Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1857 & 1869

Patrick Nurney (1837 - 1868)

 Patrick Nurney was a violinist, stabbed to death by a drunken man named Michael James Johnson, at the Cambridge Inn beer house, Regent Road, Salford in 1868.

Not a lot is known about Patrick's early life, but he married Mary Ann Sturley in 1861 and at the time of his death he lived on Regent Road, Salford.

The tragic event took place on Saturday evening 26th December 1868. Patrick was standing at the bar of the Cambridge Inn, 146, Regent Road, Salford, kept by Landlord Richard McDermott, when Michael James Johnson appeared and asked for a drink. McDermott saw that Johnson was already intoxicated and asked Johnson to leave. Johnson would not leave, so McDermott sent for the police. A police Sergeant and two Constables arrived and assisted Johnson out of the pub. However, ten minutes later, Johnson entered the pub via the back door into a room where dancing was taking place. He attempted to join in the dancing, but was refused and went into the bar and asked again for drink. Once again he was told by McDermott to leave. Patrick Nurney said politely that he ought to leave and escorted Johnson to the front door and was just about to close the front door when Johnson drew a pen-knife. It would appear that Nurrney raised his leg for protection, but Johnson lunged forward and stabbed Patrick Nurney in the upper, left thigh, severing his femoral artery. Patrick fell back bleeding profusely and a doctor was sent for. Mr John Wells, Surgeon of 90, Regent Road arrived quite promptly, but found that Patrick was "quite pulseless" and the haemorrhage had ceased and declare him to have expired. Johnson had wandered off, but was arrested the following day at his cousin's house, 5, Francis Street, Chester Road, Hulme, hiding under a bed. He did not resist arrest. A search of the house did not reveal the knife and Johnson said he did not know where it was.

An Inquest was held at the Duke of York Inn on Regent Road, Salford on Monday 28th December. After the witness statements, the Coroner explained to the Jury the difference between murder and manslaughter. Consequently, the Foreman of the Jury said they were of the opinion that Johnson "had coolly premeditated the act" and returned a verdict of Wilful Murder. The trial of Michael James Johnson took place at Manchester Crown Court on Friday 13th March 1869. Once again the difference between murder and manslaughter was explained by the judge. The jury gave a guilty of murder verdict, but they strongly recommended the prisoner to the merciful consideration of the court. However the Judged donned the black cap and passed a sentence of death by hanging. The Lancashire Gazette of 3rd April 1869 records "The execution of Michael James Johnson for the murder of Patrick Nurney took place on Monday morning within the County Prison, Strangeways at 8 o'clock. There were no public onlookers. A black flag was immediately hoisted above the prison. His body was buried within the precincts of the prison, close to the new graves of the three Fenians who were executed for the murder of Sergeant Brett."

Patrick Nurney was buried at Weaste Cemetery plot C20/RC/2594 on 30th December 1868. He was 31 years old.