12 October 1901
CONDUCT OF A HURST MAN
A Victim of Hallucinations
At the Ashton County Police Court on Saturday,
a middle-aged man named Edward POLLITT, of Hurst,
was in the dock charged with being drunk and disorderly
at Hurst on October 2nd. Evidence was given by
a constable that at 11.30 on the night in question,
he was called to the house of the prisoners
mother. Prisoner had been breaking windows, and
threatened to break more. He was shouting and
swearing and causing a disturbance, and witness
had to take him to the police station. He told
witness that he only came out of gaol on the Wednesday.
Superintendent HEWITT handed to
the bench a letter in prisoners handwriting.
The letter ran as follows:
"Gentlemen, I have known
many years ago that I was wrong, but I have cloaked
it as long as I could, but where there is insanity
it will come out sooner or later. I belong to
an insane family. My grandfather and grandmother
died off their mind, and my mothers brother
died the same, and my grandmothers sister
died off her mind, and I had a brother died of
it. That was Jack POLLITT, concertina player.
My grandfathers name was William BUCKLEY.
He was very badly knock-kneed. They used to call
him Billy Diggs and his son Sammy Diggs. They
used to be going up and down after a fortune which
they never got only a misfortune.
I take such funny ideas in my head
sometimes. I can hear people talking about me,
and I can hear music playing, and sometimes I
am studying how I can get an easy death. I was
thinking of going round to the druggists
shops and getting twopennyworth o luddium
here and there until I got enough to sleep me
to death. I was going to get two bottles and keep
emptying into one bottle as I got it.
I have walked 25 miles in one day
thinking someone has been after me, when it has
been imagination. I have worked myself up to that
pitch it is a wonder I have not done something
serious. I thought our Josh was murdering my mother,
that is the reason I broke the windows. I remember
kissing my mother in bed at 15 minutes to 11 on
the Wednesday night, and this happened at 10 past
11. When I heard my mother shouting I thought
he was murdering her. I was sitting under the
window outside. I jumped up excited. It was done
in a few seconds. I am sorry, but I cannot help
Do what you like with me now. You
can hang me, drown me or smother me, or do what
you like. I am ready for the rope and 30 foot
of a drop. I am sorry that I am on the earth;
I wish I was underneath it, especially when I
look back and see what I was bred from. I have
been in the asylum twice. I know I am not right
when I am sober, and when I get three or four
drinks of beer I am gone altogether. The head
doctor at Withington Asylum told me that I should
not drink again; if I did I should go back to
the asylum. I am wrong, and I cannot help it,
so you can do as you like to me."
A brother-in-law of the prisoner
gave evidence, and said he did not think prisoner
was properly right. He was not a "luny,"
but he was "daft." (Laughter.)
He had been to witnesss house many a time,
but always had sense enough to get away when he
knew there was someone there to put him away.
He had a boy drowned and had never been right
since. He used to be the best of the "bunch."
He could get a wage, but was soft in his "napper."
(Laughter.) He was in the habit of going
about the country. They had heard of him in different
The Presiding Magistrate (to prisoner):
You will be fined 10s and costs or 14 days. Keep
off beer. I do not think youre quite as
bad as you make yourself out to be. Superintendent
HEWITT: It would take a bit of wit to put that
letter together. Prisoner preferred to go to gaol
rather than pay the fine, and he accordingly went
WATERLOO AND BARDSLEY
IN A HELPLESS CONDITION At the Ashton
County Police Court on Wednesday, John HUDSON was
before the magistrates charged with being drunk
at Waterloo on September 20th. Defendant
admitted having had a drop and staying along with
a friend later than he should have done. He would
have got home all right if the constable had not
interfered with him. A constable deposed
to finding defendant laid down in Newmarket-road
in a helpless condition. Fined 2s 6d.
