5 September 1903
SUDDEN DEATH AT ASHTON
A Victim of Epilepsy
The rather singular circumstances in connection with the
death of Elizabeth SINGLETON were reported to the Ashton
police on Tuesday. Deceased, who was 22 years of age,
resided with her widowed mother at 47 Uxbridge-street,
Ashton, and enjoyed good health up to seven years ago
since when she had been subject to epileptic fits. She
had been treated by Dr WALLACE, at St Mary’s Hospital,
Manchester, and also by Drs PEARCE and SMITH, of Ashton,
but not for the last 12 months. During that time she had
appeared somewhat better, though a month ago she had an
She got up about eight o’clock on
Tuesday morning, and stayed a short time in the house,
afterwards going into the back yard. A few minutes afterwards
her mother heard her scream, and she at once ran to the
closet in the yard, and found the door closed. She tried
to open it, but could not do so, and obtained the assistance
of two neighbours, Mrs KERSHAW and Mrs TAYLOR, who took
the door off its hinges and found the deceased in a kneeling
position, her face flat on the floor. She was carried
into the house, and Dr PEARCE sent for. On his arrival
shortly afterwards he pronounced life extinct.
The inquest was held at the Oddfellows Arms,
Kenyon-street, yesterday by Mr J F PRICE (district coroner).
— Nellie SINGLETON was called, and said she lived
at Uxbridge-street, and was the mother of the deceased,
who followed no regular occupation, but worked occasionally
at Bostock’s. She was aged 22 last January, and
was in good health up to seven years ago, when she commenced
having epileptic fits.
It was twelve months since deceased had
any medical attention and she seemed better lately. It
was about a month since she had a fit. On Tuesday morning
she got up at eight o’clock, and she went into the
closet. She would have been in about five minutes when
witness heard her make the peculiar noise which she had
always made when about to go into a fit.
Witness ran out, but could not open the
closet door, and had to send for assistance. A man came
and lifted the door of its hinges. Deceased was in a kneeling
position with her head bent forward on her chest. She
would not be able to breathe in that position. The man
went for Dr PEARCE. When taken out of the closet, witness
thought she was dead.
Sarah Ann KERSHAW, of 41 Uxbridge-street,
said she knew deceased, and knew she was subject to fits.
— The jury returned a verdict to the effect that
deceased from the effects of suffocation, accidentally
caused by a fit of epilepsy.
CHARGE AGAINST A DUKINFIELD
At the Dukinfield Police Court, on Thursday, Harry EVANS,
licensee of the Talbot Inn beerhouse, King-street, was
summoned for permitting drunkenness upon his licensed
premises. — Mr G HEATHCOTE presented on behalf of
the police, and Mr J A GARFORTH (instructed by the Licensed
Victuallers and Wine and Beersellers’ Association)
defended. He pleaded not guilty. At the request of Mr
HEATHCOTE the witnesses were ordered out of court.
Mr HEATHCOTE, in opening the case, stated
that on Saturday evening, the 15th August, at 8.50, two
police officers — Inspector SKITT and Sergeant LECKY
— went into the Talbot Inn. In the taproom there
were 14 men sitting. One man named BRUCE was at once seen
to be under the influence of alcohol. He had a pint vessel
in front of him containing porter, out of which he was
Mrs EVANS was in the taproom at this moment.
When she saw the officers she went to BRUCE, and said
something to him in an undertone. The police did not hear,
but immediately she had ceased speaking to him he looked
round, and said he did not care for anyone when he had
had a pint or two. The police sent for the licensee as
he was not in the room. He came into the taproom, and
BRUCE pointed out to him. The licensee turned to his wife
and said, “You should not have served him; I cannot
attend to the music and this room as well.” —
Mr BATES: The music was in another room? Mr GARFORTH:
Yes, it was a phonograph.
Mr HEATHCOTE continuing said the police
told the licensee the man BRUCE was drunk. He said, “It
is a long while since I served him with a pint.”
He ordered BRUCE to leave the house. He got up, proceeded
down the passage to the front door. As he went he was
seen to be staggering, and Inspector SKITT said to the
licensee, “What do you think of him now?”
