1876 White Hart After Hours Card Game Busted

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 06 May 1876

MITCHAM.

Guests at the White Hart.

At the Petty Sessions, on Saturday, Benjamin Gay, landlord of the White Hart, Mitcham, was summoned for having his house open at prohibited hours; and Albert Lowe, gentleman, of Baron-grove, Mitcham, James Bridger, gentleman, Manor House, Mitcham, and Charles Bidder, gentleman, of Sutton road, Mitcham, were summoned for being on the said premises, on the 22nd April.

—P.-c, Nelson (186 W) stated that on the 21st April be had orders to keep observation on the White Hart Hotel. About twenty minutes to 12 on the night in question saw a gentleman enter the house. About hour later saw a light, and heard voices in the front room upstairs, the conversation being respecting a game of cards, he heard one person say, “I know he played the king.”

—Police-sergeant Henry Foster (29 W) stated that he went to the White Hart Hotel about two o’’clock, and asked the landlord who he had upstairs. Mr. Gay said he had some lodgers. Witness said he desired to inspect the house, and going upstairs he found the three defendants, Bridger, Bidder, and Lowe, seated round a table, playing cards. There were two champagne bottles, four glasses, and some cigars before them. Witness asked, for their names and addresses, which they gave him, but Mr. Bridger gave the name of Thompson. On asking Mr. Gay why had the other defendants there at that time, said, “I am going away, and I entertaining these gentlemen guests,” The other defendants said that was quite correct. About twenty minutes to three witness met the defendants Lowe and Bidder in Baron-grove, about thirty yards from the White Hart, going in the direction of their homes. They said nothing then. Witness reported the case, and they were summoned.

—Police sergt. Wells (4 W) corroborated the evidence given by the previous witnesses.

—Mr. Gay said all the gentlemen were playing at billiards, and as he had disposed of his business and was soon going away, he said he should like to stand a glass of champagne. They did have some champagne and smoked a cigar or two.

—The magistrates ordered Mr. Gay to pay a fine of 40s. and 9s. costs, and produce his license before them Monday morning. Lowe, Bidder, and Bridger were each ordered to pay a fine of 20s. and 9s. costs.

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