Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Your place to talk about your Bootle memories

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

Postby everliver » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:10 pm

Joe,
Really enjoy this post and also so do some of my friends not from Bootle forum they also look forward to your posts.

Thank you, Joe,

Keep up the good work

Best Regards Bobby

All the best for Christmas and New year
everliver
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:20 am

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

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:51 am

Thanks very much for your kind words Bob, they are much appreciated. :D :D
And all the best to you and your's Bob. :) :D
Cheers Joe.
User avatar
fatboyjoe90
 
Posts: 4156
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: merseyside

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

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:49 pm

Painter Killed by Foreman's Punch
A labourer who was told there was no work available for him died after the foreman punched him for refusing to leave.

On the morning of 18th September 1887, a labourer named Joseph Peach turned up for work at the Black Bull Bridge in Walton which crossed the Cheshire Lines railway. However, he was told by the foreman Thomas Cook that he was late and there was no room for him on the scaffold.
Image

When 54-year-old Peach refused to go he was punched by Cook and fell four feet between some railings. When a workman shouted that a doctor was needed Cook said 'Let the bast*rd die.' A doctor arrived on the scene and Peach was taken into the Black Bull Inn, with strict instructions being given that he should into be moved.

Despite the doctor's order, Peach was then taken back to his Townsend Lane lodgings in an unconscious state by two painters who were staying nearby in Vicar Road. He died the following day at 6.10pm and Cook was taken into custody.

On 28th September a committal hearing took place at the magistrate's court. James Clarke and James Head, who had taken Peach back to his lodgings, admitted that they had not seen any punch thrown but just saw him lying on the floor. However, they could both state that Cook did not want to send for a doctor. Another painter, William Drury from Warrington, did say though that he had seen Cook strike Peach with a clenched fist. Dr Fleetwood, who had carried out a postmortem, said that death was down to effusion of blood on the brain and this could have been as the result of falling on a hard substance.

Cook was committed to the Assizes for trial and appeared before Mr Justice Day on 16th November. In his defence, Cook said he had just pushed Peach away as there was no room and he fell backwards. This led to him being found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to six months imprisonment.
Cheers Joe.
User avatar
fatboyjoe90
 
Posts: 4156
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: merseyside

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

Postby filsgreen » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:52 am

Thanks for the story and the great photo, Joe.
filsgreen
 
Posts: 3289
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 8:28 am

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

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:34 am

Thanks for that Phil. :wink:
Cheers Joe.
User avatar
fatboyjoe90
 
Posts: 4156
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: merseyside

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

Postby lynne99 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:24 am

Thanks as always Joe
lynne99
 
Posts: 1166
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:55 pm
Location: Rugby

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

Postby Shelagh » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:07 pm

Life was tough for some of those workmen back then. Imagine being punched to the ground for wanting work, then being refused a doctor. The foreman was lucky to get off with such a short sentence!

Thanks Joe!!
Shelagh
 
Posts: 2692
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 4:40 pm

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

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:06 pm

Thanks for your comments Lynne and Shelagh. :wink: :)
Cheers Joe.
User avatar
fatboyjoe90
 
Posts: 4156
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: merseyside

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

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:09 pm

Extraordinary Brutality at House of Ill Fame
A Christmas Day killing at a brothel led to the convicted woman being transported for life.

On 25th December 1859, a christening celebration took place at what was described in the Liverpool Mercury as a 'house of ill fame' in Comus Street.

Image
Number 6 court in Comus Street.

Shortly before midnight a lady called, Margaret Cross appeared outside and shouted for Mary Sullivan to come out and fight Margaret Welsh. Sullivan went out and persuaded Cross to come in the house. Once inside Cross was so drunk that she fell over but was helped up by Sullivan, who then pushed her into a room.

