5 October 1901
POISONING CASE AT STALYBRIDGE
A Domestic Servants Determined Act
About eight oclock on Monday morning
the Stalybridge police were informed of a poisoning
case which ended fatally a short time afterwards.
It appears that a young woman named Jane STYZAKER
had been temporarily in the domestic service of
Mr George HILL, of Bower Fold, Mottram-road, and
of the firm of Messrs John HILL and Sons, Ashton.
She only entered the situation on
Saturday last, and early on Monday morning she
was discovered to have taken poison. Dr SCOTT
was immediately summoned, and he in turn telephoned
to the police. Sergeant GEE and Constable SMETHURST
went to Bower Fold, there saw the girl in a serious
condition, and upon the doctor' instructions
they took her to the Ashton District Infirmary,
where she succumbed at five minutes past nine.
An inquest was held on the body.
Mr George Thomas HILL said: I am a cake and biscuit
manufacturer. Deceased was in my employment about
two years ago as a cook. She remained with us
about four months when she left to take a situation
at Llandudno, and I heard nothing further about
her until Saturday last when she came to our home
about noon. I did not see her at that time, but
later on I saw her. In the meantime deceased had
told my wife about attempting to take poison at
Southport, and I told the girl that Mrs HILL took
upon herself a responsibility under the circumstances.
We agreed after some hesitation to allow her to
stay a day or two.
Deceased appeared distressed, and
after having some tea she became sick and retired
to bed later in the day. She went about her work
on Sunday and did not complain of anything. The
following morning, about seven oclock, my
wife and myself were awakened and I went downstairs.
In the kitchen I found deceased in a convulsed
condition straining very hard. Having suspicion
that deceased had taken poison we gave her strong
coffee, and sent for Dr SCOTT.
The bottle produced of aconite is
usually kept in the pantry where other medicines
are kept. The bottle was not quite half full,
but when deceased took a dose there remained a
spoonful or two. We have a medicine chest, but
there are other bottles of a non-poisonous character
in the pantry. We had some carbolic acid and the
bottle produced (containing a cork marked J G
PHILLIPS, chemist, Ashton) was found in the girls
bed. This bottle was kept in a cupboard in the
At this stage Coroner-Officer WILLIAMSON
produced two letters. The first had been sent
to a gentleman in charge of a Liverpool Mission,
and the latter written to the Chief Constable
To Mr BARBER, of Southport
"Mrs George HILL will take care of me and
befriend me in my great trouble. I have told her
my story, and she will do what she can for me.
I will keep the peace Mr BARBER, so do help me,
and may God bless you for all your trouble. I
am Jane STYZAKER. I will try and pull myself together
now. I hope I shall be out of my trouble now.
I do so thank you for all your kindness to me.
How can I repay you for it?"
From Police Court and Prison Gates
"Sir, I am truly grieved to hear of
the sad end of Jenny STYZAKER. Her history, as
far as I know, is as follows. She was born in
Blackburn, and her father is believed to be dead.
Her mother died some years ago, and she had two
brothers, but their whereabouts is unknown. Some
few weeks ago she attempted to take her life,
and after treatment at the Infirmary was charged
on the 10th of September, and handed over to me.
I took her to a home in Liverpool, but she was
so depressed in her mind that they could not keep
her, and asked me to remove her. Accordingly on
Friday last, at her own request, and in view of
the fact that she came from Manchester to Southport,
I took her to that city. I took her to five Homes
but they all refused to receive her, and finally
I left her at the Central Hall for the night,
also leaving money for her fare, as she said she
was sure Mrs HILL would take her in
I obtained her promise to write
me particulars, and made other arrangements with
her to which she intelligently agreed. I may add
that she had been taking morphia for a considerable
period, and I concluded that the depression was
due to the effects of the drug, and nor so much
to mental trouble. About Christmas time she had
a severe attack of rheumatic fever, from which
she did not seem to recover her brightness of
Yours sincerely, Fred L BARBER"
A verdict of "suicide"
was returned. The Coroner: There is no doubt it
was a very charitable act on the part of Mr and
Mrs HILL to take the girl in, and really it was
a very risky thing to do. (Hear, hear.)
