The Isle of Wight 150 years ago.

Extracts from the Hampshire Telegraph (unless otherwise stated).

February  1862

1 February 1862

AN EXTRAORDINARY DEATH FROM EXCITEMENT, occasioned by the loss of a favourite dog, occurred here on Sunday morning, when Mr. Robert James Denyer, of Pyle-street, printer, was discovered kneeling on the floor by the side of an old sofa in a back room attached to his office, his hands on the edge of it, and his head resting on his hands; he was quite dead, but not cold, and on the sofa lay the dead body of the dog in question, both having been deprived of life seemingly about the same time. An inquest was held on Monday, at the Town-hall, before F. Blake Esq., coroner, when it was deposed by Mr. Samuel Goodwin, of the Railway Tavern, in Lugley-street, that the deceased was in the habit of using his house, and that he came in on Saturday night about half-past nine o'clock and ordered a pint of ale, and seemed considerably distressed about the illness of his dog. He remained but a short time, and then left in company of a man named Thomas Cheverton, for the purpose of seeing how the dog was doing, returning in about half-an-hour, when deceased had a glass of Rum, and after that part of a pint of beer with Cheverton. Witness having at his request made him some gruel for the dog, they both left the house together about half-past eleven. Cheverton said the first time he had accompanied the deceased he administered a dose of castor oil to the dog, which the deceased seemed desperately fond of, and then returned to Mr. Goodwin’s; on the next occasion he accompanied him home and administered a portion of the gruel, leaving the dog on the sofa, the deceased saying he should light a fire and sit up with it all night. Witness then left the house at a quarter past twelve, the deceased heartily wishing him a good night, desiring him to come next morning, and locking the door after him. Witness went to the house at the time appointed, but could make no one hear, and after some time had elapsed, the apprentice (deceased’s nephew) was assisted through the fanlight over the door, which was then opened and several people admitted, when his room door was found also fastened, that admission was gained through the window, and deceased and his dog were found as described above. Deceased was dressed, with the exception of his neckcloth, and his trowsers were partly down, the candle and fire were both out, and the body was hardly cold. Inspector Grapes said he had strictly examined in the room, suspecting from the extraordinary fact that the deceased and his dog were found dead together that poison had been administered, but he could discover neither bottle, drug, or mixture of any kind, only the remains of the castor oil and the gruel. The surgeon, Dr. Tittiett, being of opinion that the death was hastened by excitement, which occasioned congestion of the brain or a rupture of the vessels of the heart, and that he could discover no symptoms of poisoning, the jury returned a verdict of “Died from natural causes.”

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. – Betsey, the wife of a sawyer working at the docks at West Cowes, named James Nobbs, charged her own daughter, a girl 16 years of age, named Sarah Nobbs, with stealing one pair of boots and a mantle from her residence at Gurnard, during the mother’s temporary absence from home. P.S. Kent deposed that he found the boots on the prisoner’s feet, and the mantle hanging up behind the door in a low public-house at Cowes called the “ Soldier’s Joy.” Prisoner said her mother had given her the boots when she was at service, and it is turning out to be the fact, the Court dismissed the case, after admonishing the girl on the abandoned course of life she appeared to have adopted. - Robert Russell, labourer, was charged with obtaining goods under false pretences. It appeared that the prisoner had gone into the shop of Mr. Robert Henry Matthews, a grocer of West Cowes, and obtained half a pound of tobacco, in the name of a Mr. Davis, a farmer at Broadfields, who deposed that he had never seen the prisoner before in his life. Nor did he ever sent him to Mr. Matthews’ for any tobacco. When prisoner was apprehended he gave three different names to the police, neither of which turned out to be his real one. The Court committed him for trial at the next Quarter Sections.

BOROUGH COURT. - Frank Scott, a labourer, charged with using indecent language in the public street, towards Rosanna Holly, was fined 10s., and the next day he was brought up for assaulting P.C. Foley, and committed for one month.

