9th April 1884
On this date, a charge of Bigamy was heard in the Sheriff Court. Thomas Downie, a middle aged man, pleaded guilty to the charge, in which he had married Jane Macdonald, a domestic servant, whilst still being married to his wife of eight years, Mary Brady. Downie was sentenced to eight months imprisonment.
10th April 1869
The Edinburgh Evening Courant features an article on ‘Velocipeding’ –
‘A training school for instruction in the art of driving the Parisian bicycle, or two wheeled velocipede, has been opened in Broughton Market, Dublin Street, by Mr Munro, coach manufacturer. Mr Munro constructs the velocipedes himself; and has been able to introduce several improvements on the Parisian model, giving the driver more control over his machines, and rendering the management of it considerable less difficult. By these improvements, the drag can be more easily and promptly applied; and a sharp corner can be turned with less danger. Mr Munro himself has acquired a high degree of perfection in the driving of the velocipede, and several of his pupils have already learned to control and direct it with scarcely less skill. We understand that in the course of next week, a match will test at once the capabilities of the machine for swift running and the skill of the drivers is to take place between Mr Munro and one of his more experienced pupils. The greatest speed to which it is supposed the velocipede is capable of attaining is 13 miles an hour; but it is expected that it can be driven, without any great effort on the part of the rider, at the rate of 10, or even 12 miles an hour. Three lessons are generally considered sufficient to enable a pupil to propel himself with some degree of comfort over a straight level; but it requires about three times as many more lessons before the more apt pupils can be said to have obtained a perfect mastery over the velocipede.’
Velocipedes were early bicycles, with the first pedal equipped bicycle being developed in the 1860s. The French design was referred to as the ‘boneshaker’, due to it being made of wood, with then later with metal tyres. As most roads of the day were cobbled, this was not a particularly comfortable mode of transport. Most large cities had indoor riding academies, such as the one described above.
10th April 1884
Peter Morgan, described as ‘a rough looking man’, was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, having assaulted a woman in a lodging house in the Grassmarket by knocking her down and fracturing two of her ribs by kicking her.
Grassmarket, Edinburgh © Peter Stubbs, Edinphoto
14th April 1869
The Edinburgh Evening Courant reports on an ‘Alleged Fatal Assault by a Wife Upon Her Husband’ – ‘A painful case of an alleged assault, which is reported to have terminated fatally, was brought before Baillie Cousin, in the City Police Court, yesterday morning. The person against whom the charge is preferred is a woman named Mrs Graham, residing in No. 6 Pleasance. So far as we have been able to gather the particulars of the case, we learn that is understood that Mrs Graham and her husband – who will be best known to the public of Edinburgh as the persons who for a considerable period have sold fruit from a stand or small wagon, sometimes in from of the Tron Church, and at other times on the opposite side of the crossing of the South Bridge, High Street – had on Wednesday night last week quarrelled in their house at the Pleasance; and that Mrs Graham had stabbed her husband in the eye with a table fork. Graham died towards the end of the week, and his funeral was arranged to take place on Monday. Acting, however, on information which had been communicated to the police, the Procurator Fiscal caused the interment of the corpse to be postponed till Tuesday; and in the meanwhile directed a post mortem examination of the body to be made, and instructed an investigation into the circumstances connected with the man’s death. The funeral took place on Tuesday, but Mrs Graham was apprehended by the police, and conveyed to the Main Police Office in a cab. The authorities directed that she should be detained in custody, and yesterday morning she was brought before Baillie Cousin in the City Police Court. The case was remitted to the Sheriff.’