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Barwick Historic Court Cases
Cattle Straying

Barwicker No.107 September 2012

On Tuesday the 17th July 1888 at the West Riding Police Court held in Leeds Town Hall, William Simpson, a farmer of Whinmoor was charged with allowing his cattle to stray on the highway. Local Police Constable Duffin said that on the afternoon of 7th July 1888 he saw 3 unattended cows on the Leeds and York Road at Barwick. A quarter of a mile away he saw William Simpson in one of his hayfields and reported this to him. He said they were his cows and that he had sent them home for water, he had taken them part of the way himself and then left them to make their own way when about 80 yards from his house. He was found guilty and fined 2 shillings and 6 pence for each animal, 7 shillings and 6 pence in total.

William was not originally from the Parish and was born about 1836 in Pateley Bridge. He grew up there serving an apprenticeship to a Master Tailor in the town. He married and moved to Leeds bringing up a family and working as a tailor eventually employing over 35 people. In the 1870s he appears to have separated from his wife and started a 2nd family with his housekeeper Sophia Newton. She was born in 1853 in Freemantle, Western Australia, a town which had only been founded in 1829. She came to the UK with her English born father and Gibraltarian born mother when aged about 10. Around 1885 William and Sophia moved into Clemshaw House Farm, Whinmoor where he farmed as well as continuing tailoring.

He died in 1916 aged 80 and she died in 1925 aged 71, both are buried at All Saints' Church, Barwick.

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