Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:41 pm

Tenant Kills Landlord

An attempt by a couple who tried to evict their lodgers in 1891 ended in tragedy when the husband was killed during a fight with the main tenant.

Robert Hinchcliffe, a labourer at Coburg Dock, lived with his wife Alice in a court in Upper Mann Street in Dingle. They were in their twenties and rented the top room of their house to 21-year-old labourer William Griffin, who lived there with his 12-year-old sister Mary.

Image Upper Mann Street 1907.
For reasons that were never made clear, Mr & Mrs. Hinchcliffe wanted Joseph and his sister out of their house but despite serving notice to quit they still didn't leave. On Friday 11th September 1891 the Hinchcliffes went to a funeral then drank with other mourners, before returning home around midnight.
Image Upper Mann Street, today.

Alice went to the top floor and asked Griffin when he would be leaving, leading to a scuffle taking place in which a lamp was knocked out of Alice's hand. Robert then challenged Griffin to a fight and both men went into the courtyard and began swapping punches, with Joseph falling to the ground at one point. Seeing her brother in trouble, Mary got a kitchen knife and gave it to Griffin.

Within seconds of Griffin being given the knife Robert cried out 'Oh Alice I am stabbed' and fell to the ground. He was dead by the time police arrived and officers then found Griffin and his sister in the cellar. Griffin made no attempt to escape and told them that he was wholly responsible and they would find the knife in the top floor room. After questioning Mary, she was taken to the workhouse and Griffin to the Main Bridewell in Cheapside.
Griffin was charged with manslaughter and at his trial Mary had to give evidence confirming she had passed him the knife. However another witness, Catherine Jones, who lived in the court alone, said that she saw both men fighting and that Griffin had been in trouble. He admitted having the knife in his hand, but didn't deliberately use it and maintained that Robert had rushed at him, leading to the knife piercing the heart.

The jury returned a verdict of guilty but with a strong recommendation for mercy. In light of this and Griffin's previous good character, Mr Justice Lawrence sentenced him to twelve months imprisonment with hard labour. Two months later there was further tragedy for the Hinchcliffe family when Robert's sister Mary was battered to death by her husband, who was convicted of manslaughter at the same Assizes.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby bob. b » Sun Jun 12, 2016 10:59 am

Sad for the sister Joe

Joe keep them coming please regards Bob. b
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:43 pm

Another interesting case Joe..sad time for the Hinchcliffe family..but I think the right verdict was given regarding William Griffin..sounds like it was a fight that got out of hand..the twelve year old girl probably didn't realise what she was doing by passing the knife over!!
So sad :(
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:36 pm

Thanks, Bob, and Shelagh. :wink:
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:40 pm

Imprisoned In Attic And Beaten To Death
In 1894 John Walber was kept chained up in his home for four months before being beaten to death by his wife who suspected him of infidelity.

50-year-old John and his wife Margaret, 53, lived at 6 Gildart Street, off London Road, along with Margaret's son John Murray and a number of lodgers. They had married in 1888 but it was not a happy one, with both of them addicted to drink. John was a French polisher while Margaret ran a small grocery store at the address.

In 1893 Anne Connolly, who had been in a relationship with John in the 1870s moved into a house in nearby Oakes Street and renewed her acquaintance with John again, although he maintained it was purely on a friendship basis. One afternoon that summer John told Margaret that he was going out for a drink and after she had followed him to Connolly's house, she burst the door down and punched him several times.

When John returned home later that evening there were further arguments before he collapsed drunk. When he awoke, he found that he was stripped and chained to the wall of his attic, the door of which had been padlocked. Margaret had managed to get him up there with the help of her son.

For four months John was kept in the attic, his nonappearance being explained away to lodgers by the fact that he was sick and in need of a long rest. However on 16th November, a great disturbance was heard from the attic and Margaret told other residents that he son John had beaten her husband to death and fled the property. When the police arrived, they found what the Liverpool Mercury described as a gruesome sight. John had been beaten with the chain and also with porcelain chamber pot, which was now smashed and the walls were covered in blood.
Margaret was taken in for questioning and after the police found inconsistencies in her story and bloodstains in her clothing, she made a statement to the effect that she had hit him with a chain after seeing he had managed to get some trousers on and was looking to leave the property. Her son was traced to Dublin and was brought back to Liverpool for questioning, where he told police that his mother had given him two gold sovereigns and sent him away after he had come across Margaret standing next to John's dead body.

