9 May 1903

Sequel to Riding the Black Knight

At the Ashton Borough Court on Monday, William LUMLEY and Thomas GANNON were charged with cruelty to a horse on the 13th April. – Defendants did not appear, and it was stated that the summonses had not been served. George BUXTON was summoned for aiding and abetting in the above offence. – He appeared, and said he was guilty of lending the horse to LUMLEY perfectly sound. – The Clerk told him he had better plead not guilty.

Inspector ROBINSON, RSPCA, said the two defendants LUMLEY and GANNON were charged with ill-treating this horse under somewhat unusual circumstances. On Easter Monday LUMLEY hired a horse from BUXTON for the purpose of riding what he thought they called the Black Lad – (The Clerk: Black Knight) – round the town. They started off from a public house at the lower end of the town about 12 o’clock, GANNON being on the back of the horse as the Black Knight and LUMLEY leading the horse.

They went round the town and were traced as far as the Pitt and Nelson. At about four o’clock in the afternoon the horse was seen by Sergeant HEIGHWAY outside the Caledonia with no one in charge of it. The next they heard of the horse was at half past four o’clock when it was taken into the yard of the public house from which they had started at noon.

The animal fell down in the yard in a state of exhaustion. It was got up by the landlord and some other men, and after it had been given something it fell again, and was afterwards brought to the Town Hall. The defendant BUXTON was seen about it, and he admitted lending the horse to LUMLEY for 5s for the purpose of riding the Black Knight round.

Mr NEW, veterinary surgeon, was called in, and he would tell the Bench that the horse was in a shocking condition, very poor, weak, very lame, and there were a number of sores caused by falling. It was only fit for slaughter.

William ATHERTON was called, and said he remembered the 13th of last month. About 12 o’clock noon he was in the parlour. – The Clerk: Where at? – Witness: My house. - The Clerk: Which house is that? – Witness: The Walk Mill Tavern. I was in the parlour when a man named LUMLEY came in and said to the boys, “Does anyone want to borrow horse for the Black Lad?” A man with one arm had a horse in the yard. They had got him to be the Black Lad. LUMLEY was leading the horse and the one armed man was on the horse.

The Clerk: A one armed Black Knight? – (Laughter.) – Witness: Yes. They left with the horse and returned at twenty past 4 o’clock. The horse was in my yard stood up. I went into the yard again shortly afterwards and the horse had fallen down. I saw it trembling, and told my wife to make some meal and water. With assistance I got it up, but it fell again.

We got it up again, and that was the last I wanted to see of it. – The Clerk: Did you give it the meal and water? – Witness: Yes, it had the bucket empty in two minutes, and it would have taken the bucket to. – (Laughter.) – The Clerk: Where was the Black Knight? – Witness: He was inside, not inside the horse. – (Laughter.) – The Clerk: It did not take the Black Knight too then. – Witness: No, but it would not have taken it long to do that. – (Renewed laughter.)

The Clerk: Was he dressed in character? – Witness: He was painted with corks. – The Clerk: No sword and shield? – Witness: No, only a stick. – (Laughter.) – Inspector ROBINSON: Did you see any sores? – Witness: It was roped up in bags and straw. At six o’clock Sergeant WILD and other officers came and took the horse away.

Was there any reason for the horse falling beyond its exhausted condition? No, there was no cruelty to it whilst it was on my premises. – The Clerk: It had not had enough to eat. – Witness: I would say it fell from starvation from the way in which it took the bucket of meal and water. Defendant said the landlord borrowed the horse from LUMLEY for 5s for the benefit of the house. – Witness: Nothing of the sort. I had nothing to do with bringing the horse into the yard.

Constable HILTON stated that he saw a crowd round the Walk Mill Tavern, and on looking into the yard he saw a horse lying on the floor. He saw it get up and tumble down again. He went and informed Sergeant WILD about it and the horse was brought to the Town Hall. He saw several cuts about the horse’s head. – Defendant: It had been knocked about the streets something cruel, and the neighbours cried “shame.”

Inspector ROBINSON: Did the defendant come whilst you were at the public house and claim the horse? – Witness: Yes. Sergeant WILD stated that at 6.30 on the night in question the last witness made a complaint respecting this horse. He went with him to the yard of the Walk Mill Tavern, and there found a horse in a shocking condition, very weak, with a number of sores on the head, and scarcely able to walk at all. He afterwards saw the defendant at the Police Station, and he said he had leant the horse to LUMLEY for 5s, and it was sound. The Clerk: You suggested that it was the landlord who borrowed it off LUMLEY. – Defendant: - Yes, he borrowed it off LUMLEY.

Mr NEW, veterinary surgeon, stated that he came to the Town Hall at the request of the police, and examined the horse. He found it extremely lame on the off foreleg from an old standing sprain. It was also very thin and emaciated, and scarcely able to stand. There were a number of old sores about it with the scale knocked off and completely raw. In one place there was a raw place as big as his hand.

