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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.


Friday, September 26, 1890.

A CHILD FATALLY SCALDED.
   Mr. S. Brighouse, county coroner, held an inquest on Wednesday, at the White Lion Inn, Church-street, Upholland, touching the death of William Corless, son of Margaret Corless, 16, Tontine-brow, Upholland. Margaret Corless said she lived at 16, Tontine-brow, Upholland, and was a married woman but had lived about eleven years apart from her husband. The deceased, William Corless, was her son. He was one year and eight months old and was illegitimate. About 20 minutes to nine on Saturday night, the 20th inst., she poured a pan of boiling water into a pan mug on the floor. Deceased and two other children were playing on the floor at the time. She (Mrs. Corless) turned round to set the pan out of her way, and on looking round she saw deceased in the boiling water in the pan mug. She lifted him out and undressed him and sent for Mrs. Broadbent, who lived next door, and also for Dr. Molyneux. Mrs. Broadbent at once attended to deceased, and Dr. Molyneux sent some medicine and instructions. The child expired about ten minutes to ten o'clock on Sunday night, the 21st inst. Mrs. Broadbent, wife of Thomas Broadbent, 17, Tontine-road, Upholland, said between eight and nine o'clock on the 20th inst., she was called in to see the deceased. He was lying on his mother's knee undressed. She examined him and found that he was badly scalded. She applied dry flour, linseed, and lime water. She asked the mother how it had been done, and the deceased's mother replied she did not know how it happened. There was a pan mug lying on the floor when she went in, and most of the floor was covered with water. The deceased's mother had been very kind to the child and fainted away after the occurrence. The jury returned a verdict to the effect that the child met with its death through accidently falling into a pan mug of boiling water.



Saturday, September 27, 1890.

HIDING THE BOOTY UP THE CHIMNEY.
   Two Golborne youths named Dunn and Parr were charged at Warrington, on Saturday, with stealing two silk handkerchiefs, value 7s. the property of Messrs. Rylands and Sons, Limited, Manchester. Prisoner's were employed by the firm's traveller as out-porters on the previous day, and the property was missed from the cases. Parr was arrested at the railway station, and upon Dunn being followed home it was found that he had concealed one of the handkerchiefs up the chimney. - Prisoners were remanded.



Wednesday, October 1, 1890.

HIS SECOND CONVICTION.
   George Challinger, of Millgate, was charged with overcrowding a common lodging-house. - The Town Clerk said that the defendant's house was visited by Inspector Taylor and his assistant on Sept. 25th, half-an-hour after midnight. There were four rooms, registered to contain 11 people altogether, but on inspection it was found there were 16 people in the house. There was one previous conviction against the defendant for overcrowding, no longer back than August, 1890, when he was fined 5s. and costs. - Evidence having been given in substantiation of the Town Clerk's statement, the bench inflicted a fine of 20s. and costs.



Wednesday, October 1, 1890.

A NARROW ESCAPE.
   Henry Brown, Boys' Well-lane, Scholes, was charged with having in his possession a quantity of game that he had not honestly come by. - The defendant said he was guilty of having the game but not of catching it. - Police-constable Lyon said that on Tuesday morning, in consequence of receiving information, Police-constables Turner and Ross and himself went down Woodhouse-lane past the workhouse. They saw the defendant coming up the road towards Wigan at about half-past eight, and when he was close to them they intercepted him. When he saw them he ran away as hard as he could, and they saw that he had a bag on his back. Witness ran in the opposite direction and round by Hayes-street, where he again met Brown and caught him. On examining the bag he found eight rabbits, and he told the defendant they would be taken to the police station and he would be charged with having game in his possession. The defendant said he would be sure to get them back again. Witness examined the defendant's pockets and found a number of pegs, similar to those used for pegging rabbit nets down to the ground. The rabbits were just warm, and to all appearance they had been killed by having their backs broken. The police were informed that a number of men were coming from the direction of Gathurst with game in their possession, and it was through this intelligence that Brown was caught. The defendant told witness he had bought the rabbits from a man named Thorpe, who was a well-known poacher. - Police-constables Turner and Ross corroborated. - Thomas Foster and John Evans, of Gidlow-lane, said they were in the house of a man named Thorpe on Thursday morning, and saw the defendant there. Thorpe offered to sell the rabbits to Brown, and the latter said he would take eight and try to make a little money out of them. He gave 8s. for them. This was at twenty minutes past eight. - Mr. Benson said there was a doubt in this case, and the defendant would receive the benefit of it. At the same time he must remember that he had had a narrow escape, and if a similar case was proved against him at any time he would be most severely dealt with.



Wednesday, October 1, 1890.

