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 Post subject: Widespread sympathy
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:59 pm 
Spider Lady
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The Express and Advertiser

December 6 1905

Widespread sympathy will be felt for Mr. Tattersall Wilkinson in the terrible trouble which has befallen him. It is bad enough for a man of 80 to have his house and furniture destroyed by fire; but it is infinitely worse for him to lose the priceless books and M.S., which cannot be replaced, and which were his dearest possessions. If, as Mr. Tattersall Wilkinson seems to suspect, this is the work of a thief and incendiary, it is decpicable in the extreme, and the miscreant deserves, as we hope he will receive, the severest punishment the law can inflict.

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 Post subject: "Tat" O' Swinden's Fire
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:26 pm 
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December 16 1905

"Tat" O' Swinden's Fire
December 4th 1905
[By an eye-witness]

What's this sad rumour going roun':
The Sage's house has been burnt down,
And that some evil-minded clown
Has done the act?
Never believe it Burnley town!
It's not the fact!

I'll ne'er believe that any chiel
In human shape, with heart to feel,
Would burn a house down to conceal
A devilish crime!
Who was it, then, you ask: the De'il?
Attend my rhyme!

The Prince of Darkness is a gent
Devoid of any foul intent;
And, though he be on evil bent,
Do not desire
To burn a man, before he's sent
To his big fire!

I went to bed that Monday night
And woke up in an "unco' fright,"
For I had seen an awful sight,
Which made me shiver;
Which on my brain will leave its blight,
Perhaps for ever.
All know that Tart, close to his doors,
Upon the lone, abandoned moors,
Has dug up many ancient boors
Disturbed their urns;
I saw them paying off old scores
With ill returns!

I saw their spirits come in bands,
And roll their eyes, and clench their hands,
And curse, in tongues of distant lands,
Few brains could bear;
Tis lick, if Tattie understands,
He was not there!

I know a medication worse,
Was never spoke in Scotch or Erse,
Was never bought by golden purse
Of priest or wizard;
'Twas meant to pierce that powerful curse,
The Sage's gizzard!

the one, the boldest of the hatch,
Rushed to a window, burst the latch,
And threw in a sulphur match,
To my amaze;
And soon the house, from floor to thatch,
Was in a blaze!

Then how they danced, and shrieked, and screamed!
I saw the horros as I dreamed-
They hoped the cruel death they schemed
Of him they hated;
They joyed, with evil eyes which gleamed,
He was cremated!

But cherubs, who from starry skies
Look down with benignant eyes
Upon the righteous and the wise
While bad men chafe,
Heard, as he woke, his startled cries,
And kept him safe-

Preserved him, but his telescope,
And latin books, lent by the Pope,
with manuscripts, his dearest hope,
Were lost, I fear;
With many things beyond my scope
Of telling here.

This rhyme I know I must indite,
Just to put the rumour right,
that some fell, ill-conditioned wight
Had robbed the sage;
And then burned donw, in wicked spite,
the empty cage!

Thank Heaven! the ancient bird had wings,
And still he lives, and still he sings,
And will, till all his wanderings
On earth be o'er
Blessed by the love a brave life brings
To years four-score!

Thank Heaven! it was ne a Burnley lad,
But some lost spirit bold and bad,
Because Tat's spade had made him mad,
Not modern greed,
That robbed the Sage of all he had,
And did the deed!

Heaven grant him yet some happy years;
Then, when kind Death his couch prepares,
Erasing gently all his cares,
And gives him sleep,
Half envious of the rest he shares,
We shall not weep!

John Barcroft.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:32 pm 
Spider Lady
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Express and Advertiser

December 20 1905

"Tat" Wilkinson's New Residence

The friends of Mr. Tattersall Wilkinson, the well-known local antiquarian, who was burned out of house and home on Monday midnight, December 4th, have not been long in furnishing the old gentleman with a new home. The public subscription list started on Mr. Wilkinson's behalf has been well supported, and the fund raised has enabled another home to be got together at Lea Green, Roggerham. This is not far from "Tat's" wrecked residence, and is not quite in so isolated a position. The old gentleman entered his new residence on Saturday last, and to celebrate the event there was a convivial gathering of old friends from Burnley, Harle Syke, Nelson, etc. on Sunday. Installed in his new home and in the pleasant company of some jovial friends "Tat" seemed to forget his recent misfortune. The party broke up in time for the veteran to reach Burnley Wood to deliver one of his numerous lectures.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:27 am 
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http://www.briercliffesociety.co.uk/Photo%20Archive/Briercliffe%20Buildings/Fire1.htm

http://www.briercliffesociety.co.uk/Photo%20Archive/Briercliffe%20Buildings/Fire2.htm

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