Another distant relative Harvey Teasdale, a clown and publican shot his wife Sarah. Fortunately Sarah lived and the couple eventually reconciled after Harvey got religion and gave up the demon drink and also publicly burned his clown costume. He is down as theatrical in 1851 and in 1871 is a bookseller so I'm guessing he was probably in jail in 1861. Harvey Teasdale was born 1817 Sheffield wife Sarah was born in 1819 also Sheffield. Any newspaper articles about him? His famous stunt was being towed in a bath tub by ducks in Sheffield. He had such a crowd at the river bank that the bank collapsed and several spectators fell in.
He wrote a book about his life. It's out of print now of course but sometime I will go and find if Sheffield Library has it. He's mentioned in several books because of his eccentric clowning. He apparently was a big celebrity in his day.
He certainly got a light sentence, me thinks he had the jury mesmerised. You have to read the 2nd article to get a real understanding of this chap.
Is it safe to go to Sheffield these days.
The Leeds Mercury (Leeds, England), Saturday, December 13, 1862; Issue 7698.
EXTRAORDINARY OUTRAGE BY A COMEDIAN.
CUTTING A WIFE’S THROAT.
HARVEY TEASDALE (46) was charged with wounding Sarah Teasdale, his wife, with intent to do her grievous bodily harm. Mr. V. BLACKBURN prosecuted, and the prisoner was defended by Mr. SHAW. _ The circumstances of the case were of an extraordinary character, and exhibited great heartlessness and brutality on the part of the accused.
The prisoner is a comedian, and he and the prosecutrix had been married for twenty-six years. In July last, they were at St. Helier’s, Jersey; but, in consequence of ill-treatment, the prosecutrix determined to leave him, and returned to England, and her husband paid for her passage, &c., as far as Manchester. The prisoner followed her to England, and on her subsequently going to Sheffield he followed her there. On the 2nd of August, the prisoner went to the house of Mrs Hewitt, in Holly-street, where is wife was lodging, and asked her to return and live with him. His previous ill-treatment did not encourage her to return, and although he continued for six hours entreating her to go back, she positively refused to do so. He then went away, but returned on the 4th of August, and sent a message to the prosecutrix asking her to join him at a public-house near. She declined, saying the prisoner but go to her. Henry Hewitt was standing in the doorway, and the prisoner rushed past him, entered the room where his wife was, locked the door, and, without saying a word, fired a pistol at her. She was completely stunned, and on recovering consciousness, saw her husband with an open razor in his hand. A struggle ensued between them, in which they got upon the floor, and the prisoner drew the razor across her throat from ear to ear, but, fortunately for both of them, not dividing any of the principal blood-vessels. Henry Hewitt, hearing the report of the pistol, jumped through the window into the room. He found the prisoner upon his wife with the razor in his hand, and succeeded in wrenching it from him. The prosecutrix was conveyed to the Infirmary, and she was found to be injured on the cheek and hand as well as on the throat. She remained in the Infirmary for eleven days, and was an out-patient for three weeks. When before the Magistrates, the prisoner accused his wife of infidelity, but there did not appear to be the slightest foundation for this allegation. He also said he had no intention whatever of doing his wife injury, that he went intending to fire the pistol to frighten her, and that, not succeeding in inducing her to return, he was resolved to cut his own throat with the razor. He further alleged that the pistol went off in the struggle by accident, but this, the learned counsel for the prosecution observed, was inconsistent with his previous statement. _ Mr. SHAW, for the defence, urged that the prisoner, who had evidently gone with a sincere desire to induce his wife to return, could have had no desire to inflict grievous bodily harm. _ The jury, to the surprise of all in court, found the prisoner, Guilty of unlawfully wounding. His LORDSHIP said the jury had taken a merciful view of the case, because if the prisoner had been convicted of the felony he would have been sentenced to a long period of penal servitude. The unlawful wound he had inflicted was unlawful wounding of the most aggravated character, and he should therefore feel it his duty to sentence the prisoner to the longest term of imprisonment which the statute enabled him to give. The Judge then sentenced the prisoner to imprisonment, with hard labour, for two years.