He replied, “Oh, he has had too much.” BRUCE
was escorted away from the house by two men, but he was
instructed to say they were hold of him..
When BRUCE had left the house the police
told the licensee he would be reported for permitting
drunkenness. Then he replied, “He has not been served
here,” although he had previously said it was a
long time since he served him that pint. The officer said,
“Yes he has. Then an incident happened which was
somewhat unusual. A man sitting in the room got up and
sat on the stool which had been vacated by the man BRUCE
and said, “This is my beer.” The officer called
his attention to the fact that it was not beer, it was
The Magistrates’ Clerk (Mr WESTBROOK):
It does not matter whether he was served or not as far
as that goes. — Mr GARFORTH: No.
Mr HEATHCOTE commented upon the fact that
no protest was made to the police that this man was sober,
neither by BRUCE himself, the licensee, nor anyone present.
The man saying, “This is my beer,” was done
to mislead the police. If BRUCE had been sober this man
had no need to come and say it was his beer. By the new
Act of Parliament, if the magistrates were satisfied that
BRUCE was drunk, then the licensee must satisfy them that
he took reasonable and proper steps to prevent drunkenness.
He submitted he was not able to do that
inasmuch as he was not exercising oversight over the whole
of the premises, because he said to his wife, “You
should not have served that man. I cannot attend to the
music and look after this room. That was some evidence
that he had not exercised proper control.
Mr BATES: Was the wife, in the absence of
the husband, supposed to be responsible for the general
good conduct of this special room? — Mr HEATHCOTE
replied in the affirmative. The section of the Act said
“it shall lie upon the licensed person to prove
that he, or the persons employed by him, took reasonable
steps to prevent drunkenness on the premises.
Inspector SKITT was then called, and gave
evidence bearing out Mr HEATHCOTE’s opening. —
Cross-examined by Mr GARFORTH: This was Wakes Saturday
night? Yes. — Did you go into any other publics
that evening? Yes, that was about the eighth. —
Have you ever visited the house before? Yes. — Did
you ever find anything to complain of? No. — So
far as you know, there have not been any complaints? I
have not made any. — Were there any others pots
on the table? Yes, several. — And you swear that
BRUCE was drunk? I do. Had you ever seen the man before?
I don’t know. — Do you say that Mrs EVANS
went to BRUCE and spoke to him in an undertone? She did.
— He is deaf as a post, sir, and it is totally impossible
to whisper to him.
At the request of Mr GARFORTH, BRUCE was
called into court, and spoke to in an ordinary tone, and
seemed to be able to hear right enough. Amid laughter,
the Clerk observed, “He does not seem very deaf.”
— Mr GARFORTH: Isn’t it a fact Mrs EVANS was
not in the room when we went in. BRUCE was making a noise
and holding himself by the table. — Isn’t
it a fact that it was the licensee who went to BRUCE and
spoke loudly to him saying, “These men say you have
had enough?” — The Inspector: That was after
we had sent for Mr EVANS.
Mr GARFORTH said these cases, as the bench
would know, were most difficult to answer under the Licensing
Act, and the clause which Mr HEATHCOTE had quoted throwing
the onus of proof upon the landlord had not altered the
real facts of the case, because the landlord was the defendant
and he had always in defending himself to prove one or
two things, either that the man was not drunk as alleged
by the police or that he or his servant or agent of any
kind were not in a position to see; that he might have
been drunk and got sat down on something in a crowded
place before they could notice him.
He could argue at some length as to the
meaning of the word “permitting,” but fortunately
for himself and his client they had an absolute denial
to the drunkenness. He had no fewer than eleven witnesses,
and they would all tell the magistrates that BRUCE was
not drunk. He came home from Adamson’s to his dinner,
and never left the house again until eight o’clock
at night, when he went into the Talbot. All the drink
he had previous to the police coming in was a pint and
a half of fourpenny beer and stout mixed. He went into
the taproom absolutely sober. The defendant would not
say that BRUCE was not served, but he said the officers
The Clerk: The question is whether this
man was drunk or not. — Mr GARFORTH: Yes, that he
was so drunk that the landlord and his servant might and
ought to have known he was drunk. If there was a doubt
in the case it was only fair to the landlord that the
case should be dismissed. If a man were drunk, and was
served with a soda water, it was an offence. He should
prove that BRUCE was sober, and that it was physically
and humanly impossible he could have been drunk after
having one pint of mixed beer and porter.
