22 August 1903
SHOCKING DOMESTIC TRAGEDY
A Wife Charged With Murdering Her Husband
Stalybridge was on Tuesday night thrown into a scene of
the wildest excitement upon a rumour being circulated
that a woman had made a murderous attack upon her husband
with a knife, and that there was little hope of his recovery.
The report only too true, for within about twelve hours
of the perpetration of the deed the unfortunate husband
had succumbed to haemorrhage, following upon loss of blood
caused by a terrible wound in the neck.
The deceased was Joel BROADBENT, a forgeman
employed at Messrs Summers’ Globe Ironworks, and
he resided with his wife, Margaret BROADBENT, and two
children, at a cottage, No 3 Cocker Hill, a short distance
from the Town Hall. At nine o’clock — it appears
from the statement of Mrs BROADBENT’s mother (Mrs
Margaret DOCKNEY, who resided with the parties) —
deceased arrived home and he and his wife exchanged a
few heated words.
At that time there were two knives on the
table, and fearing a disturbance Mrs DOCKNEY cleared the
table of the pots. Whilst doing this it is alleged that
her daughter picked up one of the knives — an ordinary
weapon used for peeling potatoes — and stabbed her
husband in the neck. What subsequently transpired is best
gleaned from the account furnished by Constable Brierley
This officer was on duty in the vicinity
of the Town Hall when he saw BROADBENT knocking vigorously
at Dr ROBERTS-DUDLEY’s surgery door. GRIMSHAW proceeded
to ascertain the cause, and at once discovered that the
man was bleeding profusely from an awful wound in the
neck. The doctor not being at the house, the constable
hurriedly conveyed the unfortunate man to Dr CLEMENTS’
surgery in Portland Place, and upon arriving there, BROADBENT
utterly collapsed from loss of blood
By this time information of the tragic events
had reached the Town Hall, and the poor man was conveyed
in an unconscious state to the District Infirmary in the
horse ambulance. Later on he recovered consciousness,
but succumbed the following morning as stated.
THE WIFE IN CUSTODY
From what the deceased man said, Constable GRIMSHAW afterwards
went to a house in Avon-street, and there arrested Mrs
BROADBENT. He took her to the police station, and she
was locked up. After midnight the man’s dying depositions
were taken at the Infirmary by Mr Jno WHITEHEAD (magistrates’
clerk) who was accompanied by Dr HOWE, JP, and Captain
BATES (Chief Constable), and we understand that a very
clear statement incriminating the prisoner was made.
PRISONER BEFORE THE MAGISTRATES
Mrs BROADBENT was brought before the justices on Wednesday
morning, at 10.30, her husband having died less than half
an hour before the woman was transferred from the cell
to the dock. The court was crowded, and as the prisoner,
along with others for trial, was lead into the dock breathless
silence prevailed, broken only by an occasional whimper
on the part of Mrs BROADBENT.
One or two minor cases were disposed of,
after which the Magistrates’ Clerk called upon the
woman to stand up. She complied instantly. She stood against
the dock rail, wearing a blue shawl over her head and
shoulders, and only displayed a portion of her countenance
as the Chief Constable asked the magistrates to hear formal
evidence of arrest, and then remand prisoner for a week.
In the meantime, added Captain BATES, the inquest would
be held, and the woman would have to attend it.
Constable GRIMSHAW then came forward and
said: Your worships, I arrested prisoner in a house in
Avon-street at five minutes to nine o’clock last
night. Just previously, I met deceased, bleeding profusely.
I asked him who had caused the wound and he replied, “My
wife, with a knife.” Upon charging her, she replied,
“Yes; and if I had got a weapon I would serve you
the way I served him. I don’t care what they do;
I’m not afraid to die!” She was then locked
STALYBRIDGE LAWN TENNIS
PAVILLION AGAIN BROKEN INTO
Clever Capture By Constable Hamer
On Wednesday, at the Stalybridge Police Court, two youths
with very bad records, named respectively Samuel SIMKISS
and James GREENWOOD, were brought up in custody —
having been remanded from Monday — on a charge of
stealing two pairs of shoes and a pocket handkerchief
from the Ashton, Stalybridge and district lawn tennis
pavilion, on the 16th inst. Prisoners were arrested red-handed
on Sunday midnight by Constable HAMER, and the Chief Constable
pressed for a severe penalty. The following evidence was
Captain John ERSKINE said: I am a member
of the Ashton, Stalybridge and District Lawn Tennis Club,
and reside at the Ashton Barracks. The handkerchief produced
is my property, and bears my name at the corner. It is
worth 1s, and I last saw it safe on Friday on the club
Constable James HAMER said: On Sunday at
midnight I was on duty at Cockbrook, and upon examining
the pavilion in the tennis club ground found a window
broken and a ladder reared against the side. I got inside
the window, and found prisoners hiding under a table.