When Cross threw a candlestick at Sullivan it missed, leading to a furious reaction from the latter. Sullivan grabbed Cross by the hair, banged her head against a door and then threw her to the floor. She then continued the assault, kicking Cross in the chest and head as she lay defenceless. Pleading for her life, Cross cried that one more kick could finish her. Sullivan replied If that's what you want there it is' and kicked Cross in the head, causing her to lose consciousness.

Cross died before a surgeon from the Rosehill Dispensary made it to the house. After an inquest found that the cause of death was wilful murder by Sullivan, she was committed for trial on a coroner's warrant. Due to the killing had occurred as a result of a sudden quarrel, the judge Sir Hugh Hill ordered the jury to return a verdict of manslaughter.

Sullivan's lawyer pleaded for leniency, saying that she had been devoid of parental control for most of her life. However, when it came to sentencing there was no room for sympathy. The twenty-year-old had already been to prison eight times, five of them for violent offences. The judge told Sullivan that her crime was of the most grossly aggravated character using brutal violence and that she had shown little remorse. Dismissing her lack of moral upbringing as an excuse, he sentenced her to be transported for life.

As Sullivan was led from the dock she shouted to another female 'Be a good girl and God bless you'.
Cheers Joe.
User avatar
fatboyjoe90
 
Posts: 4156
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: merseyside

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

Postby filsgreen » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:32 pm

Transported for life to Australia, what a punishment, not. Did we send our murderers and ne'er do wells to any other country? Thanks for posting, Joe.
filsgreen
 
Posts: 3289
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 8:28 am

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

Postby Matt » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:24 pm

They used to send the convicts to the colonies in N. America before Australia Phil and even to Bermuda
Matt
Matt
 
Posts: 1407
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:02 pm
Location: vancouver island

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

Postby EdMcDonald » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:45 am

Matt wrote:They used to send the convicts to the colonies in N. America before Australia Phil and even to Bermuda
Matt


None came to Alberta. Maybe BC got lots and lots and lots. :wink:
Home of the "Edmonton Oilers"
EdMcDonald
 
Posts: 1175
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:09 pm
Location: Sherwood Park Alberta Canada

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

Postby filsgreen » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:20 am

Thanks for the info, Matt. :D
filsgreen
 
Posts: 3289
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 8:28 am

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

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:49 pm

Thanks for the info guys. :wink:
Cheers Joe.
User avatar
fatboyjoe90
 
Posts: 4156
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: merseyside

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

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:06 pm

At around 2 am on Sunday 21st July 1912 Police Constable George Smith was passing Wavertree Lake (now a park) when he heard groaning. He waded into the lake and the water was up to his shoulders by the time he saw the outstretched arm of a lady who was clearly struggling. He managed to swim with her to a shallower part of the lake and another constable helped him pull her ashore.

The lady was insensible but when she regained consciousness was wailing 'Oh my baby'. PC Smith then went back into the lake with grappling irons and half an hour later located the body of a baby boy. Enquiries established that the woman was Charlotte Heather, who lived with her husband, an electrician, in Cronton Road.

On 1st August the inquest took place. Charlotte's district nurse Elsie Williams said that she was often strange and bewildered in her manner and would worry about money. Such was Charlotte's mental state that Elsie would often sleep overnight at the property and once she had woken up in a trembling fit, saying both her and the baby had the fever.

Charlotte Heather.
Image

At the direction of the coroner, a verdict of wilful murder against Charlotte was returned. They asked if a rider could be added that she was temporarily insane, but the coroner stated it was not their duty to determine the mental state of the prisoner. He did assure them that full consideration would be given to this at the assizes and then commended PC Smith for his prompt actions on rescuing Charlotte and recovering the baby's body.

