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Old news detailing sports, crime, violence and suffering in Victorian Wigan. All stories taken from The Wigan Observer And District Advertiser, 1890. Material kindly loaned by Ron Hunt.


Friday, July 25, 1890.

AN EXASPERATED WIFE.
   Sarah Parkinson, 5, Harp Inn-yard, Scholes, was summoned for wilfully breaking 18 panes of glass in a window, the property of Ann Taylor, 5, Gaskell-street, on the 19th inst. - The defendant did not deny the offence, but said she was vexed that her husband should live with the complainant (his mother) instead of supporting her. - The complainant, an old woman, said her son had had to break up his home several times in consequence of his wife's drinking habits. - The daughter of the defendant was called, and she informed the bench that her father kept his mother instead of the defendant, who was sometimes "clemmed," and had to come to witness's house for food. - The bench made an order for the payment of the damage and costs, and at the same time granted the wife a summons against her husband for maintenance.



Saturday, July 26, 1890.

KICKING A WOMAN.
   Peter Hartley was charged with assaulting and beating a married woman named Sarag Agnes Bretherton. - The complainant, who is the wife of Christopher Bretherton, of 230, Poolstock-lane, said prisoner came to their house to look for his sister. They told him she was not in, but he would still persist, and at last they had to put him out. He ran at her and kicked her on the lower part of the body. She was near her confinement, and her unjuries were such that she was in bed for several days afterwards and attended by a doctor. A summons was issued against him, and he went away. - Prisoner: Didn't you strike at me with your fist between the eyes? - Complainant: No. - Joseph Byrom, of Worsley Mesnes, and Christopher Bretherton, the husband, gave corroborative evidence, and both denied that the prisoner received any provocation. - Police-constable Dean proved that on that day he was drunk and disorderly. He was fined 20s. for the assault or a month in default, and 1s. and costs for the second offence.



Saturday, July 26, 1890.

A CARELESS PARENT.
   James Woosey, of no settled residence, was charged with deserting his son, Samuel Woosey, aged seven years, on the 29th March, 1889, the boy now being chargeable to the common fund of the Wigan Union. - James Simm, relieving officer, said the prisoner left his wife and child at Aspull, and they had not been able to know his whereabouts until sometime since, when he heard that a man answering his description was charged with an indecent assault at Bolton. He made inquiries, and found that he was correct, and that the prisoner was the man he wanted. - The prisoner was sent to gaol for a month.



Wednesday, July 30, 1890.

SAD ACCIDENT AT A COLLIERY.
   A Golborne boy named Billington met with a sad accident at Messrs. Evans Colliery on Friday afternoon. He was attempting to put the brake on a railway waggon with one hand while his other had rested on the buffer. At that instant the engine set the waggons in motion, and before he had time to avert the danger his hand was "jammed" in the buffer and severly crushed. Dr. Dobb attended to the injury, and under his direction the unfortunate lad was removed to the Wigan Infirmary, where the injured member was amputated.



Wednesday, July 30, 1890.

GOLBORNE COLLIERS AND NEWTON RACES.
   The unusual sound of the town crier's bell after ten o'clock on Wednesday night occasioned some little excitement in Golborne, and inquiries revealed the fact that the colliers were being "warned" not to go to work on the following morning. It seems that is was intended that the men should commence work at four o'clock on Thursday morning and cease at two o'clock, for the remainder of the week for the usual Newton race holidays. To this arrangement some of the men seem to have objected, and it is understood that a meeting was held on Wednesday night, when they decided to cease work for the week that evening, hence the appearance of the bellman. It is stated that about twenty men presented themselves at the pit at five o'clock on Thursday morning, but these had to return, being too few to justify the working of the mines. As a punishment it was understood that instead of paying the men on the Thursday afternoon the wages were withheld until Friday night.



Wednesday, July 30, 1890.

FALL DOWN A STONE DELF AT
PEMBERTON.

   On Tuesday morning Mr. County Coroner Brighouse held an inquest at the Pack Horse Inn, Smithy Brook, Pemberton, touching the death of a child named Harriet Walker, aged 12 months, the daughter of Arthur and Ellen Walker, 2, Parkinson's-yard, Smithy Brook. - The mother identified the deceased, and said she sent her step-daughter, Ellen Ann Walker, aged six years, with the baby to play near the door. She heard a scream, and ran to the delf, into which the child had fallen. The deceased was got out, but died the same night at a quarter-past nine. Children crept through the railings protecting the quarry, and the fences were being continually broken down. The step-daughter said the child fell off her knees, and she had tried to stop her but she rolled down into the delf. - The only other witness in the case was James Bentham, who lives near to the place. He heard a scream from the children, and went and got the deceased from the quarry. The quarry, he believed, was the property of the Winstanley estate, and he had seen the fence repaired at times. - A verdict of "Accidental death" was returned, and the jury also made a presentment that the fencing of the delf was defective and ought to be improved for the protection of life in future; or the delf ought to be filled up.