GREENWOOD made an attempt to escape, and as I hit him
with my staff he shouted, “Hold on, we’re
I brought them to the police office, and
upon searching them I found the handkerchief on GREENWOOD.
Upon being charged with the theft, GREENWOOD replied,
“Aye,” and SIMKISS “Yes.” Subsequently
I found that GREENWOOD was wearing the shows produced,
the property of Mr HILDYARD, prisoner having exchanged
his own for them. I charged them both this morning with
stealing the shoes, and they replied, “Yes, that
is all we have stolen.”
Captain BATES: I think the Bench will agree
with me that it was a clever capture by Constable HAMER.
— The Chairman: He is deserving of being complimented
Allen BOWER, of Egerton-street, Ashton,
deposed: I am caretaker of the pavilion and grounds of
the tennis club. On Saturday night I left everything secure,
but early on Monday morning I was knocked up by the police
who told me that the pavilion had been broken into. I
went there, and found that the shoes belonging to Mr F
E HILDYARD, of Ashton, had been stolen. They are worth
about 10s, and I saw them safe on Saturday night.
Prisoners elected to be tried by the magistrates,
and both now pleaded guilty. GREENWOOD said he had no
boots. — The Chairman: Do either of you work? —
SIMKISS: We only landed back from Liverpool on Sunday.
— The Chief Constable: They never will work; they
will spend their lives at this game.
The Chairman: In this case, the Bench feel
compelled to deal as severely as they can with both of
you. It is quite clear you are both very bad lads. One
of you has served three months’ hard labour on three
separate occasions last year, and the other one three
months twice. SIMKISS had been convicted 11 times and
GREENWOOD 8. It is a great pity that young men like you,
on the threshold of manhood, should be misusing your time
in the way you are doing. We shall now give you three
months on each charge, six months in all.
Addressing Constable HAMER, the Chairman
said: I am requested by the Justices to compliment you
upon the capture you have made, and I am sure the community
generally will be glad to think they will be ridded for
six months of two such dangerous characters. Everyone
will be pleased with your capture. — Constable HAMER:
Thank you, sir.
DEATH OF THE OLDEST
INHABITANT OF DUKINFIELD
A Remarkable Record
The oldest resident in the borough of Dukinfield passed
away last Wednesday week in the person of Sarah BOWYER,
of Crescent-road. She had attained the remarkably advanced
ago of 95, and was a woman who had always enjoyed very
good health up to within a recent period. She had lived
in Dukinfield nearly all her life, though she was a native
of Cheadle, and was married at Bowdon Church. She had
been present at no fewer than 35 old folks’ annual
tea parties in the Old Chapel School. The following are
the names of her children:
Great- grand child’n
She had the following brothers and sisters:-
Henry HIGHAM, 66, dead; James HIGHAM, 81, dead; William
HIGHAM, 80, living; John HIGHAM, 73, living; Elizabeth
BAKER, 70, living; Mary TAYLOR, 82, dead; Ann GOULD, 72,
dead; Elizabeth GOULD, 72, dead; Elizabeth HIGHAM, Edna
HIGHAM, Martha HIGHAM, died in infancy.
The interment took place last Saturday at
the Ashton and Dukinfield Joint Cemetery. The bearers
were the grandsons and great-grandson.
AN ASHTON MAN KILLED
AT HYDE JUNCTION
Knocked Down By A Sheffield Express
On Saturday morning an inquiry into the circumstances
attending the death of John James BUTLER, of 306 John-street,
Ashton, was held at the Hyde Police Station by the coroner,
Mr F NEWTON, and a jury, of which Mr Josiah MOORES was
foreman. Inspector BUCKLAND represented the Great Central
The first witness called was George BUTLER,
of 11 Birch-street, Ashton, who stated that the deceased
was his nephew. He was 32 years of age, and was in the
employ of the Great Central Railway Company as an assistant
signal fitter. He (witness) last saw deceased alive at
twenty minutes past eight on Thursday night. The deceased
was at his house, and was in the best of health at that
Henry ORME, 3 Turner-street, Dukinfield,
said he was a labourer in the signal department of the
Great Central Railway Company. On the day of the accident
he was working with deceased at Hyde Junction. He remembered
the express at 11.25 passing from Sheffield. The deceased
was connecting some points. He did not notice him until
after a portion of the train passed, and he a was then
in a sitting position under the foot boards.
