Elderly Irish woman arrested in London

Published: 21 July 1913

An Irish woman, Ann Doyle, 86, was arrested in London and charged with begging. She was witnessed on three occasions feigning illness. When onlookers went to help her, she informed them that she was feeling unwell and needed to get home, but that she didn’t have the necessary fare. Each time onlookers gave her a few pence, she would then walk to a new location and pull the same stunt. In court it was revealed that Ann Doyle first appeared before a judge in 1873, and had spent some sixteen years in prison.

Responding to the judge's comment that she had a bad record, Mrs. Doyle said: 'I can't help it. You know we all have our little ups and downs in this world. I am eighty-six years and four months old and am one of the last of a family of seven generations. I think I am a wonderful old woman.'

The judge decided not to find Doyle guilty of any crime on condition that she move into the workhouse.

Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.