1851 - 1860
Nirthern Circuit / Hanulton v Gibson, August 8, 1851
- Parent Category: The Times
- Hits: 388
Nisi Prius Court. (Before Mr. Justice WILLIAMS)
HANULTON V. GIBSON.
This was an action by a former editor of the CUMBERLAND PACKET, brought against the proprietor for the residue of a year's salary, he having been dismissed from his office at the expiration of three months.
The defendant pleaded, first, that he did not promise to pay him a year's salary; secondly, that he had been induced to engage him for a year by fraud. There were other pleas traversing other allegations in the declaration, and finally, a plea that the defendant had paid him all that was due to him.
MR. ATHERTON, Q.C., and MR. COWLING appeared for the plaintiff, and MR. SERJEANT WILKINS and MR. TEMPLE for the defendant.
It appeared from the opening of the learned counsel for the plaintiff that the plaintiff was now the editor of the CARMARTHEN JOURNAL, and that he had for many years been connected with various newspapers as editor and reporter.
The defendant was the proprietor of the CUMBERLAND PACKET, published at Whitehaven, and the present action was brought against him for the residue of a year's salary, which the plaintiff claimed, he having been dismissed from the editorship of that journal in April last year, after having been employed upon it for three months.
The defendant was in want of an editor in January, 1850, and he applied to a MR. NELSON, of Adam-street, Adelphi, in London, who kept a register of such appointments, and that person not having an editor on his books, advertised for one in a London newspaper, and obtained an answer from the defendant. The terms were arranged to be after the rate of 100 l. a year, and 10s. a week for every hundred that the plaintiff could increase the circulation of the newspaper. These terms appeared to have been accepted by MR. NELSON, but that agent wanting 7 l. 10s. commission from each party, which both refused to pay, the name of the newspaper was not given up to the plaintiff, nor the plaintiff's name and address to the defendant, and thus that negotiation was broken off by MR. NELSON to the great surprise of the defendant, as appeared from some of the letters put in, who thought from MR. NELSON's candid and obliging manner that he was really anxious to serve him.
By a mere accident, however, the plaintiff learned, through a gentleman connected with the press of Manchester, that the defendant wanted an editor, and wrote to him, and they then mutually learnt that they had been mutually seeking each other, and that they were each then most anxious to form that engagement, and enter into that contract which was the subject of the present action.
The letters of the plaintiff and defendant to each other, which were of considerable length, and in which they each spoke in no flattering terms of MR. NELSON, were read by the learned counsel. These letters, amidst a vast amount of verbiage, contained the agreement above set out, and in one of them, dated the 16th of January, 1850, the plaintiff spoke of himself as having "edited the CHELTENHAM JOURNAL, reported for the SUNDERLAND BEACON, edited the HULL PACKET, reported for the LEEDS INTELLIGENCER, edited the BATH POET, acted as a correspondent for the London and various literary journals," and then went on to describe himself as being "in the prime of life, being about 40, possessed of an excellent constitution, affable, and obliging."
Won by this description, the defendant engaged him at once. But three months afterwards, the plaintiff dismissed him on the alleged grounds of incompetency as an editor and reporter, and as unable to read proofs. For three months after this, the plaintiff had been kept out of employment, and had at last obtained a similar appointment as editor of the CARMARTHEN JOURNAL, at a less salary - the handsome remuneration of 80 l. a year. This the learned counsel for the plaintiff opened as laying grounds for appropriate damages.
Proof was then given by calling one of the clerks of the WHITEHAVEN HERALD that the plaintiff had acted in the capacity of editor and reporter for the CUMBERLAND PACKET; and the handwriting to the plaintiff's and defendant's letters forming the agreement was also proved. In this witnesses opinion a month's notice to quit was the proper notice for an editor.
Mr. Serjeant WILKINS objected to the letters being put in unless stamped.
One of the series had had a half-crown stamp placed upon it.
Mr. Serjeant WILKINS submitted that the 2s 6d stamp by the recent Stamp Act, was made applicable only to agreements requiring a 1 l. stamp under the old Stamp Act. But letters forming an agreement under the old statute required a 35s. stamp, and they were not referred to by the new act.
HIS LORDSHIP held that the privoso relating to letters in the old act was in mitigation that they should in no case require more than a 35s stamp, whatever the quantity of words they might contain. But if the present letters contained more than 1,050 words, they would require an additional stamp.
Mr. Serjeant WILKINS then objected that the words of the letters must be counted.
MR. COWLING said the defendant ought to be prepared with a witness who had counted the words, if he insisted that the single stamp was insufficient, and referred to a case in support of this position.
HIS LORDSHIP said he should admit the letter as evidence.
The letters were then put in. Those dismissing the plaintiff complained, in addition to general incompetency, that the plaintiff was unable to spell correctly, or write grammatically, or punctuate properly.
