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"News of the Week" - taken from The Wigan Observer And District Advertiser, 1860. Material kindly loaned by Paul Byrne.

News not relating to Wigan was covered by the local press at the time, but usually by means of a single line or small paragraph. Here are some odd ones.

Friday, May 4, 1860.

A woman, 38 years of age, died from starvation at Sheffield last week. When found she was almost dead, and only a dry crust could be found in the house.

A servant girl at Bristol was cleaning the outside of the windows of the house where she lodged, when she slipped, and fell a depth of 30 feet. She lies in a very dangerous state.

At a colliery ay Willenhall, last week, a banksman was pushing a basket to the pit's mouth, ready to be let down, but the force of the push was such that he could not stop the basket in time, and it went down with the man after it. Of course he was killed.

The daughter of a photographic artist at Clitheroe asked for something to drink, the other day, and while her mother was about to comply with her request, she seized a cup which was in the window and drank off the contents, cyanide and potassium. She died in a few minutes.

Friday, May 11, 1860.

A schoolboy at Eastbourne died from the effects of a thrashing administered by the master, Thos. Hopley, who has been committed for manslaughter.

Sarah Jones, 48, wife of a confectioner, in London, died from asphyxia through sleeping in an overcrowded room. It was only seven feet square, and nine persons lived in it.

A young woman, named Hannah Maxwell, who had attended the revival meetings lately held at Penrith, was recently brought home to her father's house at Thackthwaite, in a state of insanity. She lingered for four days in very great mental excitement, and then died.

Friday, May 18, 1860.

A rat which entered the trough of a boar, at Poulton-le-Fylde, while feeding, last week, was immediately taken up by the porcine gentleman and devoured entire.

One of two men who delivered a coffin in Sheffield sat down and commenced falling whilst a glass of ale was being offered to him. It was thought he was in a fit, and his temples were bathed, but he was dead before a surgeon arrived.

The Cork City Artillery turned out for drill last week without either shoes, socks, or stockings. A quantity of these articles were expected, and during the day some packages arrived, but they contained pocket knives, tin cases and gloves.

A Brimingham button manufacturer, who had amassed a fortune of 40,000, has been declared of unsound mind by a commission of lunacy. He was in the habit of asserting that he was Christ, and that the Queen was his sister, and Prince Albert his brother. He also said he had a horse 75 hands high, which he mounted by means of a ladder; and maintained that he was by far the richest man in England, having 75,000,000 in the Bank of England, and 60,000,000 in a bank at Glasgow.

Friday, May 25, 1860.

The keeper at Rose Castle found the following "provisions" in a female fox's hole, a few days since, at that place:- Three rooks, one hawk, one black Spanish cock, two lambs, one phesant, one partridge, and one tame duck.

The Rev. W. Pearson, rector of Sheidy Camps, Cambridgeshire, died suddenly at the house of the Mayor of Saffron Walden; and on the news reaching his daughter, aged 21, who was consumptive, she burst a blood vessel, and expired almost immediately.

Two disreputable women quarrelled in Leeds last week, when one of them seized a large flag stone which she hurled at the head of her antagonist, felling her to the ground. She then kicked the woman as she lay to such a degree that life is despaired of.

Mr. Pringle, farmer, of Nisbet hill, rides upon a horse from his residence to Dunse Railway Station, a distance of about two miles, and when he dismounts he orders the horse to go home, whereupon it turns and walks off at a slow pace. Notwithstanding the cross roads, it finds its way home.

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