OLD ROTHERHAM: Police attacked outside a Rawmarsh pub

ON September 11 1880 Police Constable John Jerome Young was on duty at Rawmarsh, when he went past the Green Lane Tavern at 5.30 pm. Two men exited the public house as he passed, who he knew to be Peter Craven and Levi Adams. Shouting out that he would ‘fi

Adams was still standing at the doorway of the Green Lane Tavern when Young told Craven that he would report him for creating a disturbance. Craven in return stated that he would kill the constable and then he struck him savagely in the face and the left eye before punching him in the body and kicking at his legs. Young attempted to use his stick to defend himself. Craven's wife Rose Ann then came out of the Tavern with another woman called Sarah Jane Canadine, and they too joined in the assault. They hit the constable with their fists, and threw sharp edged stones and pieces of brick at him. The officer tried to arrest Craven’s wife, but her husband went for him with a glass bottle, shouting ‘here goes, death or glory’. Thankfully someone took it out of his hand

By now a crowd had gathered and the constable shouted to several men to help him. A number of them were about to comply, when Levi Adams and Sarah Canadine’s husband William, prevented them from interfering. Instead he urged the assailants to attack the officer ordering them to ‘go into him and kill him’. The constable saw a man he knew called Thomas Shaw and begged him for help, but Shaw was knocked to the ground before he reached Young. Thankfully PC Carr then arrived on the scene, and the two constables managed to subdue Craven, but only by removing his clogs as he lashed out with his feet. They eventually got him in into a waggonette and took him to the Rawmarsh police station, and the other prisoners were also apprehended.

On Monday September 20 1880, Peter Craven, Rose Ann Craven and Sarah Jane Canadine were charged with unlawfully wounding PC Young whilst in the execution of his duty. Levi Adams and William Canadine were also charged with aiding and abetting. Mr F Parker Rhodes, who was prosecuting on behalf of the police, told the court that for many days the constables life had been in great danger. He had not yet fully recovered from the assault, and had been unable to return to duty. Dr Smith, a surgeon of Parkgate, stated that he was called in to attend to the officer after the assault. He found five serious scalp wounds, some of them penetrating to the  bone. The doctor had also found several bruises on Young’s right shoulder and left arm from kicks he had received, and he was suffering from slight congestion of the brain. He told the magistrates that he had also attended to the prisoner Peter Craven and found two scalp wounds on his head. In cross examination he agreed that these wounds could have been caused by Craven falling to the ground. He stated that when he saw Craven at the police cells, he formed the impression that although he was not sober the man knew very well what he was doing. 

John Cooper, the son of the landlord, gave evidence that he had ordered Craven and Adams out of the public house because they had been quarrelling. He saw Craven attack the officer whom he struck several times before Young retaliated. John Booth, a miner of Green Lane, stated that he had seen Sarah Jane Canadine also strike Young on the back of the head with half a brick. He then saw Rose Ann Craven throwing half a brick at the constable. Several other people gave evidence of trying to defend the officer, but claimed that they had been stopped by Mrs Canadine and Adams.

The magistrates agreed to send all the prisoners for trial. On Saturday October 23 1880 the case was heard before the West Riding Sessions at Doncaster, where the prisoners were quickly found guilty. Craven told the magistrates that he had already served six weeks imprisonment, and asked the court to impose a fine if possible. The chair of the magistrates, Mr F B Frank, disagreed and said they had carefully considered the case, and would not be doing their duty if they did not send Craven to prison for 12 months with hard labour. Levi Adams was also given 12 months. William Canadine and Rose Ann Craven were given just four months for the violence which they had inflicted, and Sarah Jane Canadine for two months.