Thursday, 7 July 2016

Uncovering a murky event at the Red Lion

Now when Andy Robertson sent over this picture of the Red Lion I knew it had to feature on the blog. 

Like a lot of people the “Red” has been one of those pubs which just keeps sliding back into my life.

As a student in the early 70s it was one of those places I haunted regularly when the dive bar of the White Lion became oppressive and I had had enough of Watney’s Red Barrel.

Then through the 1980’s it was where we went after meetings of the Withington CLP and where Keith, Tom and I passed the evening with Roy Grainger and others.

But for all sorts of reasons I stopped going and it was not until a few years ago that I reawakened my interest in the place after discovering it was the venue for the inquest into the murder of Mary Moore, who came from Chorlton, worked for the Chorlton family of Dog House farm and was murdered in Whalley Range on her way home from the Manchester Markets in 1838.

Pubs like the “Red” were often used for inquests.  They were after all public places and were often better suited to such occasions than the local church or school.

In Chorlton the Horse and Jockey was used for the inquest into the murder of Francis Deakin in 1847 and two infanticide cases and I suspect more.  And a little later in the century the Lloyd’s Hotel on Wilbraham Road hosted the Home Office inquiry into the “Great Chorlton Burial Scandal.”**

All of which means it is time to revisit the “Red” and look for stories from its past.

Location; The Red Lion, Withington

Pictures; the Red Lion, 2016, from the collection of Andy Robertson

* The murder of Mary Moore from Chorlton out in Whalley Range and an inquest in Withington,

** The Great Burial Scandal,

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