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Stories of People

Past news of local crime and misfortunes

Peter Bardsley in 2006 at the Stockport Gourmet MarketThe late Peter Bardsley (1929-2010) scoured the 19th and early 20th centuries Stockport Advertisers, and other local papers, in the Stockport Heritage Library for these stories of the Marple past. Peter was a stalwart of several organizations in Marple, including the Local History Society and the Holy Spirit Church. He authored or co-authored several local history books, including Hollins Mill and Brabyns Hall and Park, both with Ann Hearle. In May 2011 a new display board, in the Marple Memorial Park, about the Carvers and Barlows, was dedicated to Peter.

Thank you, Peter
(left) at the first Gourmet Market in Stockport in 2006, tasting donkey sausages!

Swain & Co Ltd was formed in 1888 to take over Messrs Swain and Bearby's 'Stockport Advertiser'. The  Advertiser', Stockport’s  first newspaper, was founded in 1822 by James Lomax. Swain and Bearby purchased the business in 1873 and expanded it to cover surrounding areas. In 1977 Swain & Co Ltd became a subsidiary of the Guardian & Manchester Evening News Ltd. The 'Stockport Advertiser' was merged with the 'Stockport Express' in 1981, the resulting paper being called the 'Stockport Express Advertiser'.

Stockport Advertiser – 28th July 1826 Page 3

Police Office

Daniel Sullivan was committed to Knutsford to take his trial at the ensuing Sessions, by S P Humphreys Esq, for stealing a gander the property of Mr John Brocklehurst of Ludworth on Saturday 15th Inst.

Stockport Advertiser – 1st June 1827 Page 3

George Reed, boatman of Marple, a notorious character charged with stealing a quantity of potatoes, the property of John Higginbottom, farmer of Disley on Saturday morning last was committed to Knutsford to take his trial.

Stockport Advertiser – 8th June 1827 Page 3

Apprehension of Thompson the Supposed Murderer

It is with great pleasure that we are enabled to state that James Thompson, the man charged by the verdict of a Coroner’s Jury, with the wilful murder of Catherine Fisher, at Compstall Bridge near this town on the 13th January last was apprehended at Liverpool on Friday last.  It appears he was taken into custody on a charge of horse-stealing having hired a horse at Ormskirk and afterwards sold it at Liverpool.  He was examined for this offence on Saturday and committed to Lancaster Assizes.  In consequence of some suspicions entertained by Mr Miller, Constable of Liverpool, he wrote to Mr Barrett, our Deputy Constable stating that he had a person in custody answering the description given of Thompson in the Public Advertisements.  Mr Barrett in company with Mr Dyson, who is in the employ of Messrs Andrew Bruckshaw and Co went over to Liverpool on Saturday afternoon    and on being admitted into the prison he was immediately identified.  When they went into the lock-up, he was stripped for the purpose of examination, when to their great surprise they discovered he had been endeavouring to commit suicide.  He had inflicted one wound to his throat and two on his belly, none of which however were of a dangerous nature.  The wounds had been made by a piece of sharp pointed glass, about an inch and a half in length, which he had obtained by breaking one of the windows.  His arms were immediately pinioned to prevent the accomplishment of his purpose, and he was finally secured in Lancaster Castle.  We understand that after he had taken his trial at Lancaster, he will be conveyed to Chester to be tried for the murder.

Stockport Advertiser –  24th August 1827 Page 3 and 24th August 1827 Page 3

Police Office

Frances Greatorex, a girl of about 12 years of age, was charged with having stolen a black bombazine tippet and sleeves and a silk handkerchief, the property of Mrs Wilcock of The Bull’s Head Inn, Marple on Thursday last (16th August), also a cotton apron belonging to Jane Burrows, servant to Mr Booth of the Grapes Inn, Werneth.  This case exhibited a most remarkable instance of youth depravity.  It appeared in evidence that the prisoner went to Mrs Wilcock’s house on Wednesday evening and said that she was in want of a situation, relating at the time a tale so pathetic that Mrs Wilcock, from motives of humanity, was induced to give her refreshments and allowed her to sleep there all night.  The next morning she decamped with the articles above mentioned and was apprehended shortly afterwards by Chadwick, the constable of Marple.  When taken she had a bundle containing a quantity of wearing apparel no doubt obtained in a similar manner as she has long been known to the police and has already suffered imprisonment for a crime of a similar nature.  It is very probable that other cases may be brought against her.  Committed to Knutsford to take her trial at the ensuing sessions.