200 Years Ago in Norwich : Theft from St. Andrew’s Hall (and linking in nicely with Norwich Beer Festival)

And another in my series of posts of what was being published in the Norwich Mercury 200 years ago this week. This is a timely one as it relates to St. Andrew’s Hall and that’s where I’ll be this week, volunteering at Norwich Beer Festival. It likely won’t take place next year due to work in the halls, so I’ll have to make the most out of this one. But, back to the news story:

“On Saturday evening last, a robbery was effected at St. Andrew’s Hall, and from the appearances must have been attended with considerable violence. The thieves entered through the upper part of the window, on the right hand side of the door, and on their entrance, it is supposed, immediately broke open the desk under it. They then proceeded to the office of the Court of Requests on the other side of the passage, and forced open Mr. Herman’s desk, from which they stole from 7 to 10l worth of copper.

The villains made an attempt to break open an iron chest, but failed. Their next attempt was upon the Old Library Room, the door of which appears to have been forced open by an iron bar, the panels broken, and the lock completely forced off. A small cabinet standing in the room, containing various silver and copper coins, seems to have been one of their objects. This cabinet they robbed of several of its contents, and appear to have quietly departed. It is curious that this robbery should have effected to near to the direct beat of the watchman, whose box is within 20 yards of the Hall.”

This is an interesting reminder of the variety of ways that St. Andrew’s Hall and Blackfriars Hall have been used over the years, although none as exciting as Norwich Beer Festival of course. I note the way that the newspaper were unimpressed with the watchman who was meant to keep the area safe. I’m also intrigued by the “Court of Requests”, which seemed to deal with small claims, with Norwich being one of the first to have one. I’ll find out more….

Oh, and I’m sure I’ll post a few things about Norwich Beer Festival over the next few days to excite and delight my two loyal readers.