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Wigan News, 1889

News taken from old Wigan Observers, all from the year 1889. Not for the faint-hearted!

27th July, 1889


  On Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Rowbottom, at the Woodhouse Inn, held an inquest concerning the death of Jonathan Heyes, a pupil teacher at St. Andrew's Schools. On Tuesday morning, being on his holidays, he went to Mr. Gill's, Beech Hill Farm, where he met with Robert, Mr. Gill's son, and the latter ordered him to go out with the gun and frighten the birds away. They had got the gun and the powder flask, but no shot, Mr. Gill stating that there was no such thing in the house. On the instructions of his father, Robert Gill went back to the house to fetch a spade, and deceased got hold of the gun and went to lean against a rail at the edge of a field. As Robert Gill was going away he heard the gun go off, and the deceased screamed and fell to the ground. Mr. Gill ran up and found that the youth's eyes were blown out and he was quite dead. It is not known whether the gun was at half cock or full cock at the time, but deceased had had the difference of the two explained to him about three weeks before. - As no one was with the deceased at the time of the accident, a verdict of "Accidental death" was returned.

14th September, 1889


  On Wednesday, a single woman named Martha Cunliffe, of Ashton, was arrested in that township on a charge of concealing the birth of her child. She was taken before Mr. Josiah Gaskell, county magistrate residing in the district, and remanded till Monday, when the prisoner will be brought up at the Wigan County Police Court. We are given to understand that the prisoner stated that she threw the infant down a disused pit shaft in the vicinity, and that the police have been grappling in the water therein, but have failed to discover the body of the child.

27th July, 1889


  The police have received information that William Ashurst, collier, 54 years of age, of 212, Stoney lane, Hindley, committed suicide on Tuesday morning, by cutting his throat with a razor. Deceased worked at Messrs. Crompton and Shawcross's Colliery, and went to his work about half-past five in the morning, but returned home as the pit was not working, and he went to bed for about two hours. He afterwards had his dinner, but at three o'clock in the afternoon had a quarrel with his wife respecting the children. All at once he got up, and getting hold of a pick attempted to strike his wife. She got hold of it, and struggled with him for some considerable time until she got to the front door. Then she pushed it open and sprang out into the street, just escaping a blow with the pick, but only just, as it caught the back of her dress and tore it. She fell down outside, and he apparently thinking he had killed her, ran upstairs and cut his throat with a razor. His wife said he had been in a despondent state for some time.

4th September, 1889


  On Saturday last, Thomas Green, a brakeman, employed at Springs Branch, was knocked down by an engine while engaged at his place and sustained a severe gash in the side. He was attended to by Dr. Graham, of Wigan, and was removed to his own home. He is progressing favourably.

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