Evidence was then given that the ordinary period of engagement for an editor was 12 months.
This was the plaintiff's case.
Mr. Serjeant WILKINS, for the defendant, said the plaintiff had been demented to run into this action, as he should prove him to be utterly incompetent for the duties of either editor, reporter, or reader; and, whatever the result of the action, it must be disastrous for him. He would show, in support of the plea of fraud, that the plaintiff had made mis-representations, and stated falsehoods, by means of which he had obtained his engagement with the defendant; and he would exhibit to them specimens of the plaintiff's incompetency which would disgrace a Sunday-school child.
In one of the letters, the plaintiff stated that he had been five years editor of the HULL PACKET, and had raised its circulation from 500 to 1,500. He should prove that before the defendant left that paper, its circulation was only 250. He had also stated that he was a reporter on the LEEDS INTELLIGENCER. He should prove that he never was engaged in any capacity on that newspaper.
The learned serjeant then read a great number of instances of bad spelling and incorrect grammar from the letters put in, and from the manuscripts of the plaintiff sent to the printers of the defendant's newspaper, and also some scraps of Latin from printed paragraphs the plaintiff had written. One of these read "Scaviter in modo; fortiter in rea" , another read "Cum multis alias" .
The description which the plaintiff gave of his previous engagements and qualifications reminded him of Caleb Quotem's description of himself, -- "I am the village factotum, I bleed, and draw teeth; I can write leaders, grind paragraphs, draw up reports, and supply you with anything from a wheelbarrow down to a toothpick". (Laughter) Was there ever such a hash as that letter seen ? "The bear put his head out of the window, I cried, ' what no soap ! ' he died and she married the gardener." (Loud Laughter)
The learned sergeant then read portions of one or two of the leading articles written by the plaintiff. One began, "Thanks to the Chancellor there is not much difficulty in dissecting his sceme." Another began "From the unequievocable defeats of last week sustained by the free trade Ministry, time was when such defeats would have been followed by a resignation."
He wished the Ministry knew in whose hands their fate rested. These articles reminded him of a very witty little fellow, an Irishman, named DUNN, formerly on this circuit, whom he once met in the Strand laughing fit to burst. "Oh", said he, "by the holy Moses, I have just been meeting a gentleman that has been writing an article in the SUN against the aristocracy, and I have just been lending him eighteenpence to get his breeches out of pawn." (great laughter) The learned serjeant then read a great many other singular blunders from printed paragraphs written by the plaintiff. In one he spoke of a farmer who was "in possession of a half-bred yew" (ewe); in another "he hoped Sunday School teachers would devout their time"; in another he wrote about "a subjointed document just issued", &c. These errors gave the compositors great trouble in correcting the press, and the defendant, who for many years had edited his own paper and had only given up that occupation to avoid the labour of it, had been compelled to correct the plaintiff's manuscripts.
The plaintiff had gone down to him from London in a wretched condition, and the defendant had lent him money to make himself decent, and had regularly paid him his salary of 2 l. a week till he left him.
If he satisfied the jury of the plaintiff's incompetency, that he had obtained his engagement with the defendant by fraud and falsehood, and that nothing was owing to the plaintiff when he left for work done, the defendant had a right to dismiss him at a moment's notice, and he looked therefore for their verdict.
MR. R. H. GIBSON, the son of the defendant, was then called and produced quantities of the plaintiff's manuscripts, and pointed out the blunders read by the learned serjeant in his speech. On cross-examination it appeared that his father had had six editors in about 18 months for the CUMBERLAND PACKET, who had remained in that capacity from two to five months each. Of these some got into debt and ran away, the debts of others followed them, some had been turned away for incompetency, and one becasue he was "disobedient". (The examination of this witness occasioned some amusement from his constant provincial omission of the letter "h", which gave the learned counsel for the plaintiff opportunity of retort in reply).
The printer of the defendant's paper was then called to prove the trouble and expense occasioned by the plaintiff's bad "copy". This witness, speaking of the plaintiff, said, "He did not like his style."
A number of gentlemen employed in various capacities on different newspapers were called, who proved that when the plaintif, 25 years ago, was on the HULL PACKET, that paper circulated 270 copies, and never reached 500; that the plaintiff had never been employed on the LEEDS INTELLIGENCER in any capacity; that he had been discharged from the NOTTINGHAMSHIRE GUARDIAN as editor for incapacity; and that although it was possible for a person to be capable, and yet very negligent, yet that faults in spelling were not faults of negligence, and generally, that the "copy" produced was not such as a compentant editor would furnish.
This was the defendant's case.
MR. ATHERTON having replied, contended that many of the faults in the manuscript produced, were apparently faults of rapid and negligent writing in a bad hand, and that the plea of fraud was not substantiated, unless the jury believed that when the plaintiff represented himself to be competent, he believed that he was not so. Unless this plea were made out, there was no doubt that the plaintiff was entitled to their verdict for a year's salary.
