2 May 1903

A Husband’s Ruse – Co-respondent Thrashed in the Street
In the Divorce Court, on Thursday, before the President, Sir Francis JOUNE, the case of MOYST v. MOYST, WILCOX, and EALING was heard. This was a suit of Mr Henry MOYST, a horse keeper, who formerly kept the Cotton Tree Inn, at Compstall, for a dissolution of his marriage with the respondent, Annie Florrie MOYST, by reason of her adultery with Arthur WILCOX and James EALING. There was no defence.

Mr BARNARD, who appeared for the petitioner, said the marriage took place on the 9th January, 1890, and the parties for a time lived at Ashton-under-Lyne. In 1891 petitioner took the Cotton Tree Inn at Compstall, and the wife helped in the management of the house. Unfortunately she gave way to drink.

The co-respondent, Arthur WILCOX, was the manager of the Manchester Twine Spinning Company, and he was a constant visitor at the inn as a customer. The petitioner in 1898 noticed that he was there so frequently, and talking so often with the respondent that his suspicions were aroused.

In October, 1898, the petitioner, who also carried on a fish business, told his wife he was going to Charlesworth, and the co-respondent was present at the time. Instead of going to Charlesworth the petitioner hid himself in another part of the inn. Shortly after that WILCOX left the house, but he returned, and petitioner heard him and Mrs MOYST go into a private sitting-room where they were alone.

After they had been there ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, petitioner went to the room and found the two under compromising circumstances. He seized the co-respondent, put him out of the house, thrashed him and kicked him, and shouted out at the time that he had caught him committing adultery with his wife. The respondent the same night left the house and went to her father’s. On 23rd December, 1901, she gave birth to a child, of whom she said KEALING was the father.

The wife, who was willing to give evidence, said that EALING was engaged at some stables near to where her father lived. Evidence was given in support of counsel’s statement, and Mrs MOYST said EALING was the father of the child. The President granted the petitioner a decree nisi with costs against both co-respondents.

Smallpox is, happily, falling off in Ashton. Since last Saturday only one case has been reported, this having occurred in Park-street. Unfortunately, the disease seems to be making headway in the Waterloo district, three patients having been admitted in the Ashton Borough Hospital during the week. A patient from Hurst was also admitted on Wednesday. With these additions there are 30 cases being dealt with in the hospital, and in the course of the next few days a few patients will be discharged.

Amongst the canine exhibits benched at the Delph Agricultural Show on Saturday afternoon was a magnificent rough coated collie which attracted considerable attention by its beauty of form. Unfortunately for its exhibitor a visitor entered the tent who immediately recognised the animal as one he had sold to a Mossley man named Mr James VALENTINE, from whose possession the dog mysteriously disappeared. He communicated his discovery to the police and Superintendent PROSSER immediately on the showing of it in the prize ring.

Mr VALENTINE was sent for by telegram, and arrived early in the afternoon, and, seeing the dog, announced that he lost the animal twelve months ago. He produced the full pedigree and description. He stated that he had won over one hundred prizes with the dog, including trophies at the Crystal Palace exhibitions. In further proof he called the animal by name, when it instantly responded, exhibiting signs of recognition.

The “other man,” who came from the neighbourhood of Oldham, said he found the dog, and he did not object to its removal by the real owner, who at once took charge. The animal was valued at over £50. Under the Kennel Club rules the owner was prohibited from entering the contest in that particular class as not having booked the collie.

Preparation for the working of the Tudor Mill, Ashton, are being further advanced. We understand the first consignment of cotton will be delivered on Monday. There will be 50 bales of Egyptian cotton, which was despatched from Liverpool to the Great Central Station at Park Parade, Ashton, and delivered to the mill by Mr J POLLITT, Co.’s agent. There are 80,000 spindles in the new mill, and three of the rooms will be devoted to twist spinning and the other room to weft spinning. Immediately on the delivery of the cotton the machinery will be started, and it is expected that in about ten days the first cop will be produced.

BARDSLEY LIBERAL CLUB. – On Tuesday evening there was an interesting gathering at the above club to witness an exhibition game of billiards between E GREY, of Ashton, and E GARFORTH, of Dukinfield, the latter conceding the former 100 in a game of 500 up. In the first half of the game play was very even. The game was called: GREY 253, GARFORTH 240, after which the conceder of points forged rapidly ahead, winning in easy fashion by 96, the final scores reading GARFORTH 500, GREY 404.

