23rd June 1861

THE MAN WHO HAD HIS BRAINS KNOCKED OUT AND WANTS THEM MUCH

George Delamotte, a man of 73, having the manners and appearance of a gentleman, despite his mean attire, and described as a lieutenant on half-pay in the East Middlesex Militia, was charged with assaulting Charles Broad, of 87 Fenchurch-street, and threatening to stab him with a carving knife.

As he was being placed at the bar he commanded the gaoler with some indignation to take his hands off him.

The complainant said on the afternoon of Saturday the prisoner came to his luncheon-bar and called for a glass of ale, which he drank and paid for. He helped himself to some bread and cheese while witness’s back was turned, and then called for another glass of ale, for which he paid.

On being asked to pay for the bread and cheese he went to the further end of the counter, and taking up a carving knife which lay there, threatened to rip him up.

He aimed a blow at him with the knife, but a gentleman who came in at the moment, seized the prisoner by the elbows from behind, and prevented him doing further mischief. He then dropped the knife, but afterwards, on a policeman being called in to take him into custody, struck the complainant a blow in the face. He was quite sober.

The back of the prisoner’s head was covered with blood from a wound there, and on being asked how it was inflicted, he said, speaking in a gentle but rather incoherent manner, it was done at the police station, where language too atrocious for him to repeat in court was used towards him and he was thrown upon his back. He had been in the British army all his life, and had not been used to such violence.

The hole, he added, into which he was put at the station, was foul almost beyond endurance. He had lived with Turks and brigands for years, but was never in so loathsome a place as that in which he had spent the last two nights. It was really a disgrace to the country. He continued to say he was very subject to fits, and hoped the Court would be moderate and gentle with him.

On being asked by the bench if any surgeon had seen the wound on his head, he replied, with a patronising air, “Oh no. I am my own doctor; I have had my brains knocked out once.” (A laugh.) The prisoner was about to add something when the alderman put a stop to his narrative and gave directions for his being placed under the care of the prison surgeon.

DARING ROBBERY AND CHARGE OF RAPE

A savage looking fellow, who gave the name of George Batcheldor, costermonger, residing at 1 Hadan-place, St Pancras, was charged before Mr D’Eyncourt with being concerned with Robert Hawkins and John Flaherty, two ill looking fellows, well known to the police, in stealing a brooch, money and other articles of Ann Colewell, and also with feloniously assaulting her.

Miss Colewell, who is a servant at Colney Hatch, came up from that place on Monday morning last for a holiday, and when she arrived at King’s-cross she fell in with a gang of fashionably dressed thieves, who treated her to something to drink.

Unfortunately she went with them the whole of the day, and in the evening she went into a public-house with the prisoners and some of their companions and there had some beer. There she was seen to be robbed of her purse and parasol, and the parties who were serving her advised her to go home, as she was then the worse for liquor.

The prisoners and their companions then took her to a beer-shop and had some beer, and one of the witnesses said that the prisoner Hawkins took a bottle from a female, and pouring the contents into the pot gave it to the prosecutrix to drink. She did so, and immediately afterwards became insensible, and was then carried by the prisoner Hawkins and another man into a low brothel in North-place, St Pancras, one of the worst places in the parish and a perfect disgrace, cases of robbery being of almost daily occurrence there—the prisoner Flaherty leading the way.

As soon as they got into the house the window-blinds were pulled down, and cries of “Murder” being heard, the police were communicated with, and three police-constables succeeded in apprehending the prisoners. From the appearance of the complainant’s dress there could be no doubt that a serious offence had been committed, but nothing could be ascertained from her, as she was then and for some time afterwards in an insensible state.

She was examined by Dr. Hopton, of Judd Street, Brunswick-square, who, though not going to the extent of saying that a rape had been committed, said that violence had been used towards her.  Mr D’Eyncourt said that it was evident that the girl had been most sadly used.

All the prisoners were known to Police-constable Cook, 198 S, as the worst of thieves, and one of them had been previously convicted.

16th June 1861

THE KINGSWOOD MURDER

A brutal murder was perpetrated on Monday night last at Kingswood, Surrey. What the motive, or by whom committed, does not as yet appear, there being no witness to the crime.

The Rev Mr Taylor, Incumbent of the church there, having had occasion to leave home, a Mrs Holliday undertook the charge of the place during the absence of the family. On Tuesday morning, when her husband went to visit her, he found his unfortunate wife lying on the floor, bound hand and foot. He applied his hand to her cheek, and found that to be cold, and he came to the conclusion that she was dead and brutally murdered. He sent to the village schoolmaster to solve the mystery for him. This oracle in turn sent for the police.