HIS LORDSHIP having summed up,
The jury, after a short absence, found a verdict for the defendant.
Penrith Murder, April 12, 1860
- Parent Category: The Times
- Hits: 1345
Another horrible murder has been committed in this county.
The peaceable town of Penrith was disturbed on Tuesday by the intelligence that a wounded man had been found in a field at the end of Gilwilley-lane, by MR. RICHARDSON's servant. The man, who was a German, though much injured about the head, still breathed. DR. PEARSON was immediately sent for, but before he arrived, the poor fellow had ceased to breathe.
His body was conveyed to the Penrith Union Workhouse. It appears that the murdered man had been in Penrith for a day or two previous to his death, and that he had lodged at a common lodging-house, kept by a person named SWALES, above the Old Brewery.
On the night previous to his death, he left SWALES's house, and took lodgings at another lodging-house at the Townhead, kept by a person named HORSLEY. About 6 o'clock he went into the Grey Bull Inn, kept by MR. THOMAS HYSLOP, where he had some ale.
After staying some time there, he went out. He told MR. HYSLOP he was a gardener. He had also been in the shop of MR. DEDLOW, watchmaker, where he gave the same account of himself, and said that he had left a wife and three children in Newcastle-on-Tyne. He spoke German with ease.
He returned to the Grey Bull in the evening, and had some rum and ale mixed. A man names THOMAS GREY came in, and they sat some time together. When he left about 11 o'clock he was a little the worse for drink. He told MR. HYSLOP that he had with him a 5 l. note and some gold, but MR. HYSLOP did not see any money he had, except about two shillings in silver.
When he went out, he said he was going to his lodgings to SWALES's, but he went as if he was going to ROBERTSHAW's. He was last seen at the Townhead between 11 and 12 o'clock on Monday night, and was found at about 8 o'clock on Tuesday morning at the place above mentioned.
It would seem that the murderer had accompanied his victim from the Townhead across two fields, in which cattle sleep on straw by night. It is probable they stayed for a while in this out-house, and on issuing forth early in the morning, had gone about 50 yards in the direction of the Townhead, when, judging from some marks of blood on the wall, a violent blow with some instrument had been dealt out to the unfortunate man; and a few yards further from the wall, the earth on the spot where the man's head had laid, was saturated with blood.
It appears he had then been dragged across to another corner, a distance of about five or six yards. The stones in the wall are marked with blood, as are the loose stones around. One stone had some hair upon it, as if it had been used over the head.
The place where the poor man was found is one of the most lonely and unfrequented by night. About 2s. was found in his pocket. The police immediately commenced a vigilant search, and on Tuesday afternoon THOMAS SOWERBY, alias GRAY, a servant in the employment of MR. HETHERINGTON, of the Black Bull Inn, Penrith, was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the murder.
He had been sent to Patterdale by his master with a load of straw early in the morning. Mr. Superintendent CARSON, on becoming acquainted with circumstances which appeared to connect SOWERBY with the offence, immediately went off in pursuit, and succeeded in apprehending him in the taproom at MR. GELDERD's hotel, in Patterdale.
He was brought to Penrith, where he remains in close custody.
THE BRUTAL MURDER AT PENRITH
On Wednesday morning THOMAS SOWERBY, alias "THOMMY GREY", was brought before COLONEL HARRISON and MR. JOSEPH SALKELD, at the Penrith Police-office, upon the charge of the wilful murder of a German whose name is supposed to be SIMON MANASSA, a gardener by trade, whose assassination, on Monday night or Tuesday, was briefly recorded in THE TIMES of yesterday.
MR. CARSON, superintendent of the county police force, was the only witness examined. He said that from information he had received on Tuesday morning, he proceeded to the field at the end of Gilwilly-lane, in the outskirts of the town of Penrith. He found the deceased lying in a corner of the field on his right side, with his right arm below it and face downwards. The head was cut in several places, and the face and nearly the whole of the body were covered with blood.
The whole of his clothes were completely saturated with water. His pockets did not seem to be at all disturbed. The man was then quite dead, but the body was fresh and limp. Witness described the articles which he found in the pockets of the deceased, which included 2s. after the body had been removed to the workhouse.
On carefully searching the locality in which the deceased was found, he found near it an oak walkingstick with a great deal of blood and some hair upon it, and also picked up a piece of an ash sapling completely saturated with blood, with a great many hairs upon it.
In an adjoining field, he found a corresponding piece of ash sapling, which was also bloody. He found this about 70 yards from where the body was found, and about two yards from a hog-house which stands in a corner of the field.
There is a door opening into the hog-house from the ploughed field in which the body was found, but it was fastened; and there is another doorway leading into the hog-house from the pasture field, which had no door upon it.