DELIVERING COAL WITHOUT TICKET. – A charge of not delivering a coal ticket along with the coal at Bardsley on April 7th was preferred against John DOBB at the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday. – Defendant pleaded guilty and said that he did not know he had to leave tickets. – He had been delivering coal for about 12 months and had not given any tickets. Nothing had been said to him. – The Magistrates’ Clerk (Mr C H BOOTH): Do you ever read the newspapers? Very little. – The Chairman (Dr HUGHES): Have you not seen accounts of men being fined for the same thing? No. – The Magistrates imposed a fine of 5s 6d.

SWEARING AT LAMP-POSTS. – At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, Jas. JOHNSON was charged with being drunk and disorderly at Bardsley. – Defendant did not appear in person but sent his wife to represent him, and also sent a letter to the Magistrates’ Clerk stating that he was not drunk and that he had been to see Constable BARBER to ask him the nature of the charge. He had been down Ashton on the night in question but he was not drunk. He was going down Bardsley Brow and was swearing about the lights being out. He could not talk very well. – The Magistrates’ Clerk: He’s not a bad hand at writing if he cannot talk very well. – Constable BARBER deposed that at 12.20 midnight on April 12th, defendant was very drunk and shouting and making a great noise. – Sergeant LEEMING corroborated. – Superintendent HEWITT said it was strange that a sober man to be swearing at lampposts. – (Laughter.) Defendant had been fined once before. – The Magistrates imposed a fine of 2s 6d and costs.

A good story as to a missing bicycle has reached us. Some time ago the foreman of a tradesman in the town called at a club with his cycle, and left it for a few minutes in the vestibule. When he came out he found that someone in his absence had laid hold of the machine and ridden off. He gave information to the police, and nothing further was heard of the matter for a while.

Then information was received that a man had been arrested in Accrington for being a deserter. He had a bicycle with him, and inquiries were made by the police as to where he obtained it. He told a plausible tale about having hired it at Ashton for his journey there and back.

Information was conveyed to the owner of the missing bike, whose employer promptly telephones to the Accrington police. “Has it a bent top bar?” “Yes.” “And a double fork?” “Yes.” “And the lamp bracket has been soldered and mended with a piece of brass?” “Yes,” came the reply. “It’s yours.”

In due time the cycle arrived in Ashton, and an application was made that the prisoner too might be sent on to undergo due punishment for the theft; but the reply came that the man had been handed over to the military authorities; that he had escaped from the escort, and they had no idea where he was. Nothing further has been heard of him, but it is possible he may again be captured as a deserter.

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Tramcar conductors have something to put up with in the discharge of their duties. There is a rule to prohibit dogs traveling inside the cars. On Saturday forenoon a lady passenger, accompanied by a canine pet, took her seat in one of the Ashton cars. The hawk-eyed conductor discovered the intruder, and intimated to the lady in polite terms that the dog would have to “work its own passage,” unless the owner chose to ride on the top of the car.

Not to be out-done the lady lifted the dog into her lap, although the cowering creature seemed several sizes too large for such gentle treatment. She said she had not far to go. The conductor was obdurate. As the passenger was mounting the steps she volleyed forth that there was a big difference in conductors; one of them told her it would be all right. ”You nasty thing,” she said, “I will report you.”

“Reported for doing one’s duty,” the conductor meekly remarked to the passengers in the car. The conductor was fresh from the Manchester district, where the rules are strictly adhered to, and he showed his determination not to be baulked in the execution of his duty, regardless of offence.

A great sensation was created in Oldham on Saturday afternoon on it being reported that a well-known gentleman had fatally shot himself. The deceased, Mr John George MELLOWDEW, who carried on the business of an auctioneer, valuer, land surveyor, and estate insurance agent, of 89 Union-street, Oldham. The tragedy occurred at his private residence, 325 Park-road, in the same borough.

It appears that his son, aged 14, entered his mother’s bedroom at 9.30 on Saturday morning and saw his father in the act of dressing. The boy then ran downstairs and about an hour later he heard a noise like that of an explosion. He ran up to his father’s room and saw him lying on the bed. The boy called out “Father,” and on getting no reply he raised an alarm. A neighbour was called in, and on arriving in the bedroom found that the man was dead. It appears that MELLOWDEW was shot through the heart. He leaves a widow and three children, for whom great sympathy has been expressed.

A Cowardly and Brutal Act

At the Ashton Borough Police Court, on Thursday, Alfred OVERTON was in the dock, charged with wounding Elizabeth HEMMINGWAY, on April 5th.

