Welcome to The Briercliffe Society Forum

Lancashire Assizes
Page 1 of 1

Author:  Mel [ Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:06 am ]
Post subject:  Lancashire Assizes

Preston Chronicle

Saturday March 20 1841

Lancashire Assizes
The commission will be opened at Lancaster, this day, and the business will commence on Monday morning. The following is a calendar of the prisoners for trial:-

Richard Boothman, aged 20, James Wilkinson, 21, and Thomas Riley, 18, charged with the wilful murder of Joseph Halstead, at Colne.

William Starkie, 19, charged with killing and slaying Alfred whalley, at Habergham Eaves.

Henry Ridehalgh, 20, charged with aiding and assisting Richard Boothman in the wilful murder of Joseph Halstead, and also with riotously assembling, with other persons to disturb the peace, at Colne.

James Heyworth, 34, charged with cutting and maiming with intent to disfigure Isaac Bell, at Barrowford Booth.

Author:  Mel [ Sun Apr 13, 2008 10:43 am ]
Post subject: 

Preston Chronicle
Saturday March 27 1841

Riots and Murder at Colne
Richard Boothman, 20, James Wilkinson, 21, Thomas Riley, 18, and Henry Ridehalgh, charged with the wilful murder of Joseph Halstead, at Colne.
All the prisoners pleaded not guilty. The witnesses on both sides were then ordered out of court.
Dr. Brown briefly opened the case, and called the following witnesses:-
W.H.Wood, Esq.,- I am a magistrate of this county. I reside near Colne. In the week previous to the 10th of August I was in Colne; the town was in a very excited state, especially on Thursday. On Friday the military were called out; they remained until Sunday morning, and then left. I was at Colne on Monday; the town was in a crowded state - full of people. In consequence of the state of the town, it was deemed advisable to swear in seventy special constables. I knew Mr. Halstead; his christian name was Joseph. He was one of the special constables. They were sworn in about eight o'clock, and had truncheons given them. All the special constables, with twenty-seven of the county police, walked through the town in an easterly direction. On arriving at the toll-bar at the east-end, we observed crowds of people at the ends of the streets. The riot act was read at the toll-bar. There were about 200 persons present, on both sides of the toll-bar. I could not see beyond the toll-bar. They returned again through the street. I was accompanied by a party of special constables and police. I found it necessary to read the riot act in another place in the same street. I went up into the Market-place, and we then deemed it advisable for the special constables and others to divide themselves, and go into the back streets. This was about a quarter past ten. On passing near the top of Clayton-street, I heard a loud noise - swearing, &c., at te toll-bar. On going to the top of St. John-street, I observed that the lamp had been put out. We returned to the top of Clayton-street, down which we went as far as the first cross street, where we heard loud swearing, and other savage noises; also a noise as of weapons (iron bars) striking against each other. I could hear a conflict in the cross street; stones were flying, and a shower of them descending near us, drove me and my party into the main street. I could not tell exactly from whence they came. I saw a mob following me up the main street, walking four abreast, and they followed me into the Market-place. I then sent to the barracks for the military.
The witness was cross-examined by Mr. Wilkins, but no fact was elicited.
Henry Sagar.- I live at Colne; am an innkeeper there; I keep the King's Head inn; went down to a new church, near Colne, on the morning of the 11th August, about five o'clock; found the door of a vault under the church broken open; found two iron spears in the vault, in the form of rails with spear heads (one of which I now produce). They were some spare rails left in the vault when the church was fenced off; found the spear-headed rail now produced in the footpath of a meadow called "Broken Bank Meadow"-(found fourteen or fifteen others in different parts)-the Broken Bank Meadow is at the bottom of Back Clayton-street; it is rather east of a place called Rope-walk. At the time I found the rail in Broken Bank Meadow, there was a mark of blood upon it a fott long, and, what was considered at the time to be a portion of human brains. About 180 yards from where I found the rail is Jacob Hawksworth's steps; found the other rails in Carry-lane, at the east end of Colne; found another about forty yards from Cross-street; three of the iron rails were found against some paling at the house corner, in Cross-street, where the gas-lamp stands. I did not find any rails after picking up the last three; parted with the deceased at the bottom of Back Clayton-street; think he had a dark-green coat on, with gilt buttons, and a pair of dark trowsers; there was no appearance of the deceased being under the influence of drink. The other fifteen rails I found the same in every respect as the spear-pointed one here produced.
