John Lawrence

Horsham Museum
The Barouche was unique in that the passenger seats were arranged facing eachother.

The Prisoner. 

On enquiry, we learn that the prisoner’s father, who is now dead, was a plasterer at Tonbridge, where his mother now resides, and that the prisoner was apprenticed to that trade, but did not serve his time out. He has been working as a labourer on a railway and has been once, if not oftener, in Maidstone Gaol for felony.

John Lawrence

He came to Brighton about two months before Christmas and has lived in Cavendish  Street with a woman by whose prostitution he was supporting.

Since his committal and before his arrival at the gaol, prisoner appeared quite unconcerned at the awful consequences of his crime either to his unfortunate victim or to himself. For the purpose of escaping observation he was not conveyed in the prison van, but in a ‘Barouche.’ On getting into the conveyance he for the first time gave vent to his pent up anxiety in a flood of tears. The funeral of the unfortunate Solomon was taking place at the time of the prisoner’s removal, and while on the road the prisoner saw the crowd in the distance. “What can all that crowd of people be about?” he asked.

The policeman who was with him replied that the prisoner knew. “It is not Mr. Solomon’s funeral is it?” enquired the prisoner. The policeman replied that it was and the prisoner coolly observed that people were very foolish to go to such sights. “You have done the same yourself, perhaps?” observed the policeman “No, I have not” the prisoner replied. “For I was in Maidstone when there were two executions and I didn’t go to see either.”

The prisoner then conversed on various common topics, and on going into Lewes saw what he supposed to be a race horse, and then turned his conversation to racing, remarking that he had seen that horse run at Ascot twice. He enquired once when the Assize commenced and on being told, said “Then in six days I shall know my doom.”


On arrival at the Gaol, the governor told him he might have pen, ink and paper to write to his friends if he chose; the prisoner replied  ”No, they will find out soon enough.” The Governor then told him he might have a solicitor, if he wanted one: and prisoner said he did not want any. On being asked his age, he relied “24.” And on the usual question being put to him, whether he had ever been in gaol before, he said “Yes, I was in Maidstone two years ago for stealing a leg of mutton.” 

Lawrence was then accepted in the Gaol DavidRowland

Welcome to the Finsbury Publishing

David Rowland has just launched his 15th and final book, “The Spirit of Winsome Winn II”, all about the B-17 Flying Fortress which crashed at Patcham after being hit by anti-aircraft fire over Germany.

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