The strange and the wonderful, part one

Whilst cataloguing this collection I’ve stumbled upon quite a number of strange and wonderful documents. There’s the account of a shipwrecked mariner who claims he was struck blind by lightening, or the letter to the Clerk of the Peace requesting absence from the Sessions because of a smallpox outbreak. There have been petitions from the prisoners in the gaols which detail some of the terrible conditions there, bills for treating them for various ailments, and some quite unusual crimes, to modern eyes, such as the theft and chasing of bulls through the streets of various Devonshire towns, and an unprovoked attack on a collection of apparently very fine shoes. In an update next week I’ll be going into more details about some of the more off-beat things that the Quarter Sessions records occasionally contain, so watch this space, and have a great weekend!

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