Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Voices from the Past: The Death of a Hook-Maker (1761)

Maybe it says something about my personality that I am always fascinated by the vintage crime reports of the eighteen and nineteenth century. Every now and then, a fishing tackle related blurb will catch my eye. Such is the case with a certain Mr. Souch, a fish hook maker from

The London Magazine for November 1761 published the following blurb about the incident.

Mr. Souch, a fish-hook maker, was stabbed by one Greenstreet, his journeyman, and died of the wounds he received. The murderer is in custody.

It leaves so much to the imagination. What prompted the violence? A journeyman was an apprentice who spent as long as 13 years (unpaid!) learning a trade. Perhaps Mr. Greenstreet was not being treated as he should have by Mr. Souch, the hook-maker.

All we know in the 250 years that have passed that on Wednesday, October 18, 1761, one hook maker stabbed another, and the rest is simply a mystery.

Some day I plan to write a fictional account of these events.

-- Dr. Todd

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