The Twin Foxes

Famous Stevenage Characters

By GC

The Fox Twins
Stevenage Museum

These famous Stevenage characters were born in 1857 in Symonds Green.  Twin sons, so alike, that their parents would tie different coloured ribbons on them to tell them apart, were called Ebenezer Albert and Albert Ebenezer (after the Ebenezer Chapel on Albert Street in Stevenage).

200 convictions

The twins were well known poachers whose convictions between them ran over the 200 mark.  The police were often at a loss to know which twin they had caught, a problem that the brothers exploited as much as they could.  The police eventually learned to look for distinguishing scars which the brothers had, and kept a record of their fingerprints (a new development in policing).

The twins did also do legal jobs, labouring on the building of the Police Station on Stanmore Road – building the cells which they later occupied after being caught poaching!

Pheasants beware

Ebenezer and Albert were popular with local farmers for their skills in getting rid of foxes and finding useful farm dogs, but not so popular with the keepers.

They were skilled in woodcraft, spending part of their lives living in a bivouac and poaching to get their meat and fish.

A Stevenage pub on Rockingham Way was named “The Twin Foxes” after them. See the photo of its opening in 1953 in the section on public houses.

This page was added on 20/05/2011.

Comments about this page

  • I am related to these two who were 2nd cousins to my mother. They were first amongst other ‘criminals’ to be imprisoned in Pentonville prison in London. One story says that one of them were convicted of poaching, sentence to be given the following day. However, before appearing before the judge, he caught 2 pheasants on land held by the judge which were sold in the market before appearing, and the proceeds used to pay the fine!

    By Terry Horner, son of Ethel Fox (30/07/2018)
  • I am related to these two who were 2nd cousins to my mother. They were first amongst other ‘criminals’ to be imprisoned in Pentonville prison in London. One story says that one of them were convicted of poaching, sentence to be given the following day. However, before appearing before the judge, he caught 2 pheasants on land held by the judge which were sold in the market before appearing, and the proceeds used to pay the fine!

    By Terry Horner, son of Ethel Fox (30/07/2018)
  • albert and ebenezer are my fourth cousins, my nan remembers her dad telling her about the twins and their poaching

    By lisa frost (04/04/2012)
  • They must have been a disappointment to their father Henry, who used to preach at the Ebenezer Chapel!

    By Pauline Maryan (03/06/2011)

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