New Mode of Dispersing Quarrelsome Neighbours

December 1887

Mexborough and Swinton Times December 9, 1887

A New Mode of Dispersing Quarrelsome Neighbours

Mary Hollinghead, married woman, Conisborough was summoned on a charge of assaulting Rachel Severn, also married woman living at the same place.

Complainant stated that on the previous Sunday she was in the house when she heard a noise at the back. On going to see what was the matter she found the defendant and a Mrs Fretwell having a few words. Witness stood on the step for a few moments, and afterwards went and advised Mrs Fretwell to go home.

A little later witness was passing defendant’s house, when defendant opened the chamber window and threw a bowl of water over her, wetting her to the skin. After the summons was served defendant plastered it up outside the house. (Laughter).

Adelaide Heddle gave evidence to the effect that she saw the defendant put her head outside the chamber window then throw the bowl full of water all over the complainant.

Ruth Poole and Rhoda Delling each gave corroborative evidence.

Defendant said the disturbance began with the children fighting, and as the neighbours were creating a row outside her door she threw the water out of the window thinking it would shift them.

Jane Cramp said that Mrs Fretwell and several others were kicking at defendant’s door and “going on,” and in order to disperse them defendant through the water among them. At the time complainant was going to persuade Mrs Fretwell to go home, and the water fell on her.

Agnes Bales gave similar testimony, adding that there were five or six women at the door who were wanting defendant to go out to fight. They nearly broke the door down.

Lord Auckland said the magistrates were of opinion that they must dismiss the case. There was no doubt that the complainant got drenched, but the defendant was being besieged by a party that were using violence to the defendant’s door, and were threatening her. Defendant appeared to have thrown the wattages to disperse them, and complainant was within reach, and had the misfortune to get it upon, but the Bench thought there was no intention of throwing the water upon the complainant.