The Isle of Wight 150 years ago.

Extracts from the Hampshire Telegraph (unless otherwise stated).

December 1861

7 December 1861

The register of persons entitled to vote at any election of a member to serve in Parliament, for the County of the Isle of Wight, up to the first day of December, 1862, has just been published, and by it we find that the 30 parishes of which the island consists, contain 2244 voters, which is 15 less than last year, but upwards of 1000 more than were registered at the first open County Election in 1832.

Several of the crack shots of No. 2 Company, (Newport Rifles,) have accepted the challenge given at Totnes, in Devonshire, to all England, to compete for a prize of one hundred guineas, on the 27th inst. there are also two minor prizes of thirty and twenty guineas.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - William Leigh was charged with assaulting Chas. Perry. It appeared that considerable discord had prevailed in the practice room of the West Cowes Temperance Band, and from high words the drummer primo and the drummer seccondo got to blows on which the latter found himself “about house,” but, the evidence being very contradictory, the Court dismissed the case, advising the parties to practice more harmoniously together in future.

Sarah Sanders, from Chale, charged her husband with assaulting her in the middle of the night of Saturday, the 10th of November; but, it being proved by a neighbour that the one than was as much at fault as the other, the Court dismissed this case.

James Henry Spanner and Maximilian Saunders, from Ryde, who having previously been convicted of felony, were now charged with having stolen two and a half-dozen wine bottles, the property of the Rev. Mr. Barry. Robert Macksperrin, the butler, said that, having missed about ten or twelve dozen of wine bottles from the bottle rack in the yard, he kept watch, and on Monday evening, about six o'clock, he saw both the prisoners in the yard stealing the bottles. They had taken out two dozen and a half, and were prepared with a bag to carry them away in, when he announced upon them and capture them on the spot, but Spanner made such a desperate resistance that he was obliged to let him go, and he left his cap behind, that was afterwards apprehended in bed by P. C. Smith. He then said it was a bad job that he had left his cap behind, that he hoped “t’other fellow” wouldn't split as to who it was! Prisoners pleaded guilty and were committed for three months each to hard labour.


14 December 1861

A serious accident occurred on Thursday se’nnight [a week ago] to Mr. John Read, painter, in Pyle-street. Whilst endeavouring to step on the pavement he misplaced his foot in the gutter, and, on falling directly broke the bones of his leg in a most fearful manner, but hopes are entertained of his recovery.

In consequence of the fracture of the main by which conveys the gas from the works in the Marsh under the River Medina into the town and suburbs, the inhabitants were subjected to much inconvenience during the early part of the week for the want of light, and candles, oil lamps, and moderators of all sizes and descriptions, were eagerly sought for to supply deficiency. The different places of worship on Sunday evening presented a very lugubrious aspect from the variety of the substitutes hastily gathered together from all quarters, and but for the aid of the Moon our streets and thoroughfares would have been plunged into darkness, for which no remedy could have been supplied. On Monday evening most of the large establishments were compelled to close business at five o'clock, from an insufficiency of light. The hole was repaired on Tuesday.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - Charles Pragnell and George Brett, labourers, charged by P. C. Hughes, with being drunk and disorderly in the middle of the night of Sunday at Ningwood, were fined 10s. each, and in default committed for seven days.

BOROUGH COURT. - John Grant, charged with committing a violent assault on Mary Phillips, the landlady of the White Hart Inn, in Pyle-street, was ordered to find sureties of the peace, himself in £20, and two householders in £10 each, to be of good behaviour for the next six months. The defendant had felled the complainant to the floor by a blow under the ear with the kitchen poker, but, as the matter had begun on family matters, the injured woman only asked the magistrates to protect her against his ill-usage for the future, and, but for that, the court said they should have punished defendants severely.

BEMBRIDGE. - An interesting lecture on “Unpublished Tales of Southern Coast,” was given at the National School on Tuesday evening, by Mr. William Clayton, author of “Tales and Recollections of the Southern Coast.” The warm plaudits that were given at the conclusion testified the satisfaction of the company present.

