18 April 1903
TRAMCAR DRIVER’S SUDDEN DEATH AT HURST
An Extraordinary Heart
An inquest was held at the Colliers’ Arms, Hillgate-street,
Hurst, on Saturday morning, on the body of John SMITH,
of Paradise-street, Hurst, familiarly known as “Gipsy
SMITH,” a former tramcar driver in connection with
the Manchester Tramcar Company, who was thrown out of
employment on the taking over of the tramways by the Ashton
Corporation on April 1st, and whose dead body was found
on the hearthrug at his home the previous Wednesday morning.
Charles SMITH, son of the deceased,
said his father was 49 years of age, and had been a healthy
man. Dr HILTON attended him about twelve months ago for
a slight illness. He had been out of work for a week owing
to the stoppage of the horse cars, but had a prospect
of being taken on in connection with the electric tramcars.
When witness left him in the
house to go to bed at 10.30 on the Tuesday night, he seemed
in his usual health. He was sitting in a chair in the
kitchen. During the evening he made the following remark:
“If I don’t get work, and I stop as I am much
longer, it will kill me.” He had troubled a lot
about being out of work. When witness got up on the Wednesday
morning, about ten minutes past 5, he found his father
missing from bed, but did not think it strange. On going
downstairs he found him lying lengthways on the hearthrug
on his back. Witness did not touch him, and, concluding
he was dead, went for Dr BRADLEY.
Dr BRADLEY deposed to being
called to see the deceased on Wednesday morning about
5.30. He found him lying as described by the last witness.
He had been dead an hour or two. Witness made a post-mortem
examination on Friday afternoon. There were no external
marks of injury. The brain was slightly congested. The
lungs were normal, but the left lobe was adherent to the
chest wall, due to an old pleurisy. The heart was tremendously
enlarged, and weighed 1lb 90z, more than double the normal
size, which was 12oz. It was contracted and empty.
The aortic valve was diseased,
and the aorta, or blood vessel itself, was calcified in
one place. The heart generally was in a diseased condition.
The stomach was almost empty. All the other organs were
normal. There was appearance of poison whatever. The cause
of death was syncope, due to aortic disease of the heart.
Worry through being out of work would be likely to cause
sudden death in the condition the heart was in.
The Coroner referred to the
abnormally large heart of the deceased, and said it must
have been very extensively diseased. The trouble about
being out of work had apparently brought on a sudden attack
of syncope. A verdict of death from natural causes was
OF MR JOHN WILD, OF HARTSHEAD
Stricken at the Graveside of a Favourite Dog
The death is reported under singular circumstances of
Mr John WILD, aged 57 years, who resided at a house in
connection with the Knott Hill reservoir, of which he
was the caretaker. Deceased, who was the brother of the
late Mr Seville WILD, who was for many years manager of
the Ashton and District Joint Waterworks, was born at
Knott Hill, and had lived there all his life, he having
been employed as caretaker under the old Waterworks Company.
It was deemed necessary to
destroy an old faithful dog, one which had been in the
family a great many years, and to which a great attachment
had been formed. On Tuesday night he shot the dog, and
then left the house about eight o’clock, taking
the dog with him, in order to bury it in a wood behind
the house. It was a very cold and stormy night, and as
he had not returned at a late hour, his wife grew alarmed.
No trace of his whereabouts
could be discovered, and she communicated with on of the
workmen employed in connection with the waterworks, who
commenced to search the woods in a heavy downpour of rain.
About six o’clock in the morning he found Mr WILD
lying unconscious on the ground by the side of the grave
which he had made for the reception of the dog. The rain
had gone through his clothing to the skin, and he appeared
to have been seized in a fit, and to have been struggling
on the wet and cold ground.
He was carried home, as speedily
as possible, and restoratives applied, but he never regained
consciousness, and died four hours later. An inquiry as
to the cause of death will be held to-day (Saturday).
