30 November 1901

James Connolly Commences His Second Century — A Breeze in Court

At the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday, the name of James CONNOLLY, of Stalybridge, was down on the list charged with being drunk and disorderly at Hurst on November 11th. CONNOLLY was unable to appear, his condition being so serious, it was stated, that he had been taken to the Workhouse hospital.

Evidence was given by a constable of having to take CONNOLLY to the police station about a quarter to five o'clock on the morning in question, through him being drunk and creating a disturbance in Hurst.— Councillor J CROSSDALE (Stalybridge): This man is a notorious inebriate, and I am here this morning at the request of the magistrates on the Stalybridge Bench to ask you to do what they did with him last Friday. Unfortunately he was charged with sleeping out, and I went to the court to ask them to send this man to a home for inebriates, but on that charge they said they could not send him, as he was not charged with being drunk. They decided, after long consideration, to remit him to the Workhouse. He is there now, under the charge of Dr HUGHES, and the reason he is not here this morning is on account of inability owing to his condition.

The magistrates on Friday asked me to ask the Bench this morning to do as they had done, to dismiss the case, and to allow the man to remain where he is, as he has undertaken to stop there, and to keep out of the way of temptation to drink. It is a most unfortunate case, and while everybody is about tired of doing for this poor man, still he is there and something has to be done for him. To send him to prison is perfectly useless; he has done nothing wrong to anybody but himself. There is not the slightest doubt he is suffering from the disease known as alcoholism, and is not responsible.

The Magistrates' Clerk: You cannot keep him in the Workhouse if he wants to come out.— Mr CROSSDALE: He has undertaken to stop there.— The Clerk: Suppose he breaks his undertaking? I rather question. He is sixty-five years of age, and I question whether he will live very long; he is in a fearfully emaciated condition.— Superintendent HEWITT: So far as sending him to an inebriates home, there is no place we can send him to; there is no place for males in Lancashire. This is the second time he has undertaken to remain at the Workhouse. The man is not here, and if he is unable to attend I have no wish to do anything further but to let the matter slide.

Mr Tom PLATT (guardian of the poor): Perhaps you will allow me. I do not want it to appear here that Mr CROSSDALE is appearing on behalf of the Guardians.— Mr CROSSDALE: I have not said that.— Mr PLATT: The Guardians are opposed directly to this idea, and not only that, it has been dealt with by our clerk and myself, as well as the Guardians, and it is distinctly understood that it is foolish to keep sending this man to the Workhouse because if he were committed there to-day he could refuse to go in; not only that, as soon as he has been in two days he can claim his discharge, and he keeps doing this. He also shows himself defiant to all supervision, which is directly against the order of the Workhouse, and it is not a right thing to do.

The penalty of the law should be meted out to him if he keeps doing wrong until there is an inebriates' home — I should be glad if there was an inebriates' home — for him to be sent to. It is wrong for the magistrates to send disreputable characters to the Workhouse to mix among people who are there through no fault of their own. It is very objectionable, and I as a Guardian object to Mr CROSSDALE appearing here as a representative of the Guardians. It is only to say that he is not here as a representative of the Guardians that I got up to speak.

The Magistrates' Clerk: I think we have had quite enough of this discussion.— Mr CROSSDALE: I beg your pardon.— The Clerk: The Bench are not here to listen to representatives either for one side or the other. This man is charged with an offence. The Bench have listened very patiently to what you had to say. I did not know there was anything to be said to the contrary until Mr PLATT expressed a desire to speak. The Bench can now deal with it.— Mr CROSSDALE: I was careful in what I said, and Mr PLATT's statement was quite uncalled for. It has been stated that I have no right to appear here in this case.— The Clerk: I don't know that you have; you are not a solicitor. You are only allowed by courtesy of the Bench to make a statement. If this man wants a statement put before the Bench, he must employ a solicitor, as other people have to do.— Mr CROSSDALE When a man is destitute, like this man, he cannot have a solicitor.— The Clerk: I think now there ought to be an end of it.— Mr CROSSDALE: I have said ——— The Clerk: You have already said.

