20 August 1904
SAD AFFAIR AT AUDENSHAW
Child Drowned in the Canal
On Friday afternoon, at the Audenshaw Council Offices,
Mr Ernest BIRCH, deputy district coroner, conducted an
inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of
Wm. Pierce JONES, one of twins aged thee years and 10
months, son of John JONES of 4 Hanover North, Audenshaw,
who met his death by drowning the day previous but one.
Eleanor JONES, wife of John JONES, of 4
mother of the boy, said she last saw him alive about 5
o’clock on the 10th instant, when she let him out
of the backyard into the open back about a hundred yards
from the canal. His twin brother was with him at the time.
She heard nothing more of him until she heard he was dead
at a neighbour’s house where he had been taken.
She had cautioned him about going to the canal, although
he wasn’t in the habit of going there.
George CASTLE, aged 14, of 70
Audenshaw-road, Audenshaw, a scavenger at Messrs Hamer’s
mill, said that on Wednesday, about half past six, he
was on the towing path of the Manchester and Ashton Canal
with three more boys about 30 yards past the level bridges,
when he saw an object floating in the water.
He pulled it out, under the impression that
it was a dead dog, but later saw that it was the body
of a dead child. He caught it in his arms and, not knowing
who it was, carried it to the house. His mother laid it
on the sofa, and sent for Dr CRAWSHAW, who came about
ten minutes after and tried artificial respiration but
He had never seen the boy playing about
before. He knew the boy when he was alive, but could not
recognise him when he pulled him out. — A juryman
observed that the water was very warm there, and bodies
soon commenced to ferment and swell.
In consequence of a juryman’s suggestion
the mother was recalled and questioned, said that when
the other twin returned she asked him where William was,
and he answered “playing.” About a minute
after he said “water,” but on being given
water to drink he refused it. She didn’t realise
the significance of his words then.
They were always together, and if she had
missed them both she would immediately have searched for
them, but seeing one she didn’t think the other
was far off. — A juryman: It is a place where many
children play. — The Coroner: You can seldom keep
children from the water. A verdict of “Found drowned”
THE DRY WEATHER AND
THE ASHTON WATER SUPPLY
The rain on Wednesday, if it quenched somewhat the holiday
makers’ hopes, relieved the anxiety of the Waterworks
officials, and avoided the curtailment of the water supply,
and a continual supply has been rendered possible. Until
recently the position of affairs was better than at the
corresponding period last year, but, with the drought,
a marked diminution in the supply was occasioned.
Last week there were eighty million gallons
less than last year, but the welcome rain of this week
has considerably brightened the outlook, and done away
with the necessity of a curtailment. The total amount
of water at present is some 515,000,000 gallons, compared
with 595,000,000 last year. The rainfall at Swineshaw
last month was 2.2, as against 4.6 last year, a decrease
of 2.4. At Greenfield, there is a decrease on the previous
year of 3.25.
DEATH OF A HURST MAN
Mr John HINDS, of Sydney, writes as an old Ashtonian,
to ask us to notify through our columns the death of Mr
George Harry TAYLOR, who also was an Ashtonian, born in
the neighbourhood of Hurst. He had lived in Sydney for
upwards of twenty five years, and nearly the whole of
that time was employed in the Government Railway Workshops
as an iron turner.
Having lived, says Mr HINDS, within a short
distance of him the whole of the time (I have been out
here over 21 years) I often had a chat with him of Ashton
and its old time celebrities. He had been ailing for a
long time, but about three weeks ago was taken to the
Sydney Hospital in which institution he died on July 7th.
The day was very stormy, in fact not fit
for anyone to be out in it, so that only a very few were
present at the funeral. Otherwise there would have been
a large muster to pay their last respects to him. I was
present, being the sole representative of the old town.
If the weather had been good, I should have got more there
as we can roll up a good number if called together.
