2 April 1904
OF A CLAYTON BOY AT STALYBRIDGE
Posing as a Theatrical
John NORRIS, aged 17 years, residing with his parents
in Eccleshall-street, Clayton, was on Monday charged at
the Stalybridge Police Court on remand from Saturday with
stealing a waistcoat, the property of John DRINKWATER,
under somewhat peculiar circumstances.
Captain BATES said the lad was originally
charged with obtaining food by false pretences, but he
(the Chief Constable) had decided to proceed on the larceny
charge only. Prisoner went to the house of Mrs EGGLETON,
in Bayley-street, and on the statement that he was a member
of the “Chinese Honeymoon” Theatrical Company
he obtained lodgings. It really did seem strange how any
woman could be taken in by such a lad as the one in the
dock; his very appearance and looks were enough, but any
way, Mrs EGGLETON was deceived, and she allowed the prisoner
to stay the week-end at her house as a lodger.
After he left on the Monday the waistcoat
of another lodger was found to have been stolen from a
drawer, and subsequently prisoner was found to be wearing
it, and when he (Captain BATES) asked him about it he
gave the very reasonable and sane reply that it was a
better waistcoat than his own. (Laughter.) It was only
fair to say that prisoner had been an inmate of Prestwich
Sarah Ann EGGLETON said she resided with
her husband at 13 Bayley-street, Stalybridge. On Saturday
night week prisoner came to her house and asked for lodgings,
saying he was with the “Chinese Honeymoon”
Company. He stayed until Monday morning, during which
time the waistcoat produced was in a drawer in the house.
The waistcoat belonged to another lodge named John DRINKWATER,
and was worth about two shillings.
Captain BATES: You thought he was an actor?
— Witness: Yes, that’s the reason I took him
in. He said he would pay me 14s 6d per week, and that
the manager of the Theatre had sent him. — Did you
think he was a comic man, or a tragedian? — (Laughter.)
— Well, I don’t know; he was singing on the
Sunday and telling us how he would have to go on the stage
at the Theatre the next day. — (Renewed laughter.)
Detective LEE said he arrested prisoner
on Friday last at 5 Grasscroft-street, where he was then
lodging. Witness subsequently charged him with the theft,
and he made no reply. He was then locked up.
Prisoner’s stepmother came forward,
and said the lad went away from his home at Clayton a
month ago. He got up in the night time, put on his best
clothes, and was intending to put on his best boots, but
he was evidently disturbed, as they found them on the
stairs. He had been in trouble at Manchester, and had
not followed any real employment for twelve months. When
in Prestwich Asylum they had to pay 6s per week towards
his maintenance, but they could not afford this, and the
lad came home. Prisoner had been examined by two doctors,
both of whom pronounced him to be of weak intellect, and
said he would have to be watched.
Captain BATES: He is wanted by the Ashton
police on three charges of false pretences. — The
Mayor: Is he quite rational at times? — Mrs NORRIS:
Yes, sir, but he sits brooding a lot. Twelve months ago
he underwent an operation for his eyes, and since then
seemed to have gone worse. — The Mayor: Will you
take charge of him if we let him go? — Mrs NORRIS:
It is no use me taking him; I cannot do any good with
him. — Do you think we should send him to prison
for a month? — Well, I don’t know, sir. —
Captain BATES: Don’t you think a month would do
him good? — Mrs NORRIS: I think so.
The Mayor: Has he been locked up since Friday?
— Captain BATES: Yes, sir. — The Mayor said
the Bench did not think it prudent to send the lad to
prison in the state he was. He would be bound over in
the sum of %3 to be of good behaviour for six months.
The magistrates hoped Mrs NORRIS (his stepmother) would
take care of him.
Mrs NORRIS: What have I to do if he keeps
doing this? — The Mayor: I should put him under
restraint. It will be as cheap for you to keep him at
home as sending him away where you would have to pay.
Consult his father. — Prisoner, looking vacant,
then left the dock and joined his stepmother.
Body Found in the Canal
A man named James Arthur SHAW, a turner, living in West-street,
Openshaw, was walking along the towing path of the Stockport
Canal, about mid-day on Sunday, when he found an overcoat
and a hat lying on the path near Openshaw Bridge. He gave
information to the police, and the body of a man was recovered
from the centre of the canal.
At the inquest this week, before Mr Ernest
GIBSON (the city coroner) and a jury, evidence was given
to this effect by Constable PERRY, and the man SHAW. The
body had not been identified, and there was nothing on
the deceased to lead to this. He had in his possession
a knife, tobacco box, pipe, matches, needle and thread,
envelopes, &c, but no money. The envelopes were examined,
but they had not passed through the post.
