27 July 1901

Corporal Punishment in Schools

At the Manchester Assizes on Friday, Isaac HENSHAW, a boy, who sued by his father, brought an action against Joel RALPHS, headmaster of St Mark's School, Dukinfield, to recover damage for assault. — Mr WILKINSON and Mr Ambrose JONES appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr PICKFORD, K.C., and Mr SHAW for the defendant.

Mr WILKINSON said fortunately the case was one which did not often come into a court of justice. The boy Isaac HENSHAW was about 10 years of age. On the 10th January this year he was attending St Mark's Elementary School, Dukinfield, of which the defendant, Mr Joel RALPHS, was the headmaster. On the morning of that day he was reported by one of the monitors for misconduct in the street on the previous night and the defendant felt it was his duty to administer corporal punishment. He asked the bot to hold out his right hand, and the defendant, with a cane, struck him a blow on the palm of the hand. He then took hold of the boy's fingers, turned his hand over, and struck him twice on the back of the hand It was that of which complaint was made.

The medical witnesses he should call would state that certain conditions had been set up in the right hand which had gone on from that day to this. Ulcers had formed from which there was constant discharge, the boy had been under medical attendance, and his right hand was still in bad condition. It would be shown also that there was grave danger that the hand would be of no use to the child again. In a large school it was absolutely essential that someone ± a headmaster or headmistress ± should, for the purpose of maintaining discipline, have power delegated to them of inflicting corporal punishment. No complaint was made of reasonable punishment, but his point was that to strike a boy on the back of the hand was unnecessarily cruel, and was a thing no headmaster should do.

A surgeon at the Manchester Royal Infirmary said he examined the boy on the 11th July, in company with Dr CLARKE. There could be no doubt as to the tuberculous condition of the boy. The fact that suppuration was only beginning to show in April would point to its being the result of tuberculous condition. If the blow had been of sufficient violence to produce injury directly, suppuration would have taken place before that date.

The defendant said he did not remember punishing the boy on the date mentioned, and had no record of such an occurrence in his punishment book. He had never struck on the back of the hand. A female teacher was also called. She said the boy was not struck on the back of the hand.

The Judge said the jury had first to ascertain whether the defendant chastised the boy at all. If they thought he did then they had to be satisfied that he chastised him immoderately and unsuitably. It was the law that a schoolmaster was entitled to administer proper moderate and suitable chastisement. He was not entitled to use improper violence, and the chastisement must be in proportion to the age and strength of the child. It was a fact to be borne in mind that the story told by the mother differed from that told by the boy. All the medical witnesses admitted that the boy was tuberculous, and there was evidence to show that if he had been in good health he would not have suffered at all.

The jury returned a verdict for the defendant. The Judge: I quite agree.

Apology to Councillors GRIME and CLARKE

The following appears in yesterday's Friday Manchester Weekly Times ±

DUKINFIELD TOWN COUNCIL — We have heard with some surprise that a cartoon, which appeared in these columns on the 17th of May, has given offence to two members of the Dukinfield Town Council. At a meeting of the Council a day or two before, a long discussion took place on the question of whether long or short tubes should be used with babies' milk bottles. (The Council supply sterilised milk) During the debate a councillor invited the members to practice so themselves, Councillors GRIME and CLARKE sitting on two stools working out the details of the subject under consideration. This suggestion was carried out in our cartoon, The two councillors were depicted seated on stools discussing the question of long or short tubes for milk bottles. The cartoon was perfectly good tempered and we could not have supposed that it would be regarded as holding up Councillors GRIME and CLARKE to public ridicule! We regret that they should have taken the cartoon so seriously. We published it in good faith without the slightest intention to injure or even irritate them. This being so, we have no hesitation in apologising for the annoyance we have unwittingly given them.

Presentation by the Mayor

At a garden party held in the grounds of the Old Hall, Dukinfield, on Saturday in support of the church funds, occasion was taken to present to William Arthur LAWLESS, metal worker, of Astley-street, Dukinfield Hall, the testimonial of the Royal Humane Society for a deed of gallantry performed by him 11 weeks ago, the particulars of which were narrated in the Reporter at the time. The award, which had been neatly mounted and framed, set forth that at a meeting of the society held in London on the 17th June it was unanimously resolved that William A LAWLESS was justly entitled to the honorary testimonial of the society, inscribed on vellum, which was thereby awarded him for having on the 11th May, 1901, gone to the rescue of W DAVIES, who was in imminent danger of drowning in the canal at Dukinfield, and whose life he gallantly saved. The presentation was made by the Mayor, Alderman PRATT, the chair being occupied by Mr John HALSTEAD. There was a large attendance. The ceremony immediately followed tea.