The Freemasons, of which he was a member,
formed the large portion of those present, and read the
service of the lodge over the grave. I understand from
the Grand Master of the lodge that he would communicate
with the deceased’s relatives in Ashton. Mr TAYLOR
had a lot of old mates, and he often used to talk to me
about them and run over the names, so I thought it might
be as well to let them know of his death this way.
ATTEMPTED POCKET PICKING
Caught in the Act — Exemplary Sentence
At the Hyde Borough Police Court, on Monday morning, a
man named Matthew BAILEY, of 133 Portland-street, Ashton-under-Lyne,
was charged with attempting to steal from the person of
Alice Ann PHILLIPS, a married woman, of Newton, in Market-place,
Hyde, on August 13th
The Chief Constable remarked that after
the magistrates had heard the evidence, he thought they
would be satisfied with the prisoner’s guilt, and
he hoped they would make an example of him. He wished
to point out specially the great difficulty the police
had in this class of case. One woman on Saturday night
had her purse stolen with £4 10s. in it, and a man
had his watch stolen. These men worked in gangs, and they
passed the articles on to each other.
Alice Ann PHILLIPS, wife of Jas. Wm. PHILLIPS,
of No. 9 Bradford-street, Newton, stated that at 10.15
p.m. on Saturday she was boarding a car near the White
Lion Hotel, and she saw the prisoner standing near her.
Asked what attracted her attention to the prisoner, she
said she caught prisoner with his hand in her pocket.
She cried, “Oh, my purse,” and
then he dropped her purse back again into her pocket.
She got hold of his hand before he could draw it from
her pocket. Her pocket was on her right hand side, and
was buttoned as she got on the car, and when she examined
it she found it unbuttoned. She gave prisoner into custody.
Prisoner: Did you say to the constable,
“it’s all right”? — Prosecutor:
I said, 2you can let him go, I won’t bother to-night.”
I had got the baby with me. In reply to further questions
she said he did not fall, and got hold of her dress to
help him up.
Constable George LOCKETT stated that about
10 o’clock on Saturday night the prisoner was hanging
round the White Lion. He made a rush as if to get on every
car that came in, but came away again. In consequence
of that he watched him, and at 10.30 he saw Mrs PHILLIPS
get on the car. He saw him working his hand round the
lady’s dress, and finally put his hand in her pocket.
He (witness) was about three yards away
then, and got just behind him. He got hold of the prisoner
as Mrs PHILLIPS said, “Oh, my purse.” He had
his hand in Mrs PHILLIPS’ pocket then. He took him
to the police station, and charged him, and he replied,
“Never.” Mrs PHILLIPS, recalled, stated that
her purse contained £4 10½d. when she left
the White Lion. She had not missed anything.
Prisoner pleaded not guilty. In his evidence
he said he was a collier. On Saturday night he came to
Hyde to see two friends of his, James NIELD, of the Mitre
Hotel, and another. He stayed from 5 o’clock to
10 p.m. and was the worse for drink. When he came out
of the Mitre he went to catch a car near the White Lion,
and in getting on he slipped and fell. He got hold of
Mrs PHILLIPS to help him up. He had, he said, been a non-commissioned
officer, and had served in the South African war, and
if he was convicted he should lose a well-earned pension.
The Chief Constable: Do you admit that we
know you as Matthew RATCLIFFE? Yes, they call me Matthew
RATCLIFFE. — You say you got round to the White
Lion because you were the worse for drink? — Yes,
sir. I was getting on the tram to go home. Have you also
been known as John Edward MOSS or Edward MOSS by the police?
No, never been known as that. — At Oldham, you know?
No, I was not known as John Edward MOSS. — You admit
that this is your photograph, producing a photograph in
the official police book? Yes.
The Magistrates’ Clerk: Have you got
the landlord of the Mitre Hotel here? No, but he would
come if he knew. — The Chief Constable: We sent
for him yesterday, and he said he did not know anything
about him, only casually.
Joseph NIELD, the landlord of the Mitre
Hotel, was sent for, and stated that prisoner came to
his house on Saturday night, and left about 10 o’clock.
