Bull in a china shop

The strange sight of a bull in a china shop was actually witnessed yesterday in Ilford, from whence the animal was being driven in company with a herd.

It rushed into the shop kept by Mr Barnes, and got firmly wedged behind the counter-so firmly indeed that both counter and fittings had to be moved in order to extricate the beast. A large crowd assembled, and several police were required to keep order.

Strange to say, no serious damage was done by the bull, but a great deal of china placed outside the shop was broken by the crowd in their eagerness to see the strange and unwelcome customer within.

The Yorkshire Telegraph and Star, January 19, 1899.

Killed in a mock duel

An inquest was held yesterday at Manchester respecting the death of Thomas William Whalley, aged 19, who was killed in an amateur dramatic performance at the Cathedral Schools on Tuesday night.

The deceased took the part of Mercutio in “Romeo and Juliet”. In the duel between Mercutio and Tybalt, Mr Holmes, who represented Romeo, rushed on to separate the combatants.

Mr Thompson, who impersonated Tybalt, made a lunge, as required by the part, beneath Romeo’s arm, and unhappily his sword penetrated the chest of the deceased, who staggered and fell. He became unconscious and died soon afterwards.

Mr Thompson and the deceased were on the best of terms. The Coroner said it was a dangerous thing that in a mock duel people should use swords so sharp as these particular ones were. All who took part in the performance were guilty of negligence in allowing the use of such weapons.

A verdict of accidental death was returned.
The Northern Daily Mail, April 2, 1891.

The Devil a landowner

A correspondent at Helsingfors writes:- The following singular case is troubling the heads of the Finnish lawyers at present.

A man died a week or two ago in Pielisjarvi, in the interior of the country, who was said to have led a bad and ungodly life.

He had always been known to be well off, but nobody knew how he had gained his possessions.

There were many strange stories afloat, but one which was more credited than all the rest was to the effect that Huolarinen, as was his name, had, in his early days, been on an intimate footing with “Wihtahausu” (the “Evil One”), with whom he had several transactions of a commercial character. When Huolarinen’s will was opened it was found that he had bequeathed all his landed property and possessions to the devil.

The family naturally protest against the will, and the question now arises how this ticklish matter is to be settled.

Everybody seems anxious not to offend any of the parties concerned. There can be no doubt that the devil is thus a landowner, by legal right, in Finland.

The Sheffield Evening Telegraph, August 1, 1888.