Cross-examined.- The special constables assembled at my house. I am inclined to think that they had not much refreshment; being busy at that time I really cannot speak to that. The deceased was not particularly fond of company; he visited my house almost daily; he did not always get drunk when he came; persons come to my house for other purposes besides getting drink. He was man who took his glass occasionally; he generally called in an evening; cannot soeak to his courage or resoluteness; he was a stont and athletic man. I saw the deceased last about ten o'clock, but I had no watch, so that I cannot speak from anything but my own impression as to time. There had been some difference between the police and the rabble in our town, but we considered it merely a little excitement owing to the introduction of the police. I did not know where the deceased had been in the afternoon of that day; he was not at my house.
Mr. James Wylde, and Mr. Jacob Hawksworth gave in substance evidence similar to the above.
Joseph Snowden.- I was sworn a special constable, and went down to Clayton-street, and then into Cross-street, near to Mr. Hawksworth's house. The first thing I saw was a body lying on the ground; the light of the lamp enabled me to see it; I went to the body, but could not tell whether it was alive or dead. I made an attempt to raise him and asked him who he was, but he did not speak; his face was covered with blood; observed part of his brains lying on the right side of his head, and part in the street. I went to the body again, but was frightened away by about 20 of the mob, who were coming to the place; saw the body again during the night, and then knew it to be the body of Mr. Joseph Halstead. The mob were armed with pieces of wood and iron.
Job Harrison.- I am a police officer; was at Colne on the 10th of August last. I was in Back Clayton-street when I heard a noise, and ran to the place from whence it came. Found a large crowd, chiefly of men and boys. Some of the mob had iron railing and pieces of wood; they were all armed that I saw. Know Hawksworth's house, they were close to it. Saw a man step out of the crowd and hit the man standing at the bottom of the steps on the head with an iron bar. The man who was struck had no hat on. On receiving the blow the man immediately fell. I observed the man who struck the blow running towards me. He appeared anxious to make his escape. I then ran; he followed me about twenty yards. I went a little further and met 15 or 20 men coming. The man who struck the blow was about ten yards behind me. He then turned towards Front Clayton-street. He joined for a short time in the fight between the mob and the police. Saw him distinctly amongst the mob; am sure that the man I have been speaking of is the man that struck the blow. I had not an opportunity of particularly observing the kind of weapon the prisoner used. The prisoner in the custody of Mr. McDonald was Richard Boothman; he was dressed remarkably. He had a wollen cap on, similar to a riding cap, tied; his coat was buttoned, and his coat collar turned up. I do not entertain the least doubt of his being the same man I saw.
Cross-examined - I had been in Colne only for a few days. Know here is a reward of £200 offered. I ran down Clayton-street from alarm; some man followed; my back would be to him for a short time. I saw the man run back again to Cross-street. I partly ran and partly walked; the man soon mixed among the mob. I cannot say how many there were; say about fifty persons.
William Henderson, police constable No. 11.- Was at Colne on 10th August last, in the evening, about ten o'clock; heard sounds proceeding from a mob, of "Come on, come on, we are ready for you," and heard the mob saying "fall in lads;" our party then sprang their rattles; after that I heard the report of a gun or pistol; saw man without his hat, he was going towards Hawksworth's steps, he appeared to be very weak as if he had been hurt, he was a stout man, he had on, I thought, a blue coat and gilt buttons, but before he got to the rails of the house a man struck him; the man who struck the blow was one of the mob, the weapon was about a yard and a quarter long; the stroke fell either on the head or shoulder of the man; after striking, the man dropped his weapon and came down Back Clayton-street, in the direction I was standing; I ran away; might run 30 yards; then met a body of police and special constables; then returned amongst them; when I got into Cross-street did not see so many persons there as when I saw the man struck I before alluded to; observed the prisoner Boothman amongst the mob and recognised him as the man I had seen strike the blow; have mentioned he had on a fustian swinger or jacket, buttoned very close and the collar turned up; he had a worsted cap on his head and tied under the chin; when I saw him again he was struggling with Sergeant McDonald, and assisted him to secure the prisoner, and took him to the King's Head Inn.
