9 November 1901

Trial at Chester Assizes - Buildings to be Removed

Four men concerned in a case from Dukinfield were charged with an offence which he (the Judge) was glad to say was an unusual offence, but none the less, if brought home to them, a serious one. It appeared that having obtained a conveyance of a piece of land which had been used, and not very recently disused, for the burial of persons of the Roman Catholic faith, they proceeded to build upon the land.

Their intention was, as he understood, to erect offices, and in the process of digging for foundations and cutting drains they came across a great number of coffins and dead bodies, which they treated in an unseemly manner. The coffins were broke open with pickaxes or sawn asunder, and the bones were scattered. Some of the bones were strewn about the trenches on the ground and others, it was said, were removed. The gravestones were also treated in an unseemly manner, but he did not know that this was an offence.

I was said that the prisoners submitted their plans to the Local Board, and that the sanitary inspector had found that no injury to health had been caused by what they did. Neither of these facts disposed of the offence, though they might be urged in mitigation of it. It was a high offence. It was necessary that the bodies of people who died should be decently and respectfully interred and when once they had been interred, it was a high offence to take them up and break open their coffins and remove them.

The offence was the greater when, as was said in this case, the deceased people had living relatives who were residing in the vicinity. The sanction which was given by the Local Board was, he supposed, a sanction merely to build a place, and no doubt the Building Committee who granted it believed that in so doing they had kept within their own functions. This fact might have misled the defendants to some extent, and led them to suppose that they were lawfully doing what they did. That was a matter for consideration hereafter.

On Wednesday the trial commenced before Mr Justice PHILLIMORE. The prisoners were Messrs Edwin KENYON, George Henry KENYON, and Wm KENYON, ropemakers, and Joseph TAYLOR, builder, all of Dukinfield, surrendered to their trial on indictment, charging them with unlawfully and indecently causing and procuring to be dug open certain graves at the disused Roman Catholic burial ground in Astley-street, Dukinfield, and causing bodies to be taken out of their graves.

They were further indicted for having unlawfully erected buildings on the disused burial ground, the said buildings not being for the purpose of enlarging a church, chapel, meeting-house, or other place of worship. There was a large attendance of people from the district to hear the trial, and great interest was manifested.

Mr SUTTON argued in mitigation that the defendants had been misled and had committed the offence in ignorance of the law. When the land was granted to defendants in 1892 it was believed on all sides that they would have the right to build upon the land. His Lordship said in all probability if defendants had only built on the land that indictment would not have been brought against defendants. The really serious matter was the treatment of the bodies.

Mr SUTTON said the defendants thought they had a right to build on the burial ground, and they had been careful to disturb the remains of the dead as little as possible, TAYLOR and Edward KENYON having in fact, both given orders that they were to treat the dead with every respect. His Lordship said that it looked like a case where an order was issued and was not intended to be obeyed, and like a case where orders were given in order that it might be said that they were given.

Mr SUTTON explained that, with very few exceptions, all the bones were reinterred in the precincts of the burial ground. The only instance in which bones were found to have been removed was with regard to two bones found upon the tip to which the soil from the burial ground was taken. They were put on one side by the workmen, but eventually one of them, a jawbone, was sold or given to a publican and exposed in a public house. Defendants were not, however, responsible for that, and were grieved it had been done.

Mr Francis WILLIAMS remarked that he did not call it reinterring them to chuck them in with a spade.

Mr SUTTON explained that the KENYONs desired him to point out that TAYLOR was only a servant. He submitted that the KENYONs were not men of large means, and they had already spent 750 in connection with the building now on the burial ground, and that this money was lost, as the building must be pulled down.

His Lordship, in passing sentence, said it was most desirable that if people in the position at least of some of them should be so ignorant of the law and so ignorant of good feeling as to do such acts as those to which they had pleaded guilty, the sentence he was about to pass on them should become as notorious throughout the country as possible.

It was now as long ago as 1880 that the late Chief Justice COCKBURN was shocked, he said very greatly shocked, by a much smaller offence committed by a man named JACOBSON. Punishment was awarded in that case, and the memory of it had apparently disappeared. Only last Assizes at Birmingham he had a case before him in which a woman had violated her duty to the dead by keeping a number of coffins in an indecent and unworthy state — a nuisance, and an offence to good feeling as well. He hoped that after this case they would hear no more of such shocking and revolting acts done to the dead.

