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1874: Encounter in a railway carriage

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

A serious case of assault has been heard at the Cuckfield Police Court, in which Mr Jeremiah Farrow, a well-todo farmer, from Old Newton, Stowmarket, Suffolk, was the complainant, and William Wilson Gourley, pilot, of Claypath-lane, South Shields, Durham, was the defendant.

The complainant had been to Brighton on Friday, and, on leaving that town the same day, took a second-class ticket to go by the 3.40pm train for London Bridge, but, on getting into a smoking carriage found Gourley there alone, in a drunken state, and conducting himself very strangely. Not admiring his companion's behaviour, he objected to travel with him; but as the train was just on the point of starting, and he was assured by a railway official that the ‘gentleman was all right’. be retained his seat They were alone in the compartment, and Mr Farrow was smoking.

They had proceeded but a short distance, when the man commenced the attack by wrenching his companion's pipe out of his mouth, and thus causing a disturbance, upon which be fixed prosecutor, and fiercely attacked him.

The noise drew the attention of Mr Rearden, superintendent of the railway works who was in the next compartment; and by leaning out of the window, he was made acquainted with the facts, Mr Farrow telling him the man was so violent he feared he would murder him; but Mr Rearden could render him no assistance, and advised him to endeavour to pacify him until they arrived at Hayward's Heath - the first station the train stopped at.

As they passed through the Clayton Tunnel, they had both a firm grip of each other; but, on emerging, prisoner renewed the attack as fiercely as before. Mr Farrow, who was the weaker man of the two, and suffering from disease of the heart, on the stoppage of the train at Hayward's Heath, was thoroughly exhausted, and was conveyed to the Station Hotel .

The Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser (NSW : 1868 - 1931) Sat 26 Sep 1874 Page 4

'The Adventure of Silver Blaze'. Original gouache and watercolor drawing for Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story The Adventure of Silver Blaze, signed SP in lower right-hand corner. The drawing is captioned in ink (probably by Paget) along the right-hand margin: Holmes gave me a sketch of the events. Published in The Strand Magazine, December 1892, p. 646.

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.


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