Huddersfield Chronicle (26/Jun/1852) - District News: Holmfirth
TO THE EDITOR OF THE HUDDERSFIELD CHRONICLE.
Sir, — Ever since the awful flood which deluged and devastated our erstwhile prosperous valley on the 5th of February last, hundreds of dishonest scoundrels have infested the neighbouring county of Lancaster, where, by speciously representing themselves as Holmfirth citizens, and direct sufferers from the calamity, they have in numberless cases, it is to be feared, succeeded in defrauding the benevolent.
In like manner, whenever a factory is burnt down, or a colliery explosion occurs in Lancashire, we Yorkshiremen are literally “worried” by the pretended sufferers.
A germane case presented itself here last week, which I think well merits dissection. A middle-aged man called upon me for relief, on the plea that he had been ruined by a late coal-pit accident at Wigan. Having, through over good nature been previously victimised by some of these fellows, I required his name, and asked in what colliery he had been employed. The “victim” styled himself John Robinson, and referred me to Mr. Brown, at the Wigan Locks Colliery ; of course, I at once posted the subjoined note :— “Holmfirth, Yorkshire, June 15, 1852. — Sir, I have just been applied to for pecuniary aid by a person calling himself John Robinson, who states that whilst in your employ he suffered severely from a recent explosion at your colliery. Entertaining some doubt as to his veracity, I told him I would write to you for confirmation ; and that if he proved a deserving object of charity I should, on receipt of your answer, relieve him according to my ability. I enclose a stamp for reply ; and remain, respectfully yours, J. Lomax. — To Mr. Brown, coal proprietor, Wigan.”
In answer to this I received the following :— “Ince Colliery, near Wigan, June 17, 1852. — Mr. Lomax, Sir, In reply to your letter, I beg to state that there was an explosion at this colliery in December last, but there was no John Robinson injured by it, nor has any such person had employment at this colliery. The late manager at this colliery, to whom your letter was addressed, has been dead more than three years! I am, your obedient servant, pro. A. F. Haliburton, Esq., A. Barker.”
Now, Mr. Editor, if you could find a spare nook in your journal for the insertion of this exposée, it may have a salutary effect in checking indiscriminate almsgiving — the practice of which is a notorious evil, proving but too frequently an injustice to the really honest, though unfortunately destitute mendicant.
- Yours obliged,
- JOHN LOMAX.
Holmfirth, June 22, 1852.