Gladstone_BagOn 19 May 1897, the New South Wales Police Gazette reported court proceedings relating to a break and enter on the home of William John Laws and his wife Jane.  William (my great great grandfather) was 22 years old and an iron founder when he arrived in Sydney from London in 1860.  He married Jane Prue in 1861 and established a business as a brass founder in Balmain. 

“Thomas Gibbons was further charged in company with George Williams with breaking and entering the dwelling of William J Laws, Dock Road, Balmain, and stealing a watch, a scarf pin, two Alberts, four brooches,  a Gladstone bag, two coats, two vests and two pairs of trousers, value 20 pounds (part recovered).”

By the sound of what went missing, the business must have done well over the years.  So now, I’m wondering.  “What’s an Albert?”.  I’m guessing it’s got some reference to Queen Victoria’s  husband.  Any suggestions?

Albert fob chain leopardantiquesPost script:    Photo courtesy of, here is an Albert.  It was named after Prince Albert, Consort to Queen Victoria.  You could have a regular Albert or a Double Albert like the one in this picture.  It’s a fob watch chain where the bar fits into the buttonhole of a waistcoat.

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