7 May 1904

BONA-FIDE TRAVELLERS
From Carrbrook to Broadcarr

At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, Edward HUNT, the licensee of the Colliers’ Arms, Broadcarr, was charged with selling intoxicating liquors to certain persons, not bona-fide travellers. Mr J B POWNALL, solicitor, of Ashton, appeared, and pleaded not guilty.

Superintendent HEWITT explained that on the Sunday in question two constables visited the house at Broadcarr, Hartshead, during the closing hours, and found three men drinking. Their addresses were obtained, and the distance between their homes at Carrbrook and the house. The constables would tell their worships the exact distance, which in none of the cases was three miles.

The village constable then gave evidence in support of Inspector HEWITT’s statement, and said in company with Constables AINLEE and WHITTINGHAM, he had measured the distances, and found it to be 2 miles 867 yards in one instance, and 2 miles 352 yards in another instance.

Mr POWNALL said he relied upon section 10 of the Act for his defence, which said, “If the justices are satisfied that defendant truly believed they were travellers, and took all reasonable precautions to ascertain that they are such, they shall dismiss the case.” When they were asked where they came from they had answered, “We have come more like four miles.” Mrs HUNT, the landlady, corroborated.

James EDWARDS, Arthur CROXON, and Thomas WOOD, the men above mentioned, were charged with being on licensed premises during prohibited hours. They all pleaded guilty

The Chairman said it was very necessary that the publicans should be aware of something like distances from various points in the district, and although they thought the offence had been committed in ignorance, a fine of 5s 6d and costs would be imposed, and the men fined the same.

ATTEMPTED SHOPBREAKING AT ASHTON
A Constable’s Smart Capture

At the Ashton Borough Court, on Thursday, before Messrs William KELSALL, Richard BRADLEY, E BARLOW, and S SMETHURST, George SAXON was in the dock charged with loitering with intent to commit a felony, in Stamford-street, on Wednesday.

Constable FARRELL said he was on duty about 2.40am on the date in question, when he heard noises as if someone was attempting to break a window. He ran to Mr R S OLDHAM’s shop, and there saw prisoner without his shoes in a crouching position. There were also marks on the window. He thereupon took him into custody. — It was stated that prisoner was well known to the police, he having been up 16 times before. He was committed to prison for three months with hard labour.

CHARGES AGAINST MARINE STORE DEALERS AT ASHTON
At the Ashton Borough Court, on Monday, a marine store dealer, named Nathan COHEN, of 43 Oldham-road, Ashton, was summoned for purchasing a quantity of brass of less weight than allowed by the Prevention of Crimes Act, on or about the 12th March last. He pleaded guilty.

Moses BRUNN, a youth, said he lived at Waterloo. On a date in March he sold the defendant a quantity of brass, weighing about 10lbs. — The Acting Clerk: It was not 10lbs? Witness: No. — Defendant said he was very sorry. He did it in ignorance. He did not know the law or he would not have done it. He gave information to the Chief Constable about it when he heard someone had stolen it. He hoped the magistrates would look over it this time, and he would take care it never took place any more.

The Acting Clerk: It is not the first prosecution that has been here. — Defendant: I didn’t know, sir. — The Chief Constable: There have been a great many complaints of unoccupied houses being entered and brass fittings of this nature stolen. In some cases several pounds damage had been done. Where there were small quantities purchased from boys it was an inducement for them to go and steal more. I know nothing against the defendant previous to this.

Defendant: I have only been a broker 18 months, and I have only bought such stuff within the last two or three months. I have been 33(?) in Manchester, and have never been charged with anything, and shall not be in future. I bought it in ignorance, not knowing there was a law that only a certain weight had to be purchased. — The bench imposed a fine of 5s 6d and costs.

Joseph LEECH, marine store dealer, Memorial-yard, off Cavendish-street, was summoned for a similar offence on or about 23rd March. He pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr Joseph HURST, solicitor.

