10 May 1902
SUDDEN DEATH AT ASHTON
An inquest was held at the Crowthorn Hotel,
Ashton, on Monday forenoon on the body of William
HILL, aged 61 years of 6, Hilton-street, Crowthorn,
who died suddenly on Friday afternoon.
Jane HILL said that deceased was her husband,
and she lived with him at 6 Hilton-street. He
was a pavior for Droylsden District Council, and
prior thereto had been out of work for four years.
He formerly worked on the railway, but left, and
they would not take him on again on account of
his age. He was well and hearty up to death, and
laughed and talked with her in a cheerful manner.
On Monday night he removed some flags, and on
Tuesday he complained of a slight backache. He
went to work on Tuesday at breakfast time and
worked until Wednesday night, and did not make
any complaint in the meantime. When he returned
home he complained of feeling tired and he went
to bed, rising on Thursday morning about 4 o'clock
with the intention of going to work, but he still
complained of feeling tired, and witness persuaded
him to get back to bed, and he did so, and remained
in bed up to dinner time. He did not go to work
He sat at home on Thursday afternoon and chatted
and talked to witness. He slept well on Thursday
night, and ate a good breakfast of two duck eggs
and bread and butter and tea in bed on Friday
morning. He lay in bed for an hour or so and never
complained of anything only feeling tired. Witness
got him a box of pills for his back., and he got
up and lay on the sofa in the house. Witness thought
he was a little poorly but he would not own to
it, and she wanted to send for a doctor but he
At noon he wanted to go to the rear, but witness
would not allow him to go outside on account of
having to descend some steps. She therefore obtained
a night commode and whilst using it he became
helpless and unconscious, and witness helped him
on to the sofa and then called for help, and sent
for a doctor. Deceased began frothing at the mouth,
and his eyes began working, but he did not speak.
He breathed without difficulty, and seemed as
if in a kind of fit. A neighbour, named Mrs HART,
came in, and deceased expired twenty minutes afterwards
in her arms. Deceased was a well-built, stout
man, and never had a day's illness in his life.
He always ate well. The doctor did not arrive
until an hour after death.
Elizabeth HART, wife of John HART, labourer, living
in Hilton-street, said she had known deceased
about 12 years, and he had always had good health.
He was a very steady, sober man. He seemed to
have lost weight whilst being out of work. Witness
was called into the house about two o'clock on
Friday afternoon and found deceased lying on the
couch in an unconscious condition, frothing at
the mouth and his eyes rolling. Witness thought
he was in a fit. He remained unconscious and died
with his hand on her arm. His left arm appeared
discoloured. Deceased had a comfortable home.
The Coroner said the cause of death might be apoplexy
or heart failure; in either case it would be a
natural death. He had learned that deceased had
been ruptured for some time, and this might have
had something to do with his death, especially
if he had been lifting flags as stated. The jury
returned a verdict of death from natural causes.
A GRAND OLD TORY DINNER
SIXTY YEARS AGO
We have been favoured with an old document which
carries the weighty toasts of our forefathers, every
one of whom are dead. The number of them, if well
followed, would fill up a rare capacity. But, then,
in those grand old days they had no closing hours
and no police. What fine old names the list contains:
Toasts to be given at the anniversary dinner of
the Ashton-under-Lyne Conservative Association on
Friday, December 30th, 1842:—
On removal of the cloth......Non Nobis Domino.
President, 1: "Her Majesty the Queen: May she
never swerve from the principles which seated the
house of Brunswick on the Throne of these Realms,
and God grant her a long, prosperous, and glorious
National Anthem..............."God save the
President, 2: "His Royal Highness Prince Albert,
the Prince of Wales, and the Princess Royal."
the cold wind blows."
President, 3: "The Queen Dowager and the Rest
of the Royal Family."
Presentation of the Plate to Nicholas EARLE, Esq.
Mr Booth MASON, 4: "Our Glorious Constitution
in Church and State."
in this land commenced."
Mr W HEAP, 5: "The Army and the Navy."
N EARLE, Esq., 6: "Lord Lyndhurst and the House
of Peers, and may they ever maintain their noble
Dr LEES, 7: "The Right Hon. Sir Robert PEEL
and Her Majesty's Ministers."
