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A stolen hat

In searching the 19th Century English Newspapers for Maggie’s Gormans, we came across the following intriguing item in the Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle for July 13 1861:

William Taylor a respectably
dressed young man, was charged with stealing a hat on
the previous Sunday, at the Independent
Chapel, High-street, the property of Mr. George Gorman,
ship’s steward. Mr. Gorman attended service at the
Independent Chapel, High-street, on Sunday evening,
the 30th of June, and placed his hat, of the value of 13s.,
on the window ledge near where he was sitting. The
prisoner, a stranger to the congregation, was present, and
at the conclusion of the service, took the hat and walked
off. About an hour afterwards he was apprehended by
P. C. Littlefield, in the street, with the hat on his head.
He said he took it by mistake, but which could not be the
case, as he had only a cap with him when he went into
the chapel. He pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to six
weeks’ imprisonment with hard labour.

Just a random vignette, but which conveys much information about George Gorman and either pointers to further sources of information, or sufficient to match this person with other events  – his name, occupation, the date, and his place of worship.

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