Daily Chronicle, January 2, 1905

1 [George A. Walker, of Washington, who has just been sent to prison at the age of 104, is declared to be “the world’s oldest habitual thief.” He is an Oxford graduate.]

George, I congratulate you, though
 There are who think such conduct wrong.
I’m glad to hear that you are go-
 Ing strong.

I feel a patriotic thrill.
 The States may hold you now, but oh,
’Twas Oxford gave you all your skill,
 You know.

But now this side the herring-pond
 We look in vain for men like thee;
To find them we must search beyond
 The sea.

“Too old at forty” ’s what we hear
 On Britain’s unprogressive shore.
But you have reached your hundredth year,
 And more.

At competition still you laugh:
 No modern hustle makes you blue.
Youth will be served—but only af-
 Ter you.

The moral of this tale, no doubt,
 Is plain to all. Don’t trust to luck.
“Hard labour” brought our George from out
 The ruck.

P. G. W. 




“George A. Walker, of Washington, who says he is an Oxford graduate and 104 years of age, is declared to be the “world’s oldest habitual thief.” He has just been arrested for selling a merchant four pounds of anthracite coal dust, representing it to be dye.” (Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, Saturday, 31 December 1904)

John Dawson    

Too old at forty: a phrase which was then topical in discussions of age discrimination in employment, for instance this article by Sir Isaac Pitman. [NM]