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Old news detailing sports, crime, violence and suffering in Victorian Wigan. All stories taken from The Wigan Observer And District Advertiser, 1890. Material kindly loaned by Ron Hunt.


Saturday, August 23, 1890.

THEFT FROM A TURNIP FIELD.
   Thomas Darbyshire and Peter Taberner, two lads about 12 years of age, were charged with stealing two turnips, value 2d., from a field on a farm belonging to the Garswood Hall Colliery Company. - Police-constable Barber said that at half-past four last Friday afternoon he saw the two defendants go into the field in question and pull up two turnips, - John Porter said that the company had suffered damage to the extent of at least 1 by boys stealing their turnips. - The magistrates said this kind of thing must be stopped, and as an example each of the boys would be fined 1s. and costs.



Saturday, August 23, 1890.

A QUESTION OF IDENTITY.
   George Sudlove was summoned for being asleep whilst in charge of a horse and cart, at Ince, on the 8th inst. - Police-constable Baker said on the evening of the date named he saw the defendant in charge of a horse and cart in Warrington-road, Lower Ince. He was asleep, and witness woke him, and asked for his name and address, which he refused to give. Witness got his name from the cart and his address from a farmer who came up shortly afterwards. - The defendant said he was not the person in the cart, and if the case was adjourned he would produce a witness to prove what he said. - The bench adjourned the case for a week to give the defendant an opportunity of proving his plea.



Wednesday, August 27, 1890.

PAINFUL ACCIDENT TO AN ASHTON TRADESMEN.
   On Tuesday afternoon an accident of a very serious nature befel Mr. C. E. Cook, practical tool manufacturer, Bolton-road. It appears that shortly after four o'clock Mr. Cook was engaged at his lathe, when his thumb got caught in front of the drill, and in a moment it had passed right through, just above the first joint. Fortunately his apprentices were near at hand, and an alarm was quickly raised, and Mr. Cook was at once extricated and assisted to the surgery of Dr. Latham, which is only about 100 yards away. The doctor was very fortunately in the surgery, and speedily gave every attention to the injured limb. Had no help been at hand, another ten minutes would perhaps have proved fatal, as the loss of blood was very great, so much so that after the doctor had finished and Mr. Cook had been got home he swooned, and was unconscious for more than an hour. However, we are happy to say the injured limb is at present progressing favourably, although the danger is not yet passed.



Wednesday, August 27, 1890.

ALARMING INCIDENT AT GOLBORNE STATION.
   Narrow escape of a mother and child. - An alarming incident occurred at Golborne Station on Saturday. The 5 35 train had just arrived from Wigan, and after discharging the passengers was moving off, when a cry was heard from a woman which startled all who were in the vicinity. It was quickly seen that a woman named Williams had, owing to some cause, fallen between the platform and the moving train. Her position was rendered the more precarious from the fact that she held a child in her arms. Her cries succeeded in drawing the driver's attention, and with commendable promptitude the train was brought to a stand, and both were rescued, the mother escaping with slight injuries and fright, while the child seemed to have escaped injury altogether. As may be imagined all who witnessed the affair were greatly alarmed, and it is indeed fortunate that the incident was not attended by more serious results.



Wednesday, August 27, 1890.

THE UTTERER OF COUNTERFEIT
COINS.

   At the Wigan Borough Police Court on Monday morning, before Messrs. W. Roocroft, M. Benson, and W. B. Johnson, John Grace, alias Henry Denman, of no settled residence, was brought up on remand, charged with uttering two base florins knowing the same to be counterfeit, and also with having in his possession another base florin. It will be remembered that the prisoner was remanded in order that the Treasury officials might be communicated with as to whether he had been charged with a similar offence before. In consequence of this, additional evidence was procured and tendered on Monday morning.
   William Davenport, silversmith, Millgate, recalled, said he thought all the base coins uttered from the prisoner were from the same mould.
   Police-constable Hope, of the Lancashire County Constabulary, stationed at Farnworth, said that in August, 1887, he was stationed in the Old Trafford division of the county. He then apprehended the prisoner on a charge of uttering base florins at Blakeley sports. He was tried at the Salford Hundred Sessions, and was sentenced to fifteen months hard labour, and seven years police supervision. This was on August 15th, 1887, the prisoner then giving his name as John Grace.
   Mr. Rigby (assistant magistrates' clerk) read the formal charge over to the prisoner, who said he had nothing to say. The magistrates then committed him for trial at the next Liverpool assizes.



