14 November 1903

In last Saturday’s issue we reported the death of a child which had met its death by suffocation. The inquest was held on Friday afternoon at the Cambridge Inn, Ashton, by Mr Ernest BIRCH (Deputy Coroner). Mr Thomas BEARD was foreman of the jury.

Eliza Jane CARDELL, wife of John Edward CARDELL, a collier, of 25 Bennett-street, the mother, said deceased was three months and three weeks old. She had always been a healthy child from birth, except that she had been troubled with bronchitis, for which she had been attended by Dr CRAWSHAW.

On Thursday morning, witness went to bed with the child at half past twelve. She put the child on her left arm. They both went to sleep, the child being between her and her husband. When they found deceased it would be about twenty past seven when she was pressing up against her back.

Her husband picked it up and said, “Oh, Jesus, I think the baby’s dead.” Witness then walked round the room with it, and her husband ran for the doctor, and a neighbour was brought in. The doctor came about 8 o’clock and pronounced the child dead. Its mouth was discoloured.

Sarah KENNERLEY, wife of James KENNERLEY, a collier, of 2 Back Cambridge-street, Ashton, said that about half past seven on Thursday morning the last witness came to her and told her the baby was dead, and they ran back to the house to it. It was warm, but did not move. The doctor said they should not let the child sleep with them.

The Coroner: I think the child has been suffocated; they had no right to let the child sleep between them. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.

Found Under the Bed

At the Ashton Borough Court, on Monday, before Colonel EATON, Colonel J W POLLITT, and Alderman HULME, Samuel and James CASEY, who gave their names as SMITH, were charged with stealing several articles of jewellery from the Castle Inn, Scotland-street, on the 30th of October.

Carrie FORD, of the Castle Inn, said that about half past eight on the 30th of October she had occasion to go upstairs. When in the front bedroom she heard a noise under the bed and on looking saw the prisoners. She ran downstairs and raised an alarm which brought a constable, who came and took prisoners into custody.

The constable deposed to being on duty on the night in question in Scotland-street, when his attention was called to the Castle Inn. He went there and upstairs and on looking under the bed, he found the prisoners. He took them into custody, and found some of the articles produced on them. When charged they made no reply.

They were each sentenced to three months’ hard labour.

Drunk and Disorderly. — At the Hyde County Police Court, on Monday, George H BAGSHAWE was fined 2s 6d and costs for being drunk and disorderly at Cross-street, at 11 o’clock on Saturday night.

She Wanted Some Tea. — A pleasant-faced, humorous-looking old woman — who appeared in court with a little shawl on her head — appeared at the Hyde County Police Court, on Monday morning, to answer a charge of begging at Bridge-lane, Dukinfield, on November 8th.

The constable stated that prisoner had 7½d in copper when arrested. — Prisoner said she had been in the Union, and wanted some tea, and as she was only 63 she was not given any, as they only give tea to people over 65; so she went begging money to buy tea. — The Clerk: But you had 7½d, and you were begging. — Prisoner: Yes, sir; I was just coming away when he (the constable) met me. — Alderman OLDHAM: We will let you off this time, but don’t come here again. — The prisoner: Thank you, sir.

An Unsustained Charge. — On Thursday at the Police Court, Samuel MELLOR, greengrocer, was summoned at the instance of Constable FOY for leaving his horse and cart for an unreasonable time without anyone in charge, to wit, ten minutes. — The officer stated he was on duty in Ashton-street, Dukinfield Hall, and saw a horse and spring cart standing opposite the Bridge Inn. He watched it for ten minutes, and no one was in charge. He went into the Bridge Inn and saw defendant in the lobby.

Defendant said he was serving the landlady with greengroceries, and had not been away from the horse four minutes. He called a witness named John WOOD, of 93 Ashton-street, who swore that he saw the defendant go into the Bridge Inn. He was not in more than three or four minutes. — The magistrates gave defendant the benefit of the doubt, and dismissed the case.

A Maori Football Group. — The Manchester “Dispatch” the other day published a portrait group of five brothers named Arthur, Alf, Fred, Joe and William WARBRICK, who played in England with a team of footballers from New Zealand a few years ago. Since then Joe has died, and a Stockport relative of the remarkable WARBRICK brothers sends some interesting particulars of their parents:

”Their father, who was cousin to my mother, used to be in the iron trade at Dukinfield, Cheshire, but went out to New Zealand when quite a young man, and married a chief’s daughter. There were three sons by the first marriage. On the death of his wife WARBRICK had to marry or leave the colony, and William and Fred were sons of the second wife. The lads made many friends whilst in England, and were treated well wherever they went.”

The father would probably be brother of Messrs James and William WARBRICK, who 50 years ago carried on the business of machinists in Cooper-street, on land now covered by the arches of the L and NW Railway.

The past week has been teeming with interest for the people of Hyde. It has seen the first meeting of the Town Council after the recent extraordinary election, the new Mayor of the borough has been appointed, and there has been the sensational ending of the Werneth Low Tragedy.