The Chairman: Is there anything known about him?— The Clerk: Of course.— Superintendent HEWITT: He has been up one hundred times in Stalybridge, but we have not had him before..— The Chairman: We do not want him either.— Superintendent HEWITT: I am sure we don't.— The Clerk (after consultation with the magistrates): If they make an order for him to go to prison whilst he is in the Workhouse, Superintendent HEWITT would no enforce the order.— After another consultation, the Bench fined defendant 5s 6d, and costs, or fourteen days' imprisonment.— Mr CROSSDALE: It is to be left over as long as he stops in the Workhouse?— Superintendent HEWITT: We cannot order that; the law compels us to execute with all despatch. We cannot take a man out of his sick bed, you know.

Another Case of Unlawful Wounding

William MORRISEY, labourer, was in the dock charged on remand with wounding James Henry LAMB on the 10th November, under the following circumstances:— James Henry LAMB said: I live at 8 Pitt-street, Ashton. On Saturday, the 9th, I was in my house just before midnight when the prisoner came to the door. He used some threats to me for complaining about him cohabiting with my married daughter. I ordered him away, and he went.

I went out shortly afterwards, and when I got to the corner of City-street, the prisoner met me. He said, "I have got you, you ———— now," and struck me across the forehead with a piece of iron. The blow knocked me down and whilst on the ground he struck me several times on the head and shoulders. I was picked up by my wife and others and they took me into the house. I was attended to by Dr HUGHES, junior, and in a day or two afterwards I was taken to the hospital where I remained until this morning. I lost a good deal of blood and suffered much pain. Prisoner: Didn't you get that piece of iron to me? No. I never saw it. I never threatened to drive you out of he street.— Prisoner: You have been beaten with your own weapon.

Dr W H HUGHES, junior, said that he was called to the Town Hall to see James Henry LAMB. He had a contused wound on the forehead half an inch across. On the top of the head, an incised wound an inch in length. At the back of the head, an incised wound an inch long. Also a bruise on his left shoulder. The wounds and bruises might have been caused by the piece of iron produced. By the prisoner: I don't think the buckle end of a soldier's belt could have produced all the wounds.

Joseph GALLAGHER, 17 Pitt-street, said: About ten minutes to twelve o'clock, I was going down Pitt-street, and when near, I saw LAMB coming up. I also saw the prisoner come running out of a lodging house with a piece of iron in his hand. He rushed at LAMB, struck him on the head, and knocked him down. He again struck LAMB with the iron. Prisoner was committed to take his trial at the Quarter Sessions.

John CASSIDY was charged with committing a breach of the peace at the Old Cross on the 23rd. He pleaded guilty.— Constable MAYALL said the defendant struck a man in the face and knocked him down. He then ran at him with a kick.— Bound over to keep the peace.

CHILDREN IN INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL.— Dominic FAVIER was summoned for 2 10s arrears in his contribution to the support of his son who is in an industrial school.— Defendant said he was willing to pay 2s 6d per week and would pay the arrears off by Christmas.— The case was accordingly adjourned until the 6th January.— Edward SUTHERS was summoned to show why an order should not be made upon him to contribute towards the maintenance of his child detained in an industrial school.— Defendant pleaded that he was not in regular work.— An order of 1s per week was made.

A WINDOW SMASHED.— Thomas McCARTHY was summoned for smashing certain windows belonging to Winifrid CHADWICK and Henry A ATKINSON, and doing damage to the extent of 1s and 5s 6d respectively. Defendant did not appear and was represented by his sister.— CHADWICK stated that on the 16th she was in bed, and heard two windows smashed.— A female said she was walking along Cotton-street and heard a smash of glass. Immediately afterwards McCARTHY came running past her and nearly knocked her down.— ATKINSON stated that he was fetched out of the Theatre and found his window broken.. He did not see them broken, but he had been assisting the police and McCARTHY had threatened him.— The Clerk: He seems to have a mania for window breaking.— Defendant's sister said he did not break the windows. She knew who had done it, but would not tell.— The Chairman told her that in the first case defendant would have to pay 1s damage and 5s 6d costs, or seven days, and in the second case 5s 6d damage and 10s costs or 14 days.