He did not know him until he made himself known to him
(witness). He was perfectly sober when he left his house.
The Magistrates’ Deputy Clerk (to
prisoner): Do you deny that you were convicted at Oldham
for “frequenting for an unlawful purpose?”
No. — Do you deny that you were convicted in Hyde
on October 28th for picking pockets and fined 20s. and
costs? Yes, I deny that. — There are two other convictions
some years ago. — The Chief Constable: This is a
matter I do press. I have very good grounds for it, I
assure you. The prisoner was committed for three months
with hard labour.
SERIOUS ACCIDENT NEAR
THE HYDE ELECTRIC SUB-STATION
Horse Killed and Boy Injured
A sensational accident occurred just off Mottram-road,
in Lewis-street, Hyde, just before two o’clock on
According to the information furnished to
the Hyde police it appears that James BARBER, a carter
residing at 68 Bridge-street, Stalybridge, who is employed
by Mr Horace STOKES, of Stalybridge, left that town about
11.45 on Tuesday morning with two rolls of electric cable
for the electric sub-station of the Joint Tramways Board
in Lewis-street. He was accompanied by a youth named John
QUINN, of Stalybridge, who was sitting on the front of
On entering the sub-station yard in Lewis-street,
owing to a steep decline, one of the electric coils broke
away from the blocks which supported it, rolled over the
front of the lurry where QUINN was sitting, and on to
the hind quarters of the horse. The animal was thrown
down and its off hind leg was broken, and it had to be
The boy was also injured, and was carried
to Dr SCOTT’s surgery. He was found to have sustained
injury to the head, and also internally. He was taken
home later in the day. As he was in delicate health, his
condition was considered very critical. As the coil of
cable ran completely over him in its course on to the
horse, it is a miracle that he was not killed outright.
THE ROBBERIES AT ASHTON
An Appearance at the Borough Court
At the Ashton Borough Court, on Monday, George SAXON stood
in the dock charged with breaking and entering the shop
of John Thomas ASHWORTH, and stealing one pair of men’s
trousers, a vest, a boy’s suit, a bed quilt, and
other articles, sometime between 9 p.m. on the 9th of
August and 6 a.m. on the 10th. The Chief Constable said
he should only offer sufficient evidence to justify a
remand until Thursday in order to get witnesses.
Sergeant HEIGHWAY deposed to receiving SAXON
into custody at Bury, when he admitted the charge, and
gave an account as to where he pledged the goods, and
he (the sergeant) recovered them from shops in Bury and
Manchester. — The remand was granted.
On Thursday prisoner was again charged with
the robbery, when the following evidence was tendered:—
John Thomas ASHWORTH, of Cavendish-street, said he locked
his shop up about 8.30 in the evening of Tuesday, the
19th of August, leaving all secure. About 8 o’clock
the following morning he returned to the shop, and found
that an entry had been effected through a skylight over
the pledge-office, and he missed a pair of men’s
trousers, a vest, a boy’s suit, and a bed quilt.
William GORTON, assistant to Alfred SMITH,
pawnbroker, of Manchester, said the prisoner pledged the
boy’s suit with him on Wednesday, August 10th, about
8.15 in the morning, giving the name of SMITH, Chapel-street,
and was lent half-a-crown.
Frank RIGBY, assistant to Muir Bros., 13
and 15, Stanley-street, Bury, said the prisoner pledged
the trousers and vest on Wednesday night, the 10th of
August, giving the name SMITH, Clark-street. He was lent
Sergeant HEIGHWAY deposed to receiving the
prisoner into custody at Bury on the 30th of July. He
brought him to Ashton, and there charged him with the
robbery. He made the reply, “Yes, I did.”
Prisoner was committed to the next Salford Sessions.
IRATE WOMEN AT ASHTON
Threatening Their Neighbours
At the Ashton Borough Court, on Thursday, Sarah COFFEY
summoned Sarah LAMB for using threats towards her at Ashton.
