27 August 1904

SHOCKING CASE OF CRUELTY AT STALYBRIDGE
A Mother Sent to Prison

The Mayor and other magistrates sitting at the Stalybridge Police Court, on Monday, listened to the sickening details given in a case of cruelty to two children. The defendants were John WHITELEY and his wife, Martha WHITELY, each of whom carried a child in their arms, and pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Mr Arthur LEES, solicitor, Ashton, prosecuted on behalf of the N.S.P.C.C., and said defendants were charged with neglecting their two children, Elizabeth and John, in such a manner as to cause them unnecessary suffering. On the 10th inst. Inspector REDDY visited the house where the WHITELEY’s resided — 27, Katherine-street, Stalybridge — in company with Constable SMETHURST.

The only furniture downstairs were two chairs, which had been placed against the wall and covered with some rags and utilised as a bed for the baby. The house stunk horribly, the smell, indeed, was fearful. On the stairs was found an old rotten mattress, which the woman said was used for a bed on the house floor at night, minus covering.

Upstairs in the bedroom was found a quantity of human excreta, and the smell arising was such that in the opinion of Dr ROBERTS-DUDLEY it was highly dangerous to the occupants and the public health generally. The male defendant was a labourer out of work, and was receiving parish relief.

When interviewed by the inspector, he commenced to cry, and said he was sorry, but that he could not get his wife and her sister to do the cleaning and look after the children, there was all the more reason why he should not have looked to the cleanliness of his house, for it would not require much energy to keep such a small house clean.

Inspector REDDY gave evidence bearing out Mr LEES’ opening statement. The smell in the house was described as being “absolutely sickening.”

Constable SMETHURST corroborated, and Dr ROBERTS-DUDLEY said that a few weeks ago Alderman FENTON visited a similar case which was afterwards brought before the court. As the alderman would bear out, that was a shocking sight, but the present one, if anything, was even worse! It was marvellous to him how the children looked so well in such surroundings.

In reply to the bench, the inspector said the rent of the cottage was 1s. 9d. per week. Mr INNES: The wonder is we have such places in the borough. The male defendant said he had been out of work ten weeks and had had to pawn the furniture for food. The Mayor: There is no excuse whatever for this abominable state of things. Alderman FENTON: Such people as you are a danger to the district. You are a filthy, lazy woman, in my opinion! Captain BATES: The house is just as filthy this morning as it was on the 10th.

Detective LEE was called. He said he had been to defendant’s house that morning to try and serve a summons upon Janet HAMPSON for cruelty to her child. HAMPSON is a sister to Mrs WHITELEY, but she had decamped. The stench in the house that morning was “enough for anyone.” The Mayor: Did you go upstairs? LEE: No, sir; there was sufficient downstairs. — (Laughter.) Mr NEEDHAM: Any sign of cleaning? LEE: No, sir.

The Mayor: It will take some considerable time to get to the bottom of the filth, if it has gone so far as this. Inspector REDDY: In my opinion it is not fit for human habitation.

The magistrates retired, and upon returning into court the Mayor said the Bench looked upon this as a very serious case of neglect, particularly in so far as the wife was concerned and she would have to go to gaol for 14 days, without the option of a fine. The case against the husband would be dismissed; but the Bench hoped he would take warning.

The Bench granted a warrant for the arrest of Janet HAMPSON for cruelty to her child. Detective LEE said the child was nine years of age. That morning the little fellow was at home without a shirt to his back, his mother having left the district.

ENGINE DRIVER’S SUDDEN DEATH
Samuel HARRISON, an engine driver employed by the Midland Railway Company, aged 39 years, and living at 40, Peacock-street, Gorton, died suddenly on Sunday last.

An inquest was held by the Manchester Deputy County Coroner this week, and it was stated by the widow of the deceased that he had always good health, with the exception of a few years ago, when he slipped off his engine and hurt himself. He had not complained latterly, until the beginning of last week, when he complained of pains in the stomach.

He again complained on Friday evening, but on Saturday he went to work and returned in the evening. He went to bed at 11.30 the same night, and at five o’clock the following morning his wife heard him making a noise as if he wanted to speak. She shook him, rubbed his hands, and called to him, but found he was dead. Dr BALLANTYNE was called in, and he pronounced life to be extinct.

Constable HALL had since examined the body and found nothing suspicious. — A verdict of “Death from natural causes” was returned.

