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    Cradley Links

    Flight of a Poor Law Union Officer (1844)

    It is with regret that we learn that Mr Richard Lowe, formerly of This City, but who for nearly 5 years has filled the situation of collector of the rate for the townships of Stourbridge and Cradley, in the Stourbridge Union, last week suddenly absconded from his trust and, as there is Reason to Believe, has taken his departure for America, leaving a considerable deficiency in his accounts. It seems that Mr Lowe quitted home on Tuesday night, for Halesowen, to prepare the account of the different Hamlet in that parish or the audit, to be held on the day following, informing his wife he should not return on Tuesday night, as he had business to transact at Birmingham, but should return on Wednesday.

    On that day he did not attend the Audit, as was his Duty, but he had left every document ready for the purpose. not returning home at night, his wife became alarmed at his absence, naturally supposing some accident had befallen him.

    As he did not return on Thursday, it was thought desirable to send to Birmingham to make enquiries, and Mr Bristow, a brother officer, proceeded thither. before his return a partial examination of Mr loads account was made by Mr Simkiss, the auditor of the Union, and it was soon discovered that in the Township of Cradley he had received considerable sums of money, which he had not paid over to the account of the Union, there's furnishing a reason for his absence. Mr Bristow, on reaching Birmingham, made diligence inquiries, And after much trouble ascertained that Mr Lowe had taken tea at The Crown Inn, Carrs Lane Cromer and left about 11 on Tuesday night, saying he was going to Halesowen. Mr Bristow then proceeded to the railway station, and found that a person answering Mr lows description had left on Tuesday night by the mail train for Liverpool.

    On Friday morning Mrs Lowe received a letter from her husband, dated Liverpool, but containing no information as to what course he intended to pursue; immediately started for Worcester, to endeavour to induce one of her husband sureties, both of whom reside in the city, to accompany her to Liverpool in search of her husband; but it was a fruitless search, as on Saturday and unsealed note was received, written in pencil on a scrap of paper torn from a memorandum book, and without a date, as follows:- “i have sailed this morning, and will write as soon as I can - R.L.” it's bore the Liverpool postmark of the 10th inst. it's thus appears that he left on Friday and it is probable that nothing more will be heard of him till he reaches his destination. you a universal feeling of sympathy is manifested for the situation of his wife and four children, who are those unexpectedly abandoned by their natural protector. - Worcester Herald

    Flight of a poor law Union officer – The Times 21/10/1844
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