4 January 1902
Before the county magistrates sitting at Hyde
Police Court on Monday, Peter HALL, labourer,
of Ashton, was brought up under a warrant charged
with fraudulently taking and selling a brown cart
horse, the property of George KEMP, of Winterbottom
Farm, Matley. Superintendent COOPER briefly
stated the case and added that prisoner was engaged
on the 25th at Hayfield. From that time up to
his apprehension a few days ago he had not been
in the neighbourhood. Prosecutor said prisoner
had not been permanently employed by him, but
on Tuesday, the 25th of September, he engaged
him to take a brown cart horse, value £6, to the
farm of Mr John PORRET, at Hayfield. Witness's
instructions were to deliver the horse to Mr PORRET
and bring another back in exchange. From that
date he had not seen nor heard anything of him.
On Tuesday, the 2nd October, he took out a warrant
against prisoner, and on Thursday, the 4th of
October, he received the brown cart horse from
the police. Prisoner had no authority to dispose
of the horse other than in the way specified.
John HUDSON, of Stone Head, Hayfield,
cattle dealer, said that on Tuesday, the 25th
September, he was at the Grouse Inn, a public
house between Glossop and Hayfield, when prisoner
came in. He spoke to witness and told him he had
a horse to sell. He said he would fetch it and
he did so. It was a big brown horse and he asked
£3 for it. He subsequently said he would take
25s, and eventually a bargain was made for 10s.
The next morning witness examined the horse, when
he found it in a shocking condition, not fit for
anything. Witness afterwards sold it to Aaron
LAWTON, of Birch Vale, a "sacker," for 23s 6d.
Prisoner, in reply to the charge,
pleaded not guilty. He said he took the horse
to PORRET according to arrangement, and the latter
declined to accept it, saying he would have anything
like that about his farm. He therefore told prisoner
to take it back. Prisoner said it was too late
to do so, but he subsequently started on the journey.
Before he had gone far the animal became completely
exhausted and fell in the roadway. Further on
it fell again, and as he was afraid of being prosecuted
by the police for cruelty he sold it for 10s.
Prisoner was committed to take his
trial at Knutsford Sessions, and on Wednesday
morning was brought before Sir Horatio LLOYD.
He was found guilty and sentenced to nine months.
ASHTON JURYMAN'S COMPLAINT
An Important Point
At the conclusion of an inquest at the Ashton
District Infirmary on Thursday afternoon, Mr James
MARLAND, of Cockbrook, foreman of the jury, said
he would like to bring a matter before the attention
of the Coroner. Here was a case in which the deceased
resided at Stalybridge. She was brought to the Infirmary
at Ashton where she dies, and when the inquest is
held the entire jury is drawn from Ashton. Why should
this be when Stalybridge was equally as near to
the Infirmary as Ashton, and further, when the case
came from the former town?
The Coroner: Stalybridge is in a
neighbouring county. Mr MARLAND: That is so, and
she belonged to the other county. The Coroner:
I am doubtful whether I can send for a jury from
another county, but I will look into the matter
and if I find I can I will give instructions for
some of the jury to be drawn in future from Stalybridge.
Had Stalybridge been in Lancashire I could have
done so, but I am afraid I cannot summons a jury
Mr MARLAND: I think it is a shame
that tradespeople of Ashton should bear the entire
brunt of these inquests when the people directly
concerned have no connection with the town. The
Coroner: It has struck me the same way. I do not
see why Stalybridge should be freed altogether.
A Juror: It is the same with Dukinfield
and Hyde. People come from there and die at the
Infirmary, and then we are saddled with the inquiry.
The Coroner: I promise you Mr MARLAND that I will
look into the matter. A Juror: They get paid in
Stalybridge, Dukinfield and Hyde, and we get "nowt."
(Laughter.) The Coroner: In Cheshire the jurymen
are paid out of the Weaver Trust fund.
MAN FOUND DROWNED AT LITTLEMOSS
On Monday afternoon Constable HODKINSON received
information of the body of a man having found in
the canal near Cinderland Bridge, Littlemoss. The
discovery was made by a boatman named Richard RATCLIFFE,
of 28 Gate-street, Dukinfield. The body having been
removed from the water, Constable HODKINSON procured
a milk float, and the remains were removed to the
Newmarket Inn. A set of moulder's tools, a pipe,
knife, key, tobacco box, and a penny in money were
found on the body being searched. Deceased is about
50 years of age, 5ft 6in in height, sandy hair,
stout build. He was dressed in striped jacket, moleskin
trousers, striped shirt, red, white ,and blue stockings,
laced boots, and dark coloured overcoat. The body
was afterwards identified as that of John YATES,
moulder, of Albert-street, Bardsley.