The police officer PERRY said he thought
the man would be about 56 years of age, but Dr TELFORD
(of the Royal Infirmary), who made an examination of the
body, thought he would be about 45 to 50 years old. He
had a small bruise on the forehead, but that had nothing
to do with death, which was due to drowning. The time
of immersion must have been a short one.
The Coroner: How long do you think? —
Dr TELFORD: About an hour I should think. He added there
was nothing to indicate his identity. He had the appearance
of being a labouring man, but from an examination of his
hands there were indications he had not done any work
for a long time..
The Coroner said there was no doubt from
the evidence the man had met his death by drowning, but
there was no evidence how he gat into the water. His body
had not been identified, and it would be the duty of the
jury to return an open verdict. This the jury did.
SCARE AT THE
WEST END OF ASHTON
A sensation has been created at the West-end of Ashton
during the past few weeks which may well make one wonder
at the depravity to which the perpetrator at present still
at large is capable of descending. No language is too
strong to adequately qualify what appears to be a brainless
form of horseplay. Were it not that the fellow’s
“ambushes,” for such they are, are designed
to terrify young girls and even upgrown women, the whole
thing must be dismissed with contempt.
The police have the matter under investigation,
and detectives have been on the watch, but so far the
author of the scare has succeeded in secreting himself
before the emissaries of the law have been able to effect
his arrest. Feeling has been very strong in the district,
and in consequence several men with families, highly respected
in the town, have declared their intention of taking the
law into their own hands should they be fortunate enough
in arriving on the scene at the opportune moment. For
some time, they have been acting as private detectives
The offences have all taken place within
the past three weeks, the last occasion being one day
last week when a young woman was rudely assailed in Wilkinson-street.
There have been about a dozen cases altogether, and the
tactics have been varied in nearly every case, the time
chosen being about nine 0’clock at night.
One female was passing along Welbeck-street
carrying a quantity of groceries, when she was suddenly
tripped down on the pavement and the groceries scattered
over the ground. In the darkness she saw a man dart down
a side street, but was unable to distinguish him, only
that he was tall and apparently had a dark moustache.
In another case, a young woman felt a tap
on the shoulder from behind, and on looking round was
terrified by the appearance of the man. Two young women
were walking along the same street, when one of them,
daughter of a well-known business man, was suddenly pounced
upon and thrown violently to the ground. Fortunately her
home was close by, and when she was able to rise to her
feet, she and her companion ran screaming into the house.
Her assailant again made off before assistance arrived,
and nothing more was heard of him that night.
Similar cases have occurred in Blandford-street
and the vicinity of Ashton Moss. What can be the meaning
of these cowardly assaults it is difficult to say, because
the acts, however despicable, seem to have always been
frustrated, and being mostly in lighted streets where
people are regularly passing, the only conclusion to be
drawn is that someone is at large who should be confined
in a lunatic asylum. The police are exercising great vigilance
in the matter, and it is hoped their efforts will lead
A South Clayton woman named Sarah Ellen AMOS, living in
Clayton-lane, died a few days ago from injuries sustained
in stepping off a moving tramcar in Piccadilly. From evidence
given at the Coroner’s inquiry (conducted by Mr
Ernest GIBSON) it appears that deceased was 38 years of
age, slipped off the car opposite a notice board stating
that all cars stopped at that point. The guard and other
passengers stated that the deceased was previously warned
to keep her seat, but she took no notice.
The guard stated that the notice referred
to only appeared to the Market-street end of the Piccadilly
cars, but the Coroner and jury thought that notice was
misleading. It was an invitation, said the Coroner, to
passengers to get off the cars. He thought there should
be some modification of the notice. — Mr BELL (from
the Town Clerk’s office) who watched the case on
behalf of the Tramways Committee, said the Corporation
would readily acquiesce to any suggestion made.
The Jury returned a verdict of “Accidental
death,” contributed to, they believed by a misleading
notice. They also recommended that the handrail on the
cars should be made higher, so as to be a better protection
against passengers falling off. They exonerated the driver
and guard from all blame. Mr HALL promised the recommendation
should be forwarded to the proper quarter.
OF DEFRAUDING THE STALYBRIDGE MAYOR’S RELIEF FUND
On Monday, at the Stalybridge Police Court, Mary QUINN,
married woman, of 81 Cross Leech-street, Stalybridge,
was charged on two informations with having obtained an
order for the supply of 2s 6d worth and 2s worth of groceries
on the 7th and 18th March under false pretences, and with
intent to defraud the Mayor’s Relief Fund.