OVER ZEALOUSNES OF THE POLICE
Remarks By The Bench
At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday,
a charge of being drunk on licensed premises at
Waterloo on September 7th, was preferred against
George Albert BINTLIFFE. Mr J HURST prosecuted,
and defendant was represented by Mr SIXSMITH.
Defendant pleaded not guilty.
Constable KNOWLES stated that about
7pm, he was passing the Dog and Pheasant Inn when
he heard a noise, and on going into the house
he found defendant drunk in the taproom, with
half a glass of beer in his hand. Witness called
the landlords attention, and he said defendant
had not been served there, and that he did not
know he was in the house. He asked the landlord
where the defendant had got his beer from and
he said he must have obtained some beer that someone
else had left.
Mr SIXSMITH said he would have no
difficulty in tracing defendants movements
from 3.30 in the afternoon until 9.30 at night,
and he thought the Bench would have no hesitation
in saying that the police in this case were perhaps
a little over-zealous. William WALSH, Arundale
Hotel, Mossley, and George MARLAND stated that
they and the defendant left the Dog and Pheasant
about 5.45pm on the date in question, and defendant
was then perfectly sober. Maria BINTCLIFFE,
wife of the defendant, stated that her husband
came home to tea about 6 oclock on the evening
in question. He was then sober. He went out about
7 oclock to get shaved, and returned about
8.45pm quite sober. Witness and her husband then
went down into Ashton together shopping.
By Mr HURST: Defendant was shaved,
and came home and dressed. He related to witness
about the constable telling the landlord not to
serve him any more. Her husband was not strong,
and Dr MANN had been attending him for a long
time for an ailments. John JOHNSON, hairdresser,
Waterloo, deposed to shaving defendant between
7 oclock and 7.3pm on the evening referred
to, and he was then sober . J W GREAVES, carter
in the employ of Messrs SHAW and BINTLIFFE, stated
that defendant called at his house on this particular
Saturday about 10 minutes to 8, and he was as
sober as witness was now. Admiral WHITEHEAD,
an employee of Messrs SHAW and BINTLIFFE, deposed
to seeing defendant in the Wellington Inn about
8.10pm and he was then sober.
Dr MANN deposed to seeing defendant
at 9.30 the same evening, and he was then sober.
It was not possible that he could be drunk at
8.20pm. By Mr HURST: There was nothing that
could sober a man up in the time that had elapsed.
It was not a case of putting him through any test,
he was satisfied defendant was sober. The
Chairman said they were very sorry indeed that
action had been brought there on what they considered
wretchedly poor evidence. It was a great mistake
to bring cases there unless there was good evidence.
A man in the position of Mr BINTLIFFE, it was
very despicable. He could not help making that
remark because it was of very great importance
that the business of the court should be properly
conducted. The case would be dismissed.
A CHARGE OF ASSAULT At the Ashton County
Police Court, on Wednesday, Christina COOPER was
summoned by Samuel MEADOWCROFT for an assault upon
his daughter, Beatrice, at Hurst on September 26th.
Complainant stated that the defendant hit her on
the shoulder and punched her on the head, and said
she would lay her out or put her on her death-bed.
Corroborative evidence was given by Frank LEES,
aged 12, and Walter PAYNE, aged 11. Defendant
pleaded guilty, and said she only hit complainant
once and she went home crying. She had been talking
scandalous things about her (defendants) sister,
who had been dead three weeks, and accusing them
of having put her in her grave. Defendant
was fined 5s 6d and costs.
