12 April 1902


An inquest was held at the Ashton District Infirmary on Monday afternoon by J F PRICE, district coroner, on the body of Geo TOOHEY, aged three years and five months, son of Edward TOOHEY, shoemaker, of 111 Princess-street, Ashton, whose death took place at the infirmary on Friday afternoon whilst under chloroform.

Elizabeth TOOHEY said she was the wife of Edward TOOHEY, and mother of the deceased, who was a full grown child at birth and had enjoyed good health up to being eleven months old, when he became relaxed through teething for which he was attended by Dr TWOMEY. About 16 months ago she got a recommend to take the child to the infirmary as an out-door patient, and about four months ago the right side of the child’s neck began to swell. She again took the child to Dr TWOMEY, who gave her a bottle of medicine and told her to rub the affected part with marshmallow ointment. The swelling seemed to get larger, and Dr TWOMEY advised her to take the child to the infirmary which she did on Wednesday, April 2nd.

Dr JUDSON, house surgeon at the District Infirmary, deposed to the child being admitted to the institution on the 2nd instant suffering from an enlarged abscess on the back of the throat, and had great difficulty breathing. There was no other course left but to operate, as the child could not have lived long in the state that it was in. The child was taken to the operating room at 1pm on Friday, and chloroform was administered, but before being operated upon the child died.

The jury returned a verdict of death from misadventure, and that the chloroform was lawfully and skilfully administered.

To the Editor of the Reporter
Allow me to call attention of the Lighting Committee to the want of a lamp at the corner of Cambridge-street and Hertford-street. On dark nights it is very awkward, and people who have business that way will go round about before face the possibility of being insulted, as several persons have been in this part of the dark street. I wish one of the committee would take a walk down and see for himself, and bring it before the next meeting.

County Court Action

At the Ashton County Court on Thursday, before his Honour Judge BROWN, Mrs Jane BARBER, 91 Moss-street, Ashton, claimed from Mr James F GLOVER, carrier, King-street, Hurst, the sum of £50 damages for personal injuries sustained through the alleged negligence of the defendant’s servant. Mr WILKINSON appeared for the plaintiff and Mr T C P GIBBONS for the defendant.

It appeared that on the 14th September, 1899, plaintiff was a passenger in an electric tramcar which was proceeding across Warrington-street, Ashton, when a horse and lurry belonging to defendant, and driven by his son, collided with the car, in consequence of the negligent driving of the defendant’s son. As a result of the accident plaintiff sustained a serious nervous shock, and had been under medical treatment for a considerable period. A Mrs MURRAY, of Denton, who was a passenger in the same car as plaintiff, had already brought an action against defendant for damages for injuries she had sustained, and had obtained a judgement against him.

Mr WILKINSON addressed the court on behalf of plaintiff, and his case was supported by Dr TALENT, Mr and Mrs MURRAY, George BLAIN, car driver, and Jane HARROP. For the defence William MOSS, Charles H GLOVER (defendant’s son), and Henry WHITTAKER, gave evidence, after which Mr GIBBONS addressed His Honour.

His Honour, in summing up, said that under the circumstances he must award plaintiff some damages, but he did not feel inclined to give her more than £10 10s 0d, and there would accordingly be judgement for that amount, payment at the rate of £1 per month.

The Ashton Case

At Preston Quarter Session, on Wednesday, John Prince GREY (29), a gentlemanly looking fellow, described as a stockbroker, pleaded not guilty to obtaining £10 by false pretences from George BACKHURST, clerk, Ashton-under-Lyne.

In February the prosecutor answered an advertisement in the Manchester papers for a clerk, competent and trustworthy, to manage a large office. Prosecutor wrote to Tyldesley-road, Blackpool, and two days later received a reply from the prisoner. After further communications prosecutor proceeded to Blackpool and interviewed the prisoner, who represented himself to be the chief agent for J and S MORGAN, widely-known financiers. He stated that the firm was about to open a branch in Blackpool, and offered prosecutor a position at a progressive salary of £4 a week in the first year to £5 in the third year.