Mr Thomas SLACK, 8: "The Hero of the Age, His
Grace the Duke of Wellington."
Mr John OUSEY, 9: "The Earl of Stamford and
Warrington, the Lord of this Manor."
Song .............................."The fine
old English Gentleman."
Mr Thomas BUNTING responds.
Mr J J HARROP, 10: "The Conservative Associations
throughout the Kingdom, with best wishes for their
Mr H HEAP, song............"Woodman, spare
Mr Thomas MELLOR, 11: "The Conservative Members
of the House of Commons."
Mr J FRANCE, 12: "The President."
jolly full bottle."
Mr William LINGARD, 13: "The Champions of South
Lancashire, Lord Francis EGERTON and the Hon Bottle
Vice-President, 14: "The Mayor and Constables
of this borough."
Mr S COLLINS, 15: "Prosperity to this Manufacturing
Mr George MELLOR responds.
Mr J J HARROP, 17: "The Conservative Ladies,
with many thanks for their support and bewitching
influence upon all occasions."
health to all good lasses."
Mr John KERSHAW responds.
Mr Robert CARR, 18: "The Conservative Press."
Mr HEAP, song.............."Ye mariners of
President, 19: "May this and every succeeding
Anniversary extend and promote Conservative principles
amongst all classes, and more closely unite them
in supporting their just rights, and the institutions
of the country."
SINGULAR DEATH AT HURST
Fell in Front of the Fire
Some consternation was created in Hurst on Monday
afternoon by the sudden death, under singular circumstances,
of William FLOOD, married man, residing in Curzon-road.
It appears that about 1.30 in the afternoon deceased,
who appeared in his usual health, was left alone
in the house by his wife. A short time afterwards
a travelling draper knocked at the door. On receiving
no answer he tried the door, and on its opening
he passed into the house, and saw the deceased lying
in front of the fire. He raised an alarm and called
in some neighbours who examined the man and found
that he was dead.
Deceased, it appears, had been under treatment with
Dr TWOMEY for kidney complaint, but his condition
had in no way been considered serious. It is supposed
that he was sitting in front of the fire, and was
taken with a fit which caused him to fall forward.
Whilst in the act of falling he had evidently clutched
one of the bars of the fire as his fingers were
very badly burned. There were no other marks of
injury, and the inference was that death was the
result of a fit. Deceased leaves a widow and three
A NEW YEAR'S EVE CAROUSAL
AND ITS SEQUEL
Thomas BROWN and Margaret BROWN, man and wife, were
in custody at the Ashton County Police Court on
Saturday charged with committing a breach of the
peace at Hurst on December 31st last. Both prisoners
pleaded guilty, the female prisoner adding that
she was in her own home.
It was pointed out to the Bench that the defendants
failed to appear in the first case and a warrant
was issued for their arrest. — The male prisoner
said that the reason they did not appear was that
they were afraid. They had been living at Glossop.
A constable deposed that at 11.45pm on the last
day of the old year he saw the two prisoners creating
a disturbance in Union-road, Hurst, using very bad
language. There was a crowd of people about and
witness saw the female prisoner strike another woman.
— Prisoners said that on account of it being
New Year's Eve they got a drop too much beer. —
The magistrates bound them over in 40s to keep the
peace for six months.
AT ASHTON MOSS COLLIERY
Collier Heavily Fined
At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday,
Wm. ANDERSON, collier at Ashton Moss Colliery, was
summoned by James FERNS, foreman at the New Moss
Colliery, for committing a breach of the Coal Mines
Act by having matches in his possession whilst in
the mine, contrary to the general regulations. Defendant
Mr LEE, who appeared to prosecute, said that although
James FERNS was nominally the complainant in this
case, the action was really brought on behalf of
the New Moss Colliery Co. On Sunday night, April
27th, the defendant, who was working in the night
shift, went to his work, and finished about 6.30
next morning. Mr FERNS was at the bottom of the
mine, and it was part of his duty to examine the
workmen by passing his hands over their clothing.
