William Ferrick was born in Hull c.1880 to his mother, Ann, who in 1890 was a hawker residing in West Street. His father had died by his tenth birthday, and his step-father, James Lucey, whom his mother had married in 1886, was estranged from his family and of no fixed abode.
William was only ten years old when he was admitted to the St William’s Community Home in Market Weighton, which was also known as the Yorkshire Catholic Reform School.
William Ferrick’s record shows him first being sentences to punishment by birching for stealing 5s. 6d. from a till on 4 July, 1890. On 10 October he received the same punishment for stealing two pairs of socks. His third offence, on 2 December, was the theft of an box and one shilling from a shop at 9, Holderness Road, for which he and his accomplice, William Barnes, received a custodial sentence of ten days imprisonment and five years in a reformatory. William was ‘reported to have been connected with at least half a dozen till robberies’.
William arrived at St William’s on 27 December, 1890. The St William’s Home record documents William’s education as being ‘very deficient’, being able to read and write ‘a little’. He was four feet in height and had brown hair and blue eyes.
William was released from the home on the expiration of his sentence in 1895. He reported to the home that he was ‘doing well’ on 18 October 1896, and was residing at new George Street, Hull. A year later he was at the same address and had become a licensed hawker.
William’s last correspondence with the home was in 1898, when he reported being reconvicted, receiving a six week sentence for assault. At some point after this offence, he joined the Royal Artillery, regiment 8162, but he did not fare well in the military environment. He was charged with desertion in Glasgow on 22 May, 1900, and again from Chatham on 18 December, 1900.
In August 1901, William was again in the Market Weighton area, and on 31 July was charged at the Police Court with stealing an English lever presentation watch from the landlord of the Red Lion Inn. William had been ‘turned out’ from the inn and had snatched the landlord’s watch, breaking the chain in several places. William was sentences to six weeks’ hard labour.
William Ferrick died in Hull in March 1947, aged 69.
[Information from East Riding Archives, ref: DDSW/8]