Sunday, May 15, 2016

It's a Beautiful day in the Neighbourhood (not!)

It's a Beautiful day in the Neighbourhood (not!)
With apology to Mr. Rogers

(An entry from Walter Hickey)

Nineteenth century Lowell newspapers are a wonderful, oft under-used course of Life in Lowell.  Most news items are exceedingly brief, yielding few details.  This is especially true of the daily reportage of the criminal sessions of the Lowell Police Court.  Often even these little tidbits are not only informative but also quite humorous due to the creative expressions of the reporter/editor/publisher.  Occasionally, an event is reported which could not be summarized in one or two lines, and a column entry results.

Today's find is one such.
Daily Evening Advertiser, 12 March 1856

Police Court
                                                                                      Wednesday, March 12
            Yesterday, about 6 o'clock, p.m., the police were called to quiet a body of people on Salem street, who were enjoying themselves by bruising each others' countenances.    Quite a number of the participants were arrested and brought into Court this morning, and their cases disposed of in the following order:
            Timothy Shay, the bully of the crowd who sported a most beautiful black eye, was “tight” on the occasion, for which he was fined $3 and costs.  On a complaint of assault upon Michael Sullivan and wife, he was found guilty, and bound over in the sum of $200 for his appearance before the C.C.P. in June.  He was also arraigned on a charge of assaulting one Dennis Haggerty; bound over in $100 to appear as above.

            A complaint against John Sullivan, for drunkeness, was read, but it appeared that the name  of the person arrested was Daniel Shay, so the complaint was quashed.

            John Sullivan, on a charge of resisting the police officers in the discharge of their duties was fined $3.

            Daniel Shay was in the row yesterday morning and was charged with drunkeness, for which offense he was sentenced to pay a fine of $2 and costs.

            Patrick and John Ryan, and Richard Sparks, charged with an assault upon Deputy Sheriff Folsom, were ordered to recognize severally in $200 for their appearance to-morrow, at 10 o'clock.  They procured the required bonds. [see below]

(next case)
Michael Lyons was put on trial for the larceny of a note of $30, the property of Margaret Carney.  It appeared from the evidence that Lyons called upon the woman (Carney) to pay $10 on the note, which amount was then due, and took the same to endorse the amount paid.  But instead of doing this, he pockets both note and money and leaves the premises.  He was ordered to give sureties in the sum of $200 for his appearance on Saturday next at 10 o'clock.

(next case)
John H. Shedd, who has served an apprenticeship to the State in Charleston (State Prison) was arraigned on a charge of breaking and entering a saloon on Merrimack st, and bound over to the C.C.P. in Concord in June next.

SYMPTONS OF A ROW  A row and the consequence attending it.

Deputy Sheriff Folsom served a writ upon Patrick Ryan, and attached his goods in his store on Suffolk street.  Ryan did not like the idea of losing his foothold, and with the assistance of some of his friends succeeded in routing the Sheriff and his assistants.  Folsom dispatched a messenger for a posse of police, who arrived in due time, and restored quiet. 
            After the police had left the scene of action, the row commenced in good earnest, and a second messenger was dispatched to the police office for means of preventing a riot, which was very apparent.  Officers Rand, Fuller, Crowley and Plaisted were sent, and succeeded in arresting three of the parties, Patrick Ryan, John Ryan, and Richard Sparks. 

The examination of the parties will take place tomorrow.

[And thus endeth a not-so-quiet day in the neighbourhood]

Note: C.C.P. = Court of Common Pleas (today's superior Court)


  1. I love reading the old newspapers.

  2. Thanks for digging up and sharing these gems Walter and David! Glad to see my relations not mentioned in this issue. LOL