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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:20 pm 
Spider Lady
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Location: Staffordshire
Burnley Express
Wednesday 23 October 1889

Curious Case At Briercliffe

A Charge Of Causing Grevious Bodily Harm To A Wife

"He Thought She Would Never See The Light Of Day Again"

On Friday evening, Police-sergeant Gornall, stationed at Brierfield, was informed that serious injury had been done to a woman by her husband at Briercliffe. He accordingly went over to the place, and, on arrival at the house, found the woman in an unconscious state. After several endeavours to obtain a medical man but being unable to do so at the moment, and the woman showing no sign of recovery, a magistrate visited the house of the injured woman, Mary Sagar, wife of James Sagar, weaver, Jubilee-terrace, Briercliffe, on Saturday evening, in company with Supt. Barnett, and her depositions were taken, the husband afterwards being taken into custody by P.S. Gornall. The woman was afterwards medically attended by Dr. Hallowes. Consequently, on Monday, at the County Police Court, James Sagar was brought before J. Howorth and G. Sutcliffe, Esqrs., charged with inflicting actual grevious bodily harm to his wife. -Mr. J. Smith, (on behalf of Mr. Waddington) defended, and after formal evidence by P.S. Gornall and Dr. Hallowes - who said the wife would be able to appear on the morrow - he was remanded till the following day, bail being allowed, himself in £5 and one surety of £5.
Yesterday morning he was again brought before J. Howorth and J. Baron, Esqrs., when Mr. Waddington defended.
Mary Sagar, wife of the prisoner, being called, said that on Friday night, the 18th inst., about 20 minutes past six o'clock, she went to the back of the house with her husband. The prisoner was getting his tea and she was ironing. The little boy came in having lost his cap, and that caused some words between herself and the prisoner. Witness went out to the boy's aunt about his cap but the aunt went in and shut the door. Witness on her return home began to call the prisoner's sister names and he got up to strike her. She did not know whether he hit her or not. She ran at him as he was coming to her and got hold of him. She then tried to throw him down. She felt no blow but he got hold of her and tried to throw her down. They both struggled towards the cradle and fell on to the fender, rolling off on to the floor.
Supt. Barnett: Did you become unconscious? -Mr. Waddington objected, contending that Mr. Barnett could not corss-examine the witness. -Mr. Barnett: I am not cross-examining. -Mr. Waddington: Well, if asking questions is not cross-examining I don't know what is.
Mr. Barnett (to witness): After you fell do you remember anything? -Witness: No. -Mr. Barnett: For how long? -Witness: I do not know. -Mr Barnett: You have been attended by Dr. Hallowes? -Witness: Yes. -Mr. Barnett: You are under his treatment now, I think? -Witness: Yes. -Mr. Barnett: Have you quite recovered from your injuries now? -Witness: Yes. -Mr. Barnett: And you are now able to follow your employment? -Witness: Yes.
By Mr. Waddington: She had been subject to sick fits all her life. She did not know whether she dealt her husband a blow on the chest with a flat iron or not, and did not notice that he was spitting blood. Her husband had attended to her after the affair. She had stated that the injury was done by falling. On the Saturday she walked, being supported, to her mother's house, about 100 yards distant. Her husband was a kind man, and went to his work regularly, bringing home his wages. She had four children.
Nanny Mason, wife of Amos Mason, a tackler, of Granville-street, Harle Syke, Briercliffe, stated that she went to the house for her child, which was nursed there. The prisoner and his wife were talking, but she did not take particular notice of them. The prisoner then got up from his seat and seized hold of his wife. They both fell over the cradle, and the woman fell with her head on the fender. Witness ran out and screamed, and got Mrs. Heys to come in. -Cross examined by Mr. Waddington: She did not go back to the house again. -Mr. Barnett: You were afraid, I believe, and ran out? -Witness:Yes. -Mr. Waddington objected to this questioning. -Mr. Barnett: Just kindly say what was the first thing you saw. -Witness: I saw nothing until they got hold of one another. -The Bench: You said there was a conversation going on; was it of an angry kind? -Witness: I never took any notice of it. -The Bench: But you said you saw them tumble on the fender? -Witness: Yes, I did, when they got hold of each other.
