Jarratts Buildings - The Community

Roll of Dishonour – Drunk and Disorderly

There were plenty of convictions for being drunk amongst the residents of Jarratts. The middle-classes saw drunkenness as a working-class vice. The reality was that mining was a hot occupation. Men lost body fluids as sweat and these needed replacing. Underground water was likely to be contaminated and carrying an adequate amount of liquid down the pit was not practical.

I am not sure when the houses in Jarratts acquired their own water supply. Until this happened, water had to be drawn from the well and then boiled to purify it. The drink made with it then had to cool before it could be swallowed. Against this background, it is not surprising that men may have chosen a long drink of beer as the way to slake their thirst. Drinking was most prevalent amongst working men as they were the ones who had enough money to pay for the beer.

Over time there was a change of approach in the way intoxication was viewed. Prior to the 1890s offenders may have had to be engaged in other bad behaviour or be creating a serious disturbance to be taken to court. From around 1900 there seems to have been much less tolerance by the police and just being drunk in a public place appears sufficient to attract a summons. Barnsley magistrates were determined to stamp out what they saw as anti-social conduct, issuing an initial fine of 5s and progressively increasing it to 7s 6d, 10s and then 15s for each subsequent offence.

There were a number of offences that could be committed. These included being drunk, being drunk and disorderly, drunk and riotous and refusing to quit licensed premises. Landlords were not supposed to serve anyone who was under the influence of alcohol and had to request them to leave the premises at the point they spotted intoxication.

March 1860

James Scaife and William Gee admitted being drunk and disorderly in Worsborough Dale. The fine and costs totalled 4s 1d.

October 1862

William Ibberson was convicted of being drunk and disorderly and assaulting PC Mosley in the execution of his duty. Ibberson was fined 40s and costs for assaulting the officer. No penalty was imposed for being drunk.

The same week, James Scaife, George Ibbotson and William Gee were each fined 5s and costs for acts of drunkenness in Worsborough Dale, as proved by PC Goodall.

January 1867

William Ibberson, James Scaife and Joseph Baxter were amongst a group of men who were charged with a breach of the Refreshment House Act. The landlord of the Mason’s Arms had sent for the police when several of his customers became disorderly and refused to quit the premises. The police constable faced considerable resistance as he tried to persuade them to leave, with Baxter appearing very anxious to fight. The magistrates fined each man 5s and ordered the costs of almost £2 to be divided between all the defendants.

April 1870

Andrew Winter, his sons Albert, Frederick and Walter and William Gee were charged with being drunk and riotous at the Keil Inn. They arrived after 10.00pm, already the worse for liquor. Andrew began to fight, the others ran to assist him and several glasses were broken in the affray. The damage amounted to £1 10s 0d. All except Walter, who was acquitted, pleaded guilty. Gee already had five previous convictions. All the men were fined 10s for the offence and the cost of the damage was split between them.

October 1882

James Holborn and Ellen Kelly were each fined 2s 6d for drunkenness. This is the first female Jarratt's resident who I have found to have been prosecuted for intoxication.

August 1885

Thomas Pashley was fined 10s and costs of 9s 6d for being drunk in Worsborough Dale High Street on 30th July and creating a disturbance. Pashley's house at 52 Jarratts fronted onto High Street. Had he lived in one of the yards he may have been able to get to a less public place where a policeman would not have observed him.

May 1886

Samuel Beevers was fined 5s and costs for being drunk and using bad language.

October 1886

James McQuillan was convicted of being drunk in charge of a horse and cart. The vehicle was driving at a great speed through Worsborough Cutting when PC Orton heard a crash. On investigating he found a young horse plunging about and the shafts of the cart smashed off, whilst McQuillan, who was obviously inebriated, stood by.

A fine of 2s 6d and costs of 12s was imposed. The magistrates took into account the fact that McQuillan had become lame after an accident at Pindar Oaks Colliery. He was now earning his living by driving carts.

June 1888

James McQuillan was fined 5s for being drunk in Worsborough Dale. On this occasion he was so intoxicated that two police officers had to convey him to the police station in a cart.

November 1891

Henry Baxter, James Baxter and George McDonald were charged with being drunk and riotous at the Keil Inn. McDonald was fined 5s and costs. The Baxter brothers were told to pay the costs as they had just been fined 10s and costs for assaulting Mary Ann Howson. She had gone to the Keil Inn after hearing that some men were quarrelling with her husband. There she had been struck by Henry Baxter, as she tried to break up the scuffle and then by James Baxter as she set off to fetch a policeman.

Witnesses who were closely associated with Jarratts were called for both parties. Richard Barker, Arron Parr and Walter Hammond all stated that neither Henry nor James Baxter had struck Mary. Tom McQuillan and James Howson confirmed that they had.

August 1893

Several miners including some Jarratts residents formed an impromptu tin whistle band for Worsborough Feast. Visiting the local pubs in succession, several men became drunk and James Finan challenged Joseph Swift to a fight. Swift declined, so Finan head-butted him and knocked him to the ground and kicked him. The next morning Swift and Finan found themselves in court. There was no dispute that Finan had been intoxicated but Swift denied that he was drunk as he had only consumed 8 gills (2 pints) of beer. The magistrates decided that the pair had been involved in a drunken brawl and fined Finan 10s and costs. Swift escaped with a fine of just 5s and costs because he had been worsted in the scrap and had had to see a doctor about his injuries.