Mr HALSTEAD remarked that the meeting had resolved itself into a very interesting affair. He did not know what Dukinfield Hall people might attain to yet; perhaps in the future they might boast a mayor of their own. Anyhow, at present they had a neighbour who was a good Mayor, they had a good Mayoress, and they had some heroes. ± (Hear, hear)

There were heroes other than those who gained distinction on the battlefield and at sea, and that evening they were going to give honour to one to whom honour was due. When a man would risk his life with the object of saving that of another, that was one of the greatest pieces of heroism, because life was sweet, and "skin for skin, all that a man hath will he give for his life." Their friend LAWLESS had performed a deed of heroism, and they were only paying him a just due in presenting him with the testimonial which their esteemed Mayor had kindly condescended to hand over. — (Applause)

The Mayor, on rising, said he considered it no condescension on his part, but a great honour to be asked to perform the duty assigned to him. That afternoon they were assembled together for a double purpose ± to partake of refreshment and enjoy the beautiful weather, and to make a presentation to a gentleman who at the risk of his own life saved that of a fellow man. He did not know any honour — testimonial or Victoria Cross — that could compensate a man for a deed of that kind so much as the feelings within his own bosom.

He trusted that the young friends present would remember, as the chairman had stated, that it was not only on board ship and on the battlefield where those were to be found ready to do and dare and die if necessary on behalf of their brothers and sisters. — (Applause) Not only in this instance, but on two previous occasions, had their friend been the means of saving life in a similar manner, and he had the greatest pleasure in handing over to him on behalf of the Humane Society that testimonial, trusting that he would treasure it as he had earned and deserved it. — (Applause)

Mr LAWLESS in a few words thanked the friends present and the Royal Humane Society for that handsome testimonial, adding that what he had done was only what a great many others would have done under similar circumstances. — (Applause)

— A young man named Herbert GILMORE was brought up charged with deserting from the 3rd Manchester Regiment at Aldershot on the 28th June. ± Constable HEIGHWAY stated the facts and prisoner was remanded to await an escort. ± On the application of the Chief Constable a reward of 10s was allowed to the officer.

THE HOT WEATHER — Nary OGDEN was summoned for being drunk and disorderly in Adelphi Court on the 21st — Constable ROLLINSON stated the case. — The Chief Constable said nothing was known against her. It must be the hot weather. — (Laughter) — Discharged with a caution.

PLAYING AT BANKER — Four youths named Robert SMITH, Alexander ROBINSON, Edward ALLEN and Joseph ROWLEY were summoned for gaming in Pitt-street on the 14th. — Constable WILD said he saw the defendants and several other young fellows playing at banker. He seized the cards and 3d in copper. — The Bench fined SMITH, ALLEN and ROWLEY 2s 6d each, and discharged ROBINSON.

ASSAULT UPON A LITTLE GIRL — Ernest KAY, of Hemingway's Yard, was in the dock charged on remand with an aggravated assault upon Sarah Jane NEWTON, aged seven, formerly living in the same yard. Mr J B POWNALL prosecuted, and Mr J S EATON defended and pleaded not guilty. — The evidence of the little girl, her sister, one of her neighbours and Dr BOWMAN was given. Her mother should also have given evidence, but during the remand she committed suicide by drowning. — After hearing the evidence, which was not fit for publication, the Bench found the prisoner guilty, and sentenced him to four months' imprisonment with hard labour.

"KEEP AWAY FROM THAT CLUB" — Martin DUNN, who walked with difficulty up to the "weighing machine," was charged with being drunk in Alfred-street on Sunday the 14th. He pleaded not guilty. — Constable HEIGHWAY stated that at five minutes past 11 o'clock am on Sunday, he saw the defendant come out of the Churchill Club in a very drunken state. He could hardly point a foot. The curator of the club came out and assisted him home. — Defendant informed the Bench that he always walked with difficulty and was not drunk. ± The Chief Constable said he knew nothing against the man before. — Dr COOKE: Keep away from that club. You will be discharged this time.

