Victorian London - Crime - Thieves - Horse-hair

ROBBING OMNIBUS HORSES OF THEIR TAILS. Wm. Thos. Ferray, 35, of Northwold-road, Clapton, and Edward Rist, 19, of Defoe-road, Stoke Newington, horse keepers, were charged with stealing during the past fortnight a quantity of hair from the manes and tails of horses in the omnibus yard of the London General Omnibus Company at Church-street, Stoke Newington. Evidence was given on behalf of the company that the prisoners were horse keepers, who each had daily charge of eleven horses in the omnibus yard. There are 122 horses kept in the yard. It was discovered that the prisoners had been in the habit of pulling hairs from the horses’ tails and selling them to a marine store dealer’s near by. The dealer, Jacob Ludkin, who said that he had not known that the prisoners were acting wrongly, proved having purchased horsehair from them at a rate of 10d. a pound. It was stated that the foreman of the horse keepers was the only employé in the yard who was allowed certain small perquisites, and the amount of hair that would be combed out of the horses’ tails and manes in a legitimate manner would be very small. The company did not prosecute on account of the value of the horsehair, but because the prisoners had disfigured the horses’ tails – Mr. Hannay sentenced both the prisoners to 21 days hard labour.

Daily News, November 8, 1884