The Death of Richard Whalley

In 1901, Harry Howlett was charged with causing the death of Richard Whalley at the Vine Hotel, Brighouse

The Halifax Evening Courier [Friday 16th August 1901]

The Brighouse Brawl

Harry Howlett aged about 35, a yeast dealer, was charged at Brighouse with causing the death of Richard Whalley aged 59, a quarryman, of the same town.

The manslaughter case arose out of a quarrel in the Vine Hotel, Elland Road, Brighouse, on 22nd July.

The prisoner, a well built man, was allowed to remain seated, appearing to feel the gravity of his position.

Walter Wood, landlord of the Vine Hotel said the quarrel was about a shilling, and he heard Howlett say he would have the shilling or him. At that time the court heard that Howlett appeared terrified. During the struggle Howlett was heard to say

He deserves his expletive kicking off

Asked how Mr Whalley walked after the struggle the witness said


and that was the information which was put on the depositions.

Stanley Schofield, a boy of eleven years, stepped into the box. He said he saw Howlett kick Whalley in the back and would have kicked him again but the landlord interfered.

James Edward Haigh gave similar evidence. He said the prisoner kicked the deceased once on the knee and once in the back.

Harry Holland, another boy, who had been playing cricket at the time of the assault heard the prisoner say

Give me my expletive shilling

Mrs Sarah Ann Holland, a widow, who takes in lodgers at 79 Briggate was asked

He is a lodger of yours, I believe

to which she replied

He was

with emphasis on the second syllable. The old lady smiled. She had on many occasions scolded him about his drinking, on one occasion calling him a nasty scamp.

Mr Wardle wanted to know what kind of violence would cause the fractured ribs

He has given it to us as the cause of death is violence

What more can we have?

remarked Mr Storey He can give an opinion returned Mr Wardle

Yes, he may give one hundred opinions and ninety-nine may be wrong

added the prisoner's advocate.

There then followed a long discussion regarding a declaration made by the deceased.

At length the Bench decided that the declaration should be sent to the Clerk of the Peace to be dealt with.

The prisoner pleaded Not Guilty to the charge and was committed for trial at the next Assizes. Bail was granted on the prisoner's own recognisances of £100 and two other sureties of £50 each


The Bradford Weekly Telegraph [Saturday 14th December 1901]

Harry Howlett aged 35, a yeast dealer, was indicted for alleged manslaughter of Richard Whalley at Brighouse on 22nd July last.

The two men had quarrelled at the Vine Hotel, Brighouse and were ejected. Out in the street Howlett knocked Whalley down and kicked him.

Somehow, at any rate, one of the deceased's ribs was broken and he died of pleurisy two or three days later.

Mr Middleton, for the defence, contended that there was no case against the prisoner and the judge agreed with him, and directed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty.

Accordingly Howlett was acquitted


© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 15:04 / 12th May 2021 / 6471

Page Ref: X535

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