6 August 1904
THE DUKINFIELD MURDER
On Saturday morning the governor of Knutsford Gaol received
a communication from the Home Office informing him that
in response to the recommendation of the jury at the Chester
Assizes he has reprieved Robert
Marshall COCKAYNE, sentenced to death for the murder
of his wife at Dukinfield on the 21st June.
Since the trial COCKAYNE has been lodged
in Knutsford Gaol quietly waiting the carrying out of
his sentence , but the recommendation to mercy made by
the jury, which the judge forwarded to the proper quarter,
and a petition which was being got up by Mr George HEATHCOTE,
the defending solicitor, and extensively signed during
the last few days, would secure the reprieve. The effect
of this will be that the death sentence pronounced by
Mr Justice WILLS will not be carried out, and COCKAYNE
will be kept in penal servitude for life,
ASHTON WOMAN STRUCK
BY LIGHTNING AT SLOUGH
Paralysed by a Shock
A heavy thunderstorm burst over Slough on Saturday afternoon.
George SMITH, of Sevenoaks, and Alice O’CONNOR,
of Ashton-under-Lyne, were standing under a tree, when
there was a terrific flash of lightning which stripped
the bark from the tree, split a wooden fence, and struck
the man and woman in opposite directions.
They were both seriously injured, and conveyed
to the Infirmary, where it transpired they were paralysed
in their backs and legs. An Eton gardener named PRIOR,
who was thirty or forty yards away, was hurled to the
BURGLARS AT ASHTON
Raid by a Professional Gang
The police have been exercising considerable vigilance
of late in regard to a series of burglaries, apparently
the work of a gang of thieves who have paid a visit to
the Ashton district
The butcher’s shop of Mr W. WILSON,
George-street, was found to have been entered sometime
during the early hours of Tuesday morning. The shop was
open as usual at 10.3o on Monday night, and about midnight
a constable examined the premises and found everything
After the departure of the constable the
burglar, or burglars, would appear to have emerged from
a hiding place, and then effected entry to the shop by
forcing away a wooden structure under the shop window,
and passing through the cellar, and breaking off the lock
of the cellar door.
There was a refrigerator in the shop, and
this was opened, no doubt thinking it was a safe, and
apparently in disappointment a leg of mutton was taken
out and thrown on the sanded floor. The door was left
open and about 1½ cwt. of ice melted. By means
of a cleaver and a poker, three locks were forced open
in such a skilful manner as to warrant the supposition
that the visitor was an old hand at the game.
From the till in the shop he abstracted
about 3s. or 4s. in copper. Visits were paid to a desk
in the house, and the drawer wrenched out, and the contents
scattered on the floor, as were also the contents of other
drawers. Several dirty finger marks were conspicuous on
a sideboard. The back and yard doors were left open and
the locks broken off.
Garner’s Bazaar in George-street,
next door to Mr WILSON’s, was also broken into the
same night, an entry being forced by the back way. The
shop was ransacked but nothing appears to have been taken.
An attempt was made sometime during Tuesday
night or early Wednesday morning to break into the furniture
shop of Mr J. RODGERS, Warrington-street. The door was
secured by a strong patent brass lock, which was so badly
twisted that Mr RODGERS had the greatest difficulty in
gaining access to the shop next morning. The lock had
to be removed and taken to a blacksmith.
A private house in Mossley-road, occupied
by Mr F. HALLSWORTH, was broken into early on Friday morning
of last week. Admission was gained by forcing open the
back window, and one of the occupants heard a noise and
shouted out, but receiving no answer thought she was mistaken.
An umbrella, a pair of boots, and a leather
bag were stolen. The latter contained Mr HALLSWORTH’s
cricketing suit, which was taken out and thrown on the
floor. A visit was paid to the cellar and scullery, and
a number of pies and other eatables taken. The back door
and yard door were both found open.
