The Isle of Wight 150 years ago.

Extracts from the Hampshire Telegraph.

April 1861

6 April 1861

The contract for supplying the Newport Town Council with the best screen gravel for repairing the streets was taken by Mr. George Vallance, coal-merchant, on Monday at 2s. 9d. per cubic yard delivered, or 8s. 9d. per load. The scavenging of the streets was taken at the same time by Mr George Hallett, of Staplers Farm, at £11 for the year ensuring, being an increase of £4 upon the previous tender.

The upper prison at Parkhurst, and which has hitherto been known as the Juvenile Reformatory on Horse-Bridge hill, and was erected in some years after the lower prison at an enormous expense to the country, was altogether closed on Saturday last, the few boys who were in it being transferred to the other portion of the establishment. The chaplain, the Rev. Smith Warleigh, and nine of the oldest warders and tradesmen warders, some few of whom were appointed soon after the buildings were erected, have been pensioned off, according to the years they have served the public in that situation. It is not known as yet to what purpose the new prison is to be devoted, but we believe that it has been satisfactory ascertain that he never answered the purpose for which it was intended.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - John Groves, the landlord of the “Ferry Boat Inn,” at East Cowes, was charged by P.C. Cadby, with keeping his house open for the sale of beer during the hours of Divine service on the Sunday morning previous. It appeared from the evidence of the policeman, who visited the house in disguise, that he found smoking and drinking going on in several parts of the house, and the court, therefore, fined the defendant in the penalty of £5 and costs 7s. 6d., and advised him to be careful how he conducted his house between then and the next licensing day or his licence would be imperilled. - Defendant said he was gone to church at the time, and had left strict orders at home that nobody was to enter the house.

NORTHWOOD HOUSE, the noble mansion of W. G. Ward, Esq., having been left vacant by the owner, has, for the last three months, been in the market to let. We heard some time seems that the ex-Queen of the French was about to take it for a term, but some causes prevented it. It is now stated that the Marquis of Conyngham is in treaty for it, and we trust it may be so, as the marquis has long been an annual visitor here, and his taking up his residence amongst us may induce other nobleman to follow his example.


13 April 1861      

The Isle of Wight Benefit Society established at the Lamb Inn in 1833, celebrated its 28th anniversary on Wednesday last, when a sumptuous dinner was placed on the table for the occasion by the worthy host, Mr. John Reed, and the evening was afterwards spent in good fellowship. It appears by the financial statement that the members now number 172, and that after paying the sick to the amount of £137 10s.; deaths, £20; doctor £22; superannuation, £50, and other incidental expenses, they have been able to lay by a stock amounting to £3,045 6s. 10d., being an increase of £95 9s. 6d. upon the last years balance.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - Charles Ashton Duke was charged with keeping his house open for the sale of liquor, &c. on the night of Good Friday after 11 o'clock. P. S. Kent said he went to defendant's house, the Crown Inn, at East Cowes, at 11.38 on the night of Goods Friday, and found it open. He went in and found eight persons there, with cups and glasses before them containing Porter, &c. Defendant said he had drawn no beer after ten minutes to 11 o'clock that night, and he did not know that he had to close on Good Friday before 12 o'clock, or he would have shut up earlier. - The Court: The act was passed in 1855, and the charge is, for keeping open beyond the time and you are bound to be aware of it. We will fine you £2, and costs 7s. 6d. – Defendant: That's very hard, as there ain't a word about it in my license. - Chairman: But there is in the law which we are bound to administer as we find it.

James Rice, mariner, charged by the Collector of her Majesty’s Customs, at Cowes, with being in possession of 3½lbs. of smuggled cigars. Pleaded guilty, and was fined in the mitigated penalty of £3 5s. 8d., and in the property confiscated.


20 April 1861

A very pleasing ceremony took place at Carisbrook Castle on Wednesday, when a beautiful silver bugle, purchased by the subscriptions of the ladies of Newport, was presented to the Newport No. 2 Company of the Rifle Volunteers by Mrs. Wallace, the wife of the Rev. Allen Wallace, M.A., the Chaplain of the Isle of Wight Battalion, and received, in the name of the company, by their Captain, H. Estcourt, Esq. The presenter delivered a very suitable address on the occasion, which was enthusiastically cheered by the crowd of ladies and gentlemen present, the band performing the most favourite pieces of music during this interesting ceremony. The thanks of the company for the valuable present having been returned by their Captain, a few military evolutions were gone through as far as the extent of the ground would permit, and the members present returned home highly gratified with the treat they have been permitted to partake of.