Margaret was charged and stood trial at Liverpool Assizes on 14th March 1894. It did not take the jury long to reach a verdict of guilty and Margaret was sentenced to death by Justice Day. After being given consolation by Father Wade, she was hanged at Walton on 2nd April by
James Billington. Image
The press reported that after initially acting with a resigned acceptance, she broke down crying when the pinioning started.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:58 pm

A bit of a shock reading this one Joe :shock:
They say "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" This murderess had plenty of fury by the sounds of it :evil:
The poor man imprisoned and tortured in the attic..Blummin Eck :shock:
Can't believe she'd actually beaten him to death..what an evil thing to do!!
Her sentence - the ultimate penalty with her life..
Lets hope her death wasn't as cruel and merciless as her husbands!!
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby lynne99 » Tue Jun 14, 2016 5:50 pm

A gripping story. Well done Joe , as usual. Thanks
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:33 am

Thanks once again Shelagh, and Lynne for your comments. :wink:
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:38 am

Court Rules Wife's Death Caused by Fall
A violent husband who was charged with manslaughter after the death of his wife was acquitted after a jury decided that her death was not as a result of injuries received from his beatings.

Image Mile End 1969.

On 21st July 1857 cart owner William Swift returned to his home in Mile End and asked his servant Mary Gorman if his wife, also called Mary was in, to which she replied that she wasn't. Mary had lied as Mrs Swift was actually asleep in the servant's room and when both women were in there 31-year-old Swift broke the door down and punched his wife several times, causing her to bleed.

The assault had happened in front of the couple's young daughter, who Swift threw out of the house. Mary Gorman went and found a policeman who came and helped 30-year-old Mrs Swift climb out of the window. In doing so, she fell from a dog kennel and landed on some timber, but she got up straight away and did not appear to be hurt. She was then taken to the St Anne Street dispensary where her wound was dressed and she then stayed with a neighbour overnight.

The following day Mrs Swift went to Pritchard's beer house in Bevington Hill and was followed there by her husband, who hit her causing a black eye. She was then taken to the dispensary again by Mary Gorman and on their return home, they saw Swift talking to a police officer offering him £5 if he could be spared arrest. That night Swift was arrested and initially charged with assault, with doctors being of the opinion that his wife was in a very precarious state.

Image Mile End as it is today.

Two days later, Mary Swift died at her mother's home in Tatlock Street, having now developed delirium tremens in addition to erysipelas which was as a result of the head wound. A post mortem couldn't conclusively determine the cause of death with doctors failing to agree over which condition was responsible. A corner's court found a verdict of manslaughter and Swift was committed to Kirkdale prison to await trial at the assizes.

Swift was due to stand trial on 21st August but as Mary Gorman was going into court she was threatened by his sister Ellen Christie. This led to Christie's arrest and appearance at the police court, where she was fined £20. The trial did take place the following day when three doctors said they believed erysipelas was the cause of death and two thought it was more likely as a result of delirium tremens. Swift's defence counsel contended that the servant was an unreliable witness and that the even if erysipelas was the cause, the infected wounds could have been the one that occurred after Mary fell off the kennel. After twenty minutes deliberation, a not guilty verdict was returned.

As Swift was being freed from the dock there was a cheer from the public gallery which was quickly suppressed by the judge, Baron Watson. He indicated that if there was any more noise he would commit those responsible to prison for contempt of court.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:28 pm

Another sad case of premature death caused by physical abuse..
The poor woman had to be helped through a window by a policeman...
No restraining orders given in those days!
Seems not enough evidence to convict William Swift of his wife's murder :evil:
He walked away a free man through lack of evidence (no justice whatsoever)
Thank you Joe :)
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:17 am

Thanks, Shelagh that seems to have happened a lot in those days. :(
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:05 am

Manslaughter by a Footballer

An amateur footballer who punched a man then kicked him while on the ground was fortunate to be found guilty only of manslaughter after medical evidence indicated the actual death was caused by falling against a wall rather than any blows.

At around 5pm on 6th April 1894 Thomas Jones, a twenty-four-year-old collier who also played for Whiston in the Liverpool & District Football League, went for a drink at the Horseshoe Inn. This pub still stands at the corner of Windy Arbour Road and Dragon Lane and is a Tesco Express.

Image The Horseshoe Inn.


At around 6pm the pub was being lit up and as a customer called Thomas Fildes was pulling down the blinds when he was hit on the side of the face. He asked who had done it and William Travis, a fifty-two-year-old collier who was also Fildes's neighbour, pointed at Jones. Fildes asked Jones why he had hit him and Jones came up to him aggressively, saying he would do it again and pushed Fildes to the ground.

The landlady of the pub, Margaret Briscoe, told Jones and Fildes to leave and they did so via separate doors. Travis left at the same time and returned headed to his home in School Lane, but first called at the Fildes home to tell his mother Catherine and brother Johnson what had happened.

A few minutes later Jones knocked at the door and demanded to see Thomas Fildes, but was told by his mother that he wasn't there. On seeing Travis in the property Jones said 'you will do' and called him to the door, then punched him on the chin. Travis hit a wall then fell down and Jones took his jacket off and continued his aggression, kicking him in the body whilst wearing clogs. Jones then turned around to where his wife was and they both walked off together.