Witness had had complaints made to him about tramps sleeping in that hog-house, but he never saw any. Some straw in the loft above had evidently been recently slept upon. Suspecting the prisoner, after investigating the case, he found he had gone to Patterdale.
Witness followed him thither, and apprehended him in the tap-room at GELDERD's hotel. On being told by witness that he was suspected of killing the deceased, the prisoner said, " I did not do it; I never saw the man after he left the publichouse, and I stayed an hour after he went out. " Before taking him into custody, witness told the prisoner he would have to go back with him on that charge. The prisoner replied, " I don't care; you will have to keep me, and I can hardly do that by working from daylight till dark."
On arriving at the police-station witness searched the prisoner, who was wearing a light linen jacket. On that jacket, he found several spots of blood. There were marks both inside and outside the wrist, and also on the sleeve of the coat. On being put into the cell, the prisoner said, " They can nobbut hang me, and I have no one to fret after me. "
In a stable occupied by MR. HETHERINGTON, of Penrith (by whom the prisoner was employed as a sort of cattle-herd), where the prisoner had been seen early on Tuesday morning, witness found a legging; and in a cart in the yard was found a pair of leggings which were spattered with blood. They were covered with blood and dirt. (The articles of clothing marked with blood were produced, and examined by the magistrates.)
Witness said that the cart in which he had found the leggings was one of those which had been at Patterdale, but he could not say whether it was one of those which the prisoner had or not.
Only 6-1/2d. was found on the prisoner. The prisoner was remanded for a week.
In the afternoon the inquest on the body of the deceased was opened before MR. CARRICK, the coroner, and a repespectable jury. JOSEPH RICHARDSON, a porter, who had been going to feed a horse about 6 o'clock on Tuesday morning, in a field near to where the deceased was found, deposed that in the meadow he found a walking-stick marked with blood, and suspecting something was wrong, he stopped and looked about. He saw the deceased lying in a recess beside a gate in a stone wall.
Life was in him then, but the man did not speak. As he was crossing the meadow he had observed a man, whom he knew by sight as a servant of MR. HETHERINGTON's, in the same field as himself, coming from the direction of Penrith.
When he next saw this man, he was returning towards Penrith. In answer to his calls, this man came up. Witness told him there was somebody lying there. The man answered that he had to meet some horses and was in a hurry.
Witness spoke to the deceased, and asked him what he was doing there. He appeared to hear, and moved his head. While the man stood at the gate, he said that just before witness had called him, he had come up to shut the gate, and had seen the man lying there, but had not spoken to him. Witness did not see any blood about the body. All was covered with "rime." He left the stick beside the deceased.
They left, the man agreeing to go and tell the police. After they parted, witness went into the town and gave information to the police, thinking the man might not do so.
Superintendent CARSON repeated the evidence which he gave before the magistrates, as given above.
Medical testimony was adduced as to the nature of the wounds. Several wounds on the head penetrated the scalp, so that the bone could be felt in many places. It was determined that the clothes marked with blood should be sent to London, that the spots might be analyzed, and the inquest was adjourned till the 26th of April.
The Chief Constable, MR. DUNNE, said it could be proved that the prisoner and the deceased went arm-in-arm on Monday night in the direction of the place where the body was found, and also that the prisoner took his leggings off at Patterdale the following morning.
The deceased had stated in a publichouse that he had money - a note and some sovereigns. The appearance of the ground where the man was found indicated that a struggle had taken place close to a brook which runs by. It was supposed by the police that the man was murdered close to the stream, and afterwards thrown in, but that he had afterwards recovered himself and crawled to where he was found.
THOMAS SOWERBY was indicted for the wilful murder of SIMON MANASSA at Penrith, on the 10th of April last. He was likewise indicted under the coroner's inquisition for the manslaughter of SIMON MANASSA. On being arraigned, he pleaded "Not Guilty" in a firm voice.
MR. CAMPBELL FOSTER and MR. BRUCE prosecuted; and the HON. A. LIDDELL, at the request of the Judge, undertook the defence of the prisoner.
MR. CAMPBELL FOSTER stated the case to the Jury. He said the man into whose death they were about to inquire was a German Jew, who spoke of himself when alive as a gardener. He was a man apparently about the middle age. A few days before the 9th of April he went to lodgeings at Penrith, and on the 9th he changed his lodgings and went to a person named HORSLEY.
At 6 o'clock in the evening he went to the Gray Bull publichouse, and at 11 o'clock he still remained there. In the same house, the prisoner was sitting drinking. The deceased, in the course of conversation, pulled out a half-crown to pay for his drink, and received two shillings and some copper in change. He also boasted of having money of greater value, and asked the landlord if he could change a 5 l. note or sovereign, of anything of that kind. The last occasion when he was seen alive was when he left the publichouse at 11 o'clock.
