5 October 1901

A Domestic Servant’s Determined Act

About eight o’clock on Monday morning the Stalybridge police were informed of a poisoning case which ended fatally a short time afterwards. It appears that a young woman named Jane STYZAKER had been temporarily in the domestic service of Mr George HILL, of Bower Fold, Mottram-road, and of the firm of Messrs John HILL and Sons, Ashton.

She only entered the situation on Saturday last, and early on Monday morning she was discovered to have taken poison. Dr SCOTT was immediately summoned, and he in turn telephoned to the police. Sergeant GEE and Constable SMETHURST went to Bower Fold, there saw the girl in a serious condition, and upon the doctor'’ instructions they took her to the Ashton District Infirmary, where she succumbed at five minutes past nine.

An inquest was held on the body. Mr George Thomas HILL said: I am a cake and biscuit manufacturer. Deceased was in my employment about two years ago as a cook. She remained with us about four months when she left to take a situation at Llandudno, and I heard nothing further about her until Saturday last when she came to our home about noon. I did not see her at that time, but later on I saw her. In the meantime deceased had told my wife about attempting to take poison at Southport, and I told the girl that Mrs HILL took upon herself a responsibility under the circumstances. We agreed after some hesitation to allow her to stay a day or two.

Deceased appeared distressed, and after having some tea she became sick and retired to bed later in the day. She went about her work on Sunday and did not complain of anything. The following morning, about seven o’clock, my wife and myself were awakened and I went downstairs. In the kitchen I found deceased in a convulsed condition straining very hard. Having suspicion that deceased had taken poison we gave her strong coffee, and sent for Dr SCOTT.

The bottle produced of aconite is usually kept in the pantry where other medicines are kept. The bottle was not quite half full, but when deceased took a dose there remained a spoonful or two. We have a medicine chest, but there are other bottles of a non-poisonous character in the pantry. We had some carbolic acid and the bottle produced (containing a cork marked J G PHILLIPS, chemist, Ashton) was found in the girl’s bed. This bottle was kept in a cupboard in the bathroom.

At this stage Coroner-Officer WILLIAMSON produced two letters. The first had been sent to a gentleman in charge of a Liverpool Mission, and the latter written to the Chief Constable of Ashton.:

To Mr BARBER, of Southport
"Mrs George HILL will take care of me and befriend me in my great trouble. I have told her my story, and she will do what she can for me. I will keep the peace Mr BARBER, so do help me, and may God bless you for all your trouble. I am Jane STYZAKER. I will try and pull myself together now. I hope I shall be out of my trouble now. I do so thank you for all your kindness to me. How can I repay you for it?"

From Police Court and Prison Gates Mission, Liverpool:
"Sir,— I am truly grieved to hear of the sad end of Jenny STYZAKER. Her history, as far as I know, is as follows. She was born in Blackburn, and her father is believed to be dead. Her mother died some years ago, and she had two brothers, but their whereabouts is unknown. Some few weeks ago she attempted to take her life, and after treatment at the Infirmary was charged on the 10th of September, and handed over to me. I took her to a home in Liverpool, but she was so depressed in her mind that they could not keep her, and asked me to remove her. Accordingly on Friday last, at her own request, and in view of the fact that she came from Manchester to Southport, I took her to that city. I took her to five Homes but they all refused to receive her, and finally I left her at the Central Hall for the night, also leaving money for her fare, as she said she was sure Mrs HILL would take her in

I obtained her promise to write me particulars, and made other arrangements with her to which she intelligently agreed. I may add that she had been taking morphia for a considerable period, and I concluded that the depression was due to the effects of the drug, and nor so much to mental trouble. About Christmas time she had a severe attack of rheumatic fever, from which she did not seem to recover her brightness of disposition.
Yours sincerely, Fred L BARBER"

A verdict of "suicide" was returned. The Coroner: There is no doubt it was a very charitable act on the part of Mr and Mrs HILL to take the girl in, and really it was a very risky thing to do.— (Hear, hear.)

Remarks By The Bench

At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, a charge of being drunk on licensed premises at Waterloo on September 7th, was preferred against George Albert BINTLIFFE.— Mr J HURST prosecuted, and defendant was represented by Mr SIXSMITH.— Defendant pleaded not guilty.

