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Any info on Swanson's early employer James Meikle?

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  • #16
    I'm not sure, Martyn, because the Gazette reports the breakup of two other partnerships between James Meikle and two other people (wholesale tea dealers) in 1874 and 1879, which is at odds with Swanson's Meikle planning to close down his business.


    • #17
      Robert, thanks for checking and your point.

      I'm going to dig a bit more and see if I can find something useful like connecting Meacher to 8 Catherine Court.



      • #18
        I hope this is legible. It appeared in the Greenock Advertiser on 21/12/1872.
        Last edited by MrBarnett; 08-04-2019, 08:59 PM.


        • #19
          Thanks, Gary. An interesting insight into the times:

          Here a transcription (reasonably accurate I hope):


          James Meikle, wholesale tea-dealer, carrying on business at 14 Philpot Lane, Fenchurch Street, appeared before Mr Alderman Lusk, M.P. at the Mansion House, London on Thursday, to answer a summons charging him with assaulting Chas. Greenwood. The complainant was a little boy about 11 years old, in the employment of the defendant as a tea packer. A dispute arose between him and some of the other boys, and there was some scuffling and noise.

          Mr Meikle came in and told him to go down stairs to the sale room and "take the cane with him."
          There was cane kept on a shelf with which the defendant was in the habit of chastening the boys.
          Complainant went downstairs, but he did not find the cane. The defendant entered with the cane, and
          after shutting the door, he struck complainment on the hands, back and face. The mother of the lad said when the boy came home crying, his hands were swollen, and there were two "weals" on his face. The defendant not only caned the boys, but gave them physic.

          Alderman Lusk - What kind of physic? Witness-Chicory and castor oil. (Laughter.) Alderman Lusk - Anything else?
          Witness-Hot mustard. (Renewed laughter). Alderman Lusk-The chill was taken off I suppose. (Laughter.) Did he ever give them any
          brimstone and treacle? (Laugher.) The witness said he was not aware of that having been done.
          The defendant denied giving the boys physic, and said that one day the boy Greenwood complained of pain in his stomach, and he sent him out for some castor oil, which the boy took voluntarily. Alderman Lusk said it was not the general rule in trade to strike
          people, although it was true there were plenty of "strikes".

          To resort to violence to make people work was outrageous. It was very silly to thrash another man's child as he had done, and give him chickory, caster oil, and hot mustard. Whether that was done to make him more docile, he (Alderman Lusk) did not know, but it might have done mischief, and he was going beyond all discretion and good sense. As defendant was in a good way of business, it was of no use inflicting a small fine of 5s or 10s, and therefore the penalty would be 40s. The fine was at once paid.

          Last edited by mpriestnall; 08-04-2019, 10:11 PM.


          • #20
            A softer side to Meikle :





            • #21
              I think it should be ‘Squeers’ rather than ‘Squeems’. A reference to the Dickens character Wackford Squeers.


              • #22
                Yes this must have been rather humiliating for Meikle, given his pretensions.