An impudent thief!

Philip Jeffs continues his Glazebrook-Rylands family archives blog. This week a letter from an “impudent thief”…

The following letter is one item amongst many pasted into a volume by John Paul Rylands in 1891.

John Paul collected every scrap of family history he could relating to the Rylands, Glazebrook, Kirkland, and Chapman families. The letter here, he recalls, was sent to his father Thomas Glazebrook Rylands (our snowflake gatherer from earlier) in 1840 by an ‘impudent thief’. The family were at that time living on Bewsey Street, Warrington. Their family home of Highfield Hall in Thelwall had not yet been built.


Mr. Rylands

Sir I beg leave to return my most sincere thanks to you for your kindness in feeding the two geese so nice and fat. Likewise the pottatoes they also were very good. One of the geese we had the Sunday following to my great satisfaction. It was very good. The other was also very good.
I sent you a letter last year to thank you for the turkey. The geese were as good as the turkey.

I remain yours respectfully,

A friend to all and enemy to none.

I think you will agree with John Paul that impudent is the right word. Petty crime, it seems, is nothing new to Warrington.

It is fascinating to speculate what Thomas’s reaction might have been to receiving the letter, or even why a thief would send such a letter in the first place. It is fun to speculate that perhaps some worker with a grudge, or political opponent on the town council, may have been taking their secret revenge on Thomas (not good practice for a researcher, but fun none the less).