Mrs Fildes went and found a policeman, Constable Ormerod. He arrived and immediately detained Jones, taking him into the house where Travis was lying. Jones admitted hitting him but said he had not intended to cause harm. He then denied it but his wife said it was no use doing so. An unconscious Travis was carried into his house by Johnson Fildes and a Constable Ormerod, who then escorted Jones to Prescot police station.

Dr Charles Barlow was called from Prescot and found Travis to be in a bad way. He was unconscious, his eye was blackened, nose bleeding and he seemed to be paralysed in the limbs. The following morning Dr Barlow returned and found no improvement and Travis died at 430pm that afternoon. Jones was initially charged with 'unlawfully assaulting and causing grievous bodily harm'.

A post mortem was carried out by Dr Barlow and Dr Fox Jackson of Huyton. They found that the internal organs were healthy and that the brain was congested. There were few external marks on the body but the neck was broken. In their opinion, Travis died as a result of his head hitting the wall rather than the kicks to the body.

Image The Carr’s Hotle.
On Monday afternoon an inquest opened at the Carr's Hotel before the county coroner Samuel Brighouse. Due to Jones being in custody in Prescot police station, he proposed to move the inquest there once the jury had viewed Travis's body at his home in Dragon Lane.
Widow Alice Travis was so distraught she could hardly speak whilst giving her evidence, in which she insisted that her husband was perfectly sober when he went out and had drunk nothing at home. Catherine Fildes said he was a quiet man while her son Johnson expressed shock at what happened, saying that Travis went to Jones expecting to have a chat rather than be assaulted. An elderly passer by testified that he thought Travis was dead after seeing what had happened. The two doctors gave their medical opinion and when Dt Fox Jackson was asked if Travis could have sustained his injuries after being hit in the pub, he replied that it would have been impossible for him to walk home.

In summing up, the Coroner said that there was nothing to suggest Travis had done anything to provoke Jones into his actions. He also pointed out how Jones had gone to School Lane with the intention of doing harm to Fildes, only to pick on Travis instead. Mr Brighouse said that in these circumstances, the jury had no alternative but to return a verdict of wilful murder unless they could be satisfied that there had provocation. He also made it clear that pointing out Jones as the person who first hit Fildes was not sufficient to justify his actions. After ten minutes the jury returned a verdict of wilful murder.


Jones was committed to the assizes on a coroner's warrant and stood trial on 4th May. The Crown opted not to press ahead with the murder charge but instead one of manslaughter. The reason for this is that there had been no previous quarrel between the two men and also that there was no medical evidence of kicks to the body, only the word of witnesses. The defence counsel Mr McConnell did not contest a manslaughter charge, given Jones had admitted striking Travis albeit with no intention to cause harm.
Image Mr Justice Day
Mr Justice Day directed the jury to find Jones guilty of manslaughter. In mitigation, Mr McConnell said that Jones expressed his regret for what happened and simply wanted a fight. The judge though was not impressed with this and said it was easy to show regret after he realised the implications of his actions. When it came to their being no marks on the body, he suggested that if any kicks were to the stomach, then there would be no bruising.

Prior to passing sentence, Justice Day recalled Dr Barlow and Constable Ormerod. The doctor said death was caused by the fall against the wall and definitely not by the blow from the punch, but did acknowledge there would not have been bruising on the stomach. Constable Ormerod gave a brief rundown of Jones's character, telling the judge he had been bound over for breach of the peace once and had a tendency to drink at weekends and get into arguments. The judge then told Jones he had taken away the life of a fellow creature who was quite harmless and a victim of 'brutal drunken fury'. He then sentenced Jones to three years penal servitude.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby bob. b » Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:07 am

Joe Really enjoying this post of yours keep them coming. Regards Bob. b
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby filsgreen » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:44 am

Vicious thugs getting three years for murder, and it's supposed to be namby pamby these days? Great stories thanks Joe
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:14 am

Thanks for your comments Phil,and Bob. :wink:
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:15 am

Kirkdale Gaol was built as a county prison and session's house in 1819, the prison was transferred to the borough of Liverpool about 1855. :( :( :(

Image
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby maureen howell » Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:23 am

When the prisoners were transferred from Kirkdale Prison to the new Walton Prison they walked all the way .It must have been some sight!
Take Care
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:40 pm

Terrible murder that Joe..and only three years for doing so..no justice for the victim there!!
Strange how...near by policemen... could always be found back then!
Imagine finding one that easily now :shock:
Good picture of Kirkdale Prison..thanks Joe :wink:
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:02 am

Thanks for your replies Maureen, and Shelagh. That Kirkdale Prison looks truly grim to me, I wouldn't fancy a night in there. :shock: :(
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:05 am

Woolton Pub Killing
In 1891 a horrific killing took place in Woolton when a pub landlord died after a brutal assault by two customers who he had barred from the premises.

