Mexborough and Swinton Times December 3, 1910
Will “Turn Religious.”
Denaby Ex-Soldier’s Promise.
Drunkard Who Is Afraid Of His Wife.
Francis Walton, miner, ex-soldier, and member of a Territorial Club, is afraid of his wife.
He told the Doncaster Bench on Saturday that she had a fearful temper, and that occasionally he had to take refuge under the bed “when she has ‘em.”
The couple live at 36, Balby Street, new Conisbrough, and Mrs Walton, who appeared with the band instead, summoned the big brawny collier for assault. She also asked for a separation order. They had been married 20 years on the previous Thursday, but Mrs Walton hardly looked 30. She is the mother of eight little Walton’s, of whom only two, aged 13 and 15 respectively, are alive.
On Sunday morning last, at 12:45, the other came on the worse for drink, and struck. She fell down on the floor.
Did he do anything while you were down? – No.
But you told me the other day that he did something else? – I forget now. He didn’t kick me
Was that injury on your eye caused by him? – Yes.
But that could not have been caused by his face? – Well, I remember nothing else.
Defendant had no question to ask is why, but he admitted having had a drink or two and that he went home late. He had been to the Territorial Club, a place he generally frequented on Saturday night. When he came in this evening’s wife made for him, saying she give him a bit of “Iron” Hague. He stepped on one side, and she fell on the fender. That was how her eye got blacked. She managed to black his eye all the same.
“There is not a nicer woman breathing when she isn’t in beer,” he declared.
The Clerk inquired if she had had beer, and Mrs Walton interposed with the remark that she had never been out of the house that Saturday night.
Walton was told he ought to have questioned her about the beer. “I might get a black eye if I did,” said he. (Laughter)
Describing the assault as a very bad one, the chairman said Walton will be fined £2 or a month.
Mrs Walter’s application for a separation order, on the ground of persistent cruelty, was then heard.
She stated that during the 20 years of their married life Walton had assaulted her about six times. He had marked above once. When sober he was a good husband, and wouldn’t say an unkind word to her. Lately these assaults were occurring too often, wailed the little woman. The one before this occurred about nine months ago. The old man would be all right if he dropped his low companions. She objects to him bringing men to the house at 1 o’clock in the morning.
Walton would not question his missus, although she had, he said, told a pack of lies.
The wife told Mr Jackson she would go back to him if he promised to be good and give up the drink.
Old Walton assured the Court that he would love, “t’ould girl for evermore, and turn religious. He wished to say he had a very good character. He had been in the Army 13 years.
The case was accordingly dismissed, and if Mrs Walton wanted a separation order she would have to apply again. The ex-soldier was told he would have to go to Wakefield if he came again. “No fear,” he shouted, “I’ll become a local preacher now.” (Laughter.)