Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

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

Postby Shelagh » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:28 am

Such a sad case, don't think anyone could pass judgement on the mother of Alice, the circumstances were impossible to contemplate!
Coroner, Samuel Brighouse, seemed to be a very principled man!

Thanks for another interesting story, Joe!
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:25 pm

Thanks for your comments Phil and Shelagh, they are much appreciated. :wink:
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:29 pm

Cholera, Murder and Attempted Suicide
A grief stricken man whose wife and daughter died of cholera killed his two other children before attempting suicide himself.

Patrick Culkin was a schoolmaster from Carlow in Ireland who like many others, fled the famine in the 1840s and settled in Liverpool with his wife and three children. Unable to find work, thirty four year old Patrick fell upon hard times and was forced to seek parish relief to feed his family.

On the morning of Wednesday 1st August 1849 seven year old Sarah Culkin died of cholera at the family's home in a court off Oriel Street, Vauxhall. The following day Mrs Culkin died of the same disease. A neighbour named Jane Kane did what she could to help, but Patrick said he could not live without his wife and refused to even accept a cup of tea.

Image Oriel Street as it is today.



On the Friday afternoon Jane went to see how Patrick was and found the door locked. With the help of neighbours, she got in through a window and found Patrick lying on the bed with his arm around the body of his wife. He was barely alive and on another bed were the dead bodies eight year old James and eleven month old Catherine, their throats cut.

Patrick was taken to the Northern Hospital in a state of semi consciousness, calling out on the way to God so that he could be taken to his wife and children. The four bodies were examined by a local surgeon, Dr Kilner. Sarah and her mother had been laid out as if for burial, while the two other children had been dead for some hours, their throats cut from one end to the other.

The inquest took place on 6th August before the borough coroner Mr P F Curry. Mrs Cain told how Patrick had been a loving husband and father but his mood changed immediately with the death of his wife and he said he would never again eat meat in this world. Dr Kilner said that the throat wounds could not have been self inflicted.

Another neighbour Ellen Bent recalled how on the day of his wife's death Patrick had said he could not live any longer and that she should not be alarmed if she read anything bad about him on the papers. On the morning of the killings, Patrick told her how he had been to the Harp pub on Vauxhall Road and been given wine and brandy by the landlord as charity.

Mr Lea from the parish recalled that on the Thursday he had gone to the house and saw Sarah's body lying on the table and Patrick and his two remaining children on the bed next to the corpse of his wife. Mr Lea told him to get up as it was dangerous to lie next to a dead body and that he would arrange for the interment. When he returned that evening with some food, Patrick said that he was awaiting some money from his sister in the Isle of Man and would arrange the burials himself. Mr Lea told the Coroner that he did not fear for Patrick's welfare and apart from the ordinary dejection resulting from his loss, there was nothing unusual in his manner.

As Mr Curry was about to sum up, a female stepped forward to say that Patrick was a friend of her husband and had visited their house in Hanover Street on the Thursday night. She was ordered to give her evidence on oath and testified that Patrick had told them he had lost two of his closest friends and if he said more it would lead to astonishment. The female said she was of the opinion Patrick was of unsound mind at the time.

The Coroner told the jury that they were unable to determine on Patrick's state of mind, that was for the assizes to decide. Referring to it as a 'most frightful case' he said that the only verdict they could return was one of wilful murder against Patrick, who was described by the Liverpool Mail as of 'superior attainment' and well respected in his neighbourhood.

The assizes were due to start just two days later but with Patrick still in hospital under police supervision his case could not be heard. It was another month before he was discharged to Kirkdale gaol to await his trial which took place on 14th December. On being asked to enter a plea, he replied 'I am not conscious of having done it, surrounded with death as I was, my poor wife and daughter - my favourites.' A plea of not guilty was recorded and as was customary at the time, Patrick was tried only for the murder of one of the victims, his daughter Catherine.

For the prosecution, Mr James described the case as 'the most heartrending and painful'. He told the jury that he would simply relay the facts and let them decide as to Patrick's state of mind. Patrick was described as someone of 'kindness and affection' who had fallen into 'extreme destitution'. Mr James went on to say that the cholera had taken many in Liverpool and the Kingdom that autumn and this led to Patrick telling others he could not survive his loss. He told the jury that the only decision they had to make was as to the state of mind of Patrick at the time of the killings.

Jane Cain and Mrs Bent were both called to give evidence about the events in the immediate aftermaths of the deaths of Patrick's wife and eldest daughter. Jane said that Patrick had been talking to the corpses as if they were still alive and even opened Sarah's eyes. Mrs Bent described him as deranged and a doctor from the Northern Hospital felt he was not of sound mind from the time of admission.

Mr Justice Wightman summed up by saying that this was one of the most lamentable and painful that had ever come before a court. He asked the jury to set aside feeling and instead decide if Patrick could distinguish between right and wrong at the time of the killings. If they believed that the distress of mind, coupled with lack of sleep and food, had made the mind so unsettled then a verdict of insanity could be returned. On the other hand, if they felt that Patrick was sane then they would have to find him guilty of murder, no matter how painful that could be.

It took just a few minutes deliberation for the jury to acquit Patrick on the grounds of insanity. He was then detained until Her Majesty's pleasure be known.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby filsgreen » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:38 am

Good grief Joe, these stories get grimmer. :(
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:22 pm

Joe, without doubt, the saddest story yet (won't call it a murder) too tragic for that, how utterly dreadful for that family :cry:
Conditions in those courts "Vauxhall" not fit for human inhabitation, hardly surprising, people dropping dead of cholera and other diseases..no wonder the poor man lost his mind!!
Sad end to a loving family!!

