On July 4 1863, George Ford, a boy of unknown age, was charged with scrumping apples from the orchard at the rear of Colonel Tate’s house in Grove Road, Southsea.
The court heard that George had been confronted by PC Stevens at 6.30am in Osborne Road and was asked what he had hidden under his coat, to which George replied, ‘nothing’.
Under questioning the boy said he lived in Green Row and ‘had himself to keep’.
Asked by magistrates how he made a living, he replied: ‘I go with an ash cart and by what few bones I get I gets my living.’
The bench was ‘inclined to deal leniently with the prisoner’...and sent him to prison for seven days with hard labour – from John Sadden’s The Book of Portsmouth Days