Middlesbrough

Black Sheep Sunday – Joseph Lockington

Joseph Lockington is my wife’s great grand uncle – in other words a brother of her great grandmother, Susanna. His parents are John Lockington and Susannah Sowden – my wife’s 2x great grandparents.

Joseph was born in Tetney, Lincolnshire – his birth is registered in the June quarter of 1851.

By the time of the1881 census Joseph had moved to Middlesbrough in Yorkshire and was working as a labourer in the iron works. He married Ellen Elizabeth Johnson sometime in the June quarter of 1880 in Middlesbrough.

Unfortunately Joseph found himself in the local paper – the Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough on 21 November 1883 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Joseph Lockington - Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough 21 November 1883.png

CHARGE OF INDECENT ASSAULT AT MIDDLESBROUGH – Joseph Lockington, an iron worker, employed at Messrs Fox, Head, and Co.’s works, was brought up on remand before the Middlesbrough Magistrates this (Wednesday) morning on a charge of committing an indecent assault upon Mrs Martha Usher, the wife of a workman who is also employed at the same place as the accused. The statement of the complainant was that the accused went into her house in Disraeli Street and, in the absence of her husband, seized her round the waist, kissed her, and committed an indecent assault. When the case originally came before the Court Mr Teale, solicitor for the defence, asked for an adjournment till today (Wednesday), in order to call evidence to contradict the statement of the complainant. Several witnesses were now called; and, after hearing their version of the circumstances connected with the affair, the Stipendiary Magistrate (Mr C . J. Coleman) said the evidence was of such a conflicting character that he did not feel justified in convicting the accused. Case accordingly dismissed.

You would be forgiven for thinking there must have been “several witnesses” in the house at the time of the alleged assault – me too. The newspaper story is a bit flimsy when it comes to witness evidence – in fact there isn’t any detail at all to help the reader form an opinion.

As far as I can tell Joseph didn’t make the papers again.