The Isle of Wight 150 years ago.

Extracts from the Hampshire Telegraph (unless otherwise stated).

January 1862

4 January 1862  

A CORONER’S INQUEST was held on Friday last, at the village of Gunville, before F. Blake, Esq., on the body of William Cole, a labourer, in the employ of Mr. R. Stratton, builder, aged 46, whose death was owing to the breaking a blood vessel as he was getting up in the morning. Verdict - Visitation of God.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS - Osborne Worthy, the landlord of the George Inn, West Cowes, was charged with keeping his house open for the sale of beer at half-past one in the morning of Christmas-day, and the facts having been proved by P.S. Kent, the Court find the defendant in the sum of 20s. and costs 7s. 6d. - Frances Mary Coombes the landlady of the Five Bells, Shorwell, charged by P.C. Wilmer with a similar offence, was fined 20s. and costs 7s. 6d. Sean George Norbal, a Swede, in the employ of the shipping agents at Cowes, was placed at the bar, and a charge of having passed a very bad imitation of a sovereign at Ryde, but no prosecutor appealing against him, prisoner was discharged.

BOROUGH COURT – John Mantlow, a private in the 41st Regiment, was charged with committing several assaults upon civilians in the street, on the night of Christmas-day about eleven o'clock. It appeared that the prisoner, being armed with a loaded stick, in the most brutal and unprovoked manner knocked down a groom named William Dove, who was coming down Nodehill with his wife and child at the time, struck his wife with the same weapon, then knocked down a very old man as he was passing, and before he could be apprehended by the picquet, finished by knocking down a young man named Vinson. The commanding officer having given the prisoner a very bad character, the Court committed him to hard labour for two months. James Woodford, of Ryde, postmaster, charged by P.C. Gray with being drunk and driving furiously through the streets of the town, on Wednesday evening, the 18th ult., was fined 40s. and costs 7s.6d.


11 January 1862               

A meeting of subscribers to the intended memorial of H.R.H. the Prince Consort was held at the Town Hall on Friday last, the Rev. G.H. Connor, vicar, in the chair, when it was determined to erected in the new Church of St. Thomas a monumental tablet, between the two stained glass windows presented by her Majesty and the deceased, on the north side, in accordance with an elegant design placed before the meeting, which it is estimated to cost somewhere about £100. The subscription for this purpose now amounts to about £60.

At the County Petty Sessions on Saturday, and the Borough Sessions on Monday, there was not a single case before the Magistrates for hearing, notwithstanding that Christmas had just passed over, and that the island contained a population of fifty-five thousand souls.

A coroner’s inquest was held at the Grafton Inn, at Godshill, on Tuesday last, on the body of James Linington, a farm labourer in the employ of Mr. Jacobs, of Lesland, whilst riding home from Newport the day previous, a little the worse for beer, fell from the top of a loaded wagon, and both wheels going over his body, he was killed on the spot, leaving a widow and seven small children to lament his death. Verdict  - Accidentally killed.

COWES. - Our beloved Sovereign continues to reside in the greatest privacy at Osborne, but we occasionally see some of the Court on the West Cowes side. Last week H.R. Highness the Prince of Wales, accompanied by Prince Louis of Hesse, Prince Leiuingen, and Lord Alfred Paget, visited Mr. John White’s yard, where they remain some time. Gregory, the marine painter, a self-taught artist, but whose paintings are valued by all true judges, and received the honour of a visit from the same royal party, who afterwards visited the building yard of Messrs. Ratsey and Sons, and inspected the yacht is now in the course of completion.

A very handsome vessel, built for the pilot service, was launched from Mr. Samuel White’s yard at East Cowes on Saturday, a number of persons being present to witness the launch. The vessel was named the Surprise by Mrs. Samuel White, and we hear that another vessel of the same tonnage is to be built by Mr. White for the pilot service, some of our capitalists having resolved that the old pilot boats now doing service are not equal to the demands of the present day, and that a better class of boats shall be provided for the pilots.

RYDE. - On Monday last, Messrs. Thurlow, Marvin, Ellis, Barnes, Jacobs, Oldfield, Gabell, Felgate, Dashwood, Wavell, Hall, Padmore and Newman, waited upon the Board of Directors of the Pier Company, and introduced the subject of Floating Baths to their notice. The Board in reply is said that their attention had been directed to the matter, but they had not been able to arrange any definite plan; however, they would most willingly forward any feasible plan to carry the designs of the deputation into operation. After thanking the Board for the courteous reception they had received, the deputation retired, and we understand that no time will be lost in bringing the place forward in a definite shape.


18 January 1862

The contest for the representation of the South Award of the Borough, in the room of Mr. Eli Wilkins, deceased, closed at four o'clock on Monday afternoon at the Town-hall, when the votes of the Burgesses stood as follows:-Mr. Samuel Dyer, grocer, High-street, 168; Mr. Joseph Poore, mason, Nodehill, 77; majority for Dyer, 91. The former was therefore elected a Town Councillor of the South Ward.

A CORONER’S INQUEST was held on Monday last, at the Town-hall, before F. Blake, Esq., on the body of John Woodnutt, a jobbing carpenter, who was found at the point of death and in a dreadful state of destitution, in a miserable hovel in which he resided in the Tontine-yard. Deceased was an habitual drunkard, and invariably spent the wages he earned in drink; and when discovered he was lying upon a little muckle, without a single article of furniture in the house, bedding, or bed clothes; an enormous tumour, as large as a gallon loaf, had formed on his left breast, his legs were covered with sores, and his body swarming with vermin, whilst the filth and stench in his apartment was insufferable. Verdict - Died from natural causes.