THE STREET BETTING NUISANCE AT GORTON
The nuisance created by betting in the street continues in the West Gorton as well as the Gorton urban district. In a case which came before the city justices this week the offender was George EASTWOOD, of Hyde-road, West Gorton. The evidence the police showed that the offence was committed in West Gorton, and EASTWOOD was fined the usual penalty of £5 and costs.

DETECTIVE’S SMART ARREST
Detective George ALLAN, of the Manchester City Police, who is well known in the Clayton and Bradford district, effected a smart capture a few days ago. He was in Ancoats, when he observed two men named Arthur WILSON and George GORDON loitering about in a suspicious manner. When spoken to they said they were hawking, but the officer, not being satisfied with the answer to his questions, arrested them. It was then found that they had packed underneath their coats a quantity of lead fittings in the form of a leaden waistcoat.

The men were remanded for inquiries. Meanwhile no owner had been found for the lead, but the city justices this week sent each prisoner to gaol for two months under the Vagrancy Act for loitering, and under the Manchester Improvement Act for having in their possession lead supposed to have been stolen.

THE GORTON MYSTERY
An Arrest for Assault: Injured Man’s Condition

The County Police at Gorton were not long in effecting an arrest in connection with the Gorton wounding case. It will be remembered that on Wednesday of last week, a man named Alfred MAYBURY, who lives in Lord-street, Gorton, was taken to the Royal Infirmary, suffering from a doubly fractured leg and bruises on the face. He had been found by a police officer near the Monastery, in Gorton-lane, and it was supposed he had been violently assaulted.

The police were not long in effecting as arrest, and at the County Police Court on Friday last, Mr J.M. YATES, K.C., the Manchester County Stipendiary, had before them a man named Michael DUNN, 30, a labourer, who lives in Ash-street, Oldham-road, on a charge of doing grievous bodily harm to MAYBURY.

Mr John CROFTON, who prosecuted, said that MAYBURY would be unable the infirmary for a number of days. He would, therefore, have to ask for a week’s remand. — Constable HAWKWOOD said he arrested DUNN in Gorton-lane, and charged him with the offence. He replied, “I admit striking him, but I did not kick him.”

Asked if he had anything to say, DUNN told the magistrates that it was done in self-defence. “He had me on the floor thrashing me,” continued prisoner. “He paid for a pint of beer and he followed us out of the beerhouse, and wanted more beer. He said he would show me what he would do for me.”

Prisoner was remanded for a week, being allowed bail — himself in £20 and two sureties of £10 each. MAYBURY was not able to appear on Friday, owing to his condition.

MARRIED MISERY AT HYDE
At the Hyde Borough Police Court, on Wednesday, before Dr TINKER (presiding) and Mr A.T. HIBBERT, Walter BROWN, 4, Hevily, Hyde, was charged with feloniously wounding Mary Ellen BROWN with intent to do her grievous bodily harm on the 21st August.

Mrs BROWN, who appeared in court with a bandage on her left eye, said her husband came home half drunk about two o’clock on Tuesday afternoon. He went to sleep in a chair, but afterwards went into the kitchen where she was washing, and asked her what she was doing. He began to pull the clothes she was washing and threw them on to the coals. Then he picked up a buffet and threw it at her, and it badly bruised her arm, and she showed the mark to the Bench.

He caught hold of a poker and struck her a proper good blow on the left eye, which was badly injured. After this he got hold of her shawl, and pulled out some matches to set it on fire. She then went out of the house and walked to the police station, where she was attended by Dr DANIELS. There was only her little boy in the house at the time. Her husband was a joiner.

Witness then added, “It’s a common occurrence for him to throw things. He wants stopping. He throws knives and bottles, and I dare not have things on the table when he comes home worse for drink. — In answer to the prisoner she denied that she hit him with a poker. The reason she had not been at home since was that she was locked out, and could not get in the house.

Dr DANIELS said he saw prisoner’s wife at 4.30 on Tuesday afternoon. She had a deep cut over the left eyebrow one and a quarter inches long, extending almost to the bone. She was bleeding profusely, and he had to put three stitches in the wound. The appearance of the wound was consistent with having been made by a poker, and there were marks of soot on the edge of the wound.

Sergeant DALE gave evidence as to arresting the prisoner, who was then under the influence of drink. When charged, he made no answer.

The prisoner was then cautioned and elected to give evidence on oath. On Monday morning he left sixpence with his wife to get some coal with. When he came in about 10 o’clock in the evening his wife was out, and he did not see her again until the Tuesday afternoon. When she came in about two o’clock, he asked her where she had been, and with an oath she told him to find out.