On the following day, GEORRE PATTINSON was going to his work early in the morning, and was going over a field near Gilwilley-lane, when he observed a stick lying on the ground, and he took it up. It was covered with hoar frost, which soon melted, and examining his hand, he found it was bloody. This aroused his suspicions; he looked around, and saw a man lying near a gate in a corner of the next field. On going up to him, he saw within 50 yards of it, the prisoner going across the fields towards the town of Penrith.
He hailed him and he did not stop at first, but on the second hail, he turned and came up to the gate and looked over to where the body was. He said he had seen the body before, and afterwards promised to go and give information.
A man named HERRING, came up and saw the body. It did not seem to be dead, but it moved about the mouth, and gave a groan.
Mr. Superintendant CARSON then came up, and under his direction the body was removed and searched. The deceased had on two waistcoats, and on searching the pockets there were found 2s. and some copper. There were marks of struggling and of blood near the place where the deceased was found; the wall was bloody, and his clothes were wet, as if he had been thrown into the beck which is close by. His hat and apron were found in the stream.
Reverting to the previous evening, the learned counsel said the prisoner left the public-house shortly after the deceased; that he was afterwards seen going with him in the direction of the field, and was heard to say he would find him a lodging; and that he was afterwards seen coming out of the fields alone, at about quarter to 1 o'clock.
He was found sleeping in HETHERINGTON's stable next morning by a man named ATKINSON, with whom he had to go to Patterdale. On the way to Patterdale, he stopped to take a stone out of his shoe, and then took the opportunity of removing his leggings, which were afterwards found covered with blood.
At Patterdale, the prisoner had stated that they said deceased had plenty of money. Suspicion having fallen upon the prisoner, he was taken into custody.
Blood was found upon his leggings, the cuff of his kytle, and upon a button of his coat. After having been taken into custody, he made a statement which was taken down in writing, which the learned counsel contended could not be relied upon, and on the part of the prosecution suggested that the prisoner, meeting the deceased in the street drunk, after leaving the Gray Bull, and believing that he had money about him, had induced him to go down to the field for the purpose of robbing him, and that the blood upon his leggings showed the wounds must have been inflicted while deceased was on the ground.
The evidence called, showed that the prisoner had in the course of the day and night of his death conducted himself in a wild and violent way, so much so that he was refused admission to his lodgings when he left the Grey Bull, and there was reason to suppose that he had no more money on him than was found on him after death.
STATEMENT OF THE PRISONER.
The following statement of the prisoner, made after he was taken into custody, was given in evidence: ......
"When I went out of the publichouse, he went out afore me. There were three little lads drinking in the publichouse. PELTER and HILTON lived down Crudmire, and RICHARDSON lived beside the Small Dog.
First when I went out of the publichouse, I went out by the back gate, then I went down Crudmire to see if the two little lads had gone home. I did not see nout of them. I went down that back street as far as that lodginghouse is beside the old House of Correction, and I met him beside JOHN VARTY's gate. He asked me if I knew any place where he could lay down and sleep a bit. I said I could not tell, I was sure.
Then he said he would go home with me. I telt him she had no room where I stopped at, and I was not going home just then. Then he asked me if I could find him a place to lay down a bit, and I said we would go into the back buildings of WILLY HETHERINGTON's and I would see if I could find any straw or hay or owt.
I could not find owt. The barn-door and stable-door were both locked, and there was not any other place that had owt in. I telt him I knew of a building where we had put a cartload of straw the day afore.
He said that would do then. I telt him it was about three fields length off; with that he got hold of my arm and said "Let's away". We went down Thackabeck. We didn't go down the fields. We went through WILLY HETHERINGTON's big meadow.
When he got there I let him see the way up, and he could not get up inside because there was not any ladder. Then he began a swearing at me. Then I ran away.
I ran down the way side to the bottom gate. When I got over the gate, he threw his stick after me. I picked it up. Then he came up to me. I threw the stick away before he came up to me.
I got his head under my arm, and threw him over my buttock. He began cursing and swearing, and I got hold of his stick, and I was frightened what he was going to do with me. He was threatening. I struck him several times with the stick, then I threw it away over the wall, across the beck into another field.
Then he got up again. There was an ash stick ligging; I got hold of it. I broke it, and then I got up the wall beside the hoghouse again. I came by the field to the townhead by the Willow-grove, and left him; I did not think I had hurt him as sore as I did."
MR. LIDDELL contended that the evidence showed the prisoner's statement to be true, and that there was no pretence for the charge of murder.
The only question was whether in resisting the violence of the deceased, the prisoner had used such excess of violence himself as amounted to manslaughter.
If not he ought to be acquitted altogether.
HIS LORDSHIP, in summing up the evidence, said the prisoner was here indicted for the wilful murder of SIMON MANASSEH, and with respect to that part of the charge, it entirely failed.
There was no evidence whatever to show malice prepensa, and the supposition that he had any object of plundering was entirely disproved.
There was no evidence at all to support the charge of wilful murder. But then there came the case whether they could not find a verdict of manslaughter against him.
