October 1858 in Thornbury

This is an extract from The Times of 6th October 1858.


Let’s transcribe that.

Serious Case of cutting and wounding. – The usually quiet town of Thornbury, Gloucestershire was on Sunday last thrown into a state of great excitement by a rapidly spread report that a man named Joseph Gough, a labourer, had been seriously injured by being stabbed. The following are the circumstances:- Several families are living in a low court in the town, and, among others, the unfortunate man Gough who cohabits with the daughter of the man who inflicted the injury (he also living in the same court). The name of the prisoner is William Hollister, a widower, and it appears he had been drinking all the morning and on returning at dinner time in a state of intoxication he picked some quarrel with his daughter, and on Gough taking the woman’s part Hollister caught a knife off the dinner table and savagely plunged it into the poor fellow’s neck, inflicting a very dangerous wound, and severing several arteries from which the blood flowed in great quantities. Considerable alarm was felt by those who witnessed the occurrence, and the injured man ran in an almost frantic state to the residence of Mr. E. Long, surgeon who, deeming the case very serious, sent a message requesting the assistance of Mr, W Salmon, another surgeon, who at length succeeded in stopping the blood, and advised that he should be conveyed at once to the Bristol Royal Infirmary, which was accordingly done. Hollister was taken into custody soon afterwards, and was on Monday brought before the Thornbury magistrates, who, after hearing the subjoined evidence, remanded him for a week to see if Gough should survive. John Morgan of Thornbury aforesaid, parish constable, deposed, – I am one of the parish constables. I reside in the neighbourhood of William Hollister. On hearing what happened I went into his house yesterday between 1 and 2. I saw him apparently tipsy, and all over blood. I asked him how he came to do it. He said he (meaning Joseph Gough) struck me first. I then went over to the police-station to give information, and he was shortly afterwards removed in custody. I said to him if the man should die he would be very likely to be hung, and he replied, “Perhaps it would be a good job too.” Sarah Collins of Thornbury aforesaid, single woman, deposed, – I live in part of the same house Joseph Gough, the injured man, occupies, and who lives with the prisoner’s daughter. William Hollister lodges with them. My door is opposite theirs, a small passage only being between. Both doors were open when the occurrence took place, Aaron Gough, a brother to Joseph, who lives with me, was standing at the door of my apartment. Joseph Gough, William Hollister, and his daughter were in the other room. It was between 1 and 2 o’clock. I heard Joseph Gough say, “William, I think you ought to pay me something for your lodging, instead of going to get drunk.” He said, “You shall never sleep another night in this house until you do pay something; so take everything that belongs to you. There’s the door and you walk.” Prisoner refused to go, so Joseph Gough caught hold of him to put him out. There was a bit of a sill at the door, and the prisoner fell on his back against my door. He then had a knife in his hand. Joseph Gough attempted to put him out of the passage, when Hollister raised himself up and struck Gough with the knife behind the left ear. Joseph Gough put his hand to his head; the blood flowed very much and I caught him by the arm to prevent him falling. I told him to run for his life to the doctor or he would be a dead man. I followed him to Mr Vaughan’s the druggist and then he went to Mr Long. Aaron Gough took the knife out of William Hollister’s hand and threw it into an adjoining court. The knife now produced by Police-sergeant Rawle is the one used by Hollister upon the occurrence. Both Gough and Hollister are quiet men when sober, but the latter is extremely passionate when intoxicated. We have since heard that Gough is in a very dangerous state, and is also very weak from the immense quantity of blood lost.

Now Joseph Gough was my wife’s 3 greats uncle as, of course, was his brother Aaron. Another brother, George Gough was my wife’s great great grandfather.

We can tell you that Joseph did survive and married Ann Hollister on 11th September 1859. Their first child, Job Gough was born the following month. The couple had four children we know about.

Aaron Gough married Sarah Collins on 5th November 1860.

Older brother George, the direct ancestor, had married Edith Lanfear back in 1851. One of their 6 children was my wife’s great grandmother who lived to see her 100th birthday. She was alive when her uncle Joseph was stabbed but not old enough to have taken things in. Because of her longevity, my wife knew her and that seems to make a real link with this long ago stabbing incident.


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