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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, 1860. Material kindly loaned by Paul Byrne.


Friday, January 13, 1860.

STEALING A WATCH, &c.
   Peter Cocheran, an Irish labourer, was charged with stealing, on Thursday last, a silver watch, value 2, a shirt, a waistcoat, and handkerchief, the property of Owen Boylan, Wellington-street. Boylan said the prisoner had lived with him four or five months, and had been out of work eight weeks of that time. On Thursday morning he went to his work about six o'clock, leaving the prisoner in bed. He returned home about half past five in the evening, and missed a shirt he left in the bedroom in the morning. He looked in his box, and found that his watch, waistcoat, and silk handkerchief were gone. On Wednesday night prisoner had told him that he was going to work on the following morning. He gave information to the police, and on Friday went himself to Liverpool, and caused the prisoner to be apprehended, near the Clarence Dock. He believed he was going by the packet to Dublin that night. The waistcoat, handkerchief, and shirt produced were his property. - John Nichol, police-officer, Liverpool, deposed to apprehending the prisoner, from information he received from Boylan. He searched him and found 9s. 6d. in silver in his pocket, and the shirt produced the prisoner was wearing. - George Jordan, pawnbroker, Chapel-lane, said the prisoner pledged the waistcoat and handkerchief, in the name of John Cocheran, and received 5s. upon them. - Prisoner pleaded guilty to stealing the wearing apparel, but denied that he had taken the watch. - Committed for trial at the sessions.



Saturday, January 14, 1860.

NUISANCE.
   Thomas Sharrocks, beerhouse-keeper, Pemberton, was summoned at the instance of Inspector White for allowing a quantity of ashes and dirt to remain in close proximity to the back door of his house, the stench from which was calculated to create a fever. - Ordered to remove the nuisance immediately.



Saturday, January 14, 1860.

BEERSELLER FINED.
   Robert Halsall, a beerseller in Standish, pleaded guilty to permitting drunkenness in his house on the 31st ult., and was fined 50s. and costs. - It appeared that about nine o'clock on New Year's eve, Police-constable Barker perceived a number of very young lads about defendant's door very much under the influence of liquor. On going into the house he found it full of men, women, and children. In the tap-room he noticed particularly two lads both drunk, one of whom had a glass of ale before him. He cautioned the landlord not to let the lads have any more drink, and advised him to turn them out. In about half-an-hour Barker returned to the house and found it still full of company; the two lads were still in the tap-room, and so drunk that he was obliged to take them home. One was under thirteen and the other under fifteen years of age. One of the boy's mother had given him a shilling to nurse the child whilst she went to Wigan to do her marketing, instead of doing so he left the child to itself, and went and spent the money in drink at defendant's house. Great complaints had been made by parents against defendant for letting children have drink.



Saturday, January 14, 1860.

NUISANCE - PIGEON KEEPING.
   Charles Gent, tailor, was charged with keeping pigeons in a room in a certain house occupied by him in Parker-street, thereby causing a nuisance injurious to the health of the inmates. - Mr. Hamer, inspector of nuisances, said that on the 23rd December last he visited defendant's house, and found in a room adjoining a bed-room thirteen pigeons, which produced so noisome a stench that he smelt it as he was going up the stairs; the floor was covered in filth three or four inches deep. The following day he gave the defendant notice to abate it. On the 31st ult. he went to defendant's house to ascertain if the pigeons had been removed and the nuisance abated, but was denied entrance by defendant, who demanded his authority. On Saturday last, having obtained a magistrate's order for enforcing admission, he visited the place again, and found matters in the state they were on his first visit. He was appointed inspector of nuisances by the Improvement Commissioners. - Mr. Bamford, surgeon, said he was officer of health. On the 22nd ult. he visited defendant's premises in company with Mr. Hamer. He found a room containing a number of pigeons, from which a very offensive effluvia arose; it was a decided nuisance, and injurious to the health of the inhabitants of the house. - The defendant said he kept no pigeons, they belonged to his son. He admitted, however, he was occupier of the house. - Ordered to abate the nuisance within forty-eight hours and pay the costs.



Friday, January 20, 1860.

ACCIDENT.
   As the monster Christmas tree from Whaite's Fine Art Gallery, Manchester, was being conveyed to the Wigan Mechanics' Exhibition, by canal, on Tuesday morning, the horse by which the boat containing the tree was drawn, fell into the canal, near Worsley, and the bank at that point being extremely high, and the night dark, it was drowned before assistance could be obtained. Though not in itself very valuable, the loss is a serious one to the captain of the boat.



Friday, January 20, 1860.

OBSTRUCTION.
   Thos. Ward, fishmonger, having a stall in the Market-place, was charged with obstructing the foot-pavement. - Thos. Howard, shoemaker, Market-place, said defendant's stall was placed within a very short distance from his shop door, and so many people congregated around it , that the foot pavement was frequently obstructed, and customers unable to enter his shop. - At the request of the Bench, Mr. Howard withdrew the information, and Wilcock, lessee of the stalls, was directed to remove defendant to another standing.



Friday, January 20, 1860.

DESERTER.
   Robert Green was charged with being a deserter from the 22nd Regiment of Foot. - Prisoner was apprehended on Sunday, near the Moot Hall, by police-constable Atkinson, who charged him with the offence. He at first denied it, but afterwards admitted that he enlisted at Warrington in March, 1854, and deserted from his regiment in September, 1857, which was then stationed at Davenport. - Remanded until the war authorities were communicated with.



Friday, January 20, 1860.

ASSAULTING THE POLICE.
   Wm. Mackenzie, collier, was charged with assaulting police-constable Richardson, on Saturday night, in Scholes. - Mr. Mayhew appeared for the defendant. - Richardson said he was called to quell a disturbance at the Horse and Jockey public-house, between 11 and 12 o'clock on Saturday night. Five or six men were fighting hand over head in the house, the defendant amongst the number. He endeavoured to separate the men, whereupon the defendant said he "would take it out of him," and kicked him on the leg. Defendant followed him out, and abused him, and he took him to the police-station. - Several witnesses said that the officer was not entirely free from blame, from the fact that he seized defendant by the throat and provoked him to resist. - Discharged on payment of expenses.



Friday, January 20, 1860.

STREET ROBBERY.
   Edward Eccleston, alias Fairclough, was brought up on a charge of being concerned in a robbery from the person on Saturday night, in Scholefield Lane. Lambert Hilton, carter, of Victoria Terrace, Little Broom-street, Ince, said he left the Wine Vaults in the Wiend about 20 minutes to 12 o'clock on Saturday night, and on passing through Scholefield Lane on his way home he was attacked by five or six men, who robbed him of a parcel containing six yards of white flannel, six yards of glazed calico, and two yards of grey calico, folded in brown paper. One of the men seized him by the throat, another by the waist, whilst a third took the parcel from under his arm. They then ran off. - Prisoner had been apprehended by Sergeant Burton, acting under the instructions of Hilton, who pointed him out as one of the men who assisted in the robbery. Hilton, however, when before the magistrates, would not swear that the prisoner was one of the men, and he was accordingly discharged, the Bench remarking that he left the dock without a stain on his character.


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