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John Meads 2016

The exploits of Daniel Currant

Coffee Tavern John Hawkes' house, Church Street
Burton Latimer Coffee Tavern - now Barclays Bank
The home of John Hawkes, burgled by Daniel Currant in 1910, is in the
centre of this photograph. Since 1914 it has been the Conservative Club
Daniel Currant appears to have never been out of trouble in the early 1900s, usually with an accomplice. Some of his many court appearances are detailed below and they seem to show that his jail sentences don't appear to have had any effect on his behaviour. These selected newspaper reports contain several comments which seem to show him as a rather foot-loose and fancy-free character and in another, not included here, he was described by the police as a "loafer".

THEFTS OF BICYCLES – BURTON LATIMER MEN SENTENCED AT LEICESTER – Northampton Mercury 6 Sep 1901 - At Leicester Police court this morning, Daniel Currant, shoe hand, and John Smedley, of Burton Latimer, were charged with stealing two bicycles, value £2, the property of Charles Clayton, Leicester, cycle dealer, on June 25th. Prisoners each hired bicycles for an hour, but did not return. When arrested, Currant said he sold his bicycle for 18s., while Smedley said he gave his away. They were each sent to prison for 21 days hard labour.

But he got away with this one ...

Northampton Mercury 20 Nov 1908 Divisional Petty Sessions - Dismissed – Daniel Currant, labourer, Burton Latimer, was charged with stealing a leather strap, valued 1s. 3d., the property of James Hart, at Cranford, on November 14. – The case was dismissed.

BURTON LATIMER BURGLARY - Northampton Mercury 8 Sep 1905

The sequel to a recent burglary at the Burton Latimer Coffee Tavern was heard at the Kettering Police Court on Tuesday morning, when Fred Ward, shoe operative, Burton Latimer, and Oliver Digby Drage, labourer, Kettering, were charged with breaking and entering the Coffee Tavern, Burton Latimer, and stealing therefrom 25s. in money, and 40 packets of cigarettes, together value £1 5s. 6d., the property of the Burton Latimer Coffee House Company, during the night of the 29th ult. Prisoners were apprehended at Daventry on Saturday, and were before Mr. Bird at the Kettering Sessions on Monday, when they were remanded. On Tuesday they were charged before Mr. J. T. Stockburn (in the chair) and Dr. J. W. Dryland. – Eliza Ann Jenkins, the manageress of the Burton Coffee Tavern, stated that she retired to read about 10.30 p.m. on the night of August 29, the premises being securely fastened. Witness was more particular than usual in locking up because she had previously missed some keys from a bedroom door. The till in the bar, which contained about 25s. in money, was locked up, and a box containing about 40 packets of cigarettes was in the bar. About 5.30 on the following morning she thought she heard a noise in the yard, and on looking out of the window she saw a lot of pots and pans placed on the asphalt, and a rabbit hutch disturbed. Witness found the till drawer had been forced open and the money gone. The prisoner Drage came to the Coffee Tavern on the morning following the robbery, and said to the witness “I hear you have had a robbery. I didn’t hear anything of it until I came this morning.” Witness replied “Yes, I wish I had heard them, for they would not have got off free, as I would have marked them.” Drage replied “It’s a good job you did not.” – Daniel Currant, shoe operative, Burton Latimer, said he was in the Duke’s Arms on the morning of the 30th ult., and Drage called him outside and said he had some money for him. Witness went out into the fields with both prisoners and Ward pulled out a pocket handkerchief with money in it. Ward gave witness 5d. and six packets of “fags”. Witness left the prisoners in the fields and went away. Prisoners said they had been in the Coffee Tavern. Two or three days previously Ward told witness that he could get the keys of the Coffee Tavern. – P.C. Beal stated he stated that he received information of the robbery about six o’clock on the morning of the 30th. Witness saw Currant and Smith, whom he had seen near the Britannia Club at 12.30 that morning, and Currant handed the cigarettes (produced) to witness, which he said he had received from Ward. From statements they made, witness went in search of the prisoners, but found they had absconded. – Inspector Birrill gave evidence of receiving prisoners from the police at Daventry. On the day following the arrest Ward made a statement, with the result that he was taken to Burton Latimer, where the prisoner dug up the Coffee Tavern keys produced from under a hedge in a field. – Prisoners were committed for trial at the Quarter Sessions.