Captain BATES, chief constable, briefly
reviewed the facts, and said the woman had the impudence
to tell the Relief Committee that her total income was
only 10s weekly, whereas the evidence which would be called
would show conclusively that she received considerably
more than that.
Captain BATES was sworn. He said that on
the 11th March he was in his office dispensing relief
pending the committee taking over the work, when Mrs QUINN
came before him and asked for assistance. — Defendant:
I do not know where your office is, mister. — The
Clerk: But you do know who the gentleman is? — Defendant:
No, I do not. — Captain BATES: Do you mean to say
you have not been to my office? — Defendant: I don’t
know where it is. The Clerk: This is the chief constable.
— Defendant: Oh, there was Mr LEECH (school attendances
officer) there was another gentleman. — Captain
BATES: And that gentleman was me. — Defendant: All
Proceeding, the Chief Constable said that
on the strength of the woman’s tale that she was
in need he gave her an order for the purchase of goods
to the amount of 2s 6d. He did not remember exactly what
amount the woman said her income was, but it must have
been under ten shillings, or he would not have relieved
her. She said her husband was out of work. — Defendant:
Yes, he was out of work at the time.
Councillor James BOTTOMLEY, JP, said that
on Friday, 18th March, he was acting as chairman of No
3 Relief Committee when the defendant made application
for assistance. He asked her what the total income of
her home was from all sources for the previous week, and
she replied “Ten shillings.” She also said
her husband was out of work, and that they had four children
to keep, none of whom were working. Witness gave her an
order to procure 2s worth of goods. — Defendant
denied saying that her husband was out of work, but Mr
BOTTOMLEY was confident, having made a note of the woman’s
Mr John TRAVIS, from the office of Messrs
John Summers and Son, Globe Ironworks, said that the husband
and son of defendant were employed at the works, and on
the 5th March their joint earning were £1 13s, and
on the 12th March £1 12s 1d. — Job JONES,
furnace builder, said defendant’s husband and son
occasionally worked for him. On March 5th he paid the
lad 3s 10d, and on March 12th 5s 6d, as wages.
John QUINN said he lived at 81 Cross Leech-street,
and was the husband of defendant. On March 5th he gave
his wife 12s out of his wages. — Defendant, interposing,
said that if her husband would speak the truth the bench
would find that he often “played him.” —
Witness thereupon hesitated considerably when next questioned,
and he was told to stand down.
Defendant, after denying the charge, subsequently
pleaded guilty, and was fined 10s 6d, or 14 days’
imprisonment. She was given time in which to pay. Captain
BATES did not press the cases, remarking to the bench
that the offence was committed before the magisterial
warning last week that future offenders would have to
go to prison.
MATRIMONIAL CASE AT DUKINFIELD
On Thursday, at the Police Court, a blowing room operative
named James HENSHAW was charged with persistent cruelty
to his wife, Sarah HENSHAW, and that such cruelty had
caused her to live separate and apart from him, and he
had wilfully neglected to maintain her. He pleaded not
guilty. Mr J Alfred GARFORTH defended. Mrs HENSHAW was
charged by her husband with being an habitual drunkard
under section 3 of the Act of 1879. She pleaded not guilty.
Mr GARFORTH said there were cross-summonses, but the same
class of facts governed the whole thing. They did not
need to have two separate hearings.
Sarah HENSHAW was then sworn, and said she
lived at 12 Victoria-street, Ashton, at present. The defendant
was her husband, and was a low maker in a cotton mill.
On the 5th February he smacked her in the face four times,
and told her to leave the house; if not he would kick
her out. She told him it was raining, and then he got
her by the shoulders and turned her out of doors.
She went to him on Thursday, and he said
he would put her out again if she did not go. He swore
heavily at her, and threatened what he would do. Some
four months ago he kicked her on the back and legs and
tried to strangle her. She left him then. After they had
been married, seven months ago, he gave her a black eye
in three weeks. She had no children, but he had four.
She was destitute, and he had her furniture.
Cross-examined by Mr GARFORTH: Do you maintain
you have been a good wife to him? Yes. — When you
married him did you know what he was doing. Yes. —
Did you know he only had 19s 4d a week. He was out of
work then. — Did you know he had three children?
Four children, yes. — What are they? Two boys and
two girls. Did you know that when he got work he had to
walk to Droylsden and back with his eldest daughter Nellie
every morning? Yes. — For 19s 4d a week? Yes, and
the girl got 3s 10d. — How much did he give you
out of the 19s 4d? He never gave me any money. —
Why? Because he likes to spend it himself — You
smoke, don’t you? Yes, but not since I was married;
he would not let me.
