Sunday, 26 May 2013

Echoes of our Past NEWS.............. 25th May 1878

Read all about it……. Echoes of our past NEWS

What was in the local news this weekend in 1878?


*Chesterfield woman stabs man –

A woman named Ann Oates was the topic of conversation and certainly much speculation after she lost her temper and stabbed a man named Thomas Swinscoe.

Ann lived on Eyre Street just minutes away from the scene of the attack on Corporation Street.  Thomas lodged at the Flying Dutchman public house on Knifesmith Gate.  He was a tailor journeyman and he worked as foreman for Mr Brown the tailor on Corporation Street.  He was a member of the Tailor’s Union. 

Now, Mr Oates Ann's husband was also a tailor and on the day of the incident he had called on Thomas to ask his professional opinion on what price to put on a garment he had tailored.   Thomas however did not reply, he continued in his work at the time.  This made Mr Oates furious and he “bounced out of the shop, filled with rage”.  When he arrived home he relayed the event to his wife Ann.  Ann being the dutiful wife was most annoyed that he husband had been treated with such contempt and the fact that she had been drinking did much to fuel the situation.

She stormed from the house and along to face Thomas and have it out with him.  Once at the workshop where Thomas was busy practising his trade she began to tell him of her annoyance at his behaviour but Thomas was not fazed, in fact he “received her outbursts of wrath with stolidity that only increased her exasperation”.  Ann was becoming more and more annoyed, she became violent and threw a chair, a piece of soap and a pair of scissors but still Thomas did not budge from his position sitting crossed legged on the floor.  Eventually her anger got the better of her and she grasped hold of a large pair of sewing shears and threw them towards his legs.  The blades were said to be “a foot long and nearly two inches wide”.  They hit Thomas just below the knee and entered his body with full force. 

There was another employee at the workshop and he witnessed the event, but being scared by Ann’s actions he did nothing.  Poor Thomas had to remove the blade from his own leg and await Police Sergeant Yeomans to apprehend the uncontrollable Ann. 

Thomas was despatched off to the hospital where he had his wound dressed by Mr Bluett the surgeon.  Police Constable Gilbert took Ann into custody.  She was still defiant of her actions, stating “Swinscoe ought to be dead; he was not fit to be in the Union”.

As for the actions of Thomas, why did he not answer Mr Oates in the first place?  Why did he not respond to the rants and raves of Ann?  Well he was profoundly deaf and had simply not heard Mr Oates questions or Ann’s rants; I do however wonder how he managed to ignore her when she began throwing all of the items at him.


*Riotous behaviour –

Another woman was misbehaving this week, Mary Ann Farr who was known to the police as “a common prostitute” was arrested after she and a friend left the Bird In Hand public house and were then found fighting in the Market Place.  Mary Ann was being especially violent using “most filthy language”.  Police Constable Wray took her to the cells and she appeared in front of the Police Board.  They were also told how she had a list of 11 previous convictions and so she was sent to gaol for 1 month with hard labour.

*Hard times –

A poor collier named Joseph Dunn was charged with “sleeping in an outhouse at Newbold”.  He was found sleeping amongst some straw at the pottery owned by Mr Pearson. 

The area had been suffering lately from theft of fowls and other items and so they did not wish to encourage vagrants to sleep in the out houses.

At the hearing Joseph asked “what must a poor collier chap to in these times?”  Mr Barnes replied “I see you have been committed to Derby already”.  Joseph was again sent to Derby Gaol for seven days.

*Theft of a whip –

John Burton an unemployed farm servant was charged with stealing a whip belonging to William Garland a butcher of Stonegravels.  He pleaded guilty and was admitted to gaol for 14 days hard labour.

*Assaulting the Police –

Several offences occurred this week when the locals assaulted the Police –

v  James Peach – assaulted P.C Robinson – fined 20s or 14 days gaol

v  Frederick Collins and James Taberer – assaulted P.C Wrenn and P.C Mustrow – Frederick Collins gaoled for 3 months, James Taberer fined 20s and costs

v  James McKenzie a militia man – assaulted P.C Mostoe – committed to gaol for 14 days

*Stealing mutton –

Thomas James found himself in trouble after he allegedly stole 2 ½ lbs of mutton belonging to the butcher Samuel Spencer.  On the Saturday evening Thomas had enquired as to the price of the meat and only a short while later it was found to be missing. 

Thomas was gaoled for 14 days with hard labour.


*Mr John Radford to Miss Annie Bates only daughter of Mr G G Bates of Bull Bridge on 21st May at Heague Church, Derbyshire


*Maria Loney aged 67 years on 16th May at Youlgreave, wife of the late William Loney surgeon of Macclesfield

*James Atkin aged 24 years at the Queens Hotel, Chesterfield on 20th May

*Mary Bateman aged 57 years at Dixon’s Road on 19th May

*William Kidger aged 3 years at St Marys Place on 20th May

*Mary Shentall aged 66 years at Bath Terrace on 18th May

*Thomas Marriott aged 32 years at Manchester, late of Chesterfield, butcher

*Arthur Wright aged 4 years at Spread Eagle Yard on 20th May


*Football steeplechase –

There was a football steeplechase at Staveley Town which drew a large crowd. 

There were 3 heats which were run and won by –

v  Heat 1 – Hernshawe

v  Heat 2 – Barnet

v  Heat 3 – G Marples

Each man was presented with a box of cigars.


*Scarlett fever –

Around 20 cases of Scarlett Fever had been noted in the area of Dronfield.  One death had taken place from the disease.   The area was taking all precautions available to prevent the disease spreading.

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