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Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No. 1846, Sunday, August 21, 1831.

[Lancashire Assizes]

John M'Gowan, an elderly man, a pensioner, was convicted on Saturday, at the Lancaster Assizes, of the wilful murder of Mary Hopkinson, on the night of the 14th of June. It appeared that during a turn-out among the colliers between Bolton and Manchester the prisoner was stationed, with two other men, to watch Fogg's colliery, in the township of Darcy Lever, and that on the night in question the deceased, her husband, and another person, were passing along the road near the colliery; they were rather intoxicated, and were talking loudly about getting some more brandy and water. The prisoner cried out, "I'll give you brandy and water if you are not silent." He approached, and after a few angry words had passed between them the prisoner deliberately fired a pistol at the deceased. The ball entered her head, and caused instant death. The prisoner was ordered for execution, which took place accordingly.