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Criccieth - Stealing Apples.

The following interesting article appeared in an early local newspaper: - “CRICCIETH. OUT OF SEASON—At the present time there is an apple tree in the garden of Mr. Williams, White Lion Inn, Criccieth, in full blossom, just as it might have been in the month of May. On making enquiries, we were told that it had borne a tolerably good crop of apples the present autumn. Our correspondent adds: - This phenomenon is looked upon by numbers in this part of Wales with much apprehension, as it is popularly believed to be the precursor of a death in the family. I know a good deal of the popular superstition in England, but this sign was novel to me. I always looked upon it as an eccentric freak of nature, or as a diseased condition of the tree”. Now, this might be a coincidence but a few years later, during 1892, the Cambrian News reported that two boys were brought before the magistrates, accused of stealing apples, perhaps from the very same tree! John Hughes and Owen Jones lived in Chapel Terrace which was directly at the rear of the White Lion Inn so a fruitful apple tree must have been very tempting. Mr Humphreys appeared to prosecute and Mr W. George to defend. Mr Humphreys said that action was brought with great reluctance, but the practice of stealing apples had become so prevalent in Criccieth that it was absolutely necessary to take steps when offenders were caught. Earlier in the month the apples were seen to be all right but a few days later the tree had been stripped and there were only two or three apples left. He added that the apples were hard cooking apples and would not have done the boys much good. The case for the defence was not reported nor the judgement.

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