Cambridge Chronicle and Journal

Death Of An Old Gypsy

Saturday, 7th January 1843

Last week John Lovell, aged 80 years, expired at his residence in Fryingpan-alley, Clerkenwell.

The deceased was well known in the metropolis for the last fifty years as a Gypsy and travelling tinker; and in more recent years, being afflicted with apoplexy, he lost the use of his left side, and paraded the streets in the vicinity of Lincoln's-inn, calling out,

"Poor old man! - pots and kettles to mend"

His appearance was most deplorable, and he received sums of money from charitable persons daily, supposing him to be in great distress. After his decease a sum of money amounting to 700l. was found in various parts of his room, which he had hoarded up, amongst which were several pounds' worth of farthings.

On Sunday last he was respectably buried in Clerkenwell burying-ground by some relatives. The deceased had a large family of children; one of his sons was executed at the age of 17 years, at the Old Bailey, with John Henley, the captain of the celebrated West-end fair gangmen, Hampstead, for desperate highway robberies at that fair; two others of his sons were transported, for robberies, for their natural lives.

The deceased, some years ago, resided at Paddington, and was the associate of the Lees and Coopers, gangs notorious for horse-stealing. Lee, who was at that period termed the King of the Gypsies, being convicted of horse-stealing, suffered execution.

The deceased, when a young man, was a noted prize-fighter.

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Extracted From:
Cambridge Chronicle and Journal - Saturday, 7th January 1843
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  • John Lovell
  • John Henley