Christmas 1891, was something Blantyre lady Rose Ann Watson (nee McCourt) would likely not have enjoyed.
The Auchentibber woman was jailed for 21 days over the festive period for stealing from a Blantyre shop, belonging to William Scott at High Blantyre Main Street. She had actually got away with stealing the items a couple of days before Christmas but was caught out quite by chance.
A policeman had been walking along Sydes Brae when he noticed a tuft of gras sticking up from the verge. He kicked it and 2 brand new dressing combs and 12 small combs were uncovered. Seeing a woman nearby acting suspiciously nearby hanging around the scene, he approached her and decided to confront her with the accusation that SHE had stolen them and was trying to hide them from police.
Rose admitted the theft and produced an additional stolen item in the form of a set of Christmas Cards. In court as Rose was taken away for her jail sentence, the Sheriff complimented the officer on his diligence and smartness.
William is pictured a decade later outside his shop on Main Street, High Blantyre. (The shop is no longer there and is now the entrance to the little carpark next to Ladbrokes)
Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:
Avalon Orr Any relation Jean? X
Jean Orr Avalon Orr could be it was the Watson side of the family who came from Auchintibber but not a name I’ve heard off! X
Anne Irvine Brilliant 😄. Wonder what her plan was for the combs?
Eleanor Connor Great pic!
Mary Sitters William Scott was my Daddy’s name! A wee bit later than 1891 though.
Brian Weaver Poor woman. 21 days in jail for such a small crime and god knows what misery the rest of her family went through.
Elizabeth Weaver I hate to agree with my brother, but you’re right, Brian. Prisons have always been full of the poor.
Elizabeth Weaver Great photo – such a well stocked shop
Brian Weaver I don’t suppose he was related to us.
Elizabeth Weaver Brian Weaver No, our branch of the Scotts were in Dalserf and Ashgill I think – didn’t come to Blantyre until Grandpa got the job at Dixon’s and met our Granny (Jessie Campbell).
Nan Burrows Interesting piece of history
Marian Maguire So sad, probably a wee present or she was going to sell them to get a bit Of money.
Betty McLean Thank you Paul not sure I knew this story but interesting. A long time to be jailed, probably a poor lady.