SINGULAR ACCIDENT TO
AN ASHTON TRADESMAN
Mr W. WALKER, plumber and glazier, Old-street, Ashton,
was descending the cellar steps at the Britannia Inn,
Warrington-street, on Tuesday afternoon, in order to examine
the piping in connection with the pumping apparatus, when
he slipped from the bottom step and fractured his right
leg. He was taken home in a cab, and the injured limb
attended to by Dr WALLACE. He is progressing favourably.
SERIOUS ACCIDENT TO
A MOSSLEY FARMER
Mr J.W. SHACKLETON, a well-known farmer at Micklehurst,
Mossley, had the misfortune to meet with a very serious
accident on Thursday evening. He was driving a very spirited
fine young horse attached to a milk float down Micklehurst-road
between six and seven o’clock, when the horse began
to kick and rear up, and afterwards it bolted, ultimately
running with its head through the cottage window of Mr
MAYHALL, the shafts of the milk float also going into
Mr SHACKLETON kept tight hold of the reins.
With the kicking of the horse, the milk float was smashed,
and Mr SHACKLETON had his leg badly fractured. Dr HEALY
was close by all the time, and Mr SHACKLETON was taken
into Mr RADCLIFFE’s druggist shop, and after receiving
medical attention was removed home in a cab.
The horse had only been purchased the day
before from Councillor Robert RADCLIFFE, of Oakfield,
and was considered to be a very fine animal. Both Mr SHACKLETON
and the horse lost a great amount of blood.
ASHTON BOROUGH POLICE
OUTING TO BLACKPOOL
An Enjoyable Day
On Tuesday a second contingent of the borough’s
police force held their annual picnic to Blackpool. The
contingent consisted of Inspector McFEELEY, Sergeants
BAILEY, BUTTER, and HEIGHWAY, and eighteen constables.
The party left Charlestown station by the 6.9am train,
and after a pleasant journey a still more pleasant reception
awaited them in the shape of a substantial breakfast at
the Station Hotel, to which, needless to say, full justice
Afterwards the men embarked on a journey
of exploration, and exploited the many sights and scenes
of “Manchester by the Sea,” some journeying
far afield and taking the exhilarating ride along the
coast to Fleetwood, and others preferring Blackpool itself.
All met at the hotel at half-past four for dinner, where
the beneficial effect of the ozone-laden breeze of Blackpool
certainly manifested their efficiency in promoting appetites.
The Chief Constable, who had joined the
party, gave “The King, Queen, and all the Royal
family,” and Inspector McFEELEY proposed a vote
of thanks to the Watch Committee for allowing a day’s
leave. The motion was seconded by Constable SMITH, and
enthusiastically passed. Sergeant BAILEY proposed, and
Constable HAWCOURT seconded, a vote of thanks to the donors
of the picnic fund for the very handsome way they had
subscribed towards the outing.
Constable SMITH proposed, and Constable
HAWCOURT seconded, a vote of thanks to the Chief Constable
for making such satisfactory arrangement for the day’s
outing. Constable CROSSLEY proposed that the best thanks
be given to the host and hostess for the satisfactory
way they had provided for the party.
A vote of thanks was also proposed to Inspector
McFEELEY for the way in which he had conducted the party
during the day. The party left Blackpool soon after seven
o’clock, and arrived at Ashton about half-past nine
after an extremely enjoyable day’s outing.
AT FURNESS VALE
A Good Haul of Jewellery
On Tuesday afternoon Mr Robert OLDHAM and his family,
of Bank End, Furness Vale, went away from the house, leaving
the back bedroom windows open. On their return later in
the day they were surprised to find that during their
absence the house had been entered.
A quantity of jewellery, including two or
three watches, gold and gold cased, a gold bracelet and
silver watch guard were amongst the things that had been
stolen. All the articles in the room had been disturbed,
drawers pulled out, and practically the whole room ransacked.
Information was given to the police at New
Mills, and they are now making inquiries into the affair.
Miss OLDHAM returned home about eight o’clock, but
did not find out the robbery until she went into the room
about nine o’clock.
