16 November 1901

This week has seen the end of a great and prolonged crisis. We have been waiting, and watching, and wearying for an unstinted pluvial downfall. It has been postponed from week to week, and even from month to month, and the scanty supply in the reservoirs has kept gradually diminishing until the dire possibility of a water famine has in many places been a nearer prospect than they have ever before experienced. But the long-looked-for always comes at last in matters of this description. Nature is occasionally erratic, but in the end the normal course is always reverted to.

So the longer we have had to wait the more abundant has been the out-pouring of the clouds. Before some people had become aware that there had been an unusual fall of rain during the night, they found that the shrunken rivers had been swollen into raging torrents whirling down trees, and wooden constructions, and poultry, and even in some parts sheep and cattle. People have after all a very inadequate idea of the extraordinary possibilities of these natural phenomena. In a very few hours the empty reservoirs were in a fair way for being filled up tot the brim. As we have now reached that period of the year when there is likely to be an excess rather than a deficiency of rainfall, there is scarcely any probability that the supply will not keep pace with the demand.

But the blessing has had its drawbacks. The sudden and heavy downfall has been attended almost everywhere by destructive floods entailing considerable loss upon riparian dwellers. Large stretches of low-lying country, and even of town districts, have been under water, and the streets of our Lancashire towns have for the nonce worn quite a Venetian aspect.

During operations in connection with the completion of Curzon Mill, Hurst, a workman named Sydney HANSON happened a serious accident on Friday afternoon by falling a distance of about 15 feet from one of the elevated portions of the building, and sustaining a compound fracture of the skull. He was conveyed with all speed to the District Infirmary, where he lies in a precarious condition.

Information was conveyed to the Ashton police office on Sunday that Joseph CASTLE, aged 59 years, rent and debt collector and agent for a firm of tea dealers, residing at 170 Cotton-street, Ashton, had been found dead in bed at 1pm that day. For the last eight weeks he had been troubled with a cough, but had not been medically treated. He retired to bed about eleven o'clock on Saturday night, but got up shortly afterwards and dressed himself, and began to quarrel with his wife, who thereupon got up and went into another room to sleep. She heard her husband get into bed about four o'clock next morning.

She got up about seven o'clock and went into his room, and saw him lying on his left side on the bed with his clothes on. He appeared to be asleep, and was snoring. She did not disturb him, and several times afterwards she went upstairs and found him in the same position. Towards one o'clock she became alarmed, and sent for Dr PEARCE, who on arrival made an examination, and pronounced life extinct. There was a smell of laudanum in the room. A bottle, which a day before contained a noggin of whisky, was empty. Deceased, it appears, had often when under the influence of drink threatened to commit suicide,

The adjourned inquest was held at the Town Hall on Wednesday, when Dr PEARCE gave the result of the post-mortem examination, which show all the organs to be in a healthy state. The stomach contained about three ounces of undigested food, but there was no sign of any poison nor any morbid appearances to show deceased was a heavy drinker, and absolutely nothing to show how he came by his death. The statement in the deposition that he had said he had smelt laudanum was wrong. He had not noticed any such smell.

Mrs CASTLE was questioned again, and said that deceased had shouted to her, when going upstairs at four o'clock in the morning, "Good-bye." An open verdict was returned.

John HANSON, an elderly man, was charged with disorderly behaviour and insubordination at the Workhouse on the 6th. It was stated that the prisoner came to the house in an intoxicated condition and became disorderly in the presence of the master, Mr SHORE. He was ordered by the chairman of the Workhouse Committee to appear before them, but he refused to do so. These proceedings were therefore taken against him.— Prisoner said he got a drop of whisky on the day named because it was foggy. He was very sorry.— On promising to mend his ways he was discharged on condition that he went back to the Workhouse.

VEHICLE WITHOUT LIGHTS.— James :LITTLEWOOD was fined 1s and costs for using a vehicle without having a light attached on the 3rd inst. Defendant said the lamp had been taken.