PROMISES LIKE PIE-CRUST
Margaret POWER was again before the Ashton County
Justices on Wednesday, charged with committing
a breach of the peace on September 21st
Defendant pleaded guilty. Presiding Magistrate:
How many times have you promised me you would
never come here again? You will be bound over
in 40s to keep the peace for three months and
pay the costs.
EFFECTS OF A DROP OF STOUT
At the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday,
a charge of being drunk and disorderly at Bardsley,
on September 21st, was preferred against Kate
KELLY. Defendant pleaded not guilty, and
said she was simply sitting on her own doorstep.
A constable deposed to seeing defendant
drunk and shouting abusive language in Keb-lane.
He put her in her house, which was close by.
Defendant said she had been to a friends
house and she gave her a drop of stout. She left
her key at the friends house in mistake,
and the constable let her into her own house by
means of a skeleton key. She never said a wrong
word to one or the other. The Magistrates
Clerk: The stout had got into your head? Yes,
and I had been working hard all day, and had no
dinner. Phoebe MURRY deposed to having
been with the defendant, whom she said had had
a little drop of stout. Defendant was fined
WATERLOO AND TAUNTON LIBERAL
CLUB On Saturday a tea party, concert
and dance was held at the above club. There were
about 120 at tea, and the subsequent proceedings
were presided over by Mr Isaac HIBBERT, in place
of Councillor WOOD, of Droylsden, who was unable
to attend. Songs were given by Mr ACKRILL, Mr
Harry OSWALD (humourist), and Mr HALL of Ashton;
and also Miss Bertha WADSWORTH, a very pleasing
vocalist, who was loudly applauded. Dances were
interspersed between the songs, and the proceedings
came to a close shortly before 11 oclock.
THE AFFAIRS OF AN ASHTON
HAY AND STRAW DEALER
Examination in Bankruptcy
On Thursday, at the Ashton Bankruptcy Court,
William MOSS, hay and straw dealer, Chester Square,
Ashton, was again publicly examined. Mr Joseph BRADBURY
appeared for seven creditors, and Mr R G IVES for
the petitioning creditor. The debtors statement
of affairs showed a deficiency of £276 15s 11d,
and he alleged as the cause of his failure
bad debts, sickness in family, expenses of large
family, and keen competition in business.
Mr JOHNSON conducted the examination.
How did you dispose of £100 which you received
from Mrs HOOLEY, your mother-in-law, for a life
policy? I spent it one way or another; I cannot
really say, but it went. Did you borrow
it to pay any particular debt? I am not prepared
to swear it; I have no recollection about it.
Did you put it in the bank to pay the bills
as they came in? No. Debtor next repeatedly
answered Mr JOHNSON that he did not know to whom
and how he paid his debts, and this brought from
the latter the stern remark: I am afraid it is
quite hopeless to get any information out of this
The Registrar: Now just answer the
questions properly. Mr JOHNSON: Can you
give me the least idea what amount you paid to
your creditors during the past half year? No.
Did you pay as much as £10 a week? No,
I cannot answer to it. The Registrar: Dont
you keep books? Debtor: No. The
Registrar: I wish you would sharpen your wits
a bit; you seem to answer some of the questions
honourably enough. Mr JOHNSON said he would not
pursue the examination any further that day, but
would ask for an adjournment to November 21st.
Mr IVES asked debtor who belonged
to the horse and trap which he was continually
driving about in, and he replied that it was his
wifes property. He acknowledged his name
was on the trap, but he could explain this if
required. Mr BRADBURY said he would reserve
his questions until the next examination. He should
then have something to say.
HURST BROOK M.E.C. BAND OF HOPE On Tuesday
evening at the above there was a goodly number of
children. Mr CHARLESWORTH occupied the chair. Mr
J W THORNLEY spoke upon the effects of strong drink.
An action song, "The Very Worst Girl in School,"
was given by four girls, and part sung by Messrs
MELLOR and others.
