I blogged for the British Newspaper Archive on how I chanced on the story of Maria Glenn in their database and the vexed issue of whether runaway marriages were abduction or elopement.
In 1829 a young man received an anonymous letter telling him that an heiress was willing to marry him if only he would only rescue her from a large house on the Clapham Road in south London, where she was being treated cruelly by her uncle. All he needed was a friend, a ladder and a gun.
It was a set-up. There was no heiress and the would-be bridegroom and his helper were promptly arrested. The target of the mischief-making was probably Mr Hedger, an unpopular and harsh magistrate who lived at the address. He also had received an anonymous letter.