Do you know the Magnet Inn? Yes, that was
where we met him. — Has your husband had to pay
as much as 1s 7d for what are known as “tabs”
for you? Yes. — Have you been in the habit of stopping
in bed until twelve, one, and two o’clock? No. —
Has Dr PARK ever threatened to report you to the R.S.P.C.C.
for neglecting you husband’s children? Yes, but
I was ill in bed. — Through the Magnet? No, inflammation
of the stomach.
Do the police know you? I don’t know
whether they do or not. — Have you been sentenced
in this court for prostitution? Yes. — Have you
been so habitually drunk that you have lost control of
yourself? — No. Do you deny neglecting the children
through your drinking habits? Yes.
Ellen EDWARDS, 12 Victoria-street, Ashton,
proved seeing the defendant turn his wife out on the night
of the 5th February. — Mr GARFORTH: Were you not
in Yorkshire that night? No. I had been in Yorkshire.
Mr GARFORTH, for the defence, suggested
in the first place that there was scarcely enough evidence
to ground this summons for persistent cruelty. The story
of his client was that his first wife died two years ago,
and left him with four little children. He married her
in the hope that she would be a faithful wife and mother
to his children. He would tell the bench that she had
habitually neglected the children through her drinking
habits. She had stopped in bed through drink or the result
of drink, and the children had had to go to school without
breakfast many a time.
Defendant was called, and swore that his
wife was addicted to drink and had neglected her domestic
duties. His daughter Ellen also gave similar evidence.
The Bench decided to dismiss the charge of persistent
cruelty, and made an order of maintenance against the
husband of 2s 6d per week.
Mr GARFORTH said he would like to say as
publicly as possible so that this woman could hear that
the first time they heard of actual adultery he would
apply that the order should be rescinded. So she had better
be careful about her way of living. — Mrs HENSHAW:
And I wish to say everything they have said from beginning
to end is all false. They have not told a word of truth
from the beginning.
SCHOOLS A FAILURE?
Sir, — The Rev Ivor JONES is evidently anxious to
take up the cudgels against the Nonconformist churches
and, like the Irishman who went round the neighbourhood
asking someone “to tread on the tail of his coat,”
is evidently spoiling for a fight. With every word of
his remarkable speech delivered at the half-yearly meeting
of the Rural Deanery of Ashton, reported in the current
issue of your valuable paper, I entirely disagree, and
against a portion of it I desire to enter an emphatic
His remarks are interesting as manifesting
the temper and spirit in which the Education Act will
be administered in thousands of parishes. It is evident
that Mr JONES is labouring under the false assumption
that there is only one true church, and that the one by
law is established. It appears to be necessary to state
that the New Testament idea of the church is that of a
home of Christian believers.
It is too late in the day to tolerate such
bigotry and uncharitable inferences as the Nonconformists
of this borough are compelled to draw from the remarks
of Mr JONES. Doubtless much more lies behind the sneer
at Nonconformist chapels than is apparent at first sight.
Mr JONES is much pained to think that his scholars can
attend “Nonconformist chapels as easily and with
as clear conscience as if they had always been brought
up in those teachings.” Yes, why not? Will Mr JONES
”The teaching is sometimes comprehensive
enough, ranging from a penny novelette to an account of
a football match.” Has Mr JONES himself ever been
to a Nonconformist service? It would appear so. If he
has, what did he find to sear his conscience? How many
novelettes has he heard read, and how many accounts of
football matches has he heard given in either a Nonconformist
church or Sunday school? Surely the gibe against those
who attend prayer meetings is unworthy of one who pretends
to be a believer in prayer?
Mr JONES is evidently finding it out that
so long as a minister flouts his people and indulges in
practices which his congregation resents he must expect
them to be found worshipping even in Nonconformist chapel.
Yet the worst of all remains. We are now asked to pay
rates in order that the children of this borough shall
be handed over to receive at the hands of those like minded
as himself such religious teaching as they think proper
to give to all those placed under their care. Can you
been surprised that we should have the passive resistance
movement in our midst?
If our position as resisters required any
justification it has been supplied gratis. And our thanks
are due to the Rev Ivor JONES. I expect to enrol, as a
result of his deliberations, a large number of others
as resisters, who say we will have none of it. For we
cannot conscientiously pay rates to maintain schools in
which there they legally be given teaching hostile to,
and even destructive of the religious denominations to
which we belong. Such payment makes us responsible for
the teaching given in these schools, and we decline to
accept the responsibility.
Thanking you in anticipation, sir, I remain
A T GREENWOOD
Woodlea, Pelham-street, Ashton-under-Lyne
29th March, 1904