A large company assembled at the Seven Stars School
of Arms, Hurst Brook, on Tuesday night, the attraction
being a 7st 6lb competition. The first pair in
the ring were J BENT, of Manchester, and STRINGER,
of Manchester. STRINGER quickly proved himself
the superior boxer. He did most of the leading
and had at the end of the fourth bout was returned
the winner. Succeeding them were SCHOFIELD, of
Ashton, and LOWTHER, of Manchester. The former
gained the verdict. SNOW, of Manchester, was opposed
to BARTLEY, of Salford, and won easily. VAREY
of Ashton, boxed a bye. In the final, SNOW should
have boxed VAREY, but the latter sprained his
hand in the second round with SCHOFIELF, and SNOW
was awarded the bout.
LADY R SOLD FOR 900 GUINEAS
There was a large attendance at Ashton-under-Lyne,
on Thursday, when Mr William COCKERILL, of Heywood,
put up for sale by auction the trotting horses and
other effects belonging to Mr John ANDREW, the celebrated
owner, trainer and jockey. The cause of this was
due to a company having leased the track on which
the Ashton man usually trained his horses for building
There were several good horses disposed
of, and there was no more imposing spectacle than
the sale of the champion grey mare, Lady R. A
number of foreign gentlemen were present with
the intention of buying the mare. The first bid
was 500 guineas, but this was augmented to 900
guineas at which sum Lady R was knocked down to
Messrs FOSTER Bros, Naylors Row, Hull. One
of the conditions was that the mare should not
pass out of Mr ANDREWs hands until she had
fulfilled her several engagements during this
month.. On Monday, the champion trotter, at Blackpool,
will attempt the task, for a wager of £300, to
go one mile in harness, one mile under saddle,
and one mile guideless, within 8min 15secs.
ASHTON BOROUGH POLICE COURT
BAD LANGUAGE James GREGORY was summoned
for using bad language. He pleaded guilty, and was
fined 5s and costs. Mary Ann CARSON was also
fined 5s 6d for a similar offence.
NOT CONTRIBUTING TO CHILD IN
INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL George WILKINSON
was summoned by the police for £2 11s arrears
under an order to contribute to child in industrial
school. He said he had been in good work up to
recently. The Clerk informed the Bench that
all they could do was to give judgement for the
amount, and if defendant did not pay he would
have to go to prison.
A SLUMP IN CRAMPETS AND PIKELETS
Henry TAYLOR was in the dock charged
with being £1 9s in arrears under an order of
separation obtained on the 15th July by his wife
Gertrude. The Clerk: Why dont you
pay this money? Defendant: I have not been
able. I have rheumatic very bad. What do
you do? I am in the "crampet and pikelet"
business. Oh, I see, there is not such a
demand for crampets and pikelets this sort of
weather? No. They generally have them toasted.
(Laughter). Mrs TAYLOR said the defendant
had been making money and spending it as he should
not do. T he Clerk: Does he take a drink?
Mrs TAYLOR: Yes, very heavy, and it affects his
complaint. The Clerk: Have you any money
upon you? Defendant: Yes. How much
have you got? Ten shillings. Well, give
her that. The money was handed over.
The Clerk: You now owe her 19s 6d. Defendant
promised to pay, and the case was adjourned for
CALLED HER A "CAREY"
Mary SHERIDAN summoned Mary GILMORE
for assaulting her on the 23rd September. She
pleaded not guilty. Complainant said she was coming
out of the house, and the defendant grabbed her
by the throat. She called her a sanguinary Carey,
and said she had driven her son away. Defendant
said she only called her an old faggot.
The Chief Constable was called by the complainant,
and he said the woman had been to the Town Hall
to see him on different occasions in respect to
annoyance from the defendant. From what she told
him he believed she had been subjected to a great
deal of annoyance, and on one occasion she assaulted
her. The defendant charged her with giving information
about her son who was away. She never did give
the police any information and the son was arrested
a long way from Ashton. Defendant was bound
over to keep the peace for twelve months in her
own recognisance of 40s and pay the costs, in
default 14 days imprisonment.