BREACH OF THE PEACE
Annie CRAWFORD and Jane FIDLER were before the
Ashton County Justices on Wednesday charged with
committing a breach of the peace at Hurst on September
23rd. CRAWFORD pleaded not guilty and FIDLER "guilty
of a few words." A constable deposed that
about 4.30 pm on the date in question he saw defendants
creating a disturbance and shouting and swearing.
He went to them and stopped the row. On serving
the summons CRAWFORD used abusive language.
Defendant CRAWFORD said the constable came to
house and asked her what was the matter; it was
all over then. Defendants were bound over
in 40s to keep the peace for three months.
SALE OF PROPERTY AND WORKS
Mr J.C.M. TURNER offered for sale, at the Pitt
and Nelson Hotel, Ashton, on Wednesday evening,
the following property: Lot 1: All those work
and premises recently used as a spindle works,
situated in Water-street, Hurst Brook, and the
site thereof. Lot 2: A plot of land and messuages
(sic) erected thereon in Water-street, and houses
and stables and other buildings adjacent. Lot
3: A house and shop, numbers 11 and 13 Water-street,
and cottage, No 2 St Ann-street, Hurst Brook,
and the vacant plot of land behind. All the lots
were withdrawn. Messrs John WHITWORTH and Co acted
for the vendors.
ASHTON BOROUGH POLICE COURT
A DISORDERLY WOMAN A young woman named
Margaret MELLOR was committed to prison for seven
days for disorderly conduct in Cotton-street on
the 15th inst.
VEHICLE NO LIGHTS
Daniel CHAPMAN was summoned for using a vehicle
without having a light attached on 2nd October.
His sister appeared and pleaded guilty,
and was fined 1s and costs.
EMULATING JANE CAKEBREAD
Catherine DALEY was in the dock charged with using
bad language in Wellington-road on the 4th.
She pleaded not guilty. Constable WILD
stated the case. Defendants mother,
who said she was 55(?) years of age, corroborated
and asked for prosecution. Defendant said
her mother was the first to bring her into the
court when she was 15 years of age. The
Clerk: You are not 15 now. In reply to
the Bench the Chief Constable said defendant had
been up 51 times. (Sensation.) The
last time was twelve months ago, when she was
fined 20s and costs or one month. The Bench
repeated the dose.
WILFUL DAMAGE James
LOGAN was summoned by Edward BENNETT for doing
damage to windows amounting to 8s on the 2nd October.
He pleaded guilty. He said the complainant married
his sister. When he came home from the front,
he gave his sister sums of £8, £3, and £16, to
take care of. Last Sunday, as he was sitting in
the house, BENNETT came in and started thumping
him and knocked him off a chair. He went for his
clothes and BENNETT said he had put them on the
fire. The Clerk: You have your remedy.
You have no right to break windows. BENNETT
said he had not handled a halfpenny of the money.
Defendant: I dont say you have, but
our Annie has. The Bench ordered the defendant
to pay 8s damages and 5s 6d costs.
ALLEGED THEFT OF LEAD
Two youths named James GATELEY and William HAMPSON
were charged with stealing 50lbs of lead, the
property of John STRINGER, on the 12th ult.
Jas. MORTON, 217 Astley-street, said on the 28th
he was going down the canal side near the Cavendish
Mill. He saw a man give the prisoners a bag. He
watched them and they went over Hindley Bridge,
up Portland-street, and through the brewery yard
into STRINGERs mill. They went down to the
old boiler house. He went to them and asked them
what they were doing there. They said they were
looking for lead. They had a quantity of lead
in a bag. The Chief Constable said upon
that evidence he asked for a remand for a week.
One of the prisoners was only arrested that morning
and the other on Sunday. The Bench granted
the application and allowed prisoners bail if
they could find it.
IMPORTUNING PASSENGERS AND ASSAULTING
THE POLICE Jane HEGINBOTTOM was in
the dock charged with importuning passengers in
Whitelands-road on the 5th and assaulting Constable
WALMSLEY. She pleaded guilty to being drunk.
