Shameful Neglect of Children

January 1896

Mexborough and Swinton Times January 10, 1896

Shameful Neglect of Children

James Hill and Phoebe Hill this were summoned at the instance of this Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children this, for neglect of their two children Elizabeth and David Hill, aged 12 and 10 years respectively.

Mr Pawson prosecuted on behalf of the NSPCC and said that the case was a very serious one. On 28th of December the society’s Inspector, Mr J.F.Gibson, went to the house, found the children there, among filth, half starved, and wretchedly clad. In fact the little girl told the inspector that she had only some stays and a petticoat on.

Mr JF Gibson, the inspector, said that in consequence of something he heard, he went to number 30, Sprotborough Street, new Conisborough, and saw their James Hill, the father and Elizabeth and David Hill. The children were very poorly clad, and wore boots with scarcely any soles to them. The boys back was covered with vermin marks. He then went upstairs, and in one room there was a dirty mattress on which the father and mother, the two children, and a son 19 years of age slept on.

The father complained that his wife spent all the money he gave her in drink.

PC Jarvis said that the children and always been in a very dirty neglected condition. The woman had always neglected her children, and gone about with a man called Daniel Taylor.

Sgt Ambler corroborated this.

Dr Corbett said he was called into the children on 28 December. They were very badly clad, and very cold. The girl was suffering from insufficient nourishment, but not exactly starving.

William Hill, 19 years of age, son of the defence, said he had given his mother money to buy food with. He had given her 13s 3d some while ago, and she had simply brought a little tea and sugar and bread, and the rest had been spent in drink.

The wife said that her husband could not expect her to keep a decent home together when he did not work and gave her no money. He was a filthy creature, and had not washed himself for a month, he had not changed his shirt for six weeks, and having been reared in muck, she thought he would die in it.

The Bench fined each of the defendants 20 shillings, including costs, and gave the NSPCC the custody of the children for the present.