COWES. The American steamer, belonging to the New and Improved Steam Packet Company, on Tuesday ran foul of the Fountain pontoon, and did considerable damage, which will require some outlay to make it good. 

Another distribution of coals has been made among the poor and aged, and much good has been down to the necessitous by the prudent care exercised in giving to those who really need, and whose conduct entitles them to receive help from their wealthier neighbours.

The Danish schooner Eliza May was towed into the inner Harbour on Tuesday morning in a very damage state, having been in collision in the Channel with a large vessel, whose name and country could not be ascertained. She is mahogany laden, and will probably have to discharge cargo to repair damages.


8 February 1862

A very gratifying a lecture was given on Tuesday evening at the Mechanics’ Institution, in Pyle-street, by C. G. Clifford, Esq., the honourable member for the County of the Island, on “America, and the causes of the present war,” but the argument was too great a length for us to give it insertion in our columns.

The cattle market on Wednesday was well supplied with fat beef and mutton; four-year old fat heifers realized by auction, by the Messrs. Pittis, from £16 each up to £23 15s., and fat Down ewes from 33s. up to 42s. 6d. The temporary barriers ordered by the Town Council to prevent the traffic through the market whilst the buyers and sellers are engaged in business, was elected for the first time during market hours, and did good service in preventing the sale from being interrupted by wheel carriages.

THE QUARTERLY MEETING OF THE TOWN COUNCIL of the borough was held at the Guildhall on Tuesday last, the Mayor, Francis Pittis, Esq., in the chair, when the Town Clerk having read the reports of the different committees, Mr. Samuel Dyer was placed on the Watch Committee in the room of Mr. Eli Wilkins, deceased. A sum was voted to pay for sufficient gravel to complete the repairs of Melbourne-street, New Village, and a motion carried to borrow sufficient money (£210) to pay for sewering the new village, the money to be re-paid by assessing the owners of the property adjoining. On the motion of Mr. Town Councillor Pring, the sum of £25 was granted out of the borough fund towards the National monument to be erected in memory of Prince Albert, and the May headed a private subscription amongst the Council themselves with the sum of three guineas, but which reached £20 in a circuit round the table though there were many of the Corporation absent. A committee was then appointed to collect a general subscription for the purpose from the inhabitants, and the Council broke up will stop

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. – The licence of the Wheat Sheaf Inn, at Ryde, was transferred from Mr. James to Mr. James Linington; the Sea-view Hotel to the widow Caws; the Gurnard Bay Hotel from Mr. E. Clarke, of Portsmouth, to Mr. James Blackwood; and the Nelson Chapman, Ryde, from Mr. W. Jenkins to Mr. Henry Lovegrove.

Charles Burt, Jacob Day, Charles Twyman, and Francis Wale were charged by P.S. White with being drunk and disorderly in the High-street of Ventnor, at one o'clock in the morning. They were fined 12s.6d., and 7s. 6d. costs.

George Haynes, of Ventnor, was charged by the Board of Inland Revenue with letting out carriages without a license. Edwin Little, being sworn, said, he was an officer of the Inland Revenue at present are doing duty at Wellow. On 27 November last he was at Ventnor, when he hired a carriage of the defendant to go to Godshill. Defendant drove himself and witness paid him 5s. for the journey. He had no license to let or hire. Fined £100, which the Court mitigated to £25.


15 February 1862

A fire broke out on Monday morning in a malt house, in the occupation of Mr. James Harvey, of South-street,  occasioned by a quantity of fire wood being placed too near the fire to dry. By the assistance of the neighbours the fire was extinguished without doing any very great damage, and without the aid of the fire brigade.

The Registrar’s return of births, deaths, and marriages in the Isle of Wight for the last two quarters, ending Dec. 31, 1861, is as follows:

Quarter ending Sept. 30.

Quarter ending Dec. 31.