Cronton Road.
Image

On 1st November Charlotte appeared at the Liverpool Assizes. She told the jury that she had been in bed and heard a voice calling her to see her sister. She can remember sitting by the side of the lake but nothing after that. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty and she was immediately discharged from the dock. She returned to her husband and four years later the couple had another child, a baby girl called Bronwen.
Cheers Joe.
User avatar
fatboyjoe90
 
Posts: 4156
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: merseyside

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

Postby filsgreen » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:48 pm

Sad story, Joe, but at least there was a good outcome for the woman.
filsgreen
 
Posts: 3289
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 8:28 am

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

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:05 am

Thanks for that Phil. :wink:
Cheers Joe.
User avatar
fatboyjoe90
 
Posts: 4156
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: merseyside

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

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:16 am

Son Kills Mother With Hammer

A man who killed his mother by battering her with a hammer was declared insane and detained at His Majesty's pleasure.

Shortly before 9 am on the morning of Saturday 15th January 1916 a man walked into the police office in Dale Street and said that he had hit his mother with a hammer at their home in 10 Thames Street, off Lodge Lane. Communication was made with Lark Lane police station and officers from there went round to the property, where they found 64-year-old Mary Ann Christian in her bed, her head covered in blood. Elsewhere in the bedroom, there was a blood-stained hammer.

Image
Thames Street, as it is today.

Mary was rushed to the Royal Infirmary but pronounced dead on arrival. Back at Dale Street her son, 31-year-old Herbert Christian, was told at 1050am that he was being charged with the murder of his mother. His reply was 'Thank God she is away from all this persecution. God have mercy upon us.' Herbert was taken to the police court where the Stipendiary Magistrate Stuart Deacon, remanded him for eight days.

Four days after she was killed, Mary was buried at Toxteth Park Cemetery, while the inquest took place on 26th January before the Deputy Coroner Mr A.G Inglis. The first witness was William Christian, Mary's husband. He said he had gone to work at 530am on the morning of the murder and his son was sound asleep. After explaining how he had been told to return home from his work after his wife had died, he said that Mary's mother had spent 22 years in the Rainhill asylum and that he had been married to his wife for 35 years. Asked how Herbert felt about his mother, William responded that he was fond of her and was worried about her welfare should he be called up for army service.

Herbert's wife Maud said that Herbert and his mother had no problems when they lived together but that he had been peculiar of mind in recent times. He had worked as a tram conductor and then a cleaner for Liverpool Corporation Tramways. His foreman from the Dingle tramsheds, Mr Young, confirmed that he had been hard-working and diligent, but resigned before Christmas as he believed colleagues did not like him.

Image
Mary Christian murder victims grave Toxteth Cemetery.

The deputy coroner told his jury that they only had to determine how Mary met her death, not Herbert's state of mind. This led to them returning a verdict that she had died as a result of injuries inflicted by Herbert.

Herbert was back at the police court on 3rd February when he was committed to the Manchester Assizes for trial. His wife gave evidence, saying he and his mother were devoted to each other but that he had been of strange mind lately. She said that on one occasion he had accused her of tampering with his food and that he was convinced that work colleagues were conspiring against him.

On 21st February Herbert appeared at the Manchester Assizes where it was said he was suffering delusions and incapable of instructing counsel. He was declared unfit to plead by the jury and ordered by the judge to be detained during His Majesty's pleasure.
Cheers Joe.
User avatar
fatboyjoe90
 
Posts: 4156
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: merseyside

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

Postby filsgreen » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:22 am

Thanks for that, Joe. :D
filsgreen
 
Posts: 3289
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 8:28 am

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

Postby Elaine Goulding » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:10 am

Joe, really enjoying this thread. Keep the stories coming!
Elaine
Elaine
Bianca Street, Bootle - moved to Canada 1982
Elaine Goulding
 
Posts: 842
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:51 am
Location: Canada

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

Postby lynne99 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:51 am

I agree with both of the above. You really brighten people's lives with all your postings, but for me this is the best. Lynne
lynne99
 
Posts: 1166
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:55 pm
Location: Rugby

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

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:25 am

Thanks for your kind comments Phil, Elaine and Lynne. :wink: :D :D
Cheers Joe.
User avatar
fatboyjoe90
 
Posts: 4156
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: merseyside

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

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:21 am

Man Cuts Daughter's Throat

Joseph Spooner was hanged in 1914 for killing his daughter by cutting her throat in a rare incidence of a defendant pleading guilty to murder despite knowing what awaited him.

