1890s child neglect at Engine Fold

Leeds Times
Saturday 12 January 1895

THE CHILDREN OF TOTTY

At Wakefield, yesterday, Mr Wordsworth on behalf of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, made an application in respect of the custody of five children belonging to the Old Engine Fold, Kirkhamgate. It transpired that on Wednesday Inspector Smith visited the house of a man named Joseph Totty, who, it was stated, lived with a single woman named Emma Willoughby, and there found five children, who, as well as the house, were in a dreadfully filthy condition. There was very little food in the house, the mother was absent, and there was scarcely any fire. The three boys had nothing on but shirts and trousers, and the baby was rolling on the floor naked. Their clothing, as well as two beds upstairs, was very filthy. The Bench ordered the children to remain in the workhouse until Monday when the case has to be dealt with.

Leeds Times
Saturday 19 January 1895

CHILDREN OF SHAME
SHOCKING NEGLECT AT WAKEFIELD

On Monday, at Wakefield, Emma Willoughby and a man named Joseph Totty, who have lived together, were charged with neglecting their five illegitimate children.

It seemed that the house occupied by the defendants, at Alverthorpe, being visited in October last, and again last week, it was found to be in an indescribably filthy state. The children were insufficiently clad and covered with dirt, sores, and filth, and there was very little bread and coals in the house.

Each defendant was sent to prison for two months.

The chips are down

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer
Tuesday 30 May 1899

A WHIT MONDAY ENTERPRISE: SINGULAR GAME OF CHANCE

At Wakefield yesterday George Herriot, fish and chipped potato dealer, Potovens, was ordered to pay 12s. 6d. for using a striking machine in such a manner as to make it a game of chance.

It appeared that on Whit Monday the defendant had his machine on the highway at Potovens and took coppers from children, who were awarded prizes of fish and potatoes if the iron reached the inked numbers which had been added opposite to those painted upon it.

Wroes’ burglary: the miscarriage of justice

Picking up on the story of the three men convicted in August 1842 for the burglary at Brandy Carr House, and their sentence of transportation to Australia...

Leeds Intelligencer
Saturday 17 August 1844

INNOCENT PARTIES TRANSPORTED

Our readers will remember that about two years ago, the house of Prophet Wroe, of Wakefield, was broken into and a silver watch stolen; also, that three men, called Benjamin and John Pickersgill and James Ramsden, were tried for the robbery at York Assizes, in August, 1842, and transported for ten years. It now appears, however, that the men were in no manner connected with the robbery, and are perfectly innocent of it. This information has been obtained from James Hudson, now a convict at York Castle, who has made a voluntary confession to the Governor of the Castle, by which it appears that the robbery was committed by himself and five other men, whose names he gives; he details the proceedings on the night of the robbery, and what was done with the property. We trust the Magistrates will take measures by which these innocent men will be restored to their homes.

Shocking that what we would consider a major news story, although covered in many of the papers, is tucked away in seemingly random ‘local news’ type columns. And that’s it, there’s no further coverage, nothing about when the men did return home. A very different news agenda to that of today.

More trouble at Wrenthorpe WM Club

Yorkshire Evening Post
Friday 22 September 1905

A WAKEFIELD CLUB OFFICIAL AND THE FUNDS

To-day, at Wakefield, Eli Bateman, miner. Wrenthorpe, and Albert Moorby, also a miner, of Wrenthorpe, were summoned for withholding or misapplying the sums of £29. 10s. 2d. and £11. 14s. 6d. respectively, the moneys of the Wrenthorpe Working Men’s Club. The hearing of the case lasted some hours.

Mr J R Green prosecuted, and asked be allowed to withdraw the case against Moorby, who had repaid the money due from him as secretary the club.

The magistrates agreed.

Bateman was fined £1 and £1. 5s. 6d. costs, and an order made upon him to pay the deficiency, £31. 15s. 8d. in all, or two months’ imprisonment.

Jailed for dodging US Civil War draft

A great article from the Leeds Times: information on ‘Prophet’ John Wroe’s demise, the aftermath at Melbourne House and, most intriguingly of all, the latest troubles facing ‘Judge’ Daniel Milton.

As we’ve already heard, Brooklyn’s Daniel Milton spent much of the last 40 years of his life protesting against the Wroes, keeping the local police and courts busy, and even served time in Wakefield Prison. But on a trip home in the autumn of 1864, when he turns out to vote in the US general election, he lands up in jail for spending too much time in Wrenthorpe instead of enlisting to fight for the Union.

