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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, 1860. Material kindly loaned by Paul Byrne.


Friday, October 12, 1860.

NON-PAYMENT OF WAGES.
   Elizabeth Mears summoned William Rowe for 9s. 4d., wages alleged to be due to her. - Complainant said she worked for defendant as a slubber at W. Eckersley and Co.'s mill. Recently she left on account of illness, and on asking for her wages they were refused her. - Mr. Ashton, for defendant, said that complainant had left without giving any notice. The plea of illness was all pretence, the truth being that she refused to work any longer unless an operative who worked in the same frame as herself was discharged. Her request was not complied with, and she left the mill. - The bench dismissed the case, telling complainant that she was to serve a proper notice if she wished to get her wages.



Friday, October 12, 1860.

"LAUGH AND GROW FAT."
   This is title of a lecture advertised to be delivered on Monday evening, in the Public Hall, by A. Mackie, of Warrington. Mr. Mackie has become, we should think, a favourite with the Wigan public, and when he is announced to speak upon a subject with which he is apparently so well acquainted, we should fancy his audience will be a large one.



Friday, October 19, 1860.

FOUND DROWNED.
   On Thursday afternoon an inquest was held by the borough coroner, at the Spotted Cow, Scholefield-lane, on the body of George Hammond, aged 51, of Belvoir-street, weaver. Deceased, it appears, was addicted to intemperance, and on Tuesday evening he was drinking at the White Hart, Wellington-street, which house he left about one o'clock on Wednesday morning. Nothing appears to have been seen or heard of him from that time up to eight o'clock, when a person named William Bankes, on passing the bridge under which the river Douglas runs near to Mr. Tipping's mill, Chapel-lane, perceived the body of a man fast in the sluice. Assistance was obtained and the body brought to land, when it was discovered to be that of the deceased. As to how he came there there was no evidence to show, but the supposition is that he must have strayed to the bank of the river, in Scholes, and fallen in, and the stream being much swollen by the heavy rains, would soon rapidly carry him along with it. - The jury returned a verdict of "Found drowned."



Friday, October 19, 1860.

THE WAY THE CHARITY OF THE PUBLIC IS SPENT.
   David Tyfe and Catherine Tyfe, his wife, two miserable looking creatures, who have each lost part of one of their arms, were charged with being drunk and begging in the public streets. Police-constable Lowe said that on Saturday night he found the defendants in Wallgate, drunk, and sitting on the ground with a begging-petition before them. - They were committed to prison for fourteen days.



Friday, October 19, 1860.

ASSAULT IN A PUBLIC-HOUSE.
   Jos. Hilton and James Hilton, brothers, were charged with an assault upon Thomas Topping. - Complainant and a man named Conroy went to the Pear Tree, in Hallgate, on Tuesday night, and met the defendants there. Conroy and Joseph Hilton played at dominoes, and the defendant James bet the prosecutor twopence that Conroy lost. Conroy, however, won, and prosecutor asked for his bet, when James Hilton replied that if he wanted it he would have to take it out of him. Some words ensued, when prosecutor was set upon by the two defendants, one of whom ran at him with his head, after the fashion of a bull, and "tupped" him, inflicting such injuries upon his head and face that he had to be taken home, and had been off his work ever since. - For the defence William Hilton, nephew to the defendants, was called, and said that Joseph Hilton did not strike the complainant at all, and that James Hilton only struck after prosecutor had struck him. - The Bench said they were convinced that the assault had been committed, and that the witness William Hilton had perjured himself. They should fine the defendants 20s. each and costs.



Friday, October 19, 1860.

ROBBERY FROM THE PERSON.
   Joseph Brierley, a married man, appeared to answer a charge of robbing Bridget M'Guan. The prosecutrix, an "unfortunate," was returning home on Saturday night, about eleven o'clock, and on going up Amy-lane she passed three men who were standing together. One of them spoke to her, but she told him to be off when she felt the skirt of her dress pulled at, and it was torn off and ran away with, together with the pocket, which contained a purse and nine shillings and some scented soap. She gave information to the police, and Brierley was apprehended. When called upon to give evidence this morning she said she had arranged the matter with the prisoner, and had got the money from his wife. - Prosecutrix received a reprimand for condoning the felony, and the prisoner was discharged.



Friday, October 26, 1860.

FATAL ACCIDENT.
   On Thursday morning a fatal accident occurred on the Springs branch railway, by which a man, named Henry Mawdesley, recieved injuries which proved fatal to him. It appears that the deceased was employed as a breaksman by the Kirkless Hall Coal Company, and whilst in charge of a train of waggons belonging to the firm, and which was proceeding along the branch, he by some means fell backwards on to the line, and before he could extricate himself the wheels of some of the waggons passed over him, completely separating one of his legs from his body and causing the bowels to protrude. The poor man who, as may be supposed, was in a frightful condition, was conveyed home, where he expired in the course of the day; the shock to the system and the hemorrhage being such as to preclude the possibility of his recovery. He leaves a wife to mourn his loss.



Friday, October 26, 1860.

FATAL COLLIERY ACCIDENT.
   On Wednesday evening an accident, which has ended fatally, occurred at the Kirkless Hall No. 1 pit, Ince. A man named Matthew Taylor, of Platt-lane, proceeded to his work about four o'clock in the afternoon of the above named day, and was engaged till about eight o'clock, when a fall of roof took place, and seriously injured him. He was taken from the pit immediately and conveyed to his home. Mr. Fisher, surgeon, was called in, but the poor fellow died on Thursday at noon.



Friday, October 26, 1860.

STEALING A POLE.
   Margaret Hart, a woman about fifty, was charged with stealing a piece of timber, a pole about eleven feet long, the property of John Mullins, of Dandyshop-yard, Queen-street. The prisoner was met in Caroline-street, on Tuesday night, about half-past ten, by police-constable St. John, with the pole in her possession. Thinking she had no right with it St. John asked her where she was going with it, when she replied that she was taking it to be sawn into clothes props. The prisoner and the pole (which is a rather unwieldy piece of property for a woman to carry, being eleven feet long and nine or ten inches in circumference) were detained, when the latter was found to belong to Mullins, who saw it outside his house door some little time previous to the robbery. - The prisoner pleaded guilty, and said she had seen the pole outside the prosecutor's door a long time, and she thought it would do as well sawn in two as any other way. - The Bench committed the prisoner to gaol for one month.


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