in the centre? — Exactly. 

3416. Then there is a back way into this yard ? — Exactly. 

3417. And a front way? — And a front way. 

341 8. He knocked at the door in the front ? — Yes. 

3419. You had gone out at the back, and knew it was open and got in first? —Yes. 

3420. Having got in first, where did you go? — I said to Osborn, " It is all right old fellow, he is coming." 

3421. And there you found poor Osborn waiting, did you ? — The fact is, that a number of them disguised themselves, and I thought I might as well disguise myself. 

3422. What did you do ? — I changed my hat and that, and as they were about turning the things inside out I turned mine inside out. 

3423. Having done that did you see anything of Daniells then ? — In about a minute, or it might be two, in became. 

3424. He came in where ? — He came into the yard. 

3425. Is that where Osborn was? — It was where Osborn was. 

3426. What took place? — I stepped a little of one side ; there is a stair which leads up into these Oaks, and there is a little nook way; I stepped just a little on one side, and Mr. Osborn and Mr. Daniells were as close as I am to this gentle man here, and I was much about the same, and he says, " Here old fellow," (holding out his hand). 

3427. This is Daniells ? — Yes ; he says, " What a time I have been stopping;" he said, " Yes, but I could' not do it before." 

3428. What took place then? — He ran upstairs instantly. 

3429. Who did ? — Mr. Daniells. 

3430. Were those the same stairs you had seen him go up before ? — Exactly. 

3431. What became of Osborn? — Osborn turned to go out of the back door. 

3432. That is the door which you came in at ? — The door that I came in at. 

3433. What did you do upon that? — When I turned round I said, " Non sense, Osborn, you have got only 10 /. and you were to have 20 /.," and by that Osborn turned round, and I said, " Come on, come on, let us go up and see." I wanted Osborn to go upstairs into the committee-room. I would not have cared, I would have gone anywhere ; then I said, " Let us go," and I got him against the stairs, and he opened his hand, " But," says he, " if I go I shall not get none." 

3434. What did he show you ? — Bank notes. 

3435- What were they? — Bank of England notes. 

3436. What for ? — That I cannot say. 

3437. How much money ; were they 5 /- notes ; could you see ? — No ; that I cannot say. 

3438. Was there one note or two? — There were two. 

3439. What became of Osborn ? — I kept trying to get him to go upstairs, but I could not manage it. 3440. You wanted to coax him into the committee-room ? — I did. 

3441 . He would not go ? — He would not go. the back door, and I was in hopes that when he had opened the back door I should had some more of the same side as myself; some more of my friends; some more friends with me, for he was a strong powerful man, and I certainly should have risked it after seeing what I did. If I thought I could have com bated with the man I would have dowsed him, and have seen what he had got. 

3443. You did not feel quite equal to the fray ? — I thought the best judgment would be to let a man of that description alone. 

3444. Did you leave him alone; did he go away? — If I had had some more with me I would. 

3445. Never mind ; what became of him ? — The moment the door was opened he ran like a greyhound. 

3446. Off he went? — Yes. 

3447. That is all you saw of him, I believe ? — That is all I saw of him. 

3448. Do you know how he voted ? — Peacocke and Waddington. 

3449. William Osborn, junior, is that the man ? — Yes. 

3450. What is he by trader — He is a labourer ; one of the town-clerk's men; one of Mr. Chapman's men. 

3451. How do you mean one of his men ? — That works at his factory. 

3452. The town-clerk has got a factory. has he? — Yes, he has. 

3453. And this is one of the workmen in his factory r — Yes. 

3454. Cement works ? — Yes. 

3455. You know the man well? — Oh, yes ; I have known him from a boy. Cross-examined by Mr. James. 

3456. How many men were out with you that night ? — That I do not know. 

3457. About ; with your watchful eye, you can tell anything ; how many men were with you '? — I tell you I do not know. 

3458. About ? — Do you mean altogether ? 

3459. I mean how many people were with you r — What do you mean by with me ; I do not understand what you mean by with me. 

