3 August 1901

Remarkable Letter

At the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday, John CLARKE summoned William BAILEY, Joseph BAILEY, and Joseph BRAMALL for assault. There was a cross-summons in which William BAILEY summoned John CLARKE and William HUNT for assault.

Mr R G IVES appeared for John CLARKE and William HUNT, and Mr J B POWNALL represented William and Joseph BAILEY and Joseph BRAMALL. The case in which CLARKE was alleged to have been assaulted was taken first. By request of Mr IVES, all the witnesses were ordered out of court.

Mr IVES said he should ask the Bench to increase the charge against the three men to maliciously wounding and causing grievous bodily harm. The parties to these proceedings were very near neighbours at Littlemoss, and were all tenants of land. There had been frequent disagreements before between the parties. There was a hedge between the land of HUNT and the BAILEYs which had been in disrepair for some time.

On the 23rd last, when the assault took place, a donkey belonging to HUNT strayed on to the land of the BAILEYs. HUNT"s little boys tried to drive the donkey away, but could not manage it, and they asked their uncle, (complainant John CLARKE), to accompany them, and he did so and went on to the land, and was technically a trespasser. The three defendants, along with another person who was not present, came up to CLARKE and assaulted him in a really dreadful manner. Two of them held his arms on the floor whilst the younger BAILEY kicked him about the head and body for several minutes until he was one mass of blood.

William HUNT, junr., aged 12, said he lived at Oak House, Daisy Nook, Ashton. The week previous BAILEY"s horse kicked the fence down between the two pieces of land, and the donkey followed the horse into the ground. Joe BAILEY was sitting on the fence when witness"s uncle was helping to get the donkey out. Bailey said, "I will pay the 40s," at the same time as pulling his waistcoat off. He thumped CLARKE on the back of the neck, and hit him in the mouth with his clenched fist. The elder BAILEY then came up and hit CLARKE with a rake across the eye. He tripped CLARKE down, and Joe BAILEY and BRAMALL kicked and thumped complainant in the face for six or seven minutes.

Two men came walking up and said they would not stand that, and they shoved BAILEY and BRAMALL off, and the latter ran away. Complainant"s face was covered with blood. By Mr POWNALL: It was not long since that his father was fined 20s and costs for assaulting Mr BAILEY. The fence was repairable by his father. William BAILEY complained that instead of getting the donkey out, complainant was running the horse about the field. Joe BAILEY struck the first blow. There was a whip belonging to his younger brother. He was certain BRAMALL was there at the time of the assault.

The complainant, John CLARKE, said he lived at Oak Hill, Daisy Nook, and was a slater"s labourer. He was sitting on his doorstep when he was fetched to get the donkey out of the field. The two BAILEYs and BRAMALL came from a hollow in the field and turned the donkey back. Joe BAILEY told witness to get off the land as he was trespassing. He got round the back of witness and struck him. Wm. BAILEY tripped witness up, and they then commenced to assault him. The two men came up and interfered and said they "would not see him killed." Witness lost a great deal of blood, and one of the wounds had bled for 32 hours. It was his first time out since Monday, and he was still very weak. He did not give any provocation for the assault and had no whip or anything else in his hand whatever.

By Mr POWNALL: He brought Joe BAILEY up a few weeks ago, and they were both bound over. BAILEY did not tell him it was his own fault the donkey had got into the field. He did not begin the fight and did not take a whip from one of HUNT"s children. He did not take the names of the men who assisted him; he was not then in a fit state. (He) said this matter had been going on for some time. The CLARKEs and HUNTs had been very disagreeable. There had been County Court proceedings which had been dropped. Mr IVES: No amount of previous squabbling will justify this assault.

Mr POWNALL (continuing) said that owing to the neglect of the fence the donkey got through into the field. CLARKE and two others, instead of getting the donkey out of the way, began chasing defendant"s pony, all for the sake of annoyance. Mr BAILEY and his son told him to leave the field, and after uttering an imprecation he hit young BAILEY. The two closed, and they had a fight, in which CLARKE got the worst of it. The latter got a whip and threatened what he would do. What the defendant did was in self-defence.