AN INSOLENT BEGGAR.— James BOLTON was charged with begging alms in Burlington-street on the 9th inst. He pleaded guilty.— Mr PLATT junr said the prisoner came to their house begging, and because he was refused he began to use very bad language. They were terribly pestered in the neighbourhood by such characters..— The Bench said they considered it a serious offence and sent him to prison for one month.

DRUNK AND DISORDERLY.— William GOOSETREE was charged with being drunk and disorderly in St Michael's Square on the 8th.— Constable GOODWIN said the defendant was thrown out of the Boar's Head, and became disorderly.— The Clerk: Who threw him out this time?— Officer: The landlord.— Fined 10s costs or 14 days.— Ernest FOX was charged with being drunk in Hook-street on the 10th. He said he came from Gorton, and had been with some friends at Stalybridge.— Fined 5s 6d for costs.— John CONNOLLY, who had been up eight times, was fined 5s 6d and costs for being drunk and disorderly in Church-street on Sunday.

A DISGRACEFUL SCENE.— John NEWTON and Patrick WALSH were summoned for committing a breach of the peace in Mill-lane on Sunday afternoon, the 3rd instant.— Constable TOMLINSON stated that about twenty-five past two o'clock the defendants came out of the Welcome Home beerhouse and commenced fighting in the street.— NEWTON said when he came out of the beerhouse he was thrown down in the street and WALSH on the top of him. They were not fighting.— The Clerk: It seems a nice pleasant home, this Welcome Home.— (Laughter.)— The Chairman told defendants there was no doubt they were acting disgracefully. They would be bound over in the sum of 40s each to keep the peace for three months and pay the costs. In default seven days.

ALLEGED FRAUDULENT BAILEES.— Joshua and Ellen ROSE, who did not appear, were summoned by Isaac EDDLESTONE, Old-street, that they being bailees of four chairs, one set of vases, and a sideboard, did fraudulently convert the same to their use.— Complainant produced a letter which he had received from the defendant, and the Clerk read it. It stated that in all probability when complainant received the missive "we shall be at the land's end, and hope you have better luck next time you have a customer."— (Laughter.) Complainant said he wanted four or five other customers who had gone away and never asked. If he went on at that rate he would have to go away himself.— The Clerk: I am sure we should miss you here.— (Laughter.)— Complainant: I should think you would.— Warrant granted.

HUSBAND AND WIFE.— Mary Ellen HARGREAVES summoned her husband, James Howarth HARGREAVES, for assaulting her. Defendant did not appear.— Mr J B POWNALL, for the complainant, said he did not think defendant would appear. He had been and said he should plead guilty, but he had not the courage to come to the court. He said it was one of a series of assaults, and took place on Sunday, the 3rd of November. He did not ask for a maintenance order although the Bench might make some order. She maintained herself and children, and all that she wanted was for him to stay away from her.— Mrs HARGREAVES was then called, and said that she carried on business at 55 Wellington-road. On Sunday, the 3rd, he came home at dinner time under the influence of drink. He threw a pan at her. At ten o'clock at night he knocked her off her chair into the corner, and made her a black eye, knocked her shoulder up, and kicked her twice. After that he left the house and she did not see him again until ten o'clock on the Monday night. She had summoned him once before, but withdrew it on his promising to behave better. She had three children, aged 16, 13 and 8. While he was working he was a weaver, getting 25s per week.— Defendant was fined 5s 6d and costs for the assault, and an order of 2s 6d per week was made for the support of Mrs HARGREAVES and her children.

