Underneath the Adelphi Arches a fight ensues

adelphi

The Adelphi Arches, c.1780

The new Adephi buildings, designed by the Adam brothers (Robert, William and James) and constructed between 1768 and 1774 were one of the architectural delights of late eighteenth-century London. The area became fashionable and was home to several notable Victorians, including Dickens, in the 19th century. The area was continually developed in the 1800s however, and lost some of its Georgian elegance in the process and was further diminished by the pulling down of the Terrace’s houses in the late 1930s, to be replaced by a looming art deco building which remains today.

In 1869 the Adelphi was home to Charles Hyatt. Hyatt lived in York Buildings and on the 14th July he was passing the Adelphi arches when he came across a man standing under one of them. Some sort of altercation occured between the two that led them both to appear in the Bow Street Police Court.

The case was brought by Mr. Abrams, a solicitor who appeared on behalf of a salesman named Henry Dudley. Dudley claimed that when Hyatt had encountered him under the arches he had insulted him and then attempted to ‘bully’ him. A fight ensured and Dudley was pressing charges for assault.

Dudley had been injured in the attack; Hyatt had leveled a blow at his head and he had fallen, striking his leg on the pavement. ‘On rising, he found his leg was broken and he was unable to stand’.  Regardless, Hyatt allegedly threatened to give ‘him some more’. The wounded man was taken to the Charing Cross Hospital to be treated.

Hyatt told a contrary tale. He denied bullying Dudley, or instigating the assault. Instead he claimed there ‘was a general fight, which was commenced by the complainant’. Both men brought witnesses to corroborate their stories.

Mr. Flowers, the sitting magistrate, was concerned that someone was lying and feared that the witnesses were perjuring themselves. He adjourned the case for a week to gather more information so he could make a judgement.

[from The Standard, Monday, September 06, 1869]

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