DRUNK AND ASSAULTING THE POLICE — James FINNIGAN, dyer, of Gee Cross, was in the dock charged with being drunk and disorderly in Stamford-street and assaulting Constables WHITE and MAYALL on Saturday. — Constable WHITE stated that at 9.55 he saw the defendant drunk and creating a disturbance. He asked him to go away. He refused and used bad language. Witness then took him into custody. Coming along Warrington-street, he was joined by Constable MAYALL. On the Market Ground defendant became very violent, more like a madman. He threw them both down and kicked them. ± Constable MAYALL corroborated, as did also a soldier witness. — In reply to the Bench the Chief Constable said the defendant was a stranger. — Defendant said he had been to the Barracks to see a friend, and was going to take the train back to Gee Cross. — The Bench fined him 2s 6d and costs in each of the three cases.

WILFUL DAMAGE AT THE UNION OFFICE — John BRIERLEY, an elderly man, was in the dock charged with doing damage amounting to 1 8s 6d to windows, the property of the Ashton Board of Guardians. ± Mr SIMON, relieving officer, informed the court that on Saturday morning at ten o'clock the prisoner came to his office and asked for an order for the workhouse. He told him he would have to see the Board first. He then went out, but came again shortly afterwards, and asked for a doctor's note. He gave him one. The prisoner used threats and said he was an epileptic case, and had been in and out of the workhouse for five years. He went to get an order, and Mr SIMON said he would not give him one as long as he was there. He had a spite against him for what occurred 18 months ago. ± Mr SIMON denied the statement, and said he had no spite against anyone. — Dr COOKE told the prisoner even if it were so it did not justify him in breaking the windows. Mr SIMON said the Guardians did not allow him to give orders to able-bodied persons. — A witness named FIRTH stated that Mr SIMON did not refuse to give an order but told the prisoner to come on Thursday, and see the Guardians. — Prisoner was fined 10s and costs and ordered to pay the damage ± in default one month.

Smoking His Cigars

At the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday, Thomas Clayton REVILL, described as a plasterer, living in Katherine-street, Ashton, was in custody charged with neglecting to maintain his wife and family. — Defendant pleaded not guilty. — Mr William SIMON, relieving officer, stated that on April 10th defendant's wife and five children became chargeable to the guardians and were relieved to the extent of 1 10s. The husband promised to pay the money owing, and came to witness' office begging him not to have the warrant served upon him. He had only paid 10s of the money owing.

On Monday night, witness went along with a constable to see prisoner and found him living with another woman, smoking his cigars, and a quart of beer on the table. He refused to pay the money. The wife and family had nothing at all coming into the house, and prisoner could earn 4 or 5 a week. — Prisoner said he had paid 12s 6d, not 10s 6d as stated. — The Magistrates' Clerk (Mr C H BOOTH) said a separation order had been granted in the other court. — Mrs REVILL said that when the separation order was granted her husband was ordered to contribute 18s a week. He owed her 4 19s, and she had had to go to the guardians for relief. Her husband had been locked up for stealing.

Prisoner said he would like to know what his wife had done with a box of ornaments. He had given her several sums of money. If the magistrates would allow him one month he would pay the money owing but he had been done out of 10s. He had been out of work for three weeks. — Magistrates' Clerk: You have no need to be out of work a day. — The Chairman said the case would be adjourned to next Wednesday to enable prisoner to pay 1, failing which he would have to go to prison.

Before Mr Fred WILDE and Dr TINKER, at the Hyde County Police Court, on Monday, Ernest KIRKHAM, 17 years of age, was charged with deserting from His Majesty's ship Vivid, at Devonport. — Superintendent COOPER stated that defendant joined the navy on 5th of the present month, and not being sufficiently developed to become an able-bodied seaman, he was placed in what was called the domestic service. He remained there a few days and then deserted and returned to Dukinfield.

He had been brought up by a lady at Dukinfield, and on his returning home without pass, the lady became suspicious, and she gave him 30s for his fare to return to Devonport at once. Instead of doing so, however, he went and spent a week at Blackpool, and after his money was done came again to Dukinfield. He (the superintendent) had since received a telegram from the naval authorities instructing him to apprehend defendant, and send him to Devonport. He now asked for an order from the justices to hand him over to the authorities of the Vivid. ± Defendant, questioned as to his desertion, said he joined the navy and not the army, and when he got to Devonport he was immediately sent to a barracks. — The order was given and the boy was taken by the first train to Devonport.

