The Isle of Wight 150 years ago.
Extracts from the Hampshire Telegraph.
1 June 1861
COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - Mr Beckingsale applied to the Court to reverse their decision given a few weeks since against the grant of a public-house license to Henry Webb, of the Vectis Tavern, West Cowes, promising on the part of the applicant that the house should be conducted properly for the future, but the Court refused to re-consider their verdict, only remarking that on the next license day if he kept the house well as a beer-shop in the meantime, he might renew his application.
James Parkes, a respectable looking coal merchant from East Cowes, was charged with committed and aggravated assault on the person of Mary Ann Brett, his servant girl of the age of 14 years. It appeared by the evidence of the complainant that she accompanied his wife to church on the previous Sunday, but returned before her, when the defendant attempted to take certain liberties with her person, and offered her a shilling to accompany him into his bedroom, and that his annoyance only seized on the return of his wife from church. - Defendant contented himself with a simple denial of the charge, which she asserted was brought against him for the purpose of extorting money, and the Court expressing an opinion that the evidence was hardly sufficient to prove the case, ordered him to be discharged, at the same time offering him a little advice as to the way in which he should conduct himself for the future.
COWES. - The leak in the reservoir, which are such terror in the hearts of the sellers and buyers thereof, is stopped temporarily; and we hope, for the best interests of the town, that it will be a permanent stoppage. Mr. Abbinet, who has had great experience, is of the opinion that what has been done may hold good for a brief time, but that in order to prevent any recurrence of leakage it will be necessary to puddle and lay bricks in concrete when the proper season arrives for letting the water off.
TO KNOBBLERS. – Wanted a Few KNOBBLER MASONS. Also some MASONS’ LABOURERS. Lberal wages will be given. Apply to Mr. Taylor, Norris Farm, East Cowes.
8 June 1861
A CORONERS INQUEST was held on Monday the 1st before F. Blake, Esq., at the home of Mr. Charles Morris, tailor, in Pyle-Street, on the body Hannah Dunkinson, aged 77, widow of the late Mr. George Dunkinson, common carrier, who committed suicide on the morning before in a dark loft under the roof, by suspending herself by a piece of bed cord from a beam. It appeared by the evidence of her son-in-law, that the deceased was in a very low and despondent state of mind about nine months ago, so much so that they were obliged to take her away from her own house to live with the family and keep a strict watch over her conduct, but she afterwards recovered, and appeared quite well and cheerful. On the Saturday night preceding, she slept in the same room with one of her grandchildren, and, though she complained of head-ache on Sunday morning, came down to breakfast with the family and appeared very well. It was supposed from not seeing her after that, that she had gone as usual to lie down, but not answering a call to dinner, and alarm was given and she was found in a dark loft under the roof, hanging from a cross beam, quite dead and cold. So determined was attempted to commit suicide, that she had not even tied the rope around her neck, but merely passed her face and chin through it, and relied on the pressure to produce application. In the absence of all evidence as to the state of her mind at the time this distressing event took place, the jury returned an open verdict that the deceased had destroyed herself by suffocation, state of mind unknown.
VENTNOR. - A considerable quantity of fine makerel has being caught by Brighton Fishing boats on the back of the Island, and have been retail at three and four a shilling. Many of the fish were taken to Portsmouth, and forwarded to London.
On Tuesday, about noon, a thunder storm passed over Ventnor. The rain and hail fell for about half-an-hour, so that the lower part of the town was completely flooded for a time, and those houses that were not waterproof had the misfortune of finding some of their rooms flooded. The hail storm did not extend very far. At St. Lawrence and Appuldercombe there was no sign of hail, but a refreshing shower.
15 June 1861
NEWPORT CATTLE MARKET was fully supplied on Wednesday last, and nearly all the stock was sold either by auction or by hand. Spanish oxen, about 25 score each fetched from £20 to £22; South Down fullmouthed ewes were knocked down at 30s. each; whilst four-teeth South Down wethers, in good condition, went up to 48s. 6d. each. There was an abundance of Isle of Wight calves in the market, a view of which, weighing at least 40lb. per quarter, were sold at £5 each.
