Sheffield Independent – Monday 06 August 1888
Connubial Infelicity at Mexbro’.
At the Doncaster West Riding Police Court on Saturday, before Mr. G. B. C. Yarborough (in the chair), Lord Auckland, and other justices, Francis Robert Piggford, collier, of South Kirby, formerly of Mexbro’, was charged with having deserted his wife.
The complainant said her husband left her seven weeks ago. Three weeks afterwards she found him at South Kirby, where he had gone to be a colliery deputy.
When he deserted her he left her nothing, and she had had to depend on neighbours for food. She had no children. The defendant’s earnings at Denaby averaged from 5s. 6d. to 6s. 6d. per day. Three weeks ago, when she went to him he gave her £1 but gave her nothing since that time.
Elizabeth Smith, a neighbour, said the defendant had behaved most cruelly to his wife. Once when she was protecting the wife from the defendant’s blows he struck her so violently on the arm that she felt the pain for days afterwards.
Sarah Bradshaw, another neighbour, corroborated.
The defendant accused his wife of drunken habits.
The witnesses said the statement was false.
Mr. Yarborough said, even if the defendant’s statement was correct, that would be no excuse. He would have to contribute 7s. per week to her maintenance
Defendant : It’s no use making an order like that. I can’t pay it.
Mr. Yarborough : You will have to pay that and the cost..
Defendant : You can lock me up. I shall pay nothing of the sort.
The defendant was warned as to his behaviour, and he calmed down.