CRUELTY TO A HORSE
A Learned Sergeant
At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, William
Archibald LINDLEY and Charles LINDLEY, father and son,
were charged with cruelty to a horse at Droylsden, on
the 22nd of August. The father only appeared, and pleaded
Sergeant SMITH said that on Friday, the
22nd July, he was in Manchester-road, Droylsden, about
ten minutes to six in the morning, when defendant, Charles
LINDLEY, came along with a cart horse attached to a stiff
cart. He noticed that the animal to be in pain, and he
told the man to take the horse from the shafts. He did
so, and on further examination found a raw wound recently
dressed under the saddle. Both hind legs were inflamed,
and the ligaments contracted, and the animal was suffering
from bone spavin.
Dr HUGHES (presiding): How do you know all
this? I have been amongst horses a lot, sir. — What
is bone spavin? An enlargement of the bones of the leg.
— Oh! — The Sergeant, continuing, said he
afterwards saw the defendant, when he admitted that he
knew the horse was ailing. — Inspector ROBINSON
deposed to examining the horse the Monday following, and
the wounds had been correctly described by Sergeant SMITH.
The horse was quite unfit for work of any kind.
Mr PROCTOR, MRCVS, practising in Manchester,
deposed to examining the horse on the 28th of July. He
found the animal was an aged mare, and in very poor condition.
It was tucked up in the flanks, and had a large sore in
the saddle, and a small one on the hind shoulder. He considered
it required quite a long rest before it would be fit for
Defendant handed a letter from Mr NEW, of
Ashton, dated August 1st, but Superintendent HEWITT observed
that it was not evidence, and that Mr NEW ought to have
been present. — William Archibald LINDLEY was fined
12s 6d. and costs, or 14 days’ imprisonment, and
Charles LINDLEY 5s.and costs, or seven days, and the veterinary
surgeon’s fee allowed.
A BOY DROWNED AT STALYBRIDGE
A painful sensation was created at Heyrod on Sunday evening,
when the rumour became circulated that a boy had been
drowned in a reservoir there. The report turned out to
be only too true, the victim being Leonard, the seven
years old son of Thomas BARLOW, a postman, who resides
at Heyrod Cottages.
It appears that at 5.30 p.m. deceased went
out to play along with a brother three years of age, and
after an absence of a few minutes the younger boy returned
crying bitterly. The father, suspecting there was something
wrong, went out in search, accompanied by a neighbour,
and upon reaching the reservoir, which is in close proximity
to their residence, they saw Leonard floating in the water.
He was promptly brought to the shore. Constable JONES
applied artificial respiration in vain, and Dr HOWE, who
arrived during the process, declared life extinct.
“A Dangerous Spot”
Mr F. NEWTON (district coroner) held an inquest on the
body at the Grapes Inn, Heyrod, on Tuesday evening.
Thomas BARLOW, father of the deceased, said
his son left home on Sunday about 5.40 p.m. He was accompanied
by a younger brother about three years old. Shortly afterwards
deceased’s companion came home and told him that
Leonard was in the water, and was drowning. Witness and
a neighbour named Mark JONES, along with the boy, went
to the reservoir, and they found the body about three
yards from the side.
JONES jumped in and recovered the deceased.
There were no signs of life. Artificial respiration to
restore animation was applied by Constable Owen JONES,
but without avail. Dr HOWE was subsequently sent for,
and after trying to restore him for some time, he pronounced
The Coroner: What is there to protect the
reservoir? Witness: There are railings round it, but in
some parts they are broken down. They are in a bad state
of repair. — The Coroner: Who is responsible? Witness:
I suppose it will be the Printing Combine.
The Coroner instructed the police to examine
the place and report to him. If they thought any improvements
were necessary he would communicate with the Combine.
Witness added that the water was over five feet deep..
The Coroner expressed his own and the jury’s sympathy
with witness in the sad loss he had sustained.
Mark JONES, employed at Buckton Vale, deposed
to recovering the body from the water. In answer to the
Coroner, witness said he passed the reservoir very often.
