21 May 1904
COUNCILLOR JAMES GRIME
AND HIS CASH REGISTER
Action in a London County Court
At the Marylebone County Court (London), last Friday,
Mr John KEATING, grocers’ traveller, 39, Powis-square,
Bayswater, W., brought an action against Mr James GRIME,
Astley-street, Dukinfield, claiming £10, balance
alleged to be due on the purchase of a cash register.
The plaintiff’s case, briefly, was
as follows: In December last he advertised in one of the
trade journals a second-hand cash register for sale for
£30. The defendant wrote in reply to the advertisement,
and plaintiff sent the register to him, subject to approval.
The ordinary custom of the trade, said plaintiff, was
that anything sent in this way on approval, and not accepted
at the price stated, should be returned immediately.
After some correspondence had passed between
the parties as to the working of the machine, plaintiff
wrote pointing out that defendant had detained the register
“beyond the usual time.” This letter was followed
by a wire, in response to which the defendant sent a cheque
for £20, with an intimation that he would write
more fully at the end of the week.
Plaintiff accepted the £20 on account,
and then awaited further communications, for the defendant
had written that he would send an “explanatory letter.”
In a letter dated January 10th defendant wrote to the
effect that in the meantime he had seen another register
at a lower price which would suit him, and that he was
not prepared to pay more than the £20 already sent
for the machine in question. Plaintiff, however, maintained
that this alteration of intention was too late; that the
contract was already completed, and that the machine had
been detained beyond the time customary for approval.
The defendant admitted that he had the register
on approval, but did not approve of it at the price asked.
He then sent on £20, the amount which he was prepared
to pay for the machine, and the plaintiff accepted the
cheque. He also sent a letter saying that if plaintiff
did not care to accept the £20 would he send it
back, when the register would be returned carriage paid.
References were submitted before the plaintiff sent the
register on approval, and nothing was said as to limiting
the time for approval.
Plaintiff: But it is customary in the trade
to send a thing back immediately if not approved. Plaintiff
went on to deny having received a letter to the effect
that if the £20 were sent back to defendant the
register should be returned. — Defendant: Then there
is a letter missing. Only fifteen days after the register
was received I sent a letter to the effect that if he
was not satisfied with the £20, and would send the
cheque back, I would return the register.
The plaintiff: In the ordinary sense or
course of business that cheque confirmed the approval
of the register. — The Judge: Looking at the whole
of the correspondence, I find that the defendant decided
to purchase the register on the terms offered. I find
for the plaintiff. — Plaintiff asked for costs,
but the judge only allowed those of the summons.
A MAN FOUND DROWNED
This (Monday) morning and inquest was held at the New
Inn on the body of Thomas BRADSHAW, who was found drowned
in a reservoir off Lodge-lane, last Friday. Mr F NEWTON
was the coroner and Mr S HAGUE, borough surveyor and waterworks
manager, and Mr C LINGARD, waterman, represented the Ashton-under-Lyne,
Stalybridge, and Dukinfield (Joint) Waterworks Committee.
The following evidence was given:—
Martha BRADSHAW said: I live at 144, Oxford-road,
Dukinfield. I identify the body viewed by the jury as
that of my husband. I last saw him alive on January 21st,
when he left home about 7.45 a.m. He had been out of a
situation about a fortnight, and had not been regularly
employed for two years. He had been considerably upset
on this account, and for two weeks prior to his disappearance
he had not been in a sober state. He had never threatened
to commit suicide. Beyond the fact that he was out of
employment he had no trouble. — The Coroner expressed
his own and the jury’s sympathy with Mrs BRADSHAW
in her bereavement.
Thomas WEIR said: I reside at Ashton-road,
Newton. On Friday afternoon, at 1.30, I was walking on
the banks off the waste water reservoir off Lodge-lane,
belonging to the Ashton and District Joint Waterworks
Committee. I noticed the body of the deceased floating
in the water. I secured a rake and pulled it to the side.
The man was quite dead and I notified the police, who
subsequently removed the body. I was not acquainted with
the deceased. I visited the reservoir the previous day,
and did not see anything of the body.
The Coroner: Have you any further evidence?
— Constable KENNY: No, sir.