Constable KNOWLES stated that about 7pm, he was passing the Dog and Pheasant Inn when he heard a noise, and on going into the house he found defendant drunk in the taproom, with half a glass of beer in his hand. Witness called the landlord’s attention, and he said defendant had not been served there, and that he did not know he was in the house. He asked the landlord where the defendant had got his beer from and he said he must have obtained some beer that someone else had left.

Mr SIXSMITH said he would have no difficulty in tracing defendant’s movements from 3.30 in the afternoon until 9.30 at night, and he thought the Bench would have no hesitation in saying that the police in this case were perhaps a little over-zealous.— William WALSH, Arundale Hotel, Mossley, and George MARLAND stated that they and the defendant left the Dog and Pheasant about 5.45pm on the date in question, and defendant was then perfectly sober.— Maria BINTCLIFFE, wife of the defendant, stated that her husband came home to tea about 6 o’clock on the evening in question. He was then sober. He went out about 7 o’clock to get shaved, and returned about 8.45pm quite sober. Witness and her husband then went down into Ashton together shopping.

By Mr HURST: Defendant was shaved, and came home and dressed. He related to witness about the constable telling the landlord not to serve him any more. Her husband was not strong, and Dr MANN had been attending him for a long time for an ailments.— John JOHNSON, hairdresser, Waterloo, deposed to shaving defendant between 7 o’clock and 7.3pm on the evening referred to, and he was then sober . J W GREAVES, carter in the employ of Messrs SHAW and BINTLIFFE, stated that defendant called at his house on this particular Saturday about 10 minutes to 8, and he was as sober as witness was now.— Admiral WHITEHEAD, an employee of Messrs SHAW and BINTLIFFE, deposed to seeing defendant in the Wellington Inn about 8.10pm and he was then sober.

Dr MANN deposed to seeing defendant at 9.30 the same evening, and he was then sober. It was not possible that he could be drunk at 8.20pm.— By Mr HURST: There was nothing that could sober a man up in the time that had elapsed. It was not a case of putting him through any test, he was satisfied defendant was sober.— The Chairman said they were very sorry indeed that action had been brought there on what they considered wretchedly poor evidence. It was a great mistake to bring cases there unless there was good evidence. A man in the position of Mr BINTLIFFE, it was very despicable. He could not help making that remark because it was of very great importance that the business of the court should be properly conducted. The case would be dismissed.

At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, Christina COOPER was summoned by Samuel MEADOWCROFT for an assault upon his daughter, Beatrice, at Hurst on September 26th.— Complainant stated that the defendant hit her on the shoulder and punched her on the head, and said she would lay her out or put her on her death-bed.— Corroborative evidence was given by Frank LEES, aged 12, and Walter PAYNE, aged 11.— Defendant pleaded guilty, and said she only hit complainant once and she went home crying. She had been talking scandalous things about her (defendant’s) sister, who had been dead three weeks, and accusing them of having put her in her grave.— Defendant was fined 5s 6d and costs.

BOXING COMPETITION — A large company assembled at the Seven Stars School of Arms, Hurst Brook, on Tuesday night, the attraction being a 7st 6lb competition. The first pair in the ring were J BENT, of Manchester, and STRINGER, of Manchester. STRINGER quickly proved himself the superior boxer. He did most of the leading and had at the end of the fourth bout was returned the winner. Succeeding them were SCHOFIELD, of Ashton, and LOWTHER, of Manchester. The former gained the verdict. SNOW, of Manchester, was opposed to BARTLEY, of Salford, and won easily. VAREY of Ashton, boxed a bye. In the final, SNOW should have boxed VAREY, but the latter sprained his hand in the second round with SCHOFIELF, and SNOW was awarded the bout.

There was a large attendance at Ashton-under-Lyne, on Thursday, when Mr William COCKERILL, of Heywood, put up for sale by auction the trotting horses and other effects belonging to Mr John ANDREW, the celebrated owner, trainer and jockey. The cause of this was due to a company having leased the track on which the Ashton man usually trained his horses for building purposes.

There were several good horses disposed of, and there was no more imposing spectacle than the sale of the champion grey mare, Lady R. A number of foreign gentlemen were present with the intention of buying the mare. The first bid was 500 guineas, but this was augmented to 900 guineas at which sum Lady R was knocked down to Messrs FOSTER Bros, Naylor’s Row, Hull. One of the conditions was that the mare should not pass out of Mr ANDREW’s hands until she had fulfilled her several engagements during this month.. On Monday, the champion trotter, at Blackpool, will attempt the task, for a wager of 300, to go one mile in harness, one mile under saddle, and one mile guideless, within 8min 15secs.

