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January 28, 2016 / Joanne Yeck

The Buckingham Outlaws: PART XX


“Matt Gregory and Chesapeake and Ohio Bridge at Arvonia”

Wilkes-Barre Times (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania)

The Thomas Brothers

On November 14, 1908, Roanoke’s The Evening News announced:



Charles Thomas Found Guilty of Jail Breaking and Brother Indicted.

Charles Thomas was tried in the Buckingham County Circuit Court for jail breaking and given four months in prison. The charge against him for housebreaking, the September incident at Seven Islands when the outlaws broke into Mrs. Ambler’s smokehouse, was continued until the next term.

William Thomas was indicted by the grand jury, charged with shooting N. M. Gregory on the “Swan Island” farm. Known as Matt, N. M. Gregory’s farm was on the Seven Islands in the James River. He was well enough to attend court and admitted that he feared being shot again.

The following March, a very small announcement ran in Richmond’s The Times-Dispatch stating that Charlie Thomas was tried for breaking into the smokehouse, found guilty, and sentenced to serve three years in the state penitentiary. Interestingly, it was described as “the meat house of N. M. Gregory” rather than Mrs. Ambler’s smokehouse.

Could this be the end of the story?

Coming Next: Justice for Arvonia

Need to catch up? Click here: The Buckingham Outlaws: Part I


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