Saturday, 5th July, 1862
A Man And His Wife Drowned.
On Tuesday night last, a melancholy occurrence took place at Wallasey, which has produced a very painful feeling throughout that parish. A man named Thomas Howard, who was employed as a journeyman painter by Mr. Grinnell, of New Brighton, was drinking at a late hour in a beerhouse kept by a person named Copeland, at Little Brighton. At eleven o'clock, his wife Hannah Howard, who was accompanied by his brother, a lad about fourteen years of age, called for him at the beerhouse, and, it is said, remonstrated with him for getting tipsy and stopping away from his own house and family. The husband became angry and excited, and gave his wife a slap with his open hand on the face. Soon afterwards, however, they left the beerhouse, apparently on friendly terms, and, accompanied by the boy, proceeded along the high road in the direction of their residence, in Green Lane, Wallasey Village. Midway between Little Brighton and Wallasey Village there is a pit known by the name of the "Captain's Pit", >>
from the circumstance of a captain having been drowned in it some years ago. This pit, which in some parts is of considerable depth, is partially open to the high road, and is used for horses and cattle to drink from. On reaching this spot, the intoxicated husband suddenly stopped, pulled off his coat, and rushed into the pit. The wife, alarmed for her husband's safety, followed into the water and seized him round the waist, at the same making an effort to get him out. The boy stood at the edge of the pit, and could render no assistance. The unfortunate woman screamed, and they both were seen by the lad to fall. Their feet had evidently stuck fast in the mud, which, it is said, is unusually deep in this particular pit, and, not being able to raise themselves, both husband and wife were drowned. The youth immediately gave an alarm, and in a few minutes after the sad occurrence, a man named John Booth, who also had been drinking at Copeland's beerhouse at Little Brighton, came up, but he could not muster sufficient resolution to venture into the pit to rescue the unfortunate couple. Other persons were soon on the spot, and drags having been obtained, the bodies were taken out of the water. After being immersed about half an hour, it is scarcely necessary to say that life in each was quite extinct. The bodies were removed by the police to the residence of the deceased. One child is left to mourn the fate of its parents, and it is stated that the mother was pregnant. It is supposed that Howard rushed into the pit for the purpose of frightening his wife, and not with intention of committing suicide.