Attempted Shooting [1886]

The [Thursday 18th November 1886]

Attempted to Shoot Uncle Near Halifax

Yesterday at Halifax Borough Court, a lad named Joseph Henry Wright, aged 15, was charged with shooting at his uncle, Mr Alfred Spencer, Joiner, Ramsden Street, Wheatley, near Halifax, with intent to murder him.

Chief Constable Pole said the prisoner was an orphan, and resided with his uncle. He worked for Mr James Firth, Stuff merchant, Swan Street, Bradford. Lately he had been rather loose in his habits and had spent his wages – amounting to £2 8- – telling his uncle that his employer had recently married and was away from home and he would not get his wage until he returned. Prisoner had taken £1 10/- from a box at home and spent that.

When the lad came home just before midnight on Tuesday, his uncle, who was in bed, questioned him as to his wages. Wright replied

They are in this little room

and walked into another room apparently to fetch the money.

In a short time the lad called out from that room

Aren't you coming, I can't open the box

The uncle got up and, at the door, the lad presented a pistol to his head and fired.

Mr Spencer saw the pistol and dodged sideways but the bullet carried away a piece of flesh from his shoulder. Mr Spencer tried to catch hold of the lad when he fired a second pistol, but the bullet missed.

Wright was detained by the police and upon him were found two discharged pistols and a loaded six-chambered revolver.

The lad was remanded until Friday.

No reason can be assigned for the act


The England & Wales Criminal Registers [7th February 1887]

Joseph Henry Wright – To enter his own recognizance in £20 to keep the peace and be of good behavior for 12 calendar months and to come up for judgement if called upon.

Height 5 ft 9 ins


© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 10:10 / 29th May 2021 / 4145

Page Ref: X546

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