The Isle of Wight 150 years ago.
Extracts from the Hampshire Telegraph.
1 December 1860
The contractor rerecting the married soldiers’ quarters, at Parkhurst, according to the plan of Mr. Sidney Herbert, has commenced preparing for the foundation of the building, which is to be placed at the west end of the parade ground, commanding an extensive view of the River Medina, and the panoramic scenery of both sides.
The Amateur Dramatic Society have offered to give a performance at the Queen’s Rooms, on Wednesday next, in aid of the Rifle Volunteer Fund, under the patronage of the Mayor and officers of the Newport Rifle Company. The pieces selected are the drama “Don Cesar de Bazan” and “State Secrets,” the professional ladies of the Southampton Theatre being engaged for the female characters, and the brass band of the corps forming the orchestra on this occasion.
[Ryde] Attempted Suicide. – Mr. Vaughan, an assistant in the employ of Messrs. Padmore and Lane, drapers, of this town, attempted self-destruction on Monday morning, by cutting his throat. The rash act was discovered by the landlady hearing a noise, which caused her to get up and enter the young man’s apartments. Medical assistance was at one procured, and we believe the sufferer is now completely out of danger.
8 December 1860
A novel circumstance occurred on Tuesday in the village of Brixton, where the bodies of the captain and mate of the Mirabita, which was wrecked twelvemonths before, and who, with several of the crew, were drowned for want of a life-boat, were disinterred from their quiet resting place by their surviving relatives, and conveyed to Portsmouth for the purpose of being embarked on a vessel bound for the island of Malta, their native place, to be re-interred amongst their own kindred and people.
The County Register of persons entitled to vote for a Member for the Island, up to December 1, 1861, contains the names of 2,259 electors; but as there are a number of duplicate qualifications, as well as deaths since the Overseers’ List were made up, it is not probable that the above 2,000 voters could be brought to the poll. The number of electors has been almost doubled since the first election in 1832, when the register gave a list of 1,173 names only, out of which 824 were polled.
[County Petty Sessions] William Lee, the toll gate keeper at Shanklin, who was charged by Mr. John Smith, of Landyard Farm, with illegally demanding and taking from him a toll of sixpence, whilst passing through the gate to his place of worship at Sandown and which was adjourned from the previous Saturday for the attendance of Mr. C. W. Estcourt, the clerk to the commissioners, and the clerk being of the same opinion of the magistrates, that a district church was to be looked upon the same as a parish church, and that parishioners visiting such were exempt from toll on a Sunday, the Court levied a nominal penalty of sixpence, and costs of 10s.
Maximilian Saunders (16) and James Hallett (15), of Ryde, charged with stealing a lard cake of the value of fourpence from Mr. William Beazley’s shop window, at that place, were committed, the former for two months, a previous conviction having been recorded against him, and the latter for one month.
15 December 1860
The anniversary of the opening of St. Thomas’ Church is to be celebrated on Friday evening, the 21st instant, by a public tea party.
The anniversary of the opening of St. Thomas’ Church is to be celebrated at the National Schools on Friday evening, the 21st instant, by a tea meeting; after which the Rev. G. H. Connor has promised to read one of Dickens’s tales and the drum and fife belonging to the schools will play and sing several popular pieces of music.
The Mayor has recommended that the day after Christmas day should be kept as a general holiday in pursuance of a requisition numerously signed for that purpose, and his Worship has ordered that the usual cattle market shall be held on Thursday, the 27th instant, instead of on the usual day, Wednesday.
The contracts for supplying the Guardians of the Poor for the ensuing quarter were taken on Thursday as follows:- Best white bread, at 15s. 5d. per cwt., or 13¼d. per 8lb. loaf, delivered at the House of Industry, Mr. H. Blake; best flour, 49s., Mr. B. Arnell; good mutton and suet, 13s. 3½d. per score, Mr. James Jones; 46 score prime ox beef, 11s 9d. and suet and 15s., ditto; 100 score I.W. port, at 13s. 10d., Mr. C. Wooldridge; stone coal, 30s. per ton, Mr. G. Vallance.
Presence of Mind. – At a time when so many serious and even fatal accidents are occurring from the use of gauze and crinoline, we think a record of the following case of escape from a terrible death by burning is well worthy of note. A lady in this neighbourhood was in the act of lighting a gas burner over the fireplace, when her attention was attracted by a peculiar sound, and on looking towards the floor she perceived that her dress was in flames, and with great presence of mind knelt down and pressed her clothes together, and happily succeeded in extinguishing the fire without sustaining any personal injury whatever. Her dress and two petticoats were completely burned through, and there can be no doubt, had she hesitated a moment, of moved across the apartment, as too mant do under such circumstances, she would have lost her life. A servant in the room at the time was rushing out, exclaiming, “Mistress is on fire!” but the “mistress,” with far more self-possession, ordered her to close the door, that the air current might be excluded as much as possible, and saved herself.