18th August 1861


A case of singular atrocity was this week tried in Chester. Two children, each eight years old, were charged with stripping and murdering a playfellow aged only two years and a half. Having undressed him, they forced him into a pool, and there beat him with a hedge stake till he fell from exhaustion, and was thus drowned.

The young villains appeared perfectly conscious of the crime. The jury returned a verdict of “Manslaughter,” but by what process of reasoning we are unable to explain. The Judge thereupon sentenced them each to one month’s imprisonment, and afterwards to five years in a reformatory.


Much excitement was created last night by the committal of another extraordinary outrage by a boy; and as the crime has followed so closely upon the trial of the two young urchins for the murder of their playmate at Stockport, the present case has caused a more than usually painful sensation.

From information rapidly gathered it seems that, last evening between seven and eight o’clock, two boys were at play on the sands in front of the house of Mr Holland, a magistrate for Cheshire, residing near the Magazines between New Brighton and Egremont, on this side of the Mersey, when a quarrel arose, and one of them pulled out a knife and thrust it into the neck of his playmate (a son of Mr Holland’s coachman). It penetrated the jugular vein, and it is said death was almost instantaneous. The blood flowed in torrents and the deceased never spoke after being stabbed.

The boy assassin is only about nine years old, and his victim somewhat younger. The perpetrator of this terrible outrage has been taken into custody. This is the third case of a similar character which has occurred within a few weeks.


A labouring man at Kingsbridge, with a loaf under his arm, was going down Fore-street, and in passing a young lady his foot caught in her crinoline. He stumbled and fell, and in so doing the loaf flew out of his arm and went through a large square of glass and broke it to pieces. The question now raised is, Who is to pay for the glass?

One thing is certain, that if there had been no crinoline the man would not have fallen, and the glass would not have been broken. Therefore, as the crinoline was the cause, the crinoline ought to pay the expenses.


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