Moses BRUNN was called, and stated that about the date named he sold the defendant about 5lbs weight of brass, for which he received about 1s 2d or 1s 3d. He was quite certain of the date, but it was a week before he was taken into custody. On the 30th he took some glass to the defendant’s warehouse, and was then arrested for stealing the brass. The brass was not on the handcart containing the glass on the 30th.

Cross-examined by Mr Hurst: Do you remember what day of the week it was? No. — Yet you suggest it was the 23rd March. What reason have you for remembering it was that day? — I cannot say. — Have you no account or book? No. The Acting Clerk: He remembers being arrested, and says it was a week before. — I put it that you have never been to LEECH’s place since Christmas until you went with the glass? Yes, many times. — It is not ten or twelve weeks since you were there with bottles? No.

The Acting Clerk: How many times since Christmas have you been to the defendant’s warehouse? Many times; I cannot remember. — Mr HURST: You say you took a certain quantity of brass on a certain day? Yes. — Where did you get it from? I stole it. — And you were sent to prison for three weeks? Yes. I put it that somewhere about the 30th March you went to LEECH’s yard in Cavendish-street? Yes. — Who was there? A policed constable.

Had you spoken to LEECH before the constable came up? Yes, I had asked him if he was open to buy clean glass at any time. — You had not done any business with him? No, not that time. — You had a small wagon load of glass? Yes. — And you were arrested in the presence of LEECH? Yes. — What became of the wagon and the glass? The officer said I must leave it there — You had not agreed to sell any brass to LEECH that morning? No; I had not any to sell. — What did he agree to give you for the glass? 4¼d per cwt. — You say you had no brass with you? No. — Are you aware that some brass was found at the bottom of the wagon underneath the glass? No. — You are certain of that? Yes.

The Acting Clerk: Did you see the wagon laden with the glass? Yes. — And you say there was no brass in it? Yes. — The Chief Constable: You were taken into custody on the 30th March from the yard? Yes. — And you could not have been down to the yard on the 5th April? No; I was never in the yard after I was arrested. — You are sure that the brass was not in the wagon that day? Yes. — Nothing but glass? That’s all.

Constable FERNLEY stated that on Wednesday, the 30th March, he arrested the last witness in LEECH’s yard. He saw the wagon containing glass, about half empty. When he took BRUNN into custody he asked what about the glass, and he said he could leave it and LEECH would look after it. After witness had taken BRUNN to the Town Hall, LEECH brought the bag produced containing a quantity of brass, and said he had found it at the bottom of the wagon under the glass. Witness did not see any brass in the wagon when he was at the yard arresting BRUNN.

Mr HURST: When LEECH brought the bag containing the brass, he did not try to hide anything, did he? No. — The Chief Constable: But that after BRUNN had been brought to the police office? Oh, yes. — You had previously been to the yard making inquiries, and LEECH told you he had no brass for anyone? Yes.

Mr HURST, for the defence, said BRUNN had been in the habit of selling glass to LEECH. Before he was arrested he came to LEECH’s warehouse, and brought certain bottles to sell. LEECH was about to negotiate with him when Constable FERNLEY came into the yard, and made a charge against BRUNN and took him away to the Town Hall. LEECH asked what he must do with the wagon containing the glass, and the officer said he was to empty it.

He did so, and found the brass at the bottom of the wagon, hidden by the glass. He immediately brought it up to the Town Hall, because on a previous occasion he had been convicted of purchasing brass beneath the weight authorised by the Prevention of Crimes Act. He had been very careful not to buy brass ever since, and he had frequently ordered BRUNN away when he had brought brass, but he had always been willing to purchase glass bottles. He reported the finding of the brass to the Chief Constable and Sergeant HEIGHWAY, and had done everything openly.

Defendant LEECH was then called, and gave evidence bearing out the statement of his solicitor. He swore positively that he found the brass under the glass in the wagon after the policeman had left the yard with BRUNN, and he at once took it to the Town Hall, because it resembled brass which he had been previously informed had been stolen.