The Caledonian Mercury (Edinburgh, Scotland), Saturday, January 28, 1865; Issue 23581.
STRANGE DOINGS IN SHEFFIELD.
(From the Independant)
From time to time during the past few months the inhabitants of Sheffield have been startled with a series of sensation announcements, concerning the services of the Hallelujah Band, at the Temperance Hall. “Convicted felons, prize fighters, pigeon stealers, dog fighters, wife beaters, poachers, &c. &c.,” have been announced to give “their experience”, and the result of the extraordinary concentration of talent, or rather character, has been crowded houses. Last week, the walls were placarded with the announcement that last night “Harvey Teasdale” the converted clown, would publicly destroy his stage dresses, the manuscript plays and music, and his pantomime tricks and books. To meet the expenses connected with this “extraordinary engagement”, charges were made for admission, but notwithstanding this, the hall was crowded to excess in every part. The gallery was filled with an audience strongly reminding one of the “gods” of a cheap theatre, while in the body were to be found very many who had seen Harvey Teasdale as the “Man Monkey”, and who were anxious to see his disposal of the character and its appurtenances. The business of the evening_it can be hardly called a service_commenced by a hymn sung with extraordinary gusto by the large audience, the refrain being the favourite part, and as such was subjected to frequent repetition. Prayer by a member of the band followed, and upon the chairman announcing an address by another member great uproar and cries for “Harvey” followed. At its conclusion Harvey Teasdale came to the front of the platform, and was greeted with loud cheers, and those peculiar whistles and calls which which must of been familiar to him in his theatrical days. These, however, were stopped by one of the leaders announcing that that was “a religious service”_a fact that could hardly have been known unless it was stated. Teasdale came forward and produced a bag containing his “properties”. He announced that Mr Edward Lauri, clown at the Surrey Theatre, had kindly consented to be present and see that all were destroyed, and that the properties and books were real_and this statement appeared to be very satisfactory to the audience, who greeted Mr Lauri with a hearty cheer. The work of demolition then commenced, Teasdale producing a dress which he said belonged to the “Dumb Man of Manchester”, and handing it over to the brethren behind, who with large shears and knives quickly destroyed. The dresses of Scaramouch, and the other favourite characters of Teasdale, shared the same fate, while the motley garb of the clown, with the cap which “had gone through the clock face for the last time”, were speedily reduced to shreds. The manuscript plays followed. Mr Lauri explained his presence that night by stating that all the pieces had been offered to him for 2 pound, 10s., but that they had then been refused to him. He was in Leeds that afternoon, and there he heard that Teasdale had destroyed the same things there, and so he had come down to see. This statement created some laughter, and provoked from Teasdale the remark that he had enemies in Leeds. The last property to be destroyed was “the monkey” and the audience were requested “not to be frightened”, although it was “very hideous”. A large stuffed figure was then brought on. It was the monkey dress of Teasdale stuffed with shavings “to give the people an idea of Harvey Teasdale as he was”, and no sooner was it brought upon the platform than it was seized and literally dragged to pieces by the enthusiastic band amid great uproar mingled with shouts of “Hallelujah”. This concluded the principal part of the business, and a hymn was given out. The attempt to sing was, however, a failure, and it was abandoned at the end of the first verse. An address of an unusually florid and frantic style from a converted prizefighter and nigger minstrel followed, after which the musical disposition of the audience was again tested, and this time with greater success. Various other addresses and hymns followed, and the proceedings, which were of the most extraordinary character, and beggared description, were concluded about ten o’clock.
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He really was quite extraordinary wasn't he? He and his wife were back together in 1871 and stayed together till she died in 1883. He remarried in 1886 and was down as a fishing tackle seller in the 1901 census. He died at the age of 86 in 1904.
Found you can get the play The Dumb Man of Manchester free online. It really was an awful melodrama. Just google the title, there are several sites offering it, and you will see what I mean. The Surrey burned down I think due to a fire caused by the limelight and Sheffield library is on the site but there are still 4 theatres in the area including one in the Library, the Lyceum next door, the Crucible next to that and the Montgomery a few yards along the road from the Library.