Mr HAGUE desired to say that the men working
under him had been at the reservoir regularly in the course
of their duty, and had never noticed anything in the water.
He would like to state that the water was not used for
domestic consumption, but simply and purely for trade
and manufacturing purpose. On behalf of the Joint Waterworks
Committee, he asked the Press to make this fact as public
as possible, as a feeling existed in some quarters in
the district that the people had to drink the water.
In reply to the Coroner, Constable KENNY
said there was reason to believe that deceased had not
been seen since a quarter to eight o’clock on the
21st of January. Handbills had been issued giving a description
of the man, and every effort made to find him.
The Coroner: Was the reservoir dragged?
No, sir. — Is it presumed that he has been in this
reservoir ever since he was missed? Yes. Was anything
found on the bank? No. — A juror said the deceased
belonged to a suicidal family. He was a simple-minded
The Coroner said there was no doubt he has
committed suicide. The question was as to the state of
his mind at the time. — After a brief consultation,
the jury returned a verdict of suicide by drowning whilst
in an unsound state of mind.
SEQUEL TO A NEWTON
MOOR MILL FATALITY
A Dukinfield Widow’s Claim — A Question of
An interesting case under the Workman’s Compensation
Act came before his Honour Judge Reginald BROWN, K.C.,
at Hyde County Court on Wednesday in which the claimant
was a young woman named Elizabeth GOODWIN, a widow of
Church-street, Dukinfield, and the respondents were
the Newton Moor Spinning Company.
The claim was for the loss of her husband,
Jesse GOODWIN, who was an overlooker over the spinners
at the company’s mill, who fell down a hoist on
January 25th, 1901, and died from a fracture of the skull
on the same day.
Mrs GOODWIN stated that her husband died
on January 25th as a result of an accidental fall down
a hoist at the mill. Her husband was earning 30s per week,
and she was earning on average 17s 8½d per week.
Her husband kept two or three shillings a week out of
his wages, and she paid all the bills, rent, etc. The
furniture was obtained on the hire system and they were
paying for it by weekly instalments.
She had no money in hand no money in hand
at her husband’s death, and as he was not in any
club she had to borrow money with which to bury him. She
had been working since the death of her husband, but owing
to illness she had been at home three times, and the doctor
said she was suffering from shock. They had only been
married three months and a fortnight when her husband
Mr SAUL, for the defence, said he had no
witnesses to call. It was a question as to what his lordship
considered a proper sum to award to the dependent upon
her husband. Of course, if this woman had been fully dependent
upon her husband, the minimum allowance by statute was
£228 10s 0d, as being the amount earned by the deceased
in the three years preceding his death. Even if the woman
was only partially dependent, of course, there was nothing
in the Act to prevent his Honour granting her the same
amount as if she was wholly dependent upon him.
He submitted that she could not be fully
dependent upon him. At the date of his death, the woman
was earning the sum of 17s 8½d as an average, and
the deceased was also earning 30s per week, and therefore
£2 7s 8d was coming into the home. Out of that she
said that her husband kept 2s or 3s per week.
He had tried to find out from the application
what they had spent for the household. The rent of this
house was 4s 6d, about 15s was spent in food, which was
supplied by a penny-in-the-slot meter, came to about 7d
a week, and this was, of course, during the winter months.
Her coal bill could not be very large, as the house was
shut up in the day time.
There must have been a good deal more coming
into this house than was being spent because they were
able, during the husband’s lifetime, to pay the
sum of 10s, sometimes 8s, for the furniture, so that in
course of time this £15 furniture would be paid
off. They all knew that the shock of losing her husband
must have been a very great one, but shocks diminish as
time went on, and she would then be able to go on working.
His Lordship desired one or other of the
counsel to direct his attention to some cases of this
kind that had been decided. He had not had a case of this
kind, of partial dependency, before.
Mr JORDAN: It is for the judge to say after
he has heard what amount was expended, to what extent
the wife has suffered in her dependency by the loss of
her husband. If you include this furniture, it seems to
me that the whole of this income was expended during the
lifetime of her husband, and she was dependent almost
to the full amount that he was making.
His Lordship: I am waiting for tuition by
the Court of Appeal. They tell you everything that you
should not do, but they do not tell you what you should
do. — Mr JORDAN: I know of no mathematical method
by which you are directed to decide the question.
