Bradford Daily Telegraph

Black Sheep Sunday – John James Spears (1848-1906)

John James Spears is the husband of my wife’s 1st cousin 3x removed, Sarah Jane Broad.

Sarah Jane was born in 1849 and her birth is registered at Congleton, Cheshire in the December quarter. Her parents are James Broad and Ann Owen. The common link between my wife and Sarah Jane is James Owen and Martha Brockhouse, my wife’s 3x great grandparents.

On 1 September 1870 Sarah Jane married John James Spears in Manchester, Lancashire. James was born at Newton Heath, Lancashire in 1848. After their marriage they lived in the Chorlton area of Manchester – John James working as a warehouseman.

John James found himself the subject of a County Court action for damages and the case was reported in the Manchester Evening News on Friday 10 February 1899. The case was also reported in the Bradford Daily Telegraph (images from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

John James Spears - Manchester Evening News 10 Feb 1899.png

A TALE OF DOG AND HORSE
SINGULAR COUNTY COURT ACTION

His Honour Judge Parry, sitting in the Manchester County Court, today, heard an action for damages for injuries to a horse belonging to Messrs. Eastman’s, Limited, butchers. Mr. Langdon appeared for the plaintiffs, and Mr. Cobbett represented the defendant, John James Spears, warehouseman, Lister Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock.
Mr. Langdon said that in November last Mr. Harris, sub-manager for the plaintiff firm, was driving along Everton Road, when a sable collie dog, belonging to the defendant, rushed out of the house, barking furiously, and rushed at the hind legs of the mare. The result was that the mare became restive, and kicked out and injured her legs by striking the steps of the vehicle. The animal was valued at £40, and it had to be sold for £21, while it was, later on, re-sold for £15.
Harris, the sub-manager for the plaintiffs, stated that the mare was a four-year-old, and was bought in Ireland last August for £28. The defendant’s dog had frequently rushed at the mare.
In reply to Mr. Cobbett, witness said he could not say that the dog bit the mare.
Mr. Langdon said the case was taken under 28 and 29 Vic., chap. 60, wherein it was provided that the owner of every dog shall be liable in damages for injury done to cattle or sheep. That, he contended, placed the responsibility on the owner who kept the dog at his own peril. There was a similar case decided in 1868, when a horse, which was being driven along, suffered injuries through kicking out in consequence of being bitten by a dog.
His Honour asked what magisterial jurisdiction there was over ferocious dogs, and Mr. Cobbett said the justices were at liberty to order them to be kept under proper control or to be destroyed.
His Honour said a dog might not be ferocious or mischievous, but might bark and jump about with pleasure.
Mr. Langdon said a dog might, for its own pleasure, go into a larder and steal a leg of mutton, but that would be mischievous.
Considerable argument followed as to whether the statute intended that there should be actually injury inflicted by the dog, Mr. Langdon contending that the injury arising from the action of the dog was sufficient for his claim.
His Honour reserved his decision until the 23rd inst.

So everyone involved in the case had a couple of weeks to wait for the Judge to decide the outcome of the case. As promised he gave his ruling on 23 February 1899 and fortunately the Manchester Evening News reported it for us.

John James Spears - Manchester Eving News 23 Feb 1899.png

SINGULAR ACTION AGAINST DOG OWNER

His Honour Judge Parry, at the Manchester County Court this morning, gave judgement in the case of Eastmans, Limited, v. John Jas. Spears which was before the court recently. The claim was for £21 11s 6d damages alleged to have been caused to the plaintiffs’ horse and cart in consequence of the defendant’s dog barking and frightening the animal. The plaintiffs, for whom Mr. Langdon appeared, are butchers, and Mr. Cobbett represented the defendant, who lives in Lister Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock. The Judge stated that the facts of the case were that a carter was driving a horse and cart along the roadway when a dog barked and the animal bolted. The horse kicked the step of the vehicle and so injured itself. He (the Judge) found that the dog did belong to the defendant, but that it was not a mischievous animal. The dog rushed and barked but it did not bite the horse. The injuries caused to the horse did not naturally arise through the barking of the dog and that there must be judgment for the defendant with costs.

I’m sure John James and his sable collie were very relieved at the outcome. Not so much Messrs. Eastman’s Ltd.

Sundays Obituary – Susannah Gawthrop (1830-1907)

Susannah Gawthrop (nee Benson) is the wife of my 2nd great grand uncle. In other words she married a brother of my 2x great grandmother (Ellen Gawthrop)

Susannah Benson was born on 16 October 1830 in Cowling, West Yorkshire.

Sometime in the September quarter of 1852  Susannah married Joseph Gawthrop. Over the next twenty years Joseph and Susannah had eight children.

Their first child, John, became a well known Wesleyan Methodist minister. I have written about John before – here and here.

Joseph and Susannah lived in Cowling all their lives. Joseph’s occupation in the census returns from 1861 to 1891 was a farmer at Green Syke, Cowling.

On 25 April 1900 Joseph passed away and was buried three days later at Holy Trinity Church, Cowling.

According to the census return for 1901 Susannah was still living at Green Syke with her youngest son Alfred and his family – Alfred now appears to be running the farm.

Very sadly tragedy struck on Friday 22 November 1907. The Bradford Daily Telegraph published the following story on 25 November.

Susannah Gawthrop (Benson) - Bradford Daily Telegraph 25 November 1907.png

Bradford Daily Telegraph taken from British Newspaper Archives

BURNING FATALITY AT COWLING

OLD LADY’S SAD DEATH

On Friday night Mrs Susannah Gawthrop, of Cowling, was reading a newspaper by candle light, when the paper caught fire.

In a few minutes she was in flames, and sustained severe injuries, being badly burned about the neck, face and arms. Death took place on Saturday night.

Mrs Gawthrop who was in her 76th year, was the mother of the Rev. John Gawthrop, a popular Wesleyan minister at Huntingdon.

The tragic incident has caused quite a sensation in the village, and general sympathy has been extended to the relatives on all hands.

A Coroners Inquest was held at the Cowling Liberal Club on 25 November 1907. The verdict was that death was caused “By misadventure, set fire to her clothing causing death by shock the next day”.

Susannah Gawthrop - Inquest 25 November 1907.jpg

Coroners Notebooks 1852-1909 taken from http://www.ancestry.co.uk

Susannah was buried on 28 November 1907 at Holy Trinity Church, Cowling.