3460. Had you a party with you ? —No ; I was a party by myself. 3461. Nobody at all ? — Nobody at all. 

3462. Were there none of Mr. Bagshaw's party out that night ? — That I do not know. 

3463. With you ?— No, not with me ; not a single one.

3464. How far were they from you, do you think? — I had nothing to do with them. 

3465. How far were they from you ? — I did not know that there was any of Mr. Bagshaw's party out. 

3466. You have just now sworn there was a party of Mr. Bagshaw's out ? — No, I beg your pardon. 3467. I asked you whether there were not some in Mr. Bagshaw's interest out? — I do not know. 3468. Did you see people out ? — I did. 

3469. Who were they ? — Do you want to know now on which side ? 

3470. Yes. — There was Haylet, Rackham, Foster. I saw those men ; I ran out. I do not know that there was any in the street. I saw several there ; and on the other side there was Pointz ; there were a great number about the street, but as soon as I saw one or two that I knew, I said, " I want to see about where Mr. Daniells has gone to." 

3471. Whom did you see that you knew? — Haylet. 

3472. Whom else? — Rackham, Thompson, Foster, Smith ; there were a goodish many; I cannot name them. 

3473- They were looking out on both sides, were not they ? — I am sure I do not know. 

3474. Looking after the voters on both sides ? — I did not ask them what they were looking for ; but I asked them where Daniells had gone to. 

3475. What were you out for at that time? — Watching for myself that I should not be kidnapped. I am an old elector there, and I know how we have been served, and on that account I do keep a watch to see that I am not bought and sold. 

3476. Then did you go out into the street in order to prevent yourself from being kidnapped? — I did. 

3477. And went out by yourself; do you mean that you went out to be kidnapped or to prevent yourself from being kidnapped ? — To prevent myself from Mr. John Baker. being kidnapped.

3478. Why did not you stop at home? — Because if I had stopped at home I 4 J 3' think I should have been kidnapped. 

3479. You wish the Committee to believe that, do you; that you went out into that street to prevent yourself from being kidnapped ? — I went out into that street on purpose to see who these people were that were about the streets trying to bribe those people. 

3480. Just now you said you went out to prevent yourself from being kid napped ? — So I did. 

3481. That was your object ? — That --vas my object. 

3482. Had you got a body-guard with you then ? — No. 

3483. Whom had you got? — Nobody at all. 

3484. Who lives at home with you ? — My wife is at home. 

3485. Why did not you lock yourself in if you were afraid of being kidnapped ? — I beg your pardon, that would not do for a watch. 

3486. But you say that you went out into the street to prevent yourself from being kidnapped ? — I do say it. 

3487. That you mean to swear ? — That I mean to swear. 

3488. Had there been any attempt to kidnap you ? — Yes. 

3489. At the election r — I do not know at that election. 

3490. Who attempted to kidnap you ? — I do not know at that election. 

3491. When was any attempt ever made to kidnap you ? — Mr. Haste has. 

3492. Some time ago? — Yes. 

3493. When ? — At one of Mr. Attwood's elections. 

3494. What did he do ? — He could not do it. 

3495. What did he attempt ? — I will tell you what he attempted. 

3496. What was it ? — He came up to my house with Payne, and he says, " Well, come along with us old fellow, we will make it ail right;" and I denied going, and said, " No, I will not go. No, I will have nothing to do with it." Well, he came again, " No." In the meantime I asked myself a good many questions about it, and I thought, " Well, I do not know, I can trust myself, I will go and see what these fellows are up to," and I accordingly went to the Half Moon, a house that they had got, and when I went they said, " Oh, come on, come on." So I accordingly went in. When I went in, there was a whole host of them, and they were so delighted to think that I had come there that they gave three cheers. 

