J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

And It Looked Like It Was Going So Well for Him

From the Old Bailey court sessions in London, as made available by the London Lives website:
The Information of Samuel Dyer taken on Oath before me James Spagg one of his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace in and for the said County this 19th. day of July 1773

Who saith that on Saturday last the 17th of July instant about eleven o’Clock at Night two Girls Picked him up in swan Alley and carried him to the House of one Mrs Grear in Swan Alley where he gave a woman now present and says her name is Margaret White a Shilling to get some Liquor and also another Shilling for a Room and bed

that he then went up Stairs with [..] said two Girls and pulled of his Trousers and layed them on a chair at the foot of a Bed

That then one of the Girls Picked his Trousers Pocket of two Shillings

that he got out of Bed in order to prevent her from so doing but the Girls cried out Murther and [..] said they would have his brains beat out or words to that Effect and then run down Stairs

that he endeavoured to follow them but was prevented by the said Margaret White who seized him by the Cholar and held him till the said girls escapd—

That he then got [..] down stairs and into the street naked except his Shirt down Stairs—saith he doth [..] not know the names of either of the said Girls who picked his pocket
This is almost certainly not the American sailor Samuel Dyer whom I’ve researched. More’s the pity.

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