Copyright 2014 Hidden Wirral
THE NEW BRIGHTON WRECKERS
Cheshire Observer - Saturday 19 January 1867
On Tuesday, at the Court-house, Egremont, before Sir Edward Cust, Patrick M'Nally, coal heaver, Liscard; Henry Hickman, bricklayer, and Robert Bannister, sawyer, both of whom lived at Egremont, were charged with having on the morning of the 28th November last, stolen a quantity of rum from certain cases which had been washed ashore from the wreck of the Elizabeth Buckham, which was wrecked on the Burbo Bank on the 26th November.
The prisoners were undefended. Mr. Tyndall, who prosecuted, said he appeared on be- half of the Board of Trade, for it was felt to be a very serious thing that as soon as a vessel was wrecked upon our shores her cargo should be immediately plundered. Mr. Watson, inspector, of police stationed at Wallasey, said that on the 27th November last he was called to the wreck of the Elisabeth Buckham, on the Burbo Bank. On the morning of the 28th he patrolled along the shore between the Red Noses and Egremont, in company with Sergeant Hindley. On arriving at the top of Egremont "lip he noticed the three prisoners and other men standing around four eaaka of rum. From one of the casks witness noticed rum running through a funnel into a large stode jar. The prisoner M'Nally was stooping close by the bottle, and the other prisoners ware near to him. The witness heard Hickman say, "The vent is not strong enough." Witness then went up to them and said, " Yon are a pretty pack of thieves to be pilfering in this way." He then ordered Bannister and Hickman to go away, and they did so. Witness then examined the casks, and close to where Bannister had been standing he found a bucket, three cans, and a gimlet. There had been rum in one bucket- Corroborative evidence having been given the prisoners, after being cautioned, were asked if they had anything to say M'Nally said— l went down on the shore to look for a flat. I saw a crowd round the casks. There were some people standing around, and I went to see what they were doing. Some one said to me, " Mac, how does it taste?*' I replied, "I don't know yet." One of the police-officers told. me to gut about my business and I did so, and knew no more about it. I never touched the rum, and did not know there was a wreck on the shore. Hickman said— What I have te say is that it in an untruth, I saw neither bottle nor can, nor did I taste a drop of the rum Bannister said he was there, but only as an on- looker He left home at three o'clock in the morning to go and look for some chips. Sir Edward Cust said the evidence was very weak as against Bannister, and therefore be would be discharged. The other men would be committed to the sessions for trial. Bail was refused. On Wednesday more prosecutions of a similar nature were instituted by the Board of Trade. Robert Pears engine driver at the Wallasey Ferry, was convicted of having in his possession a gallon of rum belonging to the Eizabeth Buckham, and was sent to gaol for one month without the option of a fine. — Sarah Rimmer, wife of a labourer living in Coulbourn's cottages, Wallasey, and mother of two children, was convicted of having a pint of rum in her possession, and sent to prison for a month.— George Wilkinson, car proprietor, New Brighton, and a respectably dressed young man, was convicted of taking away two bottles of rum from the beach, and was also sentenced to a month's imprisonment.— Richard Hannah, of Wallasey, was sent to prison fer the same period for a like offence. — James Daley, baker, Gladstone-street, Birkenhead, was also charged with being a wrecker, but he brought witnesses to prove that at the time stated he was at a party in his own house on the occasion of his daughter's birthday. A mistake in identification having been clearly proved, the case was dismissed.
Accessed 26th June 2018