The charge of manslaughter was an unlawful killing, not amounting to murder; and it was also true that if illegal violence was the cause of death, or had the effect of conducing to it, that was manslaughter.
Had there been more violence applied by the prisoner than was warranted ? If so, it would be manslaughter.
The jury after a short consultation, found the prisoner Guilty of manslaughter, with a recommendation to mercy.
The learned JUDGE, in passing sentence on the prisoner, said he had been found guilty of manslaughter; but he (the learned JUDGE) was bound to say that there was no ground for the imputation that he had committed a murder.
He had no doubt that deceased was a violent man, and not so sound of intellect as the generality of men. He had no doubt that on the night in question, he had conducted himself in a violent way; but nothing could have justified the prisoner in beating the deceased as he had done.
Had it not been for the recommendation of the jury, he should have passed the sentence of penal servitude upon him; but the jury had attended to their duty in such a way that on their recommendation he would not sentence the prisoner to penal servitude; and as this was a bad case of manslaughter, the sentence of the Court was that he be imprisoned for 18 months and kept to hard labour.
This case finished the business of the assizes, and the Court rose at half-past 8 o'clock.
Jan 05 1858 Murder in Cumberland
- Parent Category: The Times
- Hits: 435
MURDER IN CUMBERLAND. - The discovery of a murder in one of the secluded nooks of Cumberland has just been made, the horrid crime being rendered more dark by the fact that the victim and the supposed murderer are near relations.
At the small village of Fenton, which lies about a mile from the Howmill station of the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway, and not far from the famed walks of Corby, there lived an old man named ROBERT IRWIN. Under the same roof resided JACOB SKELTON, a labouring man, his wife (IRWIN's daughter), three children, and an old woman.
IRWIN was formerly engaged in agriculture, but since his daughter's marriage, he has occasionaly resided with her and her husband, paying them 5s. a week for his lodgings. He had saved about 200 l., which he had invested on security.
Some time since he made a will, bequeathing this sum to his grandchildren, and only leaving the interest to his daughter, independent altogether of her husband's control.
On the morning of Christmas day, he rose about half-past 5 o'clock for the purpose of attending a prayer-meeting in the village. Contrary to his wont, the son-in-law also got up, and would seem to have lighted the fire. The old man left the house with a lantern and his stick, and the son-in-law and his wife both say the door was bolted after him.
In little more than an hour, the old man was found on the roadside weltering in blood. He was quite insensible, and was taken home by the neighbours. He lingered till the next morning, when he died.
A post mortem examination of the body was made by MR. JOHNSTON, surgeon, of Brampton, and DR. JOHNSTON, of Corby-hill. They found a large contused and lacerated wound of the scalp, about two inches in length by one inch and a half in breadth, situate near the crown of the head. They also found another scalp wound, not so contused as the first, and not quite so long. From these appearances the medical gentlemen were of opinion that the deceased had come to his death by foul means.
In corroboration of this opinion, it was noted as a very significant circumstance that the place where the old man was found was not upon the hard road, but upon a soft grass plot. Suspicion at once attached to the son-in-law, and the first inquiry of the coroner was adjourned till Saturday last, the 2d inst.
On that day, a number of witnesses were examined, and among others the son-in-law and his wife. They both swore that the door was immediately shut upon the old man, that SKELTON never left the house, and that they knew nothing of the injury to the deceased till he was brought home. It was found, however, that the wife of SKELTON had told a person that her husband had accompanied her father to the front gate; but when she was confronted with this witness, she denied that she had made such an admission. It was also deposed by other witnesses that SKELTON ill-used the old man, and had openly wished for his death.
The hammer which was found in his house, was stated by the medical men and the police to be such a weapon as would inflict the wounds on the old man's head. Under the circumstances, the coroner deemed it best to adjourn the inquiry for a fortnight, but the police authorities were of opinion that there was sufficient evidence to justify the apprehension of SKELTON on the charge of murder, and he was accordingly taken into custody.
Nov 13 1860 Nomination of Sheriffs
- Parent Category: The Times
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NOMINATION OF SHERIFFS
Yesterday being the morrow of St. Martin, the ceremony of nominating the sheriffs for the several counties of England and Wales for the year ensuing took place in the Court of Exchequer after the ordinary business of the Court had concluded.
The following is a list of the gentlemen nominated, with the exception of those for Cornwall and Lancashire, who are nominated by the PRINCE OF WALES.
BEDFORDSHIRE - Joseph TUCKER, of Pevenham, Esq.; William Lynn SMART, of Eversholt, Esq.; and Crewe ALSTON, of Odell, Esq.
BERKSHIRE - Henry Lannoy HUNTER, of Beech-hill, near Reading, Esq.; Robert CAMPBELL, of Buscot-park, Esq., and Frederick William ALLFREY, of Hill-house, Shinfield, Esq.