The inquest was held at the Newmarket
Inn, Waterloo, on Thursday forenoon, by Mr J P
PRICE, district coroner. Henry YATES, painter,
29 Albert-street, Bardsley, stated that the deceased
was his father, and was 54 years of age. He was
employed at the Sheepbridge Iron Co, Chesterfield,
and left home on Monday, November 25th. He did
not say when he would come back, but he was expected
home at Christmas. They heard nothing more of
him, and they therefore commenced to make enquiries,
and subsequently learned that had been found in
the canal. He had no trouble. His son had gone
to the war about a week since, but that had not
troubled him. He had never threatened to drown
himself. The only way witness could account for
him getting into the canal was that he had been
walking on the canal side and fallen in.
Richard RATCLIFFE, canal boatman,
28 Gate-street, Dukinfield, deposed to seeing
the body in the canal at Cinderland Bridge. The
body appeared to have been stirred up in the water
by his boat. He did not take the body out of the
water because he had not time to stop. He was
short-handed, there being only two of them in
charge of two boats. The Coroner: It would
not have taken you long? It meant going for a
constable, and it would have spoiled the afternoon.
It was a very quiet place about there. As soon
as I got to the locks at Fairfield, one and a
half miles away, I gave information to the lockkeeper.
The man was dead when I first saw him. I do not
know who took the body out of the water.
George AINSWORTH, 4 Hooper-lane,
Droylsden, stated that he was assistant lockkeeper
at the Fairfield Locks. He received information
from the last witness at 1,30 on Monday afternoon
that there was a body in the canal. He went to
the place indicated, and found the body lying
on the bank on the opposite side of the canal
from the towing path. Witness examined the body,
but was unable to tell who it was. He inquired
as to who took the body from the water, but could
not find out. No other boat had passed after the
last witness's boat that he was aware of.
Constable R HODKINSON stated that
he had received information that a dead body had
been found. He went there, and found a set of
tools on the deceased. There were no marks of
injury, but deceased was somewhat swollen in the
face. He appeared to have been taken out of the
water head first and dragged up the bank. Witness
made enquiries but could not find out who took
the body out. The jury returned a verdict
of found drowned.
DESPERATE AND AGGRAVATED
Scene in an Ashton Smithy
At the Ashton Borough Court, on Monday, a rough
looking young man, whose face bore traces of having
been in a melee, named Ernest BIRD, was in the dock
charged with being drunk and disorderly in Wood-street
on the 27th and assaulting Thos COOPER, blacksmith.
An officer stated that about noon on Friday his
attention was called to Mr COOPER's smithy. He went
there and found the prisoner drunk and using bad
language. He had assaulted Mr COOPER very badly,
and witness locked him up.
Thos COOPER said he was a blacksmith
and carried on business in Wood-street. On Friday
about a quarter past 12 o'clock prisoner entered
the smithy and asked for a light. He told him
there was plenty of fire, and he could get one.
He rushed at him like a madman, and a desperate
struggle ensued, which lasted some considerable
time. The anvil was knocked over, and he got bruised
on the ankle. Prisoner tried to get a hammer to
strike him, but he prevented him. Eventually assistance
came, and prisoner was given into the hands of
the police. By the prisoner: I never touched
In the struggle a lot of goods were
damaged that should have gone away that same night.
The Clerk: What is the meaning of all this?
Complainant: He lives across the way, and he has
been threatening me for a couple of months.
Wm ELLIS, scalemaker, was called. He said that
shortly after 12 o'clock he was coming out of
his workshop when he saw the prisoner at COOPER's
smithy door coming out with some very bad language.
He then suddenly darted into COOPER's workshop.
Witness followed and saw prisoner make a grab
over COOPER's anvil, and they both fell between
the anvil and the block. Witness got hold of the
prisoner to pull him off COOPER, and the latter
got up. Immediately he did so prisoner rushed
at him, got hold of him by the legs, and upset
him again. Witness then went for the police.
By the prisoner: I never struck you at all.