It appears that the murderers first cut a pane of glass from one of the front windows. It was evident that the person so engaged cut his fingers severely, for blood is apparent in more than one place upon the window frame. Being unsuccessful, the miscreants then went to the back of the house, and, having from the woodhouse obtained a portion of a rough tree which was intended to be cut up for firewood, placed it against the wall, and climbed by its means to the roof of the library, and were then enabled to reach the window of the room in which the unfortunate woman was sleeping. They smashed the window of the bedroom in which deceased slept. The noise probably awoke deceased, who no doubt made an alarm.

It would seem as if the murderers then dragged her from the head of the bed, as there is a streak of blood on the floor from the head to the foot of the bed, and bound her hands and feet very tightly. They then thrust an old brown woollen stocking into her mouth with so much violence as to force the tongue down to the glottis.

A formidable weapon was found in the room—a thick piece of yew, about twenty inches long, with a heavy knob at one end and a piece of cord to twist round the wrist at the other end. There were marks on her cheeks as if clutched by the finger nails of the murderers, probably done when forcing the stocking into her mouth.

No doubt robbery was the primary motive of the murderers, but it is rather singular that nothing was abstracted, This can be explained. Mr Crutchley, the Kingswood schoolmaster, had been called from his home on Monday evening, and did not return until nearly twelve o’clock. His house is only a few yards from the Rev Mr Taylor’s, and no doubt when he arrived at his residence the deed had just been committed, and the murderers were alarmed by the slamming of the two gates which lead to the schoolmaster’s cottage. They then probably decamped without being able to secure any of the plunder, which would otherwise have been at their mercy.

That two persons at least were engaged in this atrocious outrage is clear, as two separate sets of footmarks can be clearly distinguished on the flower-beds.

A HUSBAND SHOOTING HIS WIFE – DREADFUL MURDER

A dreadful tragedy took place on Monday night at the Hawkcliffe toll bar, about two miles from Keighley, on the Kendall-road.

At the toll house there resided John Holdsworth, about 37 years of age, his wife, Elizabeth Holdsworth, 40, and his daughter, Phillis, about 16 years of age. On Monday, a brother of Mrs Holdsworth, named Snowden, visited Holdsworth for the purpose of endeavouring to remove his sister to his own house, Mrs Holdsworth having suffered bad treatment at the hands of her husband.

About a quarter before six o’clock, Snowden had succeeded in getting his sister from the house. Holdsworth observed his wife and her brother go off, and called to his wife to come back; she refused and Holdsworth went into the chamber and deliberately fired a gun at his wife through the glass, shooting her dead on the spot, some of the contents of the gun having lodged in her heart, and her lungs having been shot through and through, even to the ribs and the spine.  Her brother was also wounded by some portion of the contents entering various parts of his body, including his face, head and breast, and he bled profusely, becoming covered in his own blood. Holdsworth had no sooner done this dreadful deed than he left the bar-house.

A policeman had passed a few minutes before, and on his attention being called to the murder, he started in pursuit of Holdsworth. He pursued him five miles over the hill and moor to Heyden, and there found him at his father’s house. He charged him with the murder of his wife. The prisoner replied, “Well, I have shot her and you may hang me where I am.”

The prisoner, who has dark hair, oval face, a complexion inclined to ruddy, and has a rather pleasant cast of countenance, was brought the same night to Keighley and a verdict of “Wilful murder” was returned on Wednesday morning.

SHOCKING MURDER IN A CHURCH

A dreadful murder was committed in the parish church at Blakeney, a village between the stations of Newnham and Oatcombe, on the South Wales line, last week.

The parish clerk, named Steele, left home to get some beer for supper, and, not returning, his wife went to the public-house in search of him. She was told he had been there, but left as soon as he got the ale.

Thinking he might have called at the church, which was on his way home, the wife went there, and found him lying on the floor strangled, his handkerchief tied in a tight knot round his neck.

Some strangers, supposed to be from the Forest of Dean, had been seen in the village during the day, and it is conjectured that they had entered the church for the purpose of stealing the plate, and that the clerk, observing the door open, went to see who was there, when the men attacked him.

They probably did not intend to commit murder, but, finding the man dead, they quitted the church in alarm, leaving their key in the door.

Everything in the church was found untouched. There were marks of a severe struggle having taken place.

9th June 1861

A CHILD SUFFOCATED IN A SEWER

On Tuesday week, a number of boys were playing about the grating of the main sewer in Handbridge, Chester, when it was determined to try who should go furthest into the sewer. They entered, and all of them came out again with the exception of a lad named Thompson. The boys who came out at once put the grating down and went home.

Search was made for the missing lad, but nothing could be seen of him. The sewers were opened and men went through them, but were unsuccessful in their search.

On Monday, one of the branch sewers was again opened, and a man went to the bottom of it, where he found the lad lying on his face, dead. He was very much disfigured, the rats having evidently been eating at his face.

