Monday, December 12, 2011

Men Behaving Badly: Captain Dollupson

Monday, December 12, 2011
Courtesy Yale Center for British Art
Loretta reports:

Captain! thou abominable d—d cheater, if captains were of my mind they would truncheon you out, for taking their names upon you before you have earned them.      Shakspeare.

A LARGE dirty personage, with scratched cheeks and bloody cravat, calling himself 'Captain Dollupson of the Army,' was charged with having assaulted one of the dismounted horse patrol.

The 'captain,' it seems, by way of a little 'life,'* was amusing himself with a knot of costermongers in a back yard behind Little Russell Street, Drury Lane; and doing his utmost to 'knock up a mill' between two of them. The costermongers, however, would not 'come to the scratch' to please the captain, who thereupon felt his choler rise; and the costermongers venturing to laugh at his captainship, he boldly seized one of them by the cravat, and twisted it so that the poor costermonger was all but strangled. The others rushed to the rescue of their companion, and the captain's face was sadly scratched in the scuffle. At this moment the patrol passed by the end of the yard, and having been told what was the matter, he observed that the captain ought to be ashamed of himself, whereupon the magnanimous captain darted upon him and knocked him down by a tremendous blow' on the eye.

His worship made some remarks upon the unofficerlike amusement of the noble captain, and then called upon him for his defence.

• Your worship,' replied he, 'this scoundthrell, who had no business whatever to intrude himself among us, called out to me " Come here, blubberhead, and I'll whop you!" That was language, your worship, which no gentleman could put up with, and therefore I knocked him down.'

'And, therefore, you will put in bail for your appearance to answer it at the Quarter Sessions,' rejoined the magistrate; and the captain was instantly removed by the turnkey, but not before some of the costermongers had offered to prove that he was not called 'Blubberhead' by any body; and that every body called him 'Thickhead.'
His worship observed that the distinction was immaterial, and other cases were called on.

*This was when blood-shedding, blackguardism, and debauchery, was called 'life.'
     —More Mornings at Bow Street: A new collection of humorous and entertaining reports, 1827

Illustration: Rowlandson, A black Leg Detected Secreting Cards, courtesy Yale Center for British Art.


Shortbread and Ginger said...

Sounds like quite a character! Great story!
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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