The Clerk: Was it in a fit condition for a man to be riding on it? – Witness: No. – Was it fit for any purpose except killing? No. – Defendant said he bought the horse 2s worth of corn every day. It was a horse that never would get stouter. He had a witness where he bought the corn.

The Clerk: You might buy the corn but not give it this horse. You lent this horse to LUMLEY for 5s? – Defendant: Yes, and it was sound and perfect. – The Clerk: Sound and perfect! You have heard the doctor’s evidence this morning? – Defendant: It was sound when I lent it to LUMLEY. – The Clerk: No sores upon it? – Defendant: No; the doctor saw it after it had been knocked about. – The Clerk: The doctor tells us there were old sores, and there was a wound on top of the head as big as his hand.

The Chairman (Mr A PARK): What did you intend to do with the horse when you bought it? – Defendant: I intended to work it as a greengrocer every day. I had it shoed in Manchester, and they said the horse was sound. – Inspector ROBINSON: May I ask what has become of the horse? – Defendant: I sold it to Jodey GANDY for £2. – The Clerk: What has Jodey done with it? It had better be traced or Jodey may ell it again.

The Chairman: The Magistrates wish me to say that they desire you to trace this horse – Inspector ROBINSON: That shall be done, sir. – The Chairman (to defendant): You will be fined 10s, and costs, a guinea for the doctor’s fee, and 5s for the witness, in default one month.

Two of the Victims Hurst Men

Hurst has paid its quota to the victims of the Frank disaster which occurred in Canada last week, and as a result there are two families bemoaning the loss of their breadwinners. Amongst the list of killed are two well-known Hurstonians, Alfred DAWES and David FOSTER, the former leaving a wife and three children, and the latter a wife.

It appears that there are quite a number of colliers who have left the district for Canada, and when the news of the calamity was made known it was feared that some of them might be amongst the unfortunate ones. These fears have been sadly realised. A telegram was received from a young man called BARDSLEY by his mother at Hurst Cross on Monday last, briefly as follows: “We saved. DAWES and FOSTER dead. – Albert.”

The two men killed only left Hurst last October, and out of four who made the journey together only one remained, the other having been burned to death in the mine last April. The men were very well known in the district, where there is a deep expression of sympathy for the bereaved ones, and, sad to stay, DAWES father, Mr Robert DAWES, a superintendent of the Hurst Brook Sunday School, loses both a son and son-in-law by the calamity. Previous to his departure, Alfred DAWES resided in Hope-street, Hurst, and FOSTER lived with his father-in-law at Higher King-street.

Information was conveyed to the Ashton Police Station on Monday morning that John MOXON, aged 67 years, residing at 71 Welbeck-street, Ashton, had been found dead in bed, at 8.30 that morning. Deceased lived along with his daughter, Maggie, a dining-room assistant, and he was a machine joiner by trade, which occupation he followed until Saturday last.

About twelve months ago he began to suffer from bronchitis, for which he was attended by Dr CRAWSHAW. Since then, however, he had not been under medical treatment. On Sunday night about 8 o’clock he complained of not being so well, and his daughter boiled him some prepared oats of which he partook, also two rheumatic and gout pills, and went to bed. About 3 o’clock on Monday morning he shouted his daughter, and on her going into his bedroom she found him vomiting. She gave him some warm water, and after a time he appeared to recover. The daughter returned to her bedroom, and some time afterwards on going into her father’s room she found him lying dead in bed.

The inquest was held at the Astley Arms, Ashton, on Wednesday forenoon by Mr J F PRICE, district coroner.

Maggie MOXON, daughter of the deceased, deposed to him following his employment as a mill machine turner up to Saturday. Last June he was under Dr CRAWSHAW for bilious attack, but since then he had been comparatively well in health. After partaking of supper and two pills, which he had been in the habit of taking for rheumatism, he went to bed about 8.30 on Sunday night.

About 1.40 on Monday morning he called to witness, and she got up and went to his room. He vomited a little and asked her to bring him some hot water. She did so, and he drank it and said he was a little better. She went to bed again, and about 2.55am went to see how he was. He was awake and said he still felt sick. She went downstairs to light the fire to make him a cup of tea.

Shortly afterwards her sister went upstairs for some flannel to warm and put on his stomach. She called witness upstairs, and she found her father lying in bed on his back. He was taking deep breaths and seemed unconscious. She ran for her aunt, who lived close by, and on their going to the bed her father was dead. He had several times had dizzy bouts, but never complained of palpitation.

Dinah KELSALL, wife of Edward KELSALL, grocer, 81 Welbeck-street, deposed to being called in the house to see deceased. Dr CRAWSHAW deposed to attending the deceased at intervals during the last ten years for different ailments. He had had rheumatism chiefly in his knees, but latterly had suffered from acute indigestion, and had complained of a swimming sensation in his head. Witness had examined him on several occasions, but found no valvular disease of the heart, but suspected it was fatty.