BUCKINGHAMSHIRE - Sir Anthony Nathan De ROTHSCHILD, of Aston Clinton, Bart.; William PENNINGTON, of Fernacres, Esq.; and Philips Cosby LOVETT, of Liscombe-house, Esq.
CAMBRIDGESHIRE AND HUNTINGDONSHIRE - Edward HICKS, of Great Wilbraham, Esq.; George Onslow NEWTON, of Croxton-park, Esq.; and Stanlake Ricketts BATSON, of Horseheath, Eng.
CHESHIRE - John Ralph SHAW, of Arrow-hill, Birkenhead, Esq.; Edward Holt GLEGG, of Backford, Esq.; and Thomas ALDERSAY, of Aldersay-hall, Esq.
CUMBERLAND - Thomas AINSWORTH, of the Flosh, Esq.; Samuel LINDOW, of Cleator, Esq.; and William Nicholson HODGSON, of Newby-grange, Carlisle, Esq.
DERBYSHIRE - William Thomas COX, of Spondon-hall, Esq.; Haughton Charles OKEOVER, of Okeover-hall, Esq.; and Sir Harry Flower EVERY, of Egginton, Bart.
DEVONSHIRE - Sir John Thomas Buller DUCKWORTH, of Weare, Topsham, Bart.; Major-General Edward STUDD, of Oxton; and Sir George Stucley STUCLEY, of Hartland-abbey, Hartland, Bart.
DORSETSHIRE - Robert Hassell Owen SWAFFIELD, of Wyke Regis, Esq.; Joseph GUNDRY, of the Hyde, Bridport, Esq.; and Charles Wriothesley DIGBY, of Studland, Esq.
DURHAM - Robert Lawrence PEMBERTON, of Barnes, Esq.;
George Henry SURTEES, of Dinsdale, Esq.; and John HILDYARD, of Horsley, Esq.
ESSEX - Sir William Bower SMITH, of Hill-hall, Epping, Bart.; Joseph Samuel LESCHER, of Boyles, Brentwood, Esq.; and George Alan LOWNDES, of Barrington-hall, Hatfield Broad Oak, Esq.
GLOCESTERSHIRE - John WADDINGTON, of Gulting Grange, near Winchcombe, Esq.; Sir George Samuel JENKINSON, of Eastwood, near Berkeley, Bart.; and John Battersby HARFORD, of Stoke-park, Stoke Bishop, near Bristol, Esq.
HEREFORDSHIRE - Robert Henry Lee WARNER, of Tiberton, Esq.; John Hungerford ARKWRIGHT, of Hampton-court, Esq.; and Stephen ALLAWAY, of Courtfield, Esq.
HERTFORDSHIRE - William Jones LOYD, of Abbotts Langley, Esq.; John HODGSON, of Gilston-park, Esq.; and James BENTLEY, of Cheshunt, Esq.
KENT - Alexander RANDALL, of Foley-house, Maidstone, Esq.; Henry BANNERMAN, of Hunton-court, near Maidstone, Esq.; and Arthur VANSITTART, of Footscray, Esq.
LEICESTERSHIRE - Richard SUTTON, of Skeffington, Esq.; James Beaumont WINSTANSLEY, of Braunstone, Esq.; and Sir Robert Burdett, of Kirby Bellars, Bart.
LINCOLNSHIRE - Weston Cracroft AMCOTTS, of Kettlethorpe, Esq.; Thomas John DIXON, of Holton-le-moor, Esq.; and Rowland WINN, of Appleby, Esq.
MONMOUTHSIRE - James Proctor CARRUTHERS, of the Grondra, near Chepstow, Esq.; James Jameson CORDES, of Bryn Glas, near Newport, Esq.; and Joseph Davies of Bedwas, near Newport, Esq.
NORFOLK - John Thomas MOTT, of Barningham, Esq.; Henry James Lee WARNER, of Little Walsingham, Esq.; and Joseph Stonehewer Scott CHAD, of Thursford, Esq.
NORTHHAMPTONSHIRE - John Edmund SEVERNE, of Thenford, Esq.; William SMYTH, of Little Houghton, Esq.; and George Ashby ASHBY, of Naseby, Esq.
NORTHUMBERLAND - William John PAWSON, of Shawdon, Esq.; John COOKSON, of Meldon-park, Esq.; and Watson SKEW, of Pallingsburn, Esq.
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE - John Henry Manners SUTTON, of Kelham, Esq.; Henry SAVILE, of Rufford Abbey, Esq.; and Thomas Blackborne Thoroton HILDYARD, of Flintham-house, Esq.
OXFORDSHIRE - Henry Birch REYNARDSON, of Adwell, Esq.; Charles Edward THORNHILL, of Woodleys, Esq.; and Emilius Watson TAYLOR, of Headington, Esq.