He at once went to his assistance, and when
he picked him up, the train had caused deceased to turn
over on his face. He was living, but not conscious, and
was bleeding from his head. He was at once carried into
the waiting room at the station, and expired in about
ten minutes. When he was repairing these points he was
obliged to be in a sitting position.
The Coroner: Was there any one watching
to warn you of the approach of this train? — Witness:
No. — Were you in the signal box at Hyde Junction?
No. — Where were you when the train passed? I was
on the point rods. — Was there no signal given?
No. — Had he room when the train passed to be safe?
I could not say. — Was there sufficient room to
be safe? Yes. — Had he as much room as you? No.
— Had you no look out man? No. — The deceased
could have worked on the other side of the points and
been quite safe? Yes.
Inspector BUCKLAND said the nearest rod
was 3ft 6in away, so that BUTLER could have worked as
far off the rails as ORME, or he could have worked further
away from the main line than he really was. The inspector
produced a drawing of the place where the accident happened.
A Juryman: Would you care to be in the space
of 2ft 7in when the express was passing? Witness: yes;
but there was also an eight foot space. — The Coroner
(turning to ORME): What part of the train struck him?
Witness: The steps. — Was he standing or stooping?
Stooping. — How long did you see the train? I did
not see it. I had my back to the train. — Was the
deceased deaf? No.
Inspector BUCKLAND: There was a train approaching
on the other side. Witness: Yes; and it was going in the
direction of Hyde, and by the noise it made it drowned
the approach of the down train.
John Samuel PEARSON, of 4 Bradburn Place,
Sheffield, a fireman in the employ of the Great Central
Railway Company, stated that he was on the 9,30 express
from Sheffield. As near as he could tell, they passed
Hyde Junction Station about 11.20.
The Coroner: Did you see anything of this
man BUTLER? Yes. — What was he doing? He seemed
to be attending to the points. — How far away was
he when the train was coming? He was quite clear of the
train. — Did he make any movement? When the engine
passed him he slipped forward on his hands. — What
part of the coach struck him? It was the footboard. —
Did it turn him over? Yes. — No warning was given
on the approach of this train because he was safe? —
Yes. The engine driver was looking on the other side,
and could not se what happened? Yes.
The Coroner observed that the jury had now
to say how the deceased had come to his death. It seemed
clear that if he had not had an accident in the shape
of slipping or tumbling, the deceased would have been
safe, as there seemed to have been sufficient room for
him to work in safety.
Prior to the jury arriving at their verdict,
Inspector BUCKLAND showed the plan of the accident, which
depicted the distance from where the deceased was working
and the main line. The jury returned a verdict that the
deceased had met an accidental death, which had been caused
by injuries to the head from a passing train.
ACCIDENT ON THE ASHTON
On Friday night, at twenty minutes past ten o’clock,
a serious accident happened to a girl named Annie O’HARE,
15 years of age, a twiner, living at 6 Dale-street, Hooley
Hill. It appears from the report made by Police Inspector
McFEELEY that the girl was brought to the Town Hall suffering
from a fracture of the left femur, a large wound in the
calf of the right leg, a wound over the left eyebrow and
several bruises to the face and body.
It appeared that she had mounted on of the
circular bicycles on the triangular space at the end of
the Town Hall, and soon after the cycles started she fell
off the one she was riding — one of the outside
ones. Her skirt got entangled with the pedal, and she
was dragged along some yards before the machinery could
be stopped. First aid was rendered in the police office,
and Dr HUGHES, junr, was called in, and dressed the injuries,
after which, on the doctor’s orders, removed to
the District Infirmary in the horse ambulance.
TREAT TO THE ASHTON
On Wednesday afternoon, about 100 workhouse children and
old people from the same institution were treated to their
usual Wakes entertainment on the Ashton Market Ground.
In the first place they were admitted to
Sedgwick’s Menagerie, and heard the lions wildly
roaring when Lorenze put them through their paces. Then
Captain PAYNE treated them to his bioscopes exhibition,
and gave them enough to talk over for a week. Then they
had a ride on Patrick COLLIN’s gondolas, and a ride
on Jon COLLIN’s galloping horses, followed by n
experience of the sensations acquired on John GREEN’s
Then, to wind up the afternoon, they were
taken to the Fish Market, where Mr WHITEHEAD had prepared
for them a grand treat. On tables were displayed grapes,
plums, water melons, ice cream, mineral waters, lemon
tea, oysters, etc, with which they were regaled to their
Over and above, each one was supplied with
a bagful of nuts, grapes, etc, and a piece of fish to
take away with them. As in former years, the arrangements
were made by the Chief Constable, who superintended everything,
with the assistance of Inspector TOLSON, Sergeant HEIGHWAY
and several constables.