William BAILEY said that about 8.30 in the night in question he saw CLARKE running a pony about in his field. He asked three or four times over to stop running the pony, but he refused, and witness did not see two men interfere. By IVES: He did not deny that he had a rake in his hand, but he denied using it. He had nothing to do with sending a type-written letter (produced), the wording of which was as follows:

The Black Ring of Justice hereby warns you that terrible shall be your fate unless you undo the wrong that you have done this last few days to your neighbour. Take heed, terrible shall be our vengeance.

Yours truly, The Secretary

The Bench gave BRAMALL the benefit of the doubt and dismissed the case against him. William and Joseph BAILEY were each fined 40s and costs, and allowed the advocate"s fee. Mr POWNALL said he would withdraw the cross-summons.

The following been sent to us for publication:

We the undersigned umpires, herein do hereby jointly and severally declare:

  1. That we are thoroughly impartial, as is evidenced by our decisions in the match.
  2. That the match was not stopped at any time by rain.
  3. That the time actually played was from 3.7 o"clock to 6.28 p.m.
  4. That Pills refused to send in last man to bat, although the fixed time for playing had not expired, and this refusal was persisted in, notwithstanding the urgent request of the umpires.
  5. That by reason of such refusal, Quills are entitled to a verdict with costs on the higher scale.

And therefore, we hereby declare that Quills are the victors, and this verdict shall carry all attendant consequences whatsoever.

Dated this 24th day of July, 1901

Joseph HURST

GAMING Three youths named Frank HILTON, John GATLEY and William HAMPSON were summoned for gaming on Cavendish-street on the 12th July. They pleaded not guilty since they had no money. Constable said he saw the defendants on some waste ground near the old mill. He saw money pass between them. On seeing him GATLEY and HAMPSON ran through the river. He seized the cards. Defendants again said they had no money. Mr HULME: No, you never will if you spend your time like that. The Chief Constable said all the defendants had been before the courts on previous occasions. Mr KELSALL: The question is to know what to do with them. Mr HULME: You will be fined 5s 6d each for costs, or seven days. We are inclined to be lenient, and give you another chance. If you come again after serving seven days, you may get committed for trial

CRUELTY TO A HORSE Thomas DOWNES and James HULME were before the magistrates, the first-named charged with cruelty to a horse by working it in an unfit state on July 17th, and the last-named charged with causing the same to be worked. Both defendants pleaded not guilty. Inspector POCOCK (NSPCA) stated that at four p.m. on the date in question, he was in Oldham-road when he saw the younger defendant driving a small pony attached to a low-bodied cart containing sundry marine stores. Witness could see that the animal was very lame in the off hind leg. Defendant turned the corner into Cotton-street, and witness found him in a yard in the occupation of HULME. When spoken to, DOWNES said it was not his pony, he had only borrowed it. The pony was in poor condition, suffering from severe sprain on the hind leg. There was an old sore on the top of the back immediately under the saddle, about the size of a two-shilling piece. Defendant HULME said it was his father"s pony and it was he who should have been summoned. Defendant"s father, who was blind, said he had examined the pony and found nothing wrong. Magistrates" Clerk: How could you examine it if you are blind? I can feel. The statement of Inspector POCOCK having been corroborated by a constable, the magistrates fined each of the defendants 10s and costs, or 14 days.

DRUNK AND DISORDERLY Fred BOON was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Adelphi-court on the 21st. He pleaded guilty. Constable ROLLINSON said the defendant was creating a great disturbance and using bad language. Mr HULME told defendant that if it had a case of simple drunkenness he would have been let off. He would be fined 5s 6d costs. This bad language must be put down. Margaret MELLOR was summoned for using bad language in Adelphi-court at the same time and place. Constable ROLLINSON said it had been going on an hour and a half. Fined 5s 6d for costs.