ASSAULTING HIS WIFE.— James BRENNAN was summoned for assaulting his wife, Mary BRENNAN, on the 5th inst. He pleaded guilty.— Mr J H FLETCHER, who appeared for the complainant, said she was married to the defendant in June 1894. She was the tenant of the Old Dog Inn, Old-street, under Mr John FLETCHER. She went into the Old Dog Inn in 1892. She had at that time a sum of 600 or thereabouts. The defendant started betting with her money, and in 1897 she would have been absolutely ruined had it not been for the kindness of Mr FLETCHER.— Defendant interposed with the remark that it had nothing to do with the present case.— Mr FLETCHER, continuing, said she then determined she would no longer live with the defendant, and never had lived with him since, but he would persist, contrary to her wishes, in coming to her house annoying her. On the 5th November he committed the assault to which he had pleaded guilty. It was somewhat of an aggravated kind, but he did not press that, because her object was simply to show him that he could not with impunity come to the house, assault her, and kick up rows. He suggested that defendant should be bound over.— Defendant said he was guilty of a common assault. He had had a drop of drink that day.— The Clerk: You have no business to go and assault your wife.— Defendant: That is quite right.— The Clerk: If you go again you will get into serious difficulty.

HIS WIFE TURNED HIM OUT.— John KELLY was summoned by his wife Eliza KELLY for desertion at Hurst.— Defendant pleaded not guilty.— Complainant said they had been married ten years and had no children. Defendant went away short of a month ago and he sent her nothing. This was his fifth time of going away.— Defendant said his wife turned him out.— The rent book was in her name. Complainant was his second "missus," and she had driven his children away. He was willing to live with her if she would get without her family the same as she had done with his. His wife was in the habit of drinking, and the result was that all his clothes were in the pawnshop. He had had to fetch her out of public houses at night.— Defendant was ordered to contribute 2s 6d a week towards his wife's maintenance.

The death occurred under singular circumstances on Wednesday forenoon of an infant aged 17 moths, named Alice, daughter of a widow named Mary Alice COFFEY, Turner's-court, Charles-street, Ashton. The child had been under the treatment of Dr MANN for a chest complaint and had also been troubled with a cold and soreness of the left eye, which had been examined by a doctor at an eye hospital in Manchester. According to the mother's statement the window and door of her house were taken out by the landlord the previous Wednesday on account of her not having paid the rent, and through the bad weather the child's cold was made worse. On Wednesday morning the mother placed the child on the sofa to sleep, and shortly afterwards she found the child was dead.

Ernest CLAYTON was before the Ashton County justices, on Wednesday, charged with selling bread other than by weight; also with not providing proper scales and weights in his van at Woodhouses on November 2nd.— Defendant pleaded guilty.— A constable stated that at 2.15pm on the date in question he saw defendant deliver a loaf of bread at a dwelling-house, for which he received 2d, without weighing the bread. On being asked the reason he said he thought it did not matter. Witness took the loaf to the van to weigh it, but there were no scales there, and defendant said he had left them at home.— Defendant said the scales were left off the van in mistake.— Chairman: It is rather a lame excuse; a case of the window being cracked before.— (Laughter.)— Defendant was fined 5s 6d and costs in each case.

The member of this class held a social party on Saturday evening last to take leave of one of their number, Mr William HALLOWS, who for business reasons is removing to Doncaster. The chair was occupied Mr William HOUGH, one of the teachers of the class, who, in brief and sympathetic manner referred to the event which had called them together, and to the great wrench in one's associations which such changes entailed. Addresses were also given by Mr Jonas KNIGHT and Mr Thomas KNOTT, superintendents of Albion Sunday School, and by Rev Thomas HOOPER, the pastor, all of whom spoke highly of Mr HALLOW's services to the class, the school, and the church, expressed their great regret that he was leaving, their good wishes for his health and prosperity in the new position to which he was going, and their hope that he would find a suitable outlet in his new home for his energies and experience in school and church work.