A BRUTAL FELLOW Thomas
BURKE was summoned for assaulting James CASSIDY
on the 21st and Ann BROADLEY on the 22nd. He was
also charged with using obscene language in Cotton-street
on the 22nd. He did not appear, and on the advice
of the clerk the magistrates heard the case in
his absence. CASSIDY stated that he saw
the defendant clouting his boy, and he went to
him to ask him what he was doing it for. In reply
he gave him one in the mouth, up-ended him in
the street, and kicked him in the side of the
face. As he was getting up he gave him another
one. Ann BROADLEY said on the 22nd the defendant
was kicking a little boy in a house on Cotton-street.
She remonstrated with him and he gave her a running
kick. Constable BARKER stated that on the
night of the 22nd BURKE was in Cotton-street using
very bad language. In reply to the Bench
the Chief Constable said defendant had been up
87 times. For the first offence BURKE was
fined 40s and costs, or one month, and for the
other two offences 20s each and costs, or one
month: total three months.
OBSTRUCTING THE STREET
James GIBSON and Sons was summoned for causing
an obstruction to the free passage of Portland-street
on the 26th. Defendant acknowledged having some
girders on a line with the hoarding. Constable
DIXON stated that at 7.30 on the night in question
he was in Portland-street near the Baths and saw
three iron girders projecting from the channel
into the street so as to cause an obstruction.
They took up between three and four feet of the
roadway. Since then another girder had been added.
Defendant said three or four girders came unexpectedly
from Manchester, and they were bound to unload
them. They did what they could with them, and
they had not warned the police. Constable
DIXON contradicted the latter part of the statement.
T he Chief Constable said if the girders had been
placed on the top of on another it would have
been better, but they were laid side by side.
A danger lamp ought to have been lighted at night.
Fined 5s 6d for costs.
HE SUFFERRED FROM GENERAL DISABILITY
Joseph NADIN was in the dock charged
with being drunk in Katherine-street on the 25th.
He pleaded guilty, and at the same time caused
a note to be handed to the Clerk, which, on being
read, stated "the bearer is suffering from
general disability at present, and unable to follow
employment." The Clerk: If you are
suffering from disability, why do you get drunk?
This is not likely to help you. Defendant:
I was trying to get in a cart, and fell in the
street." (Laughter) Constable
ROBERTS was called, and said he found the defendant
propped against the wall with a lot of children
round him. He could not move hand or foot: if
he had moved he would have fallen.. The
Clerk: The doctor says he is very weak.
(Laughter) The Chief Constable: There is
no doubt he was very drunk. I saw him.
The Clerk: It is no simple drunk then. The Bench
discharged him under the circumstances.
The Clerk: If you are in such a weak condition,
dont take too much strong drink.
CHARGE OF WIFE DESERTION
Catherine HOWE, who carried an infant, charged
her husband, Edward HOWE, labourer, with desertion.
He pleaded not guilty, and handed a document to
the Clerk. Complainant stated that she
had been married three years, and they had two
children. Defendant was a labourer, and earned
£1 a week. He threw her out of the house on Monday
night for nothing at all. He was sober and said
she would have to get work or shift. On the Tuesday
night he came home and threw her out again. She
had been obliged to with her mother at Droylsden..
Defendant denied throwing his wife out of the
house, and asked the Clerk to read the document,
which he said he had written because he was unable
to speak in court through nervousness. He accused
his wife of being at the bottom of the whole trouble.
She would not work, and assured him she would
never do so. She had neglected home, and had left
him 16 times. The Clerk reminded defendant
that an order had previously been made against
him in the County Police Court, and asked the
complainant why she went back to him. She
said he kept following her. The Bench granted
a separation order of 5s per week, the wife to
have the custody of the children.
