Herbert E. Marshall

In 1914, Herbert E. Marshall had a shop at 25 Winding Road, Halifax.

His mother had recently died, and had invested money in the Equitable Building Society in her own name and those of her 2 daughters. After her death, the daughters had withdrawn the money, and Herbert had got no share.

He was charged with

sending libellous postcards to local residents

On 20th March 1914, the Court heard that the charges were brought by J. W. Collinson, chairman of the Halifax Equitable Bank Limited and Joseph Harger Mitchell, manager, and were 2 of 6 similar summonses.

Marshall, who was said to be

on the borderland of being sane or insane

was charged with

sending postal packages with words or marks of an indecent or grossly offensive character


publishing defamatory libel

He had sent postcards to a number local people, including

The postcards suggested that Joseph Harger Mitchell be charged with aiding fraud and forgery and misappropriating money, and that J. W. Collinson be arrested with Mitchell for aiding and abetting these offences.

The postcards also asked a great number of questions ...

  • Who planned the stealing of my dog?
  • Who stole it? Why was it stole?
  • Who has had it on their premises?
  • Who planned the waylaying of my boy?
  • Who has waited round street corners with motor cars for him? Whose motors were they?
  • Who tried to put something into his pocket on Hipperholme Road?
  • What was it? Has it been analysed?
  • Who went to Coley Church to make certain inquiries?
  • Who is behind Holgate property agent?

and many more


The Court ordered Marshall not to send any more postcards, to apologise to the Bank and the Building Society, and the people to whom he had sent postcards. The proceedings were adjourned for six months, and if at the end of that time, Marshall had faithfully observed these undertakings, the proceedings might be dropped entirely

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 12:20 / 22nd May 2021 / 4673

Page Ref: X343

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