George ELLIS stated that about 12.30
he was coming out of their workshop to dinner,
and heard a disturbance in COOPER's smithy. He
went there, and saw COOPER right underneath the
bellows, and the prisoner on top of him trying
to strangle him. He tried to get hold of the prisoner
to pull him off, but it was useless. Prisoner
asserted that he was assaulted first, and called
his mother, Maria BIRD. She stated that she was
at the blacksmith's shop door, and saw Mr ELLIS
strike her son three times whilst he and COOPER
were down. Her son was certainly drunk at the
time. Mr COOPER struck her son with a piece of
The Clerk: Your son is not unknown
to the police. He is known very well in Dukinfield.
The Chief Constable informed the Bench that in
1888 prisoner was before the Dukinfield magistrates
for assault. And was committed to gaol for two
months; 1892, resisting the police, 30s and costs,
or two months; 1896, similar offence, committed
for six weeks. He had also been 16 times for drunkenness.
After a short consultation the Chairman told the
prisoner that this was a most aggravated and disgraceful
assault. For being drunk and disorderly he would
be fined 5s 6d costs or seven days, and for the
assault committed to gaol for two months hard
labour. They hoped that at the end of that period
he would come to his senses.
A MILL AT LITTLEMOSS BROKEN
Alleged Theft of Brass Steps
At the Ashton County Police Court on Saturday,
Wm O'SHAUGHNESSY, described as an habitué
of Ashton lodging-houses, was in custody charged
with breaking into a warehouse and mills belonging
to Messrs CRYER Bros, Littlemoss, and stealing therefrom
22 brass steps.
Superintendent HEWITT stated that
the mill, warehouse, and engine-house were combined
in one building. The mill, it appeared, was left
locked up and secure on December 24th. On Dec
25th the engine-house door was found to be open,
and from another part of the building a
workshop in connection with the mill the
brass steps (produced) were missed. A large screwkey
was found on the premises, and from the marks
this appeared to have been used to force open
the engine-house door. It was a large screwkey,
and belonged to Messrs BYROM, Royal Mills, and
had been missed from there. Prisoner was arrested
on Friday by a constable from Ashton with the
property in his possession.
Constable HODKINSON deposed to apprehending
the prisoner with the brass steps in his possession.
When charged he replied "That's right." Superintendent
HEWITT asked for a remand and the case was adjourned
for a week.
HOOLIGANISM IN CHARLESTOWN
Robbery with Violence
At the Ashton Borough Court on Saturday, two
young fellows of the street corner lounging fraternity
in Charlestown, named Thomas WELSH or WALSH and
James Patrick LAMB were in the dock charged with
stealing 2s in cash, one pipe and three pawntickets
from the person of Thomas TIMPERLEY, and at the
same time did use personal violence on the 24th
Thomas TIMPERLEY said he lived in
Pitt-street, Ashton. About 11.30 on Tuesday night
he was walking along Pitt-street, Charlestown,
and saw the prisoners there. They seized him and
threw him down on his back in the street and LAMB
put his hand in his pocket and took out what was
in. One pocket was tore out completely. It contained
2s, one pipe and a tobacco box containing three
pawntickets. WELSH kicked him several times on
the right side and held him down whilst LAMB rifled
his pockets. They ran away after they had robbed
him. He got up and found his pipe and torn pocket,
and the cap produced, belonging to LAMB, in the
street. By WELSH: I had no stick with me,
and never threatened anyone.
Mary Jane WILLIAMS said she lived
at 11 Pitt-street. About 11.30 on Tuesday night
last she was stood at the door when she saw TIMPERLEY
come out of a house about three doors away. At
that time the two prisoners were stood under the
window of her house. When TIMPERLEY got near her
house the prisoners rushed at him. WELSH got hold
of his legs and threw him down. He fell on top
of him, and then got up and kicked him several
times. LAMB stood over him, but she could not
say what he was doing. She afterwards saw both
prisoners run away. As WELSH passed her he kicked
her. She went and picked TIMPERLEY up after the
prisoners had gone.
Nellie MURPHY said she lived at
22 Pitt-street. On Wednesday , at 8.30am she found
the box produced containing three pawntickets
in the middle of the street opposite CARTER's
lodging house, and near where the witness Mary
Jane WILLIAMS lived. Jesse CARTER said he had
a lodging house at 18 Pitt-street. At ten minutes
to 12 o'clock midnight on the 24th he was just
coming out of his house when the prisoner LAMB
came up without hat. He asked witness if he had
a cap, that I could give him. He replied "yes"
and turned into the house and fetched one out.