She pleaded not guilty. — Complainant said she was
coming out of Lownd’s lodging house when she shouted
foul names at her and used threats. She could not for
shame repeat the words, but she was frightened of LAMB.
— John LOWNDS said LAMB was always threatening COFFEY.
Defendant emphatically denied using the
words attributed to her (which were written on a sheet
of paper), and made several allegations against COFFEY’s
character. “She wasn’t as bad as her, anyway.”
The Clerk: You know what Mrs Brown said, missis, “Comparisons
are odious.” — She was bound over to keep
the peace for three months.
In the second case, Ann WHITEHEAD summoned
Margaret MATTIMORE for threatening her. She was also charged
with being drunk and disorderly in York-street. —
Constable DIXON proved the disorderly behaviour, and she
was fined 5s. 6d. for costs, and bound over for the first
DEATH AT DROYLSDEN
An accident occurred in Manchester-road, Droylsden, on
Tuesday, which terminated fatally. A wholesale greengrocer
named Thomas BOURKE, aged 38 years, of 22,
Lees-road, Mossley, was returning from the Manchester
Market by way of Droylsden, and when near the Royal Oak
Hotel the cart gave a jerk, and he fell off in the roadway.
He complained of a pain internally, and
he was carried into a house nearby. Dr GODSON, of Manchester-road,
was sent for, but the man was almost beyond medical aid,
and he died very shortly afterwards from internal injuries.
The deceased is very well known in the Mossley district,
and the case is a sad one. He leaves a widow and child.
— The Condition of Manchester-Road
The inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death
was held at the Royal Oak Hotel, Manchester-road, on Wednesday
afternoon, before the Manchester County Deputy Coroner
(Mr E BIRCH). Mr George Harvey WHITE, of Market-street,
was the foreman of the jury.
Sarah BOURKE was the first witness. She
said deceased was her husband, and he lived with her at
22, Lees-road, Mossley. He was a greengrocer, and was
38 years of age. He left home on Tuesday morning at half-past
two to go to the Shudehill market at Manchester. He was
then in his usual health, and he had always good health.
He made no complaint when he left home. She did not see
him again alive.
Sarah Ann LONGDEN, wife of Walter LONGDEN,
of 157, Manchester-road, said on Tuesday morning she was
at her front door about seven o’clock, when she
saw the deceased coming along in charge of a cart. He
was seated on the left-hand side, and at the front. A
box of kippers fell down with him, but she did not know
whether he was on the box or not. His legs were hanging
down. The wheel came off the edge of the setts near the
tram lines, and the horse swerved on one side.
The cart gave a jerk, and he fell off. He
fell on to the road, his back alighting on the box of
kippers which had fallen off the cart at the same time.
She went to him, and with assistance picked him up. He
was not conscious. He was put on another cart to take
to the doctor’s, and he seemed to come round before
starting. When they had gone a distance he said he could
not stand being on the cart, and he asked to be taken
He was put on a chair, and he complained
that his back was broken. He was taken into the house
of Harold LONGDEN, of 189, Manchester-road, and Dr GODSON
was sent for. He came soon afterwards and attended deceased.
He said he was suffering from internal haemorrhage. —
The Coroner: Did he say how he came to fall? — Witness:
No. He was put on the sofa, and then on the hearthrug.
Witness and the doctor stayed with him until he died about
8.30. He went white before he died. — The Coroner:
Was he sober? — Witness: Yes.
Constable SOUTHWARD, of the local police force, who was
called to the house where the injured man lay at 8.5,
said he saw him on the hearthrug in front of the fire.
Dr GODSON was in attendance upon him, and said he was
suffering from internal injuries. He asked witness to
go for an ambulance, and meanwhile he was told the man
had died. He found on the body £8 9s. 8½d.
in money. There was a large bruise across the small of
the back extending from one side to the other.
The Coroner: Did he say how it happened?
— No, he only asked for a drink. — The foreman
thought they had not gathered how he fell off the lurry.