A case of considerable importance
to minders and piecers was heard at the Police Court
on Thursday. A piecer named EDDLESTON, employed
at Dukinfield Mill Companys factory, sued
Thomas CRONSHAW, his minder, under the Employers
and Workmens Act, to recover damages for wrongful
dismissal. Mr J W SIMISTER, solicitor, Stalybridge,,
appeared for the plaintiff, whose case was that
on the 24th July last the work of the defendants
mules was not going on satisfactorily. He blamed
the plaintiff for it, and summarily discharged him
without the requisite seven days notice. Hence
the present action to recover damages. The defence
was that the lad was discharged for neglecting his
duties, and thereby causing bad work. No evidence
was called to show that the lads conduct was
the cause of or contributed to the bad work. The
Chairman, Mr J E MELLOR, said the Bench considered
it a doubtful case, and dismissed it. The decision
created some surprise in court, and more will probably
be heard of it.
DEATH OF MR WILLIAM GREAVES
A familiar figure has been removed from Dukinfield
by the death of Mr William GREAVES, which took place
at his residence, Church-street, on Saturday last,
in his 71st year. Mr GREAVES was born at Newton,
and went to work at a very early age at Flowery
Field Colliery, but soon afterwards removed to Messrs
REYNERs, Ashton, where he continued to be
employed for upwards of fifty yars, going through
the various grades from scavenger to spinner. He
retired from mill life about five years ago, drawing
his leaving-trade benefit from the Ashton Self-actor
Mule Spinners Association, of which he had
been a continuous member from its commencement.
Deceased leaves a widow and six grown-up sons and
one daughter to mourn his loss.
Ejectments Which Led to Serious Trouble
On Monday at the Stalybridge Police Court, James
HILL (junior), son of the licensee of the Morning
Star beerhouse, Bridge-street, was charged with
having assaulted Patrick John DONNOLLY on the 22nd
ult. He pleaded not guilty, and was defended by
Mr Fred THOMPSON, solicitor.
Complainant, who in the course of
the hearing said that he was nearly 60 years of
age, said that on Sunday evening week, he went
to the Morning Star beerhouse, in Bridge-street,
and ordered a pint of beer in a jug. Immediately
he did so defendant came upon the scene, asked
him what he wanted there, and before he could
respond HILL gave him a "belt" in the
eye which sent him sick. Defendant wore a ring
"for the purpose." (Laughter.)
Mr WAINWRIGHT: What did he strike
you for? Complainant: Nay, I dont
know. I wasnt in the house two minutes altogether.
The Magistrates Clerk: Did you get the beer?
Complainant: No, sir; my jug was taken off me,
and I went home without the beer. Mr THOMPSON:
Have you told us everything that happened?
Complainant: No, not yet.. Mr THOMPSON:
Well, tell me what you havent told us, what
took place before this alleged assault.
Complainant: There was nothing before. Were
you sober? Yes, sir. Were you disorderly?
No, sir. Were you refused to be served?
No. They took my jug inside. Why were you
not served? I dont know. What did
you say to Mr HILL? I simply said "A pint
of beer, if you please, sir" And what
did he say? He said he would not give me any and
I walked away. That is everything that happened?
Yes. Were you drunk? No.
Thomas SMITH said he saw DONNOLLY
immediately after the assault, as he came into
his house to bathe his eye. Complainant:
Was I sober? Witness: Yes, perfectly sober.
James BRADSHAW also said DONNOLLY was sober, and
Mrs SPENCER declared that he was "sold and
sober." She heard the "bang" when
DONNOLLY was struck
Catherine SMITH said she was standing
near the bar on the night in question, having
gone in for a gill of beer. She was just taking
her beer away when HILL junior gave complainant
a "clout" over the eye. The Clerk: Did
you hear all that was said? Witness: He
never said anything to Mr HILL. Did he not
provoke him? No, he had no time. In reply
to Mr THOMPSON, witness averred that complainant
Mr THOMPSON, on behalf of defendant,
said he was bound to admit that the young man
did hit DONNOLLY, but his defence was that whatever
occurred complainant brought it upon himself.
