Category Archive: Crime

Dec 26

A Mass Payment

St Nicholas Liverpool

On this day in 1853 Mary Jackson was charged with annoying the congregation of St Nicholas’s Catholic Chapel on Christmas Eve. Her defence was that she was not Catholic but had wished to be able to celebrate midnight mass at the site on Copperas Hill. However, there was a standard entry fee which she had …

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Dec 23

Abandoned Babies

Abandoned Babies

A somewhat sad system of providing for illegitimate children was once practiced by certain desperate mothers of the city. It was not uncommon for a woman with an infant to take some humble lodging, usually for a week or so, at the end of which she would go out leaving the baby asleep, never to …

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Dec 10

Man Hunt

Dale Street

In the 1860s a draper from Weston Super Mare lived happily with his young and beautiful wife. Married life was joyous, albeit for the actions of the man’s meddling mother. Her intrusive interference grew so unbearable that the once contented couple could take no more and the pair became somewhat estranged. In May 1869 the …

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Nov 27

A Liquid Lunch

McIntyre had a drop too much to drink

  In 1871, a young dock labourer by the name of Alexander McIntyre spent the Tuesday afternoon of May 9th indulging in far more than a drop to drink. The alcohol levels in his blood reached such epic proportions they eventually rendered any sense of his intelligence untraceable. He stumbled about the dockside neighbourhood of …

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Nov 13

The Prank Caller

Old picture of Bootle Fire engines

A infuriating tale of mischief was told by Detective Sergeant Butcher in giving evidence against a young nuisance caller in the year 1919. It was heard that on September 8, three telephone calls were made for the fire brigade and another for the horse ambulance asking for help. During the latter the accused dialler, sixteen …

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Nov 10

The Garment Grab

Jessie Clarke stole a garmet

On this day in 1886 it was reported Jessie Clarke, noted for being a ‘Liverpool woman’ had been charged with stealing a gown worth 7 shillings. The garment was the property of Jeannette Thorburn, the wife of a joiner living in Birkenhead’s John Street. Two days earlier Mrs Thorburn had put the dress out on …

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Oct 25

Sentence Unheard

(c) Walker Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

In January 1879, the elderly Jane Lane was brought before the court on a charge of being an idle and disorderly person. The prisoner had been taken into custody no less than fifty-four times during her lifetime, with her latest arrest taking place on Kirkdale Road. Magistrate Clarke Aspinall remarked that she was quite past …

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Oct 12

A Suspicious Son

On the evening of April 28, 1870, James Singleton returned home from a heavy afternoon of drinking. At about a quarter-to-five James staggered up to the door of his home, 38 Letitia Street, off Park Road. He shared the house with his wife and mother-in-law and it was the latter Mrs Jane Gibson, who would …

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Oct 12

A Grand Return

The exhilarating afternoon of March 26, 1874 saw French horse Reugny win the year’s Grand National. There that day was racing fan John Worthington of Everton who had ridden his pony and trap to the event from his house at 21, St. George’s Hill. At about six o’clock Worthington and his companions set off for …

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Oct 12

A Fiery Feline

On October 22, 1896 Sarah Dawber was busy in the back yard of her home having finally found some time to deal with a few household chores. Much to her surprise a ghastly screech soon broke the afternoon calmness and a flickering feline flew into full view. A scrawny cat, one Sarah had seen on …

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