From the Hampshire Advertiser


BURGLARY AT CARISBROOKE. - Henry Kirby pleaded guilty to the charge of burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Gerald Rochford, at Carisbrooke, on the night of the 9th July, 1861, and stealing a concertina and a pair of sugar tongs, the property of Gerald Rochford, and a Cap, 3 coats, a sugar basin, and a butter knife, the property of George James Proctor. His Lordship (addressing the prisoner) said - You have been found guilty on your own confession of the charge of burglary, after two previous convictions at Portsmouth. Perhaps it is wrong of me not to sentence you to penal servitude, but I will give you one more chance. Be sure, however, that if you ever appear the bar again, your sentence will be a very severe one. The sentence now is that you be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for eighteen months.

ROBBERY AT BRADING. – Frederick Corry, a messenger in the Engineering Department at the Government Works at Sandown Fort, was charged with stealing three bells, value 9d.

BURGLARY AT FRESHWATER. – Patrick Bushel, a soldier, was charged with burglary at a house of Henry Kellaway, at Freshwater, and stealing two pairs of boots. Guilty. - Eighteen months’ imprisonment.


21 December 1861 (This issue had black edging around each column because of the death of Prince Albert, the Prince Consort.)

ARRIVAL OF THE QUEEN AT OSBORNE. - On Thursday morning at 10 o'clock, their Royal Highnesses Prince Arthur, and Princess Beatrice, and the Prince and Princess of Leiningen, left Windsor by special train for Osborne House. On their arrival at the Clarence Yard, Gosport, they were, in the strict privacy, conducted on board the Elfin, yacht, which left at about half-past one o'clock for the Isle of Wight. At about twelve o'clock on the same day, Her Majesty also took her departure from Windsor Castle. With the Queen were his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, the Princess Alice, Princess Helena, and Prince Louis of Hesse. The suite in attendance consisted of the Lady in Waiting, Lady Augusta Bruce, Lord Alfred Paget, and Colonel the Hon. Sir C.B.Phipps. The royal party crossed the park to the private station of the South-Western terminus. All the party were, as a matter of course, in the deepest mourning, the Queen wearing a widow's cap. Immediately the Queen left Windsor the Royal Standard was lowered and the Union-Jack hoisted half-masted high, as the Prince held the nominal office of Governor or Constable of the Castle. The official train containing the Royal family arrived at the Royal Clarence Victualing Yard, Gosport, at three o'clock on Thursday afternoon. On arriving at the termination of the railway journey, and about to embark at the familiar landing place where but the few weeks since she embarked under different auspices, and more happy circumstances, the Queen was so much affected as to be unable to leave the carriage for some time. Ultimately Her Majesty, who wore a thick black veil over her face, was conducted to the place of embarkation by the Princess Alice, and by the Prince of Hesse, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and Princess Helena being in close attendance. Her Majesty appeared unlike herself when she stepped on board the Fairy. The arrangements for embarkation was strictly private. The Queen was received by no officials; no salutes were fired; and no Royal standard appeared at the Fairy’s masthead. The yacht left the harbour at precisely half-past three o'clock.

After having seen his Royal mother safely on board, the Prince of Wales returned to Windsor Castle.

The Queen arrived at Osborne House about five o'clock.

Yesterday (Friday) the Princess of Hohenloe and Prince Frederick William of Prussia arrived at the Landport Railway Station from Dover, en route to Osborne, on a visit of condolence to Her Majesty. The Prince and Princess, on arriving at the Dockyard at 10.30 a.m., and were received by the Admiral Sir W.H.Bruce, K.C.B. They departed from the new landing place in the Admirals barge, and embarked on board the royal yacht, Fairy, in which they proceeded to Osborne.

