The Brighouse News [26th June 1880]

Fortune Telling at Halifax

Sophia Brennan, described as a hawker, was in court charged with obtaining money from Louisa Hoof, a servant of Savile Road, by professing to tell her fortune.

The prisoner went to the house where the prosecutrix is a servant, and found her alone washing in the kitchen. Prisoner offered some lace for sale, saying that if the prosecutrix bought a yard she would tell her fortune, and as proof that she was able to do that she informed her that her mother was Queen of the Gipsies.

Louisa did not care much for the lace but was really desirous to have her mind set at rest with respect to one or two little matters and promised to give the prisoner a shilling to make known what the future had in store for her'. The gipsy then went through a rather mystic performance. She examined the palm of Louisa's hand, spat on it twice, and crossed herself three times.

This was followed by the agreeable announcement that Louisa was born lucky and that £130 had been left for her; she would be married in about three months, and was destined to have six children, three boys and three girls. The young man would prove true.

As to the money, she said she would get it for her, and in fact there was £3 under her pillow that she would find next morning. The young woman was glad to hear this and gave the prisoner half a sovereign to get change, but the latter did not return with the change.

Abigail Govell, mother of the prisoner Brennan, was also charged with fortune telling. It appears that she was induced to see Louisa, her daughter having found a good customer. Govell also offered Louisa some lace and fortune telling, asking for a piece of gold. This being refused, she offered to tell her how she might at once become possessed of her fortune, and also of the three sovereigns under the pillow. One of these coins would be marked gipsy's tent and she must keep it or a great curse would rest upon her. Louisa gave her 6d and asked her to call again on Saturday.

In the meantime, Louisa contacted Inspector Newburn, and when the Gipsy Queen called she was apprehended, as was her daughter.

The prisoners were each then committed for two months.

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 16:07 / 11th May 2021 / 4350

Page Ref: X539

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