The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 12
Armed Defence, or the pleasure and profit of coming to Blows
Armed Defence, or the pleasure and profit of coming to Blows.
It was discovered on Sunday last that, during the previous night, the vinery of H. Lisle, Esq., in Bailiffgate, Alnwick, had been entered and robbed by some persons unknown. The police authorities were informed of the circumstance, and, accordingly, on Monday night, Police-sergeant Stuart and Police-constable Stevens went to the place to make observations as to the manner in which it would most readily be entered by depredators, intending also to make some stay, as it was considered not improbable that the thieves might return. It was about eleven o'clock; there was as yet no moonlight; and the shadow of the surrounding trees added to the darkness which prevailed. The policemen stationed themselves about fifteen yards apart, and had not waited long when they heard the footsteps of two men ascending the steps that led from the lower garden. The man who was in advance struck Stevens a blow on the arm with a heavy stick; the second man, who was also provided with a stick, followed up the attack by knocking him down with a stroke on the head. The policeman, thus taken at a disadvantage, struggled gallantly with his assailant. He caught hold of the second man's stick, and the two rolled over each other, each striving to get possession of it. Sergeant Stuart at the same time came up and closed with the other man. The struggle in this case was equally desperate. Stuart was severely injured; he received three scalp wounds, besides several contusions on other parts of his body. he would, in all probability, have received even worse injuries had not Stevens, who had at length wrested the stick from his antagonist, and effectually disabled him with a tremendous blow on the head, come to his superior's assistance. And now at length Stuart recognised in his antagonist no midnight thief, but Mr. Lisle's head-gardener, who in turn discovered that the unknown individual whom under a mistaken impression he had so fiercely assulted was one familiarly known to him; nor could they have failed to recognise each other but for the darkness of the night. The other man proved to be an assistant of the gardener's. They had been watching, like the police, for the re-appearance of the nocturnal plunderers, and thus the mistake of the two parties of watchers had been mutual. The wounds of the police-sergeant and the gardiner's assistant are unfortunately most severe.