An Affray at Charlestown

At the Borough Police Court on Monday, Patrick LAMB was in custody charged with unlawfully wounding Alice GREGORY, and William MORRISEY was charged with a similar offence against James Hy. LAMB. The Chief Constable said he proposed to offer evidence sufficient for a remand, as the persons assaulted were not in the opinion of the police surgeon out of danger.— The evidence showed that on Saturday night there was a general melee at 19 Pitt-street, Charlestown, in which the LAMBs and MORRISEY were engaged. It is alleged that Patrick LAMB drew a knife from his pocket and stabbed Alice GREGORY in the arm. MORRISEY attacked James Henry LAMB with a poker and struck him a blow on the head. GREGORY had to be sent to hospital, and Dr HUGHES put some stitches into LAMB's head.— The Chief Constable asked for a remand for a week.— Patrick LAMB applied to be admitted to bail.— The Chief Constable said it was a rather serious case and he opposed bail.— The Magistrates declined to allow bail and both prisoners were remanded for a week.

James McDERMOTT was before the Ashton county justices on Wednesday, on a double charge of committing a breach of the peace at Hurst on November 9th, and also assaulting Constable WHITING.— Defendant pleaded guilty to the first charge, but said he did not know anything about the second charge, as he did not remember what he did. He said he had been with some friends, and got some drink.— Constable WHITING deposed to being called to a house and seeing defendant in the doorway with his jacket off, and waving his hands about, and acting like a madman. He said he was the "boss" of the house, and would have no one else in. He threatened to shoot witness, and also kicked him several times on the legs.— Superintendent HEWITT informed the magistrates that Constable WHITING had been off duty ever since the assault.— Defendant was fined 10s for assaulting the constable, and was bound over in 40s to keep the peace for three months.

Thomas NIBLETT (35), labourer, pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging him with the manslaughter of James FLANNAGAN. He conducted his own defence.— Mr HULTON, who appeared for the prosecution, stated that prisoner and the deceased, who worked together, were, with a third man, in a public-house in Arthur-street, on September 14th. The three men were seen to come out of the house together. According to the evidence, FLANNAGAN was under the influence of drink, and was staggering about. He wanted to go back to the public-house, but NIBLETT endeavoured to persuade him to go home. Words ensued, and NIBLETT struck FLANNEGAN on the head. The latter fell to the ground unconscious, and lay there with his head resting against the kerbstone. NIBLETT and the other man eventually got him home, where he remained unconscious until Sunday, the 15th of September. His wife then sent for the doctor, who found no external marks of injury. There was, however, an injury to the brain, and the man died on the 19th of September.

A number of witnesses were called. They spoke of the efforts the prisoner made to get FLANNAGAN home, but the desire of the deceased man was to go back to the public-house, and he became very excited. The medical testimony was to the effect that the injury which caused death was the result of a fall, and not of a blow.

Prisoner elected to give evidence on his own behalf. He said he appealed to FLANNAGAN not to get any more drink, as he had already had two pints of beer, and he wanted him back to work on the Monday morning. FLANNAGAN became very abusive, and in the end he (prisoner) pushed him on the arm, remarking that he might go where he liked. FLANNAGAN slipped down, and it was only with assistance that he managed to get him home, where he left him on the sofa. The next morning he called for him to go for a walk, but he was in bed. He swore that he would never take a drop of drink any more, and drank half a bottle of ginger beer.

The jury returned a verdict of "Not guilty," and the prisoner was discharged, the Judge advising him never to push a drunken man again. He said he would have nothing to do with any man in such a condition again.

Ashton Unqualified Practitioner Censured

At the Tame Valley Hotel last Saturday morning, an inquiry was held upon the body of Berth HOBSON, aged 32, wife of James Henry HOBSON, cotton operative, of 9 Nineteen-row, Tame Valley, whose decease occurred the previous Thursday.

The husband as the first witness called. He said: About half-past eleven on Friday, deceased gave birth to a child, and was attended by Charles Samuel SPENCER, homeopathist, of Ashton, and Louisa HEATON, midwife, of Dukinfield. She did very well until Monday morning, about three o'clock, when she was seized with shivers. Mr SPENCER had attended her daily, and came as often as he could, and on Wednesday evening, as she continued to be going worse, he suggested that Dr MASON of Ashton be called in. On the following morning, deceased succumbed about 9.45.

