Monday, 23 April 2012

23rd April 1812: Constable Thomas Atkinson arrests James Haigh at Methley

On Thursday 23rd April 1812, Thomas Atkinson had been given a warrant for the arrest of a man called James Haigh, a cropper from Dalton, near Huddersfield. It was suspected that Haigh was involved in the affair at Rawfolds a few days ago.

He proceeded to Haigh's home at Dalton. When he knocked at the door, he noticed it was open. He went and called out to see if anyone was home. No-one answered. He tried again, no answer. Atkinson looked around the home - there was no sign of Haigh or his wife, and it looked like the house had been abandoned: it looked like the couple had been brewing beer, but that the demijohns hadn't been looked after after being filled.

Talking to Haigh's neighbours, Atkinson found out he had been seen with Joseph Ardron, his master, and also that he had been unwell and had been to see a Doctor over at Lepton. Proceeding there, he found the Doctor, a Richard Tatterson, he told him he had twice helped an anonymous man from Dalton dress a wound to his shoulder, but he did not know who he was or where he had gone.

Atkinson had information about Ardron, and understood he had family over Penistone way. He decided to ride over on his horse, despite the fair distance.

After talking to Mary and Joseph Culpin, the relations of Joseph Ardron, he now had a lead, and knew the man who had stayed with them was anonymous to them, and clearly had a problem with his shoulder.  He also knew he had gone to Mary Culpin's mother's house at Willey Bridge, and proceeded there. Mrs Ardron soon told him that the man had headed for Wragby the last she knew.

At Wragby, asking around, Atkinson's description of Haigh was soon resonant with someone who told him he the man had gone to Methley.

Later that day, after a long time in the saddle, Atkinson found James Haigh at his sister's house at Methley. He placed him under arrest and made arrangements to get him back to Huddersfield that night, into the custody of Joseph Radcliffe.

This is from Howell (1823, p.1114). The information about Haigh's residence in Methley is from the Lancaster Gazette of 9th May 1812.

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