Newsies — Jailed at Nine Years Old


Perth Courier, November 6, 1868



Last Tuesday a counterpart of some of the city magistrate’s trials was enacted here in the Council Chamber before the mayor and John Doran, Esq., J.P. at which little of the element largely prevailing in the moral character of the local newsboys was brought to light.

A young lad, a son of John Cathcart, was charged with stealing the sum of $20 from his father; the charge was made good; and besides that the evidence adduced that the young scamp had spent about $4 on sweets and drinkables of various kinds by which time he had become so drunk that he was forced to defer his cherished scheme of getting rid of the whole of it in the same manner until he could get sobered up again.


He was found in a ditch by parties in quest of him late in the evening.  He had broken into the chest containing the money while his father was absent.  He was only nine years of age.  After mature deliberation he was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment in the jail.


Last Photo–

In the centre is Luther Gosney, 10, who was sent to prison for 21 days in 1876 for stealing two tin horns worth eight shillings.

After his release, Luther spent five years in a reformatory, schools for juvenile offenders aimed at correcting their behaviour.

Samuel James, 11 and on the right, was working in a silk factory with accomplice Albert Hallett, 10, when the pair were jailed for a month for stealing cocoa in 1873.

Also pictured is Pricilla Penfold, who was jailed for a month in 1874 and sent to the reformatory for five years for stealing a cloak.

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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