Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Update of the past NEWS .......... 19th April 1902


Catch up on the full story of last weeks NEWS.............

*Ada Dobson –

Poor Ada was the unwilling recipient of the amorous attentions of the young Irish man named James Wilson.  James was accused of beating Ada after she refused to leave her family and elope with him.  He beat her so badly that he was charged with attempted murder.

At the time of the incident Ada was staying with relations at Arkwright near Chesterfield.  Her brother Robert Herbert Dobson lived in the village with his wife and children, he worked as a coal miner.

Ada was born in Guisborough in Yorkshire in 1883, the daughter of Francis and Frances Ann Dobson.  In 1901 the year before the NEWS incident Ada was aged 17 years old and was working as a domestic servant for a merchant tailor named Robert Hewitt at Middlesbrough. 

When Ada was brought forward to give her account of events at the County Petty Sessions she told how she was 19 years old and had met James Wilson on Good Friday.  Since then she had walked out with him several times.  Ada described how James had asked her to walk down to the Markham Colliery with him on Sunday night; she had not wished to but dare not say or do otherwise.  When she got as far as the farm she went to turn back but James got hold of her, produced a handkerchief and tied it around her neck.  As he did this he caused her harm. 

At that point another person was close by and so James let go of her and they walked back towards the house.  On the way he promised her “I will do for you”.  A little further and he kicked her on the head which caused her to lose balance and fall into the gutter.  He helped her out of the gutter but again threatened her as before.

When the pair arrived at Robert Dobson’s home (Ada’s brother) she had torn clothes and went straight to bed.  James slept on the couch.  Before she went he again threatened her that if she told anyone about the night’s occurrences he would kill her.  What Ada’s sister in law heard was “good night and remember what I have said to you”. 

On the Monday morning Ada awoke at 9.30 am, she did not see James all that day until about 6pm that night.  The conversation was regarding sending Ada home at which James was not happy.  He asked Ada to walk with him but this time she did refuse.  Later that evening he returned and beat her repeatedly with a poker.

James was found guilty of wounding with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm.  He was sentenced to four years imprisonment.

What became of Ada?  If anyone knows please do add her story to the comments section.

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  1. Poor Ada! Did you find any mention of her in the 1911 census?
    I can't shed any light on what happened to her, but I do know why a Guisborough coal mining family would have ended up in Derbyshire at this time.
    A branch of my family (Shaw)came to Poolsbrook at some point between the 1891 & 1901 census. William Shaw was an ironstone miner in the mines around Loftus & Skinningrove. Apparently during this period there was a major recession in the ironstone business which led to lengthy strikes, redundancies & hardship.
    The coal mines around North Derbyshire were booming & in need of miners, so many Nth Yorks families left & came to Derbyshire. Some returned later whilst others, like mine, stayed.
    Good luck with Ada!

  2. Hi Caroline,
    Thanks for filling in the story as to why the family would have moved to Derbyshire, its nice to get the full picture. Life must have been very hard for them.
    I didn't find any definite records for Ada after this date, she may have married or there are a few possibilities on the 1911 census but not all the facts match. Without spending money on the marriage certificate I'm afraid I can't pin point her whereabouts.
    I do hope that she led a happy life though!!
    Thanks for reading the blog!
    Louise :-)