His Honour said, as the counsel had observed,
it did not seem to him that the Court of Appeal had said
exactly how they were to proceed in a case of this sort;
but he thought he found from the evidence before him,
and from one’s knowledge of these matters, and cases,
that about 30s per week would be about the amount of household
expenditure here, and he thought he must regard it as
if the husband and wife contributed about half each towards
On the basis of the husband’s contributing
everything of it, the wife would be entitled to £228.
One half of this would be £114. There were expenses
which the wife had to pay which he could take into consideration.
Those expenses amounted to £37. What he considered
to be roughly half of this amount, that if wholly dependent
she would be entitled to, he would make an award in this
case of the sum of £150. His Honour directed that
all expenses for furniture, etc, must be paid out of this
sum, and the rest invested for Mrs GOODWIN.
The Manager at Newton Moor Spinning Company
that the claimant was a cardroom operative, which was
very heavy work. She was totally unfit for this work.
In the course of a week she would turn over about 8,000lbs
of cotton — His Honour: Do you mean to say that
she will not be able to do that work again? — The
Manager: Not unless she alters very much. We want strong
women. She does not work for us.
His Honour: I can see that the woman is
utterly broken down, and it seems to me that she ought
to go away. — Mr SAUL: I have just been instructed
that she is a very good worker, and that her employers
will be willing to find her work. — His Honour ordered
that £5 be granted her with which to go away, and
that the rest of the money be paid her at the rate of
5s per week, or 20s per month.
ACCIDENT AT WOODPARK
On Monday an accident, which might easily have been attended
with serious consequences, occurred at the Woodpark Pit,
Saturday. It appears that a man named GREAVES was following
his occupation as usual when, without a moment’s
warning, a large portion of the roof under which he was
working collapsed, and the unfortunate man was buried
for an instant. Happily, however, help was close at hand,
and his comrades soon rescued him, and he was sent to
the surface without delay.
Dr HEAP then attended him, and dressed his
injuries, which were found to be serious enough to preclude
him working until at least after Whitsuntide, and consisted
of two or three nasty abrasions on the head and a painful
injury to the ankle, with several bruises on the body.
The accident is rendered all the more sad by the fact
that he lost his wife only a short time ago, and the sympathies
and hopes for a speedy recovery go out to him.
THE GREENFIELD SHUNTING
Dr THOMSON, the Oldham borough coroner, held an inquest
at the Town Hall on Monday afternoon on the body of Robert
FRASER, of 113, Roundthorn-road, Glodwick, goods guard,
who died from the affects of injuries sustained at Greenfield
Sarah FRASER, widow of the deceased, gave
evidence of identification, and said her husband was in
his usual health when he left home at 7.30 on Thursday
morning. Deceased was 51 years of age.
Dr NIELD, house surgeon at the Oldham Infirmary,
said the deceased when admitted, about 2.45 on Thursday
afternoon, had the right leg crushed, and the tissues
were reduced to a pulp. The right thumb was also dislocated,
and the man had lost a lot of blood. It was thought necessary
to operate upon the limb, and witness was in the act of
administering chloroform when the deceased suddenly stopped
breathing, and his pulse ceased action. Everything possible
was done to resuscitate him during the next hour, but
the man expired.
Replying to the Coroner, witness said the
chloroform consisted of from twenty to thirty drops —
not sufficient to put a man under its influence. He attributed
death to shock and haemorrhage from the injury. The chloroform
might have been might been a contributing cause.
George PAYNTER, of 80, Oldham-road, Springhead,
gave evidence to the accident. Witness’ engine was
attached to a brake at the Greenfield Station. They had
the van on the main line in order to give it a start on
the next one, which had a falling gradient. Witness was
on his engine. Deceased walked on the footboard in the
end of the van. Deceased then said, “Give it a start,”
and immediately put his coupling book in order.
He then gave witness a signal to start,
and then another to stop, uncoupling the van with the
second instruction. Witness then shunted the van on a
siding. Meanwhile deceased began to walk on the footboard
again, and had reached the door of the van on the return
when he fell to the ground. The next thing witness saw
was deceased’s leg across the line. Witness called
out to several railway servants near by, and they ran
up to FRASER, and picked him up.