Found Lying in a Pool of Blood

Information was received at the Ashton Police Office on Saturday of the death of Samuel WILLIAMSON, labourer, of 52 South-street, Ashton, aged 67 years, which took place at the above address at 6.30 pm on the 20th inst. A man named Frank ASHWORTH was walking along Slate-lane, Audenshaw, about 5 o'clock on Saturday afternoon, when he saw WILLIAMSON lying in a pool of blood by the side of a ditch He was without jacket and there was a deep cut on his left arm. With assistance the man was removed from the ditch on to the bank, and subsequently a razor was found in the ditch.

It transpired that earlier in the day WILKINSON had given his spectacles and pocket watch to a woman named Sarah GOUCHER, of 259 Fitzroy-street, Ashton, where he lodged, telling her never to part with them. He shook hands with her, saying "God bless you; I shall not see you again. They will be sorry for it" (referring to his children). The woman asked him to stay in the house, but he would not do so, and went out. He had used threats to take his life away many times before. Deceased also shook hands with his son, Edward WILKINSON, and began to cry, and said he was bothered; also that he would not see him again. Deceased's arm was bandaged up, and he was taken home, where he died as aforestated.

An inquest was held on Tuesday afternoon by Mr J F PRICE at the Corporation Arms, Guidebridge. Edward WILLIAMSON, labourer, 236 Park-street, Ashton, said deceased was his father, and was a tanner by trade, but had not followed any occupation for some weeks, prior to which he was a scavenger for the Audenshaw Local Board. Witness had seen him about five times in eight months. He last saw him alive on Saturday at 1.30 pm, at the bottom of Stockport-road. Witness spoke to him, and he said he felt uneasy, but did not say about what. He began to cry and shook hands with witness, saying it would be the last time he would see him. Witness did not ask him what he meant, because he had made threats before, and had been of a rambling disposition. He had heard him threaten to commit suicide once or twice since the mother died in November last. Had it occurred to witness that he really would do so he would have taken him in hand himself. He was of a very funny disposition, and had had an opportunity given him of being taken in, but he would not take it. Witness had not asked him to live with him, but his brother had. Witness, in reply to his father's threat, said "get off with your bother; you've said that before."

Sarah GOUCHER, wife of John GOUCHER, 259 Fitzroy-street, Ashton, said the deceased had lodged with her since about Christmas. He was working up to about five weeks ago, since when he been very depressed about his wife dying. He had often threatened to commit suicide, and witness had begged of him many times to disabuse himself of the idea. Witness last saw him alive on Saturday afternoon, when he came into the house, and gave a little girl 3d to fetch a pint of beer. Asked by the Coroner why she did not send for the police, witness said deceased had threatened so many times that she did not think he really meant it.

The Coroner said that the extraordinary thing was that neither the son nor the landlady seemed to think anything about his threats. Foreman: I think he knew what he was doing according to the statements of the witnesses. Several jurymen expressed contrary opinions, and ultimately a verdict of suicide was returned, but that there was not satisfactory evidence to show what state of mind the deceased was in at the time he committed the act.

We regret to announce the death of Mr Giles WINTERBOTTOM, of Micklehurst, on Tuesday. He was 71 years of age. He was one of the best known men in the district, having been a faithful servant for Messrs Geo LAWTON and Sons, woollen manufacturers for upwards of 50 years. For the last 18 weeks he has been confined to the house, more or less, and has been under the care of Dr EATOUGH. Occasionally, when he has felt a little better, he has taken a walk down to the warehouse at the mill. In his early life, he was closely connected with the Micklehurst Union Sunday School, and took a very active part in its management. He was a Congregationalist, and when in good health attended the Abney Chapel. His wife died about two years ago, and he leaves three daughters to mourn the loss of a loving and kind father. His remains will be interred in the family grave at Saddleworth Church this afternoon.

