3 October 1873
A STRANGE STORY.-Investigations made by the police have brought to light the fact that a robbery which was committed in the Foundationers' Chambers, at the New Buildings, Eton College, last Sunday evening, was the work of an accomplished swindler. Early in the present year a convict named Bertrand Ashley, alias M. Ostrog, was undergoing a sentence of seven years' penal servitude at Chatham Prison for felony. He was previously known by Mr. Superintendent Emvery, of Tunbridgewells, as Count Sobiski, and has passed under about 20 other aliases. While previously in custody he twice attempted his own life. On the 23d of May M. Ostrog was liberated from Chatham Prison on a ticket-of-leave. M. Ostrog appears to have found but little difficulty in entering the best of society, and among his most recent acquaintances are officers, clergymen, and members of the learned professions. At Eton College he introduced himself to Mr. Browning, one of the masters, as having taken a boy to school some eight years since. Having thus ingratiated himself, he appears to have been treated in a considerate manner, and repaid that gentleman's kindness by robbing him of a quantity of valuable books and other property. On Saturday Mr. Superintendent Dunham traced this property to London, finding some in the house of another gentleman at the West-end. Upon asking for M. Ostrog at this residence it was represented to the police that he was not there. Delay was thus occasioned, and in the meantime M. Ostrog escaped over the roof of the next house in his waistcoat and trousers, armed with a loaded eight-chambered revolver. On Sunday evening M. Ostrog revisited his quarters at Eton College, and his knowledge of the manners and customs of the students helped him to effect the robbery in the Foundationers' Chambers, at the New Buildings. That it was M. Ostrog who purloined the students' effects there is no doubt, for the trousers left behind in the chambers were those in which he escaped from his friend's house in London and eluded the pursuit of the police. A letter recently received by one of his late friends asks him to write to him, "Mister Carl Swedenborg, Poste Restaute, Berlin," and states that M. Ostrog is en route for Russia.-Birmingham Daily Post.