Monday, November 24
ANOTHER CRUELTY CASE
Francis Brew (50) labourer, was charged with having wilfully neglected two
children, Francis Brew 15), and James Brew (9), in a suffering at
Whitehaven, on the 8th of August and other dates between 11th August and 8th
The Clerk: Do you wish to be tried here or by jury at Carlisle?
Defendant (crying): I am willing to do owt at all.
Inspector James Michael Ryan, N.S.P.C.C. said the defendant lived at 4,
Little Scotland, Whitehaven, and on the 11th August P.C. Maher and witness
visited the house for the first time. Defendant's wife had been away from
him for eleven months. When witness called defendant was sitting in the
house with two of his children, Francis aged 15 year, James Brew aged 9
years. Witness told him the nature of the visit, and in his presence
examined the children. They where both badly clad and practically in rags.
Francis had no footwear and James was very badly shod, hardly any soles on
his boots. The flesh was very dirty and the clothing and body was
verminous. The living room contained a broken table and a fender, with
nothing to sit on. The filth of the room could not be described. There were
only two to the house and 2s 6d was the rent. In the bedroom was a full
sized bed-stead, straw mattress, and a flock bed. The covering of the
latter had been torn and the flock were all over the room. There were also
two torn quilts in a filthy state. The room was in a filthy condition and
there were vermin and fleas on the bedding.
Defendant, who was with the witness, said "I am doing my best. They get
plenty to eat. I don't want my boys to go to work. I can get plenty of
money for them" Witness warned him and advised him to go to the workhouse
with the children and get cleaned up. On the 15th August he again visited
the house, and saw all the children and there was no change, and defendant
was warned. On the 10th October the children where filthy, dirty and
verminous, and defendant said he was going to get a housekeeper on a
fortnight's time. On that day there was a settle in the dinning room. On
the 2nd November neither children had any footwear and were in a bad
condition. On the 8th November witness called in Dr Dickson, who examined
the children. In the bedroom was a wooden bucket filled with urine and the
stench was awful. The window could be opened, but it was not. There was not
the slightest improvement. Defendant was a labourer at Moresby Coke Ovens,
and said that he earned 25s a week.
P.C Maher said he was with the Inspector on all his visits, and corroborated
Dr J. H. Dickson said that he visited the house on the 8th November, and
found the house had a broken table, a chair near the fire and a settle in
the living room. The room was in a filthy condition. There were two loaves
on a small table and on the large table there was some bread, one tin of
salmon and some Nestlé's milk, with some mugs and a basin that had contained
tea. The bedroom contained one large bed and had a flock mattress in a
dirty condition; the only cover being two dirty torn quilts. Frank Brew
(15) was rather undersized, but fairly well nourished. He was wearing a
coat, waistcoat, and trousers in a dirty and ragged condition. He had
neither stockings nor shoes, and his shirt was filthy with vermin creeping
all over it, and when that was removed the vermin adhered to his body. His
hair was long and his head with nits and vermin. James Brew (9) was fairly
well nourished, and had only a shirt and trousers on.
Witness asked him if he went to school. He said he had no boots or shoes to
go in, and that he had no coat or waistcoat. His skin was dirty, and he was
practically in the same condition as Francis. This would cause them
unnecessary suffering and be injurious to their health.
Jessie Clowes, porter at the Whitehaven Workhouse, said that he received the
two lads on Saturday night last, and they where in a bad a condition as he
had handled, and he had not got them all together clean yet. The boy James
had a burned foot which he said was done by a poker falling out of the fire
last Thursday. He could not bear it to be touched when bathed.
Defendant in reply to the Chairman said he could not keep the oldest of the
two boys in the house, and he lost work with the lad staying out at night.
He did his best for them. He could not look after them while he was at
The Chairman: Why is there not anyone to look after them while you are away.
In reply, the defendant said he could not get anyone since his wife went
away to Keswick to with Billy Young. If he got someone the people would try
to get a bite at him.
Supt. Hogg said the defendant had a very long list against him for
convictions for drunkenness. It was quite correct that his wife had left
him. When he was arrested on Saturday night he was drunk. One of the boys
mentioned in the charge was before the court a week ago along with an elder
boy, and they seemed to be left to the world. They where entirely
Mr H. Grose (the probation officer) said he had the two elder boys under
probation, and he called at the house on Thursday last, and it was in a very
The Chairman: Francis Brew will have to go to Carlisle gaol for two months