The Coroner: At whose request was it that Mr SPENCER was present at the time? Witness: Deceased's. The Foreman: You ought to have seen to having someone in attendance who could have given certificate when your wife died, seeing she was getting worse. Witness: I did not know Mr SPENCER was not a qualified man. My wife seemed to have good faith in him because he had done her so much good when suffering in the head.

Mr SPENCER, who was present at the inquiry, said his brother, whom he took with him, was not qualified. The Coroner, (to the husband): Did Dr MANN refuse to give a certificate?— Witness: Yes, sir.— The Coroner: Why?— Witness: Because he said he dare not do so. Continuing, witness said his wife did not ask for a doctor.

(For more information, please contact me direct.)

A Brutal Husband

At the Dukinfield Police Court, on Thursday, a tall, powerful looking fellow named James BRADLEY, described as a labourer, was in the dock, under warrant, charged with committing an aggravated assault upon his wife, Ruth BRADLEY, at Hollimgworth on the 6th August. He pleaded not guilty.

Mrs BRADLEY stated that she lived in Spring-street, Hollingworth, and the prisoner was her husband. On the morning of the 6th August she got up to go to her work. Her husband had been out of work seven weeks. She told him that the landlord had given her notice to leave, as he would not stand his abusive language and misbehaviour. He got out of bed, dashed her on the bedroom floor, slapped her in the face, throttled her, and kicked her about the face. He also made her two black eyes. After that she left the house to go to her work, and when she got to the bottom of the street the prisoner came after her. He got hold of her by the hair, and dragged her back to the house. He got a thick stick and beat her about the head with it. He then said he thought he had done enough, and left her.

She had not seen him until the other day. She had to go to Dr POMFRET, and she was under him for a week.— The Magistrates' Clerk: You have brought him up five or six times.— Complainant: Yes, sir.— Defendant: There is no chance of me living with her again when she has a man living with her.— The Clerk: Is that so?— Complainant: No, sir. There is a lodger in the house, and I sleep out..— Defendant: There is one room upstairs and one down.— The Clerk: Where do you sleep?— Complainant: Across the road at Booth's.— Defendant: Didn't I find some papers showing you that you insured other people's children and their parents?— The Clerk: What about these lodgers?— Complainant: I have had some lodgers to keep the house going.— Defendant: You have no need to do that. You have a banking account and that is what you have been doing for years.

Complainant: This is about the 43rd time you have been up.— Defendant denied the assault, and said all his wife stated was imagination.— Annie BRADLEY, aged 12, daughter, gave corroborative evidence. She saw her father drag her mother back along the street to the house by her hair. He then got a stick and beat her over the head with it, and split her head open.

The Bench granted a separation order and an allowance of 5s per week to the wife for maintenance, and custody of the child.

With torturing, disfiguring eczemas, and every species of itching, burning, bleeding, scaly, and blotchy skin, scalp, and blood humours, with loss of hair, are instantly relieved and speedily cured by warm baths with Cuticura Soap, to cleanse the skin of crusts and scales and soften the thickened cuticle, gentle, anointing with Cuticura, the great skin cure, to allay itching, irritation, and inflammation, and soothe and heal, and full doses of Cuticura Resolvent, to cool and cleanse the blood. This simple and inexpensive treatment will afford instant relief, permit rest and sleep, and point to a speedy, permanent, and economical cure in the most torturing and disfiguring of itching, burning and scaly skin, scalp, and blood humours, when all else fails. PRICE, THE SET, 5s; or, SOAP, 1s; OINTMENT, 2s 6d; RESOLVEMENT, 2s 6d; all chemists,

SOLVED AT LAST.— He entered the box-office of a West-end theatre with thunder on his countenance. "Look here," he said to the booking-clerk, "these two seats you gave me are in different rows — one seat immediately behind the other." "That's all right," was the reply, "You are expected to sit behind the lady, and if you bring one with a big hat — well, it's your own fault. That's the way we sell 'em now."
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