The defendant was called, and said he considered
BRUCE was perfectly sober. If he could not conduct his
business a great deal better than anyone in Dukinfield
he would leave it. He denied that he told his wife she
ought not to have served him. — Mrs EVANS was called,
and denied whispering in the ear of BRUCE. She considered
he was sober, and would have served him with more drink.
William Robert BRUCE swore that he never
tasted drink that day until soon after eight o’clock
at night. Then he had a pint of fourpenny beer and porter.
— Mr GARFORTH: And that would not make you drunk?
No. — Mr BATES: It is laid down at Ashton that a
man may drink fourpenny beer for a week and it would never
make him drunk. — (Laughter.) That was the dictum
of the Mayor of Ashton. — Mr GARFORTH: He would
burst first. — (Laughter.) — Mr BATES: Ashton
fourpenny is no use. They might drink it for a month.
— (Renewed laughter.)
Mr GARFORTH said it was an old dictum that
no one can get drunk without having drink. — Mr
BATES: It depends whether it is fourpenny or eightpenny.
— Mr GARFORTH: That may be Mr POWNALL’s dictum
but I don’t always follow his opinion.
Mary BRUCE stated that her father was perfectly
sober when he went out of the house at a quarter past
eight o’clock. He came home about nine o’clock,
and he was not drunk. — Mr HEATHCOTE: What did he
say? He said he had been locked up. — (Laughter.)
— And he was not drunk? No. — He was sober?
No; he was not drunk.
Other witnesses named ASPINALL, LEES, WARD,
SHAW, EGAN, and BRIGGS, were called, and they all swore
that BRUCE was sober. — Mr BATES said the Bench
were of the opinion the case was proved. They could not
go behind the evidence of the constables. — Mr GARFORTH:
I have eight witnesses. — Mr BATES replied that
if numbers were to weigh he ought to have a verdict. They
could not overlook the fact that the witnesses for the
defence were interested, and accustomed to going to this
house. However, they could not go into details as to why
they had come to their decision. Their decision was that
defendant be fined 10s and costs, or 14 days.
Mr GARFORTH: I give notice of appeal. —
Mr HEATHCOTE submitted this was a proper case for the
allowance of the advocate’s fee. He was instructed
by the county authorities, and suggested the usual fee
of two guineas. The Bench granted the application.
Robert BRUCE was next charged with being
drunk on licensed premises of the Talbot. He pleaded not
guilty. — Inspector SKITT briefly stated that defendant
was drunk. — Mr BATES, in fining defendant 5s for
costs, said the magistrates believed he was drunk on those
licensed premises. If they did not believe it they could
not have come to the conclusion they had done in the other
MR JOHN HAGUE CRITICISED
Sir, — November is approaching, and Mr John HAGUE
is at work again. The feeling he display in writing against
his old friends and associates is amazing. The feeling
he displays against his old friends and associates is
amazing. The repetitions and insinuations which form the
staple of his compositions are equally surprising. He
either does not or cannot see that he is acting the part
of the dog in the manger so far as his old party is concerned.
He will not assist his Conservative friends
to govern the town, but holds their public acts up to
reprobation. He has done more to injure his old friends
in Market Ward than all the Liberals on the register put
together. It was his misguided ambition in 1887 that brought
about the election of the late Mr John WHITEHEAD. On that
occasion Conservativism in Market Ward received a shock
from which it has never quite recovered.
If we are to judge from Mr HAGUE’s
letters, there would not be any mistakes in the management
of the town if his Conservative friends were only as farseeing
and clever as himself. Some people who are wise after
the event have a little charity for those who have made
mistakes which they themselves they themselves might have
made. Not so Mr HAGUE! He must smite his old friends hip
and thigh, and appears determined to have their scalps.
It is a pity that a man with Mr HAGUE’s
profound knowledge of affairs and apparent capacity for
local government should remain outside the Town Council.
