The Green Gate Gang

William boss
Robert 2nd in comand
Albert MIA
Earl MIA

One of the most notable of the early gangs was the Green Gate, named after the Green Gate public house in City Road, Hoxton, east London. Once a wealthy area, Hoxton had been abandoned by its middle classes, who were lured out to the space and fresh air of the new suburbs. Their place was taken by poor workers, serving the heavy industries that boomed after the completion of the Regents Canal in 1820, and soon the area became one of the most densley populated in Europe…

On Christmas Eve, a gang came down Ottaway Street in Lower Clapton, known as ‘Tiger Bay’, and picked a quarrel with Charles ‘Ginger’ Eaton outside his home at number nine. The attackers were the Dove Row gang from Haggerston. Eaton fought back. He explained in court, ‘I went into them the same as they did to me, and took my own defence’. The nineteen-year-old Eaton handled himself well enough for the gang to run off, pursued by Eaton’s father waving a poker. They shouted back that they would remember when they came again.

Late on New Year’s Day, the trouble shifted to the Rendlesham Arms in Stillman Street, Clapton, when about twenty of the Dove Row gang went looking for Eaton. When they failed to find him, they started a general rumpus that quickly got out of hand. Three pub dwellers were stabbed in the face, one of whom nearly died from a severed artery. Police rounded up seven Dove Row boys: William Hubbard, David Jennings, Henry Kirby, Frederick Ball, Patrick Kennedy, David Williams, and John Collins. They were charged with riot and wounding. Kennedy was aged twenty; the rest were in their late teens. Others were charged with occasioning actual bodily harm. John Collins denied being there but did admit once belonging to the street fighting gang in the days when Old Nichol Street, in Bethnal Green, fought Dove Row. He had given it up after his head was split in three places. The Central Criminal Court did not believe him… were jailed…all with hard labour (compulsory physical work imposed in addition to imprisonment).

The Green Gate gang made the news again on 21 February 1882, when Samuel Wallers was attacked by George Collins on Shaftesbury Street, close to City Road. The argument had been about the merits of teetotallers, who Collins had little regard for. When his offer of a drink from a flask was refused, he informed Wallers that he was a pugilist…He then knocked Wallers down….Collins’ belief in his pugilistic ability came unstuck when Wallers got up and knocked him down. Collins regained his feet and pulled a pistol from his pocket, only for Wallers to brush it aside and knock him down again. At this, the gun went off. Two policemen heard the shot and came and arrested Collins, taking two guns from him…

The Green Gate Gang

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