DISORDERLY IN MARKET-STREET. –
William BIRMINGHAM was, on Monday, charged at the police
court with having been disorderly, to which he pleaded
guilty. – Constable HOBSON said he found the defendant
and another man fighting on the ground. The second individual
was dragged away by his friends and BIRMINGHAM was locked
up. – Defendant now asserted that the other man
was the aggressor, and that he only acted in self-defence.
– He was fined 1s and costs or seven days’
AMONGST THE FEATHERED
TRIBE. – A charge of vagrancy was preferred
against a young man name George LEE at the Stalybridge
Police Court on Wednesday. Constable HOLLOWOOD stated
that about four a.m. on Tuesday morning he found defendant
in an old pigeon house in Copley Gardens. He told the
officer that the owner had given him permission to sleep
there, but this was denied by the owner. Captain BATES
said they had received complaints about defendant sleeping
in outhouses. LEE promised to get regular work and turn
over a new leaf. He was discharged.
NO LIGHT. –
At the police court, on Monday, Peter Turner, a carter,
was summoned for failing to have a lighted lamp attached
to his lurry at 8.10 on Wednesday night. Constable E LAWTON
established the charge, the offence being committed near
the park. Defendant told the officer that he had lost
the lamp on the way home from Oldham. – Captain
BATES now said that TURNER’s employer had informed
him that defendant did not turn out with a lamp, and that
he could have been home earlier. – Councillor HOPWOOD:
I suppose you were drinking, Peter? – Defendant:
Oh, no. I had not had anything to drink. – Councillor
HOPWOOD: You don’t do that, do you? – (Laughter.)
– Defendant: Not now, sir. – A fines of 5s,
including costs, was imposed.
ON THE WRONG PATH.
– On Monday, at the Police Court, four
lads, named respectively John TROY, Wm. POWELL, James
HAGGERTY, and John William CLARKE, were charged with tossing
on the Market Ground. – Constable ROWBOTHAM said
that on the afternoon of the 10th instant he was crossing
the “plantation,” when he espied the defendants
pitching coins in the air. He captured CLARKE, who gave
the names of the others. – TROY denied the offence,
and said he was playing marbles, and not gambling. –
HAGGERTY supported this statement, and the Bench accordingly
The remainder were characterized
as bad characters, all having been to prisoner, and Councillor
HOPWOOD remarked that POWELL was becoming a regular gaol
bird. – Mrs POWELL said she did not care what became
of her son! She had entirely lost control of him. Six
years ago her husband went away from Stalybridge, leaving
her with four little children. – The magistrates
ordered the three lads to pay 2s 6d for costs.
DEATH OF MR CHARLES
ENTWISTLE: - The death has occurred, after a
somewhat protracted illness, of Mr Charles ENTWISTLE,
a gentleman well known in Stalybridge, particularly in
musical circles. In his boyhood Mr ENTWISTLE was a frame-tenter
at Messrs ADSHEAD’s mill, being afterwards promoted
to overlooker, in which capacity he remained until the
mill was closed. Later he was in business in Brierley-street,
but at the time of his death he resided in Huddersfield-road.
He was very prominent as a
musician, having been closely identified with the Harmonic
Society for nearly 50 years, performing on the double
bass in most concerts during that period. He was also
a bass singer, and was at one time connected with the
St Paul’s choir, afterwards acting as conductor
of the choir at St John’s Church, Dukinfield. He
also served the Methodist Free Church community as a member
of the orchestra which provided the music at their church
The interment took place at
St Paul’s on Monday, amongst those present being
the following: representing the Stalybridge Harmonic Society;
Rev J Grant BIRD, president; Mr John GARLICK, conductor;
Mr G DEAN, secretary; and Messrs H MOORHOUSE, W MARSHALL,
J H SHAW, and E ETCHELLS.
OF A STALYBRIDGE CARTER
Mr F NEWTON, county coroner, held an inquest at the Sportsman
Inn, Mottram-road, Stalybridge, on Wednesday morning,
touching the death of John William BYWATER, aged 25 years,
who resided at 6 Swallow’s-yard, off Warrington-street.
Deceased was a carter in the service of Messrs Thos. MILLS
and Sons, corn factors, Old-street, and a short while
ago he sustained an accident whilst following his employment.
