The Bungay Navigation Fraud.
We feel very pleased and priviliged that Janelle Penney, whose transcriptions of old East Anglian papers have caused so much interest from Local Historians, has allowed us to publish her work on the site. Her eye for an interesting story is remarkable, as these two extracts testify
23 th June 1781
P.2, column 3
This week, a servant maid belonging to Mr Robert BROWN, of Lowestoft, took a child of his, about a year and a half old, up to the garret in her arms, and setting it on the window, the child unfortunately tumbled into the street, by which accident its scull [sic] was fractured in so terrible a manner, that it languished about two hours and died. What renders the scene more distressing was Mr BROWN's being at a house opposite his own, and saw the child as it was falling.
19 th May 1781
P.3, column 4
Whereas many Frauds and Robberies have at divers Times been practised by Watermen and others employed upon, and living adjacent to different Parts of this Navigation. The Proprietors for the better discovering and preventing the like in future, do hereby offer and promise to pay a Reward of Ten Pounds to any Person who will give Information of any Watermen or other Persons, who have,or may hereafter steal, sell, conceal, or embezzle, in any Manner whatsoever, Corn, Flour, Coals, Liquor, or Merchandize [sic], from onboard their Keels, or Wherries, or any Craft in their Employ on this Navigation or off their Staithes, or out of their Warehouses near the river at Bungay or Yarmouth.
And if more than one Person shall at any Time be concerned in such Frauds and Robberies, any one who will give Information against his or her Accomplice, or Accomplices, therein, shall also be entitled to the same Reward.
And the Proprietors hereby further promise to pay a Reward of Twenty Pounds on Information of any Person or Persons who shall buy, or receive into their Possession, such stolen Goods as aforesaid, so as he, or they, can be lawfully convicted thereof.
Note: If the Writer of an anonymous Letter directed to Mr COTTON, at Bungay, -- having a Beccles Post mark upon it -- and received from thence the 10th Instant by Post, will come forth, and substantially prove the Charges against the Parties therein mentioned, which he is earnestly entreated to do -- he shall receive more liberal Reward than is offered as above.
Selections from the 1781 Norfolk Chronicle