The three KENYONs would be very largely punished by having all their labour in vain, and by being obliged to take down the building and to restore the ground to a smooth and level state. As regards the brothers George henry and William KENYON, he thought it would be enough if they entered into recognisances, each in the sum of 500, to see that that was done in the space of six months. Edwin KENYON would have would have to enter into the same recognisances, but he could not in his case pass the matter over in that way. He sentenced him to two months' imprisonment as a first class misdemeanant. With regard to Joseph TAYLOR, he must believe that the grosser indignities were all done with his knowledge. He sentenced him to one months' imprisonment as a first class misdemeanant.

After the result of the trial became known, a hastily called meeting of leading gentlemen of the borough was held in the evening in the boardroom of the Co-operative Hall to consider the desirability of petitioning the Home Secretary with a view to the mitigation of the sentence upon Edwin KENYON and Joseph TAYLOR. The meeting was unanimous in the expression of sympathy and support to the proposal and eventually it was decided to form an influential committee to carry out the object.

A married woman named Mary Ellen TURNER was before the Ashton County Justices on Wednesday, on a charge of larceny.— Constable SHOESMITH stated that on Thursday last, at 4.15 pm, he saw the prisoner taking coal from the tip belonging to the Ashton Moss Colliery in Slade-lane, Audenshaw. On seeing witness, she ran away, and dropped the coal. Witness overtook her and brought her back to the coal, which he weighed, and found it to be 28lbs weight, and was valued at 3d.— Defendant admitted the offence._ The Magistrates' Clerk (Mr C H BOOTH) pointed out that there had been several prosecutions for this practice, and warning notices had been put up.— Defendant was fined 10s, or seven days' imprisonment.

Narrow Escape of Two Men

On Thursday afternoon considerable excitement was created in the east end of the borough by a report that two men had been suffocated at Mr HARGREAVES's sand pit in Sandy Vale. There was an accident there, but fortunately it did not turn out as bad as was reported, although one man had a narrow escape of death. Upon enquiry, we have ascertained that two men named Harry LORD, married, residing in Ogden's Square, and Albert TAYLOR, single, of 11 Nineteen Row, Dukinfield, in the employ of Mr HARGREAVES, sand merchant, were engaged in digging sand about three o'clock, when suddenly there was a large and heavy fall of sand from above, and they were overwhelmed.

TAYLOR was entirely buried in the avalanche, only the fingers of one hand being visible. LORD was able to extricate himself in about a minute, and with commendable promptitude he at once commenced to liberate his comrade. In a short time he succeeded in getting TAYLOR's head and shoulders bare, and he was able to breathe. Assistance arrived, and willing hands set to work to release TAYLOR from his perilous position. This was not done without difficulty and anxiety. His legs were fastened by a plank that had fallen with the sand across his legs, and it was not until seven o'clock that he was entirely freed.

After LORD had worked at rescuing TAYLOR about a quarter of an hour he tumbled over in a faint and complained of his back. He was removed to Grove House, the residence of Mr HARGREAVES, and a doctor called in. The St John Association ambulance from Tame Valley was procured, and upon it TAYLOR was conveyed home in an exhausted condition. The police were early upon the scene, and rendered valuable assistance in first aid, amongst them being Sergeant KIRKHAM, Acting sergeant MOTTERSHEAD, and Constables RUTTER and KENNY.

Edwin MARSHALL and Sons, builders and contractors, were summoned for obstructing the footpath in Old-street.— A representative of the firm appeared and pleaded guilty. As soon as the officer called attention to the obstruction it was removed.— Constable GODDARD said this was so.— Fined 5s 6d for costs.

THE GAMING NUISANCE.— A youth named Samuel KENWORTHY was summoned for gaming in City-street on 27th October. Defendant pleaded guilty.— The Chief Constable said he had received a great many complaints about people gaming, especially on Sundays.— Mr A PARK said it was a deplorable condition of things, and the Bench agreed with him that it should be put down.— Fined 5s 6d and costs.

DRUNK AND DISORDERLY.— Alfred MURPHY was fined 15s costs for being drunk and disorderly in Old-street on the 25th ult. He had been up six times.— Thomas HATTON was very drunk and jostling people off the footpath in Old-street on the 26th ult, and was fined 7s 6d and costs.— John and Sarah Ann BUNTING were summoned for being drunk and disorderly in Church-street on the 26th. The woman did not appear, the husband stating that he had not seen her since the summons was served.— Constable GODDARD stated the case, and defendants were fined 5s 6d each for costs.— John CASSIDY and Joseph YOUNG were each fined 7s 6d and costs for being drunk and disorderly in St Michael's-square on the 26th ultimo. CASSIDY had been up ten times.— Eileen KENNY was sent to prison for one month for disorderly conduct. Mr PARK said they would clear the streets from people like her.— Albert ARTINGSTALL made his first appearance on a charge of being drunk and disorderly in Stamford-street on the 3rd inst., and was discharged with a caution.