— Witness explained that he was told the deceased
was sat on a box of kippers. The box slipped, and he fell
of the Road
A Juror: Was the road in a bad condition where it happened?
— No, not just where it happened. — A Juror:
It was quite evident he fell off the lurry with his back
on the edge of the box. — (Hear, hear.) The jury
were of the opinion that the affair was an accident, and
a verdict to this effect was returned, deceased having
died from internal injuries.
FATAL FALL OVER A COAL
WAGON AT ASHTON
An inquest was held at the Ashton Town Hall on Friday
evening by Mr BIRCH, deputy coroner, on the body of Marian
BURGESS, wife of Alfred BURGESS, carter, 10, Cross Globe-street,
Ashton, whose death took place under singular circumstances
the previous Wednesday.
Alfred BURGESS, husband of deceased, said
she was 51 years of age and had had good health up to
about twelve months ago, when she suffered from dropsy.
Dr WALLACE attended her, and she appeared to get all right.
On July 21st she was in the coal yard opposite their house
where they sold coal, and was filling a small hand wagon
with half-a-hundredweight of coal.
Witness said “go away, and I’ll
fill it.” As she was making way for him she caught
her leg in the handle of the wagon. She got up and complained
that she had hurt her head. The head was swelling at the
back. She went to her daughter’s next door, and
the wound was washed and plaster applied.
She went on all right up to Sunday, when
she complained of feeling sick, but would not consent
to have a doctor. Her condition became worse, and Dr WALLACE
was sent for on Tuesday and attended her up to her death,
which took place on Wednesday at 9.5 p.m. The doctor said
had set in, caused by the wound on her head.
Margaret HIGGINS, wife of John HIGGINS,
8, Cross Globe-street, deposed to the deceased coming
to her house on July 21st about 6.30 p.m., saying she
had fallen on the back of her head against a wagon, through
falling over a wagon handle. There was a wound on the
back of her head about three-quarters of an inch long,
which witness at once washed well with water, and put
skin plaster on. Witness wanted her to go to a doctor
but she would not do so. About noon on the Sunday following
she complained of feeling sick and funny. She went worse
on the Monday and Tuesday, and witness sent for Dr WALLACE.
The Coroner said it appeared to be a case
of accidental death, caused by the wound. — A juryman
observed that it seemed very strange they did not send
for a doctor sooner; it might have saved her life had
they called one in at first. — The Coroner: Yes,
had the doctor seen her in the first instance he would
probably placed the wound under treatment. — A juryman:
Probably they were thinking of the doctor’s bill.
The foreman (Mr W. NEWTON) said it was a
very sad affair, and described the coal wagons as veritable
death traps. He had had a very similar fall over a wagon.
They were very awkward things, especially in the dark,
and were very low so that one might easily fall over them
and alight on the head. The jury returned a verdict of
THEFT OF A PURSE AT
At the Hyde County Police Court, on Monday, before Mr
F. WILDE and Mr Henry SIDEBOTHAM, a well-known Mottram
man named George Walker HARGREAVES, a weaver, residing
at Broadbottom-road, and working in Stalybridge, was brought
up in custody on a charge of stealing a purse and cash,
value 13s. 9d., the property of Mary Jane SIDEBOTHAM,
confectioner, of Market-street, Mottram, on Friday night
Mary Jane SIDEBOTHAM, a widow, stated that
on Friday, August 12th, about 10.30 p.m., she took the
money out of her cash-box and put it in a brown leather
purse. She put the purse in the back of the drawer in
the counter. There was about 12s. in the purse, consisting
of one half-crown, a two shilling piece, and the rest
were in sixpences. The rest was in a drawer. The frame
of the purse produced belonged to her purse.
Elizabeth H. HILL, a domestic servant in
the employ and residing with Mrs SIDEBOTHAM, stated that
on Friday night last about 11 o’clock she locked
the shop door, and put the blinds down, and took 5s. 7d.
more money out of the cash-box. She put it in a purse
on the counter. At that time there was a knock at the
shop door. She left the purse on the counter and went
to the door, where she saw the prisoner.
