Cheshire Observer (29/Aug/1891) - Tragedy Near Huddersfield

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors.

TRAGEDY NEAR HUDDERSFIELD.

MURDER OF A FLINTSHIRE GIRL.

On Friday week a murder was committed at the Ivy House Inn, on the Manchester Road, leading from Huddersfield to Marsden, in the township of Linthwaite. The victim is a servant girl named Catherine Dennis, aged 16, whose parents live at Flint, North Wales. Who the perpetrator of the deed is has yet to be discovered. About two o'clock in the afternoon the landlady left hone to go to Huddersfield on business, and left Dennis in charge of the house. At the time there were two teamsters from Golcar in the house having dinner, and there was also a stranger, apparently a mechanic, in the taproom having a glass of beer. Subsequently John William Iredale and some other people from Linthwaite were in the house, but they left, and it would appear that then nobody but the stranger was left in the house. At half-past four o'clock a butcher's boy, named David Beevers, called with the week's meat, but could make no one hear in the house, and he at once made this known to a man named Hoyle, who was at work in a field close by. Hoyle and Beevers went to the house, but, failing to make anyone hear, they called in a neighbour named Mrs. Bailey, and she, going upstairs, found on the landing the girl with a wound in her neck, which was bleeding freely. She ran downstairs and raised an alarm. The police were informed of the case, and Police Constables West and Kempston and Sergeant McCawley were soon on the spot. A telegram was despatched for Superintendent Pickard at the County Police Office at Huddersfield, and he and Detective Wilks, of the borough police force, hurried off to Linthwaite to make the necessary inquiries. Drs. Haigh and Leslie were driving along the road, and they were called in and examined the body and pronounced life to be extinct. There was a stab wound on the right side of the neck, which must have proved fatal in a very few minutes. That the girl had been murdered there was no doubt, and her wrists bore black marks as if they had been subjected to very severe pressure, but beyond the injury to the neck and wrists there was no other indication of injury to the body. No robbery appears to have been committed at the house. On the landing there were found a sweeping brush and a sawdust pan, and it seems very likely that Dennis when attacked was going to sweep out the long room, which had been used on the previous night by the Linthwaite Brass Band, which practices at the house, though Mrs. Brook, the landlady (who has kept the house for about twenty years), told Dennis that she need not do the work that afternoon, but leave it till the following day. Two men have been arrested on suspicion.

At Huddersfield on Saturday, Joshua Lockwood and George Farnham were charged with the murder of Catherine Dennis, aged sixteen, at Ivy Green public-house, Linthwaite, on Friday. The Police Superintendent stated that the prisoners were the last men in the house before the discovery of the murder, which was committed while the girl was alone in the house. Both prisoners asserted that they were going towards the house, when arrested, after the murder, and denied having been supplied with beer as stated. Remanded until Monday.

Joshua Lockwood and George Farnham were charged before the West Riding magistrates on Monday, on remand, charged with murdering Catherine Dennis. The police stated that further inquiries had shown them that the prisoners could not have had anything to do with the murder, and they asked that they should be discharged. The prisoners' counsel complained of the hardships his clients had been subjected to, and asked what compensation would be granted? The magistrates declined to grant any, and the men were discharged.

A Flint correspondent states — Catherine Dennis, the victim of the Huddersfield outrage was the daughter of Edward Dennis, a general labourer employed at the Flint Chemical Works, and living in a small house in Corporation Street, Flint. Deceased has a mother living and three younger sisters also live at home, and they appear to be a respectable family. Catherine Dennis (the deceased) was nearly 16 years of age, and was a remarkably fine girl for her age, having grown considerably since the time she entered service at Huddersfield. She was last at home at Flint in her holidays at Whitsuntide. Deceased was always considered to be a steady and persevering girl, and had just been in service at the Ivy House Inn for twelve months, that being her first situation, and when at home during her holidays she seemed to be doing very well there. The parents were painfully shocked upon hearing of the dreadful occurrence through a telegram demanding their immediate presence at Huddersfield. They departed from Flint by the 10.20 a.m. train on Saturday to Huddersfield. The greatest excitement prevails throughout the town and locality of Flint, and much sympathy is expressed towards the parents in their sad bereavement. We understand that they wish the body to be brought to Flint for interment.

Cheshire Observer (29/Aug/1891) - Tragedy Near Huddersfield

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This page was last modified on 19 August 2015 and has been edited by Dave Pattern.

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