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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, June 1, 1860.

A full grown rook has been shot at New Tarbat which has three legs fully developed, with the triplicate abreast of the other two.

The escape of many persons from serious injury in the collision on the Great Western Railway, last week, is attributable to the absence of splinters, owing to the panelling of the carriages being constructed of paper.

The following curious advertisement appears in the Bristol Mirror of Saturday:- "If the gentleman who borrowed the fourth volume of Macaulay's History of England for a fortnight some two year's since, is determined not to return it, he had better apply to J. R. T., Mirror office, for the three remaining volumes, which will render his set complete."

Friday, June 8, 1860.

A clever escape was made early on Sunday morning, by a notorious thief, from Hull gaol, where he was undergoing sentence. The fellow was employed in making cocoa-nut mats, and he seems to have taken the opportunity of manufacturing a long rope out of this material for his own use. With this and a rude iron hook he managed, unaided, to lower himself from his cell, a distance of twenty-five feet, and afterwards contrived to scale two very formidable walls.

Friday, June 15, 1860.

Joseph Jolliffe, private in the military train corps, has received 50 lashes at Portsmouth for insubordination in falsely alleging that his foot was disabled.

A boy took a loaded gun, and presented it at another in play. Not knowing it was loaded, he pulled the trigger, and the lad, who had just said "Shoot away," fell a corpse.

When the Midland express train from Derby to London was approaching the tunnels leading to King's Cross, last week, the driver observed a man in a state of nudity on top of the carriages. The train was with difficulty stopped before reaching the tunnel, and the man was rescued by force. He was a lunatic, and had got out of the carriage window.

Friday, June 22, 1860.

Two men were buried alive by a fall of dirt in one of Messrs. Dixon's pits, at Tipton, on Friday. After seven or eight hours' labour they were discovered alive, and animation was restored.

Maria Adkins, 17, an "unfortunate," was knocked down and killed at the corner of St. James's-street and Covent-garden, on Saturday morning. A few minutes previously she had exclaimed "I wish God would take me from this world."

Sarah Watson, a working man's wife, while emptying a bucket of water out of a two-storey window in order to disperse some boys, overbalanced herself and fell out upon the pavement. Her head was injured and her right arm broken.

Friday, June 29, 1860.

In London a woman has died from traumatic tetanus, which was the consequence of wounds inflicted on her head by the spurs of a game cock.

A meeting was held at the Worcester Guild-hall, at which those present resolved wholly to abstain from the use of butchers' meat until a reasonable reduction in its price be obtained. About 1,000 persons are said to have signed an "abstinence pledge."

The Bury Times has the following advertisement:- "A Wife-beater on Sale. The wife of John Wood, jacquard weaver, near Baldingstone, Walmersley, will be happy to treat with any person in want of a husband. The price will be a matter of little or no consequence."

A lad, employed at Monkwearmouth Colliery, was, on the 21st inst., committed for trial on a charge of attempting to commit murder. The little miscreant had placed pit props at the mouth of the shaft in such a manner that if the cage had struck them, persons travelling in it might have been killed. The object of the boy appears to have been to get a holiday, by "laying the pit idle."

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