Image
liverpool courier 27th feb 1914.

On the afternoon of 26th February 1914 three-year-old Elizabeth Ann Spooner was found by a girl on her way home from school in the rear yard of her family home in Oliver Street, Edge Hill, the site of which is now occupied by Renshaw Napier foods. Her throat was cut and she was bleeding heavily, but still alive. Elizabeth's father Joseph Spooner, who was estranged from his wife Catherine, was arrested whilst still wearing blood-stained clothes at a lodging house in nearby Upper Parliament Street. He was taken to Great George Street police station where he was charged with attempted murder.

In the early hours of the following morning Elizabeth died at the Royal Infirmary and Spooner, a dock labourer, had his charge increased to murder and he made his first appearance before the stipendiary magistrate at Liverpool City Police Court, showing no emotion during the brief proceedings.

Image
Joseph Spooner

The following week at the Coroner's Court Catherine Spooner's sister Jane Horton, who lived at 71 Oliver Street, told how Joseph had been estranged from his wife since the previous December and had not complied with a maintenance order to pay for the upkeep of his six children. Describing Spooner as of drunken habits, she still said he was fond of his children and visited to buy sweets for them. She told how on the day in question, Spooner had taken Elizabeth to buy sweets at about 11.30am but an hour and a half later she was advised that the girl had been found with her throat cut.

Several other witnesses told how they had seen Spooner with Elizabeth and a shopkeeper said that they had been in her shop together to buy sweets. Detective Sergeant Arthur Jones told the court that on being charged Spooner had replied 'I don't know what made me do it. I threw the knife into the midden.' The jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against Spooner and he was committed to the assizes on a capital charge.

Image
Justice Bray.
On 21st April Spooner appeared before Mr Justice Bray at the assizes in St George's Hall. Despite the gravity of his situation, Spooner pleaded 'guilty', leading to some discussion between his counsel and the court clerk as this was a highly unusual occurrence, one that had only occurred once or twice in the last ten years. With his counsel being unable to persuade Spooner to change his plea it was accepted and Bray donned the black cap and sentenced him to death, being interrupted at one point by Spooner asking him to speak a little louder.

Spooner's guilty plea meant no motive was ever established for the killing, although the prosecution had suggested in preliminary hearings that by hurting his daughter it was a way of getting back at his wife. Spooner showed no emotion as he was led from the dock and on 14th May he was hanged at Walton by William Willis.
Cheers Joe.
User avatar
fatboyjoe90
 
Posts: 4156
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: merseyside

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

Postby dorothy834 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:29 pm

Joe..looking at the judge justice Bray above I can see why
Judges would of been refared to as the ""Beak"...
Wonder if there was a connection with the Bray's of Bootle?
dorothy834
User avatar
dorothy834
 
Posts: 1345
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:50 pm

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

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:35 pm

Hiya Dorothy, Did you mean Vera Bray the former Mayoress of Bootle 1967-68? :wink: :D
Cheers Joe.
User avatar
fatboyjoe90
 
Posts: 4156
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: merseyside

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

Postby dorothy834 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:23 am

Yes Joe..could of been..
Was Vera Bray mayoress in her own right or was she
Connected with Hugh Baird..just can't remember
We have a Sheila on the forum a relative I think
Off to bed now you can sit and ponder with that
Nite nite...Dorothy
dorothy834
User avatar
dorothy834
 
Posts: 1345
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:50 pm

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

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:43 am

Hiya Dorothy Vera Bray was the first lady Mayoress of Bootle 1967-68. :D
Hugh Baird was Mayor in 1959-1960. :D
Cheers Joe.
User avatar
fatboyjoe90
 
Posts: 4156
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: merseyside

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

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:27 am

Toxteth Mother Kills Her Baby
A tragedy occurred in the Granby area of Toxteth in 1891 when a mother killed her 5-month baby during a temporary bout of insanity.