Rosie DOWD and Elizabeth FINN, young women, were in the dock charged with stealing one watch and chain, one hat and one umbrella, the property of Elizabeth WALSH, under the following circumstances.— Prosecutrix stated that she was the wife of Cephus(?) WALSH, and resided in Water-street, Ashton. On Tuesday the 12th inst she left the house in company with the two prisoners. They said they would find her private lodgings with a widow. At that time she had her watch and chain with her. The prisoner DOWD carried her umbrella and hat.

On the way they called at a public house and had a drink together. After they had been there a little time prisoners went out, saying "We will return in a few minutes." She waited half an hour, but they did not return, and she did not see them again. When she came out of the public house she missed her watch and chain. She saw the prioress on the following day and asked them where the stolen property was. FINN did not make any reply. DOWD said, "I am sorry for what I have done, but I have been led into it.

Mary RATHBONE proved that DOWD said to her, "We pawned the watch and chain. FINN had half the money and the ticket. If I go up, FINN will have to go up."— Mary FAHYE said she was the wife of Wm FAHYE, of 9 Bottom-street, Newton. About 7 o'clock on Tuesday evening, the prisoners came to her house. DOWD was carrying a ladies' hat under her shawl, and FINN had an umbrella. They stayed about an hour and then left. DOWD returned at ten o'clock, and stayed all night. On the following evening James GREGORY came for her and said to her, "You don't know what you have done for yourself, Rosie." DOWD thereupon took the hat, put it on the fire, and held it down with the poker until it was consumed.

William LINGARD, manager for Mr John Herbert MEAL, pawnbroker, Market Place, Hyde, said: About 7.30 on the evening of the 12th instant the prisoners came to the shop to place the watch and chain with him. They asked 1 upon it, and he advanced 15s. He asked DOWD, who handed the watch to him, if it was hers, and she replied "Yes."— Constable ROLLINSON said that at 8.30 on the morning of the 14th he apprehended the prisoners at GREGORY's lodging-house in Water-street, Ashton. He charged them with stealing the watch, hat and umbrella, but they did not make any reply.— Prisoners were committed for trial to the sessions.

A Soldier's Unfaithfulness

An extremely sad matrimonial case occupied the attention of the Mayor and other magistrates sitting at Stalybridge Police Court on Monday. Defendant was a man named John Henry BACKHOUSE, and he was charged with deserting his wife, Esther BACKHOUSE. In reply to the charge he said, "I would like to know what constitutes desertion."

Mr J W SIMISTER, who appeared for complainant, said this was an application for an order for maintenance and was based upon defendant's desertion of his wife. The parties were married on November 5th, 1883, at the Ashton Parish Church, and their union was an unhappy one, so far as the wife was concerned. There were two children, one of whom, an apprentice, was barely earning enough to keep himself, whilst the other, a girl, was not in any employment. Defendant had spent a good portion of his time in the army, and whilst stationed at Bury he became enamoured of a woman named FITTON.

From something which came to the knowledge of Mrs BACKHOUSE eight weeks ago she broke open her husband's box, and there found a bundle of compromising letters and photographs. Defendant was employed at Messrs SUMMERS' forge, Stalybridge, at that time, and was earning good wages. However, he appeared to be indifferent, and matters reached a climax when he demanded his box, the letters and photographs back, but his wife refused the request, whereupon he left her the following day, saying he did not intend to come back to Stalybridge, and that "he would make a hole in the water first.

A fortnight after Mrs BACKHOUSE went to Bury, and there found her husband openly living with the woman FITTON as man and wife. A little while later defendant's conscience seemed to have touched him, for he sent his wife a postal order for half-a-crown. In order to constitute desertion there must be evidence of intention of breaking off matrimonial relations, but from the fact of this man living apart from his wife and in open adultery was full proof. The case was doubly hard, inasmuch as Mrs BACKHOUSE was fast losing her sight. She had been a faithful wife, and taking into consideration defendant's extremely bad conduct, he asked the magistrates to grant a substantial sum for maintenance in addition to the advocate's fee.