John McDonald.- Was in Colne on the night of the 10th August. Was a police sergeant. Was in Back Clayton-street about half-past 10 or a quarter to 11, a number of special and police constables were with me. Saw a large number of riotous people, they had weapons in their hands. Saw a man, one of the prisoners at the bar, amongst the mob. Observed him on account of his remarkable appearance, he had a cap which covered his forehead and ears, and his coat buttoned up to the neck, his face was but little to be seen. Saw him in front of the mob at a about a quarter to 11, and then, when the rioters gave way, he was in the rear; he then struggled to get away, but that he could not effect, he tried then to
run down Clayton-street, but was prevented from going down; he then returned and mixed again with the mob, and I apprehended him at the bottom of Clayton-street.
Examined by Mr.Stansfield.- This was the last fight; there was no disturbance after this; it was, I think, about a quarter to 11. Picked up an iron weapon about 8 or 10 yards from Hawksworth's steps, similar to what is used in fencing off church yards or pleasure grounds.
William Asquith.- I know the cap produced to be the one worn by the prisoner when I brought him to Lancaster Castle.
Job Harrison also identified the cap. It was then placed upon the head of the prisoner, when Harrison affirmed that he was the man he had seen in the mob, and reiterated the assertion, although very solemnly cross-questioned by Mr. Wilkins.
George Bannister, examined by Mr. Wilkins.- I was sworn a special constable at Colne on the evening of the 10th August, and was out in the streets; Mr. Temple got an unlucky blow that night, and I assisted in taking him home about a quarter after eleven o'clock. Mr. Temple had several cuts upon his head.
Robert Temple.- I was sworn in a special constable on the 7th August last, and when acting as such on the evening of the 10th I got some blows that night at the opening of Back Clayton-street; I was running up Back Clayton-street, and had come down Front Clayton-street; was alone at the time; ran up the whole of Back Clayton-street, and in turning from the top of that street I was struck on the back of the head with some kind of bludgeon, but I did not fall; was then struck across the loins, and knocked down.
The evidence against Boothman being finished, the case of James Wilkinson was entered into.
John Foulds.- I live at Colne with a sister, who keeps a public house. I was a special constable on the 10th of August last. Went from the King's Head into the street leading from Front Clayton-street. Was in a fight. About 30 policemen and special constables came down from Clayton-street, and the mob made a regular attack upon us, and said "Come on, come on, lay into 'em." We went down Front Clayton-street. The rioters were all prepared for attack and began fighting. I got down into Back Clayton-street, and was hit by a man, and knocked down beside a stable door. I recovered directly. I then saw James Wilkinson; he was running down Back Clayton-street. Saw Angus McDonald following the prisoner at the bottom of Back Clayton-street. He was struck near a warehouse in the occupation of Mr. Lonsdale. He was dressed in a dark coloured fustian coat. We then went up the back street, and saw Mr. Halstead laying dead. I have known Wilkinson long, and had seen him passing our house, in Church-street, the evening I gave information.
Cross-examined.- I gave the information on the following day; live at Colne; was not at the coroner's inquest; was examined by the magistrate's clerk on the day of the inquest; used to keep a beer-shop; live at my sister's; help her to brew; the police have lodged at our house; have heard of the reward of £200; kept the beer-shop myself before I was whitewashed.
William Asquith.- Am constable of Colne; saw John Foulds on the 10th of August, and in consequence of what he said went to the house of William Wilkinson, and found in the loft James Wilkinson, his son. James Wilkinson and John Foulds were either up or just in the act of getting up. James Wilkinson, the prisoner, had a clean shirt on; it was between two and three o'clock in the morning; I ordered him to strip his shirt off; examined his person, but found no bruises or wounds; several of the police or special constables were with me in the loft. I went to Mr. Barber's, a draper, in Colne, the preceding evening, and found the body of Joseph Halstead, the deceased.
Cross-examined.- Knew the prisoner Wilkinson; found James Foulds there; do not know that they keep a lodging-house.
William Henderson and Ralph Duxbury gave evidence similar to the above.