On 2nd April 1891 two labourers named Michael Gallagher and Bernard McKeon entered the Coffee House hotel in Woolton Street and settled down in the smoke room for some drinks. They had to be asked by the barmaid Alice Frere to tone their language down but they didn't do so. When they went to the bar for more drinks the 66-year-old landlord, William Toulmin, told them that they had had enough. They repeated their request but were again denied service and began arguing amongst themselves, leading to Toulmin telling them to go outside if they were going to fight.

Gallagher and Mckeon went into the yard for about five minutes and they were seen to be laughing together. On going back inside Toulmin again refused to serve them and said they would be better off going home for some tea. The two men said they would do this if they could have another beer each, but Toulmin said he wouldn't let them have any more even if they paid him a shilling.
Image The Coffee House Pub.

As the men began to get boisterous again the barmaid ran into the yard fearing for her safety. Toulmin decided enough was enough and went to push them away from the bar, leading to a glass being picked up and smashed against his head. The cook Kathleen Kavanagh came to see what was going on and saw one of the men wielding a belt. She ran off for help and on coming back saw Toulmin sat on a chair and three bloodstained glasses on the floor next to him. The barmaid returned inside and saw Toulmin covered in blood and being treated by Kavanagh. She then ran outside screaming leading to a Mr and Mrs Hall coming in and offering assistance.

The whole incident had been witnessed by a beer salesman from Burton on Trent named Mr Doubleday. He tried to leave the pub to go to the police but was stopped by Gallagher, only to be let out in return for a payment of 6d. After Doubleday notified the police an officer arrested the two men on a charge of unlawful wounding.

Toulmin's regular physician Dr Joll arrived and stemmed the bleeding. Toulmin was conscious but dazed and helped to bed but two days later he became delirious. Although he could occasionally talk rationally he deteriorated and died on the afternoon of 8th April.

An inquest took place on 10th April at the Woolton courthouse before the county coroner, Mr W T Husband. Crowds lined the streets hoping to get a glimpse of the proceedings, where the police case was presented by Superintendent Barker from Prescot.

The victim's son Whitfield Toulmin, who sold beer from the Cobden Vaults, told the coroner that his father had run the Coffee House for sixteen years. The barmaid and cook could say that they saw violence inflicted but not be sure who struck what blow. Mr Doubleday was the best witness and he could testify that Gallagher struck Toulmin with the buckle end of a belt. He then went on to say that after Toulmin had cleared glass from the bar, Gallagher picked some of it up and struck him again. McKeon's involvement he stated was inflicting two blows with a glass, while four other men remained in the smoke room and did not play any part in the matter.

Image

Dr Joll estimated that Toulmin had lost two pints of blood and believed that if he hadn't arrived when he did then death would have occurred that afternoon. He explained that on conducting a postmortem meningitis had set in and that Toulmin had died from 'a train of symptoms arising from the wounds on the head'. The jury returned a verdict of wilful murder after some guidance from the Coroner, who had to explain to them that if the men set out intending to maliciously wound Toulmin then that was the verdict, irrespective of whether there was an intent to kill.

After the inquest, Gallagher and McKeon were taken to Prescot where they appeared before a magistrate the following morning. As Doubleday gave his evidence McKeon interrupted and said 'I can't stand here while my life is sworn away'. Gallagher then stood up and said 'Get out of that box, I wonder how you can stand there and tell all these lies'. A fifteen-year-old girl called Rose Bushell, who hadn't given evidence at the witness, stated that she lived opposite the Coffeehouse and had seen both men coming out of the pub putting their belts back on. The solicitor for the two defendants opted not to make any comment and said their defence would be reserved until the assizes trial.

Toulmin's funeral took place at Anfield cemetery on the same day as the police court proceedings. It was conducted by the Reverend Isaac Holmes and the oak coffin was adorned with several wreaths.

At the assizes on 6th May, the two men were tried in front of Mr Justice Grantham. The prosecutor opened by saying that Woolton was a 'quiet little place' and that Toulmin was a man of 'considerable means' who had never abused his position. Whitfield Toulmin was challenged over his father's health but said he was not delicate and although he enjoyed a glass of beer, he never got drunk. Alice Frere admitted that the defendants were not drunk but said they had been too noisy which is why they were not served. Mr Doubleday was again a good witness, making it clear that Toulmin hadn't used violence and that at no stage did the men complain about his conduct.

The prisoners' defence was that they had not truck Toulmin and any injuries were as a result of him having fallen onto broken glass. Their counsel also reminded the jury that there had been no ill feeling between them men prior to that day and that they had not tried to escape from the scene. Patrick Gallagher's brother was then called to say that Toulmin had thrown glasses at the two men and also hit one of them. Two labourers took the stand to say Tolmin had struck Gallagher and McKeon.