John William Heyes, a twister, who resided with his mother, next door to the prisoner, stated that he was getting his tea with his mother, when he heard the prisoner and his wife talking. His mother then went to see what was the matter and when witnesses got to the door Nanny Mason was screaming out "He is killing our Mary." He then went into the prisoner's house and found Mary Sagar on the floor. His mother was kneeling beside her, and the prisoner was on top of her. The head of the woman was against the fender. Witness pulled the prisoner off his wife. Witness' mother told the prisoner that he had killed his wife. He thought she was in a fit.She was unconscious and never spoke nor looked.
A woman named Mrs. Duerden came into the room and witness put the prisoner's wife upon a chair. Mrs. Duerden left the house with the intention of bringing a policeman, and witness followed her to the Police Station. Afterwards witness went for Dr. Hallowes.
Mr. Waddington: You thought she was in a fit? -Witness: I did not think she would ever see daylight any more. -Mr. Waddington: You thought she was dead? -Witness: Yes.
Mary Ann Heap, a widow residing at 74. Jubilee-terrace, Briercliffe, stated that she was disturbed by heairng a noise, and on going outside she met Nanny Mason, who seemed afraid of something. Witness then went into the prisoner's house, and saw Mrs. Sagar lying on the floor. Her head was against the fender, and the prisoner was lying on top of her. Witness called out "Jim, what the - has tha been doing," and the prisoner did not reply. Witness tried to get the prisoner off his wife, and then her son gothold of him and pulled him off Mrs. Sagar. Witness said: "Nay, Jim, thou hast killed her this time." The prisoner made no reply but took his cap and went out of the door. -Mr. Barnett: What state was Mrs. Sagar in? -Witness: She was laid on the floor and could not speak. She was unconscious. -Mr. Barnett: You were with her for some time? -Witness: Yes. -Mr. Barnett: How long were you with her? -Witness: I do not know that; I came out of the house before nine o'clock, and then I was in again during the night. -Mr. Barnett: How was she during the time you were there? -Witness: She did not speak at all to me properly until Saturday noon. -Mr. Barnett: You saw her frequently both on Friday night and Saturday? -Witness: Yes. -Cross examined by Mr. Waddington: She was with her until her husband came home and took charge of her.
Alice Jordan, wife of Wm. Jordan, 115, Burnley-road, Harle Syke, Briercliffe, mother of the prisoner's wife, said that from something she had heard she went into her daughter's house between six and seven o'clock and met the prisoner coming out. She asked him what he was doing and he replied "I'll let tha see what I have agate." Witness went into the prisoner's kitchen and found his wife on the floor. She was lying flat on her back. Her head was towards the fender. She did not speak and appeared unconscious. Witness was with her until two o'clock in the morning. During the night she did not speak at all. She did not regain consciousness until the Saturday.
Dr. Hallowes said he had examined her, and found she was suffering from concussion of the brain; and P.S. Gornall stated the circumstances under which he arrested the husband.
The prisoner was then formally charged and replied that it was his wife who threw him down, and Mr. Waddington addressed the Bench on the prisoner's behalf.
The magistrates were of opinion that the evidence was of such a conflicting nature the prisoner should have the benefit of the doubt, and he was accordingly discharged.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:24 am 
Genealogist in Waiting
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"I'll let tha see what I have agate"......... wonder why that was the only quote in dialect.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:27 am 
Genealogist in Waiting
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Mel.......how many hours do you spend searching through these old newspapers?? Give me a hint how I can access those archived papers and search for 'my' names....remember, I am just larnin'. :?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:48 am 
Spider Lady
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Find my past UK has the British Newspaper Archive Sue. The search function is reasonable. I don't spend all that lng searching but transcribing can take a while depending on the length of the article. It's the longer articles that are the most interesting.

I wonder if the Masons mentioned are related to your Willie Mason?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:09 pm 
Sage of Simonstone
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That one sounds to me like a six and two threes.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:37 pm 
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Yes....Nanny Mason was Willie's older sister. And several names were familiar to me as they are from Granville Street where my grandparents lived.


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