The Chief Constable: You are on your oath. Do you swear you did not purchase this brass on or about the 23rd March? Yes. — You swear that? Yes. — You have heard what the officer has said? Yes; he never looked into the wagon. You did not bring the brass here until BRUNN had been taken into custody? No, because I did not find it until they had left yard and I had emptied the wagon. You had been warned by the police that some gas brackets and chandeliers had been stolen? Yes; and because the brass resembled them I took it to the Town Hall. Amanda LEECH corroborated her father’s evidence as to finding the brass at the bottom of the wagon.

The magistrates retired to consider their decision, and after a short absence returned. Mr KELSALL, addressing LEECH, said: The Bench have very carefully considered this case. We are very sorry to see you here on a charge of this sort. The Bench are convinced that you are guilty of receiving this material under the Act, and their decision is that you must pay 20s and costs.

We have got to say this, that if there were no receivers of stolen goods there would be no thieves of this sort. The Bench have decided that they will proceed in the utmost rigour of the law in all future cases which may come before them. In this case damage must have been done to the property where this material has been stolen from to a considerable extent.

COMMERCIAL TRAVELLER CHARGED WITH WIFE DESERTION
John Thomas FRYER, a commercial traveller, of Stockport, now living at Portland-street, Ashton-under-Lyne, was summoned by his wife, Sarah FRYER, living with her father at Fox-street, Edgeley, Stockport, for desertion, and an application was made for a separation order. Mr HELM for the complainant, and Mr SYMONDS defended.

Mr HELM, in opening the case, stated that the parties were married in Stockport in 1897, and there were four young children of the marriage. Defendant had several times deserted his wife and family, who had become chargeable to the Stockport Union. Mr HELM quoted from a number of letters written by the defendant to his wife, dating the desertion from January 28th last, when FRYER wrote a letter to Mrs FRYER, in which he said, “I can no longer address you as a wife.”

Mrs FRYER said they had lived in Stockport, Northampton, and several other places. Her husband had left her several times, and she and her children had been in the workhouse. She assisted to keep herself and her family by washing and charring, and had received parish relief while staying with her father.

Her husband was a commercial traveller, and was very intemperate in his habits. He used to receive 55s a week and all expenses when she married him: but he lost his situation through drink, and they had to live in lodgings. She had only received 15s from her husband since last December. When she met him in Chestergate on February 12th, he said he knew what her intentions were, and she might go and do it, meaning a charge of desertion and an application for a separation order.

He husband had assaulted her father, and was sent to prison for the offence. He had since refused to live with her or to find a home for her and her children. She wanted a separation order, as he had deserted her so often and broken his promises to reform.

Mary Jane LLOYD, wife of Charles LLOYD, of Fox-street, said she knew Mr and Mrs FRYER well, being related to the latter. Witness heard FRYER say to his wife, “If you bring me before the magistrates I will shoot you and them.” She also heard him say that he would not live with his wife again; he would rather go into the “packing cellar.”

Mr SYMONDS referred to the letters written by FRYER, in one of which he promised to provide a home for his wife and family, and do all in his power for them. He had also apologised to the father-in-law for assaulting him, and thanked Mrs FRYER’s father for what he had done for his wife and children. Quite recently, FRYER had signed the temperance pledge, and was prepared to turn over a new leaf, and act in a proper manner.

He was extremely fond of his wife, and denied the desertion. Defendant had been out of work or in the Leeds or Stockport infirmaries since he left Northallerton. A situation was again open to him, and he was prepared to get a home together for his wife if she would not press for separation.

Defendant said he loved his wife dearly, and had no intention of deserting her. He was prepared to take her back, as he had got a situation. But if a separation order was granted he would lose his situation with a commission agency which had been offered him. — Mr SYMONDS (holding out the temperance pledge form to defendant): Is this the first time you have signed a formal pledge? — Yes. The Magistrates Clerk: I have known many people take the pledge and very soon break it. — (Laughter.)

The magistrates retired for a few minutes, and on returning into court, the Mayor said, “The separation order will be granted, and an order for 10s a week is made, the wife to have custody of the children. The costs of the case will also have to be paid, and the advocate’s fee will be allowed.