Esther BACKHOUSE said when she went over to Bury she found her husband lodging with FITTON's mother. Defendant accompanied witness to see the girl FITTON, who was a servant at the White Lion Hotel, Bury, and at the interview the latter said defendant had led her to believe he was a widower. FITTON, however, said she would continue to live with NACKHOUSE. Complainant went on to tell the Bench that her sight was becoming so bad that she could hardly see to sew. Defendant was an ironmonger, and could earn good wages. He never told her what he actually earned, but on one occasion she found a wage ticket which showed that BACKHOUSE and his mate jointly drew 4 10s.

Defendant: I was labouring sir; I never earned that money in my "puff."— Mr WILLIAMSON: Don't you think that that wages note would be for a month?— Complainant: No, it was for a week.

The Mayor: Is it in the forge or in the yard where you work?— Defendant: In the yard.— The Mayor (to complainant): When you married him was he a soldier? He was a deserter, sir.— What was his occupation then? He worked at SUMMERS' as stocktaker.— What was he earning?— I don't know What, not when you married him? No.— What did he give you? He gave me "tidy," but when he was soldiering he could not give me much on account of keeping Annie FITTON.— Colonel SIDEBOTTOM: What did he give you when he was working at SUMMERS'? About 25s a week.— Did you find him clothes or did he buy them himself? I had to find them.— Defendant: Did I ever keep you short of money when I lived with you?— The Clerk: You have no right to ask that question; it is now a question of you deserting her. She admits you gave her money when you lived with her.

Asked what he had to say in his defence, BACKHOUSE now said he had nothing to say beyond that he never wished to desert her. She had told her tale of woe, but I have never told anything. I should never have thought of staying away from her but for her drinking habits and her nasty tongue. I used to go home once a month, and on several occasions she has been drunk and had other people drunk in the house. I cannot stop at a home on that account. Complainant: I never took anything to drink only when you gave it to me.

The Mayor: Is that all you have to say?— Defendant: Yes. I can prove it.— Have you any witnesses? I could only call my daughter, and I don't want to.— The Clerk: I don't know that that is any defence. It may be an unfortunate marriage, but you have no right to desert her.— Defendant: If it had been many a man he would have been hung before now!— Colonel SIDEBOTTOM: What is your position in connection with the army; have you completed your service? Yes, sir. Defendant also added that he had no pension, and he asked the Bench to take into consideration that he was out of work at the present time. When he got work he would send her money. He had never wished to deprive her of any.— Mr LOCKWOOD: How much do you propose to send her?— Defendant: As much as I can. Replying to Colonel SIDEBOTTOM, he said that the last work he did was a week as an agent for an insurance company in Bury.

The magistrates retired, and upon their return into court the Mayor announced that a separation order would be granted, and BACHOUSE would have to pay his wife 5s per week in addition to the advocate's fee and court costs. Defendant asked for the bundle of letters and photographs, which he claimed as his property.— Mr SIMISTER said that was a matter entirely for a civil action. If defendant thought he was entitled to the letters, &c, he must sue his wife. The Bench declined to interfere in the matter.

How the Poor are Housed

On Saturday the Stalybridge police received information of the death of Kate BATTERSBY, aged 13 years, of Cartwright's Place, Robinson-street. The girl, it appears has been an inmate of the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, which institution she left only recently. On Thursday last she became ill and as she became gradually worse Dr BISHOP was communicated with, but before the gentleman's arrival death had ensued.

The mother of deceased, Lavinia BATTERSBY, whose husband was formerly a bookkeeper, said the girl had been ailing about a year, and was attended by Dr BISHOP. For three weeks she was an inpatient at the Ashton Infirmary, suffering from sore eyes and pains in the head. She had also been in the Eye Hospital at Manchester for a month, and was brought away from there on Thursday last. Witness went for her, and the doctor said if she were brought home she might have a chance to get more strength.

She seemed all right until five o'clock on Saturday morning, when she complained again of pains in the head. At half past nine witness sent for a doctor, but when Dr BISHOP came, about quarter past ten o'clock, the deceased was dead. For three months past the deceased had been blind and the doctor at the Eye Institution said her eyes would never be right again She had never complained of anything except her eyes and pains in her head. Her eyes were bad prior to a slight accident which happened to the deceased about 15 months ago.