Friday, August 29, 1890.

"DOCKING" A MARE'S TAIL.
   Joseph Ellis, cow keeper, 60, Pool-street, Poolstock, was charged by Inspector Jowett, of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, with cruelty to a mare by "docking" it. - The defendant pleaded guilty. - The particulars were that on the 6th inst. Ellis asked a man named Skinner to hold a bucket for him while he (Ellis) put a piece of wood under the tail, and with an ordinary axe chopped off about five inches of the stump. - Being the first case of "docking" brought before this court, and in consideration of the defendant's plea of guilty, the inspector only asked for a nominal fine. - The defendant was ordered to pay 1s. and costs. - Mr. Roocroft said the practice might be one which was illegal, yet it was a practice which was largely carried out in the Wigan district. To his own knowledge the doctors and the veterinary surgeons practised "docking," even to their own horses, and if a horse appeared in Cheshire with a long tail, it was nothing but a laughing-stock for those who saw it.



Friday, August 29, 1890.

ASSAULT IN A PUBLIC-HOUSE.
   Walter Halliwell, of 3, Danson's-yard, was summoned for an assault upon Elizabeth Norburn, of 3, Warrington-lane, which took place in the "Pig and Whistle" public-house on the 16th inst. - According to the evidence the defendant was annoyed because he could not be served with drink after hours, and he struck the woman, and knocked her down and kicked her. - He was fined 40s. and costs.



Saturday, August 30, 1890.

ROUGH ON HIS PARENTS.
   Martin Casey, of Platt Bridge, was charged with assaulting his father, Denis Casey, and with wilfully breaking four panes of glass and a window sash in a house in Adelaide-street. - The complainant said that on Monday night he locked the door and retired to bed, when he heard his son knocking at the door and shouting to be let in. Witness declined to let him in, whereupon the prisoner began kicking at the door, trying to break it in. When he found he could not do so he broke the windows, and complainant had to go down to him. On opening the door the prisoner rushed at complainant, knocked him down and kicked him in the thighs and on the arms, besides giving him two black eyes. He also threatened to assault his mother. Several times the prisoner had illused complainant, and on one of these occasions he was sent to prison for a month. - Mrs. Casey corroborated, and Police-constable McFay said that when he went to arrest the prisoner after two o'clock in the morning, he found the poor old man and woman in the street, not daring to go in the house. The prisoner was lying down in the house partly drunk and partly exhausted by his exertions. - Superintendent O'Brien said that the prisoner had been in prison about twenty times for various offences. - Mr. Pendlebury addressed Casey in very severe terms, and ordered him in the first case to pay the amount of damage he had caused and also a fine of 40s.; in default a month's imprisonment. For the assault on his father he would be sent to prison for two months with hard labour.



Saturday, August 30, 1890.

FATAL FALL OF ROOF AT
WORSLEY MESNES.

   Shortly after midnight, on Sunday, a fall of roof took place at the Worsley Mesnes Colliery, Pemberton, burying two datallers named James Melling, of Hall Green, Upholland, and John Gledwell, of Newtown, Pemberton. The two men started timbering about eight o'clock on Sunday night, and the fall took place at a quarter to one. Assistance was procured and Gledwell was extracted shortly afterwards and taken to his home, where he is now recovering. It was eight o'clock, however, before Melling's body could be got from under the fall, and life was then quite extinct. The inquest was opened by Mr. Husband, deputy county coroner, on Wednesday, but only evidence of identification was taken. An adjournment was made until the 10th of next month.


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