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100 YEARS AGO: ECCLES WOMAN'S RAZOR ATTACK

History With Flynn

They say a Mother's love for her son or daughter is unconditional, all lasting, a bond that will never be broken and she will do anything to protect them.

Perhaps Edith Rigby who was residing on Wellington Road, Eccles was being a tad over protective of her daughter, as this court case from November 1919 shows when she appeared at Manchester Assize Court charged with Unlawfully wounding, Thomas Livesey on October 17th, 1919.

The court heard that Thomas Livesey was employed at Lockett's Finishing Works, on Bazaar Street, Salford just behind Pendleton Church.

On the 17th October, Edith called at the works asking for Mr Livesey, she found him working in a room, in a stooped position, she went behind him and put her hand on his shoulder and drew a cut throat razor across his face.

Having doing this she walked calmly into Mr Lockett's office and told him, 

"I have marked him for life for my daughters honour".

She was quickly arrested and taken into custody by Detective Sergeant McNee.

Livesey was taken to hospital with a wound to his face from his chin to his left ear and a slight wound to his scalp.

At the police station Edith told the police that her daughter was pregnant by Livesey and this was the reason for the attack to defend her honour.

At the Assize Court she was defended by Mr St John Yates who advised her to plead guilty to the offence as charged.

He told the court that he could not disguise the seriousness of the offence in using a razor, then added that if she had wanted to commit Grievous Bodily Harm she could have easily done so, however she had,

"Merely drew the razor across his face and obviously without much force"

Getting on his moral high horse he told the court that,

"This woman's daughter was employed at the same works as the complainant, and in due course she met him, a married man who under the pretence of being single seduced the girl

"The mother upon learning of her daughter's condition and without thinking what she was doing picked up a razor, went to his works and committed this offence.

"I understand she is very sorry now for what she has done and wishes me to express her sorrow for this act and whilst in prison has been under constant medical attention"

 Strangeways prison doctor, Allan Pearson told the court that she had been in his care since her arrest and at first she was nervous, agitated and not sleeping well, however her condition has improved and she is now eating well but full of remorse for he actions.

Sir H.A. McArdie in passing sentence said,

"You only meant to mark him , your phrase was to, "mark him for life" but one twist of the hand, a little moreforce and this man would have been dead and you would have been in the dock today charged with the offence of murder.

"I recognise the provocation you have suffered and the deep grief you felt when you learned what he had done to your daughter.

"You are a woman too, but if omitted to to punish you I should omit to indicate the law which I am here to see carried out to the full.

"The sentence of this court is that you must go to prison for four months"

That is what I call a result, she had made her way some three miles from Eccles to Pendleton to carry out this attack, never mind "without thinking what she was doing picked up a razor" and presumably got public transport there which gave her plenty of time to reconsider what she had planned out.

Also one slip and poor old Livesey was dead, it was lucky he didn't get his throat cut.

I suppose this story gives some indication of the moral outrage that must have been felt in those times, a married man getting a young, single girl pregnant, obviously not the thing to do, and on reflection not a thing to do in these more modern liberated times.




Tony Flynn



 

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This would be before Safety razors. An open cutthroat razor would be as sharp as a scalpel and therefore a formidable weapon.

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