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Reading Room 2

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 6, 1860.

   On Wednesday morning, an inquest was held at Mr. Marsh's, Martland Bridge Inn, before Thomas Grimshaw, Esq., coroner, to investigate the circumstances attending the death of William Smith, a farm servant in the employ of Mr. Hugh Ainscow, farmer, Marsh Green, who was drowned in the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, on Monday night, by being thrown from a cart he was driving over Martland Mill Bridge into the water. - The following is the evidence adduced: - Patrick Clark, labourer, of Martland Bridge, sworn, said the deceased was in the employ of Hugh Ainscow, farmer, Marsh Green, Pemberton. On Monday night, about half-past seven o'clock, he was coming from the Pemberton side of the canal, and met the deceased driving a horse and cart over the bridge. Deceased sat on the foreboard of the cart, which came suddenly in contact with the left side of the bridge, and he was precipitated headlong over the battlements into the canal. He instantly ran into Mr. Marsh's, Martland Bridge Inn, for assistance, and a man named John Liptrot came out, stripped himself, and jumped into the water. Liptrot felt deceased at the bottom but could not raise him. He was dead when brought out, to all appearance. He was brought into the stable and laid on his back. No means were used to restore him. The policeman searched his pockets, and found one penny in copper and a pipe. - John Liptrot, of Standish Lower Ground, collier, sworn, said he was at the Martland Bridge Inn, between eleven and twelve o'clock on Monday night, when a man came in and cried out for help, saying there was a man in the canal. Upon that alarm he went to the side of the canal, in company with a policeman and the man who had given the alarm. He stripped himself and dived to the bottom of the canal, and felt deceased, laid face downwards, but had not strength to bring him above water. He attempted to raise him, but failed. A "keb" was then procured, and deceased was raised with it to the surface of the water, and brought out. He believed deceased to be dead when brought to land. He was a married man, living apart from his wife. - James Dakin, landlord of the Guardian's Inn, Frog lane, said he had known deceased several years; he was a servant of Ainscow's. Deceased was at his house up to eleven o'clock on Monday night, and did not appear worse for liquor. He had a horse and cart with him; the cart was empty. Deceased walked by the side of the cart as he left the house. - The Coroner summed up the evidence, and the jury returned a verdict to the effect, "That deceased was drowned in the Leeds and Liverpool canal, by being accidently pitched from the foreboard of a cart he was driving over the Martland Mill Bridge." - Deceased was 46 years of age.

Friday, January 6, 1860.

   On Wednesday afternoon an inquest was held at the Horse and Jockey, Scholes, before T. Grimshaw, Esq., coroner, on view of the body of Edward Marsh, aged 73, who died suddenly on Monday night whilst eating black pudding and bread. - Edward Barnett, handloomweaver, Sharrock's yard, Scholes, said deceased had lodged with him upwards of two years, and was a weaver by trade. He was 73 years of age, and a man of occasional intemperate habits. On Monday night deceased came home about ten o'clock, he was then in liquor. He had some black-pudding and bread for supper, and witness went to bed and left deceased below stairs. He had been up-stairs eight or ten minutes, when he heard deceased fall on the floor, and he came down and assisted him up. Witness left him a second time and went again up-stairs, and had not been long in the room before he heard deceased below making a noise as if he was choking. Witness then stepped down stairs, and found deceased in a stooping position on the chair, and unable to speak. He immediately ran for a neighbour of his, Mrs. Cheetham, and she came and felt deceased's pulse. She said he was not then quite dead. His mouth was full of black-pudding and bread, and he appeared as if he could not speak. Deceased was subject to gravel, but with the exception of this he enjoyed good health. Witness thought deceased lived about one hour after he found him with his mouth full. - Sarah Cheetham, of Sharrock's yard, married woman, said the last witness called her up about 11 o'clock on Monday night, saying that Marsh was dying. When she got to Barnett's, deceased was lying face-downwards on the floor before the fire. She lifted him up, and said to Barnett she believed deceased was dead. He never spoke afterwards; he had both bread and black-pudding in his mouth. - The jury returned a verdict to the effect that deceased died from suffocation, by eating black-pudding and bread, whilst in a state of intoxication.

Friday, January 6, 1860.

(Before J. Meek and H. Wright, Esqrs.)

