Saturday, 25 July 2015

Kirby brothers—under the watch of New Scotland Yard

The following records are from the Criminal Record Office at New Scotland Yard. The records contain weekly lists of persons coming within the provisions of sections 5, 7 and 8 of the Prevention of Crimes Act, 1871, who have been discharged or are about to be discharged from prisons in England and Wales. The individuals are known as habitual offenders and we can therefore surmise that the purpose of the publishing the records might have been to give advance warning to local police and other authorities that they were about to return to the streets.
Within the records there are a number of records appertaining to members of the Kirby family.     
Above, the first page of an average week, this one ending January 15, 1927. The introductory notes provide us with a useful explanation of the abbreviations used in the columns of the records.
The record above is from Birmingham Magistrate’s Court and shows the conviction of a 23 year –old brass-caster man named Frederick Kirby on 23rd January 1909. He was convicted alongside an accomplice named George Bradnock, a 22 year old hawker, for ‘receiving’.

Details:  At Birmingham, on 17th January 1909 did feloniously break and enter the warehouse of the Calthorpe Motor Company, Limited and feloniously steal therein 20 inner tyres, 1 mortar radiator, 6 radiator frames, 4 towels and 12 steel drills, the goods of the said Calthorpe Motor Company, Limited.

This person is too old to have been one of the Kirby brothers or their father whose name was James. The Kirby surname could be significant or just a coincidence.     

2439-18.    James Kirby. Birmingham Prison. Registered no. 622

Date and place of Birth:         1899.  Birmingham   Height:      5 feet 4 and three quarters.

Complexion: Fair.              Hair:  Light brown   Eyes: Hazel.

Marks, peculiarities: Nil

Offence in full, place of conviction and Officer in case or place of Committal:

Shop breaking—Birmingham. Sess. (Birmingham)

Sentence and date of conviction:

8 months.  3-7-1919

Date of liberation, intended address and occupation:

23-1-1920. Birmingham. Caster. 


The above record from Birmingham Magistrate Court provides the details of the same conviction for James Kirby on 3rd July 1919 as well as the conviction of his brother Frederick and Fred’s accomplice in shop breaking, Albert Eaton:

James Kirby, 20, strip carter, 21 days or 40/-, Birmingham, 17 Jan,1918 (stealing two night shirts). Escort, Birmingham 28 Feb, 1919 (absentee). Case at Birmingham, 3 June 1919. Date of first reception in prison 27th May 1919.

Details: On 22nd May 1919, did break and enter the shop of John Frederick Lickorish and steal therein four gold signet rings, one card case, three gold ear-rings, one lady’s rolled gold watch and other articles, the goods of the said John Frederick Lickorish.

Pleaded guilty. 8 months hard labour.

Frederick Kirby, 19 caster. Birmingham 3rd June 1919. Date of first reception in prison 23rd May 1919. Bailed at court 3rd June 1919.

Details: On 23rd May 1919 did break and enter the shop of Arthur Edward Pawson and steal therein one shirt, one coat and other articles and 11/1 in money, the goods and moneys of the said Arthur Edward Pawson.

Guilty. 2 months hard labour. His accomplice Albert Eaton, a 21 year old miner, was found guilty of the same crime and also sentenced to 2 months hard labour.    


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