Suicide in Scholes, 1861

Published by Brian on Sunday 29th August 2021

James Bibby, born c1799 was a shoe-maker and lived at 6 Coal Yard, Warrington Lane, Scholes. He lived with his wife H. Bibby and brother Thomas Bibby. Thomas was several years older than James and he was also a shoe-maker.

James had problems. Looking through the archives we find an attempted suicide and a few years later, suicide. No reason was given other than he was not of sound mind.

Old pub in Scholes.
Old pub in Scholes.

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 7th July 1855

ATTEMPTED SUICIDE. - On Sunday morning a man named James Bibby, a shoe-maker, in Scholes, attempted to commit suicide by hanging himself, but he was discovered by his brother, who cut him down before his life was extinct, and a surgeon having been sent for animation was restored. He is in a precarious state, however, and little hopes are entertained of his ultimate recovery.

He did recover from the attempted suicide but sadly, committed suicide almost 6 years later. He died by hanging. A strange incident happened at Wigan Cemetery.

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 16th February 1861

SUICIDE IN SCHOLES. - An inquest was held on Monday last, at the Whitesmith's Arms, Warrington-lane, on the body of James Bibby, who committed suicide in a house in Coal-yard, Scholes on the previous Friday night. The deceased, who was a shoemaker, had been drinking for four or five days. A correspondent has forwarded the following statement with reference to the interment of the deceased. He says:- A rather novel case of intolerance occurred at the Wigan Cemetery on Tuesday last, for on the body of James Bibby, shoemaker, Scholes, being presented for interment, the Catholic priest in attendance refused to perform the rites of Christian burial. In this dilemma a few friends ran after the Protestant minister, who had left the cemetery, and, after a due explanation, he promised to come and bury the body on Wednesday. Acting upon this promise, the friends stripped the coffin of the Catholic adornments, and placed it in the Protestant church, where it remained all night, and on Wednesday afternoon the funeral rites of the Church of England were duly performed, and the body was buried in the Protestant burial ground at the cemetery.

A bit of a strange one this. James, a Catholic was indeed buried in Church of England land and his religion was recorded thus. He is buried in plot E504, a public grave.

Comment by: Veronica on 31st August 2021 at 14:32

How interesting to read about this man's suicide. He would have been a neighbour of my ancestor James Catterall and his wife Alice who lived in Coal Yard Scholes at that time. They were my 3 X Grt grandparents. Catholics at the time would not allow a Catholic burial - thankfully times have changed.

Comment by: Jim on 1st September 2021 at 06:44

Was James related to Adam Catterall, my ggg grandfather, who lived in Wigan? Longshot, I know

Comment by: Maureen on 1st September 2021 at 12:52

Was he related to Tom Bibby who ran industrial cleaning business from Miry Lane..his Dads name was also Thomas,

Comment by: Veronica on 19th September 2021 at 22:12

Jim I have sent you an email. James and Alice had a few children one was called Adam and was the brother of my Grtgrt Grandmother Ellen Catterall. Curiously the name James has been passed down through the generations as well.

Comment by: Dean on 14th October 2021 at 20:40

Good read, I've been a resident of wigan for 11 years now and I'm entrigued by wigans history.

Comment by: Robert on 23rd December 2021 at 09:45

Very interesting info! The situation is sad, but it was the first time I read something like that

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