Prosecutor agreed to pay £10 down as security, proceed to London and interview the principles of the firm at 5 Frogmore-street. Prisoner further stated that he had a house in London and kept several horses, and that he was only staying in Blackpool for the benefit of his wife’s health. Prosecutor would have six clerks under him. A formal agreement was drawn up engaging the prosecutor, and the couple arranged to meet at London-road Station, Manchester, and proceed to London. Prisoner, however, failed to put in an appearance, and prosecutor thereupon gave information to the police. There was no Frogmore-street in London, and representative of the firm of Morgan said the prisoner had no connection with them whatever.

Detective LEESON, of Blackpool, caused a sensation by producing a huge bundle of 363 letters of application answering the advertisements. The prisoner gave evidence stating that the agreement was made entirely on behalf of himself. He would have fulfilled the contract if permitted.

The prisoner was found guilty and sentenced to 15 months’ hard labour, the Chairman saying that a well-educated like accused could not be allowed to prey upon society.

Proposal to Spend £1,900 on Victoria Road School

The monthly meeting was held on Thursday evening. Present, Rev D R JAMES (chairman), Rev Hugh S TAYLOR (vice-chairman), Rev J MAGEE, Rev W TITTERINGTON, Rev P CLEARY, Dr PARK, Mr J D HIBBERT, Mr S FLETCHER, Mr W UNDERWOOD, Mr John MOORHOUSE (clerk), and Mr J H BEARD (assistant).

It was resolved to forward a letter to the Estate, and also to write to the Board of Education, informing them that the architects had received instructions to prepare plans of proposed alterations and additions to the Victoria-road Board School.– At a meeting of the committee, held on the 3rd of April, the architects amended plans were submitted, and the probable cost of the alterations would be about £1,900. After much consideration it was moved by Mr UNDERWOOD, seconded by Mr MAGEE, and resolved that the sub-committee again confer with the architects as to further details re: boundary walls, closets, lowering of the land, and all information relating thereto.

(In the same issue)
To the Editor of the Reporter
Sir,– In your last week’s Reporter my name was brought into question by Mr MAGEE, a new member of the School Board, pointing out that three who had voted for my “amendment” at the meeting held in the Dukinfield Hall School lived beyond Charles-street. He should have gone further, and pointed out that the mover of the “resolution” lived on Chapel Hill, and the seconder at the bottom of King-street.

Readers will be able to judge who had the greatest claims to demonstrate their points. Clearly it has been proved without doubt by the majority of the School Board and the Board of Education that the Clarendon-street site is the most suitable one. It is likely that building operations will take place in the vicinity of Clarendon-street.

The figures that Mr MAGEE disputes were obtained from a reliable source, and are correct. The difference arises because he takes the railway bridge instead of the canal bridge, of which streets were named where the children came from, but the reporters did not mention them. I should have expected Mr MAGEE, before he rushed into print, would have told me of his intention, as I have no desire to enter into controversy in School Board matters for the town generally.

I intend to place my views before the Board of Education at a later date. Thanking you in anticipation.– I am, yours faithfully,
Highfield House, Dukinfield

On Thursday last week an interesting function took place at the annual distribution of profit-sharing to the employees of the Richmond Gas Stove and Meter Co Limited. After the distribution of about £350 to the workmen as their bonus for the year, the chairman presented Mr James W SLACK, of Queen’s-road (formerly of Ashton-under-Lyne and now of Tunbridge Wells), with a handsome gold hunter watch. The inscription inside the watch was as follows:– “Presented to Mr J W SLACK by the directors and officials of the Richmond Gas Stove and Meter Company Limited on the occasion of his appointment as secretary to the company. March 1902.” Mrs SLACK was also the recipient of a lady’s watch as a manifestation of the goodwill of the employees towards her.

A Reflection on the Magistrates and a Rebuke

A the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, George Henry HAGUE and James CROPPER were charged with being drunk on licensed premises at Hurst on March 7th.– Superintendent HEWITT said that the defendants were before the court last week, and the case was adjourned in consequence of statements made by them to the court which were not very complimentary.

Louisa GOODWIN, niece of the landlady of the Royal Oak Inn, Hurst, deposed to the defendants coming to the Royal Oak Inn on the date in question, and walking straight into the taproom. They were not served with anything, and did not stay many minutes. They had enough to drink.

Mr SUTTON, landlord, of the Church Inn, Hurst, deposed to the two defendants coming to his house about ten past nine on the night in question. They had had sufficient to drink. He did not serve them and advised them to go home. It was very hard to be brought there to give evidence. It did him no good.

The Chairman (Mr Abel BUCKLEY): If you did not serve them there is no aspersion upon you. People do not always take it that way.– The Magistrates’ Clerk: He is suggesting that people won’t go into his house because he has come to give evidence.– Mr SUTTON: No one can blame me for coming; I have been summoned.– Herbert WHITEHEAD deposed to seeing the two defendants on the night in question, and they had enough to drink.

The Magistrates’ Clerk (to defendants): What have you to say? – HAGUE: Nowt.– The Chairman: I am given to understand that last week you made some remarks about the magistrates. Allow me to tell you here that as far as I know and believe every gentleman on the bench in this district will do the fair thing, either for or against you or for anyone else. I can assure you that you will receive justice here, and if you were drunk you will be fined, and if not you will be let off.

There is a kind of feeling amongst many people that the magistrates go with the police. They do not go with the police as is often proved. It is a most disgraceful thing for you to think that you can come here and throw dirt at any of the magistrates on this bench. I can assure you that are as fair as fair can be.

Defendants were each fined 5s 6d and costs or 14 days’ imprisonment, and 1s 6d and 3s respectively for the witnesses GOODWIN and WHITEHEAD, Mr SUTTON foregoing his claim.

At the Manchester Assizes, on Tuesday, John CAWLEY, 28, striker, William NOLAN, 45, labourer, James WROE, 29, labourer, and John Knowsley CASSIDY, 35, labourer, were indicted for robbing James William FULTON of four shillings and a bunch of keys, and at the same time using personal violence to him. Mr TIPPING prosecuted.

On the night of the 20th March last the prosecutor, who is a joiner, was going along Old-street, in Ashton-under-Lyne. It was then just after eleven o’clock. When he got near Delamere-street a number of men were standing on the street corner. They set upon him, pinned his arms behind him, held his legs, and rifled his pockets of the money and keys. He seized the prisoner CAWLEY, who was one of his assailants, by the collar, and held him till a policeman came up and took him into custody.

At that time CAWLEY had the keys in his hand. He only spoke to the identity of COWLEY, who was the man, he said, who held him.– A witness named SCHOFIELD, a hawker, who said he had known all the prisoners before, described what he saw of the robbery. There were about seven men standing together, and as FULTON came one of them said, “now is the time for a ‘kip’,” by which was meant lodging. The prisoner WROE did nothing, as far as he saw, but pick up the money which fell on the floor while the other prisoners were rifling the witness’s pockets.

Another onlooker testified to the identity of CAWLEY, who was scuffling with a young man,, but he did not identify the other prisoners.– Constable ROBERTS told how he saw CAWLEY running away and the prosecutor following him. FULTON took some keys from CAWLEY and gave the latter late into custody for stealing them. The witness arrested NOLAN and WROE next day at a common lodging-house, and afterwards received CASSIDY into custody.

The jury found the prisoners guilty of stealing from the person only. CASSIDY, who had a bad records, was sentenced to three years’ penal servitude, and CAWLEY, who had been previously convicted of theft, to nine months’ imprisonment with hard labour. NOLAN, whose convictions had only been for drunk and disorderly conduct, was sentenced to six months’ hard labour, and WROE, against whom nothing was recorded, was ordered to coma up for judgement when called upon.

An Unnatural Mother

A sad and painful case came before the county magistrates at the Hyde Police Court on Monday, in which Margaret Ann ELLIS, a married woman, of 45 Parliament-street, Dukinfield, was charged in custody with wilfully neglecting and abandoning her children, Martha Elizabeth, aged 11; Walter, aged 8; Bertha, aged 7; and Clara, aged 5 years, at Dukinfield, between the 22nd January and 28th March of the present year. Prisoner pleaded not guilty.

Eliza CARPENTER, wife of Robert CARPENTER, of 13 Ogden Square, Dukinfield, said she had known prisoner about 12 years. She had four children. Witness remembered the 28th March last when the four children named came to her house and asked for some pieces of bread. She gave them some but told them she could not pretend to keep other people’s children, as she had enough to do to keep her own.

They came again the same day and asked for more, but she declined to give it. They were scantily clothed and appeared to be very hungry. She had occasionally seen the children pick up crumbs from the street and backyards thrown down for the birds. At about 11 o’clock at night on the 28th, she found them asleep on the doorstep of a chip potato shop in Dukinfield.

Prisoner: I was in Ashton at the time looking after their father. The Magistrates’ Clerk: What does prisoner do for a living? Witness: I do not know that she does anything.

Ann MORAN, wife of William MORAN, of 85 Oxford-road, Dukinfield, said she saw the children on the 28th March on the doorstep of a chip shop after 11 o’clock at night. She asked the eldest girl where her mother was, and she replied that she was with a man in Parliament-street.

About an hour afterwards witness saw them again standing in the street. She took them into her house and gave them some food and clothing. The boots they were wearing were falling from their feet. Prisoner and the children had been living with a man named MELLOR, but MELLOR had declined to take the children in with the mother. The children ate the food she gave them most ravenously, and stated they had had nothing to eat from eight o’clock in the morning.

Constable DALE deposed that in consequence of what the witness CARPENTER told him, he went on the night of the 28th to Wild-street, and there found the four children. They were very ill-clad. He asked the eldest girl about her mother, and she stated that she was in Parliament-street with a man and was drunk. Witness went to Parliament-street, taking the children with him, and found the mother in a house with a man, both of them being drunk and tumbling about the house. He knocked at the door, and immediately prisoner left by a back door. After speaking to the man, witness took the children to MELLOR’s where they had been lodging, but MELLOR refused to take them in. Mrs MORAN then took care of them.

On the following day, witness went to MELLOR’s to see if the prisoner had brought the children back, and finding that she had not done so, he went for them and took them to the police station. He then went in the direction of Parliament-street, and on the way met the prisoner coming away. She was then drunk. He asked her what she intended doing with the children, when she replied, “I am not going to do anything with the b–––––––. You can do what you like with them.”

The children were subsequently taken to the workhouse at Ashton. On Monday, the 31st, he went to Ogden Square and examined the room where the children had been accustomed to sleep. He found a lot of dirty, hard flocks on the floor, and these were used as a bed, with a filthy single blanket to cover them. Prisoner got a lot of drink, and one hardly ever saw her but that she was drunk or looking after drink.

Sergeant MOTTERSHEAD said he had known the prisoner a long time. On the 13th January of this year he had occasion to execute a distress warrant on the prisoner’s husband. He had great difficulty in finding them, but he eventually caught them in Peel’s Court where prisoner, her husband, and the four children were living in a single house along with two other men and their wives and two children.

Prisoner was then told that the best place for her was the workhouse, but she had since been travelling up and down Dukinfield keeping a house here and there. He had never known her to do a day’s work; she was generally boozing. On Saturday, the 29th, he met her in Parliament-street when he told her that her children were at the police station, and she said “Keep the ––––––– there.”

An inspector of the NSPCC said he had this case under his supervision for some time, and had cautioned prisoner and told her to go to the workhouse.

Prisoner in reply to the charge asked if she could have her husband prosecuted for desertion. The Magistrates’ Clerk: You had better deal with your own sins first and then deal with your husband’s afterwards. Prisoner: My husband has brought the children to this. I have never neglected them. Magistrates’ Clerk: What about being in the house with the man drunk? Prisoner: I was baking for him and looking after the children.

Superintendent CROGHAN said prisoner was recently summoned for wounding her husband, a charge which was reduced to one of common assault She was fined 10s and costs. The Chairman of the magistrates said the case was a very bad one, and prisoner would have to go to prison for three months with hard labour.

She: Why is it, I wonder, that a bird never uses the same nest two years in succession? It very frequently happens that one of last year’s is just as good as new. He: Birds are like women, in one way. She: I’d like to know how you draw the comparison. He: Well, I never see you wearing one of you last year’s hats, although some of them must be about as good as new.
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