Friday, 22 June 2012

22nd June 1812: Burglary at Briestfield, West Yorkshire

At midnight on Monday 22nd June 1812, a burglary took place in Briestfield (then Briestwistle) in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The Leeds Mercury of 27th June carried  a vivid report from their Huddersfield correspondent:
Last Monday about midnight, a great number of armed men, with their faces disfigured by broad black marks down each cheek and over the forehead, assembled near the dwelling-house of Mr. Fisher, a shop-keeper, at Briestwistle, in this neighbourhood, and after firing two guns or pistols, demanded admittance into Mr. Fishers house, which he refused. They then broke open the door, and two of them rushing into the house, seized Mr. Fisher, who had just got out of bed; they each presented a pistol to his breast, and threatened him with instant death if he stirred a foot. Not intimidated by this threat, Mr. Fisher rushed from them towards the door, when he was seized by other six men, who placing a sheet over his head, face and arms, kept him in that situation while their comrades ransacked the house, and took from his pocket-book bills to the amount of 116l. besides 20l. in notes and some cash; they also took a quantity of notes and cash out of a drawer, but to what amount Mr. Fisher does not exactly know. When the depredation was completed, the Leader cried out to the guard placed over Mr. Fisher, “Let him go; don't hurt him; we have got what we wanted, and we will bring it back in three months,” and immediately made off.

The Baines Directory for the area in 1822 has a James Fisher as grocer at Briestwistle.

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