Bernard Dunn (c.1848-1905?)

Bernard Dunn was a hawker and petty criminal. A member of the notorious Irish Small Gang, he continued to run afoul of the law throughout his life.


He was born around 1848 in Huddersfield, the son of Irish couple hawker Martin Dunn and his wife Mary Ann.

The 1851 Census listed the family residing in the Post Office Yard of Castlegate.

The 1881 Census lists widower Martin Dunn (70) and unmarried son Bernard (32) as hawkers, whilst Bernard's married sister Sarah Howarth (40) was a rag sorter.

Shortly after the the census was taken, he married Emma Ruthven. They had two known children:

  • Clara Dunn (c.1877-?)
  • Martin Dunn (c.1885-?)

By 1891, he was living with Emma and their two children on Swallow Street, Huddersfield, and working as a pot hawker.

In June 1893, Dunn locked his wife in their house to prevent her leaving. She then leapt from their bedroom window into the street, and was taken to Huddersfield Infirmary where the house surgeon reported she was drunk and violent.[1]

In May 1898 he was committed to for one months' hard labour for viciously assaulting his wife. In court, it was stated that Dunn had 28 previous convictions and had "struck [his wife] about the head and kicker her all about the house, and she lay like a dead dog" her until Clara came to her aid.[2]

The body of Emma Dunn was recovered from the canal at Aspley on the morning of 1 September 1900. At the inquest, it was reported that Emma had been seen drinking in the town the day before at the Victoria Inn on Upperhead Row. Apart from a graze on her temple, there was nothing to show how she had entered the water or if she had committed suicide.[3]

The 1901 Census recorded widower Benard (53) living with his son Martin in an overcrowded lodging house at 6 Outcote Bank. Both were working as hawkers.

He probably died in Halifax in 1905.

Notes and References

  1. "A Rash Act" in Huddersfield Chronicle (24/Jun/1893).
  2. "A Violent Husband" in Huddersfield Chronicle (05/May/1898).
  3. "Death from Drowning" in Huddersfield Chronicle (08/Sep/1900).

Bernard Dunn (c.1848-1905?)


Criminals | People
This page was last modified on 24 July 2016 and has been edited by Dave Pattern.

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