26 January 1901

"Victoria, our beloved Queen is no more. Where if we search around the circumference of our not insignificant planet shall we discover one who throughout such a long life has been so highly distinguished and so justly venerated and admired?"

There was reference to the time the Queen and her mother, the Duchess of Kent, had driven through Ashton on their way to Chatsworth. This was while she was still a girl, sometime about 1830, before the advent of the railway.

Victoria’s death caused the cancellation of a number of social events, including a meeting of the Ashton Photographic Society, the Conservative Ball and a concert by Mr Charles SAUNDERS at Ashton Town Hall.

There was a genealogy reference in a column outlining the new king’s ancestral line back to Egbert, the first sole king of England.

Joseph BOYLE and Patrick KILLORAN were accused of stealing scrap iron from Messrs LEES and Sons at their Wheatfield Ironworks.

It was alleged that KILLORAN had been the first to help himself to the scrap and that he was then joined by BOYLE with another cart. Samuel LEES claimed to recognise the scrap in their carts and called the police. The pair were arrested separately shortly after.

BOYLE said that he was a tub dealer and that he had met KILLORAN on Oldham-road and that he had asked him to help unload a cart laden with castings. The road was rough and close to the ironworks, they stopped and transferred half a ton of scrap onto BOYLE’s cart to relieve the horse.

Their solicitor said that while it might appear suspicious, it had not been proved that the scrap was not rightfully theirs. The bench agreed and the two were discharged.

Ashton solicitor, Mr G FISH, was suing the Great Central Railway to the tune of 19 14s 6d for failing to deliver a bicycle from Manchester to Geneva. He and his friend, Dr PEARSON had planned a bike tour on the continent, intending to start in Geneva and then making their way to Marseilles and Genoa. Sadly, their bikes didn’t arrive and after waiting three days, they returned home. The judge ruled that the company was liable.

The Ashton Union were in court to decide who should pay for "the settlement of a lunatic named Martha BAND aged 50, formerly of 7 Cross-street, Hollingworth." Martha had become insane in 1897 and was moved from her home to Ashton Workhouse and from there to Macclesfield Asylum where she still remained. Up to May 1900, the cost of her care had been met from her own savings and were now being paid for by the Ashton Union.

The Unions covered a certain area and would meet the care costs for those living there who couldn’t afford to meet them themselves. Those costs were then recharged to the appropriate county council. Martha had been born in Woolley Bridge and had lived in the Parish of Glossop for 40 years. This would have meant that the costs would have been met by Glossop Union and Derbyshire County Council, but matters were complicated first by the fact that she had moved house shortly before her illness and by the Local Government Act of 1894 which had split Glossop, putting Charlesworth in Cheshire. The judge ruled that the costs should be paid by Glossop Union.

Frederick ASHWORTH of Syddall-street, Hyde alleged that two Ashton men had attempted to rob him as they shared a cab after a night’s drinking. He said that he had been in the Brunswick Hotel and had asked the landlord to order a cab. When asked if he had any money, he had joked that he had 30 to 40. He said that he wasn’t drunk, but that he was "well on the way".

He was joined in the cab by Ernest REVILL and William WALKER, both of Ashton, though why wasn’t clear. ASHWORTH said he started to doze, but claimed to be aware of what was going on around him. He said he felt hands in his pockets and took this as an attempt to rob him.

The case had previously been adjourned to allow the landlord to give evidence. Since then, ASHWORTH had left town and the prosecutor said he had no further evidence to give. A warrant was issued for the arrest of ASHWORTH, while REVILL and WALKER were remanded on bail.

William and John MURPHY and John HUGHES all Dukinfield colliers, were in court charged with fighting in King-street and of assaulting Detective Constable MOTTERSHEAD. It happened at 5.30pm on Saturday. DC MOTTERSHEAD had heard sounds of a disturbance and went to investigate. He found William MURPHY fighting with an unknown man. He tried to separate them when he was attacked by the three men who knocked him down and began to "belabour him in a most brutal fashion, kicking him around like a football."

The assault was made worse by the fact that shopkeepers and other neighbours had looked on, but done nothing to help the unfortunate policeman. Only Percy DAVIES, a butcher of 31 King-street had tried to intervene and was also attacked for his pains. The three attackers were fined 40s or one month in prison.

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