MATRIMONIAL DIFFERENCES AT DUKINFIELD
”what is Persistent Cruelty?”

At the Dukinfield Police Court, on Thursday, Martha CARR, at present living at 28 Meadow-lane, Dukinfield, summoned her husband, George CARR, for persistent cruelty, and applied for a separation, and an order of maintenance for herself and children. — Mr J A GARFORTH said he appeared for the applicant, and his friend, Mr BOSTOCK, for the defence.

They had had a little bit of talk over the matter, and, as was usual, they did not care to wash dirty linen in public. It was a family squabble, and had nothing to do with anyone else. After tendering such formal evidence as the Bench would have to receive, he proposed to take an order for 5s per week maintenance, with the usual costs. — Mr BOSTOCK: On behalf of the defendant, I may say he is willing that such an order should be made.

Mrs CARR said she lived at 28 Meadow-lane with Miss BAXTER. — The Clerk: Do you admit the marriage? — Mr BOSTOCK: Oh, yes. — When were you married? — On the 28th March 1881, 23 years ago. — What is the husband? — Mr GARFORTH: A bricklayer, and follows up tunnelling. — Is he a man who has had his wages regularly for years back? Yes. — Has he given you everything he has got? No. — You know that he has kept more than he handed to you? Yes; he has had as much in his pocket as he has handed to me. — When he has been working away, what has he sent you? Well, sometimes £1 12s, and 10s. — How many children have you? Three at home. — He has not maintained you and the children? No. — The Clerk: There is no evidence of persistent cruelty so far. The magistrates cannot make an order just to suit the parties. This is not a divorce court in any sense.

Mr GARFORTH: Very well; what are his wages generally? — Mrs CARR: I cannot tell. — He takes jobs, contracts, does he not, in pits, bricksetting in tunnels? Yes. — The Astley Pit has been stopped for some time, and he has got a job away? Yes. — You are willing to take an order for 5s per week? Yes. — The Clerk: That is all very fine. The magistrates want to have some evidence why they should make an order. If there are no reasons, you should adopt a deed of separation.

Mr GARFORTH: I shall have to open slightly another way. Do you remember the 1st of May? — Mrs CARR: Yes. Were you in Mrs BAXTER’s, a respectable lady? Yes. — She used to live with your husband’s mother? Yes, for over five years. — Did he come in, swear, say “Outside,” and catch you by the throat and throw you out? Yes. — Defendant: That is false. — Mr GARFORTH: When you got to the corner, did you say, “You are not having this the same as you had the other?” — Mrs CARR: Yes — You meant something in relation to a daughter? Yes. — Did he turn you out? Yes, and I was afraid to go in.

Has he been persistently cruel to you by infidelities and in other ways for a number of years? Yes. — Has he more than once turned you out into the street? Yes. We have had to take refuge somewhere else. — You have been afraid of him in his tantrums to live with him? Yes. — Mr GARFORTH (to the Clerk): Is this sufficient? — The Clerk: It is not for me; it for the bench to decide.

Mr GARFORTH: I don’t want to go into the whole thing. — The Clerk: It is not exactly what the Bench think. The law says you must give certain reasons and evidence if you want these people to be separated. If you don’t care to do so you can get out of the difficulty by a deed of separation. So far as I am concerned, I am bound to advise the Bench that no evidence has been given to justify them in granting the order you seek.

Mr GARFORTH: My summons is for persistent cruelty. — The Clerk: And you have not proved your case. Just taking this woman by the throat is not persistent cruelty, you know as well as I do. — Mr GARFORTH: I am prepared to go on. — The Clerk: I shall advise the Bench to dismiss the case if this is all the evidence you have got. They must have some grounds for making an order.

Mr BOSTOCK suggested that a mutual separation would be a way out of it. — Mr GARFORTH consulted Mrs CARR, and then suggested that the case be adjourned for a fortnight. In the meantime his friend (Mr BOSTOCK) and himself would set up a deed of separation, and get the parties agreed. — The case was adjourned for a fortnight accordingly.

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