He felt something in one of the pockets of the defendant,
and on asking him what it was he replied "Nothing."
Ultimately he produced a box of matches, and said
he knew that it was wrong and that he was very sorry.
He said he must have put the matches in his pocket
at the weekend and forgotten to take them out. Extracts
of the Coal Mines Regulation Act were posted about
the mine, and any collier could have a copy. The
foreman took the defendant to the manager, who felt
in duty bound to take these proceedings. The colliery
authorities had made a lot of complaints recently
of finding spent matches at the bottom of the pit,
and so recently as last week a boy working there
was walking along and trod on a match, which ignited.
There was no telling what the consequences might
have been, but fortunately nothing serious occurred.
The colliery authorities wished to protect the lives
of their workpeople, and it was a source of danger
for workmen to go down the mine with matches in
their possession. They did not often bring cases
like this before the bench, and under the circumstances
they wished to press the case, as recently they
had found so many spent matches at the bottom of
The Magistrates' Clerk: It is their duty to bring
such cases before the magistrates; the law compels
them to do so. (To the defendant): You knew perfectly
well that you had no right to have these matches?
Yes, sir. — You were endangering not only
your own life but the lives of others. — Defendant
said he had had 19 years' experience, and had always
been very cautious before. He did not know he had
the matches, or he might have thrown them on one
side. — The Clerk: And then someone might
have put their foot on them and caused an explosion.
That is a nice excuse to make.
Defendant said that he got the matches at a public-house
and placed them in his pocket. — Constable
SHOESMITH said that defendant went out of the house
on the Sunday morning to borrow matches to light
the fire, not remembering that he had the matches
in his pocket.
The Chairman: You have endangered the lives of all
these people, probably through drinking. If you
had not been drinking these matches would probably
not have been in your pocket. We could fine you
a great deal more, but we shall fine you £1
and costs or one month's imprisonment.
ALLEGED BETTING IN
AN ASHTON BEERHOUSE
A Missing Witness — Case Adjourned
At the Ashton Borough Police Court on Monday, John
BYRNE, Wellington Inn, Cavendish-street, was summoned
for allowing or suffering gaming on his licensed
premises on the 25th April. Frank BYRNE was summoned
for aiding and abetting. Mr GARFORTH appeared for
the prosecution, and Mr POWNALL for the defence.
— When the case was called Mr GARFORTH asked
that the name of Joseph Robert ADDIE be called,
as he was under subpœna as a witness. The Clerk:
I suppose you have reasons; let him be called. —
The name was then called in the room and in the
corridors, but there was no response.
Mr GARFORTH then said he prosecuted on behalf of
the police, and the charge was that so far as the
landlord was concerned, he suffered gaming to be
carried on upon his licensed premises, and as regarded
Frank BYRNE, he aided and abetted by taking part
in the game himself and otherwise. The information
was laid under section 17 of the Act of 1892, and
he wanted to call the attention of the Bench to
a rather peculiar thing in the section, that it
differed from a similar section in another act,
inasmuch as the word "knowingly," which
was in the act before, had been intentionally omitted
from the Act of 1892, because a different construction
might be put upon the words "suffer gaming,"
or "permit gaming." It had been held time
and time again that a landlord did not need to actually
connive at the act of gaming, but if he "suffered"
either by negligence himself to provide supervision,
he was held to be liable, and to be convicted for
suffering or permitting gaming.
He should be able to prove by evidence that the
landlord was cognisant the whole time of what was
going on, and even if he did not, the fact that
he was within a yard or two of the room in which
gaming was going on, serving in the bar and serving
in the room, he knew or ought to have known that
such gaming was taking place.
It was in the afternoon of the 26th April —
a Saturday — that two men, one of them Joseph
Robert ADDIE, who had not answered his subpœna,
for reasons which he would endeavour to explain
went into the Wellington Inn beerhouse, Cavendish-street,
kept by the defendant, John BYRNE. These two people
had drawn their weekly wages, and after having had
a glass or two in the front room one of them went
to the yard. In going to the yard he had to pass
and repass a sort of taproom or kitchen on the right-hand
side of the house. He there saw a lot of men playing
at cards for what was known as "twopenny jacks."