On the afternoon of Wednesday 4th, February Sergeant Calten was on duty in Kingsley Road when he was approached by a screaming woman named Catherine Groarke. She had blood covered hands and told him she had killed her baby because the devil had taken it.

After taking Catherine into Kingsley Road police station he went to her home address of 67 Cairns Street where he made the gruesome discovery of 5-month-old Ada Groarke lying dead in a bathtub. Her throat had been cut severing the windpipe and a bloodstained carving knife was on the floor. Two other children, aged 5 and 18 months were in the house and they were left in the care of a constable while a doctor was sent for to certify death.

Image
67 Cairns Street.

Sergeant Calten formally charged Catherine with murder and she responded by saying that her children wouldn't stop crying and she had intended to then take her own life by drinking a solution of water and lit matches. At 9 pm Catherine's husband Thomas, a draper in Bon Marche, returned home to the tragic scene.

Catherine appeared before Mr Justice Day at the next Liverpool Assizes on Friday 13th March. She wept bitterly throughout the proceedings, during which Dr Wigglesworth from the Rainhill asylum told how there had been a history of insanity in her family and that she had always treated her children kindly. He concluded that she was 'undoubtedly insane' at the time of the killing and did not know that what she was doing was wrong.

After the jury returned a verdict of 'guilty but not responsible' Justice Day detained Catherine at Her Majesty's Pleasure.
Cheers Joe.
User avatar
fatboyjoe90
 
Posts: 4156
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: merseyside

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

Postby filsgreen » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:33 am

I didn't know Bon Marche had been going that long, thanks Joe.
filsgreen
 
Posts: 3289
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 8:28 am

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

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:31 pm

Thanks for your comments Phil. :wink: :D :D
Cheers Joe.
User avatar
fatboyjoe90
 
Posts: 4156
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: merseyside

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

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:01 pm

Man Hanged For Beating Toddler to Death
On 9th September 1911 two-year-old Lucy Kennedy was beaten so badly with a belt by Michael Fagan that she died of her injuries two days later and Fagan was hanged for the crime.

27-year-old dock labourer Fagan lived at 128 Arlington Street, Kirkdale (now occupied by houses in Lapworth Street). Lodging with them was Mary Kennedy and her daughter Lucy.
Image

On the afternoon of 9th September, Mary and Annie went shopping leaving Fagan in charge of the two young children. Around 6 pm Annie returned home to find that Fagan was nowhere to be seen, but Lucy was lying on the bed with severe injuries, including black eyes and cuts on her buttocks. She was taken to the Stanley Hospital but died later that evening.

When Fagan returned drunk he was arrested, telling the police 'I used the belt but not with the intention of doing any harm, it was not used violently.' However, it took the jury just half an hour to return a guilty verdict when he appeared before the Liverpool Assizes on 7th November, although they recommended mercy on the grounds Fagan had been drunk.

The jury's surprising recommendation was not upheld by the Home Secretary and Fagan was hanged at Walton Gaol on 6th December.
Cheers Joe.
User avatar
fatboyjoe90
 
Posts: 4156
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: merseyside

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

Postby lynne99 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:07 pm

What thug, drunk or not could hit a 2 year old so hard with a belt that they die. :( Bless her
lynne99
 
Posts: 1166
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:55 pm
Location: Rugby

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

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:06 pm

Thanks for your comment Lynne, alcohol played a big part in all crimes committed back in those days. :cry:
Cheers Joe.
User avatar
fatboyjoe90
 
Posts: 4156
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: merseyside

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

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:13 pm

Children Find Mother Kicked To Death

A terrible tragedy that occurred amidst squalor and deprivation took place in 1891 when a mother was kicked to death by her husband who was later convicted of her manslaughter.