Leeds Times
Saturday 17 December 1864

THE “SAINTS’ ” DISPUTED INHERITANCE AT WRENTHORPE

John Wroe, the ignorant old man who falsely and wickedly designated himself a Prophet, died in Australia, in Feb, 1863, after falsifying his own prediction in this respect, for he had declared that he should return to England in the flesh, remain here for four years, and be then put to a violent death, only to re-appear at the Temple in West Ardsley for his permanent heavenly residence upon earth. We really thought that the imposture he propagated had long since exploded, and can only express our regret that such is not the case.

Our readers will remember that in March, 1864, we duly detailed the steps which had been taken by Daniel Milton – who calls himself “the Promised Shiloh” and “the Head of the Church” – to recover possession of the Saints’ Inheritance at Wrenthorpe, on the ground that it had been built with the money of the disciples, and was intended to be their home when the earthly Millennium comes to pass, and how Daniel soon found himself in the Lion’s Den – otherwise the Wakefield House of Correction – for obstructing the executors of John Wroe’s will in the execution of their duty. Since that period, the farms, farming stock, houses, and the elegant articles of furniture appertaining unto Melbourne Temple, have been disposed of by public auction, for the benefit of the kith and kin of the deceased “prophet”: and within the “hallowed walls” of the structure there is now nothing to testify to its departed glories except two faithful female adherents of Wroe’s, who wander about the tenement sorely distressed in mind owing to the trouble that has fallen upon Israel, but who still firmly believe that John will re-appear on February 4th, 1865. Whether his resuscitation is to be merely spiritual or of the flesh, fleshly, is not clear even to the mental vision of these sorely afflicted females. But they bide their time, holding loyally to their creed, and will be prepared to welcome Wroe even if he comes under the questionable shape of a spiritual medium, rather than in propria persona, and on board one of the excellent mail steamers via Point de Galle, Aden, and Southampton.

In the meantime the man who was the thorn in the side of the prophet and his adherents has got into trouble at New York. Daniel Milton, “the promised Shiloh”, unluckily took it into his head to go and visit his mother, east of the empire city, just at the time when the draft for the army was being conducted therein. For the moment he was not missed, inasmuch as he has latterly spent much of his time in England, and on the Atlantic; but he was discovered and “brought to book” when he turned up in his ward on the 8th November to vote for old Abe Lincoln. For this offence of evading the draft he was sent to the Bastile, Greenpoint, New York, where he remained at the date of the latest advices. But he requests us to state that he intends to lecture in the neighbourhood of “Israel’s mansion”, at Wrenthorpe, on Whit Sunday next [4 June 1865], on “the Law of Moses, English Law, and Lawyers”. We freely give Mr Milton the benefit of our columns for this announcement, and do not anticipate that he is likely to be disturbed by the reappearance of the “old familiar form of the man whose rest he had so much disquieted” – we mean the deceased “prophet”, John Wroe.

Farmer attacks woman over right of way

Leeds Mercury
Thursday 17 January 1856

ASSAULT UPON A FEMALE

At the Wakefield Court House, on Monday, William Ramsden, farmer, near Carr Gate, was charged with assaulting Eliza Willoughby, on the 2nd inst, under the following circumstances. On the day above named, the plaintiff was proceeding along a footpath leading from Beck Bottom to Lindal[e] Lane, for the purpose of fetching water from a well. At a foot-gate in the field she was stopped by the defendant, who struck her with a hay fork, inflicting a wound on her hand. Ramsden stated that his object was to stop the foot-road, as serious damage had been done to his property. He was ordered to pay £2, and was informed by the magistrates that if he wished to stop the road, he was to take legal measures for effecting his object.

The gunpowder clot

As we’ve already heard, Brooklyn’s Daniel Milton spent much of the last 40 years of his life protesting against the Wroe family, causing chaos for the Wakefield authorities to sort out. On 9 August 1861, he attempted to blow up one of the lodges at Melbourne House.

Leeds Mercury
Thursday 15 August 1861

WILFUL DAMAGE AT WRENTHORPE

On Friday night last, a mischievous attempt to blow up an empty lodge with gunpowder, took place at Wrenthorpe. The mansion of Mr John Wroe, commonly called “Prophet Wroe”, is in that township, and is a large building in the Grecian style, and at the four angles of the grounds are lodges, and one of these at the back is uninhabited. It seems that on the night in question some knave broke the window of the lodge, and then introduced a bag containing a quantity of gunpowder which was attached to a long string that had been saturated in a solution of saltpetre, and an explosion took place. The roof of the lodge was injured, and so were the walls, but the damage done is not material, only amounting to about £3.