She ran to the door, and a moment later came in and got a poker off the hob, and said “come now, you b-------, and I will give you some of this.” Then she struck him on the arm. After this he threw the buffet at her, and it caught her on the head. She said she would get him locked up then, as he had her locked up.

His son Ernest told him that his mother had pawned his boots, and also had not purchased any coals. He found this was the case. Eight weeks ago she split his head open with a bottle neck, and because of the wound bleeding lost half a day’s work. On another occasion she had thrown candlesticks, bottles at him, and many times she was drunk when he went home, and she had pawned things to get money for drink. That sort of thing had been going on for 12 years. She had had drink on the Tuesday afternoon.

The Chairman remarked that it was pretty plain that when the prisoner had had drink he lost all command of himself, and he (the chairman) would strongly advise him not to take drink. Those who supplied him with drink ought to be warned about him. That was the opinion of his colleague, who had mentioned the matter. People should refuse to serve him because he could not control himself when he got drink.

They had no alternative but to commit him for trial at the Knutsford Quarter Sessions and he would have to wait six weeks, and they had given instructions to their clerk to accept a nominal bail if he could find it. Bail was accepted in one surety of £5, and prisoner himself in a similar amount.

GLOSSOP BOY’S TERRIBLE DEATH AT MANCHESTER
An accident, by which Moses R. BRADSHAW (14), an office boy in the service of Messrs E. Potter and Co., calico printers, Charlotte-street, Manchester, met a shocking death, occurred on Monday morning. The lad was hurrying towards Charlotte-street from the office entrance in Back George-street, when he slipped on the wet pavement, and fell right under the wheels of a heavily loaded dray.

One of the wheels passed over his head, crushing it into fragments. A crowd gathered, among them being several employees of Messrs Potter, but nobody recognised the mutilated body for a considerable time. Ultimately, however, the clothes were identified as those of the lad.

Deceased was a native of Glossop, where he lived in Simmondley-lane. He was taken into the employment of Messrs Potter quite recently, and a very sad circumstance is that his father, who was a foreman in the service of the same firm, died only a few weeks ago.

THE GREAT CHANNEL SWIM
Haggerty Fails Through Cramp — Holbein Gives Up After Ten Hours

The triple attempt to swim from England to France commenced at Dover to-day. The weather was exceedingly favourable, at any rate on the English side, though the water was certainly not so smooth as when HOLBEIN made the attempt just a year ago, and the temperature of the sea seemed likely to become colder.

It was five minutes past three when HOLBEIN, accompanied by his wife and followed by a crowd of friends and supporters, left his hotel and proceeded along the Prince of Wales Pier to the tug Scotia chartered to convey the party to Lydden Spout for the start. HOLBEIN looked, as indeed he was, in the pink of condition. Mr B. HALLIER, of Sheffield, was present to keep HOLBEIN company in the water.

As soon as HOLBEIN had got aboard he proceeded to the bridge of the tug, submitted to the customary treatment. First a mask with eye glasses was fastened tightly over the face in order to keep off the sting and blinding effect of the salt water during the 19 hours which the swimmer expected to occupy in crossing the Channel.

Me HOLBEIN drew over his head a tight skull cap, which comes low down over the ears, and then he descended to the cabin below where he stripped. He was then anointed all over with a dark copper-colour greasy composition as thick as treacle and twice as sticky, the effect of which preparation is to keep out the cold.

The time when he entered the water — the temperature of which was 62 degrees — was exactly 32 minutes past four. The first four hours of the swim were on the flood tide, after which, somewhere near the Goodwin Light, the ebb set in, carrying the swimmer down the Channel.

Haggerty Seized With Cramp
HAGGERTY, the Lancashire swimmer, felt some disappointment that he was not allowed to enter the water early this morning. He determined that he would not allow another day to slip by, and, remarking that if HOLBEIN could swim at night, he could also. He fixed six o’clock this evening for his departure from the Admiralty Pier. This point is a couple of miles farther to the eastward than Lydden Spout, whilst the pier being nearly a mile in length

HAGGERTY was in a more favourable position than the earlier starter. Crowds of people collected on the pier, and quite a flotilla of small boats hovered around. There was also the tug Britannia which was to accompany him. He stripped in a little out-house on the pierhead, and was here smeared over with a substance similar apparently to that with which HOLBEIN protected himself. HAGGERTY wore no mask. He was entirely unprotected from the effects of the water excepting for the greasy preparation referred to.