The Coroner said it seemed strange to him that the deceased should have been discharged from the hospital. He had received a letter from the house surgeon stating that he could not certify the cause of death, as the deceased was in the same state as she was during her stay in the hospital. She suffered from inflammation of the optic nerve. In his opinion probably some brain lesion was the cause of inflammation and convulsions, which caused death. The Coroner did not know why the doctor could not have certified.

A Juryman remarked that the girl looked as if she had been well treated. He did not think there was anything wrong about the case. Detective LEE said he had made careful inquiries, and so far as he knew there was nothing suspicious.

A Juryman said the deceased's parents seemed to be very poor. There was only one bedroom in the house. Another Juryman: And there are seven children.— Detective LEE: The father is in the hospital suffering from typhoid.

A Juror: They might well have typhoid in such insanitary places as that. Another Juror: What are they doing at the Town Hall that they don't sweep such places away? Who is the agent, and who belongs to the property?— (Hear, hear.)

A verdict of "Death from natural causes, probably inflammation of the brain," was returned.

Two Months Hard Labour

Thomas EMERY was in custody on remand charged with unlawfully by means of a certain pretence obtaining from James RIDYARD, contractor, Ashton, the sum of 14 with intent to defraud, sometime within six months past. Mr J B POWNALL appeared to prosecute and the prisoner was represented by Mr J S EATON.

Mr POWNALL said that the prisoner was foreman in the employ of Mr RIDYARD, who employed somewhere about 150 men, and anyone in prisoner's position, if he should be sufficiently astute, might defraud the employer to an extent which one could hardly comprehend. He appears to have done it in this case. Prisoner's method seems to have been this: Mr RIDYARD was doing some work at the National Gas Engine Co's works, and it was the custom to make the wages up in packets at the office every Saturday morning for the prisoner EMERY to pay out to the employees.

Some three months ago he told a boy named HARROP, employed at Mr RIDYARD's, that there was an employee who was not able to write, and asked him to make out the time sheet. The boy was taken into the office, and made out a time sheet in the name of J ANDREW, which seems was an invention of EMERY's. The first week the time-note was made out for 1 16s, and it went on week by week at this rate until the boy got suspicious and communicated it to another employee, and it ultimately got to Mr RIDYARD's ears. Mr RIDYARD considered it his duty in the interest of the public and of other employers to bring the case before the magistrates so that such a systematic fraud as this should be punished.

Samuel HARROP, 18 Old-street, Ashton, joiners' apprentice, said that about three months ago he was at the shop when prisoner asked him to make a time sheet out for a joiner who could not write. Witness made out the time-note produced. It was dated 15th August, 1901. On October 25th he made out another time note (produced) in the same name at prisoner's request, and on November 1st witness again at prisoner's request made out another time-note (produced).

James GAYTER, 16 Church-street, cashier, said it was the custom of the apprentices on the job to bring the time-notes to him on Friday nights. Each man's wage was then wrapped up in the time sheet, and his name written on the back, the packets being handed to the prisoner EMERY to take to the workmen. One of the time-notes for 1 19s was in witness's handwriting. On Saturday last he was present when the coins representing 1 13s 9d claimed to be due to J ANDREW were marked.

William TAGGART, 2 John-street, Waterloo, sated that he was the foreman on the National Gas Engine Company's job. EMERY had been in the habit of bringing the wages on Saturday mornings, and he sometimes gave them to the witness. He gave them to him on Saturday morning. Amongst those was one for J ANDREW. There was no one of the name on the job.

Detective HEIGHWAY deposed to arresting the defendant on Saturday at twelve o'clock noon, and after taking him to the Town Hall and reading over the warrant for his arrest he made no reply. Witness searched him, and found the marked coins produced in his possession, and a blank time sheet dated Nov 29th, made out in the name of J ANDREW, which appeared to have been made out to do duty for the following Saturday. Prisoner, on being formally charged, pleaded guilty.

