27 August 1904
SHOCKING CASE OF CRUELTY
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
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
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
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.
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
”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
”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
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.