My Quirky Cowkeeper Ancestor

Perhaps one of the quirky details about my ancestor was that he was able to keep dairy cows in the middle of London! Hard to believe the area which was once rural is now part of the busy metropolis.

Unfortunately it would appear that the quirks of this particular ancestor were actually illegal, much as he might have tried to convince the magistrate that he sold two brands of milk -milk or the cheaper “milk with water”.

There were two defendants each blaming the other. My ancestor supplied the milk, whilst the other had collected the milk for sale. Quirky Ancestor(henceforth referred to as Q. A.)had claimed that he had seen the milk seller add water to the product. Naturally the milk seller stated water had already been Q.A.

Q.A.  the seller suggested he(the milk seller) had conned the inspector on a previous occasion by “accidentally”spilling the milk when he the inspector had come to collect a sample.The seller stated Q.A. had laughed at this.

When cross-examined about the fact that Q. A. had laughed at his co-accused’s story, Q.A had responded cheerily,

Well who could help it?

I have to say I recognise both the cheeky humour and similar phrases being used by other relatives over a hundred years later, although not about crooked exploits.

Q.A. got a reprimand because as the magistrate pointed out, he had readily admitted

allowing the co-accused’s wrongdoing. although he had escaped the five pound eleven shilling fine, which his co-accused had received.

I must admit I believe Q.A. was extremely fortunate on this occasion.

Perhaps the magistrate had also had a sense of humour.