Under ordinary conditions the talk of the town would have been about the new Mayor, how the new Councillors comported themselves, who were on the newly-formed committees, the bad weather, the fog, etc. But all these have paled into insignificance compared with the interest taken in the fate of the young girl, Elizabeth DAVIES, who, the Friday before, was sentenced to be hung for causing the death of her baby.

It is a long time since the heart of the town has been stirred so deeply as over this case. With everyone it has been the absorbing thought. At the crowded Liberal meeting assembled to hear Earl Crewe on the fiscal question, at the annual meeting of the Young Men’s Christian Association, and in all places where people were gathered together, the fate of the girl seemed to brood like a spirit over the meeting and press down upon the minds of all.

Everyone seemed to feel deeply over the question, dainty ladies in cosy drawing rooms surrounded by comfort and happy circumstances, mill girls at their toil, plump and cheery British matrons, who had no reason to expect that such a fate and such a shame might ever occur to any girl of theirs, well-bred girls in their first bloom of her womanhood, tall-hatted lawyers, ascetic scholars, clergymen of all denominations — all were interested.

The great heart of the people moved as one. That “One touch of Nature makes she whole world kin” has been shown by the universal interest in this sad event. And not only has Hyde been moved so deeply, but wherever the circumstances of the case have become known people have felt sympathy for the poor girl, and a desire that she should escape the last awful penalty of the law.

How nobly have people worked on her behalf! — Giving freely their ungrudging service, and braving the cold and wet to help by a petition to the Home Secretary one who could not help herself. Such a spontaneous outburst of sympathy and brotherly and sisterly kindness fills one with hope and confidence for the future of the race, and makes one feel that it is not folly to look forward to the time when loving-kindness shall cover the earth like a flood, when each shall feel for all and all for each. And as the great but frail and lowly bard says:

“And let us pray, that come it may,
As come it will for a’ that,
That man to man the wide world o’er
Shall brothers be for a’ that.”

Such an outburst of the spontaneous sympathy for suffering is enough to cure the most willfully pessimist of his despair, and to charm away the icy sneer of the most case-hardened cynic.

We had just written the last sentence when word was brought to the “Hyde Reporter” office that the Home Secretary had reprieved the girl and altered the sentence from death by hanging to one of penal servitude for life. We could scarcely believe that the Home Secretary could ignore a petition signed by 20,000 of his Majesty’s liege subjects.

The sentence has been altered from death by hanging to one of penal servitude for life, which, if the girl conducts herself carefully, means penal servitude for 15 years, we believe. If that is so, she will pass the best of her days in gaol, and most likely will come out into the world again a broken, white-haired woman.

We say that even that punishment is too severe, and many a far worse woman has not received a quarter of the punishment. And what is wanted now is another petition for a mitigation of the sentence. But we are afraid it would be almost useless, for the Home Secretary would not be likely to alter the practice of the Home Department, for the rules of red tape must be kept before no matter how much humanity suffers.

And in three or four years, or even in three or four weeks, Elizabeth DAVIES will be forgotten, and she will have to abide in durance vile while the world goes on unheeding. And even if a petition were got up we don’t think it would receive a quarter of the support the present one has, for the public soon grows weary in well-doing. And to secure 22,000 signatures to a petition is something to be proud of.

Gaming. — Edward ELLOR and James TOMLINSON were charged at the Ashton Police Court on Wednesday with gaming. Their mothers appeared, and as this their first offence they were only fined 5s.

Drunk. — At the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday, before Messrs J F BUCKLEY, A B MOORES, and B C SELLARS, Andrew CHADDERTON was charged with being drunk at Audenshaw. He did not appear. — He was fined 2s 6d.

Riding Bicycle on Footpath. — Henry DYER is not satisfied with the state of the roads in Audenshaw, and therefore when riding in that district the other day he rode on the footpath. For this offence he was bailed before the county magistrates at Ashton on Wednesday. His wife appeared, and he was fined 1s and costs.

Dangerous to Cyclists. — When the name Joseph SCHOFIELD was called in the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday there was no response. It appears that on Saturday night a constable was on duty in Audenshaw-road, when he saw defendant throw a glass bottle into the road. In spite of the suspicion which constables as a rule regard cyclists and motorists, he did the charitable thing, and took the name and address of the offender, and it will cost Joseph half a crown for breaking that bottle.

”Jolly Hatters’” Debating Society. — The above society held its weekly meeting on Sunday evening, Mr James E REECE occupying the chair. An address was delivered by the hon. sec. On “Tory promises and their performances,” with special reference to the Tory programme of 1895. Good humour was evoked in reference to the promise “to give local authorities control over the liquor traffic in regard to Sunday closing,” also in regard to the promises to continue a policy of peace; to reduce taxation, expenditure and debt; to promote the national prosperity, &c, the audience remembering the Tory outcry in 1895 against the late Mr Gladstone on his excessive war expenditure, to wit £20,000,000 — a mere fleabite compared with the South African muddle and mess, costing over £200,000,000, with its terrible British life loss and the loss to our commerce. The audience appreciated each point made. Discussion ensued. Members and friends taking part.

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