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A daring burglary & King Edward VII

Thurston House

Thurston House at Innerwick was sadly demolished in 1952 while still in almost perfect condition. The gentleman who lived there in 1909 – Richard Hunter – was a dead ringer for King Edward VII something which caused him a great nuisance as he was often mistaken for his majesty!

Even more interesting though is the story of the burglary which took place there in May 1909. Three men broke into the house in the early hours of the morning and stole money and valuables and made off on bicycles. This was the second time the house has been burgled and so an alarm system installed after the first burglary soon alerted the local constabulary. The culprits were captured after an exciting police chase across the County. This case is thought to be the first time a motor car was used to catch a criminal in East Lothian. You can read more detail on the capture in the extracts from the Courier.

The images show the well-dressed burglars being transported to Edinburgh for trial. The men were named as Richard Gilben, Charles Masson & William Nelson. They pled guilty to the crime and Gilben as the purported ringleader was sentenced to 18 months in prison while the other two received 9 month sentences.

Criminals at Dunbar on the way to Edinburgh