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1876 RTA involving Charles ‘Cross’

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  • 1876 RTA involving Charles ‘Cross’



    “A Rajah has the same lordly indifference to collisions as has the driver of a Pickford’s van, and for a similar reason - because he knows that he at least can take no harm to speak of.”

    The (London) Daily News January 18th, 1876.


    Pickfords drivers were notorious for their ‘lordly indifference’. They were the kings of the Victorian road and were forever getting into scrapes. Their vans/wagons displayed a number to enable the easier identification of their drivers.

    I mention this in connection with the suggestion that in 1876 Charles Lechmere used the ‘alias’ Cross when he gave evidence at the inquest I to the death of the child he had run over in Islington (assuming that Pickford’s man to have been Charles Lechmere). The key thing here is whether it is plausible that Pickfords would have been happy for him to have used a name they were unfamiliar with.





































  • #2
    Off-topic, but tangentially related. Isn't it a little strange that Lechmere's sister Emily was christened twice? The timing also is odd.

    I originally wondered if 'Cross' might not have known that his name was 'Lechmere' until adulthood, but this cannot be the case.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
      Off-topic, but tangentially related. Isn't it a little strange that Lechmere's sister Emily was christened twice? The timing also is odd.

      I originally wondered if 'Cross' might not have known that his name was 'Lechmere' until adulthood, but this cannot be the case.
      Yes, she was christened in Hereford where she was born and again in London with Charles when she was 12 and he was 10 (approx).

      I wonder if Maria was concerned that if her children became Crosses that might sever ties with her and her husband’s Herefordshire relatives.

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      • #4
        Click image for larger version

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        The Sun 10th July, 1869


        When a Pickford’s carman was involved in an accident, the company was often held partly responsible and they would appoint council to represent themselves/their employee in court. There is no mention of such a representative in the 1876 case, but it’s extremely unlikely that in such a serious case, involving the death of a small child, that Pickfords didn’t keep a very close eye on the proceedings.

        It seems equally unlikely that their employee would have used an alias, a name completely unknown to them, during the proceedings.








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        • #5
          This incident had occurred 3 months before Cross ran over the child in Islington:

          https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/brow...-418#highlight


          What are the chances that Pickfords weren’t aware of the Islington accident, or were aware but let their employee appear at the inquest without a legal representative or at least without having discussed it with him to determine whether the company might have some liability.

          We will probably never know for certain, but I think we are on fairly safe ground assuming that he was known at work as Cross.

          And as I’ve suggested before, even if he wasn’t known as Cross by anyone his use of the name might have been in order to keep the name Lechmere out of the papers - the uncommon name which would have been recognised by respectable folk in Herefordshire snd elsewhere.





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          • #6
            Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
            I wonder if Maria was concerned that if her children became Crosses that might sever ties with her and her husband’s Herefordshire relatives.
            Yes, I think it must be something along those lines; it's as if she is reasserting--through the christenings--that her children will remain Lechmeres, even though she has now hitched herself to Cross.

            One might theorize that Charles nonetheless identified (if I may use that somewhat 'woke' term) with his new step-father, the policeman, who may have been the first real father figure in his life, and eagerly adopted the name Cross, if only in his casual day-to-day interactions.

            If this is true, and I was a forensic psychologist, I'd want to know the character of Thomas Cross and the full nature of this relationship.

            It could be a good sign, or it could be a bad sign.
            Last edited by rjpalmer; 04-05-2021, 01:01 PM.

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            • #7
              Given Ma L was bigamously married to PC Cross, one would think she was eager to promote use of the name Cross unofficially and avoid changing it officially. Thus saddling Charles with the two names he would be known by.
              Last edited by drstrange169; 04-06-2021, 12:23 AM.
              dustymiller
              aka drstrange

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              • #8
                The incidents of delivery vans running over children was so high that Dickens editorialise about it in Household Words.
                dustymiller
                aka drstrange

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