In summing up the judge said that publicans were in a dangerous position and that Toulmin died doing his duty. After fifteen minutes deliberation the jury returned a verdict of guilty of manslaughter, adding that they could give no credence to the claims of the defence witnesses whatsoever. Prior to passing sentence justice Grantham said that the prisoners should be grateful that the jury had been merciful. He told them that he had considered sentencing them to twenty years penal servitude, but had decided to reduce this to ten on account of there having been no prior bad feeling between those concerned.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:18 pm

Another interesting case Joe..what a pair of thugs..using buckled belts and glasses to beat the poor old Landlord..justice was definitely seen to be done!!
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 1:04 am

Cheers Shelagh. :wink:
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 1:08 am

Debt Ridden Mother Gasses Baby

A mother who hid a debt from her husband was detained indefinitely after gassing their baby daughter to death.
In 1932 Elizabeth Hughes, a 31 year old housewife, lived in Barlow Lane in Kirkdale with her husband and two children, aged eighteen and eight months. Her husband was a ship's steward but was out of work, leading to Elizabeth accruing debt without telling him.

Image Barlow Lane

On 25th November that year Elizabeth bought a gas hose and on returning home sent her husband out on an errand. She then fed the hose into the bedroom and turned it on, in an attempt to kill both her and the two children. When Mr Hughes arrived home he went upstairs to find eight month old Irene dead on the bed. He then took hold of eighteen month Arthur and took him the window and opened it. The little boy vomited, which probably saved his life. Elizabeth was unconscious on a sofa and taken to hospital where she made a full recovery.

When police searched the bedroom they found letters in Elizabeth's handwriting addressed to her husband and the coroner. To the coroner she wrote 'Please do not look down on my husband he knows nothing about this. To her husband she wrote 'Please forgive me, I cannot face what I have done if only you knew.' There was also a post office savings book in her mothers name, which Elizabeth was believed to have been using to claim payments she was not entitled to.

Elizabeth was arrested on her release from hospital the following day and charged with murder, attempted murder and attempted suicide. She said to the police 'So I won't see my baby any more, I did not mean to do it.' When she appeared at the magistrates' court on 7th December her husband appeared to have shown forgiveness, saying 'My wife is very kind in every way and a good mother, and one of the best wives.'

At the Liverpool assizes on 6th February 1933, Elizabeth was found guilty but insane and ordered by the judge to be detained at His Majesty's Pleasure.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:39 am

That poor woman..she must have been so desperate..and how sad about the little girl Irene..
Don't know how Elizabeth managed to carry on...heartbreaking!!
Thanks for all the history Joe!
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:28 am

once again thanks for your comments Shelagh. :wink:
Last edited by fatboyjoe90 on Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:42 am

The Woolton Child Roasting Case
In 1863 a horrific incident occurred in Woolton when a child died of severe burns, but the person suspected of causing the death was acquitted at his trial.

Messrs Bagot and Wells Drapers were based at 43 Allerton Road in Woolton, which doubled as the shop and Bagot's home. John Bagot was a 38 year old bachelor and Wells a widower. Although Wells lived in Halewood, two of his sisters lived in Woolton with Bagot.

Image Allerton Road



At the beginning of January 1863 Wells took care of his niece Evelyn, who was two years and two months old, as her mother was about to have another baby. However rather than be looked after at Wells's Halewood home, Evelyn was instead left mainly at Bagot's home with Alice Ashton, a fourteen year old girl who did chores for him.
On Thursday 8th January Evelyn suffered terrible burns after sitting on an iron stool that had been by a fire for several hours that afternoon. How she came to be sat on that school was never established for certain, but it was generally accepted that she must have been placed there by somebody. She died two days later, leading to Bagot being taken into custody on suspicion of causing her death, although he was released on bail.

Image The Coffee house pub


The inquest took place at the Coffee house pub on Saturday 17th January, where principal witness was Alice Ashton, described by the Daily Post as a 'very intelligent girl'. She said that only her, Evelyn and Bagot were in the house on 8th January and that soon after Bagot moved an iron stool from the fire to change the coal the little girl had asked for a glass of water. She said that she placed her on the sofa then went to the pantry to get the water and heard a scream, returning to find Evelyn sat on the stool and her petticoats removed, with Bagot stood by the shop door. Her bottom and back of the thighs were burnt and at first she though perhaps she had fallen over the dog and landed on the stool, but she then saw the dog in the shop. Alice then stated that Bagot said nothing and went into the shop but when she asked what she should do he told her to go away and not bother with any more questions.