Thomas McCARTEY was fined 5s 6d for being drunk and disorderly in Cotton-street on the 27th. Ann STAFFORD of Hyde pleaded guilty to being drunk in Percy-street on Saturday. The Chief Constable said there was no previous record against her in his books. Defendant was discharged on promises to leave the town at once. Mr HULME, addressing the Chief Constable, said the Bench wished him to call attention to the fact that drunkenness in the streets was very much upon the increase, especially amongst women. It had been decided by some of his fellow magistrates on the Bench that the increase was now getting very considerable. People could have been going about the streets in a drunken state, entering vaults and public houses and evidently they must be served with more drink, or they should not see so many cases in court as they did at the present time. So far as he was concerned, he fully endorsed the views of his colleagues. It was patent to everyone that drunkenness in the streets is increasing. There ought to be more supervision over these cases of people getting drink when already drunk.

A SEPARATION ORDER GRANTED Daniel THORNTON, collier, was summoned by his wife, Sarah THORNTON, for assaulting her on the 21st July. He pleaded not guilty and conducted himself in a cheeky manner throughout the hearing. Complainant stated that on Sunday week he came home drunk at dinner-time and began to make a banter about the meal. She did not say anything in reply. At tea time, he began to grumble again because there was not sufficient on the table for him. She allowed him to go on a good while before she spoke to him. She then told him that if he was not satisfied he could go away from the table. When she said that, he jumped up and thumped her in the side and knocked her sick. The children ran round him, but he came at her again and knocked her over a chair. She was getting away round the table, and he thumped her again. The Clerk: Does he often get drunk? Complainant: Yes. Nearly every week I have to run out of the house or stand by it. Defendant (to his wife): Didn"t you buy half a leg of mutton for the Sunday dinner? Yes. And when you put it on the table it stunk? Yes; but I could not help that, this hot weather. Thou"rt a noted liar. Did I thump thee? Yes I only shoved away.

Sarah, Hannah and John Wm. THORNTON, children of the parties, spoke to the defendant assaulting their mother. The defendant"s story was that three weeks ago on Saturday he came home from the pit and started whitewashing. He got some lime in his eye and played him up a week through it. He had four days to draw last week, and that was not enough for her. She commenced jawing and he had to go out of the house. As for assault, if there was an assault committed it was upon him. There was one working at Astley Pit to-day who threw a flower pot at him and it struck him on the arm. The Clerk: What do you say about the 21st July? Defendant: I never hit her at all. You came home the worse for drink? I had a drop. I had been to Bridge Wakes. On the Sunday morning, and you got drunk? Where did you get your drink? We had been to a club, and had a glass or two. Your children say you struck your wife? They"ve been put up to it. Give a dog a bad name and he will carry it. She"s a character of this sort who comes down drunk and smashes the windows. Complainant: I don"t get drunk. Defendant: Now, not much. Tha" winna wash thi stinky feet in it. (Laughter)

The Clerk: Your language in the court before your wife and your children, and your suggestion that they are not worthy of belief, are not worthy of any married man or any father. I am bound to tell you that if you expect your children to grow up decent you must set them a much better example than you are setting here this morning. Defendant: I do do. The Clerk: You have not shown it here at any rate. Are you asking for a separation order? Complainant: Yes.How much does he get a week? Six and seven shillings a day. Defendant: I get 24s. The Clerk: There are colliers and there are colliers. How many children have you? Complainant: Seven. Defendant: Six; one is not my own. The Clerk: That has not been suggested until now. The Chairman: You will be fined 2s 6d, and costs for the aggravated assault upon your wife, and the Bench have come to the conclusion to grant a separation order with a maintenance allowance of 10s a week.