Replying to the Coroner, witness said he
could not properly account for the accident. He surmised
that deceased must have been walking along the van footboard
by the aid of a longitudinal bar which runs across the
brake until it reaches the door. At this point there is
on all vans an upright bar, and witness thought deceased
must have let go his hold of this horizontal bar before
he caught the perpendicular bar.
Coroner: I suppose it is quite a usual thing
to do to go along the footboard? — Witness: Yes;
it is the safest plan, because you have no points or weights
to fall over.
Michael HOPKINS, of Shaw Hall, Greenfield,
inspector at the station, said he was hailed by the driver
of the engine. He found FRASER lying in the six-foot way
with his right leg over a rail in the four-foot way. Witness
picked the man up, laid him on some boards on his back,
after which, upon assistance arriving, the leg was bandaged
and the bleeding stopped. FRASER was put on the 2.10 p.m.
train for Oldham, where the ambulance met and conveyed
him to the Infirmary.
In reply to the Coroner, witness said he
found Fraser’s coupling hook in the van, which suggested
that he was in the act of entering it. The Coroner, summing
up, said it was obvious that the injury to the leg played
a large part in causing death, though the chloroform,
always a risky thing in cases of this description, had
been a contributory cause. “Accidental death”
was the verdict.
SAD SUICIDE AT ASHTON
Carried Out Her Threat
An inquest was held in the court-room, Ashton Town Hall,
on Monday forenoon by Mr J F PRICE, district coroner,
on the body of Sarah Jane BANN, wife of Henry BANN, 1,
Victoria-street, whose body was found in the canal on
Friday of last week.
Henry BANN, butcher, 1, Victoria-street,
said the deceased was his wife, and she was 41 years of
age. She had had good health, but had unfortunately been
addicted to intemperate habits, especially during the
last two years. She had been drinking last week and there
had been some unpleasantness in consequence.
He had returned home often to find her in
drink. She had threatened to commit suicide on several
occasions, apparently in order to aggravate him. He last
saw her alive on Friday morning, when he left home to
go to his place of work in Cavendish-street. He returned
home at 12.30 noon, and his wife was not at home, and
one of the boys told him she had been away about an hour.
He never saw her alive again.
She was sober when he left in the morning,
and he asked her to keep straight, and she said she would.
He had not been out of the house ten minutes when, according
to his boy’s statement, she went out. She told one
of the children that she was going to drown herself, but
they had heard her threaten it so often that they took
no notice of it.
A Juryman: Had she had any secret trouble?
Oh no, nothing at all to trouble her. She had always plenty
of money to go at. — The Coroner: Too much, perhaps.
— A Juryman: That’s about it.
Annie HAMMOND, wife of John HAMMOND, Earle-street,
said she worked for Mrs BANN, and was engaged cleaning
the house last Friday. Deceased went out and came back
again, apparently sober. About 11.20 she said she was
ill and complained of pain in her head.
She said there was a train which came up
from Manchester at twenty minutes to 12, and that she
would throw herself under it. Witness asked if had gone
mad. She replied, “Never mind gone mad, I’m
going.” She left the house at once with a small
plaster on her head. Witness did not think that she meant
to commit suicide, as she had threatened so often. She
did not know of her having had any drink that morning.
Walter FLETCHER, canal agent, Great Central
Railway Company, said he saw deceased on Friday morning
about 11.45 walking along the canal towing path near the
Cavendish-street Bridge. She appeared to be perfectly
sober, and there was nothing unusual about her, or suspicions
about her actions. She looked remarkably neat and clean.
Henry HEAP, of 27, Wharf-street, Dukinfield,
said he was a porter at the Manchester Ship Canal Warehouse,
Lower Wharf-street, Ashton. On Friday, about 12.25 noon,
he was in the warehouse and near to the edge of the canal,
when he saw the body of a woman floating face downwards
in the water. He got the body out. There was no sign of
life. He notified the police, and the body was removed
on the ambulance to the mortuary at the Town Hall.
The Coroner said the facts all pointed to
suicide. It was a very sad case. The jury returned a verdict
of suicide whilst of unsound mind, induced by excessive