Author Topic: Richard Nurse, the Norfolk embezzler  (Read 599 times)

Offline PAK

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Richard Nurse, the Norfolk embezzler
« on: Wednesday 28 February 18 21:01 GMT (UK) »
I've been trying to complete the story of Richard Lindsey Nurse, who stole from his father in Kings Lynn then fled to France, but was arrested on his return. Born in 1860, he was remanded in 1879 at Lynn Petty Sessions. I couldn't find him in 1881 but he was in Manchester in 1891, then mentioned in a directory in Birmingham in 1892. The same year he married Elizabeth Phoebe King but she was on her own by 1901.
The question I can't answer is the length of his sentence. If he was out by 1881 then presumably he ought to be on the census. I've read that from 1866, convicted prisoners from K/Lynn were sent to the County Gaol at Norwich. I've had emails with very helpful people at Norfolk Records but most of it seems to depend on me making a trip over there. It's more than a day trip for me so I'm wondering if any kind Rootschatter has access to records that would help.
He's not directly related to me but emigrated to Canada in 1907 and lived with one of my relatives in Vancouver until he died. If they married both were probably bigamists and as I have now traced their descendants to the USA I am hoping to give them the full story. Little do they know of their ancestors yet, though I have given a few hints!

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Offline avm228

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Re: Richard Nurse, the Norfolk embezzler
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 28 February 18 21:34 GMT (UK) »
According to the Norwich Mercury of 1 March 1879, the charge against Richard, which had been the basis of his being remanded in custody, was withdrawn by the Superintendent of Police on 20 February and he was accordingly discharged from custody.  It seems, therefore, that there never was a trial, conviction or sentence.

I see also that his father had died suddenly in the midst of all this.
Ayr: Barnes, Wylie
Caithness: MacGregor
Essex: Eldred (Pebmarsh)
Gloucs: Timbrell (Winchcomb)
Hants: Stares (Wickham)
Lincs: Maw, Jackson (Epworth, Belton)
London: Pierce
Suffolk: Markham (Framlingham)
Surrey: Gosling (Richmond)
Wilts: Matthews, Tarrant (Calne, Preshute)
Worcs: Milward (Redditch)
Yorks: Beaumont, Crook, Moore, Styring (Huddersfield); Middleton (Church Fenton); Exley, Gelder (High Hoyland); Barnes, Birchinall (Sheffield); Kenyon, Wood (Cumberworth/Denby Dale)

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Offline PAK

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Re: Richard Nurse, the Norfolk embezzler
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 01 March 18 00:22 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for that. The more detailed story (as I noted from various reports) are as follows:
   Richard Lindsey Nurse was born in Kings Lynn, the son of a solicitor, and is recorded there in 1871 but no later census record has yet been found. However, he worked as an articled clerk for his father, and a report in various local newspapers in January and early February 1879 describe how he cashed a cheque for £629 that was meant for his father, then absconded. “This caused such a shock to his father’s nervous system that he was compelled to take to his bed  … burst a blood vessel and died”. The police found that he had “left for the Continent, accompanied by a young woman with whom he had been acquainted.” However, he returned to London after a few days and was arrested at private lodgings in Euston Road.

So it seems very odd that the case was dismissed as the details were publicised widely at the time - not just in Norfolk but in local papers throughout the country. I had assumed that because I couldn't find him until 1891 he had received a long sentence. Not sure if prisoners were recorded in the census? Is any explanation given as to why the police withdrew the case?

And I suppose there is now a further question. Does anyone have any record of him between 1879 and 1891?

Offline avm228

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Re: Richard Nurse, the Norfolk embezzler
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 01 March 18 10:28 GMT (UK) »
It’s not uncommon to find that extensive details were published widely, including being picked up by syndication in non-local newspapers, at the charging stage - but they were still only allegations at that stage.  When it came to the final hearing before the Bench, the prosecution offered no evidence against Richard, and he was therefore discharged (the Bury Free Press of 01.03.1879, reporting this, doesn’t say why there was a change of position, and indeed the prosecutor did not need to explain why no evidence was being offered).  It does look as though Richard co-operated with efforts to recover as much of the money as possible, and the fact that his father (presumably a key witness) had died may have played a part.

Incidentally in the report it does say that, during his alleged abscondment in London, Richard had met and then (supposely within three days) married a young woman named Rose Avery, by licence at St Martin-in-the-Fields.  I can’t see a registration corresponding to such a marriage.
Ayr: Barnes, Wylie
Caithness: MacGregor
Essex: Eldred (Pebmarsh)
Gloucs: Timbrell (Winchcomb)
Hants: Stares (Wickham)
Lincs: Maw, Jackson (Epworth, Belton)
London: Pierce
Suffolk: Markham (Framlingham)
Surrey: Gosling (Richmond)
Wilts: Matthews, Tarrant (Calne, Preshute)
Worcs: Milward (Redditch)
Yorks: Beaumont, Crook, Moore, Styring (Huddersfield); Middleton (Church Fenton); Exley, Gelder (High Hoyland); Barnes, Birchinall (Sheffield); Kenyon, Wood (Cumberworth/Denby Dale)

Offline willsy

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Re: Richard Nurse, the Norfolk embezzler
« Reply #4 on: Friday 02 March 18 21:32 GMT (UK) »
Have you had a chance to read the article in

Lowestoft Journal 15 February 1879

It's very detailed to Richard's whereabouts and various sums of money which he gives back
This article mentions a marriage to Rose Varley by licence at St Martin-in-the-Fields!
Willsy

Ward, Newark (Nottingham), Leicester, Scarborough
Warren, Northampton, Leicester
Moore, Leicestershire
Hunt, Leicestershire
Kirkman, Leicestershire
Hurst, Leicester, Stowmarket
Kendrick, Leicestershire
Eld, Leicestershire
Essex Edey/Eady Elsden/Elsdon

Census Transcriptions are Crown Copyright from National Archives

Offline PAK

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Re: Richard Nurse, the Norfolk embezzler
« Reply #5 on: Friday 02 March 18 22:26 GMT (UK) »
Many thanks for looking at this. Sounds like just what I need but unfortunately my access to old newspapers is very limited. Any chance you could email it (perhaps as a screenshot) to me?
I looked at Freebmd but, as avm228 says, there doesn't appear to be a record of a marriage (either to Avery or Varley). I wonder if this was a story designed to be used as mitigating circumstances. Later events suggest that he didn't regard marriage as a major commitment!

Offline willsy

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Re: Richard Nurse, the Norfolk embezzler
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 04 March 18 22:48 GMT (UK) »
Will pm you
Willsy

Ward, Newark (Nottingham), Leicester, Scarborough
Warren, Northampton, Leicester
Moore, Leicestershire
Hunt, Leicestershire
Kirkman, Leicestershire
Hurst, Leicester, Stowmarket
Kendrick, Leicestershire
Eld, Leicestershire
Essex Edey/Eady Elsden/Elsdon

Census Transcriptions are Crown Copyright from National Archives