An Investigation into this lamentable affair is being conducted at present by tbe local magistrates, in the Court-Honse, Stockport.

The Inquest on the body of the young Irishman who was killed, and whose name was Michael Moran, was commenced on Thursday week, and adjourned to the 20th inst. Mr Charles Hudson, the coroner, in adopting that course, stated as his reason that he proposed at first merely to take evidence as to the identity of the deceased man's body and the cause of his death; and then to adjonrn the inquiry for a sufficient time to allow excitement to subside, in order that they might more calmly, and perhaps with better means of information than they now possessed, proceed with the investigation of the case.

James Hannigan, of Barnforth-street, Stockport, was the first witness sworn. — He said: I am a grinder in the card loom of a cotton mill. The body is the deceased is that of Michael Moran, my wife's brother. He lived with us, and had done so for the last three weeks. He was a single man, a labourer, and 23 years of age, on a visit to us, but not in search of work. He and myself left home about half past seven o'clock on Tuesday evening, and went to the house of Wiliam Riley, in Rock-row (the honse first attacked and gutted), who was deceased's uncle, he wished to see if he could find employment for deceased with a farmer. About eight o‘clock we were returning home up Lord-street, whan a great mob came down Sandy Brow and Lord-Street. They were throwing stones la all directions. I ran away, but [not?] Moran, and on looking back saw him stretched upon the ground opposite Barlow's beerhouse. I went back, and, with the assistance of another man, picked him np. Blood was flowing from a wound on the right aide of his head and out of his left ear. I do not know the man who helped me to pick him up. I assisted him to walk back to Riley's, being unable to get him admitted to any house in Rock-row. I placed him in a chair at his uncle's house, and went for Dr Sleddon, who accompanied me to Riley's to see Moran and examine the wound. I sent down to the doctor's house at his request for a plaster. When I returned, a mob came to Riley's door, and there was a riot, and I had no time to remove the hair and apply the piaster. Tbe rioters, immediately I had taken him upstairs and laid him on the bed, broke open the doors and carried out the furniture to burn it. We had gone upstairs for safety, but the police came came and an officer from the barracks with his sword drawn, said, “Come down; I’ll see you protected.” They brought Riley down, and the policeman took him under his care. I brought down Michael Moran with the aid of another man and the police, who ordered me to take him to the doctor’s. When I got him out of door a man came up with a large piece of wood thick and round and gave him another blow on the head. The man said, “Come, let as look at his head, and see if he is an Irishman,” and he then struck Moran a terrible blow on the left side of his head, inflicting another wound. I then brought him to the Court House, where Mr Walters, sunreon, was in attendance upon the wounded. We got to the Court House about 10 o'clock. The man who struck him ran up Lord-strtet, but I should not be able to identify either of the men who struck him. When Moran received the second blow he said, “Oh dear. I’m done!” He never spoke after that. They asked him his name at the Conrt-house, and he could not answer. The people who were throwing the stone in the first instance, when he was first attacked, were doing so at a party coming out of Rock-row. There were small lads in the riots at first.

Dr. Rayner sworn. — I was at the Court-house on Tuesday night, from nine o'clock, attending the wounded prisoners. I recollect the deceased being brought in, myself and Dr. Turner examined his wounds. The principal one was on the right side of the head, in an obltqne direction from behind forwards, three inches in length. It extended from near the crown to the fore part of the ear, cutting the scalp, not dividing the pericranium. There was another wound, two inches above the left eye, more in the nature of a bruise, about an inch in length. Those were all the external waunds we perceived at the time. I was present afterwards when be died. That was about two o’clock in tbe morning. He was sensible under the handling of the wound, but I don't recollect that he ever spoke. I made a post mortem examination to-day, and ascertained from it tbe pause of death. I found that on the right side of the head, beneath the wound I have described, the skull was depressed 3-16ths of an inch, and a fracture extended 5 inches externally, and 6 &lig12; internally, and extended under the right ear, through which the blood had oozed into the ear. There was also a second fracture from the lower portion of the first, about an inch in length. There was an effusion of blood, which was clotted, of three or four ounces, between the dura mater and the brain. The effusion of blood on the brain, arising from the fracture on the skull, was the cause of death. I think the fracture was from a cut with a hard instrument having a blunt edge. The other was not a cut over the eye, but more of the nature of the bruise.

The investigation before the magistrates was likewise commenced on Thursday week, and has been sinoe continued from day to day.

Tbe evidence adduced establishes the fact of the existence of much ill-will between the English and Irish operatives of the town, both on grounds of religious dissention and disagreements relating to trade and employment; and also that the occurrence of the charity schools procession on the Sunday preceding the day of riot was from an ignorant misconception of the late anti-processions proclamation, regarded as a violation of the law, purposely committed by the Roman Catholics: and that, in consequence the chronic irritation existing previously, was raised to violent action in the form of menace on the one fide and defiance on the other, which ultimately resulted in the outrage of Tuesday sen'night [sic], as already detailed in our paper of last week.

Related material from the same article


The Riot at Stockport” The Illustrated London News 21 (10 July 1852): 28-30. Hathi Trust Digital Library version of a copy in the University of Michigan Library. Web. 17 December 2015. The text above to which paragraph has been added for ease of reading was created from the web version with ABBYY FineReader. — George P. Landow

Last modified 17 December 2015