COUNTY PETTY SESSION. - George Corke, a butcher at Cowes, was charged with violently assaulting another butcher, named Moth, residing in the same locality. It appeared by the evidence of the complainant that they were both at the New Inn till nearly twelve o'clock on the Tuesday night preceding, when Corke drank some of Moth’s brandy and water, and when the latter remonstrated with him and got him outside the house and thrashed him soundly, saying, when Moth threatened to summon him for it, that he might as well have to pay for a lot at once, and so he continued to strike him till he was almost senseless, and he had been under the doctor’s hands ever since. Corke refused to appear to the summons, and was fined in the sum of £1 12s. 6d., or to be committed for 14 days in default of payment.

BOROUGH COURT. - Jane Edwards, the landlady of the “Duke of Wellington” beer-shop in Cosham-street, was charged with receiving money under false pretences, belonging to Henry King, a painter, of Newport. It appeared by the evidence of a witness named Isaac Moore, a labourer, employed at St Helen's Mill, that he was sent by the complainant from that place on Saturday with a parcel containing a half-sovereign and 5s., directed to Mr. W. Halten, No. 7 Orchard-street, Newport; but, not being able to read writing, he took the parcel to the prisoner’s house in Cosham-street, where Mrs. Halten had resided for many years, believing that she lived there then, and on seeing the prisoner in the passage, he asked if that was Mrs. Halten, to which she replied that she was. He then said he had a parcel for her which he believed contained money. The prisoner examined it, said it was all right, and gave him a half-pint of beer for bringing it; but finding the next morning that he had carried the parcel to the wrong house, he advised the prisoner to return it, when she impudently denied all knowledge of him or the parcel, and threatened to give him in custody for fabricating such a charge. The owner was then made acquainted with the matter, and the woman was placed in custody for obtaining under false pretences. – Mr. Beckingsale appeared for the prisoner, and endeavours to prevent the case on being heard, assuring the court that the husband of the prisoner had already paid the money over to Mrs. Halten, and that she had agreed that should not be brought into court. – Mrs. Halten indignantly denied that she had ever received a penny of the money, or had entered into any compromise with the party; and the complainant having declared that he came there that morning from St. Helen’s for the express purpose of pressing the charge, the court remanded the prisoner, on bail, till Monday, for the attendance of a necessary witness. [She subsequently pleaded guilty and was committed to hard labour for two months.]

Barnabas Brading, a stoker at the gas works, was charged with committing a most outrageous assault on Mr. John Reid, the manager, and being unable to pay the penalty, 40s. and 5s. costs, committed to Winchester for six weeks.


27 April 1861

There is at the present time a black bird sitting on four eggs in the same nest as the first brood has flown from, in a garden at Shide Cross. This seems to be rather an unusual occurrence, as the nest is seldom used a second time.

INTERESTING CENTENARY. - Two sermons are to be preached at St Thomas’ Church to-morrow, in aid of the Blue Schools in this town, which were first established in the year 1761; consequently, this praiseworthy institution has survived his hundredth year, and notwithstanding that it has had his sufferings in the loss of friends and funds, still exists in full vigour, and yearly educates, clothes, and boards a number of girls, who do great credit to their benefactors and teachers.

THE WHARFAGE TOLLS derived from the landing of goods on the Town-quay were let by auction at Warburton's Hotel on Friday last, by Mr. Francis Pitris, jun., for one year at the sum of £270, to Mr. Alfred Shepard, of Quay-street, being £55 less than were given for them on the previous occasion by Mr. George Oakley, of Ryde, and a depreciation of upwards of £1 per week on corporation property.

COWES. - On Sunday morning, about four o'clock, the inmates of Mr. Jonathan Corke’s house, in Bath-road, were aroused by the cry of fire, and soon found it proceeded from one of the bedrooms, occupied by two invalid ladies. Hurrying into the room it was found in a blaze, the bed curtains, bedding, and even the nightcap of one of the ladies being on fire. With difficulty they were rescued and removed into the opposite house. The engines were immediately summoned and quickly arrived, but before they reached the spot the fire was got under control, through the gallant efforts of Mr. Myers and others. We regret that Mr. Myers received some injuries that will take him some time to recover from. The room itself the fire occurred has received much damage, everything being destroyed or spoilt by the fire and water. Fortunately, Mr. Corke was fully insured.


The Isle of Wight 150 years ago

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