3497. Go on '.' — They said, " That was it." I sat down and they began to talk about electioneering matters, and make certain arrangements, different moves and different steps that they were going to take ; and I thought, this is a regular caper, like j this is a regular game here ; a regular caper with these ere chaps." Thinks I to myself, "If I do not keep with you I shall not find out your rigs." The consequence of that was, that I kept with them, and they thought that I was one of those connected with them, that we were all hearty good fellows, and then they said, " Now, there is another question which we want to know ;" they said together, passing the word round. " Do you intend to vote for Mr. Attwood r" to one, " And do you intend to vote for Mr. Attwood?" to another ; then it came to my turn, and they said, " Well, do you intend to vote for Mr. Attwood?'' " No, I will not vote for Mr. Attwood." " Well, who will you vote for •" " Well, I do not know that it is any business of yours ;" they said, "Well, but surely you will vote for Mr. Attwood." " No, I will not." " But why will not you :" " Why, the fact is this : Mr. Attwood has, out of his lips, told me that he had spent 10,ooo/., I said, Well, if you have spent 1 0,000 /., how in the world have you spent it? " 

3498. This was all at the Half Moon ? — At the Half Moon. 

3499. Go on ? — The consequence of that was that I would not promise Mr. Attwood at all. Mr. Attwood at• No. 19, Birchin-lane. 

3500. Do not leave the Halt-moon ; have you left the Half-moon yet? — I can tell you what took place there. 

3501. I am speaking about the kidnapping at the Half-moon? — They found that I would not promise to vote for Mr. Attwood, and Mr. Haste, and Mr. Payne and Trmulell, and a whole lot of them, did not know what to buy for me; they said, " We have got Sir Dudley Hill; you will support him, will not you?" '•Well," I said, "I think 1 shall support Sir Dudley Hill." They said, " Will you vote for Mr. Bagshaw ?" " Well," I said, " I shall do as I like about that ; I will support Sir Dudley Hill." As they kept on, and I think it was about 1 1 or 4 May 1853. 12 o'clock at night, 1 left, and there were meetings after that again ; there was Mr. Haste ; he was finger next the thumb with them, und Mr. Payne, and the con sequence of that was, that when the election came on they found that things began to get on pretty sharp, and they had a meeting at the Cups. 

3502. Go on ? — And at the meeting at the Cups, where Sir Dudley Hill was, Mr. Attwood wished very much indeed to see Sir Dudley Hill ; Sir Dudley Hill was in the room. 

3503. Have you left the Half Moon ? — Yes. 

3504. You have got to the Three Cups now ? — I have got to the Three Cups now. 

3505. Go on? — There came a rap at the door; Mr. Haste had slipped out in the mean time ; we are coming now to the kidnapping system. Haste slipped out of the door, and was gone about 10 minutes, and back lie came again, and lie says to Sir Dudley Hill, " Mr. Attwood wants to see you ;" so Sir Dudley Hill pretended to be a general, and he was going to speak to Mr. Attwood, and I said, " If you are a general you know how to act. as a general ; you have brought u& into the field, do not go to run away and forsake us ;" and he stopped, and lie said, " Well, gentlemen, what am I to do?" I said, "What right has Mr. Haste to leave this room and go to Mr. Attwood, and then to come here and tap at the door and say, ' Here, Sir Dudley, you are wanted ;' If Mr. Haste has got anything honest and straightforward, why does not he come here and speak it?'' " Well," he says, " I do not know." " Well, I make a proposition, that you do not leave the room." Sir Dudley says, " I must go and hear what Mr. Attwood has got to say ;" he accordingly leaves the room and goes, and I think, to the best of my knowledge, in about half an hour he returned, and he seemed amazing agitated. 

3506. Who was agitated : — Sir Dudley Hill; he says, " Gentlemen, I am surprised ; I hitherto took Mr. Attwood to be a gentleman, but now," he says, "I am persuaded that he is no gentleman." 

3507. Was this at the Cups ? — At the Cups

3508. Go on ? — He says, "He tells me that I must quit the town, and that instantly." " Well," I says then, " What do you think about it?" " Well," he says, "I do not know what I am to do." 

3509. Sir Dudley said so to you ? — Not to me alone, bat to the electors, " What am I to do?" I said, "Stop, certainly." "Well, but he tells me that if 1 stop and go to the poll there shall not one of his tenants vote form, and just imagine," he says, " to place me in that situation." 

3510. This is still Sir Dudley to you ? — Not to me only, but to the others who- were there ; the consequence of that was, we could not prevail on him to stop ; he said, that he would endeavour to do him all the injury he could. 

