Unsolved Murders

Walter Hague

Age: 23

Sex: male

Date: 27 Sep 1900

Place: Midlands Company Railway Station, Sheaf Street, Sheffield

Walter Hague was stabbed in Sheffield near the Midlands Company Railway Station on 27 September 1900.

He had been walking towards the Midlands station with his sweetheart when a drunk man seized him by the throat and threw him to the ground and kicked him before running off.

Walter Hague managed to pick himself up but then collapsed and died as he had been stabbed near the heart.

He had been engaged to a woman who worked as a barmaid at the Carlton Hotel in Sheffield but they had had a disagreement and had not seen each other for a while until the previous Saturday when they renewed their friendship. At that time they agreed to meet the following Saturday at the hotel again which they did.

On the Saturday night Walter Hague had gone from Chapeltown to Sheffield to meet the woman after she finished work shortly after 11pm. The woman had lived in Darnell and they walked together towards the Midlands Company railway station in the rain under an umbrella. They had been walking along Sheaf Street which was not very well lit and was bound on one side by the high wall of the Midland Company's line and on the other side by some works when they came upon a man that appeared to be drunk and was swearing. They ignored him as they were pressed for time to catch the train but as they reached the entrance to the station that was used by the parcel vans the drunk man attacked Walter Hague, throwing him to the ground and kicking him.

After the assault Walter Hague got up and had thought that he was alright and commented that he had wished a policeman had been about that could have taken the man into custody but he then fell to the ground simply saying 'Oh', and died.

Upon examination, it was determined that he had been stabbed with a pocket knife and considerable force had been used as it had gone through a thick coat, waist coat, shirt front and vest as well as a considerable amount of flesh.

The woman said that the drunk man looked about 36 years of age and had the appearance of a working man, probably a collier, dressed in his best clothes adding that he was dark with a sallow complexion and had a dark moustache.

A man later confessed to the murder but the case collapsed in court and he was acquitted. He had walked into Hull Police Station on 8 October 1900 and said, 'I am wanted at Sheffield for murdering a man'. At the time he confessed the Sheffield police said that they thought that he had nothing whatsoever to do with the murder but said they were compelled to undertake a full investigation. He had made the confession on a Monday but by Wednesday had denied making a confession saying that he had been talking about a quarrel he had had with a person in Sheffield. Witnesses to the murder said that the man had looked like the person that they had seen but none of them had positively identified him.

At his trial, the court heard that in law it was laid down that if a confession made was satisfactorily proved it was sufficient alone to warrant a conviction without any corroborative evidence at all and several examples of such cases were given. However, the man was acquitted.

Walter Hague had been a machine planer from Cowley Lane, Chapeltown and had worked for Messrs. Newton, Chambers, and Co. of Thorncliffe Iron Works.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Dundee Evening Post - Friday 07 December 1900

see Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 13 October 1900

see Northampton Mercury - Friday 28 September 1900

see Sheffield Evening Telegraph - Monday 24 September 1900

see Leeds Times - Saturday 27 October 1900

see Sheffield Independent - Thursday 25 October 1900

see Illustrated Police News - Saturday 29 September 1900

see National Library of Scotland

see Youtube