That was to say that the men in the room, or those
who were players, each put 2d together to form a
"pool" or "kitty," and then
they played at some game, generally "all-fours,"
for the whole of the jacks, less a percentage to
Whilst the game was going on there was another most
interesting little game being played by the defendant
Frank BYRNE, an ingenious game, a sort of hybrid
or cross between "roulette" and "banker."
He (Mr GARFORTH) had in his hand a pack of cards,
and he would show the Bench by demonstrating how
it was done. It must be clear to at least one ————
Mr POWNALL asked if this was a game to be found
in any book upon card playing? He did not see that
the court could accept Mr GARFORTH's ipsi dicit.
The Clerk replied that Mr GARFORTH understood the
game. — (Laughter.)
Mr GARFORTH said it was a fair opening of the case.
He never said anything in his opening that he was
not prepared to prove by the evidence of the witnesses.
After describing and illustrating the game, he went
on to say that the man who had been to the backyard,
and who was the real prosecutor in this matter,
was tempted by seeing this game being played, and
he went and had a shilling or two on a set of these
cards. He then went back into the room where his
brother-in-law, Robert ADDIE was. They both then
went to the room where the card playing was, and
the result was that in the course of three hours
during which he stayed there this man, James Henry
SCHOFIELD, lost the whole of his wages of 32s.
He then said he had been cheated of his money, because
the manipulation of the cards would be easy whilst
there was a certain amount of disorder in the room.
He went out and informed the police, with the result
that Sergeant BUTTERS and two other officers, Constables
HEIGHWAY and CORBETT, went back to the Wellington
with this man SCHOFIELD. They found in this room
some ten, fifteen, or twenty men standing around
whilst the cards were being dealt.
He wanted to call to the attention of the Bench
to the fact that these cards were being dealt face
upwards, which was not requisite to whist, except
one card. He mentioned that because the police did
not see any money pass. As soon as the police made
their appearance the cards were at once withdrawn.
In the presence of the police, ADDIE and SCHOFIELD
charged the two defendants with having 32s of his
money, and they never denied it in the slightest
degree. That was some evidence that they knew the
game was being carried on. Robert ADDIE had not
answered to his subpœna. He went to the defendant's
house last night, and at ten o'clock had fetched
Mr POWNALL said that was the first he had heard
about the man. Mr GARFORTH could have an adjournment
to bring him here if he liked. He denied it in
toto. Mr GARFORTH said so far as Mr POWNALL
was concerned he never made any suggestion. Mr POWNALL
said his client also denied it. Mr GARFORTH said
he did not intend they should take it that way.
Mr W HAMER asked if Mr GARFORTH was prepared to
go on without him. The Chairman thought they had
better have the man present.
Mr GARFORTH said he rather agreed with the Chairman.
He might say that ADDIE lived with this man SCHOFIELD,
and they were in the position of brothers-in-law.
He was there last night, and this morning he had
gone away. He (Mr GARFORTH) was in the hands of
his instructors, and it was for the Chief Constable
to decide. He had ADDIE before him on Saturday in
the office below, and the statement he had made
in his opening was what ADDIE had told him himself.
He thought they had better have an adjournment.
The bench (Dr HUGHES, W HAMER, J KERSHAW, W TIPPING
and E TAYLOR) then decided to adjourn the case until
Monday next for the presence of the missing witness.
STREET ACCIDENTS AT
Robert HIGHAM, the two-year old son of an Ashton
labourer, living in Hill-street, met with a shocking
accident on Tuesday night whilst playing in the
vicinity of his home. He wandered into the roadway,
and was knocked down by a trap, which was in charge
of Percy DAVIES, of King-street, Dukinfield, and
bruised. The driver of the vehicle afterwards informed
the police that he did not see the child, but when
in Hill-street he felt the trap jump over something,
which later proved to be the child's head.
Evan WEBSTER, aged 6 years, living at 19 Tatton-street,
Ashton, was knocked down by a milk float in Old-street
at 7.30 on Wednesday night, and sustained a bruise
inside the right thigh and shock to the system.
The driver of the milk float drove on without revealing