3511. Sir Dudley ? — Yes ; and he thought the best thing was to start; and I said " Well, you are a very bad general then ; you have brought us into the field, and you run away like a coward ;" he went down stairs and I followed him, and he went to where the horses and gigs and cabs where, and he got into a cab and away he went, and we never saw any more of Sir Dudley Hill ; Mr. Attwood frightened him off the ground, and the consequence of that was, that there was an end of Sir Dudley Hill. I found that Mr. Haste, who is Mr. Attwood's agent, had slipped out of the account, and passing the concern between Mr. Attwood and him ; as Mr. Attwood had told me previously to that about the, and that some of there parties at Harwich, who called themselves gentlemen, had robbed him of 9,ooo/. I wanted to know how they had robbed him of it; " Why," he says, "I spent 10,000 /., and they gave account only of 6,000 /., and on account of that they have robbed me of 4,000 /." I wanted to know who they were; he tells me who the committee was, and telling who the committee was, he mentioned several of their names, and in doing that, this Mr. Patrick Daniel Is is a tenant of Mr. Attwood's, and I had an idea that he is a nephew of Mr. Patrick, and he was one of the committee about this 4,000 /. 

3512. Are you still at the Three Cups, where the attempt to kidnap you was, or have you got back to the Half Moon : — No. 

3513- Where are you now ? — I am at the Three Cups

3514. Go on? On account of that I kept a watchful eye over them. 

3515. Go on ? — Sir Dudley had run away then. Mr. John Kalcer. 

3516. You kept a watchful eye, and Sir Dudley ran away? — Yes. 

3517. And he died, and she married the barber; is this your answer to the 4 May question, when 1 asked you what the attempt was to kidnap you at the Half Moon; you said there was an attempt made to kidnap you at the Half Moon? — Certainly, there was. 

3518. This is the answer to that ? — I can give it to you. 

3519. Go on ; finish your answer? — I have every reason to believe 

3520. You left us with Patrick Daniells, who is the nephew of Mr. Patrick ? —Yes. 

3521. Will you get back to the Half Moon, where the attempt was to kidnap you r — If they had got me, and could have persuaded me to have gone to Mr. Attwood's side, there is no question they would have taken and set down about 20 /. or 30 /. to me, and have given me about 5/. or 61., if I would have taken it. 

3522. This is the attempt to kidnap you which made you afraid of being kid napped at the last election ? — Yes. 

3523. And made you go out alone into the street to avoid being kidnapped ? — Yes. 

3524. When was any other attempt made to kidnap you besides this long one ? — At every election. 3525. Tell us another instance of any attempt to kidnap you ? — Oh, no. 

3526. Tell us ; you are upon your oath ? — Yes. 

3527. You swear that at every election there has been an attempt to kidnap you ? — So there has. 3528. Can you give us one ; give the Committee another attempt to kidnap you at another election r — Even this last time. 

3529. But before this; you have sworn that at every election there has been an attempt to kidnap you, and you have given an account of one, when Sir Dudley Hill ran away, and Mr. Patrick's nephew was left at the Three Cups? — Yes. 

3530. Give the Committee another attempt to kidnap you ? — At every one of the elections ; Mr. Attwood has got such a party there of his agents and his tenants, that all manner of ways they have to invite you, and various ways on purpose to mislead you into some trap or so nothing of the kind, on purpose to gain the vote ;' they do not let a man go fairly and independently, as they ought to do. 

3531 . You say that you always walk about with a watchful eye ; that is so ? — Yes, I do. 

3532. Now give the Committee an instance of an attempt made upon you to kidnap you? — I have told you. 

3533. Can you tell any other but that which you have told us, at the Half Moon and the Three Cups? — Yes. 

3534. Give it? — At the Coach and Horses. 

3535. By the Committee.] What do you mean by kidnapping? — Buying of you ; that is to say, tempting you with a small sum of money, and then they go and get a large sum of money. of money "? — Get a large sum of money ; get more than they give the parties. 

3536. Mr. James.] What do you mean by " then they go and get a large sum of money "? — Get a large sum of money ; get more than they give the parties.

