Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Jeremy Kyle Show Through The Ages (part one of an occasional series, as it were)

Must confess found this one looking through “The Northern Star” and had a giggle, likesay thought: "this is a classic Jeremy Kyle moment". On re reading it I see there is a real human tragedy there. But then that I suppose is why I have been drawn to The Show if I can get up in time of a morning. My sick interest in Working Class tragedy. Here goes….


At Marlborough-street office, London, an old woman, named Elizabeth White, was charged with being drunk, and having created a disturbance in the streets. A young man of very respectable appearance came forward to give evidence against the woman. He said the woman at the bar was the mother of himself, and three other sons, all of whom were establishing themselves in business, and each was likely to have his property severely injured by the disgraceful propensity of their parent for gin. They jointly contributed a weekly sum towards her maintenance, and they had even made arrangements with the parish officers for the further support of their mother. Such, however, was her unconquerable propensity for liquor that she would spend every farthing she could obtain at the gin-shop, and though clothed respectably one day, she would appear the next in rags, from having parted with her decent garments to raise money for more gin. When in a state of intoxication, she would make her appearance at one of her sons shops, and, by her disgraceful situation, and her conduct, she would cause a riot, and thus create much injury to his business. All her sons had times out of number been subjected to this annoyance, and it now had become necessary to ask the magistrate to inflict some sort of punishment on their mother. It was useless sending her to the workhouse, as she had discharged herself twenty times from that refuge; some more severe mode of restraint must now be adopted towards her. Mr Chambers said that it was shocking to see a woman advanced in years, and the mother of a grown up family, so disgrace herself. He knew of no course to pursue, unless the sons sent her to some village where no gin was sold, if such a place could be found in England. The old woman she said would not go near her sons again, if she were released. The magistrate was informed that she had made the same promise repeatedly, and no later than the previously day had been discharged from custody on a similar plea. She was sent to prison in default of bail

From ”The Northern Star” 29/September/1838

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