He did not see WELSH at that time.
Sergeant TOLSON said that at 11am
on Thursday, the 26th, he went to WELSH's house
in Wellington-street, and told him he wanted him.
He said, "What for?" He told him for robbing a
man called TIMPERLEY in Pitt-street on Christmas
Eve in company with James Patrick LAMB. He said,
"I got hold of his legs and upset him, and if
he was robbed LAMB robbed him. I didn't. I didn't
have a halfpenny." He brought prisoner to the
Town Hall and charged him. Later in the day he
arrested LAMB in Back Marland-street, and brought
him to the Town Hall, and charged him in a similar
manner. He replied "I am not guilty."
Prisoners were committed to take
their trial at the next Manchester Assizes.
ANOTHER MASONIC IMPOSTOR
At the Ashton Borough Police Court, on Thursday
morning, Arthur COOPER, alias George HARRIS, and
G HAYES, was charged with obtaining 1s by false
pretences on Sunday evening last, and attempting
to obtain a further sum on Monday morning from Mr
James W POWNALL, almoner and treasurer of the local
Masonic charities at Ashton-under-Lyne. Mr Arthur
James William POWNALL said : On
Sunday last about nine o'clock, the prisoner called
at my residence, 26 Henrietta-street, and said
he was a poor and distressed Mason., had just
come into town from Huddersfield, being tired
and footsore he was anxious for a rest, and if
only I could relieve him with a small sum to enable
him to get a bread and breakfast, he would be
satisfied, as on the following morning he intended
going on to Manchester where he would be all right.
I asked him for his lodge certificate and he said
it was in the hands of friends in Manchester,
He said his name was Arthur COOPER, and he belonged
to 406 Northern Counties Lodge, Newcastle-upon-Tyne,
and had been a member for 18 years, the last seven
of which he was a pastmaster.
Without proving him to be a Mason,
I gave him 1s, believing his statement to be true,
and told him if he called upon me the following
morning, proving himself to be a true Mason, and
worthy of support, I would relieve him with a
larger amount. He then shook hands and bade me
good night. The prisoner turned up the following
morning at 9.30 at my place of business, No 13
Bow-street. On entering the shop I at once recognised
him as a person whom I had previously relieved,
but not in the name of Arthur COOPER.. I asked
him to give me a receipt for the 1s I had on the
previous night given him. He replied "Will it
not do on the one receipt?" I said "No; I prefer
all receipts for monies to be kept separate. The
reason I had for him signing the receipt produced
was to compare his handwriting with the other
two receipts also produced.
I then took him to a private room
and he proved himself to my satisfaction to be
a mason. He said he had returned the week previously
from the war, having served almost two years with
the "Fighting Fifth." On reaching his home, Newcastle-upon-Tyne,
where he carried on the business of a picture
framer and gilder, he was greatly shocked to find
his wife had been confined with a child during
his absence, and of which he was not the father.
He had come away, fearing that if he stayed he
might do something serious to her, and had left
his eldest son, 21 years of age in charge of the
I then asked him to write the name
of Geo HARRIS, PM 636, De Ogle Lodge, Morpath,
Northumberland, which he did at one interrogation;
also the name of Geo HAYES, 1,274 Wilberforce
Lodge, Hull, and on comparing his writing with
the two receipts produced, dated January 25th,
1900, and the 12th June 1897, I charged him with
being one and the same person. He denied it. I
said you were here on January 25th 1900. I relieved
you with 2s 6d, and you signed in the name of
Geo HARRIS, and also on the 12th June 1897, with
1s signing as G HAYES. He denied this also. And
said I was mistaken, because he had never been
in this town before the previous evening.
I then gave him into the custody
of Constable PRATT, who took him across to the
police office. In answer to a telegram I afterwards
sent to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, "Is Arthur COOPER
a past master of you lodge?" reply came, "Not
a member 0f 406. Don't know him. BARTLETT,
W M." I also produce letters from the secretaries
of the other two lodges that no such name as HARRIS
or HAYES exist on their books. I am decidedly
creation the prisoner is the one and the same
person. I have on three occasions relieved in
different names of HARRIS, HAYES and COOPER.
The prisoner made a lengthy statement,
and admitted that his name was not Arthur COOPER,
but refused to disclose his true name and lodge.
He said he felt his position very keenly indeed.
The Chairman said the Bench could not overlook
the offence defrauding charity and
he must go to prison for fourteen days with hard