He had not seen him professionally since June last. He had apparently had an attack of dyspepsia, producing vomiting and a fatal attack of syncope, which was what would affect a weak heart. The jury returned a verdict of death from natural causes, probably syncope, induced by vomiting and dyspepsia.

At the Borough Police Court, on Monday, Mr George PARTINGTON, clerk to the Ashton Board of Guardians attended before the magistrates along with half a dozen clean and neatly-dressed boys and girls from the workhouse, in charge of Mr SHORE, the workhouse master. Mr PARTINTON informed the bench that the Guardians proposed to send out six children to Canada under the auspices of the Catholic Protection Society, Liverpool.

The children were present, and it was necessary before they emigrated that their consent should be obtained in the presence of two magistrates. – The first name called out was that of Elizabeth STAFFORD. – The Clerk: Do you wish to go to Canada? – Elizabeth: No. – Do you understand? It is proposed to send you out to Canada with these other boys and girls. Don’t you wish to go? No, sir.

The names of Agnes MANNING, John BURNS, William STAFFORD, James McCAWLEY, and Christine McCAWLEY were then called, and asked if they wished to go to Canada. They all replied in the affirmative. – Mr PARTINGTON said he was rather taken by surprise at the refusal of Elizabeth STAFFORD to go out along with her brother William. She had expressed her willingness to go. She had no mother, and had been deserted by her father.

The Clerk to Elizabeth: You hear that your brother William is willing to go to Canada? Yes, sir. – Would you not like to go with him? No. – Don’t you want to go? No. – I don’t know that I have a right to ask why because you can please yourself. If you don’t want to go the magistrates cannot make an order in your case.

Mr PARTINGTON said it was rather unfortunate seeing that the girl had given her consent before coming to court. – The Clerk: She is here, but we cannot inquire into her reason. – The Chairman: It must be of the girl’s own free choice. – The Clerk: You can make an order in all the other cases, and eliminate the name of Elizabeth STAFFORD. – This was done, and the parties left the court.

The Ashton police were apprised of the death under singular circumstances, which took place at 5.15 on Monday of William, aged five months, son of William MILLER, labourer, 7 Chapel-street, Ashton. The child had been in delicate health ever since birth, and seemed to be in a wasting condition.

The father and mother retired to bed at 11.30 on Sunday night, the child then being as usual. During the night the child began to cry, and the mother carried him about the bedroom, and by this means got him to sleep. The mother then went to sleep, placing the child by her side of the bed. On awaking at 5.15am the mother noticed the child lay very quiet, and she awoke her husband, and on examination the child was found to be dead.

The inquest was held at the Wellington Inn, Crickets-lane, on Wednesday forenoon, by Mr J F PRICE, district coroner.

The mother of the deceased said the child had not had good health since birth. She could not tell what ailed him, but he was always crying. She had given him castor oil about twice a week, and had not considered him bad enough to call a doctor in. Witness and her husband and the child slept in the one bed, which was a large bed. The child slept on the witness’s left arm in the middle of the bed and commenced crying during the night time, and she got up and walked about the chamber floor from about 12 o’clock midnight until 4.30 on Monday morning.

The child got quieter, and witness went to sleep, placing him on her right arm. On awakening about half an hour afterwards she found the child lying dead on her arm. It had been her custom to feed the child with fresh milk from a cup with a spoon, but the child often vomited the milk back. Witness had three other children, the eldest of whom was living away with a cousin. She had two other children, both of whom had died, the last being six weeks ago, aged one year and six months.

By the foreman: She called a doctor in after death, and he said the child had been suffering from crying fits and convulsions. – Annie DEGNAN, single woman, lodging with Mrs MILLER, deposed to the child having always been delicate. The mother was a steady woman, and had always looked well after her children. She knocked witness up about 5.30 on Monday morning, and asked her to look at the child, and on doing so she found it lying dead on the bed.

The Coroner said it was a pity the mother had not called in a doctor before. – A Juryman expressed the opinion that there had been some carelessness. – The Coroner said it must be carelessness or ignorance. – A Juryman said he had known the parents 15 years, and they had always been pretty steady. – The Foreman did not think there had been willful neglect. The child did not appear to have been able to retain the milk on its stomach.

The Coroner suggested a post mortem examination if there was any doubt in the matter. – The Foreman considered there was not the slightest evidence of neglect. – The Coroner said it have been caused through mixing the food improperly. – Several jurymen expressed the opinion that death was due to convulsions, and a verdict of death from natural causes was returned. – The mother of the child was called into the room, and the Coroner told her that it was the opinion of the jury that she ought to have obtained medical advice.

On the arrival of the Manchester to London express at Crewe on Sunday, a young woman was found leaning through the window shrieking and gesticulating in a very alarming manner, and a crowd gathered on the platform. From a communication made by her mother, who traveled with her, it seemed that soon after leaving Manchester the young woman’s mind became unhinged, and she attacked her mother and knocked her about very severely. She was detained and attended by Dr ATKINSON, the company’s chief surgeon. She had gone absolutely mad, and later on was taken back to the Midlands by friends.

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