I wrote in a previous post about pinpointing Thomas PALMER’s premises using a newspaper report of his being robbed. Living by a police station didn’t seem to give the security you’d think it would, as Palmer was robbed again in 1869:
A certain Henry Baker stole two books from him at the value of 4 shillings, as well as a pot of cold cream from a nearby chemist, Charles Mumby. Funnily enough a little research shows this chemist was actually the founder of Mumby’s Mineral Waters. (Read a little more about him here.) He also stole a letter stamp from a Mr Loveder but for some reason this wasn’t investigated.
As the ‘well-known character‘ had been convicted of a felony twice before this incident, Henry Baker was sentenced to twelve months hard labour. Out of curiosity, I found his record of conviction for his crime against Thomas Palmer in the Southampton Assizes records.
I’m curious as to what Thomas’ ‘private mark’ looked like. Was his private mark different to his store mark? Did it look anything like this…?
In my last post, I was trying to find a more exact address for Thomas Palmer, bookseller of Gosport. I had narrowed him down to ‘Upper South Street’ but not being a local, still had no idea where exactly upon the street he lived. The breakthrough came when I found a newspaper article reporting a robbery at his premises:
John Daly, a Royal Artilleryman, was charged with attempting to break into the dwelling house of Thomas Palmer, almost opposite the Police Station, on the previous night. The prisoner was heard at the shutter by a policeman who was going to bed, and he gave information to a brother constable on duty, upon which he went outside the station gate and there saw the prisoner, without a jacket, standing by the window of the house, the shutters being open and partially broken. On seeing the policeman he ran away and was afterwards taken by P.C. Gibbs in a passage in North-street. Mr. Palmer, the occupier of the house, proved fastening up the house about 9 o’clock the previous night. Prisoner was committed for trial.
So now I knew that he lived “…almost opposite the Police Station…”.
Unfortunately, the police station no longer exists on South Street after being destroyed by enemy action in 1941. I found a photograph of the building in 1949 on the Gosport Heritage site but it gave me no other details. Luckily however I found a c.1896 map which marked the location of the police station which made the description, ‘almost opposite’ make sense.
Interestingly, there is also a photo on the Gosport Heritage site captioned; ‘Portland Place; south side of South Street, running north-south almost opposite to the OLD police station.’ I’m pretty sure Palmer’s old book shop is just out of shot on the far left of this image (behind the first building).
That’s probably as close as I’m going to get but since the buildings on that block are long gone now, I still feel strangely accomplished.