"YOU ARE A WHORE AND A BUNTER AND YOU KEEP A FANCY-MAN!"
Victorian Waterfurlong gardener Edward Winterton grew up in one of Stamford's notorious slum courts - Protection Yard off Scotgate. He somehow managed to secure an apprenticeship as a carver and gilder, (probably with the Hare family whose shop was in St Mary's Street) and spent much of his life working in Scarborough, where there was a high demand for gilding on the resort's elaborate promenade and concert halls. Edward's second cousin, Thomas Winterton, and Thomas's wife Annie ran the Star and Garter pub next to Protection Yard's entrance. In May 1876 The Mercury entertained readers with the story of fiesty Annie's stand-up fight with a customer.
'Mrs Winterton, landlady of the Star and Garter public-house, Scotgate, and Mrs Rudkin, wife of a labourer, summoned each other for an assault on the 9th inst. Mrs Rudkin said she was walking down Scotgate, when Mrs Winterton ran after her, and asked when she was going to pay her what she owed. Witness replied, "When you send in the correct bill." Mrs Winterton said, "If you don't pay me, I'll pay you," and then struck her, knocked her down, and kicked her whilst she was on the ground. Two policemen pulled her off, and prevented her striking witness again. She (Mrs Rudkin) declared that she did not call Mrs Winterton either a whore or a bunter, or tell her she kept a fancy man: she did not say anything to provoke her, neither did she strike her.
A little girl named Ann Thrift corroborated Mrs Rudkin's statement; but on being questioned by Mrs Winterton, she admitted that Mrs Rudkin did say the former kept a fancy man. Mrs Winterton said when she asked Mrs Rudkin if she was going to pay what she owed her, the latter called her a bunter and whore, and said she kept a fancy man. She thereupon struck her and they fought. She knocked Mrs Rudkin down; she picked her up and put her fair on her legs, and then knocked her down again; and when she was in the gutter she slapped her face. She did not think she had done anything unfair: it was a fair stand-up fight. She (witness) said she had a witness who would corroborate what she said, but unfortunately she was ill in bed. The Magistrates adjourned the case to allow Mrs Winterton to produce her witness.'(1)
Protection Yard, the Star and Garter and the town's old fire station (seen in the photo to the right of the pub) were demolished in 1967 to create the Scotgate car park. Read more about Edward Winterton on our website.
SOURCES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:
(1) The British Newspaper Archive © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. All Rights Reserved.
© Karen Meadows 2019