Births              394

Births             429


Marriages       96

Marriages    176


Deaths           224

Deaths          261


The annual meeting of the members of the “Friend in Need Society,” which advances the sum of £20 to the widow of a member on his disease, and £10 to him on the death of his wife, was held on Tuesday evening, at the King’s Head Inn, in Pyle-street, for the purpose of electing the officers for the year ensuing, and transacting the usual yearly business. Mr. J. Alderslade, the president of the society, in the chair, and a numerous assemblage present. The statement of the finances was then read by the Clerk, from which we learn that this astonishing society, which was only established in 1842, twenty years since, now numbers 4,186 members, viz. : 1,925 males, and 2,261 females; that it has paid on the death of 453 of its members, since its formation, no less than £6,645 18s 6d., and it still possesses an emergency fund in hand, against any extraordinary demand of upwards of £715, Being an increase of upwards of £84 on the last year’s stock. The deaths during the past year had been 23 males and 22 females, on which the sum of £680 had been advanced to the widowers, widows, or nominees, according to the claims received, and this great good had been accomplished at a cost to the surviving male members of seven pence per month, and an additional payment of nine pence each only at the end of the year towards the expenses, a levy which not only cleared every claim any society, but left it a surplus of £84 to be added to the emergency fund. The cost to the female members averaged about three pence per month, in addition to the annual payment of nine pence, and 119 members had joined the society during the past year. The cost of collecting from so many thousand members, who are waited on at their own residencies, amounted during the year to £54 8s. 11d., The collectors being paid on average about 1s. 6d. on the pound, and the secretary had to provide and issue last annual meeting nearly 24,000 receipts, besides making nearly double that number of entries in his account books, in addition to his other duties, for which his remuneration amounted to £18, and all these effects having resulted from the union of the working classes, without the assistance of a single honorary member.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. – John Woodford, of Calbourne, butcher, was charged with assaulting William Warder. Mr. Beckingsale appeared for the defendant, but the complaint not having clearly proved the charge, the Court dismissed the complaint, when the latter declared that he would take the law into his own hands then, and shoot the defendant as sue as he was a living man, whereupon the magistrates had him placed in the defendant's box, and required him to enter into the sureties of the peace, himself in the sum of £20, and one other in the sum of £10, and not being able to comply with the demands, the irritable old gentleman, to his own great astonishment, found himself committed until he could find on bail for his own good behaviour.

RYDE – THE PROJECTED FLOATING BATHS. - We learn that this addition to the attractions and conveniences of Ryde is progressing, about half the capital exquisite for their construction having been subscribed.

RYDE - The parish officers are taking a very wise course with respect to the collection of the parochial rates, in recommending the appointment of one responsible collector, finding sufficient security to undertake the whole duty.


22 February 1862

The County Court was held on Thursday at the Town Hall, before C.J. Gale, Esq., with 180 cases on the list for hearing, hardly one of which possess any public interest, and the whole of the proceedings were over in less than two hours.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. – Frank Coster, of Gunville, labourer, was charged with stealing a couple of ducks, the property of Peter Starks, of St. Cross Dairy, on the night of Saturday. Prisoner pleaded guilty, and the chairman said, as it was a bad case, the prisoner having treated for the ducks in the morning, and went and stole them in the evening to complete the bargain, he should commit him for three months to hard labour. Ann Scovell, of Newbridge, single woman, was charged with obtaining goods under false pretences from John Dalzell, a grocer, at Carisbrooke. The magistrates committed the prisoner for trial at the Sessions, but admitted her to bail.

BOROUGH COURT. - Daniel Robinson, the landlord of the “Volunteer” beer-shop, in Sea-street, was charged by P.C. Tiley with keeping his house open for the sale of beer during the hours of divine service, on Sunday, the 9th instant. Fined 20s. and costs 5s.

The Isle of Wight 150 years ago

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1 February 2012