Let us hope that ere long Mr HAGUE’s new friends
will offer him a seat and give him an opportunity of finding
SINGULAR DEATH OF A
DUKINFIELD CHILD IN THE ASHTON WORKHOUSE
The Mother Arrested
The sad case of alleged child neglect for which a woman
named Elizabeth GLAISTER, of 19 St Mark’s-street,
Dukinfield, was in custody at the Dukinfield Police Court
on Thursday of last week and remanded for a week has resulted
unfortunately in the death of one of her children. Florence
Josephine GLAISTER, aged three years and five months,
which took place at 2.45pm on Friday, at the Ashton Union
Workhouse, to which institution the child was removed.
MARRIAGE OF AN ASHTONIAN
On Wednesday morning, at the Parish Church, Wirksworth,
near Matlock, Mr Tom HIBBERT (late Trooper 156th Company,
Imperial Yeomanry), eldest son of Mr and Mrs George HIBBERT,
Katherine-street, Ashton, and Miss Florence GOODWIN, daughter
of Mr and Mrs GOODWIN, Wirksworth, were united in the
estate of holy matrimony.
Although the union took place at an early
hour, the church was well filled. Mr Jas. HIBBERT (brother
of the bridegroom) officiated as the best man, and Miss
Ethel GOODWIN (sister of the bride) acted as bridesmaid.
After the ceremony the party returned to the residence
of Mr and Mrs GOODWIN for breakfast, after which they
entrained for Ashton, where a reception was held at 4.40
at the Victoria Rooms, about 50 persons being present.
After a capital repast toasts were given
for the health and happiness of the bride and bridegroom,
and occasion was much more marked, it being the celebration
of the silver wedding of Mr and Mrs HIBBERT, and the golden
wedding of Mr and Mrs MUTCH (father and mother, grandfather
and grandmother of the bridegroom).
Toasts were given in their honour and drank
with acclamation. The bridegroom replied in a short and
amusing speech. Mr William BROOKS was voted to the chair,
and the evening spent in dancing interspersed with songs
finely rendered by Miss A N HAGUE and Lilian SWIFT, and
Messrs Jas. TURNER (ATHERTON), and Geo. WOOLLVEN (the
admirable Crightons), while Mr J A TURNER, A.L.G.M., officiated
at the piano.
A most pleasant evening was brought to a
close by a vote of thanks to the host and hostess, the
chairman, the artistes, and Mrs MADEN for her efficient
catering, afterwards singing “Auld Lang’s
Syne” and the National Anthem. Mr and Mrs Tom HIBBERT
were the recipients of many handsome presents, both useful
and costly, and he newly married pair are at present spending
their honeymoon at Blackpool.
FATAL ACCIDENT TO MR
JOHN SUMMER, JUNIOR, OF STALYBRIDGE
Shortly after nine o’clock on Monday morning quite
a sensation was created in Stalybridge by the report that
Mr John Broome SUMMERS, the eldest son of Mr John SUMMERS,
of Inglewood, Stalybridge, had met his death in Cornwall
under shocking circumstances. Enquiries which we made
by telephone quickly confirmed the sad report, which throughout
the day was the one theme of conversation, where the unfortunate
young gentleman was held in the highest esteem.
The brief particulars to hand on Monday
were that Master “Jack” — as he was
familiarly and popularly known at Stalybridge —
had got up in his sleep, got on to the window-sill, and
jumped or dived into space. The result was fatal, the
poor young fellow being picked up in a dying condition
and finally succumbing to dreadful injuries.
The incident occurred at the Porthminster
Hotel, St Ives, Cornwall, where Mr and Mrs SUMMERS, together
with their family, had been staying for nearly a month.
During that period “Jack” and his brother
Gerald had done a lot of bathing and diving into the see,
and this would seem to have created such an impression
upon deceased that it revived the habit of sleep-walking
which he had formed in his childhood.
FALL DOWNSTAIRS AT
On Monday morning, about 7.30, the landlady of the Oddfellows’
Arms, Hurst (Mrs SHARP), formerly of the Blue Pig, Audenshaw,
whilst in the act of descending the stairs, made a slip
and fell, dislocating her shoulder, besides being badly
bruised. Dr HILTON was called in, and the patient is progressing