Diving off the stage on the eastern side of the pier at 17 minutes past six, he struck off hand over hand, swimming on his right side. His head completely dipped into the water, and at times he rolled like a porpoise.

HAGGERTY’s attempt to rival Captain WEBB was doomed to very quick failure. He had been in the water about an hour and five minutes, and was about five miles out, having swum with the tide, when he explained to his advisers and helpers in the accompanying boat, “It is dreadfully cold.” He was at once supplied with a welcome draught of hot milk, which seemed to put new life into him, and he struck out again with vigour.

In a little time, however, he again complained of the temperature of the water (which was now 60), and more boiling fluid was handed out, but it was soon evident that something very serious was amiss.

Haggerty Insensible
The man appeared to be getting helpless, and he admitted that he had cramp, which apparently attacked him in his stomach, back, and legs. He was indeed keeping himself afloat with his arms only. Seeing that this could not last his friends called upon him to come out. He was game, however, and replied, “No, I won’t.” Thereupon a lifebuoy was thrown to him, but he refused to touch it.

HAGGERTY appeared to be deeply affected by what had happened after his long preparation and trials. He remarked, “No white man can live in this water,” but appeared loth to give up. “Take the lifebuoy and come out,” his friends shouted, but still he refused, and passionately exclaimed, “If I cannot swim on it I’ll go under it.”

It was now time for drastic measures. The men in the accompanying boat thrust out a long hooked stick with which they seized HAGGERTY around the neck, drew him forcibly to the side of the little craft, and then lifted him in; but for this he would have no doubt succumbed.

He lay at the bottom of the boat in quite an insensible condition — “as stiff as a log,” someone said — and in this condition was transferred to the tug. Here he was attended by Dr ROSS, and quickly came round, being all right again in ten minutes. The tug then steamed into Dover Harbour, and on arriving HAGGERTY sent telegrams to his friends.

Haggerty’s Version of His Failure
Resuming the story at the point at which it was broken off at midnight on Saturday, some notice may in the first place be taken of HAGGERTY’s version of his failure to accomplish the great feat which he had undertaken. He is a sturdy fellow of Stalybridge, speaking the Lancashire dialect. His height is 6ft, in weight 11 stones, and his age 42. Shortly after his hour’s immersion he was seen walking about his hotel, volubly expressing his disgust at the misfortune which had overtaken him.

He said that about half an hour after entering the water, he felt that something unusual had happened. A sharp pain struck him in the back near the kidneys, and his teeth commenced to chatter. He could not understand it, as just prior to this he had felt that he could go on swimming for ever, and well he might for his muscles stand out like those of the Village Blacksmith.

He tried, he said, to pull himself together, but found he was getting very cold, and therefore asked for some hot milk. “Though it was given me at once, “ continued HAGGERTY, “it seemed a day between the time I called for it and got it.” He went on to say that he became quite doubled up. His back seemed to get where his stomach should be, and he was eventually taken forcibly out of the water.

During the progress of the interview, which took place about midnight on Saturday, he was informed that HOLBEIN was still in the sea and going strong. “All I can say then,” said HAGGERTY (who appeared a little surprised) “ is that he is a great man: may God speed him.” The poor fellow shortly afterwards retired to rest, although crestfallen and seemingly broken-hearted.

ASHTON WORKHOUSE INMATES AND THE WAKES
Owing to an infectious disease at present prevailing in the district, the Workhouse inmates, as in former years, were unable to attend the Wakes Ground to take part ad lib in the fun of the fair. They were not forgotten, however, by Mr and Mrs J. WHITEHEAD, of the Market Hall, who very kindly sent a large quantity of fish, fruit, etc., which was distributed amongst the children, and the male and female imbeciles. This kindly act was greatly appreciated, and after the distribution three hearty cheers were given for Mr and Mrs WHITEHEAD.

FAIRFIELD A HALF-CENTURY AGO
In turning over the pages of the “Pictorial History of the County of Lancaster,” published in the latter forties of the last century, my eyes glanced over at an old engraving by Sly, of the Moravian Chapel and College, Fairfield, along with its surrounding model village cottages. It may be of interest to local antiquarians to supplement the original extract of its description from page 75 of the above mentioned book.

