September 1st, 1858
Before T.C.S Kynnersley and S. Buckley Esqs.
Singular conduct of a pistol maker:- A respectable young man named William Henry Bate, who stated that he was a pistol maker in Talbot Street, Winson Green, was summoned to answer the following rather serious charge: A neat little Irish girl named Margaret Colorin, servant to Mrs. E. Mahoney, shopkeeper in the above locality, stated that a few nights ago – it was near ten o’clock and quite dark – she had occasion to go into the yard, into which the premises of the defendant Bate came. As she passed she distinctly heard Mrs. Bates say to her husband “Paddy’s a-coming”, and he directly fired off a pistol three several (sic.) times. The sound came as if defendant was not many yards off, and she was so much frightened that on getting into her mistress’s house she had a violent fit of hysterics. Mrs. Mahoney and another respectable female neighbour, proved hearing three distinct reports of fire-arms. The defence was that Mr. Bate, whose father is a gun-maker in Whittall Street, in accordance with his father’s practice, always proves his pistols before disposing of them. He did so on the night in question. He only discharged one, his wife letting off the other two. He distinctly denied pointing them at the girl, and did not hear his wife say that Paddy was coming. Mr. Kynnersley said it was a highly improper course to pursue at night and Mr. Bate must pay the costs, 7s. This was done.
[Birmingham Daily Post, Thursday 2nd September 1858]