The complainant, Elizabeth HEMMINGWAY, single woman, living in Wood-street, Ashton, said she had been co-habiting with the prisoner for about three months. On Sunday, the 5th of April, about 10 o’clock at night, she was going along Wood-street on her way home, when prisoner met her and asked her for the key. She gave it to him, and he then struck her with his closed fist and knocked her down.

She got up and took off her clogs off, and threw them at him. He ran after her, and overtook her, and again knocked her down, and whilst there he kicked her violently in the lower part of the abdomen and under the left breast. She got up and afterwards complained to a constable. She suffered great pain, and after being examined by Dr BLEASDALE, she was taken to the Workhouse Hospital in a cab, where she remained until that morning. She was enceinte at the time of being kicked.

By the prisoner: She had sent for him several times at the Delamere Castle, and heard him utter a foul remark. She never threatened to smash the windows of the house. – The Clerk (to prisoner): You come here in a whining, piteous manner. It is a cowardly and brutal act to kick a woman. – Dr BLEASDALE deposed to making an examination of the complainant. He found her suffering from several bruises about the body, which appeared to have been caused by violent kicks.

Joseph GREENHALGH, collier, 47 Cotton-street, Ashton, deposed to seeing HEMMINGWAY lying on the ground, and the prisoner getting up, but he did not see him strike her. He heard the woman screaming previously. Prisoner subsequently told witness that he was sorry for what he had done at the woman. – Robert BIRKETT, hawker, Cotton-street, Ashton, deposed to prisoner telling him he had kicked the complainant, and that she had gone to the “grubber,” meaning the Workhouse.

Detective-sergeant HEIGHWAY deposed to arresting the prisoner, who stated that complainant kept following him and annoying him, but he never kicked her. – Prisoner said he was sorry it had occurred; she had aggravated him to it. He did not wish to do her any harm. – Magistrates committed prisoner to the Salford Sessions, and allowed bail, prisoner in £10, and a surety of £10.

Information was conveyed to the Ashton Police Office on Saturday morning of the death under singular circumstances of Eliza GARVEY, a spinster, aged 44 years, living in lodgings with Mr and Mrs COSGROVE, 181 Old-street, Ashton. Deceased had been a lodger at the aforementioned address for about three weeks, during which time she had complained of being ill and short of breath. On Wednesday at midnight she called out to Mrs COSGROVE, who was in bed, and complained of feeling ill.

She had great difficulty breathing, and Mrs COSGROVE got up and gave her a cup of tea with a little pepper in, and remained with her for about half an hour, at the end of which time she said she was all right. She seemed to revive, and assisted in the housework on the Thursday. On Friday night Mr and Mrs COSGROVE retired to bed leaving GARVEY lying on the sofa in the front room, where she had been accustomed to sleep. She made no complaint. About 4.40 the following morning Mr COSGROVE got up to go to his work, and found her lying dead on the sofa.

The inquest was held at the Volunteer Inn, Old-street, on Tuesday forenoon, by Mr J F PRICE, district coroner.

Mary Ellen CONNOLLY, single woman, living at 137 Warrington-street, identified the deceased as her aunt. Deceased had not worked for the last twelve months. She was what was called a “ripper,” or rag sorter in a marine stores, and had had very bad health for about 18 months, being troubled in her breathing. About 18 months ago she was nearly choked to death through her bed catching on fire from a lighted candle, the smoke nearly asphyxiating her.

Witness last saw her alive on Friday afternoon, when she came into her house and told witness that she nearly died the night before, she being almost choked. She had a cough which made her almost black in the face. She often said she would go off like the shot of a gun. She had often complained of a pain in her side, and said she could not sleep at night unless she had a gill of beer. The doctor had told her that she must give up drinking, and during the last four months she had been very abstemious. – By the foreman: She had been very indifferent as regards looking after her health.

Catherine COSGROVE, wife of William COSGROVE, labourer, said she had known the deceased about six weeks, and for three weeks she had been lodging with witness. During that time she had taken very little drink, and had had fairly good health, only she had appeared short of breath, accompanied with a cough and slight pain in the chest.

The Coroner said there was no doubt the cause of death was bronchitis and heart failure. The jury returned a verdict of death from natural causes.

Bishop POTTER is known as the wittiest prelate of America. At a recent social meeting this question was put to him by a guest – “Why is it that in many pictures and statues of angels exhibited the angels are always depicted either as women or young men without beards or moustaches?”

The bishop’s answer, which afforded him keen enjoyment, was – “Everybody knows women naturally inherit the kingdom of heaven, but men only get in by a very close shave!”

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