Some football trouble in Kingswood on a Saturday night, as reported in the Bristol Mercury of Wednesday 19 October 1898 (from the British Newspaper Archive).






At Bristol police court, yesterday afternoon, before Messrs S. Willis and G. E. Davies, David McHardy, 26, the Warmley professional footballer, was charged with unlawfully wounding Dan Tom Davis, at Soundwell Street, St, George, on Saturday, October 8th. Mr Robinson(Wansborough and Co.) prosecuted, and Mr. Seymour Williams, the solicitor to the Warmley Football Club, defended.


Mr Robinson said that the prosecutor lived at 7, Unity Street, Kingswood, and had been in the habit of attending the football matches in which the Warmley club were interested, and on Saturday, October 8th, he attended a match at the ground of the Bristol City Football Club, between that club and the Warmley club. The prisoner was playing for the latter club, and what happened in the evening might perhaps have some reference to the fact that Warmley lost the match. It appeared that in the evening after the match prosecutor and his brother, Grantley Davis, went to the Kingswood Hotel at about 9.30, and sat there until about 10 o'clock. While they were there a man named Albert Gardner came in, and they had some drink together. Shortly afterwards the prisoner came in, and Grantley Davis said to him, "You played a good game today , Mac," Prisoner replied in an offensive manner, and said, "I can't play. I only came here to-day for pleasure." There was some conversation, and prisoner said he could hold his own with any man in Kingswood. Grantley replied that he did not want any fighting. Defendant said, "I hear that someone here is going to give us a hiding. I can hold my own with any in Kingswood." With that a man named Hamilton came into the room and he struck Grantley. There was a disturbance between these two men. A policeman came up and the defendant went away. Later on there was an argument which resulted in blows between the prisoner and Grantley Davis. As to whether the prisoner did unlawfully wound the prosecutor, they would have a number of witnesses before them to tell them what happened.

It occurred about 11 o'clock in the evening, and the circumstances were these. Prosecutor left his brother about 10.45, and was walking towards his home, when he met a man named Charles Lewis. They had a conversation and walked towards Soundwell Road, where they saw the prisoner standing on the footway with the man Hamilton, who had been in the public house. The prosecutor said to the prisoner, "I hope you are not in the same temper you were just now." Prisoner replied, " I am then," and struck at Davis, who struck back. They fell down together and got up at once. Prosecutor went into the roadway, and walked to the corner of Soundwell Road, and there he again saw prisoner, who was standing under an awning which projected from a shop. In a few seconds he came out into the road and said to Davis "Come on now I'm ready for you." With these words he went up to Davis and struck him on the forehead. Prosecutor fell on his back and then prisoner fell on top of him and struck him in the face several times with some instrument, and said "I'll murder you." The prosecutor shouted out that he was "spiked." He tried to ward off the blows but unfortunately several took effect and he was somewhat seriously injured in the face by blows from some sharp instrument. What the instrument was, was not known, but they had the doctor, who would say that the only thing that could have caused these wounds would be some sharp instrument such as a penknife. Davis was bleeding very profusely, and his collar was cut, and after they were seperated prosecuter was taken to the doctor's, and there he was in a state of collapse, suffering from loss of blood, and he had since been under the care of the doctor. No doubt there was an altercation between the prisoner and prosecutor, and no doubt they fell to the ground before the alleged stabbing occurred, but that had nothing to do with the present charge. Prisoner ought not to have attacked the prosecutor with a weapon, and inflict such wounds, and that they were done with a sharp instrument, and that it was a case of unlawful wounding, then he, Mr Robinson, asked them to commit McHardy for trial to meet that charge.


Dan Tom Davis, the prosecutor, who appeared with his head in bandages, bore out the solicitor's statement, and said he did not know what kind of instrument prisoner used. When McHardy came from under the awning he struck witness in the forehead so violently that he staggered and fell. As soon as he was on the ground McHardy was on top of him, and pushed something into his right cheek. Witness called out that he was "spiked," and caught hold of prisoner's arm. Prisoner made several attempts to free his arm and strike again, and witness could not say whether he did strike. Witness did not let go his arm.


By Mr Williams - Witness caught hold of prisoner's arm instantly he felt the blow on his cheek, and McHardy tried to strike him several times afterwards.


By Mr Robinson - He did not know how many times prisoner tried to strike him after he held his arm, because he was trying all the time.