On Thursday, Frederick WALTON, vanman, Hooley Hill, was summoned for cruelly working a horse whilst it was in an unfit condition on the 25th ultimo. Defendant did not appear. Mr James WARD, his employer, said he had gone on a special journey to Stockport. Mr J E MELLOR said it was a very serious offence and defendant ought to appear himself. Mr WARD said he thought he could explain the matter. Constable BROOME was then sworn, and stated that at 3.30 on the afternoon of the 26th he was in King-street and saw defendant in charge of a grey mare attached to a confectionery van. He noticed a sore on the animal"s shoulder and drew WALTON"s attention to it. The sore was on the off shoulder and was about the size of a two shilling piece. On the near shoulder, where the collar pressed in, there was another sore about as large as the palm of his hand. He asked defendant why he was working the horse in that state, and he said he had not noticed the large sore. It was quite raw. Mr MELLOR: Was it mattering? Witness: It was raw and much inflamed. I should say the horse was suffering great pain.

Sergeant BIRTLES gave corroborative evidence. A piece of wood had been put between the trace and the collar to prevent it rubbing the wound. In the opinion of witness it was an old standing wound, aggravated by the rubbing of the traces. Mr WARD said it was a horse he had borrowed whilst his own was put to grass for a few days. The ordinary collar was wet, and the one that was put on was rather too small. The horse was all right when turned out in the morning. The Bench imposed a fine of 20s, and costs, or one month. The fine and costs amounted to 1 9s 6d and was paid by Mr WARD.

Early on Wednesday morning a serious accident occurred at the above pit, which unfortunately resulted in the death of a miner named Philip HALLSWORTH. Our representative has been on the pit bank in order to obtain detailed particulars of the occurrence, but he was not successful. The manager was down the shaft, and those on top could not or would not give any information. We have, however, learned in a scrappy way that Philip HALLSWORTH, (aged 44) of Church-street, Ashton, Joseph WIELDEN, of Fitzroy-street, Ashton, and Samuel LOMAS, Hyde, were at work down the mine when there was a sudden fall of roof which almost buried the three. They were extricated as quickly as possible, and conveyed to the surface. From there they were despatched to the Ashton District Infirmary. It was found that HALLSWORTH had sustained the most serious injuries. One of his legs was broken, and several of his ribs were fractured. He was also otherwise crushed. He succumbed during the forenoon. WIELDEN and LOMAS were not so badly injured, and after being attended to by the medical staff were sent home.

Afraid of Being Poisoned

At the Ashton Borough Police Court on Monday, James BALLIGHER, out-door worker, was summoned by his wife, Annie BALLIGHER, for persistent cruelty. Defendant pleaded not guilty. From the evidence of the complainant it transpired that the couple had been married 17 years, and there were six children, four of them under 16. The husband accused the wife of being married to another man, and had beaten her about three or four times during the last five or six months. He had also accused her of putting poison in his food. He took drink, but had beaten her whilst sober.

Defendant came to her house on Sunday night and said he had obtained the marriage lines to show her marriage to another man. Defendant: It is 22 years since I hit her, and then she deserved it. Magistrates" Clerk: You"ve only been married 17 years. Defendant: I was courting then. (Laughter in court.) A son and daughter both gave evidence against their father, the daughter stating that defendant would not allow her to cook anything for him and accused her of trying to poison him. Defendant said he would throw himself on the mercy of the court. He was no use so long as they were all against him. His wife had left him with four children.

Magistrates" Clerk: How have you got hold of this idea of their trying to poison you? She wants to get rid of me. Have you ever accused her? Yes, and the daughter too. Chairman: An order will be made upon you and the Bench request me to tell you that the charge made against your wife and daughter in itself is cruelty in the extreme, and if you persist in saying that they wanted to poison you you will get into serious trouble. A separation order will be granted, and the wife is to have custody of the children. Defendant: Right; I am very glad, and thank you. She"s done me a good un.

Harry BROOMHEAD was fined 10s for costs on Wednesday, for being drunk on licensed premises at Hurst on July 15th.

