Thursday, 12 April 2012

12th April 1812: Late night visitors in the Spen Valley

At Hightown, Sarah Naylor was still awake and pottering about well after 1.00 a.m. She heard a knock at her door: someone must have seen her light on. She went to the door, opened it and saw a stranger, with others at a distance behind him. He asked if she had a man's hat she could borrow? - he promised to return it as soon as he could, as he lived locally. She agreed, being a kindly type.

Later, at the village of Clifton further to the west, Mary Brook was in bed. She was not yet asleep when she heard a knock at her door. She was wary of opening it given the hour, but decided to go to the window as someone might need help. The few people there were strangers to her. They asked if she would sell them some refreshment, and offered her threepence for whatever she could provide, which she considered was more than reasonable. She offered them the nearest things to hand: some muffins and a pitcher of water, which she passed through the window to them, asking them to leave the empty pitcher on the step when they had finished. She wondered to herself where anyone would be going at this time of night and then went back to bed.

This is taken from Howell 'State Trials' (1823, pp.1110-1112)

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