3537. That is what you call kidnapping you?— No; I say that is how the attempt is made. 

3538 But the honourable and learned Chairman asks you, iri order to under stand this matter, what you mean by being kidnapped ? — (70 the Chairman.) Do you understand ? 

3539. Chairman.] Yes ? — The Chairman is satisfied. 

3540. Mr. James.] The Chairman is satisfied with your definition of kidnapping, and you are satisfied ? — Yes ; I am satisfied. 

3541. Did you go out from your house that night into the street to avoid having a small sum of money offered you, and they were to take a large one r — I knew they would not do it with me. 

3542. But did you go out from your house that night into the street to avoid that r — I did. . That you mean to swear? — I do. 

(Minutes of Evidence taken before Select Committee, Mr John Baker, 4 May 1853, p.115-121)

The Danger of Wariness (1798)

"In the month of October, 1788, Captain King, in the Syrius, thirty six, while cruising in the North Seas, fell in with two Dutch frigates; but on being chased, they separated, when Captain King pursued, and took the one nearest to him, which proved to be the smallest, and having secured her as suddenly as possible, went in chase of the other, which he brought to action, and soon compelled to surrender. They proved to be the Waaksam heid of twenty four, and the Furie of thirty six guns, manned with Dutch seamen and French soldiers, with six thousand stand of arms, and other warlike stores, bound for Ireland. 

A British sloop of war was no very distant spectator of the capture of the Waaksamheid. The captain was urged in vain by his officers to run down and join in the combat; and he had unhappily adopted a notion, that all three of the frigates were enemies, and the engagement between them a mere deception, intended to decoy him within gun shot. His private signal had been answered by the Sirius; but in this he placed no reliance, and the fatal self delusion continued till the action was decided. Convinced, at length, of his error, he sank into a deep melancholy; and the Commander-in-Chief, with whom he had served and distinguished himself on the memorable 11th of October, refusing to see him, he fell, a few weeks after, by his own hand, at an inn (The Three Cups) at Harwich, a melancholy instance of the danger of too much caution."   

(The Log Book; or, Nautical Miscellany, London, 1830, p.343)

Viciously Struck with a Stick at the Three Cups (1880)

Special Sessions. – Thursday. Before J. H. Vaux, Esq. (Mayor), C. F. Bevan, J. Watts, and J. W. C. Butcher, Esqrs.

Henry Ayshford Hilliard was charged with assaulting George Kendall in the yard of the Three Cups Hotel on the same day. Mr. Vulliamy appeared for the complainant, who had his left eye considerably blackened and his nose broken as if by a blow.

Mr Kendall deposed that he was engaged looking after the witnesses in favour of Col. Tomline at the trial of the election petition, and that he went to the Three Cups Hotelto look after one named Pratt. After he had spoken to Pratt the defendant took him (Pratt) across the yard, and witness followed them, and put his hand between them to separate them when the defendant turned round and struck him across the nose, injuring his eye, with a stick. The defendant put several questions to complainant without giving him time to answer, and was called to order by the Bench. Ultimately complainant admitted pushing Hilliard gently before he was struck.

Frederick Chambers, barman at the Three Cups Hotel, said he saw Mr. Kendall and Pratt in the Cups Hotel. Pratt was in the bar lobby when he was called by Kendall. Hilliard then went out of the bar and took hold of Pratt and led him away, saying he would treat him if he would go with him. Kendall run after them and told Pratt he wanted him, when defendant struck complainant across the face with a stick. He did not believe Pratt wanted to go, but that he was pulled away by Hilliard.

John Charrington, witness for the defence, said he saw the defendant and Pratt together, and that the later was walking without force. He saw complainant drive between them from behind and separate them, after which he saw complainant strike the defendant. William Mills saw Kendall and Hilliard wrestling but could not say who struck first. Hilliard went down in the finish. John Pratt said he was dragged away by Hilliard when Kendall called him. Hilliard struck Kendall with a stick when the latter parted them and both wrestled.

The Magistrates retired for some minutes, and upon returning to court the Mayor said they had decided to adjourn the cast to next Tuesday, and were prepared to admit defendant to bail, himself in £20 and two sureties of £10 each. (Harwich & Manningtree Free Press, Saturday 5 June 1880, p.4)