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Platt Bridge (Interesting Old News)

Published by Brian on Saturday 30th July 2022

I posted "DId the coroner say that?" a while ago because I couldn't believe how insensitive the coroner was. Well, there's another coroner with something to say and I think it's even worse than the other one!

The moated manor house of Low Hall (Photo: Dennis Miller)
The moated manor house of Low Hall (Photo: Dennis Miller)

Wigan Observer and District Advertiser 14 August 1869


Before the county magistrates sitting in Wigan, on Friday, Martin Johnson, a stranger, was in custody charged with having, on the 9th inst., stolen a pair of shoes, of the value of 5s. 6d., the property of John Clark, of Platt Bridge, shoemaker. - Prosecutor said the prisoner applied to him for a job, and was in the shop a few minutes. After he had gone the prosecutor missed the boots, and told his son, who followed the prisoner. - William Clark, son of the last witness, proved following the prisoner, and finding the boots in his possession. He subsequently gave him into custody of Police-constable Cunliffe. - Prisoner pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to fourteen days' imprisonment.


Wigan Observer and District Advertiser 23 July 1870


An inquest was held on Thursday, at the Commercial Inn, Platt Bridge, concerning the death of Joseph Ellem, a lad nine years of age, son of a collier residing at Platt Bridge. On Tuesday deceased fell out of a swing, and received injuries which resulted in his death almost immediately. - A verdict of "Accidental death" was returned.


Wigan Observer and District Advertiser 05 August 1885


On Tuesday, at the Wigan County Police Court, before Mr. J. C. Eckersley, Charles Chester, collier, employed by the Pearson and Knowles Coal and Iron Company, was charged with stealing a shawl belonging to Thomas Parr, of 64, Walthew-lane, Platt Bridge. The shawl was safe in the kitchen on the 28th July, and was missed two days afterwards. Prisoner sold it to Ellen Dickson, of Hindley, for 8d., and said it belonged to his wife. Information was given to the police, and Sergeant Williams, stationed at Ince, apprehended the prisoner on the 28th ult. Prisoner asked the officer if he was taking him for not reporting himself, and added, "Well, it is two years since I reported myself at Leigh. I do not know how it is. My mother-in-law told the police at Lamberhead Green that I was a ticket-of-leave man. I suppose it is a done do now." - In reply to the usual caution, prisoner said "I know nothing at all about it, but I will plead guilty." - Prisoner was further charged with stealing a dolly tub and several other articles, the property of James Houghton, 44, Walthew-lane, Hindley. The articles were seen safe in the yard on the 24th, and they were missed shortly afterwards. It was subsequently discovered that they had been sold by prisoner to Mary Parr. - Prisoner was committed to the quarter sessions for trial.

Wigan Observer and District Advertiser 21 November 1888


On Monday, Mr. Brighouse, county coroner, held an inquest at the Platt Bridge Inn, Platt Bridge, touching the death of a child named Joseph Maloney, who died on Wednesday from scalds received on the 9th inst. - Elizabeth Maloney, of 8, Platt-street, Platt Bridge, said deceased was her son, and was twelve months old. On Friday, the 9th inst., about twenty minutes past six at night she put deceased down on the floor that she might attend to her housework. There was a pan of boiling water on the fire with which her husband was going to wash himself, and she took it off the fire and put it behind a chair on which her husband was sleeping, thinking that it would not be in the way of the deceased. Witness's other son, Thomas, was playing with him, and he ran round the chair, behind which was the pan of water, and deceased followed him. Whilst going round deceased lost his balance and fell upon the pan upsetting the hot water, and he was scalded badly down the right side and right arm. His screams awoke her husband, and they took off deceased's clothes as soon as possible and sent for a woman named Mrs. Aspinwall, who came and assisted them to put flour and treacle on the scalded parts of the deceased's body. They then sent for the doctor, and Mr. Plant, Dr. Brayton's assistant, arrived, Dr. Brayton coming afterwards. Death took place at a quarter-past four on Wednesday. - John Maloney, the father of the deceased, who was asleep by the fire when the accident occurred, gave corroborative evidence. - Anne Aspinwall, of Platt Bridge, said she was called in to Mrs. Maloney's house about twenty minutes past six, and found deceased had been badly scalded. De was stripped and they applied flour and treacle to the scalded parts. Deceased seemed to be in very great pain, but after the remedies had been applied appeared to be rather easier. They did all they could for him, and Dr. Brayton was then sent for. - This was all the evidence adduced, and the jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death."

Wigan Observer and District Advertiser 26 May 1893


At half-ten on Tuesday morning Mrs. Mary Ann Wolstenholme (47), of 72, Walthew-lane, Platt Bridge, carrying on the business of grocer and confectioner, was found dead in her bedroom. The deceased, who was in a well-to-do position, kept two servants, and on Tuesday morning one of these young women took some breakfast up to her mistress's room. No response was made when she knocked at the bedroom door, and after waiting for some time she forced the door open and found Mrs. Wolstenholme lying upon the floor in her nightdress. She was then dead, and Dr. Clark, assistant to Dr. Brayton, who was sent for, expressed the opinion that she had been dead for some hours, and that the cause of death was heart disease. It was known that the deceased had been in good health for some time, and that she had frequently visited Southport to obtain medical advice. It is most probable that no inquest will be held.

