Treasure Hoax

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Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Snippets of Yesteryear

Scottish Churchyard Treasure Hoax

Woman’s story as to why she gave loans to a miner.

Scottish Churchyard Treasure HoaxBehind an action which has been brought in Hamilton Sheriff Court is a remarkable story of an alleged treasure of gold and precious stones buried in a churchyard near Edinburgh, the Sheriff was made avizandum the case. (time is taken for further consideration of a judgement)

The pursuer in the action is Mrs Ona Novasitis, a Lithuanian widow living at 33 Allison Place, Springwell, Blantyre, and she seeks to recover the sum of £93 from Blades Stephanskis, a miner residing at 51 Auchinraith Road, Blantyre. In her condescendence pursuer avers that in 1921, and in the beginning of 1922, defender informed the pursuer he had a treasure, consisting of gold and precious stones, buried in Rosewell, near Edinburgh. On the strength of the defender’s reiterated statement the pursuer gave him the loan of £13 to enable him to see about the treasure, she being promised that the money would be repaid her.

On two subsequent dates defender, on the same pretexts, obtained the loan of £20 and £60 respectively, while in the interval pursuer’s son, who went to Edinburgh with the defender, was told by the latter, it is stated, that the nights were too light to dig up the treasure then and that he would wait until the winter came before doing so.

Pursuer says she has now learned that the defender is not the owner of any treasure and that the statements he made to her regarding it were false and fraudulent. Requests for repayment of the money have been made repeatedly to the defender, but he declines or delays to to this.

Defender, in his answers, declares that the pursuer’s averments with regard to his buried treasure and with regard to the advances alleged to have been made by her are pure inventions. Claiming that he is not due the sum sued for, the defender says that he should be assoilzied, and that the proof should be limited to his writ or oath.

The Courier, Wednesday, May 16th 1923


Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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