December 2, 1873 - Sheffield Independent

The Black-A-Moor Head Inn, Troway

The following story comes from the Sheffield Independent, dated December 2, 1873. The Thomas Staniforth involved is very likely the son of Mark Staniforth and Ann Hasslehurst, born 1844 in Troway.

At Eckington Petty Sessions yesterday, William Carnelly, Joseph Turner and Thomas Staniforth, miners of Troway, were charged with violently assaulting Wm. Jones, contractor of Dronfield and stealing from him a purse containing £7 10s and a gold watch-guard on the high road between Eckington and Coal Aston, on the 24th inst. Mr. Hawkins prosecuted, and Mr. Clagg, Sheffield defended the prisoners. Wm Jones, contractor, Dronfield, stated that on Monday evening he was returning home from Eckington to Coal Aston. On the way he called at the Blackmoor's Head Inn, at Troway. There were a number of people in the house, and amongst them the prisoners, all of whom he knew. Staniforth had worked for him about two years ago. He had some beer, and paid for a quart for the company. He also treated Staniforth to some beer. In his purse he had £7 10s, in gold and some silver, and when paying for the beer he turned it out upon his hand to get sixpence from amongst it. Carnelly and Turner were sitting close to him, and Staniforth sat opposite on the other side of the fire-place. About five minutes before he left Carnelly said he was going to Coal Aston, and would accompany him, and he paid for a pint of beer for him for his company.

They left the 'Blackamoor' about half-past five. When they had proceeded about a quarter of a mile on the road, he told Carnelly some one was coming after them, but the latter replied that there was not. Carnelly then seized him by a scarf he had about his neck, and some one grasped him by the shoulders and pulled him backwards. He fell on his back on the middle of the road. Turner immediately placed his knees on his chest, and covered his mouth with one hand, while he attempted to take his watch with the other. He clutched at his pocket and in attempting to pull the watch out, Turner broke the chain. Carnelly meanwhile rifled his pockets of all his money, and Staniforth held him by the arms. There were some coke ovens near to where the robbery was committed and by the light from them he was able to recognise all the prisoners. After the robbery his assailants decamped, one of them in the direction of Sheffield, and the other two towards Troway. He then got up, and being very much axhausted, returned to the Blackamoor's Head Inn, and remained there all night. The next day he gave information to the police, and on Thursday identified the prisoners amongst several others shown to him at the Town Hall at Sheffield. Elizabeth Devenport, landlady of the Blackamoor's Head Inn, deposed to seeing the prosecutor sitting in the taproom in company with the prisoners and severel other men. He left about half-past five o'clock in company with Carnelly. He returned about 30 minutes past six, when he appeared exhausted, and said he had been robbed. Robt. Devenport, son of last witness, said when the prosecutor left his father's house he was "neither drunk nor sober". Henry Wheelhouse, beerhouse-keeper, Suffolk Road, stated that on Tuesday night Carnelly called at his house, and invited him to go out and have a glass of spirits. When they got out of the house he gave him the watch-guard produced saying "Here's a fairing for you". He afterwards gave it to Inspector Hallam. Henry Haddow, Clerk to Messrs alderson and Son, solicitors, Eckington, stated that he was returning to Dronfield in Mr. Alderson's trap on Monday evening, the 24th. When near the Blackamoor's Inn, he saw two men come out of the hedges on either side of the road whom he believed to be Turner and Staniforth. Inspector Hallam deposed to apprehending Turner at the Cutlers Arms, Sheffield. Police Sergeant Borrett deposed to apprehending Staniforth, alias "Lincoln" at Snig Hill, Sheffield and police constable Hawkins said he apprehehended Carnelly at the Star Inn, Gibraltar Street, Sheffield on Wednesday evening, the 26th. Mr Clegg then called the following witnesses for the defence: George Lowcock, miner, Troway, said: On Monday evening, the 24th inst, he went with Richard Owen, George Booth and George Rotherham to the Blackamoor Inn. He saw Staniforth there. It was about six' o'clock. The prosecutor was not there/ they had a pint of beer between them, and Staniforth afterwards accompanied them to Ward's public house, and from there to French's where they remained until nearly eleven' O'Clock. Turner and a young many named Allen were there. Richard Owen and George Rotherham, miners, Troway, the prisoners, were committed for trial at the assizes. In the case of Turner and Staniforth, bail was accepted for their appearance. Carnelly was not allowed bail.