HAVING CELERY WITHOUT A LICENCE.— James NIELD was summoned for hawking celery without a licence on the 27th ult.— Defendant said he was supplying customers with orders.— The Clerk: What do you do in the week days?— Defendant: I hawk celery.— Have you a licence? Well, it ran out. They all do it and you don't make an example of them.— You are the example now they have got you.— (Laughter.) — Constable TUMELTY spoke to seeing the defendant in Mill-lane hawking celery from door to door. He asked defendant if he had a licence. He said he had, but it was at home. Witness went to his residence, and his wife showed him licences for 1894 and 1895.— The Clerk: You are setting yourself up as the awful example. You had better have said nothing.— Witness said he told defendant he had better stop selling and take his basket home, but he said he should sell up first.— The Chief Constable said he had a great many complaints about Sunday celery selling. He had instructed the police to pay full attention to these hawkers.— The Chairman said defendant had asked them to make an example of someone, and they were going to make one now, but they did not want to be hard upon him. Would he promise to take out a licence?— defendant said he would.— Chief Constable said that if he took out a licence, he should not go out on Sundays..— The Chairman: We are beginning with you, and you will be fined 1s costs on condition that you take out a licence at once.— Defendant: Make them all pay.— The Clerk: We shall if we can get them.

DISORDERLY CONDUCT.— A respectable looking youth named James PICKUP was charged with aiding and abetting ???? KEMMY in disorderly conduct on Saturday, the 3rd inst. Prisoner's mother said that he was no trouble to her, and had been drawn into it by the woman. Mr PARK, in fining him 5s 6d for costs, advised him to be more careful in the future, and join a Sunday school.

DRUNK.— Henry BURGESS was charged with being drunk in Katherine-street on Tuesday. He pleaded guilty.— Mr POWNALL, who appeared on his behalf, said that BURGESS had been to Southport, and on account of the fog had delayed a long time in getting home. He had nothing to eat all day, with the result that two or three glasses of whisky had took affect on him.— Prisoner was discharged.

ASSAULTING A CONSTABLE.— Samuel CLEMENTS was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Lower Wharf-street on Wednesday, and also with assaulting a constable, who gave evidence to the effect that prisoner, at ten minutes to twelve on the date mentioned, was very drunk and using bad language. When witness went to him, he set two dogs on him, and also kicked him. With the assistance of another constable, he got him to the station.— Prisoner said that the constable kicked him, and that he was thrown into the cell bleeding, and no relief was given him.— Prisoner was fined 5s 6d for costs in each case.

STEALING WHISKY.— William Henry FLOOD was charged with stealing three bottles of whisky from the Theatre and Concert Tavern, on Tuesday.— SOOWCROFT said she was the wife of Alfred SOOWCROFT, landlord of the Theatre and Concert Tavern, Oldham-road,. At four o'clock on Tuesday afternoon she was in the kitchen, and she heard the bel of the bar till ring. She ran in and saw prisoner in the snug. He was putting on his shoes. She said, "What have you been doing, you have been in the drawer." He replies "No, I have not." He stayed a few minutes longer and then went out. Soon after she missed the three bottles produced. The one that had been nearly empty had been half-full. She went and acquainted the police of the affair.— Detective TOLSON said he arrested the prisoner in Oldham-road at 4.30 on Tuesday afternoon, and found the three bottles of whisky in his coat-pocket. He took him to the police office and charged him with having stolen them.— He replied: "It's an infernal lie,"— Prisoner reads a statement in which, after throwing himself of the Court, he stated that he had been serving several sentences lately. The list was quite a long one and drew from Mr PARK the remark that it was "a pleasant biography!".— The Chief Constable said prisoner had been up before 13 time — five times this year - and had been committed for trial twice,— He was then committed a third time.— To the assizes.

On Thursday evening, at the Enville Drum and Plate Band Club, Percy-street, Ashton, a smoking concert took place in celebration of the Enville Band's victory in the recent contest at Dukinfield, by which was won outright (thrice) the "Shawcross" Silver Cup. Occasion was also taken to present Mr Eli COPE, conductor of the Enville Band, the silver-mounted baton given spontaneously by Mr HA:LSTEAD, of Preston, and the handsome gold medal which went to the band achieving the distinction of winning honours. Mr Jeffrey GRIME occupied the chair, and apologised for the absence of Colonel EATON, VD, through a family bereavement. In making the presentation to Mr COPE the Chairman remarked that the Enville Drum and Flute Band had won a name which stood highest amongst famous bands of the same stamp throughout the country.

