PC Brookes, ace mistletoe detective

Trawling through some newspaper archives I came across this gem, from the Gloucester Citizen in January 1887. It describes a case of mistletoe theft, in which the perpetrators are found guilty when a PC Brookes matches the cut mistletoe they’ve sold to the scars left on the apple tree! A brilliant piece of forensic science!

Gloucester Citizen Friday 14 January 1887
Gloucester Citizen Friday 14 January 1887

I hope everyone in court had a good kiss afterwards.

The bit I find difficult to believe is the valuation of the mistletoe at 5 shillings – which seems a little high, bearing in mind the location in Hardwicke, just up the road from my home between Gloucester and Stroud, and where mistletoe did then, and does now, grow in abundance, so value would surely have been (locally) much lower (especially as this was only what they stole, and could carry by hand)?

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