Mary Ann Payton was a mill worker and rag sorter who frequently found herself in front of the magistrates in Huddersfield, often on drink related charges.
She was born in 1867 in Brighouse, the daughter of Irish-born Michael Payton. The family surname was sometimes recorded as "Peyton" or even "Pation".
Mary Ann's mother died before 1871.
The 1871 Census records widower Michael and his daughter residing with his brother, Irish labourer Thomas and his wife Bridget, residing on Mill Lane, Hipperholme. Thomas and Bridget had nine children of their own.
By 1881, Michael had remarried and was living at 11 Park Street, Hipperholme, and 13-year-old Mary Ann was working as a cotton carder.
From 1888 onwards, she was regularly in front of Huddersfield magistrates from drunkenness or petty theft. The prison records describe as being around 4' 11" tall with dark brown hair. She also had scars on the middle finger of her right hand and later on her upper lip.
The 1891 Census lists Mary Ann Payton as lodging with the Bates family on Outcote Bank and working as a woollen feeder.
In December 1895, The Huddersfield Chronicle called her a "well-known character" after she was charged with using obscene language.
It seems likely that Mary Ann Payton died in 1907 after sadly descending into prostitution, with her death recorded in Dewsbury.
The following all took place in Huddersfield unless noted otherwise:
|30/Jan/1887||Breaking a window.||Fined 15s. 6d..||Reported in the Huddersfield Chronicle. Defendant went to the Wheat Sheaf Inn, Upperhead Row, on 22 January. Became drunk and abusive, and was thrown out of the inn by the landlord. She then threw a rock through the front window.|
|13/Feb/1888||Brawling in a street.||10 days.||Mill hand, aged 19. The Huddersfield Chronicle reported that she resided on Swallow Street and had brawled in Manchester Street.|
|09/Jul/1888||Using obscene language.||17 days or pay 17 shillings.||Aged 20.|
|23/Jul/1888||Obstructing a constable.||1 month or pay 33 shillings.||Aged 20.|
|23/Aug/1888||Disorderly behaviour.||1 month or pay 29s. 2d.||Servant, aged 20. Discharged 23 September.|
|23/Aug/1888||Disorderly and refusing to quit a public house.||1 month or pay 33s. 6d.||Servant, aged 20. Discharged 23 October.|
|03/Apr/1889||Using obscene language.||14 days or pay 24 shillings.||Aged 21. Discharged 16 April.|
|25/Jul/1890||Brawling in the street.||Fined 5 shillings plus costs.||The Huddersfield Chronicle reported that she was living on Upperhead Row.|
|16/Mar/1891||Drunk & disorderly.||7 days or pay 18s.10d.||Mill hand, aged 23. Discharged 21 March.|
|15/Apr/1891||Drunk & disorderly.||1 month or pay 36 shillings.||Mill hand, aged 23. Discharged 14 May.|
|21/Mar/1892||Assaulting Mary Brear of Boulder's Yard on 16 March.||14 days hard labour.||Rag piecer, aged 23. Discharged 2 April.|
|27/Apr/1892||Using obscene language.||10 days or pay 18s. 10d.||Rag sorter, aged 24. Discharged 2 April.|
|27/Jun/1892||Drunk & disorderly.||14 days or pay 20 shillings.||Rag sorter, aged 24. Discharged 10 July. The Huddersfield Chronicle reported that she had been drunk on Cross Church Street and had smashed a window at the Neptune Inn on John Street on 25 June.|
|30/Jul/1892||Drunk and disorderly.||14 days or pay 26 shillings.||Rag picker, aged 24. Discharged 12 August.|
|22/Aug/1892||Brawling in a street.||14 days or pay 24 shillings.||Rag picker, aged 24. Discharged 3 April. The Huddersfield Chronicle reported her of "no fixed abode."|
|12/Sep/1892||Drunk and disorderly.||14 days.||Aged 24. Discharged 25 September. The Huddersfield Chronicle reported her of "no fixed abode" and that she had smashed a window at the Musicians' Arms on Northgate.|
|17/Oct/1892||Drunk and incapable.||7 days or pay 25 shillings.||Aged 24. Detained sick until 24 October.|
|16/Jan/1893||Drunk & disorderly.||14 days or pay 27 shillings.||Rag picker, aged 24. Discharged 28 January.|
|15/Mar/1893||Brawling in a street.||10 days or pay 20 shillings.||Rag picker, aged 24. Discharged 24 March. The Huddersfield Chronicle reported her of "no fixed abode" and had been drunk and brawling in the Beast Market.|
|01/May/1893||Stealing 3 shawls, the property of Mary E. Johnson of Sutcliffe's Yard.||1 month hard labour.||Rag picker, aged 25. Discharged 2 June. The Huddersfield Chronicle reported her of "no fixed abode".|
|09/Jun/1893||Robbery with violence.||6 months hard labour.||Rag sorter, aged 25. Sentenced at Leeds Assizes, along with Harriet Smith. Discharged 25 January 1894. The Huddersfield Chronicle reported both of "no fixed abode". The pair had robbed and assault Mr. Thomas Topham, an elderly gentleman residing at Newhouse, before pushing him to the ground.|
|30/Mar/1894||Stealing cotton warp and 4 lbs of weft, property of Joseph Wood, Northgate, Shepley.||6 months hard labour.||Rag sorter, aged 25. Sentenced at Bradford on 2 July. The Huddersfield Chronicle reported her residing on Manchester Street.|
|13/Oct/1895||Disorderly behaviour.||14 days or pay 26 shillings.||Aged 26. Discharged 26 October.|
|02/Jan/1895 (Wakefield)||Drunk and disorderly. Wilful damage.||not specified||The Sheffield Independent reported that after being arrested, she smashed the glass of the window in the police cell. She had apparently been drunk with her brother, Patrick Payton, and caused a disturbance at the railway station in Huddersfield.|
|13/Nov/1895||Drunk and disorderly.||14 days or pay 24s. 2d.||Rag sorter, aged 26. Discharged 26 November.|
|17/Dec/1895||Obscene language.||14 days or pay 26 shillings.||Aged 27. Discharged 30 December.|
|19/Feb/1896||Stealing a pair of boots on 18 January belonging to Mary Hannah Rawlinson, who was laying drunk and incapable in Boulder's Yard.||not guilty||Aged 27. Acquitted at Leeds Assizes on 9 March.|
|23/Mar/1896||Obscene language.||14 days or pay 29s. 2d.||Aged 27. Discharged 4 April.|
|27/Apr/1896||Drunk and disorderly.||14 days or pay 23s. 10d.||Rag picker, aged 28. Discharged 9 May.|
|20/Jul/1896||Assault.||1 month hard labour or pay 40 shillings.||Rag sorter, aged 28. Discharged 19 August.|
|09/Nov/1896||Drunk and disorderly.||1 month or pay 33s. 10d.||Aged 27. Discharged 8 December.|
|29/Dec/1896||Using obscene language.||7 days or pay 21 shillings.||Rag picker, aged 28. Discharged 4 January 1897.|
|17/May/1897||Using obscene language. Drunk and disorderly.||7 days and 14 days.||Aged 29. Discharged 5 June.|
|23/May/1900||Fighting in the street.||14 days or pay 21s. 6d.||Mill hand, aged 30. Discharged 5 June.|
|30/Jul/1900||Drunk and disorderly.||14 days or pay 26 shillings.||Mill hand, aged 30. Discharged 12 August.|