Saturday, 11 May 2013

Orange Day Killing

In 1880 a killing with possible Sectarian undertones took place in Everton when a Protestant was stabbed by a Catholic.

On 12th July 1880, the traditional day for Orange Lodge parades, Matthew Foulkes and his wife took a wagonette to Hale where an Orange parade was taking place, although they did not join in this. After stopping for drinks at Garston on the way back, they arrived in Beresford Street at 8pm when their wagonette came under attack from bricks that were being thrown from 29 Beresford Street, the home of a 29 year old Catholic seaman named Ezra Male. His house was directly opposite number 30, where Mr and Mrs Foulkes lodged.


A squabble took place between Mrs Foulkes and Mrs Male, while a large crowd also gathered as three youths were taken away by police. Ezra Male then came running out of the house with a knife and slashed Mrs Foulkes down the arm, cutting her from the shoulder to elbow. Matthew Foulkes then went at Male and was stabbed in the stomach. He was taken to the Royal Infirmary, while Male was arrested initially for wounding. Matthew was able to give a statement the next day prior to dying from his injuries, his bowel having been protruded.


Male was charged with murder and appeared before the Liverpool Assizes on 30th July, when Mrs Foulkes was still in hospital recovering from her injuries and a miscarriage. Several witnesses said they had seen the two women arguing and that Foulkes had initially appeared to go at Male. With respect to whether the killing was motivated by religion, there is no doubt that Foulkes was wearing an orange lilly and that bricks were thrown from Male's house. However the two men had previously never spoken to each other and it is quite possible that it took place as a result of the two wives having had a disagreement a few days earlier.

In summing up the judge said that if Male was acting in self defence then it was manslaughter, but if he had come out of his property holding a knife it was murder. The jury deliberated for 35 minutes and found Male guilty of manslaughter, leading to the judge to tell him that the case was 'very near murder.' Male, who maintained just before sentencing that he had nor been in possession of  a knife that day, was sentenced to twenty years penal servitude.

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