Liverpool Mercury, January 27th, 1887

Liverpool Police Court, Jan 26th before Mr RAFFLES

Bad meat Frederick H. GOSSAGE, who was summoned at the instance of the local authorities was fined 60s and costs for depositing for the purpose of sale the carcase of a cow at the Abattoir Company's slaughter house Trowbridge St. Inspector LUYA'S evidence was that he examined the carcase on the 18th January and found it totally unfit for human food. Mr STEVENSON, who defended, explained that the weather about that date was very bad and that delay had occurred in the transit of the meat to the city.

Birkenhead Police Court, Jan 26th before Mr PRESTON

Assaulting a wife

Edward JONES, a joiner belonging to Liverpool, was brought up by a warrant charged with assaulting his wife, Mary JONES. The prosecutrix made a statement to the effect that about 3mths ago she accused the prisoner of being too familiar with another woman named M'KINLEY. He then struck and kicked her in a violent manner, she took out a summons against the prisoner, but instead of appearing to it he left Birkenhead, with the woman M'KINLEY. The prisoner was apprehended on Tuesday night by Detective-officer POTTS in a house in St Andrews St, Liverpool. Committed to jail for a month with hard labour.

The Theatre Royal

Mr J. T. THOMPSON[ THOMPSON and HUGHES] applied on behalf of Messers STANHOPE and VOWLES, lessees of the Theatre Royal, Argyle St, for renewal of the license to that building. He said, the manner in which the theatre was conducted would commend itself to the bench. The Head Constable, Major BARKER, expressed himself satisfied with the arrangements for the safety of the public, and said that the means of exit from the theatre were all that could be desired. Application granted.


Liverpool Mercury, April 1st 1887


Thursday March 31st


Before Mr Clarke ASPINALL

The threat to shoot Mr RAFFLES, John HARDY a trooper in the 7th Dragoon guards was charged on remand with threatening by letter to shoot Mr RAFFLES, stipendiary magistrate. Mr MARKS who prosecuted said that since the prisoner was before the court on Monday they had secured the attendance of the troop Sergeant Major. They had also secured the evidence of Mr MANTON an expert in hand-writing, who had examined the letters of the prisoner very carefully. Mr MARKS said there would be no use getting a further remand, the police had nothing in their mind to lead them to make further inquiries, prisoner was discharged, he came from a respectable family, and must bear the good character given to him by his superior officer.

Assault in Exchange station

James W. MARTIN, agent was summoned for assaulting George William SHARP, a manager living at Fairfield, on the 26th March. Mr LAYTON appeared for complainant, Mr LITTLE barrister for defendant, complainant got into 1st class carriage at rear of the 1.25pm train, when it filled he stood up to look out of the window in the door, defendant tried to open the door and was told by him the compartment was fall, defendant replied he would come in anyway, defendant struck him a blow in the face and knocked off his hate, the train then left the station., Mr BUSHBY and Mr UNWIN corroborated the evidence. Fined 20s and costs including advocate’s fee.

Robert MONK carter for Robert MAY team owner, Chapel Gardens was summoned for working a horse when suffering from old and painful wounds, fined 10s and costs.

Henry RIMMER owner of several donkeys and residing in Burroughs Gardens, fined 10s and costs for allowing one of his animals to work when in an unfit condition.

George TONGE / George PHILLIPS, carter employed at the Liverpool Carriage Company, for beating a horse about the head and jagging it in a cruel manner at its mouth fined 5s and costs.

Mr MOTUM of the R.S.P.CA. prosecuted, offences proved by Inspectors COOKSEY and SIM.

Bootle Police Court, March 31st, before Messers G. BARNES and J. NEWALL

A dishonest seaman Jacob GROOD, a sailor was charged with theft, Insp SHANEHNESSY who prosecuted stated, Wednesday night the prisoner who lodged in the same house in Effingham St as the prosecutor John MILLEY, came to MILLEY and asked for money for a drink, MILLEY gave him 1s-6d with instructions to buy 6d worth of whiskey and keep the shilling. Prisoner noticed where MILLEY kept his money and stole a sovereign. Prison 14days with hard labour

Birkenhead Magistrates Court, March 31st, before Messers T. RUSSELL. LEE and S. EDDOWES

James WALTON a young man was charged with stealing 12 ducks and 2 hens the property of Benjamin HANCOCK, car proprietor, Childer, Thornton, prisoner had been formerly in the employment of the prosecutor, who in September last arranged to sell to Mr C. TETLEY earthenware dealer, Tranmere, 12 ducks and 2 hens. Prisoner was present when arrangements were made and prosecutor sent him from Tranmere with a horse and trap to Childer Thornton to get the ducks and hens, which were given to him by prosecutor’s son. Instead of taking them to Mt TETLEY prisoner absconded. Mr TETLEY was called and hadn’t received them. Prisoner was found a week ago in Liverpool by Insp O’DONNELL he told Insp he had sold them and kept the money. Prisoner had been sentenced no fewer than 21 times since November 1875, sent for trial.


Kindly donated by Tony

Liverpool Weekly Courier – Saturday 21 May 1887



At the Liverpool Assizes yesterday, before Justice Day, John Baker, 20, George Baker, 19, Francis M’Tavey, 20, and Bernard M’Call, 20, who were stated to belong to the notorious “High Rip” gang, were indicted upon eight separate counts accusing them of robberies with violence in Liverpool on the 4th February last. Mr. Shand, with whom was Mr. Carver, conducted the case for the prosecution, and Mr. Segar defended M’Tavey.