He died last week-end, and the Coroner directed that a
post-mortem examination should be made.
The first witness called was
deceased’s widow, who said that seven weeks ago,
at three o’clock on a Saturday afternoon, he was
brought home, and said he had been hurt. He said the injury
was to his right eye, and he complained of feeling cold.
Deceased went to bed, and afterwards told witness he had
been hurt whilst delivering some corn at a farm in Besom-lane,
He said he had the bag of corn
on his back, and he tumbled, and his head came into contact
with the handle of the grinding machine. The bruise on
his eye eventually healed, but he continued to complain
about it being painful. He also complained that his back
hurt him. Dr SCOTT attended the deceased from the time
of the accident. He expired at 7.30 on Sunday morning.
He did not blame anyone for what had happened.
Mr HULME (a juryman): Is it
true, as I have been told, that it was a long time after
the accident before the deceased was found? – Mrs
BYWATER: I cannot say, and he never said anything to me
about it. – Detective LEE said he understood no
one saw the accident. The man had evidently attended to
his injuries himself, for some blood was found amongst
the water in a tub close by. The deceased must have fainted
In answer to the Coroner, Mrs
BYWATER said she had been married only two years, and
Mr NEWTON expressed his own and the jury’s sympathy
with her in her sad bereavement. – Mr T H MILLS
also expressed the sincere sympathy of the firm towards
Dr SCOTT said he was first
called to the deceased on the 21st of February last at
Kenworthy’s Farm, Millbrook. He was lying on a couch,
and said he had fallen against the chopper. He had an
incised wound over the right eye-lid, about an inch and
a half in length, which did not penetrate to the bone.
Witness temporarily dressed the wound, and followed the
deceased down to Stalybridge, where he was carried to
his surgery. He then thoroughly dressed the wound, and
had attended the deceased for three days at his house.
Since then he had been able
to walk to the surgery for treatment. The stitches were
removed on the seventh day after the accident. The last
time deceased came to the surgery was a week last Saturday,
and he said he was going to work on the following Monday.
On the Tuesday witness was again sent for to attend him
at his home, and he found him complaining of pains in
his back and head, believing, as he did, that deceased
was suffering from a slight attack of influenza.
During all that time deceased
had shown no symptoms cerebral trouble. Witness saw him
again on Saturday morning, when he was told deceased had
had a very bad night, and on waking him he told witness
he had had great pain in his hips, but the pain was then
gone, and he wanted to sleep. At midnight witness was
called again, and he found him unconscious. He remained
with him until 4.30 next morning when death ensued. Witness
made a post-mortem examination, and found a fracture far
back at the top of the orbit, producing congestion and
effusion on the brain, which had caused the man’s
In answer to Mr MILLS, the
doctor said the fracture was certainly the result of the
accident. Such a fracture could happen even without a
wound. It was a curious thing that deceased showed no
signs of head trouble until Saturday, when he became unconscious.
That deceased had died as a result of the accident there
could be no question.
Mrs BOOTH, the wife of the
farmer at whose place deceased was delivering corn when
the accident happened, gave evidence of his being brought
into the house, and the doctor being sent for immediately.
She heard the deceased say that he had fallen with a bag
on his back, and had been thrown forward on to the chopping
machine. The jury unanimously returned a verdict in accordance
with the doctor’s evidence, and found that the injury
was the result of an accident.
BOROUGH POLICE COURT
CASE DISMISSED. – John Wm. McDERMOTT
was charged with committing a breach of the peace by fighting
in Stamford-street on April 13th. – Defendant pleaded
not guilty. – Constable DIXON deposed to defendant
being drunk and fighting another prisoner named McHUGH.
– The magistrates dismissed the case.
PAWNED HIS CLOGS
AND DRANK THE MONEY. – Edwin BULGER pleaded
guilty to begging in Ellison-street on 15th of April.
Constable WOOFENDEN said the prisoner was given a pair
of boots. – Inspector TULSON said prisoner had pawned
his clogs, sold the ticket, and drunk the money. –
One month’s imprisonment.