Church Street, West Hartlepool
A TRADESMAN IMPRISONED FOR BEATING HIS WIFE
On Monday, at the West Hartlepool Petty Sessions, William Mowbray, a jeweller and watch-maker, occupying a large shop in Church-street, the leading thoroughfare in the town, was charged by Sarah Mowbray his wife, with violently assaulting her. Mr. Hopper appeared for the complainant, whose evidence was to the effect that her husband, without provocation, commenced to beat his son (a mere lad) and one of his daughters, and upon her remonstrating with him, he seized her by the throat (on which the marks of his fingers were plainly visible) and dealt her several blows. With the assistance of her son and daughters they ultimately overpowered him, until their cries brought assistance. She had previously been more than once driven from the house owing to his violence. A dock labourer named Frederick Alsopp, who stated he was an entire stranger to both parties, said that the crowd round defendant's shop drew his attention to it, and on entering he saw defendant between the two counters, striking his wife in a very savage manner. Defendant, who seemed to be violently excited, denied the assault, and charged his wife and family with conspiring against him. The magistrates said the case was a most sad one, and they could only decide against the defendant after such strong evidence - especially that of Alsopp, who was a perfectly disinterested party, and in order to mark their strong sense of the defendant's conduct (as he had forfeited the six months' recognisances in which he was recently bound), they should commit him to Durham Gaol for one month, with hard labour.
Source: Monmouthshire Merlin and South Wales Advertiser - 20th October 1871