He had noticed that the fence was broken down, and had
repeatedly driven children away. He had never seen the
deceased there. The Coroner said he thought JONES ought
to be commended for the gallant effort he made to recover
the child. — The Foreman: Hear, hear! If it was
private ground they could not attach any blame to the
The Coroner thought the Combine would not
object to make the place as secure as possible if they
were appealed to. If there was an entrance from the footpath
there must be some means of getting to the water. —
A Juryman: There is a gateway.
Constable JONES gave evidence, and said
the fence was broken down for about eight or nine feet.
Anybody could approach the reservoir from the footpath,
as it was only about four or five yards distant. —
The Coroner said he thought the constable ought to be
complimented on the effort he made to restore the deceased
to life. — A verdict of “Accidental drowning”
ASSAULTING THE POLICE
At the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday George
ABEL was charged with assaulting Police Constable CAMERON
whilst in the execution of his duty at Droylsden on the
1st of August.
Constable CAMERON said that on the date
in question, ABEL was drunk, shouting, and swearing in
Hodson-street, Droylsden. Going up, he (witness) requested
him to be quiet, and received the reply, “If you
don’t mind it’ll be a case for the doctor.”
ABEL pushed him against the wall, and kicked him. However,
the constable threw him to the floor, where they struggled
for some time.
Sergeant FEATHERSTONE deposed to going to
the assistance of Constable CAMERON, and said that ABEL
was very drunk. They had to carry him to the station.
— The Chairman (Dr HUGHES): What are those scars
on your face? — ABEL: Where the Constable legged
me down. He was fined 7s. 6d. for costs, or seven days.
TRAP ACCIDENT AT STALYBRIDGE
Narrow Escape of Mossley Gentlemen
Three Mossley tradesmen — Messrs BUCKLEY, COOPER,
and J. ROWLAND — had an exciting experience at Stalybridge
on Tuesday evening, They had been a drive to Woodhead,
and were returning via Mottram-road, Stalybridge, when
the incident occurred.
When close to the residence of Mr Councillor
M.L. HALL, about 8.30 p.m., an electric car, driven in
the same direction, passed by the trap, and the gave no
sign of timidity. Suddenly, however, and when the car
had got a distance ahead, the animal lashed out with its
hind legs, and became well-nigh unmanageable.
The driver held tightly to the reins, and
prevented the horse bolting down the hill, and after a
lively few minutes the occupants gained terra firma in
safety. The trap was much damaged, and the horse, too,
was injured. Councillor and Mrs HALL very kindly offered
the party every assistance, placing a stable at their
disposal for the horse.
ATTEMPTED TILL ROBBERY
George HUDSON and Joseph CLARKE stood in the dock at the
Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, charged with
attempting to steal a cash box containing 5s. 5d. in money,
from the bar of the Royal Oak Hotel, Manchester-road,
Jane BROOKSBANK, sister and assistant to
John William BROOKSBANK, licensee of the Royal Oak Hotel,
Droylsden, said that on Monday, the 25th of July, she
was in charge of the bar. In the afternoon the two men
entered about a quarter-past four, and they were served
with glasses of beer. Later, she had occasion to leave
the bar for a few minutes, leaving the two men in the
Returning three minutes later, she found
HUDSON kneeling on the counter with a cash box in his
hand containing about 5s. 4d. When she had left the bar
the cash box was underneath the counter, and no one standing
on the public side of the counter could reach it.
When she saw HUDSON she asked him what he
was doing, and received the reply that he was stopping
one of the spirit taps which were running. She replied
that it was not running, and pointed out that he had the
cash box in his hand. The two left soon after. She immediately
communicated with Sergeant FEATHERSTONE. — CLARKE
alleged that he was a stranger to HUDSON, and did not
go into the house with him as Miss BROOKSBANK said.
Sergeant FEATHERSTONE deposed to following
two men who were walking very quickly. He called out to
them, but they only continued their journey. He caught
them three-quarters of a mile further up. He took them
back to the hotel, where CLARKE remarked, “He (meaning
HUDSON) was stopping the spirit tap; I told him.”
Charged at the police station they made no reply. —
The two were committed to the next Manchester Assizes.