Continuing, witness said that Lewis and another man named Scull separated them. The collar he was wearing at the time was cut just under the right ear, and was covered in blood. The coat he was a was also covered in blood


By Mr Robinson - From first to last, until he saw McHardy in Soundwell Road, he had no disturbance with him that evening. He had never before had any disturbance with him.


Cross-examined by Mr Williams - Witness said his brother did not start the conversation in the Kingswood Hotel by speaking to Hamilton. His brother had no quarrel with Hamilton until Hamilton struck him. Witness did not hear his brother say he would "Like to punch Hamilton on the nose." When the disturbance occurred between witness's brother and Hamilton the prisoner did not leave the house and say he was going away as he did not want any bother. Witness believed his brother knocked the prisoner down outside the hotel. His brother did not kick McHardy in the back and try to bite him. Witness often went through Soundwell Road on his way home, for a walk, although it was the farthest way. He did not enquire of a man named Perry if he had seen the prisoner and where he should find him. He met Perry, but prisoner's name was not mentioned by either of them. When he met prisoner, witness did not make a show of fighting. Prisoner struck at him first and witness struck back. When prisoner got up from the ground first of all, witness did not actually ask him to fight, but took his coat off. When people tried to prevent them fighting, witness did not shout, "Let him come on." Witness did not discover the cut in his collar until the Wednesday following. Between the time of the occurrence and the Wednesday he did not speak to a man named Herbert about the collar. He fell on his back and his face did not strike the ground.


John Newman, surgeon, of Kingswood, said that on the night in question the prosecutor was brought to his surgery by two men. His face was covered with blood, and he seemed in a very weak state. He must have lost a large quantity of blood. There were five wounds about the face and head. The most serious was one on the left cheek, which started between the eyebrows on the left hand side and extended down the side of the nose to the upper lip, and in one place the bone was exposed. There was another wound, which was not very deep, over the let eyebrow. Another wound commenced upon the left cheek bone and extended to the angle of the mouth. There was a small wound over the right cheek bone, and another one on the left ear. The first mentioned wound was dangerous from its position. Erysipelas did not arise, but that was the only complication that might arise from such wounds to a healthy man. The wounds must have been inflicted by a sharp instrument, and could not have been caused by finger nails. The only conclusion he could arrive at was that they were done with a knife. A fall on sharp stones could not have caused the wounds.


Mr Williams - Would it not be possible for a man falling with very great force on the stones or a piece of glass to sustain these injuries?


Witness - It may account for the wound on the ear, but not for the wounds in the face.


Mr Williams - Would a sharp stone in the hands of a man be likely to cause any of these wounds?


Witness - It would be impossible for those in the face to be caused in that way.


Charles Lewis, a bootmaker, of Kingswood, corroborated the prosecutor's evidence as to the disturbance in Soundwell Road. Prisoner was not on Davis many seconds. The round was not rough and there were no stones about. He did not see any instrument.


Robert Lewis said he was standing at the corner of Soundwell road on the night in question and saw the occurrence. He corroborated the prosecutor's evidence. When they were on the ground witness heard someone say, "He has a dagger or knife in his hand." Witness said, "Who is it?" and some one replied that it was a stranger. Witness then said, "Are you going to allow a stranger to take another man's life and not interfere, and to let him get away and no one know who has done it?" Witness then went towards them and he caught hold of the prisoner, and with Scull's assistance he separated them. They took prisoner over to the lamp post and asked him to show them his hands. He showed them, and said, "I've nothing on me except two watches." There was nothing in his hands. Witness held McHardy with one hand, and he turned round to look at the prosecutor. As soon as he turned the prisoner tripped him up and ran away with two other men. Witness got , although his hip was hurt, and followed them very quietly for about 40 or 50 yards down Soundwell road in order to see where they went. They went into a garden, and witness leaned over the railings watching them. They tried to open the back door but could not, and then one of them said "We are watched. There is a spy younder." They then came back into the road and witness left them and gave information to the police.


James Scull, a bootmaker, of 20, Unity Street, Kingswood, corroborated the last witness's evidence as to the disturbance. The prisoner could not have had time to put any instrument he may have had into his pocket. It was possible that prisoner might have dropped something in the crowd, but witness did not see him drop anything.


At this point the prisoner was remanded until next Friday week.




I will try to find any what happened next!