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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, September 6, 1890.

KNOCKED "UNSENSELESS."
   James Gleeson, Fleece-yard, was put up on a charge of assaulting Ann Mitchell, Fogg's-place on the 8th February, this year. - The complainant said she was going down Scholes when the man "chucked" her under the chin, knocked her down, and kicked her in the mouth. She was made "unsenseless," and her face had been very bad since. When the summons was served on him he cleared off. - This was corroborated by a woman named Elizabeth Hankin, and although prisoner's sister made a statement in her brother's defence, in which she endeavoured to shift the blame from him to herself, the magistrates found him guilty and fined him 10s. and costs, or 14 days' imprisonment.



Saturday, September 6, 1890.

BIRTH IN THE POLICE CELLS.
   On Tuesday morning a middle-aged woman, named Elizabeth Winrow, of no settled residence, was charged before Mr. W. B. Johnson with stealing a purse and 1s. 9d. from a dwelling-house in Grayson's-yard, the property of John Oldfield. Owing to the very delicate condition of the prisoner, the case was heard in her cell. - Superintendent O'Brien said that on Saturday night the prisoner called at the complainant's house where she was admitted for a time by Mrs. Oldfield. Complainant ultimately told her to go, and when she had gone it was found that she had taken the purse. She was apprehended the same night by Sergeant Williamson. - Mrs. Oldfield said she did not wish to press the case, considering the condition of the prisoner. - Superintendent O'Brien: Then will you withdraw it? - Mrs. Oldfield: Yes. - Mr. Johnson: The prisoner will be discharged. - About an hour after these proceedings, the prisoner gave birth to a female child. Drs. Woodcock and Martland attended the mother, who is doing very well, perhaps better, indeed, than she would have done had she not been in custody. We understand that she will be removed to the Workhouse as soon as possible.



Saturday, September 6, 1890.

A STANDISH MAN SCALDED BY AN IRATE WOMAN.
   At Chorley, on Tuesday, Edward Myers summoned a married woman named Margaret Riding for assaulting him, and there was also a cross-summons against Edward Myers of assaulting Wm. Riding. - Mr. Lees appeared for Myers, and Mr. C. Callis was for the Ridings. - Myers stated that he was a collier, residing in Church-street, Standish. On the 23rd Aug. he was in the Black Horse public-house having a glass of beer with Riding. Mrs. Riding came in, and he told her he thought she was a little bit related to him and asked her to have a glass of beer with him. In reply she said she would cut off her head if she thought she was related to him. He called her hump-backed. He afterwards went home, when Mrs. Riding came and charged him with calling her hump-back. He said that was not much, whereupon she told him she would make him smart for it. She at once ran to the fire-place, and seizing a pan of boiling beans threw the contents on him. He put out his hands to save his body, and both his arms were badly scalded. Mrs. Riding then ran out of the house followed by his (Myers) wife, who, however, could not catch her. He had since been under the care of Dr. Marsden, and had been unable to follow his employment. - Ann Myers said Mrs. Riding was like a madwoman when she threw the boiling beans on her husband. - Margaret Myers and Jane Astbury also gave corroborative testimony. - In defence, William Riding said he was playing in a quoiting match and was engaged in "papering" on when Myers came and took hold of him and flung him to the ground three or four times. He asked him why he "was always agate on him when he met him." Myers replied that he intended to give him a good hiding. - Cross-examined, he said that after his wife was summoned he took out a summons against Myers. - Wm. Wilding corroborated. - Sarah Berry deposed to hearing Mrs. Myers charge Mrs. Riding with causing her husband to scald himself by knocking a pan off the fire. - Hannah Carruthers also gave similar evidence. - Mrs. Riding was fined 21s. and costs, and the summons against Myers was dismissed.



Saturday, September 6, 1890.

RESCUING HIS WIFE FROM THE POLICE.
   Patrick Russell, Wallgate, was charged with rescuing a prisoner from the lawful custody of the police, and also with assaulting Police-constable McNeil in the execution of his duty. - Police-constable McNeil said that on Thursday night, about 20 minutes to nine, he was on duty at the top of King-street. A man came running up Wallgate with a woman after him, and when the woman saw witness she asked him to stop the man, saying that he was her husband and that he had run away with his wages, leaving her and the children starving. She got hold of her husband and struck him several times, and witness had to stop her, telling her she would be locked up if she did not desist. She said she would be locked up, and struck her husband again, whereupon witness took her into custody. He brought the prisoner down King-street, the husband following, and when opposite the Shakespeare Hotel, he told his wife not to go. In front of the police office the prisoner rished at witness, striking him on the head and kicking him on the legs. The wife got clear away, and witness had to get the assistance of several other constables to get the prisoner into the police-office, as he was very rough. - Mr. Robert Owens, a witness of the occurrence, gave corroborative evidence on behalf of the police, and the prisoner was fined 10s. and costs.



