Much Ado About Nothing at Conisborough

October 1888

Mexborough and Swinton Times October 12, 1888

Much Ado About Nothing at Conisborough

Joseph Drabble, Shoemaker, Conisborough, was summoned by Elizabeth Burniston, also of Conisborough on 12 September.

It will be remembered that the defendant was called upon the previous Saturday but his wife said he had gone away for the good of his health.

Mr C.W.Hall now appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr J.H.Pawson for the defendant.

Mr Hall said his client lived at Conisborough, on the roadside, and on 12 September, the Leger Day, she invited some friends to her house to see the people drive back home from Doncaster. They were all in the garden when Drabble came up, and used some most abusive language, without any reason at all; he also put his fist in her face two or three times, and then he swore that he she did not mind he would pull her onto the road and pull off her clothes. There could be no possible reason for the defendant’s conduct; the only thing the complainant could think of was that defendant daughter was a neighbour and their recently some dispute about a stable. The defendant’s conduct was disgraceful, the ladies were peaceably watching folks go past from their own garden. She asked that the defendant be bound over to keep the peace.

Mrs Burniston said he lived at Conisborough, and her husband was the owner of a traction engine. On 12 September at 7.30 in the evening, she and some lady friends were watching the return of people from Doncaster when defendant came up and asked “where old Dickie Rotherham was.” He then said he would throw her across the road and strip her of all her clothes. He also put his fist into her face several times. She was now frightened of him, as he used the most dreadful language.

By Mr Pawson: Witness had not said that defendant’s children were bastards.

Annie Marie Jepson said she was the wife of the Sergeant of Police in Conisborough, and she and other friends were invited to see the people returning from the races. She corroborated the evidence of plenty concerning the threats. All that the plaintiff said was that she would take defendant to Doncaster.

By Mr Pawson: Defendant said, what about the two girls that stripped you at South Kirkby and said he would serve the same.

Mr Hall: It doesn’t matter; there is no truth in it. – Amy Edith Ms he

Miss Edith Radley said she was in the garden with Mrs Burniston and she heard the defendant use the expression that had been spoken off. He also put his fist in her face.

By Mr Pawson: There was only one other woman who saw what occurred, and she was passing shortly before; cup Mrs Trickett

Mr Pawson for the defence, said the plaintiff made some remarks about defendant’s children being bastards, at which he was very much annoyed. As he passed the party, on the eve of the Saint Leger day, he remonstrated with the plaintiff. Instead of saying that he would pull her out into the middle of the road and strip her clothes off he said, “What about those girls that stripped cup you at South Kirkby?” He strongly denied having put his face into her face; as a matter of fact he did not threaten her at all. The plaintiff need have no fear about defendant’s future conduct.

Joseph Drabble said he was annoyed at what Mrs Burniston said about his children. He came past the gate, and was asked where Dick Rotherham was and his bastards. He was quite willing to put his character against hers in Conisborough. He also asked what about fetching her husband out of the Star Inn; and she not been seen on the Turnpike at 5 o’clock cursing her husband? He also asked her how she was served by the Kirkby women; he did not threaten to serve her with the same. He had no idea of doing her any harm, but he was annoyed at what she said. He had been painting her as she had painted him. (Laughter).

Mrs Trickett, Mrs Wilson and Mrs Senior saw what took place.

By Mr Hall: the reason he went near plaintiff garden was that he wanted to tell plaintiff a few anecdotes of herself. (Laughter.) He did not put his fist into her face. What the plaintiff had said on that score was an “outrageous lie.” (Laughter)

Mr Hall: Then you are the only one that is telling the truth.?

Defendant: I will put my word in Conisborough against hers. When he referred to the clothes, he was speaking of two young women who stripped plaintiff of her clothes.

Mr Hall: Do you know that is not true?

Defendant: I know it is true. The young woman came over from South Kirkby and told me. (Laughter.)

Mr Hall: Perhaps you are not aware that I was in the case? I was conducting the case for her at Pontefract. I ought to know you know. (Laughter)

Defendant: Well I think it is true

Mr Hall: Very well.

Mrs Trickett said she was eight or 10 yards from the garden and nothing was done by the defendant to the complainant.

Mrs Wilson said defendant said he would pull her about like the women at Kirkby.

Mrs Senior, another daughter of defendant said she listened to what defendant said and he did not threaten her.

The bench said there was no doubt that the defendant used a threat, but they did not want to punish him severely.

Mr Pawson said his client would pay the costs, and undertook not to molest the plaintiff, and on this undertaking the case was withdrawn.