James GREGORY was summoned for using bad language. He pleaded guilty, and was fined 5s and costs.— Mary Ann CARSON was also fined 5s 6d for a similar offence.

NOT CONTRIBUTING TO CHILD IN INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL — George WILKINSON was summoned by the police for 2 11s arrears under an order to contribute to child in industrial school. He said he had been in good work up to recently.— The Clerk informed the Bench that all they could do was to give judgement for the amount, and if defendant did not pay he would have to go to prison.

A SLUMP IN CRAMPETS AND PIKELETS — Henry TAYLOR was in the dock charged with being 1 9s in arrears under an order of separation obtained on the 15th July by his wife Gertrude.— The Clerk: Why don’t you pay this money?— Defendant: I have not been able. I have rheumatic very bad.— What do you do? I am in the "crampet and pikelet" business.— Oh, I see, there is not such a demand for crampets and pikelets this sort of weather? No. They generally have them toasted.— (Laughter).— Mrs TAYLOR said the defendant had been making money and spending it as he should not do.— T he Clerk: Does he take a drink?— Mrs TAYLOR: Yes, very heavy, and it affects his complaint.— The Clerk: Have you any money upon you?— Defendant: Yes.— How much have you got? Ten shillings.— Well, give her that.— The money was handed over.— The Clerk: You now owe her 19s 6d.— Defendant promised to pay, and the case was adjourned for six weeks.

CALLED HER A "CAREY" — Mary SHERIDAN summoned Mary GILMORE for assaulting her on the 23rd September. She pleaded not guilty. Complainant said she was coming out of the house, and the defendant grabbed her by the throat. She called her a sanguinary Carey, and said she had driven her son away.— Defendant said she only called her an old faggot.— The Chief Constable was called by the complainant, and he said the woman had been to the Town Hall to see him on different occasions in respect to annoyance from the defendant. From what she told him he believed she had been subjected to a great deal of annoyance, and on one occasion she assaulted her. The defendant charged her with giving information about her son who was away. She never did give the police any information and the son was arrested a long way from Ashton.— Defendant was bound over to keep the peace for twelve months in her own recognisance of 40s and pay the costs, in default 14 days’ imprisonment.

A BRUTAL FELLOW — Thomas BURKE was summoned for assaulting James CASSIDY on the 21st and Ann BROADLEY on the 22nd. He was also charged with using obscene language in Cotton-street on the 22nd. He did not appear, and on the advice of the clerk the magistrates heard the case in his absence.— CASSIDY stated that he saw the defendant clouting his boy, and he went to him to ask him what he was doing it for. In reply he gave him one in the mouth, up-ended him in the street, and kicked him in the side of the face. As he was getting up he gave him another one.— Ann BROADLEY said on the 22nd the defendant was kicking a little boy in a house on Cotton-street. She remonstrated with him and he gave her a running kick.— Constable BARKER stated that on the night of the 22nd BURKE was in Cotton-street using very bad language.— In reply to the Bench the Chief Constable said defendant had been up 87 times.— For the first offence BURKE was fined 40s and costs, or one month, and for the other two offences 20s each and costs, or one month: total three months.

OBSTRUCTING THE STREET — James GIBSON and Sons was summoned for causing an obstruction to the free passage of Portland-street on the 26th. Defendant acknowledged having some girders on a line with the hoarding.— Constable DIXON stated that at 7.30 on the night in question he was in Portland-street near the Baths and saw three iron girders projecting from the channel into the street so as to cause an obstruction. They took up between three and four feet of the roadway. Since then another girder had been added.— Defendant said three or four girders came unexpectedly from Manchester, and they were bound to unload them. They did what they could with them, and they had not warned the police.— Constable DIXON contradicted the latter part of the statement.— T he Chief Constable said if the girders had been placed on the top of on another it would have been better, but they were laid side by side. A danger lamp ought to have been lighted at night.— Fined 5s 6d for costs.

HE SUFFERRED FROM GENERAL DISABILITY — Joseph NADIN was in the dock charged with being drunk in Katherine-street on the 25th. He pleaded guilty, and at the same time caused a note to be handed to the Clerk, which, on being read, stated "the bearer is suffering from general disability at present, and unable to follow employment." — The Clerk: If you are suffering from disability, why do you get drunk? This is not likely to help you.— Defendant: I was trying to get in a cart, and fell in the street." — (Laughter) — Constable ROBERTS was called, and said he found the defendant propped against the wall with a lot of children round him. He could not move hand or foot: if he had moved he would have fallen.. — The Clerk: The doctor says he is very weak. — (Laughter) — The Chief Constable: There is no doubt he was very drunk. I saw him. — The Clerk: It is no simple drunk then. The Bench discharged him under the circumstances. — The Clerk: If you are in such a weak condition, don’t take too much strong drink.