Continuing her evidence, Alice told the coroner that she went to a local druggist called Mr Blabey for help and was given some linseed oil and limewater to rub into the burns, before putting Evelyn to bed. Bagot then told her to go to bed herself or he would 'make her dead quick'. She went to bed with Evelyn who was not distressed but remained awake. She then described how Bagot was walking around the house shouting 'little devils'. Although Evelyn had not shown signs of distress overnight and was singing in the morning, Alice recounted that she had some oil applied by Matilda Millichip, who was the housekeeper and Wells's sister. For some reason she had spent the night in question with her brother in Halewood, rather than look after Evelyn. Soon after Mrs Millichip had attended to Evelyn, she fitted and a surgeon was called for.
Alice described Bagot as a man who got drunk every night except Sundays and didn't like Evelyn, referring to her as a 'round faced little devil'. She insisted that Evelyn could not possibly have climbed onto the stool herself and that it had been so hot on being moved from by the fire that towels had to be used to hold it. Under cross examination by Bagot's solicitor Mr Worship, Alice admitted that Evelyn was able to speak but she hadn't asked how she got onto the stool and that it was feasible she could have used Bagot's dog as a stepping stone.


The next witness called was the shop boy James Oliver, who was unable to say much except that he was out buying more beer for Bagot during the whole time that the events occurred. Mrs Millichip stated that she too believed Evelyn could not have climbed onto the stool unaided, but accepted she had blisters on her thumb and one of her fingers. She also said that Evelyn had fitted before when having teething troubles.

Dr Rigg's evidence did not appear to indicate that Evelyn had climbed onto the stool either unaided or by stepping onto the dog first. He said that the burns on her fingers were so slight that they could not have occurred by grabbing the stool and that there were two marks on her head which seemed to have been caused by force, as if pressed by fingers or thumbs. Death he said, was as a result of convulsions caused by the shock of the burns.

The final witnesses appeared on behalf of Mr Bagot. One of them was Henry Jones, a tailor employed by him who said that his boss had great affection for Evelyn. An assistant at the druggists then testified that Alice told him Evelyn had fallen over the dog onto the stool.

In summing up, the Coroner told the jury they had to determine how much credibility they should give to the evidence of two children. He then pointed out that the medical evidence showed that the lack of serious burns on the hands meant she could not have got onto the stool herself. He told the jury they had to consider three things; that Alice may have manufactured a story about Bagot to deliberately get into trouble, that Evelyn was sitting or standing on the dog then fell onto the stool, or that she had been deliberately placed on the stool by somebody. If it was the last option, their verdict should be wilful murder if that act was intended to cause Evelyn harm, or manslaughter if it was an act of recklessness.

The jury were out for an hour and on their return the foreman said they had returned a verdict of wilful murder due to being placed on the hot stool but that 'by whom she was placed we consider there is not sufficient evidence to show.' The Coroner said this was the correct verdict and granted further bail to Bagot, telling him to attend the magistrate’s court the following Monday when he would find if any further action was to be be taken against him.

At a special sitting of the magistrates' court in Woolton police station, it was decided to hear all the evidence from the inquest again. Superintendent Fowler asked the questions for the police and Bagot was again represented by Mr Worship.
Alice Ashton added to her testimony that for four weeks she had locked her door at night as Bagot had a habit of coming in the room with a lighted candle and holding it near hers and Evelyn's face. She also said that he had once threatened to do something to Mrs Millichip that she would remember all her life. Asked why she had not mentioned this at the inquest, she replied that she was about to but Bagot's solicitor prevented her from doing so and moved on to another question. She insisted that she had not paced Evelyn on the stool and when she finished the magistrates commented that they had never heard someone so young give their evidence in a such a clear manner.

Image

James Oliver said that when he returned from buying ale for Bagot, he was stood at the kitchen door looking at Evelyn. He then took the ale and returned into the shop, leaving James to look after the toddler while Evelyn sought medical help. Dr Rigg was asked about the convulsions, and gave his opinion that they were as a direct result of the burns. Dr Cross who assisted with the post-mortem gave a slightly different opinion, saying he believed the convulsions were a result of effusion of the brain, but that itself had been caused by the shock of being burned. He also said that Evelyn could not possibly have climbed onto the stool herself without getting burns on other parts of her body.

Mr Worship then made an address to the magistrates, saying there was no motive whatsoever on Bagot's part to harm Evelyn. He suggested that if he wanted to kill her, there better opportunities to do so without being caught and that if he was drunk, he would have been incapable of doing such an act in so short a space of time. A far more likely explanation, he maintained, was that Alice had carried out the act foolishly and then tried to heap the blame on Bagot.

After a short period of consultation the chair of the magistrates said that weighing up all the evidence they had to send Bagot for trial on a charge of manslaughter. They allowed him bail at £400, equivalent to £45,000 today. On 27th March Bagot appeared at the assizes before Baron Martin, where the case collapsed after Alice's cross examination by his defence counsel. Asked if she felt the dog could have knocked Evelyn onto the stool she replied yes, leading to no further evidence being offered by the prosecution and Bagot was discharged from the dock.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:21 pm

What a horror story Joe..and no justice for that little girl...somebody put her there on that stool to burn...Let's hope that one day there will be a judgement for all these murderers!!
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:20 am

I thought the same Shelagh, I don’t think they would get away with it these days. :(
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby lynne99 » Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:33 pm

Right Joe, long enough summer holiday. We all need some more of your fantastic writings. PLEASE :D
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby bob. b » Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:18 am

Second that Lynne :wink: :wink: :wink:
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby ALAMO2008 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 6:02 pm

fatboyjoe90 wrote:Tenant Kills Landlord

An attempt by a couple who tried to evict their lodgers in 1891 ended in tragedy when the husband was killed during a fight with the main tenant.

