Researcher Richard Muirhead, whilst scanning the archives sent the following:
Manchester Iris volume 2 June 14th 1823 p.195
A SNAKE IN A WATER-BUTT IN THE METROPOLIS-
On the 28th ult. Was discovered in a water-butt, in the house of Mr James Robertson, Old North-street,Red Lion-square, a large snake, three feet in length,of the common kind, which was seen swimming in the water with its head partly out: on its being touched, it made a disagreeable hissing noise until it was killed. What makes this occurrence very extraordinary is,the manner in which the snake found its way into the water-butt, which cannot be accounted for, unless came through the pipe that conveys the water from the New-river, in which case it must have come a distance of nearly two miles out of its own natural element. In other respects the water-butt is so situated (being surrounded by a wall nearly ten feet high) that all idea of the snake gaining access from any other quarter is precluded.