W.H.Wood, Esq.- I went with the police and special constables to Wilkinson's house. Ralph Duxbury threw something down from the house top, which I caught upon the end of ***stick, and, on looking at it, found it to be a shirt, marked with blood on the breast and neck.
William Wood.- Am a weaver; was a police-officer on the 10th of August last; went with other officers to search Wilkinson's house; received James Wilkinson into custody from the hands of Mr. Henderson; I took him down to the King's Head, to the magistrates there; had known the prisoner before in Oswaldtwistle.
Cross-examined.- I never asked him to tell me the truth; I said I had not expected to find him in this situation; he said "I should not have done it if the man had not sent me to the House of Correction for playing at foot-ball."
H.W. Hartley.- Am clerk to Mr. Bolton, who is clerk to the magistrates at Colne. Was present in the office when information was lodged for a warrant against James Wilkinson, for playing at foot-ball. In pursuance of that complaint he was sentenced to two months' imprisonment.
Wm. Asquith was at a magistrates meeting at Colne, when the prisoner Wilkinson was charged by James Halstead, the nephew of the deceased Joseph Halstead, with playing at foot-ball on a piece of land called the Bowling Green, which was in the occupation of his uncle, Joseph Halstead, deceased. The prisoner was charged with playing several times before in that land; this was said in the presence and hearing of Wilkinson, and I do not remember that Wilkinson said anything.
Cross examined.- I feel almost sure that Wilkinson was present at the meeting, but having a multiplicity of cases of this nature, I cannot remember the particulars of every case.
Mr. Wilkins very sirenuonsly opposed the motion of Dr. Brown, that the commitment produced should be admitted as evidence against Wilkinson.
The evidence against Riley was then commenced.
Thomas Thornber.- I live at Havenholt House; am a cotton-spinner and manufacturer. Was a special constable in Colne on the evening of the 10th of August; saw a mob in Back Clayton-street, about half-past ten o'clock; saw one person separate himself from the mob, he was running up Front Clayton-street; I followed him; no one was with me; overtook him, struck at his heels, and tripped him up. He had a bludgeon in his hand; it was a wooden rail split in two (here produced), it fell from his hands; at that moment a police officer, McElree, came up, and he was then taken into custody. The person apprehended was Thomas Riley, the prisoner at the bar. Never saw him before he left the mob.
Cross-examined.- First saw Riley when he was leaving the mob; followed him, and he turned up and ran towards the main street; I secured him about half-way up Clayton-street.
Robert McElree.- I am one of the police officers. Was at Colne on the evening of the 10th August. Was out in the affray that night in Clayton-street, and assisted Mr. Thornber in capturing the prisoner Riley.
The case of Ridehalgh was then gone into, but the evidence was exceedingly slight.
Thomas Cockroft.- I am a surgeon in Colne; knew the deceased, Mr. Joseph Halstead; have attended upon him professionally during his life-time; saw the body on the 10th of august, soon after his death. I was myself a special constable, and on duty at the time of the riot; examined the body about 11 o'clock; found a very extensive fracture on the skull, and a considerable portion of the bone was driven into the interior of the brain. The blow must have been inflicted by a very heavy weapon. Should suppose that one of the iron rails which were found near the scene of the murder would produce such a wound. Instant death must have followed the infliction of the blow.
The closed the case for the prosection.
Mr. Atherton, the counsel for the prisoners, Riley and Ridehalgh, then submitted to the Judge, that no case had been made out to the Jury against his client Ridehalgh, insomuch as all the evidence produced was from his own confession, and on that account inadmissable; and with regard to the prisoner Riley, the evidence which had been given against him only went to show that he was seen running away from the mob.
The Judge concurred in this view of the case, and ordered their acquital.
The case having been occupied a period of seven hours, the learned counsel for the prisoners submitted that the Jury should be allowed some time for refreshment, which they, however, declined.
Mr. Wilkins rose at 20 minutes past 4 o'clock, and commenced his address to the Jury on behalf of the prisoners at the bar, and his lordship having summed up the evidence, the jury, after a considerable retirement, returned with a verdict of Guilty against Boothman, and acquitted Wilkinson.
Sentence of death was immediately passed upon Boothman.
Wilkinson, Riley, and Ridehalgh were then arraigned upon an indictment for a riot, and severally pleaded guilty.
Wilkinson was sentenced to eighteen and the other two to twelve, calendar months' imprisonment and hard labour.