Robert Hinchcliffe, a labourer at Coburg Dock, lived with his wife Alice in a court in Upper Mann Street in Dingle. They were in their twenties and rented the top room of their house to 21-year-old labourer William Griffin, who lived there with his 12-year-old sister Mary.

Image Upper Mann Street 1907.
For reasons that were never made clear, Mr & Mrs. Hinchcliffe wanted Joseph and his sister out of their house but despite serving notice to quit they still didn't leave. On Friday 11th September 1891 the Hinchcliffes went to a funeral then drank with other mourners, before returning home around midnight.
Image Upper Mann Street, today.

Alice went to the top floor and asked Griffin when he would be leaving, leading to a scuffle taking place in which a lamp was knocked out of Alice's hand. Robert then challenged Griffin to a fight and both men went into the courtyard and began swapping punches, with Joseph falling to the ground at one point. Seeing her brother in trouble, Mary got a kitchen knife and gave it to Griffin.

Within seconds of Griffin being given the knife Robert cried out 'Oh Alice I am stabbed' and fell to the ground. He was dead by the time police arrived and officers then found Griffin and his sister in the cellar. Griffin made no attempt to escape and told them that he was wholly responsible and they would find the knife in the top floor room. After questioning Mary, she was taken to the workhouse and Griffin to the Main Bridewell in Cheapside.
Griffin was charged with manslaughter and at his trial Mary had to give evidence confirming she had passed him the knife. However another witness, Catherine Jones, who lived in the court alone, said that she saw both men fighting and that Griffin had been in trouble. He admitted having the knife in his hand, but didn't deliberately use it and maintained that Robert had rushed at him, leading to the knife piercing the heart.

The jury returned a verdict of guilty but with a strong recommendation for mercy. In light of this and Griffin's previous good character, Mr Justice Lawrence sentenced him to twelve months imprisonment with hard labour. Two months later there was further tragedy for the Hinchcliffe family when Robert's sister Mary was battered to death by her husband, who was convicted of manslaughter at the same Assizes.




Just shown this photo of Upper Mann St. to my Wife who was born there in 1955
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby filsgreen » Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:40 pm

Here is a couple of stories I've found on the net, just to keep Joe's thread going.

Liverpool Mercury Feb 27th 1896

THE TRAGEDY AT SEFTON

POLICE COURT PROCEEDINGS

Ida Mary Maloney BAXTER aged 24, was charged on remand, at the County Magistrate's Court Liverpool, yesterday, before Messers Thomas SNAPE, J. SHAW, and E. J. GRIMSHAW, with having caused the death of her two children, William Frederick aged three and a half and Alexander aged two years, at Sefton on the 17th inst, Supt CROSS prosecuted, Mr John SEFTON defended. The inquiry was held in a private room, prisoner, whose condition had greatly improved since the coroner's inquest being present, in charge of Sgt ELLIOTT and a constable from Seaforth.

The facts stated by Supt CROSS, the prisoner and her husband had resided together for three years at a semi-detached house in Gorsey Lane, Sefton, they had three children, the two deceased and a 4mth old baby, and all the details referred to at the inquest which occurred on the 17th.

Witnesses called giving the evidence they gave at the inquest, Elizabeth HARDING, Gorsey Lane, in reply to Mr SEFTON, she said the prisoner always seemed kind to her children, her health, however had been impaired since her last baby was born. Margaret WHARTON, single woman and next door neighbour, who also stated in reply to Mr SEFTON, that the prisoner had been in ill-health since her confinement in October last and appeared in low spirits, about a fortnight prior to the 17th she was "very bad in her head".

Henry HARDING, Gorsey Lane, who witnessed her trying to cut her own throat and exclaiming, "It will not cut" also witnessed the prisoner carried into her own house on cross examined by Mr SEFTON, said that when they were taking the prisoner to her own house she said, "I want my baby, it is crying for me"

Joseph SWIFT, carter, of Sefton, who was in Gorsey Lane on the day in question.