Constable WALMSLEY said when he arrested
the prisoner for accosting men she became very
violent, tried to throw him down and fought madly.
She kicked him several times. He had to call assistance
before he could get her to the Town Hall.
Constable 7 said he went to WALMSLEYs assistance,
and saw the defendant kick him violently. The
Chief Constable said defendant had been up 20
times, the last being in July this year for assaulting
the police. Defendant said if magistrates
would be lenient she would sign teetotal.
The Chairman said that on the first charge she
would be dismissed, but for the assault upon the
officer she would be fined 10s and costs or 14
DRUNK AND DISORDERLY Bridget
FAY was charged with being drunk and disorderly
in Bow-street on the 5th. She said she
was not drunk. Constable GOODWIN stated
the facts, and the Chief Constable spoke to seeing
the defendant brought to the police office. There
was no doubt as to her being drunk at the time,
and she used very bad language indeed in the office.
She was a stranger to the town. Defendant
said she came from Bolton to Ashton to find her
husband and child. The Clerk: Did you find
your husband? Defendant: No, sir.
The Clerk: She found the drink instead.
(Laughter.) Discharged with a caution.
James Patrick LAMB and Thomas WALSH pleaded guilty
to drunk and disorderly conduct in Wellington-road
on the 5th. LAMB has been up thirteen times, and
WALSH three times. Fined 10s 6d each and
THEFT OF SHOES BY BOYS
Cecil WAREING (13) and John EYRE (9) were
charged with stealing a pair of womens boots.
Edward BROWN said he was assistant to Messrs
STEAD and SIMPSON, boot dealers, Stamford-street.
The boots now produced were their property. Last
Friday night, the boots were hung on a rod at
the door, and they were missed at 9.15. They were
worth 2s 11d. Walter LISTER said he was
a pawnbroker at 129 Old-street. Shortly after
9 oclock on Friday night, the prisoner EYRE
came to the shop and offered the pair of boots
produced in pledge. He said his mother had sent
him. Witness suspected they were stolen and detained
the prisoner. In a few minutes afterwards, WAREING
came in and enquired for EYRE. Witness went after
him, gave chase, and caught him. The police were
sent for and the lads given into custody.
The prisoners pleaded guilty, and said they were
very sorry. The parents said the lads were
very good at home and went to day and Sunday school.
There was no occasion for them to steal.
The Bench dismissed them with a strong caution
as to their future conduct. The Chairman added
that the Bench was of opinion there was rather
too much exposure of goods outside by shopkeepers.
It led people and young children into temptation.
CRUELTY TO A CAT Joseph
LILLEY was summoned for cruelty to a cat by kicking
it. He pleaded guilty. Inspector POCOCK,
RSPCA, prosecuted, and said the cat was injured
in such a way that it had to be destroyed.
Emily BURGESS was called. She said she was the
wife of a reservist now at the front, and lived
at 11 Bengal-street. On the 20th September, about
seven oclock in the evening, she was standing
at her door, when she saw the defendant coming
up the street. Her cat was passing at the time
and the defendant took a run kick at it. The cats
front leg was broken, and she had to destroy it.
Defendants excuse was that he was
beastly drunk. Constable stated that on the night
in question, he was sent to the house of Mrs BURGESS.
He there saw the cat. Its shoulder was
broken, and it seemed in great pain. Upon his
advice, they drowned it. Inspector POCOCK
said in consequence of this matter being reported
to him by the police, he made inquiries and saw
the defendant. He said he was exceedingly sorry
for what he had done. He admitted kicking the
cat, and said he was in drink at the time, or
he would not have done it. Defendants
father said he (defendant) had only just come
from the front after being there 12 months. He
was "beastly" drunk at the time.
The Chairman said drunkenness was no defence for
cruelty to a helpless creature. Defendant would
be fined 10s and costs, or 14 days, and 2s 6d
each to two witnesses.