A SPECIAL MEETING of the Town Council was held at the Guildhall on Thursday last, for considering the propriety of forwarding an address of condolence to Her Most Gracious Majesty on the irreparable loss she has sustained by the death of His Royal Highness the Prince Consort. The Mayor, Francis Pittis, Esq., was in the chair, and it having been moved by Mr. R. Pinnock, and seconded by Dr. Wavell, that such an address should be presented, it was afterwards moved by Dr. Waterworth, and seconded by Mr. R. J. Jewell, that the following should be adopted, engrossed, and forwarded to the Secretary of State immediately:- “May it please your Majesty, We, your Majesty's loyal and devoted subjects, the Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Newport, in the Isle of Wight, desire to express our deep grief at the sad and sudden bereavement which has befallen your Majesty, and your Royal Family, by the death of your Royal Consort, the beloved Prince Albert. We feel acutely the irreparable loss the nation has sustained in being deprived of a Prince whose great attainments have been so earnestly devoted to the improvement of the social condition of the people, and whose bright example must ever be remembered with the highest esteem and affection, and we devoutly pray that it might please Almighty God to afford your Majesty and the members of the Royal Family every consolation and support in this time of severe affliction.”

COWES. - The death of the Prince Consort has cast a deep gloom over the town, greater, perhaps, than in any other part of the kingdom, as he was so well-known to the residents of East and West Cowes, and did so much to improve and elevate the condition of the poor cottagers around the Osborne estate. The church at Whippingham, which has been pulled down and rebuilt chiefly at any cost of her Majesty and her elaborate consort, is now almost ready for service, and we believe that this truly elegant and handsome structure was built entirely from plans designed by the illustrious Prince now deceased.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - John Morrisey and Thomas Murphy, two deserters from the Royal Artillery, stationed at Fort Victoria, Freshwater, were placed at the bar on a serious charge of having committed several outrageous burglaries in that neighbourhood. The prisoners having buried the uniforms in which they had deserted, and having been stript by the police of the rich clothing they had plundered from the inhabitants, presented the appearance, in their convict dresses, of a couple of desperadoes of the first degree. Morrisey was first placed at the bar, and Maria Hawker, being sworn, said she was in the service of Mr. Robert Pinnock, Draper, of Newport, who also had a shop at Yarmouth. On Wednesday night she locked up the place securely, and when she came down in the morning she found that the window had been forced, and all the doors opened, but all she missed was the pair of boots now produced, which were placed on a shelf in the kitchen. P.C. Hughes said he apprehended the prisoner the night before at Newtown. He had one of the boots in his hand, and the other in his pocket. Prisoner said he bought the boots and other things of a civilian that evening, and the clothes he bought at the shop of the prosecutor. Committed to the Assize for trial. - Morrisey and Murphy were next placed at the bar together, under a charge of breaking into a dwelling house at Freshwater. Robert Taylor, being sworn, said he locked up his house on Thursday night between nine and ten, and when he got up the next morning at seven he found that the window had been forced, all the doors were open, and lucifer matches were strewn all over the place. He went for the police, and when he returned he missed the cup, jacket, and waistcoats now produced. Sarah Taylor, the wife of prosecutor, said that when she came down into the kitchen on Friday morning she found all the doors open; she then went up stairs again into another bed-room, where she found that all the drawers had been opened, and the things removed. She missed from a clothes chest three hats, two coats, a pair of black trousers, and other articles. She then came back down the stairs again, and this a new black coat from off the sofa, have never been worn, a tea chest from the piano, a box, a knife, and a blanket, in addition to the breast-plate of a coffin which had been placed there to dry. The clothing now produced she could identify. P.C. Hughes said he apprehended both prisoners the night before about eleven o'clock, at the Noah’s Ark public-house, at Newtown, with the clothes now produced upon their backs, which they said they bought at Lymington. Committed to take their trial at the Assize. Prisoners were then brought up on a third charge. Richard Cotton, of Freshwater, grocer, said that on Thursday night, about 10 o'clock locked up his house securely and went to bed, that he was awoke the next morning, between three and four, by the smashing of glass. He got out, struck a light, and went down into his shop, the door of which was open and the window broken. He missed two pieces of cheese and two loaves of bread. The robbers were not then in the house, but they were not far off. On looking farther, he discovered they had gone away with his money-till, which contained the night previous upwards of £3 10s. in silver and copper amongst which were a great number of threepenny pieces, about 300 farthings, and the half penny now produced with a hole in it, which together with the canvas bag, he could swear to. P.C. Hughes said that when he apprehended the prisoners the found a bag and the half penny then identified, about 22s. in silver, 24 threepenny pieces, and 3s. 6d. in farthings, in three pockets. Prisoners said they had received the money in change for two sovereigns from a man at Fort Victoria, from whom they purchase the clothes. - Committed to the Assizes on this charge also.