The Bench would observe there was a charge of
being drunk and refusing to quit to be preferred
against DONNOLLY, and he assured the magistrates
that not the slightest animus prevailed against
the man. It was a most remarkable thing that he
should go into a house, and be struck as was suggested,
but the true facts of the case were these:
The Morning Star was a beerhouse
in Bridge-street, and was surrounded by several
well-known characters, and frequented by people
of a rough class, yet notwithstanding this there
had been no complaint against the tenant. There
was a door leading into the taproom from Lees
court, which was a cul-de-sac, and there
was a vestibule door. On the left there was a
small hole looking into the bar, and where customers
This man DONNOLLY came into the
house several times during the day in question,
and had two pints of beer. When he came for the
third pint his drunken condition was observed
by the housekeeper, Esther BROOKS, who directed
the attention of Mr HILL (senior) to the fact,
and he in turn requested that DONNOLLY should
not be served in the condition he was with intoxicants.
Immediately he did so, the man made use of very
abusive and bad language.
From the bar, it was a physical
impossibility to reach DONNOLLY, and HILLs
son, hearing the language, came out of another
room and asked him to go out, as his father had
told him. DONNOLLY thereupon deliberately put
down his jug, placed himself in a fighting attitude
and truth was defendant got in the first
blow, which told. Mr THOMPSON maintained that
as complainant was drunk and disorderly, his client
was perfectly justified in what he did after DONNOLLY
refused to leave. Having regard to the status
of the people and the status of the house, Mr
THOMPSON asked the justices to dismiss the case,
and so assist licensees in keeping their houses
The Chairman said the magistrates
considered that more force than was necessary
had been used to eject DONNOLLY. A man, if he
became awkward, might be ejected, but reasonable
force should be used, and in this case they thought
HILL, junr., had done too much. He would be fined
5s and costs or seven days imprisonment.
In the charge against DONNOLLY the Chairman said
the bench was at all times anxious to assist landlords
in getting rid of obnoxious and drunken people,
but they did not think this case came within that
ruling. Had DONNOLLY been in the house five or
ten minutes and refused all the while to clear
off, it would have been different, but he was
struck rather too quickly in their opinion. The
charge against DONNOLLY would therefore be dismissed.
FURTHER DISTURBANCES AT
THE MORNING STAR
Wholesale Window Smashing
A young army man named James McHUGH was next
charged in custody with having assaulted Esther
BROOKS, housekeeper at the Morning Star, on the
15th ult. He pleaded no guilty. Mr THOMPSON, who
prosecuted, said this case would also give the magistrates
an idea of the class of customers who had to be
contended with at his clients house.
On Sunday, McHUGH entered the Morning
Star in a drunken condition, and after being refused
any more drink he was asked to leave. He refused,
and was accordingly ejected. Prisoner went to
the back street, picked up a stone flag, and having
smashed it into fragments he filled his pockets
and returned to the front of the beerhouse. He
then commenced a regular fusillade on the house,
smashing nearly the whole of the windows, besides
damaging the framework. Miss BROOKS was at that
time in the bar, and prisoner entering the house,
smashed the vestibule window and deliberately
aimed a stone at the housekeeper, striking her
near the shoulder.
The Chairman characterised the conduct
of prisoner as most dastardly and cowardly. He
would be fined 40s and costs or one months
TO PREVENT MISTAKE
A man called to see Farmer Turnip the other day.
The house seemed to be deserted, but at last he
found the son and heir. "Wheres your
father?" he asked, addressing the young hopeful.
"Hes a-feeding t pigs, sir,"
was the reply. "Is there anyone else there?"
asked the visitor. "No. Yer can go and see
im." The man turned to go in the direction
of the pigsty, but he had not gone many yards when
the youngster shouted after him: "Faythers
the one wi t at on!"