Sheffield Telegraph, June 17th 1870
Murderous Assault at Denaby Main
An Irish labourer named Devine, residing at Mexborough, was reported to the police yesterday evening as lying in a precarious condition, in consequence of an assault by another Irishman, whose name we have been unable to ascertain, information of the affair, having reached us at a very late hour.
The facts, as stated, to us, however, are these: The two men were engaged as labourers in the erection of some new Coke opens near the Denaby Main colliery, and at an early hour on Wednesday morning words arose between them, the cause of the dispute being that Devine had informed his employer of the inconvenience he had suffered through the drunken habits of the other man’s mate.
From words they came to blows, and it is said that the man whose name is unknown to us, caught hold of Devine by the legs and tripped him up, causing him to fall heavily on his back. It is also alleged that he followed this up by assaulting Devine with his fists. At the conclusion of the disturbance the latter resumed his work, but about 12 o’clock, three or four hours after the assault, he became unwell from internal injuries he had received, and he had to be taken home, where he was attended by Mr McLachlan, surgeon, of Mexborough.
He has since, however, become gradually worse, internal inflammation having set in. His medical adviser pronounced him to be in great danger yesterday evening, and we are informed that measures were being taken by Mr Inspector Nicholson, of Mexborough, for having depositions taken.
The alleged assailant was not in custody when we receive the above statement, which of course is only the injured man’s version of the affair.