Saturday, 5 November 2011

From "Rich" Imposter to a Poorhouse Death - Black Sheep Sunday

Old  newspapers in my local archive centre  have some fascinating and colourful  titbits of information which often catch my attention, such as this  report in "The Kelso Chronicle" of 9th May 1879 which announced:

"The notorious imposter Robert Aitkin, alias Hi-I-Obby, has just died in Hawick Poorhosue in his 78th year.  The most remarkable episode in his chequered career occurred at Dunse 20 years ago, when he succeeded in making the people believe that he was heir to a large estate and great wealth by the death of an uncle in America.
 A number of gentlemen gave him a cash account in one of the banks for £1000, and he actually went so far as to purchase the valuable estate of Reston Mains, in Berwickshire. He bought hunters and jewellery, and dined and kept company with some of the most respected families in Dunse. He was ultimately apprehended, tried for fraud, and sent to Greenlaw Jail to expiate his crime. This portion of his career was dramatised and acted in a number of theatres on the Border.”

So crime in this instance clearly did not pay!  

Black Sheep Sunday is a daily blogging prompt from www.geneabloggers.com to inspire family hsitorians to write stories of their local and family history.

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