September 1895

Thomas McQuillan was fined 5s and costs for drunkenness.

October 1898

Arthur Whiteley, a pony driver was fined 5s and costs for drunkenness and disorderly conduct.

October 1900

Moses Goodlad was fined 10s and costs for refusing to leave the Greyhound Inn. He had gone to the pub in the afternoon after his shift at the pit had ended. He started to quarrel with another customer and eventually had to be ejected by one of the barmen. The newspaper report drew attention to the irony of someone named Goodlad being in court.

December 1901

Albert Grist and Jeremiah McCarthy were fined 5s and costs for disorderly drunkenness.

August 1902

George McDonald was fined 5s and costs for being drunk and disorderly. At the same hearing, Thomas McQuillan was fined 7s 6d for being drunk and riotous. Both men had been celebrating the coronation of King Edward VII.

September 1902

Albert Booth and Henry Smith were amongst a group of six striking miners who were fined 10s and costs for being drunk and disorderly at a pub in Jump, near Worsborough Dale. Three of the other men were fined another half-sovereign and costs for having resisted arrest when Constable Harbisher apprehended them.

They were on strike from their jobs at Barrow Colliery and it appears that they had gone busking at the pub and been paid in beer. Evidence given in court suggested this was common practice amongst the mining community.

Albert Booth was the spokesman in court and pleaded for leniency as most of the men had a wife and family to maintain. The magistrate rejected the plea, declaring that they should have been mindful of this before. Superintendent Quest, one of the most senior officers in the local police force gave evidence, which raises the question of whether the arrest of the men had been motivated by the fact that they were on strike. The miners strongly denied that any of them had resisted arrest.

November 1902

Arthur Whiteley was fined 10s and costs for being drunk and disorderly.

November 1904

In the same week Richard Stanley was fined 5s and costs, Henry Howson was fined 7s 6d and costs and Albert Grist was fined 12s 6d and costs costs for being drunk and disorderly.

January 1905

Henry Silcock was fined 10s and costs for being found drunk at the Keil Inn. He had staggered in inebriated and immediately been told to leave.

February 1905

John Fallis was fined 5s and costs for being drunk and disorderly. The same court fined Moses Goodlad 10s and costs for drunkenness.

April 1905

Albert and Harry Booth and Henry Howson were charged with stealing four sovereigns from George Fallis. He was playing pool and darts at Worsborough Working Men's Club and when he showed the sovereigns, Albert Booth tipped his hand and five coins fell onto the floor. There was a general scramble and Fallis was only able to find one sovereign. Harry Booth was observed to have put one in his pocket. When called to give evidence Fallis said that he had no wish to press charges and the defence lawyer said that he was in a position to return the missing coins to him. He explained that Albert Booth had been throwing a dart when he had accidentally knocked into Fallis.

The magistrates allowed the case to be withdrawn, concluding that it had been a 'drunken gambling scramble'. As Mr Leach, the secretary of the club was in court ready to be called as a witness, they asked him about the conduct of the establishment, pointing out that all the men involved in the incident appeared to have been drinking in the club all morning. Leach was warned to be more careful in his stewardship.

March 1906

Ellen Howson was fined 5s and costs for refusing to leave the Keel Inn when she was drunk. This is only the second example of an inebriated Jarratts woman that I have found.

October 1907

Squire Howson fined 10s and costs for being drunk on licensed premises. He was at the Masons Arms.

September 1908

William Wildsmith was fined 5s and costs for simple drunkenness.

February 1909

George McDonald fined 15s and costs for drunken and disorderly conduct. The fine demonstrates how magistrates increased the penalty for subsequent offences as he had been in court on two other occasions after a conviction in July 1905 for which he had been fined 5s..

April 1915

Private Herbert Glover saw PC Ryan trying to arrest two men outside Jarratts at 10.45pm. He swore at he constable and knocked his helmet to the ground. Ryan told the drunken soldier to go home, but when the men fled from the scene he arrested Glover.

When the case came to court, Glover called his mother, Martha Hammond, and his wife, Mary Elizabeth, as witnesses who swore that Glover got into the altercation with Ryan after seeing Ryan hit his baby son and blackening his eye. Ryan categorically denied that he had assaulted Glover's baby.

Glover had been fined for drunkenness in August 1914 and his commanding officer reported similar lapses. The magistrates fined Glover 12s and commented that soldiers who came before the bench expected to be treated leniently because they were serving their country. They further stated that some soldiers were under the mistaken impression that fines could not be enforced against them and made it clear that if Glover did not pay, he could expect to serve 10 days in prison.

In July 1916, Herbert Glover was killed in the battle of the Somme.

Alcohol use was not always public. In November 1915, new resident, Frances Kitching died suddenly. A post mortem examination revealed that the cause of death was kidney disease brought on by the 'little drops' of alcohol she indulged in. I have found no reports of her ever being inebriated.

Compiled from newspaper reports, principally the Barnsley Chronicle, accessed via The British Newspaper Archive.