CHARGE OF WIFE DESERTION — Catherine HOWE, who carried an infant, charged her husband, Edward HOWE, labourer, with desertion. He pleaded not guilty, and handed a document to the Clerk. — Complainant stated that she had been married three years, and they had two children. Defendant was a labourer, and earned 1 a week. He threw her out of the house on Monday night for nothing at all. He was sober and said she would have to get work or shift. On the Tuesday night he came home and threw her out again. She had been obliged to with her mother at Droylsden..— Defendant denied throwing his wife out of the house, and asked the Clerk to read the document, which he said he had written because he was unable to speak in court through nervousness. He accused his wife of being at the bottom of the whole trouble. She would not work, and assured him she would never do so. She had neglected home, and had left him 16 times.— The Clerk reminded defendant that an order had previously been made against him in the County Police Court, and asked the complainant why she went back to him.— She said he kept following her.— The Bench granted a separation order of 5s per week, the wife to have the custody of the children.

A case of considerable importance to minders and piecers was heard at the Police Court on Thursday. A piecer named EDDLESTON, employed at Dukinfield Mill Company’s factory, sued Thomas CRONSHAW, his minder, under the Employers and Workmen’s Act, to recover damages for wrongful dismissal. Mr J W SIMISTER, solicitor, Stalybridge,, appeared for the plaintiff, whose case was that on the 24th July last the work of the defendant’s mules was not going on satisfactorily. He blamed the plaintiff for it, and summarily discharged him without the requisite seven days’ notice. Hence the present action to recover damages. The defence was that the lad was discharged for neglecting his duties, and thereby causing bad work. No evidence was called to show that the lad’s conduct was the cause of or contributed to the bad work. The Chairman, Mr J E MELLOR, said the Bench considered it a doubtful case, and dismissed it. The decision created some surprise in court, and more will probably be heard of it.

A familiar figure has been removed from Dukinfield by the death of Mr William GREAVES, which took place at his residence, Church-street, on Saturday last, in his 71st year. Mr GREAVES was born at Newton, and went to work at a very early age at Flowery Field Colliery, but soon afterwards removed to Messrs REYNER’s, Ashton, where he continued to be employed for upwards of fifty yars, going through the various grades from scavenger to spinner. He retired from mill life about five years ago, drawing his leaving-trade benefit from the Ashton Self-actor Mule Spinners’ Association, of which he had been a continuous member from its commencement. Deceased leaves a widow and six grown-up sons and one daughter to mourn his loss.

Ejectments Which Led to Serious Trouble

On Monday at the Stalybridge Police Court, James HILL (junior), son of the licensee of the Morning Star beerhouse, Bridge-street, was charged with having assaulted Patrick John DONNOLLY on the 22nd ult. He pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr Fred THOMPSON, solicitor.

Complainant, who in the course of the hearing said that he was nearly 60 years of age, said that on Sunday evening week, he went to the Morning Star beerhouse, in Bridge-street, and ordered a pint of beer in a jug. Immediately he did so defendant came upon the scene, asked him what he wanted there, and before he could respond HILL gave him a "belt" in the eye which sent him sick. Defendant wore a ring "for the purpose."— (Laughter.)

Mr WAINWRIGHT: What did he strike you for?— Complainant: Nay, I don’t know. I wasn’t in the house two minutes altogether.— The Magistrates’ Clerk: Did you get the beer?— Complainant: No, sir; my jug was taken off me, and I went home without the beer.— Mr THOMPSON: Have you told us everything that happened?— Complainant: No, not yet..— Mr THOMPSON: Well, tell me what you haven’t told us, what took place before this alleged assault.— Complainant: There was nothing before.— Were you sober? Yes, sir.— Were you disorderly? No, sir.— Were you refused to be served? No. They took my jug inside.— Why were you not served? I don’t know.— What did you say to Mr HILL? I simply said "A pint of beer, if you please, sir"— And what did he say? He said he would not give me any and I walked away.— That is everything that happened? Yes.— Were you drunk? No.

