Savagery at the slaughterhouse

Photo:Entrance to former slaughterhouse at No 15/16 Trafalgar Street, looking out towards the road

Entrance to former slaughterhouse at No 15/16 Trafalgar Street, looking out towards the road

Photo by Jackie Fuller

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Savagery at the slaughterhouse' page

Drawing by David Sawyers, North Laine resident

From the 'Brighton Herald', 17th November 1883

By Jackie Fuller, North Laine resident

Here is an extract from the above newspaper (although the subheadings were not in the original). The slaughterhouse mentioned at No 15/16 Trafalgar Street later became Grand Parade Garage but a few years ago was redeveloped into live/work units (Trafalgar Mews). For more information click here.

Trafalgar Street butcher summoned

On Tuesday William Adams, a butcher of 15 Trafalgar Street, was summoned before Brighton magistrates for assaulting Thomas Ashdown, an assistant sanitary inspector.

Chased with a meat hook

Ashdown had visited the defendant’s slaughterhouse, where the defendant locked the gates and then chased him around the yard with a meat hook attached to a pole.

Inspector Ashdown gave evidence

Adams was said to have threatened to “dash his brains out and scatter them all over the wall”. When Ashdown gave evidence to this effect, Adams called out: “Now then, speak the truth, old man” and frequently interrupted. He said that whenever Inspector Ashdown visited his yard he missed a sweetbread or a piece of fat.

Unseemly behaviour

Adams’ language and behaviour were so unseemly that Mr Bigge, the Stipendiary Magistrate, threatened to have him removed from the court. “Stand in the witness box”, said His Honour, to which Adams replied, “I’ll stand on my head if it’ll do you any good”. He then continued to shout, whereupon Mr Bigge fined him 10s and costs or 7 days’ hard labour.

He made a disturbance

Shouting out that he would go to prison, Adams left the court but returned a minute later noisily asking for “the bill” and saying he would pay it. He then made such a disturbance that Mr Bigge ordered his removal.

He clung to the benches

Two constables seized him but he clung tenaciously to the benches and had to be dragged by several officers to the police office, where after more noise he eventually paid the fine.

[Previously published in the North Laine Runner, No 50,  July/August 1984; reprinted in No 202, January/February 2010]

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