The intriguing circumstances surrounding a 19th-century burglary in a village in north Northumberland are the subject of a new book.
Charlie and Geordie – The Edlingham Burglary, by Paul Aidan Richardson, relates how one night of poaching on the Northumbrian moors, by two of Alnwick’s most notorious poachers, on February 7, 1879, resulted in the creation of two Acts of Parliament, a Queen’s Royal Pardon and, eventually, the Criminal Court of Appeal.
It is proof, if needed, that fact does transcend fiction and tells of the desperate times when poverty and child mortality were the norm.
It’s a story of how Alnwick and two of its satellite villages – Edlingham and Eglingham – became embroiled with police corruption, wrongful arrests and shootings after two local men committed a seemingly-innoucuous burglary, which sadly went wrong.
It led the Home Secretary to declare on December 26, 1888, that ‘the circumstances elicited were most singular and unprecedented’.
Explaining the motivation for writing this short, factual story, Paul, the son of a Northumbrian vicar, said: “Well, quite ashamedly I have to admit that one of the perpetrators who unintentionally transformed the law of the land, much of which is still relevant today, was my great, great grandfather’s younger brother Charlie.”
The 52-page, illustrated book, priced at £5.99, can be purchased online at talulahpublishing.co.uk with free postage and packing.
It is also available from selected tourist information centres in Northumberland.