The Brigands of West Ham [Leaflet, circa 1895]

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Supervisor of Inland Revenue, 69 The Grove, Stratford. 

To Edward Leggett, 23 Eve Road, West Ham, E. 

SIR,–Not having appeared in answer to a summons for keeping a dog without a licence, the magistrate in your absence imposed a mitigated penalty of 7/6 and 8/6 costs, altogether 16/-, which you are required to pay to the magistrates’ clerk at West Ham Police Court to avoid further action to recover that amount. Yours faithfully 

[N.B.—This is the last letter, last year. The total fine was eventually £1 10s.] 


23 Eve Road, West Ham, E. 

To the Chief Brigand or Legalised Blackmailer. 

SIR,—In answer to your letter re Dog Licence offence, my answer is summed up in the following facts:

1st. I have a Dog Licence—paid for by a friend, as I should never pay for one myself. 

2nd. I am an Anarchist and a worker, and refuse to recognise the right of a section of Parasites, called Government Officials, composed mainly of the refuse of Ireland, to levy taxes on me because I happen to keep a dog.

It appears to me that one province in Ireland is a breeding-ground for coppers’ narks, police spies, detectives, and priests (mental chloroformers), with a few Inland Revenue and Custom House “officers” (brigands) thrown in. 

I recognise no law but natural law, and refuse to obey the dictates of the modern Solomons, called M.P.’s, J.C.’s, J P.’s, and legal luminaries called magistrates, who receive from £1,000 to £1,800 per annum for sitting about five hours a day, three days a week, administering INJUSTICE. The average workman is taxed quite enough to keep the Royal Parasites and the rest of the lazy vermin of “Society,” without being robbed again because they keep a dog. I have a wife and three children to keep somehow, and have done no work for three weeks, though I have walked 144 miles to get it and failed. 

The Government can always find some dirty dog or spy, like Patrick Shea, to do their dirty work with the bribe of a pension; and, as usual, those who do that work get the least pay; and the lookers-on, viz. the superintendents, inspectors, surveyors, etc., get the most. I care nothing about your “further action” in the matter; you can put this letter in the Customs Tariff, or Blue Book, or on the table of the House of Commons or the Bench of Nupkins at West Ham Police Court, or before any retired soap-boiler or baker, or any successful exploiter of the workers who happens to be labelled “J.P.” I shall refuse to pay any fine, I have no goods; and the governmental bandits can do their worst and be DAMNED!

Long live Anarchy! and to Hell with the Law—upheld by Force,—and the Government by Fraud and Superstition, the Bible and the Priest


Do what thy Manhood bids thee do, 
From none but self seek for applause. 
He noblest lives, and noblest thee, 
Who makes and keeps his self made laws.” –Swinburne. 

To the Legalised Brigands’ Cave, otherwise The Inland Revenue Office, 
69 The Grove, Stratford, E.