Thomas SMITH said he saw DONNOLLY immediately after the assault, as he came into his house to bathe his eye.— Complainant: Was I sober?— Witness: Yes, perfectly sober.— James BRADSHAW also said DONNOLLY was sober, and Mrs SPENCER declared that he was "sold and sober." She heard the "bang" when DONNOLLY was struck

Catherine SMITH said she was standing near the bar on the night in question, having gone in for a gill of beer. She was just taking her beer away when HILL junior gave complainant a "clout" over the eye. The Clerk: Did you hear all that was said?— Witness: He never said anything to Mr HILL.— Did he not provoke him? No, he had no time.— In reply to Mr THOMPSON, witness averred that complainant was sober

Mr THOMPSON, on behalf of defendant, said he was bound to admit that the young man did hit DONNOLLY, but his defence was that whatever occurred complainant brought it upon himself. The Bench would observe there was a charge of being drunk and refusing to quit to be preferred against DONNOLLY, and he assured the magistrates that not the slightest animus prevailed against the man. It was a most remarkable thing that he should go into a house, and be struck as was suggested, but the true facts of the case were these:

The Morning Star was a beerhouse in Bridge-street, and was surrounded by several well-known characters, and frequented by people of a rough class, yet notwithstanding this there had been no complaint against the tenant. There was a door leading into the taproom from Lees’ court, which was a cul-de-sac, and there was a vestibule door. On the left there was a small hole looking into the bar, and where customers were served.

This man DONNOLLY came into the house several times during the day in question, and had two pints of beer. When he came for the third pint his drunken condition was observed by the housekeeper, Esther BROOKS, who directed the attention of Mr HILL (senior) to the fact, and he in turn requested that DONNOLLY should not be served in the condition he was with intoxicants. Immediately he did so, the man made use of very abusive and bad language.

From the bar, it was a physical impossibility to reach DONNOLLY, and HILL’s son, hearing the language, came out of another room and asked him to go out, as his father had told him. DONNOLLY thereupon deliberately put down his jug, placed himself in a fighting attitude — and truth was defendant got in the first blow, which told. Mr THOMPSON maintained that as complainant was drunk and disorderly, his client was perfectly justified in what he did after DONNOLLY refused to leave. Having regard to the status of the people and the status of the house, Mr THOMPSON asked the justices to dismiss the case, and so assist licensees in keeping their houses respectably.

The Chairman said the magistrates considered that more force than was necessary had been used to eject DONNOLLY. A man, if he became awkward, might be ejected, but reasonable force should be used, and in this case they thought HILL, junr., had done too much. He would be fined 5s and costs or seven days’ imprisonment. In the charge against DONNOLLY the Chairman said the bench was at all times anxious to assist landlords in getting rid of obnoxious and drunken people, but they did not think this case came within that ruling. Had DONNOLLY been in the house five or ten minutes and refused all the while to clear off, it would have been different, but he was struck rather too quickly in their opinion. The charge against DONNOLLY would therefore be dismissed.

Wholesale Window Smashing

A young army man named James McHUGH was next charged in custody with having assaulted Esther BROOKS, housekeeper at the Morning Star, on the 15th ult. He pleaded no guilty. Mr THOMPSON, who prosecuted, said this case would also give the magistrates an idea of the class of customers who had to be contended with at his client’s house.

On Sunday, McHUGH entered the Morning Star in a drunken condition, and after being refused any more drink he was asked to leave. He refused, and was accordingly ejected. Prisoner went to the back street, picked up a stone flag, and having smashed it into fragments he filled his pockets and returned to the front of the beerhouse. He then commenced a regular fusillade on the house, smashing nearly the whole of the windows, besides damaging the framework. Miss BROOKS was at that time in the bar, and prisoner entering the house, smashed the vestibule window and deliberately aimed a stone at the housekeeper, striking her near the shoulder.

The Chairman characterised the conduct of prisoner as most dastardly and cowardly. He would be fined 40s and costs or one month’s imprisonment.

TO PREVENT MISTAKE — A man called to see Farmer Turnip the other day. The house seemed to be deserted, but at last he found the son and heir. "Where’s your father?" he asked, addressing the young hopeful. "He’s a-feeding t’ pigs, sir," was the reply. "Is there anyone else there?" asked the visitor. "No. Yer can go and see ‘im." The man turned to go in the direction of the pigsty, but he had not gone many yards when the youngster shouted after him: "Fayther’s the one wi’ t’ ‘at on!"
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