New Masons

Revellers from the New Masons on their way to Pontefract Races.

SERIOUS RIOT AT OULTON. Leeds Intellingencer. Saturday 10 June 1854.

The attention of the magistrates on Monday last was occupied for some time, by a charge of rioting on Whit Monday at Oulton, preferred against Edward Wright, Benjamin Chadwick, Richard Jenkins, John Eyre, and William Arundell.

The principal witness was George Mirfin, who deposed as follows: “On the 5th of June, I was helping at Mr Leake’s, innkeeper, at Oulton, about half-past 11 o’clock, William Gill, George Chadwick, and others were in the house.  Edward Wright, Benjamin Chadwick, Richard Jenkins, John Eyre, and William Arundell, were also there, and a man named Swilback and others, as many as 20 altogether.

Arundell took up George Chadwick’s ale, who refused to let him drink it. Then Benjamin Chadwick got up and struck at George Chadwick, Arundell also struck at him and several of their companions struck William Gill.  We then got the rioters out.  I then went out to put up the shutters, but before I could get them up, stones were thrown through the windows by the men we had put out.

I got the shutters up and shut the door, and about a quarter of an hour afterwards Swilback and Wright and some of the others came into the house again with sticks, and Swilback said “Now lads altogether,” and they all fell upon the persons in the house, and beat them with sticks.  I and the persons in the house again tried to get the rioters out, and succeeded in doing so, and fastened the door.

Four of them got into the house and others tried to get in, but we prevented them. Almost immediately afterwards they attached the window and broke down the shutters, and then threw a shower of stones which broke the window, and struck several persons in the house.  They continued the riot for ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, and made a great noise and then went away.

Some stones were thrown upstairs as well as down. They were heavy stones, some of them seven or eight pounds.  My uncle sent for the constables. Atkinson, Edward Jackson, William Jackson, John Harrison, and myself went towards the church, where we heard a great noise. Near the Horse Shoe Inn I saw Benjamin Chadwick and three others.

Chadwick had his arms full of stones.  Atkinson asked him what he was going to do with them. He gave no answer, and Atkinson said, “Take a man each of you.” We tried to do so, when they all cried out and whistled, and someone said, “Heigh up lads,” and more men came forward and all threw stones at us. The stones came upon us as thick as hail. They called out, “Go at it lads,” and then the stones came.

Atkinson was struck on the head, and asked me to assist him and I did so. William Jackson was felled as well as Edwin Jackson and Atkinson, and I was very much afraid of bodily injury myself.”

Henry Frost gave evidence as to the part taken in the row by Wright, Arundel, Eyre, Benjamin Chadwick, and Jenkins.

Edwin Jackson was on duty as constable at Oulton on the night of the fifth, helping Atkinson to keep the peace.

“About half-past twelve a message came for them to go to Leake’s public house. Atkinson, my brother William, and myself went in quest of the party who had been making the row. On hearing a noise in another part of the village we went there, and by the Horse Shoe Inn met four men carrying stones in their arms.

Mirfin was with us and said, “This is one of the men.” Atkinson said, “Each take a man.”  I took hold of one of the men who were carrying stones, and called to my brother to take another.  I received a blow on the right cheek from a stone, and heard one of the party shout out, “Heigh-up,” when there came a shower of stones against us, and the man was rescued from me, and I was compelled to run and save myself. I heard one of the party say, “This b—-r is by himself, kill him.” I was seriously hurt on the right arm, the chest, back, and cheek bone by stones. I never saw a more determined set of rioters in my life.

Edward Atkinson gave similar evidence to the last witness. Thomas Gill was in the house at the time the row began.  “I saw several parties there. A man took George Chadwick’s ale and another stranger said we are come for a row and will have one, and struck me, Chadwick, and others. I defended myself, and others came to our assistance, and we put the rioters out.

About 20 minutes afterwards about twenty persons came to the house with hedge stakes and other weapons, and we were obliged to defend ourselves to save our lives. They remained about ten minutes when they went away, and the windows of the house were broken in with stones. The constables were sent for, and when they returned they appeared to have been ill-used by somebody.”

John Remington, another witness, identified William Arundel and John Eyre as belonging to the rioters, and also swore to John Chadwick, and a man named Ward, otherwise Swilback, who were not in custody, as being concerned.

Robert. Roper who keeps Mr Carpenter’s lodge, heard some men breaking the fence, when he went out and threatened to shoot them they armed themselves with stones, and were swearing and making a great noise.

Further evidence was tendered by other witnesses. Mr Wainwright, for Eyre and Arundel, contended that there was no proof of their being engaged in the riot beyond the common assault with which it commenced in Leake’s house; and Mr Barratt, for the other prisoners, took up a similar line of defence, more especially with regard to Chadwick, whom, he argued, was not likely to have taken part in a riot directed against the house of Leake, who was his uncle.

The court however took a different view of the matter, considering the case fully proved, and therefore committed all the prisoners to take their trial at the sessions, admitting them however to bail, on the application of their solicitors, in two sureties of £20 each.

New Masons viewed from the field opposite Vine Cottage.

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 31 July 1812.

WANTED at once, steady, honest, young man, to live in must be used to looking after horses, pigs, etc., and to make himself generally useful in the house. Apply J. Knight, New Masons’ Arms, Oulton, near Leeds.