Author:  Mel [ Sat May 09, 2009 11:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lancashire Assizes

Richard Boothman did not die on the scaffold. Strenuous efforts were made on his behalf, for many believed in his innocence. On the 7th of April a reprieve arrived, followed on the 14th by an order for the transportation of the convict for life; and shortly afterwards, as appears by the records of Lancaster Castle, he was removed to the hulks at Woolwich. From thence he was in due course transported to Van Diemen's Land, and after a lapse of a year or so, was allowed, to work where he would on the island. In that distant land he married twice, but is now a widower, and, according to the last account, was settled on a farm of some 100 acres. And
there he will remain until summoned to the presence of A Higher Judge than Baron Maule ; for to him, on account of the terrible night of the 10th of August, 1840, the shores of merry England are forbidden ground.

Annals and stories of Colne and neighbourhood by J. Carr

Author:  portia [ Tue May 12, 2009 10:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lancashire Assizes

Richard Boothman, one of 350 convicts transported on the Barrosa [Barossa], 27 August 1841.

Details: Sentence details: Convicted at Lancashire Assizes for a term of life. -- Vessel: Barrosa [Barossa]. -- Date of Departure: 27 August 1841. -- Place of Arrival: Van Diemen's Land. -- Source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 91, Class and Piece Number HO11/12, Page Number 362

Author:  charon10 [ Tue May 12, 2009 12:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lancashire Assizes - Richard Boothman

The Tasmanian convict records http://www.archives.tas.gov.au/nameindexes are excellent, though finding an individual is a bit tedious: we can see Richard Boothman's Indent (what they did with him when he arrived in Tasmania, his Description in some detail, and his Conduct Record. The Conduct Record shows that he got his Conditional Pardon in 1853. (As he had a Life sentence, he could never get a complete pardon in Tasmania)

Indent (disposal on arrival in Tasmania):

http://search.archives.tas.gov.au/Image ... 40,12,F,38 and the next page


http://search.archives.tas.gov.au/Image ... 18,11,L,80

Conduct record and Conditional Pardon:

http://search.archives.tas.gov.au/Image ... 67,31,L,80


Author:  Gloria [ Tue May 12, 2009 12:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lancashire Assizes

Isn't the Internet fantastic, the things you can find out now just by tapping on a few keys.

Author:  charon10 [ Tue May 12, 2009 1:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lancashire Assizes

.....if you know which keys to tap! :shock:


Page 1 of 1 All times are UTC [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group