The death took place at the Ashton District Infirmary on Monday of Noah SWINNERTON, aged two years, son of Noah SWINNERTON, ironworker, 38 Robinson-street, Stalybridge, as the result of burns received on the 9th inst. On that date, about 5-0 pm, the mother, Mary SWINNERTON, was engaged cleaning the floor. She went out to get some soap soda from a neighbour, leaving the child in a rocking chair in the corner of the fireplace. She was away about two minutes, when she heard the child crying and on going into the house saw the child standing on the hearth, his pinafore, which was made of muslin, being in flames. The mother extinguished the fire with her hands and called in the services of a neighbour who helped to undress the child and wrap it in a shawl. The child was afterwards taken to Dr TATE's surgery where on examination it was found to be severely burned about the face and right arm. The burns having been dressed, the child was taken to the Infirmary, and died there as aforestated.

A Bit of a Tarter — A Novel Case at the Police Court

Before the Hyde Borough magistrates at the Police Court on Monday, John W PRITCHARD, of 12 Mount-street, Hyde, summoned his wife, Mary PRITCHARD, for assault on the 19th inst. Complainant, who appeared to be a meek, harmless fellow of somewhat small stature, presented himself in court with his face swollen and very much scratched, while defendant, who was of a burly, masculine appearance, entered the box with her arms bare, and as her humble partner told his simple but touching story looked across court with an air of utmost defiance.

He stated that he was a mechanic, and the assault he complained of took place in the kitchen of his house about six o'clock on Friday night. Defendant had been drinking in the Golden Fleece all afternoon with a man and about tea time when he returned from his work he went to ask her when she was coming home. In reply she said she would come when she was ready. When she did come she at once struck him across the face, and then knocked him down with the kitchen table. Afterwards she knelt upon him, scratched his face with a hairpin, and then punched him. Afterwards while in the act of washing, she threw two pint pots full of water on to him. They had been living in Mount-street for about eight weeks, and he only remembered her being sober on two occasions during the whole of that time. Defendant: He hit me first and I "punched" him.

Eliza BROMLEY, married woman, of 34 Thomas-street, said she was the sister of the defendant. She did not see the assault complained of, but the same day she saw defendant kick him in the stomach, after which she begged for mercy. Witness thought it was about time a stop was put to her conduct. She would follow plaintiff about the street when he was going to work, and scandalise him wholesale.

Defendant denied the assault. Plaintiff had been drinking all afternoon, and when she came home he struck her a blow. Then he "punched" her and gave her another blow in the mouth. In regard to the table, it simply fell on him as he fell to the floor. She had certainly had some beer, but she was not drunk. She was fined 5s and costs.

Defendant was also charged with being drunk and disorderly on the 20th, the day after the alleged assault. Constable ROBINSON said he found defendant drunk and creating a disturbance in Thomas-street on Saturday afternoon. He told her to go into the house and she did so, but was out again and as bad as ever directly afterwards. He was obliged to bring her to the police court. She was very violent. Fined 5s or seven days.

Fogg — Jackson

There was a large assembly at Moravian Church, Dukinfield, on Thursday week, when the nuptials were celebrated of Mr James FOGG of Hyde and Miss Annie JACKSON, youngest daughter of the late Mr George JACKSON, of Sunny Side, Ashton. The officials of the church had arranged for special music and hymns to be given by the organist and choir, and the edifice was well filled at the time fixed for the ceremony.

Prior to the arrival of the guests, who occupied seats in the centre of the church, the organist, Mr S HILTON, rendered the Intermezzo "Forget me not" and "With verdure clad," whilst as the wedding pair walked down the aisle the "Bridal March" from "Lohengrin" was played. The Rev W TITTERINGTON, pastor, officiated at the ceremony, Mr HAMER, the bride's brother-in-law, giving her away. The bridesmaid was Miss Sally SIDEBOTTOM, of Fern Bank, Ashton, whilst the best man was Mr J PRESTWICK, of Hooley Hill.

As the bride walked down the aisle, she looked very charming, her dress being of cream silk, with a hat effectively trimmed to match. She carried a splendid bouquet of tea roses, that of the bridesmaid ± who wore a dress of grey canvass trimmed with white, and a black picture hat being made up of sweet peas.

A NARROW ESCAPE — Briggs: "That was a narrow escape Bildergate had, wasn't it?" You know he was about to marry a girl, when he found that she spent 500 a year on her dresses." Griggs: "Yes, but he's married all the same." Briggs: "True, but he didn't marry that girl." Griggs: "He didn't. Who did he marry then?" Briggs: "Her dressmaker.
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