A LONG DAY"S WORK Robert CHRISTY was before the Ashton County Justices on Wednesday, charged with being drunk in charge of a horse and lorry at Hurst on July 12th. Defendant admitted the offence, and said he had been out ever since two o"clock that morning. The Chairman, in imposing a fine of 1s and costs, said it was a disgrace for any employer to send a man out like that.

HELPLESSLY DRUNK James SMITH failed to put in an appearance at the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday to answer to a charge of being drunk at Hurst on the 15th inst. Evidence was given by a constable of finding defendant helplessly drunk in Broadoak-road. He took him to the police station, and when he became sober he was allowed out on bail. Fined 7s 6d.

FUNERAL OF AN ASHTON VOLUNTEER On Monday afternoon, at the Hurst Cemetery, the mortal remains of William WHITE, who died at his home in Paradise-street, Hurst Brook, were laid to rest. WHITE was a member of F Company of the 3rd VBMR, joining about seven years ago. Several of his comrades attended the funeral in uniform, amongst them being Sergeant HENNESSAY and Lance-corporal Sapper Michael COFFEY. The burial services in the mortuary chapel and at the grave side were conducted by Mr John GREEN, registrar.

Ran About the House Like Chicks Picking Up What They Could

At Hyde Borough Police Court on Thursday, a young man named William SCOTT, of no fixed abode, was charged, at the instance of the NSPCC, with neglecting his wife and two children. Mr BOSTOCK, who was for the prosecution, said the defendant earned about 1 a week and, according to his instructions, he was a drunken, idle fellow. At the beginning of this year he had not worked for 13 weeks Prisoner, interposing: "It"s a lie." and during May and June he had only worked about seven days. During the five years of his married life he had lived in 16 different houses, in addition to living in lodgings, and in May and June he lived in a single house in Lumn-street where in the bedroom there was only an iron bedstead, with a straw mattress upon it, but no bedding, and the room was absolutely without furniture. Prisoner: There was.

When the weather was cold, they had to sleep with their clothes on, as they had nothing to cover them with. Downstairs there was simply a couch, a table and a chair. In the space of two months prisoner had only given her 7s 6d and she had to depend upon the charity of friends and neighbours to maintain them. She had often had to put the children to bed at night when they had been crying from hunger, and they had to go without food the following day. (Prisoner: It"s false.) The children"s clothes were so ragged and tattered that they had had to be held together by pins. Prisoner had admitted his guilt and everything considered he should be sent to gaol for a lengthened period.

Sarah SCOTT, wife of the prisoner, gave a corroborative story. Since Whitsuntide she had not received a penny from him. Prisoner had been away four days at once, living in adultery at Stockport, whilst she and the children were without fire or food. She had been obliged to take the clogs off the children"s feet to buy food with. Asked by the clerk if he had anything to question his wife about, prisoner said it was no use asking anything as all the evidence that had been given was false.

Sarah DAVENPORT, living at the Lumn, said she never saw prisoner work while living next door to her. She had seen him drunk regularly. He had gone away on a Saturday night and not returned till the following Tuesday. The children were insufficiently clothed and fed, and when she had given them food they ate it ravenously.

Inspector BUNNING said that on the 15th June he visited the prisoner"s house and what had been stated was quite true. If anything, they were in a worse condition than had been described, and at the time of his visit they ran about the house like chickens picking up what they could, with their rags pinned together and without shoes to their feet. Prisoner (excitedly) to witness: You would make a tidy one for church on Sunday. Running about like chickens? A tidy person you would make on the quiet. The bench here called prisoner to order and advised him to behave himself.

In a rambling statement prisoner said he had worked short time for a long while and all he had earned he had brought home. He had earned and given to his wife four times more than had been stated. It was true that he drank and he got his beer by playing at cards in public houses. "If a dog," he concluded, "gets a bad name it sticks to it." Having been committed eight times previously, he was sent to gaol for four months with hard labour.

