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Then and Now: Landlord defended himself in the Grantham Journal in 1865 after a police incident

In 1865 Thomas Kelham, landlord of the Joiner’s Arms was charged with disorderly behaviour, writes Ruth Crook of Grantham Civic Society.

It was claimed that Kelham was in Vine Street at 12.30am, making a noise with his friends, and was told to go home by the policeman. The police claimed that he was drunk and using bad language, and so they took him to the police lock-up.

The witnesses claimed that Kelham was a respectable beer house keeper and they were not making a noise, as was claimed by the police, and asked the magistrates to dismiss the case. The Mayor charged Kelham 2s 6d with 7s 6d costs, because he said that it was important to keep the streets in an orderly state.

The Joiners Arms, Grantham.
The Joiners Arms, Grantham.
The Nobody Inn, formerly the Joiner's Arms
The Nobody Inn, formerly the Joiner's Arms

The following week, Kelham took the unusual step of writing a piece in the Grantham Journal. He claimed that he was not drunk and was leaving the dram-house on Vine Street when the police approached him and told him in a rude manner to go home. He questioned their manner and suggested that they were politer.

Kelham claimed that the police sergeant forced him into the crowd and told him that,

if he didn’t go home, he would lock him up. He strenuously denied using any bad language. He complained that the account of the events was false in every way and objected in the strongest terms to the actions of the police.

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