Monday, 11 April 2016

11th April 1816: Arson at Great Barton, Suffolk

The Bury & Norwich Post of 17th April 1816 reported on a case of arson at Great Barton, near to Bury St Edmunds, that took place in the early hours of Thursday 11th April 1816:
About one o'clock on Thursday morning the premises of John Phillips, Esq. at Great Barton, near this town, were discovered to be on fire. The alarm thereof was soon after given here, when many of the inhabitants immediately forsook their beds, and having procured four fire engines, went with the utmost promptitude, and by their timely assistance the fire, which had assumed a most destructive appearance, was most providentially subdued, though not until some outbuildings, a large cart-lodge, and a hay stack, were totally destroyed. From the situation where the fire commenced, being full in the wind, and other circumstances, strong suspicions are entertained it was wilfully occasioned: yet as Mr. Phillips and his family were universally respected in this neighbourhood, especially by the poor it seems difficult to account for such an act. The premises, which belong to Sir Charles Bunbury, Bart. are believed be uninsured. Mr. Phillips's stock on his form was insured in the Pheonix Fire Office, and his furniture, &c. in the dwelling-house, in by the Suffolk Fire Office.—The paragraph in a neighbouring print, stating that a reward of 200l. was offered to any one who would discover the incendiary, is, we understand, without foundation, though, no doubt, any person making such discovery, would he amply rewarded by the Fire Offices, and the parties concerned.

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