Preston Herald 20 September 1902


A case which created great interest was heard at the Wigan County Police-court, yesterday, when Peter Battersby, a well-known resident in the Wigan district, was summoned for assaulting a young married woman named Mary Elizabeth Stott, at Platt Bridge.
Mr. Lees appeared for the complainant, and said that the defendant was the landlord of the property in which his client resided. Defendant called at her house, where it was alleged the assault took place.
Mr. James Wilson, representing the defendant, offered a total denial of the charge.
The defendant went into the box, and said he was 63 years of age, was a large property owner, and had a grown up family, and this was the first time in his life that any charges had been made against him.
The Chairman said that the Bench were satisfied an assault had been committed, and would impose a fine of £5 and costs.

Wigan Observer and District Advertiser 08 April 1905


Mr S. Brighouse, the county coroner, held an inquest on Wednesday morning into the circumstances attending the death of Laura Bowen, two years old, the infant daughter of Joseph Brown, a platelayer, of 2, Gas-street, Platt Bridge.
It appears that on Tuesday afternoon Mrs. Bowen was washing in the back kitchen. The deceased and a child, aged eight weeks, were being looked after by another daughter, aged five years. About twenty past three in the afternoon the deceased was playing with a can carrying water from the slopstone into the back yard, and there were two washtubs, each with about ten inches of water standing outside. Mrs. Bowen had been washing, but had gone out into the back yard to hang out some clothes. She was only absent from the house a few minutes, but on returning and not seeing deceased about she asked her daughter where the deceased was, and received the reply that she did not know. Search was made, and the mother was horrified to find that the child had fallen into one of the tubs. She lifted her out, and called in a neighbour who rushed in, and carried deceased into the backyard, where it was found that the child was dead. Dr. Marshall was sent for, and on arrival he pronounced life to be extinct.
The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death."
The Coroner expressed his sympathy with the mother, who was very much affected, and said that he should very much like to take some of his rich friends round to see how the poor lived.

Wigan Observer and District Advertiser 16 December 1905


A boy named Samuel Edwards, 18 years of age, was charged with stealing three boys' overcoats and a muffler from the Wesleyan Schools, Platt Bridge, Hindley, on December 5th and November 28th, and one on December 13th. Two were valued at 17s. 6d. and another 15s. - He pleaded guilty to each offence. - Superintendent Pincock said owing to complaints about overcoats disappearing at night school classes Police-constable Platt was concealed on the 13 inst. and saw the lad take the coat. Inquiries were made and the other two were traced to him. - Mr. Edwards, the father, said the boy was in fault, and he asked to be allowed to deal with him. - The Chairman (Mr. W. S. Barrett) asked what he did with the coats. - It was stated that he sold one for 6d. and the other for 1s. and the boy who bought them was put in the box. He said his name was James Caldwell (18) and he was a hammer driver. - Superintendent Pincock: How much would you have paid for them in the shop? - Witness: £1 15s. - The Superintendent said he ought to be in the dock as well. - The bench however, severely cautioned him about his conduct, and disallowed his expenses. Edwards was ordered to receive six strokes with the birch rod.

Wigan Observer and District Advertiser 07 December 1907


Frederick William Kniveton, third son of Mr. Amos and the late Martha Kniveton, passed peacefully away on Sunday evening, after 18 years' illness. The case of his affliction undoubtedly was hum being struck by the electric fluid during a heavy thunderstorm in the month of July, 1889, at Platt Bridge, the current having struck down the chimney of a house he was passing at the time. He was never able to work after the sad occurrence. In November the following year he was removed to the home of his father at Leigh, and attended to by Dr. Hayes, who pronounced his affliction to the disease of the spinal cord. He gradually yet imperceptibly grew worse. All his physical powers seemed paralysed, and partial blindness followed. He had a sudden change on Tuesday, November 25th, from which he never rallied.

Wigan Observer and District Advertiser 10 December 1914


A little boy, three years of age, named Jack Rotherham, of 36 Warrington-road, Platt Bridge, has been drowned under the following circumstances. It appears that about half-past ten on Tuesday morning the deceased went out with another boy named Stephen Bennett, 4 years old, of 49, Warrington-road, Platt Bridge, to play near Borsdane Brook, Platt Bridge, and an hour later the lad Bennett returned home and told his parents that Jack had fallen into the water. An alarm was raised, and dragging operations were commenced in Borsdane Brook, the body being recovered at a quarter to one the same day by John Sharratt, caretaker, of Platt Farm, Platt Bridge, against the grid of the aqueduct under the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The body was taken home. There was an abrasion about an inch and a half in length on the left cheek, but otherwise there were no marks on the body.

Comment by: Veronica on 30th July 2022 at 12:48

What a horrifying death for a child to be scalded and then have flour and treacle put on the burns! They just hadn’t a clue in those days. Poor child.

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