Thomas EMERY then went into the witness box., and said that he had been foreman for Mr RIDYARD four years, prior to which he had worked for a firm of contractors at Chorlton-cum-Hardy, and was formerly in business himself. His wages were 2 15s per week. His wife had had sickness and had been periodically ill. He had a family of four, all little and none working. He had left previous employers with the very best of characters and had never been in a police court on any charge whatsoever before.

Mr EATON said that all he could do in this painful case was to throw his client on the mercy of the court. He asked the bench to extend the utmost clemency to him. This was a case which they might deal with under the First Offenders' Act. He asked them to bind him over to be of good behaviour in consideration of his circumstances and previous good character.

The magistrates retired to consider their decision, and on returning the Magistrates' Clerk asked Mr POWNALL if his instructions were to press the case. Mr POWNALL said his instructions were to not consent to the case being dealt with in the way suggested by Mr EATON. It was too serious. Mr RIDYARD was very sorry for the man being so foolish. He did not wish to press the case, but he could not agree with Mr EATON's proposal.

The Chairman said the Bench did not consider that the First Offenders' Act was ever intended for a case of this character. It was not a trivial offence; it had been going on for three months, and it was fortunate that the lad had been sharp enough to find it out, or it would probably have gone on for another twelve months. The Bench sentenced EMERY to two months' imprisonment with hard labour, and ordered a sum of 8 16s 4d, found on the prisoner to be given up less court fees.

Blackburn Weaver's Chance Remark

It is a time honoured aphorism that many a true word is spoken in jest, but seldom, indeed, is it that the sequel of a jest has been fraught with so much importance as the following case. The innocent jest referred to was made by Mr JACKSON, 21 Fernhurst-street, Ewood, Blackburn, and the importance consequences that followed that chance remark were detailed to a Blackburn Standard reporter by his wife. "How did it all come about?" was the reporter's first question.

"Well," said Mrs JACKSON, "when I was married six years ago I was then in a very poor state of health. I began slowly but surely to grow worse and worse. I had a severe attack of influenza some time previously which dragged me down to an exceedingly weak state, and it seemed as though I was never to recover enough strength to get about without feeling utterly exhausted. The effect on my spirits was serious, for I could not shake off the intense melancholy which had become part of my life. I was always miserable, and could only look at the dark side of everything."

"You sought medical advice, I presume?"

"Yes, of course, but the doctors told me little except that my complaint was a general weakness, and that my kidneys were affected. This state of melancholy told on my appetite and digestive powers, and for a long time I was treated also for indigestion without feeling the smallest relief. I seemed to grow worse every day, although I still trudged to work each morning feeling half dead. The weavers at the mill where I worked used to wonder what had come over me and I was urged to give up two of the four looms I was running, for I was like a ghost. All the colour had left my cheeks, and I used to tell my husband that I would not live much longer. I had no appetite; food used to sicken me, and I got properly down-hearted. My friends besought me to try first one doctor and then another, but to tell you the truth, I had lost heart and cared little what happened."

"You appear to take an interest in life now," interrupted the reporter, "judging by your appearance, which is anything but ghost-like."

"Yes," said Mr JACKSON, who was present during the interview, "my wife looks healthy enough now, doesn't she? Perhaps it will be as well if I explain. It's due to me and Dr Williams' pink pills for pale people that my wife is now cured and looking so well. I saw the pills advertised in the newspaper, and jestingly said to her, 'Well, you had better get some of these pills. They are for pale people, and you are pale enough anyhow.' I got some, more to carry out my joke than anything, and she took two or three pills every day. I am not jesting when I tell you that she was better in a week, and her relatives were surprised and said, 'Whatever's making our Annie's colour come back?' But what was more important than the colour of her cheeks was the return of health and strength, and a lively interest in life. The rapid change was wonderful."

"Then you honestly believe the cure to be due entirely to Dr Williams' pink pills for pale people, and you are quite willing the public should have the benefit of your experience?"

"Of course," replied Mrs JACKSON, "and I tell everybody to take them. They have saved my life and pounds in doctors' bills."

Mrs JACKSON runs four looms at Messrs LIVESEY's Ewood Mill, Blackburn, and to use her own words, she was never in better health in her life, and avows her husband's joke has turned out a real blessing in disguise.

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