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  1. #1

    Default Theft of Lord Randolph Churchill's Poodle

    Can anyone help me?

    I have a 2G Grandfather Charles Selby 1863-1936 born Marylebone.

    He was in:
    * an unknown prison in 1897 (wife and kids into workhouse and poor law school)
    * Pentonville in 1903 and then put on Habitual Drunkard list after that
    * Wormwood Scrubs in 1911
    * Up to criminal charges for assault of a police officer in 1922 (and had beaten wife and adult daughter too)

    I've just done a quick search on the BNA site and found a Charles Selby who was charged with stealing Lord Randolph Churchill's poodle in 1884 - and if I am honest if I am going to be related to a drunken wife beating criminal... I really want it to be one who also stole a Churchill's "black dog"

    Is there any way of finding out more about the accused. The age is not quite right 19 in 1884 would make 1865 as year of birth - but that isn't *that' far out to make it impossible, do you think? He was charged at Marlborough Street Police Court.

    Many thanks

  2. #2


    The involvement of a Churchill (or any sort of Lord) might have inspired the local papers to pay attention, especially if it was a slow day.

  3. #3


    Unfortunately the only information I've seen in the papers is scant: that he is 19, a labourer and that the theft took place in Albermarle Street, and that he was imprisoned for 6 months hard labour.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2009


    Have you seen the photograph of Charles Selby in the Register of Habitual Criminals 1903? Looks like he was in St. Marylebone Workhouse when he was 2 1/2, a relative (mother ?) age 21 was also in that workhouse

  5. #5


    Hi Sue,

    Yes thank you, I've got the photo and the workhouse records. It looks like he was separated and sent to Southall premises where there was a school.

    He was also involved in a domestic violence incident in 1921 and got fined for punching the attending police officer although wife and adult daughter did not press charges.

    Interestingly on his first marriage certificate (24 Dec 1882 Harriet Mary Riches) it gives his mother's (maiden) name Eliza Selby and notes that he was illegitimate, but on his second marriage (9 Nov 1884 Johanna Hanlon) it gives his father as Charles Selby labourer deceased.

    The age is off on the 1st marriage certificate too, census records would have him as 19 not 21. 2nd marriage is just Full age so doesn't help.

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