The general meeting of the Board of Directors of the Isle of Wight Savings’ Bank was held on Tuesday last, at their rooms in Lugley-street, Henry Pinnock, Esq., in the chair. The Secretary, Mr. J. C. Jackson, having read the minutes of the last meeting, the annual report was laid before the meeting, pronounced to be strictly correct, and ordered to be printed, published, and circulated amongst the depositors. The proceedings were almost entirely of a business character, and therefore a report of the details would be far from interesting to the public, but every disposition was shown to afford a full explanation to all who desired it. The Chairman, in opening the business of the meeting, alluded to the scurrilous attacks which were continually made on the Directors in the columns of an obscure journal published at Ryde, and which had occasioned the withdrawal of a considerable amount of capital by depositors in that district, and the neighbourhood of Bembridge and St. Helen’s, where the paper in question chiefly circulated. He trusted, however that the board would take no notice whatever of these calumnious charges from an individual who assailed everything and everybody in a similar manner. Mr. Connor, Mr. F. Pittis, and the Agricultural Society had come in for a share of his abuse in their turns, that he hoped they would all be able to live through it, and he advised that the writers should be passed over without further notice, as they had earned that abuse by not giving him their advertisements. The auditors’ report before them was more proof of the soundness and stability of the bank, and that there was no want of confidence on the part of the general public. Though some portion of the depositors had withdrawn their capital, and invested it in the Post-Office Savings’ Bank, they had a perfect right so to do if they thought fit, to prefer the one to the other,  though at a less rate of interest. The Directors had established this bank for a benevolent purpose; they never had the slightest idea of themselves receiving either fee or reward for their exertions; and they gave all their time and all their trouble for attending to the business gratis. If the depositors found it better to invest their savings in other securities, the directors would be glad to be quit of it. – (Hear, hear.) – Messrs. H. Pinnock, W. Mortimer, and W. Spikernell were elected Trustees in the room of Messrs. T. Cooke and G. Kirkpatrick, deceased, and Mr. Snell, removed. The rate of interest was ordered to continue at £2. 18s. 4d. per cent per annum, and in addition to the usual day (Wednesday) for receiving and paying away deposits, it was resolved that the bank should be opened on the Saturday all the year round for the same purposes.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS - Daniel Brading, an old offender, was charged by P.C. Cadby with having, on the night of the 9th instant, stolen a piece of beef from a shop in the High-street of East Cowes in the occupation of Messrs. Knighton, butchers, and which he found on his person immediately afterwards. This prisoner also resorted to the old plea of having “picked it up in the street,” but the Court committed him for two months to hard labour.

COWES - The great and small tenants of the Ward Estate, having paid their rents, were regaled, the former at the Fountain Hotel and of the latter at the George Inn, on Tuesday, when dinners were provided on a most liberal scale.

H.M. ship Warrior is still the great object of attraction to our site seers, great numbers daily availing themselves of the kind permission accordingly to inspect this grand and novel specimen of naval architecture, and everyone who has been on board speaks in the highest terms of the vessel itself, and of the courteous reception met from the officers on board.

25 January 1862

THE COUNTY COURT was held on Thursday, before C.J. Gale, Esq., with about 120 cases on the list for hearing, the principal one of which was an action brought by Mr. G. Oakley, of Ryde, against Messrs. White and Fraser, of Portsmouth, to recover the sum of £4 10s. 6d. For damage done to the plaintiff’s vessel, the Express, by the Rising Sun, belonging to the defendants, having run into her was lying at her moorings off Ryde Pier. After a great number of witnesses had been examined and the costs attending the case had far outrun the demand, the judge gave a verdict for the plaintiff for the full amount with costs.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS - Henry Webb, of Cowes, an old acquaintance of their Worships, was charged by P.C. Cole with stealing a piece of young timber, used as a prop to a fence, at Egypt, near West Cowes. Defendant’s father appeared and pleaded that his son had liberty from the agent of the property, a Mr. Smith, to carry away the dead wood from the copse. The Court said in this case it unfortunately happened that the stolen article was not dead but live wood, and they had received a letter from Mr. Smith himself, informing them that he had not given permission to any person to enter the copse in question. Find 10s. 2d. - Woodman Scanner, a butcher at Chale, was charged by Superintendent Campbell, the Inspector of Weights and Measures, with having in his possession an unjust weight scale and ounce and a-half against the consumer. Fined 17s. 6d.

RYDE – CONTEMPLATED FLOATING BATHS. – As usual in this town with every useful project, difficulties have been cast in the way of bringing the above valuable addition to its accommodations and attractions into operation. At present there is no positive project afloat, ulterior proceedings depend upon the Directors of the Pier Company determining to take shares in the undertaking, as the success of the plan, without their co-operation, appears to be doubtful.

RYDE - THE WEATHER. - For the first time during the winter this town was visited with a snowstorm on Monday night last. The fall, however was not very heavy, although the weather during the preceding day was fearfully severe. The snow remained upon the ground during Tuesday, but Wednesday found it gone,, and the weather was mild, bright, and spring-like. In the afternoon the winter session to a breeze, and the evening closed in rain. Since then the weather had been squally and a boisterous.

HAMPSHIRE EPIPHANY SESSIONS - William Cotton, Henry Cotton, and George Cotton were indicted for breaking into an out-house, at Carisbrooke, and stealing one bushel of Apples, the property of Edward Hawker. four Months’ imprisonment.


The Isle of Wight 150 years ago

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1 January 2012