In his opening statement to the jury, Mr. Shand said that the principal prosecutor was Lewis Harrison, a pawnbroker, carrying on business at 223 Scotland road, and the prisoners were indicted for stealing from him with violence several articles of clothing. The prisoners resided together in a lodging house at 52 Sylvester street, and on the evening of the 4th February they left the house together at about half-past five o’clock. Subsequently while they were standing at the corner of Westmoreland street a man named James Marsden passed, in company with a friend. As the prisoners occupied the parapet Marsden and his friend went off it, but as they were passing, one of the prisoners, who was identified as John Baker, struck Marsden on the head with a knife, which penetrated through his hat and inflicted a very serious wound.

The prisoners then went in the direction of Harrison’s shop and endeavoured to steal the articles which were exhibited for sale outside. Harrison interposed to prevent the removal of his goods, and M’Tavey thereupon drew a knife and struck the prosecutor with it. A struggle ensued between them, and eventually M’Tavey ran outside, where a crowd had assembled, and commenced striking with his knife in all directions indiscriminately. He returned to the shop and again attacked Harrison with his knife, but the latter managed to keep him at bay with a long pole. Finally the prisoners departed, having previously cut down a pilot coat, a serge jacket, and two shirts which were hanging outside, and taken them away.

They were next seen at Mr. Rimmer’s pawnshop at 25 Latimer street, where they forcibly tore a jacket, the pockets of which contained 4s., from the person of an assistant named Nelson, and also cut down with their knives a number of articles which were hanging outside the shop. One of the prisoners shouted, “Out with your knives, lads,” but fortunately for Nelson they did not appear to have used their knives except upon the clothes outside. The prisoners afterwards went to the shop of Mrs. Reed, confectioner, 29 Latimer street, whose daughter Mrs. Norris, was standing at the door with an infant in her arms. George Baker struck the child in the face with his fist, and Mrs. Norris screamed out that her child was killed. M’Tavey kicked her on the thigh, and at that time he had a knife in his hand. Her brothers, John and William Reed, came to her assistance, and during the struggles which ensued John Reed received a severe cut on the wrist, whilst William Reed was knocked to the ground by one of the prisoners and stabbed in the back.

The prisoners broke the windows of Mrs. Reed’s shop, and subsequently attacked a butcher named Smith, who carried on business at 58 Latimer street. Smith was held either by John Baker or M’Tavey, and at the same time received a very severe stab in the back. Later on they appeared at Mr. Newport’s pawnshop at 406 Scotland road, and assaulted a boy, and also an assistant named Pitt. At that time George Baker had a knife in his hand, and John Baker was carrying a slingshot, with which he struck Pitt on the knee. John Baker pulled down some frocks which were hanging outside, and they all then ran away. While running down Dalrymple street the prisoners were seen to knock down two women and also to strike a child. They again turned up at a shop at 190 Scotland road, where they stole two hats and assaulted an assistant named Agnes Howarth.

Information of these acts of violence was given to the police, and the prisoners were subsequently taken into custody. Inside the coat pocket of George Baker was found an open knife, and a slingshot was discovered in the pocket of John Baker. Three of the shirts stolen from Harrison’s shop were found in the possession of M’Tavey when he was arrested. The prisoners were first tried upon the charge of robbery with violence at Mr. Harrison’s shop, and upon that count the jury found them guilty. In answer to Mr. Shand, the Judge said it was hardly necessary for the prosecution to prove the other counts of the indictment.

In passing sentence his Lordship said his first intention was to punish the prisoners with a long term of penal servitude, but when he considered their ages he thought they might be dealt with in a way which would render them less burdensome to society, and at the same time effectually protect society from their depredations and outrages. He had never before heard such outrageous conduct narrated in a court of justice. He should hardly have thought it possible that in a city of England or in any part of the world where civilisation was understood and practised, four ruffians could have banded themselves together, armed with deadly weapons, and broken into one shop after another, assaulting the occupants and carrying off their property.

They might consider it an heroic thing to set society and the police at defiance, but they would not find the punishment at all heroic, and he hoped that the sentences he should inflict upon them would effectually teach them that it was more desirable to earn their livelihood by honest industry than by levying war against society in such a ridiculous fashion. Whatever they might do the law would eventually prove too strong for them. They might evade detection from time to time, but the course of justice would overtake them in the end, and they would find how bitter was the life of a member of the criminal classes.

He should sentence John Baker to 18 months’ imprisonment with hard labour, George Baker to 16 months, M’Tavey to 15 months, and M’Call to 21 months, and he further directed that they should each be flogged three times, and on each occasion receive 20 lashes with the “cat.”


Liverpool Mercury, Feb 24th 1887

Newton shooting case

At Warrington yesterday, William JENKINSON, aged 19, a railway porter was brought before the county magistrate on remand, on a charge of having caused the death of Elizabeth JENKINSON, aged 22, by shooting her with a gun loaded with bullets, at Parkside, near, Newton-le-Willows, on the 18th inst. The circumstances of the case being given, the magistrate spoke of the folly of allowing a loaded gun to be kept in the house, and the danger of young persons playing with firearms. The father of the prisoner said, he was sorry for what had occurred, but the magistrate remarked, he was the first cause of the accident, and if he had a conscience it would trouble him to the end of his days. The coroner's jury brought in a verdict of, "Misadventure" the prisoner was then discharged.

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