|Ovenden Cross Public House|
'Strange death in an Ovenden Public House' is the title of an article which appeared in the Yorkshire Evening Post on 12th March 1892, and concerned Samuel Blagbrough Bancroft [1848-1892] who was born, and lived all his life in Ovenden near Halifax.
Samuel was the son of John Bancroft [1815-1875], a Master Joiner and Farmer from Ovenden, and his wife Martha [nee Blagbrough] who together had a family of eight children.
Samuel seems to have been a rather unpleasant character, who had a life ruled by drink,and it looks as though Samuel had a very difficult relationship with his family. I reported the story in a previous article of his first appearance in the local court on 19th October 1869, when, at the age of only 22 years, he was summonsed to court on a charge of assaulting his father, mother and sister. The incident was reported as follows in the Halifax newspaper under the heading:
'A violent son near Halifax.'
"If there is a business in which the candidates of hell are labouring, it is yours, and full well you know it.
Were it not a conscience killing business, you would not take the last sixpence from the trembling hand of the drunkard and give him in relief a poison that, ere the next rising sun, may send him to his tomb.
Were it not a demoralising traffic, you could not stand by unmoved, and see the last spark of mortality and virtue driven from the mind of a man by the poison you administer.
Were it not an inferior business you would not be so assiduous in servicing the devil with victims for his abode of endless misery, for he exalts over every drunkard you prepare for the drunkard’s doom.
Then cease this business of ruin, ere the cry of humanity ceases and ere the wrath of angry heaven be poured out upon your head, for God has announced “a woe to him who putteth the bottle to his neighbour’s lips”.
|The evils of drink!|