The prisoner Ward was further charged, in conjunction with Daniel Currant, shoe laster, Burton Latimer, with breaking and entering the shop of the Butchery Department of the Burton Latimer Co-operative Industrial Society, and stealing 9d. at Burton Latimer, during the night of July 21. – Herbert Charles Vickers, a butcher  in the employment of the Burton Latimer Co-operative Society, deposed to finding an entrance being effected on the butchery premises from a back window; the desk and till had been forced open and some coppers abstracted. – P. C. Beale stated that the marks on the window and the till corresponded with the rasp produced. – Inspector Birrill deposed in consequence of the statement by Ward he arrested Currant at St. Neots on the previous day. Prisoners admitted the robbery, but said they had not got much by the job, when charged jointly both prisoners admitted the robbery. – They were both committed for trial at the Quarter Sessions.

NIGHT WORK AT BURTON LATIMER - Northampton Mercury 20 October 1905

Fred Ward (21) and Oliver Digby Drage (22), bootmakers, were indicted on a charge of burglariously breaking into the Burton Latimer Coffee House Company’s premises on the night of August 29, and stealing therefrom 25s. in cash and 40 packets of cigarettes. Ward was further charged, along with Daniel Currant (22), with breaking into the shop of the Burton Latimer Industrial Co-operative Society Limited, and stealing ninepence in money, between the 21st and 22nd July. – All the prisoners, none of whom seem to have a fixed home, admitted their guilt, and Drage owned to previous convictions, - Mr. W.R.D.Atkins appeared for the prosecution.  – Inspector Birrill said Currant was a man who had been hanging around Kettering for some time, and did not have much inclination for work. Witness found a jemmy in Drage’s possession, while Ward had a dark lantern, a tube of Seccotine, used for deadening the sound of breaking glass, and a knuckle-duster. – Currant was sentenced to Three Months’ Hard Labour, Ward to Four Months’ Hard labour on each count, and Drage to Nine Months’ Hard Labour.

BURGLARY AT BURTON LATIMER - Northampton Mercury 4 February 1910
At the Kettering Police Court on Wednesday, before Lieutenant-Colonel de Crespingy and other magistrates – Daniel Currant, labourer, and William Northern, shoe operative, both of Burton Latimer, were charged with entering the house of John Hawkes, at Burton Latimer, on January 27, and stealing one biscuit barrel, nickel-plated cake basket, brass gong, and brass kettle, value £5.

The evidence showed that the prisoners entered the house occupied by the prosecutor, Mr John Hawkes, in Church-street, during the night of January 27, and took away the articles described in the charge. As a result of a search by the police, all the articles were found in a barrel adjoining a house occupied by a man named Robinson in Croxen’s-yard, Burton Latimer, close to where the prisoners lodged. Currant was arrested whilst at work near Weldon by P.C. Woodruffe, and Northern was apprehended at Raunds by P.C. Avery. Prisoners were committed for trial to the Assizes.

BURTON LATIMER’S STORMY PETREL - Northampton Mercury 10 February 1910

Daniel Currant (26) labourer, and William Northern (42), shoe operative, were indicted for burglary, at Burton Latimer, on January 27, 1910, and stealing from the house of John Hawkes a biscuit barrel, a nickel-plated cake basket, a salver, a brass gong and a brass kettle. - Both prisoners pleaded guilty. – Mr. Poyser prosecuted. – Inspector Tebby said that Currant travelled with a boxing booth, and when he went to Burton Latimer generally something happened there. Northern kept bad company, but Currant was the ringleader. – Currant was sentenced to Nine Months’ Hard Labour and Northern to Six Months’ Hard Labour.

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