Preferred Sacred Music to Piano Music

William LOMAS, a piano dealer, carrying on business in Ashton-under-Lyne, was the plaintiff in this case, and he claimed from Joseph FITTON, of Denton, the sum of 5 1s, being the balance in respect of a piano and organ and two stools, which were let on hire to the defendant. Mr H BOSTOCK was for the plaintiff and Mr W RICHARDS represented the defendant and admitted 1 11s of the amount claimed.

The case for the plaintiff was that in October 1900, the defendant"s wife attended plaintiff"s shop and agreed to take a piano on the hire system at 3s per week. She had a stool at the same time as the piano, for which 1s had been paid. There was also a music tutor supplied at 2s 6d. Plaintiff supplied a second stool on November 8th, and he claimed 18s and 17s 6d in respect of the stools. In May of this year, he offered to take back the stools, and although the defendant"s solicitor preferred to return them, he had not done so. In December 1900, the defendant"s wife asked the plaintiff to let her have an organ in place of the piano as she preferred sacred music. He agreed to this and sent an organ, and brought away the piano. Three shillings per week was to be paid for the hire of the organ, just like the piano. He had received 12s on account of the piano and defendant had made promises to pay from time to time.

Mr RICHARDS submitted that the debt had not been incurred by Joseph FITTON, but by his wife, and therefore these proceedings ought not to have been taken. Mr BOSTOCK: My friend cannot raise any question of that kind after having admitted two items in the amount claimed. Defendant is one of those men that do not pay anything. Mr RICHARDS: In regard to the stools submitted there was a sale of "on approval or return." The stools would have been returned had not Mr FITTON been in the Infirmary ill. Plaintiff: I should very much prefer to have the stools instead of the very remote chance of getting money from the defendant. Mr RICHARDS said he was instructed that the stools had never been uncovered and the only time they had been used was when Mr LOMAS or his assistant sat upon them to try the organ. Judgement was entered for the plaintiff for 3 5s to be paid at the rate of 4s per month, and if the stools were returned, the plaintiff, if he thought fit, to reduce the value of the judgement by the amount for the stools less a shilling which would bring it down to 1 10s 6d.

The Ashton-under-Lyne and District Weavers" and Winders" Association have under consideration the exceptionally low wages being earned by weavers on broad jacquard looms, large numbers of which have been introduced into the area covered by the association in the last few months. In some instances, French pattern cards were being used, and weavers complain that they are not earning anything like a reasonable wage though they attend the mill fully 48 hours or more per week. Looms are allowed to stand for want of attention, and the association are determined to have a day wage fixed where the earnings do not reach a certain standard, owing to experiments in the French cards, or otherwise advise weavers to stop work and receive the usual allowance from the union funds. Developments are being anxiously awaited, as the proposal affects a considerable number of weavers in the area of the association.

Would Do For Ashton Town Hall

Mr Samuel FIELDEN, cabinet maker, of Victoria-street, Hulme, was the plaintiff in an action heard yesterday in the Manchester County Court, by his Honour Justice PARRY. It was brought to recover 3, the value of six homing pigeons at 10s each bird, which were alleged to have been destroyed by a cat belonging to the defendant, Mr James RIDINGS, a painter, living in the same street.

Mr J H LONGTON, of Warrington, who appeared for the plaintiff, said the facts were not disputed, and the question for the court was whether a man was liable for damage committed by his cat. The defendant"s cat had really killed seven pigeons, the first in November, and others in January and March, but the action was brought in respect of six only. The pigeon-cote was properly fenced with wire netting, and was safe from all the cats in Hulme, but the defendant"s cat.

The plaintiff said he was a member of the Stretford Flying Club, and had flown birds from Jersey. The pigeons concerning which the action was taken were really worth more than the price put upon them. He was certain that no other cat than the defendant"s got into the pigeon-cote during the past two years. He had told the defendant on catching the cat in the place and defendant told him to kill the animal when he caught it there. Witness, however, declined to take the law in his own hands in such a way.

The defendant said he did not think his cat was to blame for all the damage. There were hundreds of cottages in the locality where cats were kept. The Judge gave judgement for the plaintiff for 30s and costs.

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