Mary Jane Miller lived in a court in Harding Street, which was situated off Falkner Street, along with her husband John and five children, whose ages ranged from three to sixteen. Times were especially hard for the family and John was put out of work in August 1891, leading to a temporary break up of the marriage in early November when Mary and the children moved out for a few days. During this time John sold most of the furniture, squandering what he had managed to get for it on drink.

Image
Falkner Street

On Friday 13th November John and Mary drank in a neighbour's house, where an argument broke out about the furniture, leading to John rising up to strike Mary, only for the neighbour to intervene. At 2 pm the couple were seen walking arm in arm across the court and this was the last time Mary was seen alive. The couple's children returned home from school at 4 pm, and John gave them 2d to get him some ale, then asked that they chop some wood so the chips could be sold for a further 2d which was also spent on drink. He did this whilst the body of Mary lay by his side, but the children did not notice that she was dead.

That night the children were put to bed by John on a bed of straw in the upstairs room. They were so tired by their work they fell asleep quickly, but the following morning the eldest son (12-year-old John) awoke at 7 am to see that his father wasn't there and that his mother was cold and clearly dead, her face covered in blood. John and his 10-year-old brother James raised the alarm with neighbours and police officers and a doctor arrived, but it was confirmed that Mary had been dead for several hours and a hatchet was found underneath a sack.

John was quickly located at his brother-in-law's house in Mann Street, where he begged to be able to kiss his children one last time before being taken into custody. He was taken to the police headquarters at Dale Street and appeared before the Stipendiary Magistrate Mr Stewart two days later charged with murder.

Back in Harding Street, crowds gathered outside the house when news spread of the killing. Mary's body was removed to the Prince's Dock mortuary, with the two oldest children (John and 16-year-old Sarah) remaining at the house being looked after by a neighbour. The younger ones were placed in the care of a children's home in Islington, and all were allowed to see the body of their mother.

John's trial took place at the next Liverpool Assizes on 10th December, with his two eldest children in tears as they gave evidence. John told how he had found his mother dead on a Saturday morning, having known she had failed to answer any questions the night before. Sarah told how she was at her aunt's in Mann Street when her father came round in an agitated state, saying that her mother was dead and he didn't know how. Dr Wigglesworth from the Rainhill Asylum told the court that there was a history of insanity in John's family and that he was of 'low mental organisation'.

In summing up, Mr Justice Lawrence told the jury that there was no evidence to say that John was mentally ill, but if he had drunk himself into such a stupor that he had no control over himself, then a verdict of manslaughter could be returned. It took the jury half an hour to find Miller guilty of manslaughter and Justice Lawrence didn't mince his words during sentencing, telling him that he had committed a crime 'under circumstances of greater horror it was impossible to conceive.' Telling Miller that if there was something wrong with his mind it would be taken care of, he imposed a term of 25 years penal servitude.
Cheers Joe.
User avatar
fatboyjoe90
 
Posts: 4156
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: merseyside

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

Postby Shelagh » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:02 pm

Thanks for another set of historic murders, Joe!
Background information (newspaper reports) really helping to give insight into the harsh conditions of the times.
Recall reading about an account book given to a number of dockers wives..late 1800/1900s.
The women were paid a small fee for participating in the scheme, they were required to keep account of all money coming into the household, and amount of money going out..
Incredible to believe, but hardly anything coming in, most of the men’s wages being spent on beer/Gin and tobacco..
Very seldom any-money left for rent or food.
Days of the gin palaces of Liverpool were here to stay, they were certainly flourishing.
Amount of cases involving poverty, neglect and murder...hardly surprising!!

Keep them coming Joe!
Shelagh
 
Posts: 2692
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 4:40 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Talk about the History of Bootle here

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests