Jack the Lad

From the Birmingham Daily Mail, 1897

At the Birminham Assizes on Monday, Sarah Byng, shopkeeper, Albert Road, Aston, sought to recover damages from John Reynolds, the well-known football player, formerly a member of the Aston Villa team, and now of the Celtic, Glasgow, for loss of services, through the seduction of her daughter. Mr Dorsett (instructed by Mr P. Baker) represented plaintiff, and Mr Harris (instructed by Mr Howlett), the defendant. In 1896 defendant lodged at the house of the plaintiff. In August he paid her daughter, Margarter Annie Byng, who was eighteen years of age, marked attention, went out for walks with her, and took her to the theatres. On December 11 a child was born, and a few months later an affiliation order was obtained against defendant, under which he had to pay 5s. a week. The girl worked at a hosier’s establishment, where she earned 15s. per week. She paid her mother 7s 6d per week, and assisted in the housework. In consequence of the seduction plaintiff was deprived of financial assistance, and also of her daughter’s services. A letter written by the defendant to plaintiff was read, in which he promised to come to Birmingham with a view to making an arrangement. He threatened to go abroad if they could not agree. He also stated that when he got to Scotland he commenced backing horses, and lost money. Jack Campbell lost £180 and Doyle twice that amount. Mr Harris, who did not call defendant, charachterised the action as vindictive. The jury found for the plaintiff, and awarded damages £20.

More on this story and the life of Jack Reynolds at this link

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