THE STANDEN ESTATE, lately advertised in our columns to be sold by auction, by Mr. F. Pittis, was disposed of on Wednesday last, at the Bugle, the hammer falling at £6,950, being about £50 less than was offered for it when submitted for sale about a twelvemonths ago. The Merston Estate realised £13,100, both lots being purchased by Thomas Fowler Wood, Esq., of Stowmarket, who we understand, will take up his residence at Standen.
COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - James Arnold, a labourer, in the employ of Mr. Arthur Way, of Foreland’s Farm, in the parish of Brading, was charged with being concerned in the unshipping, carrying, and conveying a quantity, to wit, 2¾ gallons of foreign spirits: - Mr. Dear, the Collector of Majesty’s Customs at Cowes, appearing to prosecute, the prisoner being undefended. - It appeared by the evidence of Joseph Bond, a commissioned boatman at the Bembridge Coast Guard Station, that on the 19th day of May last he went to Foreland’s Farm, and search the stabling, and finding one of the corn-bins locked, of which the prisoner kept the key, he broke it open, and amongst the corn he found one type of contraband brandy, which he seized and took to the watch-house; and Mr. Arthur Way having deposed to the fact that the prisoner was his carter, and that he retained possession of the lock and key of the corn-in in question, the Court fined of the prisoner in the mitigated penalty of £24; and, in default of payment committed him to Winchester Gaol for six months.
22 June 1861
The second Ranunculus Show of the season was held on Monday last at Cantelo’s Tea Gardens at Carisbrooke, and the blooms were of a better description than those which were exhibited on the previous occasion. The first prize was gained by Mr. John Odger, the second by Mr. Maurice Morgan, and the third by James Mew, Esq., and the fourth by Mr. George Grapes.
A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE TOWN COUNCIL was held on Monday last for the purpose of receiving the report of the Paving Committee on the necessity of re-naming the streets of the Borough, and fixing the names to the houses. This report recommended that in future Deadman's-lane should be called “Trafalgar-lane,” the New Village “Castle-Road” Nodehill “Upper St James’s-Street” the Corn Market “St. Thomas’s Square.” From the Baptist Chapel to Carisbrooke “Carisbrooke-Road,” and several other minor alterations too numerous to particularize, the whole of which were agreed to unanimously, and about 80 tablets were ordered of a very durable material to be placed at the corners of the different streets, to enlighten strangers as to their whereabouts, at the cost amounting on average to 6s. each.
COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - A. Sharpe, an ill-looking fellow in the Parkhurst prison uniform, aged 21, was brought up in custody on a charge of having committed a three burglaries, after escaping from the prison on the night of the Monday previous. We were informed that the prisoner was undergoing a sentence of seven years’ transportation for incendiarism, and that since his confinement he had once endeavoured to 60 establishment itself in a blaze. The first charge against him on this occasion was for having burglariously entered a dwelling-house at Egypt, near West Cowes, in the occupation of William Saunders, and with having stolen therefrom two coats, one pair of boots, one pair of trousers, a hat, and the two handkerchiefs, in which he was equipped when captured by a butcher named Levi Roads on Wednesday morning about half-past five o'clock, near Gurnard Farm, and taken back to the prison. The property was fully identified by the owner, and the Court thought that sufficient had been proved to send the prisoner to take his trial at the Assizes, without going into the evidence against him for breaking into a chemist's shop in Medina-terrace, West Cowes, and another dwelling-house in the same parish. He was accordingly sent for trial once more.
John Pitt, a bombardier (No. 10 troop) in the Royal Artillery, stationed at Freshwater, was charged with committing an assault with intent, &c., on Frances Ann Hillier, aged 13, the daughter of the landlord of the Albion Hotel tap, at that place, that having heard the evidence of the complainant, the Court dismissed the charge.
