Category Archives: Violent Episodes

She exhibited a pair of pistols


This day fortnight an event took place in the shop of a respectable watchmaker in this town which had nearly been attended with a tragical result. The sister of a young lady who once made some stir in this town, respecting a certain hymeneal disappointment, had, it appears, for a long period received visits from the gentleman in question. She either had, or concluded she had reason for believing that the consummation would be matrimony. Suddenly, however, and, as the lady avers, without any reason assigned, the gentleman discontinued his visits. She repeatedly called at his shop and requested to see him, but either by accident or design her wishes in this respect were frustrated. If the shop-boy may be believed she more than once betrayed signs of violent agitation, and exhibited a pair of pistols.

Last Monday week she called at the shop, where she found the gentleman. She asked him if he intended to call at her house. He said no, he did not intend to call any more. At that moment she placed her hand in her pocket, and he heard the click of a pistol-lock. The sound was that of placing the weapon on full cock. She drew the pistol from her pocket, and he rushed towards her and seized it with the intention of disarming her. A struggle ensued, during which the pistol went off. The ball entered the young man’s leg just above the knee, and shattered the bone in a most dreadful manner. She immediately threw away another pistol and rushed from the shop.

The young man took up the pistol which she had thrown away, and, on examining it, found it to be loaded with ball. An application was made to the magistrates last week for a summons against the lady, and the case was heard on Friday. The young man is in a precarious state, and was so ill from the effects of his wound that it was found expedient to have the case heard in the office of the magistrates’ clerks. The above facts were stated, and the young woman was bound over to keep the peace for twelve months.—Liverpool Albion.

The Leicester Chronicle Saturday 30 September 1837

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The writer escaped this time


A writer having attacked vehemently, in a New York journal, a place of dubious reputation in the town, he received in reply to his remarks an anonymous letter advising him to desist from those proceedings, but took no notice of the warning except to continue his literary crusade. A day or two afterwards, as he was sitting in the office of the newspaper, enter to him a ferocious-looking individual armed with a club, and demanding “Where is the editor?”

With considerable presence of mind the receiver of the visit concluded what was the object of his visitor, and asked him to sit down and read the papers while he went in search of the editor. Once out of the room he made for the street door; but here encountered another rough looking stranger also armed with a bludgeon, and demanding in still more furious tones “Where is the editor?” Here the native wit of the New Yorker had a real opportunity for showing itself, and he directed the second intruder to the room he had himself just left, telling him he would find the editor there reading the papers. The result was a tremendous conflict between the two visitors, each of whom was convinced he had to do with an unusually muscular and determined man of letters.

While the struggle was proceeding the intended victim of the agression was quietly bringing the police upon the scene, who, when they arrived, found the combatants quite sufficiently exhausted by their efforts to be easily captured and led off to prison. The incident exemplified once more the superiority of mind over matter and of wit over brute force. But though the writer escaped this time, the affair shows that writing for the Press has its perils in New York.

The Royal Cornwall Gazette Falmouth Packet, Cornish Weekly News, & General Advertiser Friday 2 August 1878

Note: ‘agression’ is shown as in the original

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Filed under Displays of wit, Narrow Escapes, Violent Episodes

The imminent risk of losing an eye



Sir,—During six years I have been a witness in the metropolis of a sight unparalleled for ruffianism, theft, and riotous conduct in any other civilised city.

Invariably, on the 5th of November, not less than 15,000 persons assemble on Tower-hill strictly for the purpose of robbery, brutal ruffianism, and to “let off fireworks.”

During my travels, several years, in many principal cities in the four corners of the globe, I never met with such a consolidated mass of villany; from all appearances every third person is a regular cadger or thief. The police confirm my opinion in this respect, and a walk through the mob will doubly qualify it.

From 6 o’clock in the evening till 11 at night Tower-hill and Trinity-square are perfectly impassable, business is all at stand; I am obliged to close my door, darken my windows, and desert the front part of my house entirely, and my premises are not approachable for five hours, yet I never escape without some serious injury.

Last night my child was saved, almost by a miracle, from having his brains dashed in by a large oyster shell being hurled with great violence by some miscreant in the crowd. My wife received the blow, which stunned her severely, as she sat, for a moment only, at my first floor window. I rushed out and found one solitary metropolitan policeman, 166H. He told me there were 30 policemen on the hill, “and about.” I struggled through the mob, at the imminent risk of losing an eye, and after 20 minutes found one more, No. 204. This man very reluctantly told me, after my urgent solicitations, that he would, “if he saw the sergeant of his force,” send him to my house. However, no policeman whatever, except the city force, came to my assistance, and two feet from my door they “cannot act.”

I was, consequently, handed over to the metropolitan force, who, in turn, referred me to the city force. The latter were most civil and obliging, and rendered every assistance possible; but, in the presence of not more than a couple of metropolitan policemen, a vagabond mob of 3,000 pelted, during two hours, the house of my neighbour, and smashed nearly the whole of his windows, while another neighbour on my left had his house set on fire, and two persons narrowly escaped with their lives; and I protest on oath that no attempt was made by the police to stop the scoundrels.

Will you give us a helping hand?—at least through you, there is a rescue from ruffianism and gross police mismanagement.

Nov 6.                                                                                                                         J.H.

The Times, Monday 7 November 1853

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A Little Wrangle, As Usual


A Duel with TeacupsAt Woolwich Police-court, Joseph Cope, a chimney-sweep, living at Eltham, was charged with unlawfully wounding his wife, who appeared with her face half hidden in bandages, and said that she did not want to punish him. Being informed that she must state the circumstances of the case, she proceeded, with some hesitation, to say that on the previous evening, when her husband came home to tea, they had a little wrangle, as usual, about money matters, because he would always keep the cash and make her an insufficient daily allowance to maintain the family. He aggravated her to such an extent that she took up a teacup and threw it at him, but missed him, and thereupon he threw one at her, but that missed also. She then threw a second cup, which went over his head, but he took good aim the second time, for his cup struck her forehead, and inflicted a long, deep wound. They had had many a quarrel before, but this was the first time she had locked him up, and she begged the magistrate not to send him to prison. A police-sergeant said that when the prisoner was given into custody his wife accused him of striking her with the cup while he held it in his hand, and he did not deny it. The officer added that he had often to make peace between them, and that there were faults on both sides. Mr Balguy bound the prisoner in £5 to keep the peace for six months.

The Illustrated Police News, Saturday 18 September 1880

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