28 December 1861 (This issue had black edging around each column because of the death of Prince Albert, the Prince Consort.)

SEASONAL BENEVOLENCE. - At Swainstone this week three fine oxen have been killed and distributed amongst the poor of the parish of Calbourne, by the orders of Sir John Simeon, Bart.; and at Brooke every married Labourer in the parish received on Tuesday 10lbs, of beef, with a proportionate weight of flour, suet, tea, sugar, and currants; and the single men 6lbs. of beef each, and groceries in proportion, the gift of Charles Seeley, Esq.

WRECK. - On Thursday, the 19th, at 6.15 A.M., the schooner Clementina, of Lyme Regis, laden with lime-stone, bound for Newcastle, George Walker, master, with a crew of five men on board, came in collision with a schooner bound down channel about three miles to the westward of St Catherine's light, while in collision and at parting with the unknown schooner, the Clementina took away part of the stranger’s mainsail, and having sprung a strong leak herself, the master stood in for the shore, and got fast upon the rocks near Chilton-chine about 9.30 A.M. Fortunately the wind being off the land the crew were enabled to get the rigging and stores ashore during the day. The vessel will become a total wreck, her hull, as seen from the shore, appearing to be a foot above at high water, and nearly the whole visible at low water. She was built in 1821.

The day appointed for the funeral of His Royal Highness the Prince Consort was observed in this town with all solemnity, every shop and every public place of business being closed from twelve o'clock till two, and many of them during the whole of the day. The solemn knell was tolled alternately with the muffled chimes of the Church bells, and at no other occasion, with the exception of the death of the lamented Princess Charlotte, did we ever witness the public sympathy more manifested. Divine service was performed at mid-day at St. Thomas’s Church, which his Worship the Mayor and the greater part of the aldermen and town council of the borough attended officially, the ancient mace being draped in black for the occasion, as well as the pulpit, the reading desk, and the communion table. The Rev. G.H. Connor, after a portion of the morning service had been read, delivered a most appropriate address to a large congregation, the whole of whom were in deep mourning. In the evening a public meeting of the inhabitants was held at the Queens Room’s, the Mayor, Francis Pittis, Esq., in the chair, for the purpose of agreeing to an address of condolence to Her Majesty, on the irreparable loss she had sustained by the death of her beloved husband. The meeting was very respectably attended, and a well merited eulogium on the virtues and excellencies of the deceased Prince was pronounced by the Rev. G.H. Connor, followed by Colonel Jeffries, Colonel Scott, Captain M. Estcourt, H. Waterworth, R. J. Sewell, and other gentlemen. An address, embodying the feelings and sympathy of the meeting, was unanimously agreed to, and ordered to be forwarded to the proper quarter. On the day preceding the funeral sermons on the melancholy event were preached to crowded congregations at every place of worship in the town, and nearly every pulpit was draped in black for the occasion.

COWES. - It is rumoured that the formation of a new pier for the use of the old Steam Packet Company has been decided on, and the public may be glad to see if verified, as it may tend to abate the unseemly opposition now existing, which only injures both parties, and is of no material benefit to the public, if, as is stated, 2d. is to be charged by the new company at their pier for every passenger coming by the old company’s boats, and landing at the Fountain Pier.

The Isle of Wight 150 years ago

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