INHUMAN MURDER AND MUTILATION OF A CHILD

On Thursday, a most revolting case of murder and mutilation of a female child was discovered under the following circumstances:—Mr George Taylor, who is employed in Lincoln’s Inn, was proceeding to that place soon after five o’clock in the morning, when his attention was directed by a companion to a bundle lying on the ground at the Carey-street entrance to the Inn. On untying the cloth they found a basket which contained a disfigured mass of human remains.

Information was immediately given to the policeman on duty, who, accompanied by Mr Taylor, removed the parcel to King’s College Hospital. On examination the contents were found to be the mutilated remains of a female child, apparently about a week old, which presented a frightful appearance, much more violence than was necessary to cause death having been used; the arms were elongated, and appeared to have been torn out from, the shoulder blade, and the head flattened and disfigured; the remains in other respects were those of a full grown infant.

Application is intended to be made to the Secretary for the Home Department to offer a reward to discover the inhuman murderer. The police have also received instructions to endeavour to trace the brutal monster.

CRUEL DESERTION OF CHILDREN BY THEIR FATHER

Edward Bartley, a lithographic printer, aged forty, was charged with deserting his two young children, and also with having cruelly treated them.

Mr Anderson, the assistant relieving officer of the Holborn union, said that on the 20th February last he received information that two children had been deserted at No 4, Leather lane, Holborn. He proceeded there, and found the prisoner’s two children, Catherine Bartley aged ten, and Alice Amelia Bartley, aged six, in a room by themselves, crying bitterly.

The children and the room were in a very dirty and miserable state, and they had but very little clothing, not nearly enough to keep them warm in that inclement weather. There was scarcely a vestige of furniture in the room, and there was no fire. He examined the children, and found their heads and bodies covered with vermin. When food was given them, they partook of it very ravenously.

Next day he found the defendant, and he came and took the children out. He was asked to stop in the house, so that he and his children might be passed to their proper parish, but he refused to remain.

On the 4th March last, a policeman brought the same two children to the Holborn union, and said he had found them deserted in the streets. When they were again admitted they were very dirty, half starved, and in an emaciated state from neglect. The defendant had since been out of the way.

That morning the witness received information that the defendant was cohabiting with a woman and two children in Drury-lane. Upon proceeding there Mr Anderson had great difficulty in finding him, as he was at first denied.

Mr Bartley’s wife was dead, but while she lived he had deserted her and his children in Southampton, and they had been in a workhouse at that place for nearly a twelvemonth.

The defendant, who repeatedly smiled while the evidence was being taken, and who treated the whole proceeding with the greatest levity, said that he had done the best he could for his children while he was in work, and he did not leave them until he was out of employ.

Mr Barker sentenced the prisoner, as a rogue and vagabond, to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for two months.

2nd June 1861

CRINOLINE ACCIDENT

Mrs Leybourre, of Ballart Hills, Sunderland, was assisting her husband to hook a sack of flour on to a moveable chain when her crinoline became entangled and drew her into the machinery. Both her legs were broken at the thigh before she could be rescued, and she likewise sustained severe injuries in other parts of her body. She was dressed out to go to the fair.

A BODY CONCEALED

Blood was noticed to be issuing from an oblong box, from which an unpleasant odour exuded, belonging to a female passenger on board the Herald steamer at Belfast. Inquiries were made, and the woman in charge acknowledged that the box contained the dead body of her sister. On opening the box it was found to contain a coffin, the interstices being filled with straw closely packed together. The woman said that she was taking the corpse to Glasgow to be buried there near her friends, and that she had concealed it in the manner described to save expenses.

A ROVING LIFE

At Bow-street Police Office on Saturday an elderly man, of gentlemanly appearance and address, who stated that his name was Ottley, applied to the magistrate under the following circumstances:—

He had served as an officer of Artillery for twenty-one years. The Government offered at that time what was called a “boon” to officers who had served for a certain number of years. This was the permission to sell their commissions and the grant of a piece of land in Canada. He accepted the offer, and when he went out to Canada he found that his property was fifteen miles from any human habitation; that the road to it lay for the greater part of the year under three or four feet of snow; and that the land itself was perfectly useless to him, being so covered with timber that it would require an enormous capital to clear it.

He then became manager and editor of the Ottawa Advertiser newspaper, after which he removed to Staten Island, and became Professor of Mathematics at Staten Island College. Subsequently he edited the New York Picayune for four years, and more recently he became editor of a newspaper at New Orleans. But when the recent disturbances broke out he was required to take an oath of allegiance to the new Southern (Secession) Confederacy, and to abjure his own country. This he refused to do; but finding that several persons who had so refused had been hanged on suspicion of being abolitionists, and that others were ignominiously expelled, he was obliged to make his escape and return to England.

After an absence of forty years from London he could find none of his old friends, and could get no employment. Mr Corrie regretted that he could do no more than give him some temporary assistance from the poor-box, and hoped that he might get some employment shortly.