25 January 1902

At the Ashton Borough Police Court on Monday, John DEVLIN was in the dock on remand charged with unlawfully wounding George TRAVIS on the 3rd inst.

George TRAVIS said: I live at66 Swindells-street, Ashton-under-Lyne. At a quarter to six on Friday, the 3rd inst, I was in Booth-street, just off Stamford-street, speaking to my wife. The prisoner, John DEVLIN, came and struck me under the jaw with his fist. He did not say anything and I had not said anything to him. He knocked me down, and while on the ground he kicked me over the left eye, on the forehead, on the bridge of the nose, on the top lip, and on the back. He jumped upon me and I became unconscious. I did not remember any more until I was at the Town Hall. I was afterwards sent up to the workhouse hospital where I have remained until this morning. I have suffered lots of pain and am very weak this morning through loss of blood.– Asked if he had any questions to ask, prisoner said: No. I don't know that it matters.

Bertha DAMARELL said: I live at 160, Catherine-street, Ashton. On Friday the 3rd, about a quarter to six o'clock, I was coming along Stamford-street on my way home. When I got to the corner of Booth-street I saw TRAVIS on the ground and the prisoner kicking him four or five times. At this stage the Clerk told the prisoner he need not laugh. It would perhaps not be a laughing matter for him eventually. It would also be more respectful to the court if he gave up grinning. Witness: After that a woman came up and pulled the prisoner away. Two men raised TRAVIS from the pavement, and I saw his face was covered with blood. I did not see the bother start.

John Edward WHITWORTH said: I live at 122 Church-street, Ashton. At a quarter to six o'clock on the 3rd January I was coming down Stamford-street. When near Booth-street, I saw TRAVIS lying on the pavement and a man kicking him. Whilst he was kicking him I heard him say, "You –––––, I have catched you on my own this time." I cannot swear that prisoner is the man, but he resembles him. I went to the corner for a constable, and when I got back two men had TRAVIS reared up against the Oddfellows Hall. I struck a match and saw his face was covered with blood. Prisoner had no questions to ask "as long as he didn't see it start."

The Chief Constable said TRAVIS's wife was present. She had made a statement. The Clerk: He does not practically deny the charge. Perhaps he will have something to say at the other end.

TRAVIS was re-called and questioned: Had you any grievance with the prisoner before this? None whatever, between the prisoner and me.– You never spoke to him that night?– No, never.– He struck you without speaking? Yes.– The Clerk: Who is the prisoner? Is he a relative of yours? No.– Do you know him? Yes.– Had you any words before? None whatever.

Constable WILD said: About 12.30 noon on the 4th January I arrested the prisoner and brought him to the Town Hall, and charged him with unlawfully wounding George TRAVIS by kicking him about on the previous night. He replied, "I hit him because he kicked my mother." Prisoner had no questions to ask the officer. The Bench asked that Mrs TRAVIS should be called as they thought there was something in the case which they ought to know.

Teresa TRAVIS said: I am the wife of George TRAVIS. I am not living with my husband. I separated from him about the end of December and I lived at the house of the prisoner's mother. I was returning from my work when I met my husband in Booth-street. He came to me, and I said "Go away, are you coming to kill me as you nearly killed the old woman last Friday night." He had made a kick at me, but I avoided it. The prisoner's mother, who works at the same mill that I do, and his wife were present in the street. We all stood talking together when my husband came up. He (TRAVIS) kicked at me, but I got out of his way, and then he kicked the prisoner's mother. I screamed and then the prisoner came up. He said, "I have catched you kicking my mother," and then he struck TRAVIS, and he fell on the ground. Prisoner kicked him two or three times while he was on the pavement. When my husband was picked up I walked away.

On being charged prisoner said, "I plead guilty of assaulting him in my mother's defence, and under great provocation." Prisoner was committed for trial to the sessions, bail being allowed.

Safe(?) in the Queen's Arms

At the Ashton Borough Police Court on Monday, James William NIELD, licensee of the Queen's Arms, George-street, was summoned for keeping his licensed premises open for the sale of intoxicating liquor during prohibited hours on the 15th inst. Mr J B POWNALL defended, and pleaded not guilty.

Inspector LUDLAM was sworn and stated that he, along with Constable GODDARD, visited the Queen's Arms, kept by the defendant. The door in West-street was wide open and the light turned on in the lobby. In a room on the right of the lobby he saw two gentlemen named James Mercer JONES and another who gave the name Francis MAIDEN. They were sat at tables on which were two glasses, one about one-third full, and the other nearly empty, the contents of which appeared to be whiskey. He asked the landlord what he was doing with the house open at 18 minutes past 11 o'clock. He replied, "I have only just come in from the banquet and they have had nothing to drink since 11 o'clock." JONES said he had some business to transact with the landlord. Witness told the landlord he should have to report him, and he said "All right."

The Chief Constable: Did MAIDEN give any excuse for being there at that time? None whatever, only gave his name and address.– Did they appear to be doing any business at all? None whatever. There was no one in the room except the two sitting at the table quite unconcerned. Mr POWNALL: I have only one question. Was there a cab at the door? Inspector LUDLAM: There was. Mr POWNALL: I admit the evidence so far as it has gone.

Mr POWNALL said the facts as stated by the officers were not in dispute, and the only question he asked was whether there was a cab at the door or not. That would very likely attract attention, and it would go a long way in the mind of the Bench as to whether there was any intention to commit an offence. They all knew that the Queen's Arms had an unblemished record. It was one of the oldest houses in the town, and one of the most respectably conducted. Mr NIELD had only been the tenant for a few years and during that time that time the way he had conducted the house was entitled to commendation.

On this particular night defendant did not get home until ten minutes past eleven o'clock. Mr MAIDEN had walked up to the Old Square, and arrived at the Queen's Arms shortly before eleven o'clock. When he got inside, he met Mr JONES. At that time defendant was not in. They left the bar parlour and stood at the entrance to the kitchen, and defendant came in as they were standing there. Defendant would tell the Bench that no drink was supplied after 11 o'clock, and the fact that these two gentlemen remained there until the time stated by the police was more due to inadvertness than a wilful attempt to infringe the Act of Parliament.

The gentlemen were well known in the borough. Mr MAIDEN was connected with Bardsley Brewery, and he would be the last man in the world to do anything to jeopardise a licence. From their knowledge of Mr JONES they might say the same of him. From their knowledge of Mr JONES they might say the same of him. If there had been any attempt to defeat the Act of Parliament it was not likely they would keep the front door of the house open. Mr NIELD found that Mr JONES had stayed there to talk over a particular matter, and Mr MAIDEN, wanting to see him, also waited. The fact that it had got eighteen minutes past eleven o'clock had been overlooked. Of course, the law had been laid down that if there means of access to customers to the interior rooms from the outside, however innocent the intention might be, that constituted a technical offence He asked the Bench to accept the explanation he had given.

On Monday, at the Ashton District Infirmary, Mr S BIRCH, deputy coroner, held an inquest touching the death of Elizabeth CUNNINGHAM, a Stalybridge girl, who died from the effects of burns. Mr Edwin DIGGLE was foreman of the jury.

John CUNNINGHAM said: I live at 51 Mount-street, Stalybridge, but formerly resided in Victoria-court in that borough, and am a cane chair bottomer. Deceased was my daughter, and was 13 years of age last November. She always enjoyed good health. On Wednesday, January 1st, my wife and I left the house about nine o'clock in the morning, leaving deceased at home alone. There was a fire in the grid in the house part, which I lit before going out. We got home about quarter past five in the evening, and were then informed by my son (who works in the mill) that Elizabeth had been burned, and had been taken to the Infirmary. I came straight away and saw her. She was just able to tell me that she had been stirring the fire with the poker when the wind blew down the chimney, her pinafore becoming ignited.

John WOODHEAD, of 4 Victoria Court, off High-street, Stalybridge, said: I am a night watchman at the Globe Ironworks. On Wednesday morning, 1st instant, I was in bed when I heard my wife screaming. I ran downstairs and saw deceased in flames running out of the front door. She had come in at the back. I picked up a rug, ran after the girl, wrapped the rug round her, and put out the flames. I could see deceased was badly burned about the face, arms and body. I keep limewater and oil in the house and this I quickly applied to the burnt parts. I then sent for Dr BISHOP who approved of what I had done, and then ordered the girl's removal to the infirmary. Deceased never told me how she got on fire.

Annie REYNOLDS, wife of Herbert REYNOLDS, ironworker, of two Victoria Court, said: On New Year's Day, shortly after 11am, I was outside my own house when I heard screams outside, and upon going to see what was the matter I saw smoke issuing from WOODHEAD's door, and then saw deceased running out running out of the house in flames. Mr WOODHEAD was running after deceased with a rug in his hand. I afterwards came along with the girl to the infirmary, and on the way deceased said she was poking the fire when her pinafore ignited.– By the Foreman: There was a fender in front of the grid. When witness went into CUNNINGHAM's house she found the poker near the cupboard. The curtains and blinds were ablaze.

Dr PEMBERTON, house surgeon at the District Infirmary, spoke as to deceased being admitted into the institution suffering from the effects of burns. Her face, both arms and chest were badly burned. She was quite conscious, but she gradually got weaker, and developed bronchial pneumonia. Deceased told witness about poking the fire, and so igniting her pinafore. Death took place on the 16th inst.

A juror commented on the folly of leaving a child 13 years in charge of a house. The Deputy Coroner said the parents went out hawking. It was not an uncommon thing to leave a child 13 years of age. In many cases they were left at home at that age to look after younger children. In his opinion there was no evidence of neglect whatever. A verdict of "accidental death" was returned.

.– On Tuesday evening a lecture was given by Mr J MOTTRAM, of Oldham, who took for his subject, "A few practical hints on the mule." Mr C E WARHURST presided. The lecturer dealt with the settling of roller beam, bevel of spindles, sector, and the lopping plates. A good discussion followed. During the week two of the members have received appointments as mule overlookers. On Saturday Mr MOTTRAM's class from Oldham paid the school a visit and the machinery was set in motion. A pleasant afternoon was spent.

STILL ANOTHER ADJOURNMENT.– At the Police Court on Monday, William THORPE, of Hyde, again appeared in respect to the charge against him of neglecting to alter closets in certain property in Stalybridge, contrary to the provisions of the Public Healths' Act, 1875. Mr John MILLER, town clerk, represented the prosecutors, the Corporation.– Mr THORPE came forward and asked for a further adjournment of a month. The work was now in hand, and was proceeding satisfactorily.– Mr MILLER said he consented to the application, and he was glad to say a satisfactory arrangement had that morning been arrived at concerning the plans, about which there had been some dispute.– The adjournment was granted.

UNJUST WEIGHING MACHINE.– On Monday, at the police court, before the Mayor and other magistrates, George SIDEBOTTOM, merchant, King-street, was charged with having in his possession, for use for trade, a weighing machine which was false and unjust, contrary to the Weights and Measures Act, 1878. Defendant was represented by Mr R G IVES.– Inspector BEAUMONT said that on the 11th inst, he visited the railway goods siding, and found defendant's son, along with two labourers, filling bags of potatoes from a truck and weighing them upon the machine produced in court. An examination of the machine found it to be 1 3/4 lbs against the purchaser.– Mr IVES, in mitigation of the offence, pointed to the fact that defendant had been in business a number of years, and had ever borne a most exemplary character. The machine in question was bought at a sale recently, and through an oversight it was never tested.– The Bench held the case proved, and fined SIDEBOTTOM 10s 6d and costs.

FARMERS IN DISPUTE.– At the Ashton County Court on Thursday, before his Honour Judge BROWN, a Droylsden farmer named George HIBBERT sued John OLLERENSHAW, farmer, of Ridgehill, Stalybridge, for damages – 4 for the keep of a cow nine weeks, and !3 for the loss of a calf through misrepresentation of date. Mr John WHITEHEAD defended. Plaintiff gave evidence in support of his claim, but was told that he could scarcely recover for the loss of the calf, because it might have died under ordinary circumstances.– The defence set up by Mr WHITEHEAD was that there was no misrepresentation at all, and this statement received corroboration from defendant, and a witness named FLINT. Defendant made a practice of never giving dates in these cases, and he actually offered to withdraw from the deal, but plaintiff expressed his satisfaction with the terms.– In the end judgement was given for OLLERENSHAW, and the Judge, in response to Mr WHITEHEAD's claim for costs, said that as plaintiff had alleged fraud on the part of defendant he (HIBBERT) would have to pay the expenses.

Sequel in Ashton County Court

At the Ashton County Court on Thursday, William R CROMPTON, butcher, Town-lane, Dukinfield, sued James POGSON, tripedresser, Town-lane, for 1 7s 3d, money lent. The defendant put in a counter claim for 2 17s, said to be due to him out of his share of 4, nett loss on a horse which it was alleged he and plaintiff jointly purchased for 10, and sold for 2, the sum having been reduced by a payment of 1 3s. Mr G HEATHCOTE appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr R COOKE was for the defendant.

Mr HEATHCOTE said that on September 10th defendant went to the house of the plaintiff and told him he was about to purchase a horse. An arrangement was made between them. Defendant was to purchase a horse and the plaintiff was to allow the use of his trap, harness and stable free, and to contribute one half of the cost of maintenance. A horse was purchased from Mr SHEPLEY, horse dealer, Ashton, for 10, defendant paying 6 and giving an IOU for the remaining 4. The horse was subsequently taken away by the defendant from plaintiff's stable, and after having it for his own use he sold it for 2 and got another horse in exchange.

William S CROMPTON gave corroborative evidence, and his wife (Esther Ann CROMPTON) spoke to defendant coming to the shop to see her husband about a horse transaction, and her husband lending him money..– Joe SHEPLEY, horse dealer, deposed to selling the horse to POGSON for 10. The horse he said was afterwards disposed of for 16..– Mr E COOKE: Are you prepared to prove that? Yes.– You are a well known gentleman here? And so are you.– (Laughter.) I'm a respectable business man, selling from 20 to 50 horses a week, do you know that?

Thomas TIDESWELL, mechanic, Dukinfield, gave evidence in support of the plaintiff's statement.– Mr COOKE said his client felt that he had been imposed upon by CROMPTON. The latter had not quite sufficient work for a horse to do and keep it himself, but he had a trap valued at 7. It was arranged for plaintiff and defendant to purchase and whatever difference there should be paid. Therefore the trap and horse was joint ownership..– James POGSON deposed to CROMPTON and himself going to buy the horse jointly.

Councillor W WILLIAMS, Dukinfield, deposed to being in a club in company with plaintiff and defendant hearing a conversation from which he gathered there was joint ownership. His Honour, in giving judgement, said that to entitle defendant to succeed on the counter claim, he must establish to his satisfaction that the plaintiff was half owner of the horse, that he was liable for half of the cost of the horse. The documents were directly against the defendant on that point. It was evident to his mind that POGSON alone bought the horse from SHEPLEY. He believed the story in substance given by plaintiff that he was to find the harness and stable and to have use of the horse.– His Honour found for plaintiff for the amount of his claim, and dismissed the counter claim, defendant to pay the costs.

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