1900: Harry Potter – bully, thief, hobby horse rider

In January 1900, a Chester Castle magistrate heard a charge of theft laid against Harry Potter, described as “a respectable boy of eleven”. According to the prosecution, Harry Potter had accosted and robbed a much smaller boy named Joseph Goodwin:

“Goodwin, who was only seven years of age, was sent on Thursday by his mother to buy some groceries, and was given [three shillings and sixpence] to pay for them… Potter asked him if he had any money [and] without further parley put his hand in Goodwin’s pocket, bringing out two shillings in silver. With his plunder Potter then took his departure… spending the money upon bottles of ginger beer and trips on hobby horses, etc.”

Harry Potter pleaded guilty to the charge and the magistrate sentenced him to “six strokes of the birch rod”, expressing his hope that this would “have a salutary effect upon him.”

Source: The Cheshire Observer, January 13th 1900. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2019-23. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.