Joseph Nicholl

The following documents mention Joseph Nicholl and his attack on his wife Maria

The Halifax Evening Courier [Wednesday 25th April 1899]

A Dream and its Sequel

Maria Nicholl, aged about 53 years and her three children, 2 girls and a boy, all old enough to work, the youngest being about 13 years old, lived at Wainhouse Terrace, King Cross. She was the wife of Joseph Nicholl, a quarryman, aged over 50 years.

It was said that the couple had been married for over thirty years but it had not been happy for some time, partly because the husband would not work.

The couple had previously lived at Mountain, Queensbury. Mrs Nicholl had made a comfortable home at Wainhouse Terrace due to the earnings of her children, but her husband got to know her address and paid her visits. He made one of those visits yesterday and stayed the night, having come from Shipley.

In the morning she told him to get up for work if he was to stay with her. He got up late, and going into the living room in his stocking feet seized a hatchet with which he commenced to belabour his wife. From an examination of the hatchet (an ordinary chopper) it appeared he inflicted the wounds with the corner of the blade, breaking the shaft.

Mrs Nicholl ran to the house of a neighbour Mrs Walker saying

He's strucken me with a hatchet

Mrs Walker, being alarmed, ran for another neighbour Mrs Sarah Alice Culpan of 19 Burnley Road and then for Constable Simms, followed by Sergeant Lee and Constable Fielding. Mrs Nicholl was taken to the Infirmary.

The prisoner then tried to end his own life by cutting his throat. He did not succeed in his task.

Thanks to the knowledge of ambulance work by Sergeant Lee and the Constable they managed to stem the torrent of blood until the arrival of Dr Macauley who was in the neighbourhood

The neighbours all speak of Mrs Nicholl as being a hard working woman. The cottage was kept nicely clean, especially the bedroom.

Mrs Nicholl had told a neighbour that she had a fear that something was going to happen. She said that she had had a dream about her mother, and whenever she saw her mother, trouble invariably followed.

On Tuesday, her husband came bringing the dreaded trouble in his train.

We learn that Mrs Nicholl's condition is precarious, whilst her husband is in a far better plight as far as his injuries are concerned


The West Yorkshire Prison Records (Wakefield Prison) [18th May 1899]

Joseph Nicholl age 54, a quarryman born Horsforth, Leeds:

Height 5ft 5ins; Hair – Grey.

Remarks: Been in Leeds Prison


The West Yorkshire Prison Records (Wakefield Prison) [28th July 1899]

Joseph Nicholl charged with Intent to Murder. Verdict: Guilty. Sentenced to 5 years' penal servitude.

Charged with attempted suicide. Pleaded Guilty: One day's imprisonment


© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 16:22 / 14th April 2021 / 4975

Page Ref: X534

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