    Roger Dickenson and Joseph Hopkinson were fined 5s. and costs for Sunday drunkenness. - John Kenyon, charged with being drunk and incapable, on Monday morning, was ordered to pay costs.
    Peter Foster, who had been apprehended under a warrant, was charged with neglecting to pay an affiliation order. The expense amounted to £7 18s. 6d., four summonses having been issued against him since the order was made. - In default of payment, he was committed for eight months' imprisonment.
    William Stockley was ordered to pay expenses for riotous conduct in Chapel-lane, on the 27th ult. - James Horne, on a similar charge, was ordered to pay the expenses.
    VAGRANCY. - John Phillips and William Hayes were charged with vagrancy. Both prisoners were found sleeping in a coke oven in Gidlow-lane. - Commited for twenty-one days' imprisonment each.
    CAUTION TO CARTERS. - Thomas Shuffleton, and Thomas Lee, two carters, were charged with leaving their horses and carts standing beyond a reasonable time (one hour and a half) near the White Hart, Wellington-street, on the night of the 14th ult. - Fined 5s. and costs each.
    THE BEER ACT. - James Galloway, beerhousekeeper, School-street, was summoned for keeping his house open for the sale of beer, after the hour of eleven at night, on Thursday last. - Ordered to pay the expenses.
    BREACH OF THE VICTUALLERS' ACT. - John Farroll, of the Stanley Arms, Warrington-lane, was charged on the information of police-constable Nugent with keeping his house open for the sale of beer and spirits, at half-past eleven o'clock on Sunday night, the 25th ult. - The officer said he met two women leaving the house, one of whom had been supplied with half a gill of whiskey. Ordered to pay expenses.
    AN INHUMAN PARENT. - Margaret Dawber, a little girl about ten years of age, who had been found by a police-officer on duty sleeping in a timber yard, in Rodney-street, between two and three o'clock on Saturday morning, was brought before the Bench. - The father of the girl was present, and Mr. Simm informed the Bench that he (Dawber) was in the habit of neglecting his children, and allowing them to do as they liked. He had before cautioned Dawber, who was a joiner, and possessed of ample means for maintaining his family, but he neglected them. Under these circumstances, he asked the Bench to send the girl to an industrial school, or order Dawber to enter into a bond for twelve months for the better care of his children. - Dawber was accordingly bound under a penalty for that time.

(Before J. Lamb, J. Ingram, and J. C. Leach, Esqrs.)

Michael Devitt, Wm. Platt, Wm. Ashurst, Peter Clune, Wm. Makinson, and Patrick Healey, were charged with being drunk on Sunday last, and each fined 5s. and costs. - John Glancy, charged with being drunk and incapable on Wednesday morning, was ordered to pay expenses.
    NEGLECTING WORK. - Jane Hopson was charged with leaving her work on Monday last, without giving notice. Defendant is in the employ of Messrs. Eckersley. - Ordered to pay expenses and return to work. - Patrick Tucker, and Patrick and Barney Mulholin, for leaving their work at Messrs. Woods and Sons, without notice, were discharged on payment of costs, on expressing their willingness to resume their employment.
    BEERHOUSE CASE. - Henry Smallshaw, proprietor of a beerhouse in the Hardybutts, was charged on the information of Police-constable Kerfoot, with selling ale after hours, on Saturday last. As this was the first offence, and as it appeared to have arisen out of a mistake as to the hour, the defendant was discharged on payment of expenses.
    DISORDERLIES. - Richard Bentham was charged with creating a disturbance in Top Croft, Hallgate, early on Monday morning. - To pay expenses. - John Moleneux, Sarah Moleneux, and John Birchall, were discharged on payment of expenses, for riotous and disorderly conduct in Rylance-row, Standishgate, early on Sunday morning. - John Mc. Guan and Patrick Flannegan were charged with creating a disturbance in Princess-street, on Sunday night. - To pay expenses. - Patrick Conway, for disorderly conduct in Adelaide-street, on Sunday night, was dicharged on payment of expenses.
    ASSAULTS. - Thomas Hunt, labourer, was charged with having violently assaulted and beaten Thomas Baron, brickmaker, Grayson's-yard, on Monday morning. - Complainant said he was in conversation with defendant's brother, respecting a debt, when the defendant suddenly seized hold of his ears, and shook him; he afterwards struck him a violent blow on the eye, which had so stunned him, that he had not been able to work since. - Complainant, who is an old man, said he gave defendant no provocation. - Hunt was fined 20s. and costs, in default, one month's imprisonment. - Ann Acton and Mary Horan were charged with assaulting and beating Eliza Mc. Lachlan, on Monday night, in Scholes. - Defendants were ordered to pay costs. - George Strong was fined 10s. and costs for an assault on Margaret Strong. - George Strong was also fined 20s. and costs for an assault on Police-constable Kerfoot.

Friday, January 6, 1860.

   On Wednesday afternoon an inquest was held at the Royal Oak, Standishgate, before Thomas Grimshaw, Esq., touching the death of William Ramsey, aged four years, son of Peter Ramsey, nailmaker, who died on Tuesday morning from injuries received by burning. Ann Molyneux, widow, Little London, Standishgate, said she had known the deceased child six months. On Sunday morning she went into Peter Ramsey's house; he lived neighbour to her. Deceased and a younger brother were there, playing together, and before leaving with a dish she had gone to borrow, she heard the mother of deceased give directions to her daughter, a girl about nine years of age, to take care of the children, and the mother then left the house. Witness had not been absent more than ten minutes from Ramsey's house before she heard a noise and the screaming of children. She went at once to Ramsey's house, and met the deceased quite naked in the yard. He had nothing but his calico night-dress on at the time he caught fire, and he was severely burnt on the right arm and chest, body and limbs. Deceased died on Tuesday morning. - The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death."

Friday, January 13, 1860.

   Margaret Monk was charged with stealing from the person of Patrick Walsh, labourer, one two shilling piece, and two sixpences in silver, some coppers, and an ounce of tobacco. Prosecution said he went to prisoner's house, in Amy-lane, on Saturday night, about twelve o'clock. He had had drink, and fell asleep. When he awoke he missed the above property from his pockets. He left the house and gave information to the police. - On the prisoner being searched, a knife and purse was found upon her belonging to the prosecutor, but no money. - Sentenced to one month's imprisonment.

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