Attempted Murder of Champney

On 15th November 1872, John Edward Champney was shot in the back and slightly wounded by James Whitehead, who had been discharged from his job at James Akroyd & Sons for incapacity.

The Todmorden & District News [Friday 22nd November 1872] reported

Attempted Murder at Halifax.

On Tuesday, James Whitehead, age 51, Damask weaver, was charged with having, on the previous Friday evening, shot with intent to murder Mr J. E. Champney, manufacturer, a director of Messrs James Akroyd & Sons, and a nephew of Colonel Akroyd MP and resides at Bankfield, Haley Hill, Halifax.

Mr Champney left Bankfield and was coming out of the gates when he saw the prisoner on the opposite side of the road.

The prisoner went down Haley Hill in the same direction as Mr Champney who then called in at a weaving shed. He saw Whitehead standing by the gate.

On coming out of the weaving shed Mr Champney saw Whitehead crouching in a doorway. When he got opposite the Coach & Horses Inn, the prisoner went behind him, and when about 3 yards off deliberately fired a pistol at him, the weapon containing two iron slugs. Mr Champney had on at that time a thick overcoat, and feeling himself hit, he struck the prisoner with his umbrella. He then went into the firm's offices in Cross Hills and found himself bleeding. The slug had lodged between his shirt and waistcoat.

He at once went to the surgery of Mr Bramley where it was found that a second slug had penetrated his back, inflicting, fortunately, only a skin wound.

On the day of the outrage, the prisoner was seen by Thomas Best, a weaver, standing in a doorway with a pistol sticking out of his pocket, and, on asking him what he was going to do with it, the prisoner replied

I am going to shoot Champney


© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 16:07 / 11th May 2021 / 3923

Page Ref: X519

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