Destination of Two Children at Denaby – The Mother Elopes.

August 1887

Mexborough & Swinton Times, August 26, 1887

Destination of Two Children at Denaby.
The Mother Elopes.

Emily Evans, widow, late of Denaby, was brought up on remand charged under section 4 of the Vagrant Act with running away from Denaby and leaving her two children chargeable to the Doncaster union.

Mr F. E. Nicholson, clerk to the board of guardians, appeared on behalf of the prosecution, and, in opening the case, stated that the prisoner went to live at Denaby on the second February 2 with her two children, and remained there about four months, going out occasionally to work, and she was then turned out of the house.

Prisoner then went to reside with her brother, William Webb, who was at the time supporting his father and mother. That state of things went on until Sunday, the 10th July, when the prisoner left the house and disappeared. On 6 August two children became chargeable to the Doncaster union, and the guardians ordered a warrant for her apprehension, and since then it had been found that she was living at South Kirkby with a man named John Bates, with whom she had eloped from Denaby.

George Colbeck said he was a relieving officer for the Doncaster Union, and Denaby was in his district. On 6 August he received an order to take charge of the children.

Mr Crawshaw, the master of the Doncaster workhouse, said on 6 August Henry Evans and George Evans, 6 and 2 years old respectively, became chargeable to the Union. The cost of their maintenance was 15s. James Wilcox, the father of the prisoner, was an inmate of the workhouse for 14 weeks up to July.

Eliza Wilcox said she was the mother of Emily Evans, the prisoner, and resided with her natural son, William Webb, at Denaby. Prisoner was a widow, and came on the 22nd February, and resided with her sister, Martha Durham, and her brother-in-law, John Durham. She was an able bodied woman, she went out nursing, and gave witness 9s 6d a week for nearly 2 months. One evening the prisoner and her sister said they were going out, and when witness asked them where they were going to they said Old Denaby. They never came back, although witness waited for them half past 11 o’clock.

Prisoner said it was five and twenty minutes to eleven when she came back and knocked at the door, but could not get in.

Witness knew a  man named Bates, but she had not seen him since Tuesday after she ran away. A week before she left she stopped out all night, and her son, William Webb, objected to it.

Police Constable Scott stated that he was stationed at Hemsworth, and arrested the prisoner on the 6th inst, at Hemsworth in the house of a miner named Ingham. She had been living with a man named John Bates, as his wife

Mr Nicholson said the guardians felt very strongly that there should be some check on widows running away and leaving their children chargeable to the Union. If it was not stopped the Union would become full of widows children, and they could go away and lead a life of hypocrisy with impunity.

The bench said that the prisoner had deserted her children, thus making herself a rogue and a vagabond, and liable to 3 months imprisonment. They quite agreed with the guardians that the practice should be stopped, and prisoner would be sent to prison for two months.