Crossed the Line, 1900

On evening of Monday 4th June 1900, Charles Roger a Polish miner from Craighead Rows and Joseph Higgins of McAlpines Building, Blantyre got into a quarrel at Mr Kelly’s Public House on Glasgow Road.

As was the tradition then, they “took it outside” to the pavement. From the statement submitted to court, Higgins then drew a line in the street and threatened to hit Rogers with a brick if he stepped over it.

Whether the Polish man took this as a dare, challenge or invitation is unknown but with people looking on, Rogers “crossed the line” stepping boldly over it. He was immediately met with the promised brick and managed to step out the way in time avoiding injury. However, the brick kept going, right through a plate glass window of the nearby restaurant. Police were summoned.

In court, Higgins denied this happened in that manner and pled not guilty. Rogers stated thats what exactly happened and admitted guilt, being fined 10s 6s and half the cost of the new window. Higgins were taken back to the cell and pursued for proof of his story until the following Monday, bail being fixed at £5.

With this quarrel 123 years ago, it’s only noted here due to the old, traditional duelling nature of the story. As for the reason about the quarrel, the report didn’t say, but I’m willing to put a safe bet, that it was either about money, a woman, employment or politics.

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