Date: 29 Oct 1910
Place: Kings Lynn
Robert Aldren died in a fight.
A farmer was tried but the evidence against him was said to have been contradictory.
A butcher said that he had been at the market in King's Lynn on 14 June 1910 and was in the cattle market at 5pm after having come from the Sun Inn with a friend when he met the farmer that was charged with Robert Aldren's manslaughter and said that the farmer asked him to go to the Eagle for a drink. He said that they went to the Eagle for a drink, along with an Irishman and said that when they came out Robert Aldren came up and accosted the farmer, asking him for money.
The butcher said that the farmer offered Robert Aldren a shilling but said that Robert Aldren would not accept a shilling and wanted more. He said that they then walked up Paradise Lane and the farmer put the shilling back in his pocket.
He said that when they got to Bacon's Auction Mart in the market Robert Aldren and the farmer stopped and he and the Irishman walked on. However, when they got a little further he said that the Irishman asked him to go back and fetch the farmer and he went back.
He said that when he got back the farmer asked him to come and see the beast. He said that when the farmer said that Robert Aldren said, 'All right, Mr, you want to take him from me', and that Robert Aldren then threatened him with a stick, but he said that he slapped Robert Aldren's face with his hand and told him not to be a fool.
The butcher said that he and the farmer then when to the Bullock pens of Messrs. Cruso & Wilkin and that whilst they were there among the bullocks that Robert Aldren hit him on the head with his stick causing a slight blow to his hat. the farmer said that he took no notice of it and put his hat straight and went on turning the beasts out of the pens one by one. He said that the farmer then got through the rails and that he then heard Robert Aldren say, 'I'll fight the pair of you', meaning him and the farmer.
The butcher said that as he was mixed up with the beasts he didn't see what happened next, but said that when he looked round he saw Robert Aldren in a sitting position on the stones, saying that he then saw him gradually sink to the ground on his side. He said that he then got through the rails and turned Robert Aldren on to his back and then saw blood flowing rather freely from his nose and ears and so he asked for a doctor to be fetched. He said that he then asked for help and carried Robert Aldren to the nearest house which was then being used as a Barclay’s branch bank.
When the butcher was questioned he said that from the time that they were walking from the Eagle pub to the market, Robert Aldren had abused the farmer saying that he had said to him, 'I knew a time when I could buy two ---- farmer's' as well as stating that he remembered when the farmer could not buy a thirty shilling pony. He said that he saw Robert Aldren pull on the farmers coat several times along the way and said that he was using rough language. He also said that Robert Aldren had been intoxicated and that his demeanour towards the farmer was rather violent. He said that Robert Aldren's behaviour was provoking and that by the time they had got to the pens they had told Robert Aldren to go away repeatedly.
A drover said that he had seen Robert Aldren hit the butcher on his hat with the stick and said that he saw the butcher just walk off. He said then that Robert Aldren kept arguing his point and that the farmer then said to him, 'If he won't fight you, I will', and that he then saw the farmer go off through the rails towards Robert Aldren, chucking his stick down, but said that that was all he saw as he was seeing to the cattle when the fight was on.
When the Coroner asked the drover how he knew there was a fight on he said that he had heard the farmer say that he would fight Robert Aldren and that that was how he knew. The drover said that he next saw Robert Aldren on the ground but said that the farmer was gone.
A fisherman said that he had been going through the cattle market when he had seen Robert Aldren and the farmer quarrelling. He said that he heard Robert Aldren ask the farmer for some money but said that the farmer put him off by swearing. He said that he then saw them walk off towards the beasts, with Robert Aldren following. He said that Robert Aldren then said something to the butcher that he didn't understand, and the butcher then turned round and smacked Robert Aldren's face. He said that they then went on and then the butcher stopped, and Robert Aldren hit him on the back with his stick and that there was then a row and that the farmer then rushed out of the pens and struck Robert Aldren. He said that he could not tell if the first two blows struck Robert Aldren but said that the farmers third blow checked the fall and knocked Robert Aldren to the ground.
The drover said that he saw the farmer hit Robert Aldren with a very heavy blow with his closed fist and said that Robert Aldren fell sideways. He added that Robert Aldren was already falling when the third blow was struck.
The drover said that he then rushed off to get a policeman and said that two policemen then came along.
A wireman that worked for the National Telephone Company who lived in Paradise Lane in Lynn said that he had just got home when he saw three men quarrelling outside. He said that he knew the farmer by site and said that he heard Robert Aldren say to the farmer, 'I can buy you up', and said that the farmer replied, 'Don't talk so soft. I have done all I can for you, and now you round on me'. He said that he then heard Robert Aldren use abusive language and repeat several times, 'I can buy you up'. He said that he then heard the farmer offer Robert Aldren a shilling and heard Robert Aldren say, 'Yes, I will have it'. He said that he saw the farmer put his hand in his pocket and then hold it out and said that they both continued their abusive language and said that another man came up and tried to persuade the farmer to go away.
The wireman said that the farmer then went to the cattle, leaving a tall man with Robert Aldren and said that the tall man tried to persuade Robert Aldren to go away but that he would not and that Robert Aldren then staggered off towards the cattle where the farmer was. He said that the tall man followed Robert Aldren and that they then stopped again but that Robert Aldren then led the way again and then shouted over the rails to where the farmer was. He said that Robert Aldren then argued with the tall man who then smacked Robert Aldren's face and that as the tall man then turned to go away that Robert Aldren hit the tall man with his stick, apparently on the head. He said then that the farmer came through the rails from the cattle and hit Robert Aldren with his fist, knocking him onto the opposite rails across the gangway. He said that the farmer then hit at him again and they fell together. He said that the farmer then walked off and a female rushed about raising her arms and calling out.
see Lowestoft Journal - Saturday 29 October 1910
see Eastern Evening News - Monday 11 July 1910
see Eastern Daily Press - Tuesday 05 July 1910
see Eastern Evening News - Tuesday 05 July 1910