Edison's electric animated photo company from the St James's Hall, Manchester, commenced a series of exhibitions at the Rink on Monday evening. This form of entertainment continues to be popular, and affords a pleasant variation on the stock indoor attractions of the town. The pictures are of a varied character. They are largely of a processional order. For instance, we have amongst what may be termed cinematographic films: moving pictures of the Whit Monday scholars' processions in the city of Manchester; also an excursion on the Manchester Ship Canal, presumably taken form the deck of a canal pleasure steamer. We Have views of shipping craft, the immense swing bridges which span the canal, and other sights on the journey.

Amongst pictures shown of a distinctly playful or humourous character was a reproduction of the antics and dancing of the celebrated comedian Little Tich, also an extraordinary wrestling match, tea table scandal, and a miscellaneous number of cinematographic photos, which afforded immense amusement to the audience. Football and cricket had a place. Moving pictures were shown of the contest for the English Cup tie, the players and the ball in motion; also of the bowling of MOLD to the batting of Mr A N HORNBY.

In a collection of views was seen the beginnings of a career of fast life by a young man in Paris, and his final ending in prison and the guillotine. Another set of miscellaneous pictures included express trains in motion; feeding the lions, and Herr SAWADE's performance with forest-bred lions in their den, and other photos, too detailed for numerous mention.

Amongst war picture, we had the animated picture of a battlefield in the Transvaal, showing the way to obtain the Victoria Cross for valour in the field; our brave Indian troops on the march in China to the rescue of the British; the destruction of the Taku Forts by the allied fleets; attack on a mission station by Boxers, and a company of armed bluejackets to the rescue.

Amongst fairy spectacular tableaux shown were the Fairy of the Black Rocks; Santa Claus, of the Christmas dream: and a midnight church musical service on Christmas Eve. Edison's latest marvel, the singing picture, "Ora Pro Nobia." Harmony in photography and music. Amongst amusing pictures shown was the effect produced by the reading of a letter, and the washing of a Boer by Tommy Atkins, concluding with a grand allegorical tableau: "Britannia's welcome to her valiant sons," and portraits of the King and Queen.

During the evening songs were given by a lady with a good contralto voice, and a coloured gentleman, who also played a selection on the banjo. Selections of music were also given by the band of 3rd V B Manchester Regiment, by kind permission of Colonel EATON, VD, under the direction of bandmaster TOMLINSON

An inquest was held on Monday on the body of William KENYON, of 13 Howard-street, who died on Friday, the 13th inst, presumably from the effects of blood poisoning caused by getting a small piece of iron in his right elbow. Mr BROOKS was present on behalf of the employers, the Park Bridge Iron Company.

Alice JONES said she was the housekeeper of deceased, who was an iron roller at Park Bridge Ironworks. He was 65, and, for his age, a healthy man. He first complained to her on September 25th. He came home about 6 o'clock and complained of his elbow hurting him. She looked at it several times, but could see nothing. He said that when he put his elbow down, he felt something prick.

On the 29th October, however, it appeared very bad, being sore and inflamed, and he had to take to his bed. She then sent for Dr BOWMAN, who came and attended him up to his death. On Friday, the 1st inst, deceased had told her how he had got his arm hurt. He said that as he was taking some iron to the furnace he slipped and caught his elbow against the iron, and got a little piece in it. In reply to the Coroner, witness said they had done nothing for it prior to calling in the doctor. One night last week, she had gone out, and he got out of bed and came downstairs, falling down two steps. He was got back to bed by some of the neighbours.

John DAVIS said he was a roller-coverer at the Park Bridge Ironworks, and lived at 43 Elizabeth-street. He had known deceased for 18 years, and had always found him to be a healthy man. Deceased first mentioned his elbow to the witness. He came into the roll-turning shop and asked him to look at it as it pained him a bit. Witness looked at it and it appeared to be very much inflamed. He noticed that there was a small speck of iron in the elbow, about the size of a pin-head. He got a needle and extracted it.

By the Coroner: DAVIS did a very unwise thing in taking the iron out with a needle when the wound was inflamed. I should think it's an unwise thing to do under any circumstances. After some discussion a verdict of "Accidental Death, due to blood poisoning," was returned.

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