Friday, August 1, 1890.

SUDDEN DEATH OF A SCHOOL
BOY.

   On Thursday afternoon, at the Mount Pleasant Inn, Scholes, Mr. Rowbottom, borough coroner, held an inquiry touching the death of a school boy named Hugh Taylor, aged 9 years, who found dead in bed by his stepmother at his home, 55, Leader-street, on Tuesday morning.
   Ellen Taylor said the deceased was the son of her second husband. He went to school on Monday and seemed all right when he proceeded to bed at night. The next morning he got up between six and seven o'clock but went to bed again. Then witness went to him to get him up in order that he might not be late for school. He said he had a headache, and she told him he need not go to school and he had better stay in bed. Between ten and eleven o'clock she took him some tea but he only just tasted it, and a little before noon she called to him several times and received no answer. She went to look at him and found him dead in bed. The body was quite warm. Witness was in the house all morning, and the deceased did not call out to her at any time. Although only nine years of age he was in the fourth standard at school. He very often complained of a headache.
   Dr. Angior said on Tuesday morning, about half-past 12, he was called in by the last witness, who asked him to see the boy, who, she was afraid, was dead. He found that to be so, and the body was nearly cold by that time. He had a good idea from external appearances of what the boy had died from. That day he had made a post mortem examination, and found that the deceased was a very healthy boy and well nourished. He believed the cause of death was convulsions brought on by acute inflammation of the membrane covering the brain. The fact of the child having headache frequently might go to cause the inflammation, or even the heat. He attributed the cause of death to natural causes.
   The jury returned a verdict accordingly.



Friday, August 1, 1890.

SHOCKING CRUELTY TO A GOOSE.
   John Budworth, a boy twelve years of age, residing with his uncle, James Budworth, farmer, of Golborne, was charged at the Newton-le-Willows Petty Sessions, on Saturday, with cruelty torturing a young goose, at Golborne, on the 12th ult., the property of a neighbouring farmer. - Prosecutor stated that on the day named the goose had got from under some netting, and was standing just inside Budworth's landmark, when the boy attacked it with the butt-end of a whip, smashing its skull, bursting one eye, and breaking one of its ribs. Witness remonstrated, when he said he would treat all prosecutor's geese alike. - Inspector Jowett, of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said he visited the premises on the following day. He described the wounds, and said the bird was evidently suffering great pain, and twisted its head about in an agonised manner, until it was destroyed. - The Chairman (Col. McCorquodale) said the bench were surprised to find a boy so young guilty of such a cruelty, but they were afraid it was owing to bad training on the part of the uncle. Defendant deserved a thorough good whipping, and then he would know something of what pain really was. A fine of 10s. and costs was imposed.



Friday, August 1, 1890.

FATALITY TO A SAWYER AT THE
WIGAN WAGGON WORKS.

   At the Infirmary, on Tuesday afternoon, Mr. C. Cronshaw, deputy borough coroner, held an inquest concerning the death of Thomas Sumner, of Lower Ince, which occurred at the Infirmary after an accident sustained at the works of the Wigan Waggon Company, on the 20th of May last. Mr. Brewer, Government inspector, and Mr. T. Stuart, who appeared on behalf of the company, were present during the inquiry.
   John Sumner, Manchester-road, Higher Ince, pattern maker, said deceased was his father, who lived in Marsden-street, Lower Ince. He was a sawyer, and was 68 years of age. Witness saw his father after the accident, and he told him that he slipped and fell on the saw.
   Edward Knowles, 270, Ince Green-lane, Lower Ince, under foreman at the Wigan Waggon Works at Ince, said he saw the deceased about three minutes before the accident. Deceased was engaged as a carpenter, but he was working at a circular saw. He was sawing some logs about 7 ft. long, and witness afterwards saw him holding his right hand with his left. Blood was running down, and he asked him what had happened. Deceased said he had slipped against the saw.
   By Mr. Brewer: There was no gaurd over the saw itself. Witness had never seen a fence over a circular saw for purpose of protection.
   There was no direct evidence as to how the deceased got on the saw, as the accident was seen by no one.
   Dr. E. C. Lomas, senior house surgeon, said deceased was admitted on the 20th May suffering from compound fracture of the right arm. On the 17th July it was found necessary to amputate the arm. He did fairly well for a few days, but sank and died from exhaustion on the 23rd July.
   A verdict of "Accidental death" was returned.
   Mr. Brewer said there were efficient saw guards which would prevent any accident of that sort if adopted. He would like the company to adopt them.
   Mr. Stuart said any saw guards which could be adopted sufficiently well to carry on their work would be adopted, and anything which could be done to protect the workpeople, he had the authority of Mr. Seddon, the manager of the works, for saying, would be done.


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