Wednesday, September 10, 1890.

NARROW ESCAPE OF POISONING
AT INCE.

   On Sunday, two little girls, Elizabeth Elsden, aged 9 years, and Lily Bolton, aged 5 years, had a very narrow escape of being poisoned at Ince. The children are the daughters of respectable working men living near Britannia Bridge, and on Sunday afternoon, just after partaking of dinner, they wandered into the fields in the neighbourhood and did not return until bedtime. It was noticed that they were very strange in their manner, and this curious behaviour increased until fits and ravings caused the parents to put their children to bed and anxiously send for medical advice. On arriving at both homes the doctor found the girls in a very critical condition, with every indication of either having eat some poisonous food, or having been affected with the heat of the sun. Monday morning saw them a little better, and one of the girls recovered her senses so much as to be able to tell those around her that they had ate some toadstools in the fields, thinking they were mushrooms. We understand that the children are improving, and that they will in a short time be quite well.



Friday, September 12, 1890.

DESPICABLE CONDUCT OF A HUSBAND.
   Patrick McNamara, 15, Victoria-street, was charged with assaulting his wife, on the 9th. - She said he kicked her in the face and put her out on Monday night while she had a dying baby in her arms, and having locked the door refused to let her in. In a fortnight he had only given her 9s., and his conduct was so bad that she could not really live with him. He had previously assaulted her, and had been sent to prison for 14 days. - Mr. Roocroft said he would be fined 20s. and costs, and a separation order would also be granted, 5s. a week to be paid for maintenance.



Saturday, September 13, 1890.

THROWING A RUBBING STONE.
   Grace McKnight, 23, Bottom-croft, was summoned for assaulting Elizabeth Dawber, 20, Bottom-croft, on the 8th inst. It was alleged by the complainant that about half-past three on Monday afternoon she was at her own door, when defendant came to her and after a few words threw a rubbing stone at witness, the missile hitting her. - Several witnesses were called by both parties, who were ordered to pay their own costs.



Saturday, September 13, 1890.

NOTHING LESS THAN A PUBLIC SCANDAL.
   Mary Hamilton, 35, Bottom-croft, was charged with assaulting Grace McKnight, 23, Bottom-croft, on Monday evening. - The complainant said she saw a man covered with blood go into the defendant's house, and she went to see what was the matter. The complainant came in and said, "You dirty blackguard, what fetched you here?" She threw a bacon mug at her head, and taking another up sent it at witness's husband's head. - Several witnesses were called, and at the conclusion Mr. Roocroft said there was evidently a quarrelsome lot at Bottom Croft, and they were not going to fight out their battles in that court. They would have to pay their own costs. - Elizabeth Mitchell, 27, School-lane, was charged with assaulting Jane Gregory, 79, Scholes, on the 6th inst. - The evidence of the complainant went to show that about ten o'clock on Saturday night she was at the shop door selling fish. A girl served defendant, who said to her, "I have had a spite against your mother for some time." Complainant then sent for the police, and Police-constables Ryan and Taylor came up, and had to order the defendant away three times because of her conduct. The defendant was so drunk that when she came into the shop she fell into a basket with her heels "cocked" up. (Laughter.) She hit witness several times in the face, and called her daughter bad names. - Alice Gregory corroborated. - The witnesses for the defence were Annie Hall and Mary Whittle, and as all the parties became excited in court, the magistrates ordered that they should divide the costs between them. - Fanny Hickey, 8, Pottery-yard, was summoned for an assault alleged to have been committed on Ellen Lowe, of 2, Pottery-yard. - The latter said she received a blow on the eye without giving the slightest provocation. The defendant also attempted to strike her a second time, but people pulled her back. - The magistrates could not say which party was to blame more than the other, and they were ordered to divide costs. In passing judgement, Mr. Roocroft said he considered it little less than a public scandal that five cases should be brought forward in that court in one morning, in which women - and married women - were found fighting in the street. - Esther McCabe, 6, Bradshawgate, was summoned for assaulting Ellen Goulding, 28, Bradshawgate, on the 8th inst., and although she pleaded not guilty, was ordered to pay 5s. and costs. The nature of the assault was that the defendant "punched" her on her own doorstep and pulled a quantity of hair out of her head. Alice Roberts and William Merrick gave evidence.



Saturday, September 13, 1890.

A HUMAN FOOTBALL.
   Two men named Gallagher and Webb were charged with fighting in Standishgate. - Police-constable Hodgetts proved the case. - Gallagher stated that he was only fighting in self defence. He was the football and Webb was playing touchdown with him. - Pay costs.


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