The Moffat family of actors are vaguely related through the daughter of Jeannie Burgoyne. I was just looking up the historic records for them when I came across the 1911 Census for Dickson Moffat who happened to be a prisoner in Cardiff Gaol. It turns out he'd been creating real-life dramas by blackmailing a Colonel Pearson.
Dundee Courier 20 March 1911
DICKSON MOFFAT GETS 12 MONTHS
FOR BLACKMAILING A COLONEL.
WANTED MONEY TO PAY LENDER.
Dickson Moffat (49), described as an public entertainer, was found guilty and sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment at Glamorgan Assizes on Saturday for sending to Col. Andrew Pearson, an inspector of mines, certain letters demanding money by menaces.
For the prosecution it was stated that Dickson Moffat met Colonel Pearson at an entertainment in 1903. The entertainment was for the benefit of the Howland Division Royal Engineer Volunteer Corps, of which the prosecutor was Colonel. Prisoner borrowed £40, and gave a bill, which was not met, when due.
the prisoner then said he wished to see prosecutor as to his (prisoner's) wife, adding that in divorce proceedings which were pending the prosecutor would be implicated. In other letters prisoner made definite accusations.
Colonel Pearson arranged to see prisoner at Westminster Palace Hotel, and prisoner again made false accusations. Prisoner said he was in the hands of money-lenders, and wanted money to pay them. If Colonel Pearson would give him the money prisoner would keep the colonel's name out of the divorce proceedings.
Colonel Pearson at once took action.
Colonel Andrew Pearson said that, in regard to the receipt of the letters. there was not the slightest truth in the statement that he was guilty of improprieties with the prisoner's wife when he called for the money owing by Moffat.
Prisoner left Glasgow in 1904 owing witness 324, and he never saw or heard of him until October, 1910. from the time witness went to Glasgow to receive his sword of honour from his Corps he began to receive letters from Moffat.
Witness was obliged to continue the correspondence with prisoner to get deinitely in writing the threats of the prisoner.
Cross-examined, witness said he knew Moffat through his giving entertainments to the volunteers in Glasgow. He never attempted to recover his money from Moffat, because he knew it was hopeless. He suspected that Moffat wanted to borrow more money when he asked him to meet him.
he told Moffat it was cruel for him to put such a construction on his actions, because he very well knew his visits to Moffat's house were to recover the money lent. He denied that at the hotel or in a taxi-cab he offered to pay money tp Moffat.
Witness admitted writing the letter in which he said, "I can only £50 together, as my friends would not lend because the furniture is in my wife's name."
The jury only took a few minutes to bring in a verdict of guilty.
His Lordship, in passing sentence, said the offence was of such a serious character that he had his doubts whether he ought not to have sent prisoner to penal servitude.