Thanks for sharing the history, Joe!
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby lynne99 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:40 am

I agree with the others so sad. Thanks for the history. Do we have a map as to where Oriel Road was. Was it near Gascoyne st?
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:27 pm

There you go, Lynne, as requested. :wink:

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

Postby lynne99 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:53 pm

You spoil me Joe. I did not realise that cholera was so near to where my family lived. I suppose Gascoyne st had a different tap, because I don't recall any of mine dying from cholera in Liverpool.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:58 pm

Your welcome Lynne. :wink: :)
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:58 pm

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

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:05 pm

Runaway Boy Beaten to Death
A boy who tried to run away from home was beaten so severely by his father that he died from his injuries.

On 5th October 1887 Ann Murphy, who lived in Paget Street (off Boundary Street, where Beers Timber supplies is now), heard the son of a family who lodged with her screaming 'Father don't beat me I won't stop out anymore.'

Ann, a shoemakers wife, went next door to fetch the boy's mother. When they both returned his father Thomas Lazarus had gone out but tied the door so that his son, seven year old Edward, could not leave the room. His mother opened the door and took him to the Northern Hospital due to his distressed state. When he was undressed, his body was covered in bruises and he also had an open wound on his shin.
The Northern Hosptital.
Image

Edward remained in hospital and grew weaker in the coming days. On 15th October Thomas was apprehended by police at Nelson Dock where he worked as a labourer. He was taken to the hospital to witness his son make a deposition, in which Edward stated that he had been beaten with a strap. When Thomas was taken to the bridewell and charged with assault he replied 'I have nothing to say.'
Image

On 23rd October Edward died with his mother by his side. A postmortem determined that he had died as a result of blood poisoning, caused by an abscess from a bruise on the thigh.


An inquest took place two days later before the Coroner, Clarke Aspinall. Ann Murphy said that she was aware Edward had been brought home by the police earlier on the day in question, the fifth time in three weeks that this had happened. Dr Fisher, one of two doctors who carried out the postmortem, gave his opinion that considerable violence had been used and described four thick parallel strokes on Edward's back that were similar to what would be expected from a strap. The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter and Thomas was committed to trial at the assizes on a coroner's warrant.

Thomas appeared before Mr Justice Day on 14th November. He was found guilty of manslaughter but recommended to mercy by the jury. In sentencing Justice Day renowned for his tough sentences, said he could see no grounds for the jury's recommendation. He then sentenced Thomas to eighteen months imprisonment.

Whilst Thomas was in jail his wife gave birth to another child, Jeremiah, and on his release he took up employment as a marine fireman.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:44 pm

Dreadful, Joe, hate any form of violence, especially when it's used against a child,,
Seems that some of the fathers back then were very cruel, reminds me of "Her Benny"
Thanks for story Joe!!
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:32 pm

Thanks for your comment Shelagh i don't think you have to go that far back, when fathers used to leather their offspring. :x
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:16 pm

Brave Passer by Stops Killers Escape

A man who stabbed another drinker who had made inappropriate remarks about his friend's wife tried to flee the scene but hadn't bargained for a woman who refused to let him get away.

Langdale Street As it is Today.
Image

On Friday 19th December 1879 Hugh Knight, a forty-year-old journeyman saddler who lived in Langsdale Street in Everton, spent the evening drinking in the Great Eastern pub in nearby Canterbury Street. Whilst there he made some offensive marks about the wife of James Page, who was also in the pub, but further, no words were exchanged between the two.

Canterbury Street.As it is Today.
Image

The following night at around 10 pm Page went in the pub with two other men, William Martin and Edward Ashcroft. All three were too intoxicated for the barman to serve them and as a peace offering, Knight attempted to shake hands with Page and apologise for his words of the previous evening. Page though raised a clenched fist and replied 'I have got this for you tonight.'



A few moments later Knight left the pub and was jumped on by Ashcroft, who throttled him around the neck and threw him onto the floor. he followed this up with two kicks in the side as Knight lay on his back and Martin then kicked him in the legs but Page did nothing. A passer by named Mrs Grimes shouted to Ashcroft that he had killed a man but he shouted back 'You cow I will kill you too.' He then lifted Knight's head up and knocked it back down onto the pavement.

All three men walked away but Mrs Grimes followed them, leading to Ashcroft kicking her. This was a bad move as she then struck him three or four times with her basket and the commotion allowed police to arrive and apprehend them. Knight was taken by two policemen to the house of Dr Rutherford at 155 Islington but he was pronounced dead on arrival. A post-mortem revealed that he had died of effusion of blood at the base of the brain.

After an inquest returned a verdict of wilful murder against all three men they stood trial at the Liverpool assizes on 10th February 1880. Charges against page were immediately dropped, then after hearing the evidence, the defence said Martin could only be proved to have kicked Knight in the thigh. Accepting that Ashcroft was the main instigator, his counsel said it was a brawl and as no weapon was used then it should be a case of manslaughter, not murder.

Lord Chief justice Coleridge.
Image

After the jury acquitted Martin but convicted Ashcroft of manslaughter Lord Chief Justice Coleridge was damning with his sentencing remarks. He told the 38-year-old caster that his extreme brutality and deadly spirit might have justified a murder verdict. Saying that he needed to show others what he thought of such brutality in a civilised country, a sentence of twenty years penal servitude was then imposed. The judge also directed that Mrs Grimes should be paid a £5 reward for her courage and bravery.
Cheers Joe.
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