It stated, “On the road to Ashton we pass near the interesting village of Fairfield, a Moravian settlement, established in 1785. The Moravians, or United Brethren, when forced by persecution to take refuge in England were recognised by the statute of 1749, as an ‘ancient Protestant Episcopal Church’. Few of the present community are descended from the early emigrants; the settlement is composed principally of English families who have embraced their belief, and the number is small, because they conscientiously abstain from making proselytes. The village consists of two main streets.

”The centre of the front facing the Ashton-road is occupied by the chapel, a plain but neat brick edifice. On the right is the house occupied by the sisters of the community, who live under conventual rules, without being bound by monastic vows. They are principally engaged in preparing a variety of pieces of embroidery and ornamental needlework, which are sold for the benefit of the society.

The unmarried brethren occupy a corresponding building to the left of the chapel, and undertake the education of a limited number of boys. The entire front, which extends from one end of the village to the other, is laid out as a garden; it is well stocked with fruit trees, on the cultivation of which extraordinary care is bestowed, and the produce is consequently abundant.

”The burial ground is beyond the garden, here the males and females are interred in separate plots, with no monumental epitaphs beyond the record of their names, ages, and dates of decease, on a small square stone at the head of each grave. The village is remarkable for cleanliness, order, and an air of substantial comfort.”
Communicated by Mr Peter G. POLLITT

AN ECHO OF THE ASHTON BURGLARIES
”Nipped in the Bud”

John HULME was in the dock at the Ashton Borough Court, on Thursday, charged with loitering with intent to commit a felony at the rear of Clifton-street on August 20th. — Prisoner pleaded not guilty.

Constable ALBISON deposed to seeing the prisoner walking about the back passages and looking over yard doors in a suspicious manner. Witness arrested him in an entry. — Prisoner said he lived in Droylsden, and was taking a short cut across the Moss in order to get home, being nine o’clock at night.

The Chief Constable said there were thirty previous convictions recorded against him, including two offences of housebreaking, which elicited a remark from the Bench that he was probably taking a “short cut” on those occasions. The magistrates committed the prisoner to gaol for a month with hard labour.

LADY CRICKETERS AT MELLOR
”A Fool in Official Clothing”

At the New Mills Petty Sessions, on Wednesday Millie HEMPSALL and Gladys HEMPSALL, aged 16 and 14 respectively, of School Row, Longhurst-lane, Mellor, were summoned for playing cricket on the highway on July 20th, and John HEMPSALL, the father, was summoned for aiding and abetting the same.

Constable BAILEY said that on the day in question there were two carts in the road, and they could not pass. He went, and there saw a big stone in the middle of the road. The defendants were playing cricket, and he asked them to remove the stone. The eldest girl said she would do, when the father came out and told them not to do, and he would take the consequences.

He went back again, and they were still playing cricket. He spoke to the father, who said if he was summoned it would be because he would not take any notice of a fool in official clothing.

Mr HEMPSALL addressed the court, and said he was a visitor at Mellor, and his daughters were pupil teachers under the Manchester Education Committee. His daughters had played cricket with the neighbours’ children. He was attending to his correspondence, and never went outside. If there was an offence it was trivial. It was a police offence, and had been brought by the officer in over officiousness. It was absurd, and it was time respectable citizens were freed from oppressions.

Gladys HEMPSALL said she was not playing cricket, but saw them through the window. There was a number of village girls present. — Mr HEMPSALL said he was pleased these girls of the village were not summoned as witnesses, and thereby brought under the displeasure of the police.

Millie HEMPSALL said she was playing, but it wasn’t in the middle of the road, it was near the wall. The officer asked her to remove the stone, and her father shouted out to her not to do so. She did not then remove the stone, and continued playing.

Mr HEMPSALL was then sworn. He said that when the officer came and asked them to remove the stone he called out “nonsense,” or “rubbish,” and told them not to do so. He did not remember any carts passing at the time they were playing bat and ball. If there was an offence it was merely technical. The officer came to his house, asked impertinent questions, and when he told him he would be summoned he (defendant) said it would be because he would not take notice of a “fool in official clothing.”

The case against Gladys HEMPSALL was dismissed, the magistrates being of the opinion that there was a doubt in the case. With respect to Millie HEMPSALL, the case was proved, and there must be a conviction unless Mr HEMPSALL paid the costs. Mr HEMPSALL: I would rather not. I would rather apply publicly for perjury against the officer. I feel very strongly upon it.

The Clerk: That is another matter. — Mr BENNETT (the chairman): You had better accept the magistrates’ advice. Perhaps you will not feel so strongly in a few days. — Mr HEMPSALL: I will accept your advice.

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