[Bell Historians] Re: J. Rawlings Tisbury Wiltshire

Brian Meldon CanewdonBells at JuWQMtTgndV8d3SJsAY-9M5lGNl4ebZ5-0hSl_rU7VYg0UOxH072jwrtDjpU3LAP27W28myoicd9OaRrFWfVsjIe.yahoo.invalid
Wed Sep 28 12:38:54 BST 2011

 There is more to this, and it gets quite interesting:

Justice Rawlings is listed on the Dec 1871 to Jan 1873 Electorol Roll for West Tisbury. It states that he owned a freehold house and land in Tuckingmill and that he had a tenant occupying this property called John Alford.

John Alford is listed in the 1881 Census as a farmer of 358 acres employing 6 men and 4 boys. There is no mention of a foundry so it is possible that as previously mentioned it was Alford that converted the foundry into cottages in c 1871. 

I have looked further into the bankruptcy summons. Justice Rawlings was the debtor and as such was bankrupt, indicating that his business had failed. He is listed as a `late Road Surveyor' so he may well have passed away by 16th May 1871.

The company mentioned in the summons, Girdlestone and Barclay had taken out an advertisement offering loans on freehold properties, but it would appear that this was a con and that Mr. C.F. Barclay did not exist. Girdlestone and Barclay had offices in Euston Square and when clients arrived they would be interviewed and asked details of the property. They would be asked to wait while Mr Barclay who was supposed to be upstairs was consulted. They would be told that they agreed to lend the money and that they would be in touch. A letter would then arrive from Girdlestone and Barclay asking for money for a full property inspection or for a life insurance for the period of the loan. The client would send the money or cheque but no inspections were ever done and no money was ever loaned.

Those suspected to be behind this scheme Thomas Gar Wood, James Tessier Northcott, George Thompson, William Shaw, Thomas Slinker, George Shaw and Thomas Shaw all appeared in court on 27th May 1878. Wood, Northcott and Thompson got five years penal servitude, Shaw got two years imprisonment, Slinker nine months imprisonment. George and Thomas Shaw were found not guilty.

Justice Rawlings is not mentioned or listed among the many witnesses called to testify, probably because he had passed away in 1871 but what is clear is that he was indeed a victim of this fraud and the money given, probably about 15 Gunnies if the other examples are anything to go by, may well have been what pushed him into bankrupts.

I can not find anything else out easily about Justice Rawlings, but it was a fun morning looking into all this. So thanks once again David for posing the question.

Brian Meldon


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