He came into the shop and asked for a pie.
She served him with one, and then he asked her to cut
it in two. She went into the kitchen for a knife, and
then came back, cut the pie and gave it to him. Prisoner
then went out of the shop, and she closed the door and
locked it again. Prisoner came back to the door again,
and asked for two more pies, and she supplied him at the
door. Witness then went to the counter and missed the
purse and money.
Christopher HINCHLIFFE, of No. 1, Atherton-square,
Hollingworth, a labourer, gave evidence to the effect
that on Friday night last he was in Market-street, Mottram,
at 11 o’clock, when he met the prisoner. He asked
witness where he could get a pie from, and he directed
him to Mary Jane SIDEBOTHAM’s shop. Prisoner went
into the shop, leaving the door a little bit open.
He saw the girl HILL go into the kitchen
for a knife, and whilst she was away witness saw prisoner
pick something off the counter and put it in his pocket.
When the pie had been cut in two prisoner asked him if
he would have half. Witness went in, took half of the
pie, bid the prisoner “good night,” and left
Constable WAKEFIELD stated that at 12.30
p.m. on August 13th, he received information from Elizabeth
Hannah HILL. He then went to Stalybridge and apprehended
the prisoner, and brought him to Mottram Police Station,
where he charged him with the theft. He replied, “I
know nothing about it.” They found 3s. 0½d.
in the prisoner’s possession. Prisoner said he had
got this money from the top of a cupboard at home that
Sergeant MILLINGTON, of Mottram, stated
that from information he received he made inquiries, and
saw the prisoner, who showed him some money, and said
it was his wages. About 9.30 on Saturday morning he went
to his house, and when searching under the firegrate in
the kitchen he found the frame of the purse (produced)
among the cinders.
Witness took the frame to Mrs SIDEBOTHAM,
and she said it fastened similar to the one she had lost.
After WAKEFIELD had arrested prisoner he (witness) found
3s. 0½d. upon him. Witness went to the prisoner’s
house again, and made a search. In a hole under the staircase
he found a half-crown, five separate shillings, five separate
sixpences, and one halfpenny.
Prisoner was then charged, and pleaded guilty.
He said it was drink that had done it. “But,”
he added, “if you will be lenient with me, not for
my sake but for the sake of my wife and family, I will
promise you never to anything of this kind again.”
Inspector SKITT stated that in September,
1903, prisoner was convicted of stealing 7d. from a girl
in Mottram-road, Hyde, and was fined 40s. and costs. In
July for an assault upon a female at Mottram, he was fined
20s. and costs. — The Chairman: Your record is not
a very good one, and we have decided to fine you 40s.
and costs or in default one month. — Prisoner: Thank
PAINFUL POVERTY AT
A statement made by a defendant at the Borough Court,
on Thursday, which bore all the impress of the truth,
revealed in some measure the distress which prevails in
many homes in Ashton. George BOOTH, a hawker, was charged
with selling celery without license. He pleaded a straightforward
The Magistrates’ Clerk (Mr C.H. BOOTH)
remarked that he must have known that a license was requisite.
— “Yes,” answered BOOTH, “I know
that but I couldn’t afford it.” — The
Chief Constable said nothing was known against him but
it was hardly fair to other hawkers.
”What do you really?” asked
the Magistrates’ Clerk. — “I can either
work up in the spinning room or pit. I did something at
Whittakers but I lost my shop through having bad eyes,”
replied the defendant. “When the constable served
the summons we were eating dry bread.” — The
constable said that was so, it was a very poor home. The
magistrates dealt leniently with him fining him 1s. for
costs. The Magistrates’ Clerk afterwards paid the
The surgeons were holding a consultation beside the cot
of a man supposed to have appendicitis. “I believe,”
said one of the surgeons, “that we should wait and
let him get stronger before cutting into him.”
Before the other prospective operator could
reply, the patient turned his head and remarked feebly:
“What do you take me for? A cheese?”