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West Kirby 1841

A Wirral Local History Project

The Victorian West Kirby News Headlines

SHIPWRECK - 26th November 1884

On Sunday night last, the schooner Jane was wrecked off West Kirby. The vessel during the night was driven by the gale upon the West Bank. She there injured her hull to such an extent that when the wind veered and drove her into deep water, she sank and became a total wreck. The whole of the crewe were saved. Part of the cargo, which was picked up on the strand by the inhabitants, has been taken care of by the police, and will be delivered to the owners.


On Wednesday night last, a desperate fight took place at West Kirby, about eight miles from Birkenhead, between two young men, named William Clarke and William Smith, both tailors, in which the former was unfortunately killed. It seems that the two men had been drinking and dancing along with some companions in a beerhouse during the day, and at night a quarrel took place between them, when they adjourned to a field in the neighbourhood to settle their difference. They were accompanied by Thomas Rainford and James Pownall, labourers, who acted as seconds. About forty rounds were fought, after which Clarke fell exhausted to the ground, and was soon afterwards removed to a house, where he immediately expired, having never rallied. No marks of violence were found upon the body, except a few scratches. The antagonist of the deceased, Smith, was apprehended in Liverpool on Thursday forenoon; the seconds, Rainford and Pownall, were taken into custody during the evening, and were lodged in Birkenhead bridewell. The three men were removed yesterday morning in charge of bridewell keeper to Gleaves to West Kirby, where an investigation into the melancholy affair was held before Mr Churton, coroner, and a respectable jury. After hearing some evidence the coroner adjourned the inquest until Saturday, in order that a post mortem examination of the body might be made. The inquest was resumed on Saturday and after a full investigation of the case the jury returned a verdict of "Manslaughter" and the three prisoners were committed to take their trial at the next Chester assizes.

WILFUL DAMAGE - 14th November 1854

Yesterday, at the Birkenhead police court, before W. Jackson, Esq., M.P., and J.R. Shaw, Esq., three labouring men, named Joseph Minshull, Edward Wareing, and Stephen Nicholson, were charged will wilfully throwing down a portion of a wall, the property of Mr. John Robin, of Grove-hill, Grange. Mr Bretherton appeared for the prosecution, and called evidence to show that on the night of the 28th ult. the prisoners, who, it appeared, were prowling the district, threw down the wall in question without any assignable motive, except mere maliciousness, The damage was estimate at £4. After assaulting a farm labourer in the neighbourhood the prisoners decamped, and were at large until warrants were issued for their apprehension. The charge of assault was withdrawn, in consequence of the farm servant not being able to prove the identity of the prisoners. The offenders were ordered to pay for the damage, besides being mulcted in a penalty of 40s. and costs, amounting altogether to £3 8s. 8d. each.