Plans of the house of the prisoner and that adjoining having been put in by Mr James DOD, architect of Liverpool, Det HOYLE gave evidence as to his going to the house of the prisoner, and finding the children with their throats cut. He stated the prisoner was apparently mentally deranged and was in a terrible state. Although she had known him for years on that occasion she did not recognise him, the following day when she seemed recovered somewhat he charged her with causing the death of her two children, she replied, "Yes, I do not remember it, I must have been mad"

Dr D. M. FITZPATRICK of Litherland deposed to being called on the 17th inst and his findings on examining the children, in reply to Mr SEFTON, he said he had seen Mrs BAXTER twice since her last confinement, on the second occasion she appeared to have "fallen off" very much in health and was despondent. She spoke to him of their financial position, and referred to the difficulty she might consequently have in bringing up her children, he knew the prisoner and her husband had been in better circumstances. From the evidence and his own personal observations, he was sure that the prisoner was insane at the time she committed the act

Prisoner, who had not apparently taken any interest in the proceedings was then committed to the assizes for trial

-------------------

Liverpool Mercury March 24th 1896

THE SEFTON TRAGEDY

DOUBLE MURDER BY AN INSANE MOTHER

TRIAL AT THE ASSIZES

At the Liverpool Winter Assizes, yesterday, before Mr Justice KENNEDY, Ida Maloney BAXTER, aged 23, was indicted for the murder of her two children, William Frederick and Alexander, at Sefton on the 17th of last month. Mr COTTINGHAM and Mr STEEL were counsel for the prosecution, and the accused was defended by Mr McCONNELL. The court was crowded, the painful circumstances of the case having been made widely known. On entering the dock accompanied by two female wardens the prisoner looked around the court in a somewhat vacant manner, and although she listened to the evidence, she did not betray any emotion, or seem fully to realise the gravity of the position in which she was placed. The trial was of short duration, and practically one of a matter of form, the result being accepted as a foregone conclusion. Both counsel and witnesses for the prosecution admitted at the outset that the unfortunate woman had a disorder of the brain, and confirmatory testimony having been given by two expert medical witnesses for the defence, the jury at once concluded that the plea of insanity had been fully proved. The trial was an exceedingly painful one, and before its conclusion a considerable number of those present were affected to tears.

Before the prisoner was formally charged, his Lordship asked did any question arise as to whether the prisoner was in a fit condition to plead. He did not want the question raised afterwards. His Lordship asked the prisoner did she understand the nature of the charge made against her. After some hesitation she replied in the affirmative, and when asked to plead said she was guilty. At the suggestion of his Lordship, and on advice of counsel that plea was withdrawn, and one of not guilty submitted.

Mr COTTINGHAM, addressed the jury saying it rested upon the defence to prove insanity and on that point witnesses of the highest possible character would be called by Mr CONNELL, he sincerely trusted that his friend would be able to convince the jury that the woman was insane, and asked them to consider most gravely the evidence that would be given

Witnesses James DODD, surveyor, Liverpool, James and Henry HARDING, who lived in Gorsey Lane, Harriet WHARTON, next door neighbour, Joseph SWIFT, carter of Sefton, Det HOYLE, stationed at Seaforth, who all gave the evidence as given at the inquest. Dr FITZPATRICK, who had known the prisoner for six years, was of the opinion she was insane at the time she killed her children

Mr McCONNELL, addressed the jury for the defence, he did not propose to appeal to them, the facts spoke more strongly than any words of his could. The officer who proved the arrest had told them the condition in which he found the unfortunate woman, this was corroborated by the still more valuable evidence of Dr FITZPATRICK who said he had found her insane.

He had present Dr WIGGLESWORTH and Dr BEAMISH, gentlemen of wide experience in mental ailments who would be called to give evidence. He submitted that then this case would be complete and he would be entitled to ask them to say that the prisoner was insane when she committed the crime.

Dr WIGGLESWORTH, of Rainhill Asylum, stated, that he examined the prisoner in Walton Jail on the 3rd of March, he had read the depositions and had heard the evidence and was undoubtedly of the opinion that when the woman committed the act she was not responsible for her actions. Corroborative evidence was given by Dr BEAMISH of Walton Jail

His Lordship in summing up said, that there was no question that the child met its death at the hands of its mother. The law presumed a person sane until the contrary was proved to a jury, and in this case there seemed to be very strong evidence indeed that this poor creature was not accountable for her actions.

The jury at once returned a verdict to the effect that the prisoner committed the act, but, that she was insane at the time.

His Lordship then ordered that the prisoner should be detained as a criminal lunatic until the pleasure of her Majesty is known.

The indictment as regards the second child was not proceeded with and the prisoner was immediately conducted from the dock, his Lordship having gained an application that her husband should be allowed to see her.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby lynne99 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:42 pm

Thanks Filsgreen. I have been missing these stories. Thanks for finding the time to post. I wonder where Joe is, I do hope he is not ill.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby filsgreen » Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:45 pm

I hope so too, Lynne. I.e-mailed Joe via the forum a few months back, but as yet have not heard anything. :(

Phil
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby lynne99 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:51 pm

Tell him that we all love him and miss his avatar (I do hope that is the correct name for the little picture. :D
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