Robbery at Charlecote!

On this day in 1850…

Two men stood trail at Warwick Assizes and were found guilty of burglary. They had broken into the house at Charlecote Park stealing many family treasures.

On 7 May Mary Elizabeth had been awoken at around 6am by her butler. He informed her that  robbers had broken into the house by the garden door during the night. They had ransacked her sitting room, breakfast room, dining room and library. Many family relics and treasures were feared missing.

Mary Elizabeth wrote a list of the missing items and sent the butler to the nearest telegraph office, which was at Rugby. She also had information relating to the robbery posted in nearby towns and railway stations. She offered a reward of £100 for the capture of the criminals.


It later transpired that two men had been making enquiries in Barford about the ownership of the Park. The same men had also been asking similar questions in Warwick and were then seen carrying two large carpet bags. They had been spotted having breakfast in Hatton the morning the robbery had been discovered and then seen boarding a bus to Birmingham.

Inspector Glossop of Birmingham Police was informed of this and immediately suspected two local thieves – John Bradshaw and a man named Evans. Shortly afterwards he apprehended them. One of the men was armed with a loaded pistol, he attempted to use it but was over powered.

When searched John Bradshaw was found to have a number of items that implicated him in the robbery. These included a miniature of Sir Thomas Lucy, a purse containing £43.10s in gold, a silver penny and a pocket book containing Bradshaw’s expenses for the enterprise!

The men stood trial and were found guilty. They were sentenced with transportation – Evans for 10 years and Bradshaw 15 years. Bradshaw requested a meeting with Mary Elizabeth but she, perhaps understandably, refused.

If you wish to find out more about how Mary Elizabeth felt about this, read more in her memoirs


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