The new steamer Lords of the Isles, having repaired the damage occasioned by her being in collision with Lord Colville’s yacht the Velage, began running again on Monday. She is a fine vessel and of extraordinary speed.
On Tuesday a man named Bannister, well-known to the loungers on the Fountain Quay, appeared before Roscoe Cole Shedden, Esq., charged by Mr. Cleak, steward of the Gem, steamer, with using profane and abusive language. The case having been fully proved, Mr Cleak expressed his willingness to withdraw the charge on receiving an apology and payment of the costs. Mr. Shedden said has this appeared to be the first time the defendant had been before the Bench, and as he expressed his contrition for what he had done, he would allow the case to be settled, that at the same time beg it to be understood that he was determined that the porters and others frequenting the Fountain Quay should behave themselves in a becoming manner, and that on all future occasions anyone found guilty of having used ill language would be punished with the utmost vigour.
29 June 1861
HAYMAKING has commenced generally all over the Island, with a fair average crop, but the weather has been so precarious for the past week that very little has been saved in good order; indeed on Tuesday and Thursday the rain came down in torrents, and prevented a great many fields from being carted, which were quite ready for it.
A MELANCHOLY ACCIDENT occurred on Monday last in Newtown River, which occasioned the death of two brothers, James and Charles Sutton, Brick makers, in the employ of Mr. Thomas Wheeler, of West Cowes, builder, of the ages of 25 and 27 years respectively, upsetting of a small flat-bottomed boat. The following particulars were proved by one of the survivors on Tuesday, before James Eldridge Esq., Deputy Coroner, at the New Inn, Shalfleet. Charles Drayton, labourer, being sworn in said, I have seen the bodies just viewed by the jury, and I can identify them. They were both of them brickmakers, and were at work with me yesterday. About 12 o’clock we rowed away from Shalfleet to Hamstead in a flat-bottomed boat about 10 feet long, but soon afterwards the shifted places on account of the water coming over the side into the boat. There was only a ripple on the water, but they both got to one side and capsized the boat, and we were all three thrown into the water, at about 50 yards from the shore, but where the water was very deep. I could swim, but they could not; and, besides, they had their heavy working clothes on. I tried to save them, but could not, and they both sank in about five minutes, and then I swam for shore and was picked up by Mr. Holbrook and Mr. Phillip, who came off in their boat to assist, but the deceased were not found till low water at four o’clock. Verdict – “accidentally drowned.”
We understand that her Majesty will shortly honor the Island again with a visit, and all must hope that the Queen and her family may enjoy a health here. During the last visit, Prince Leopold was so unwell that on the departure of the Court the youthful Prince was left at Osborne under the special care of Dr. Cass, surgeon to the Queen, who was unremitting in his attendance, and who, on the Prince’s recovery, accompanied him to Buckingham Palace. On this occasion the thanks of her Majesty were given to Dr. Cass for his constant care in attending on the Prince, and a splendid watch and appendages were presented to him by the Prince Consort, accompanied by many obliging expressions, which must have been highly gratifying to this gentleman, who is universally respected in Cowes.
RYDE - THE CORONATION DAY. - According to the usual custom in this town Friday was a Shut-up day, and of those persons whose ordinary applications confine them to their offices, counting-houses, shops, and other places of business, had their annual holiday, and went forth in multitudes to enjoy the loveliness of the country, now raised in its richest early summer dress. The late rains have given an additional freshness to the woods and meadows, and a stroll among the duties of this “Garden of England” must have been a rich treat to the thousands of those who were emancipated for a day from the close atmosphere of shops and work-rooms. The flys were in great request, the boats came over heavily laden with their gaily attired freights. The pier was a scene of considerable interest, crowded with, promenaders and other pleasure seekers from morning till night, the results to the company being to swell their unusually large dividend.