RUTLANDSHIRE - Alexander DORIA, of Manton, Esq.; William FLUDYER, of Ayston, Esq.; and the Hon. William Charles Evans FREKE, of Bisbrooke.
SHROPSHIRE - George PRITCHARD, of Broseley, Esq.; Sir Vincent Rowland CORBET, of Acton Reynald, Bart.; and Thomas Charlton WHITMORE, of Apley-park, Esq.
SOMERSETSHIRE - Francis Wheat NEWTON, of Barton-grange, Esq.; Ralph Neville GRENVILLE, of Butleigh-court, Esq.; and William SPEKE, of Jordans, Esq.
SOUTHAMPTON (COUNTY) - William George CRAVEN, of Brambridge-house, Winchester, Esq.; John DEVERELL, of Purbrook-park, near Cosham, Esq.; and Sir Henry Bouverie Paulet St. John MILDMAY, of Dogmersfield-park, Winchfield, Bart.
STAFFORDSHIRE - John William PHILIPS, of Heybridge, Esq.; Newton John LANE, of Elmhurst, Esq.; and William Hanbury SPARROW, of Penro, Esq.
SUFFOLK - John BERNERS, of Woolverstone-park, Esq.; Edward Robert Starkie BENCE, of Kentwell-hall, Melford, Esq.; and Sir John Ralph BLOIS, of Cockfield-hall, Yoxford, Bart.
SURREY - Samuel GURNEY, of Carshalton, Esq.; Sir John ANDREW, of Cooper's-hill, Egham, Bart.; and Joseph GODMAN, of Park Hatch, Godlaming, Esq.
SUSSEX - George GATTY, of Felbridge-park, East Grinstead, Esq.; the Hon. John Jervis CARNEGIE, of Fair Oak, Rogate; and Herbert Maxall CURTEIS, of Windmill-hill, Rye, Esq.
WARWICKSHIRE - Richard GREAVES, of the Cliff, Warwick, Esq.; the Hon. Charles Lennox BUTLER; and Allesley Boughton LEIGH, of Brounsom-hall, Esq.
WESTMORLAND - William HOPES, Brampton Crofts, Appleby, Esq.; Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick GANDY, of Heaves-Lodge, Kendal; and William WILSON, of High-park, Esq.
WILTSHIRE - Charles PENRUDDOCKE, of Compton Chamberlain, Esq.; Thomas Fraser GROVE, of Fern, Esq.; and John Elton Mervyn PROWER, of Purton-house, Swindon, Esq.
WORCESTERSHIRE - James MOILLIET, of Abberley-hall, near Worcester, Esq.; Sir Edmund Anthony Harloy LECHMERE, of the Rhydd, Worcester, Bart.; and Richard HEMMING, Bordesley-park, Bromsgrove, Eng.
YORKSHIRE - Sir George Orby WOMBWELL, of Newburgh-park, near York, Bart.; William Frederick WEBB, of Pepper-hall, near South Cowton, Northballerton, Esq.; and Godfrey WENTWORTH, of Wooley-park, Esq.
Dec 31 1853 Singular Gun Accident
- Parent Category: The Times
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SINGULAR GUN ACCIDENT. There was a very serious "gun accident" near Brampton, on the afternoon of Monday last. MR. JOHN GRISDALE, gamekeeper to the EARL OF CARLISLE, was out shooting with his second son in the neighbourhood of Naworth. They each had a gun, and we believe were accompanied by one or two other persons, also with guns.
While the father and son were separated from each other, but still in the same beat, a hare suddenly started up, and, without the one being aware of the propinquity of the other, and thinking only of putting an end to the career of "poor puss" both raised their guns to the shoulder simultaneously and covered the hare, which was scudding away between them on a kind of sloping ground.
The father's gun was first discharged with fatal effect, so far as the hare was concerned, but at the very same moment, the gun dropped from his son's hands undischarged, and to the dismay of the party, it was discovered that he was severely wounded by the same discharge which had killed the hare.
He bled profusely from the face and arms, and was thought to be more seriously injured than fortunately it turned out. He was immedicately removed home to Brampton, and a surgeon called in, when it was found that he was wounded in both arms and in the right eye and cheek.
As many as 13 shots were lodged in the right arm above the elbow, and 11 in the left; two or three had entered the face. He was, however, pronounced to be in no danger, and is now doing well.
It was a most providential escape, in a double sense, for had the son fired first, it is more than probably that he would have shot the father. The son is a very fine young fellow, and is gamekeeper to the HON. CHARLES HOWARD.
The day previous to Christmas day, an old woman, who resides in the neighbourhood of Westham, who has met with a sad reverse of fortune, received a letter bearing the London post-mark, and containing a 5 l. Bank of England note. On a slip of paper enclosed was written,
"MRS. ____________, I send you 5 l., part of the sum I robbed you of when I lived in your service, ..... BETTY. (Chelmsford Chronicle)