OUTRAGEOUS BEHAVIOUR IN THE PARK.
   John Hunt, of Lower Morris-street, and May Turner, of Caroline-street, Ince, were charged with misconducting themselves in the park, and with being abusive and disorderly when given into the custody of Police-constable Carter by Mr. Pettitt, the park custodian and his assistants. - The Town Clerk prosecuted, and the male prisoner was fined 40s. and costs or a month, and the female prisoner 20s. and costs or 14 days. - Mr. Pendlebury described their conduct as disgraceful, especially in a place like the public park.



Friday, October 3, 1890.

THE LIGHTING OF NEWTOWN
WITH ELECTRICITY.

   On Thursday night, the streets of Newtown, from the boundary at the Douglas Bridge to the end of Cawdor-street, were lit up by electricity. The Local Board of Pemberton, being dissatisfied with the present lighting by gas, have taken the merits of electricity into consideration, and by an arrangement with Messrs. Mercier and Corlett, of this town, the Newtown portion of the township is to be illuminated by this means for the next two months. No difficulty was experienced the first night, and the lights given from the lamps were in every way satisfactory. A four-hundred candle lamp has been placed at Robin Lane-ends, and eight thirty-two candle lamps have been distributed over the roads at intervals of fifty yards. The dynamo is placed in the yard of Messrs. France and Smith, and is driven by their steam engine. Lighting commences at dusk, and continues till 10 o'clock.



Friday, October 3, 1890.

REJECTED ADDRESSES.
   Patrick Walsh, 13, Brown-street, was charged with threatening to kill Mary Lynch, 41, Adelaide-street, on the 29th ult. - Prisoner denied the offence. - Prosecutrix said prisoner followed her to and from her work morning and night, and swore to take her life. She had kept company with him for twelve months, but she had given him up. She had missed two days work, as she was afraid of him. Police-constable McFay stated that he had been told time after time that the girl was afraid of the prisoner, but he had not heard him threaten to take her life. The parties should have been married in March last, but the girl would not have anything to do with him, owing, witness believed, to his bad character. - Mr. Benson said prisoner would be bound over to keep the peace for three months, himself in 10 and two sureties of 5 each; in default seven days imprisonment. - Prisoner: I will have the seven days.



Wednesday, October 8, 1890.

SINGULAR DEATH OF A
PEMBERTON COLLIER.

   On Monday morning, at the New Inn, Goose Green, Mr. S. Brighouse, county coroner, held an inquest concerning the death of Peter Walker, a collier, of 249, Warrington-road, Goose Green, Pemberton, who died on Thursday, as was supposed, from a strain which he received whilst working in the No. 2 pit of the Garswood Colliery, Ashton, on the 11th ult. The deceased, who was 65 years of age, was in the act of emptying a tub of dirt when he was struck with a severe pain in his right side. He had to leave his work, but continued his employment four days afterwards. He was taken worse, and though attended by Drs. Cowan and Wolstenholme, he died as above stated. The medical evidence upon which the jury had principally to base their verdict was that the post mortem examination revealed that death was caused by inflammation of the lungs, which originated with three fractured ribs. "Accidental death" was the verdict returned.



Friday, October 3, 1890.

SWIMMING NOT SUICIDE.
A DRUNKEN FREAK.

   On Tuesday morning, at the Borough Police Court, before Messrs. C. Graham and W. B. Johnson, a young man named Lewis Edward Fuller, of Spring View, Lower-Ince, was charged with attempting to commit suicide by jumping into the Douglas on Monday.
   Police-constable Richardson said at five o'clock in the afternoon he was at the Police-office when a gentleman came to him and told him there was a man on Darlington-street bridge undressing himself, and about to jump into the Douglas. Witness hurried to the place, and found the prisoner divested of his coat and vest and trousers, and throwing the clothes into the Douglas. He was standing on a wall from 18 to 20 feet high. When he saw witness he got on another wall behind some houses, and prepared to leap off, but witness caught him by the hand and just switched him off in time. He fell on his back on a midden, but quickly rose, and dashed towards another low wall, but witness got assistance and locked him up. The depth of the water at the place was about five or six feet, and the man would have been able to drown himself. Some of the clothes were in the Douglas yet, and only the coat had been got out.
   Mr. Graham: Was he drunk? - Witness: Yes.
   Prisoner: I was in for a swim, not for suicide.
   Mr. Graham: There are suitable and unsuitable places to go bathing. If you had wanted a swim you should have gone to the baths, which are provided for that purpose.
   Prisoner said that he had come to Wigan on business, and had a drop of beer in Wallgate.
   Police-constable Richardson said the prisoner told him he came from Bamfurlong where he worked, and got drunk on the way. When he arrived in Wigan he had more drink, and was spreeing all the day.
   Mr. Graham (to prisoner): You did a wrong thing and caused a great deal of trouble, but in this case we will discharge you.


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