The Isle of Wight 150 years ago.

Extracts from the Hampshire Telegraph.

October 1862

4 October 1862

A useful present has been made to the town by Mr. L. Powys, one of the Conservative members for the Borough, the Mayor having just received one of the new standard storm barometers, which we believe it is intended to place within the private entrance to the Townhall.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - Charlotte Bushell, a very respectable looking married woman, living at Brooke, was charged by the superintendent of police, on account of the drunkenness prevailing in that parish, with selling beer without a licence. Fined 20s. and costs.

Absolom Croad, a farm bailiff to Mr William Selby, of Brooke, was next charged by Superintendent Horan with selling beer without a licence. The same witness deposed that she went to the defendant’s house between eleven and twelve o'clock on the night of 20 August, where she found her husband drinking in company with several other of the inhabitants of the village, amongst whom was a marine named Peter Phillips, who called for a pot of beer, which the defendant’s wife brought, and he paid her sixpence for it, she giving no change. She waited an hour and a half for her husband before he was ready to go, and all the rest were then drunk. The defendant brought several witnesses to prove that it being his wife's birthday, he had invited the party there to celebrate the event, that he stood treat the whole of the evening, and that not a single penny was paid for anything during that time. The Court disbelieved their testimony, and fined the defendant in the penalty of £5 and cost 7s. 6d.

William Baker, an old inhabitant of Newport, and for many years at the landlord of the “White Horse” in Nodehill, was charged by Charles Hebberd, the landlord of the “Rose Inn,” at Ventnor with having pilfered his till on 23rd September. Susan Tollervey being sworn, and said she was lodging at the “Rose,” and whilst engaged at needle-work in the next room to the bar, on the day in question, she heard the money rattle in the till, and looking through the window she distinctly saw the prisoner’s hands in it. She then called the landlord, saying that there was a man in the bar robbing the till. Mr Hibberd ran down stairs directly and open the prisoner’s hand, in which he found seven pence halfpenny, which he had marked, having been robbed on two previous occasions. Prisoner pleaded guilty, and was committed for one month to hard labour.

BOROUGH COURT. - Ann Calcott, a drunken tramp, with but one leg, and a terrible black eye, was charged by P.C. Stubbs with getting drunk at the Valiant Soldier, in Cosham-street, so that the police were obliged to carry her to the station cells, the prisoner having refused to use her crutches except above their heads. Fined 10s., in default of payment to be committed for one month.

RYDE. – SERIOUS ACCIDENT. - On Saturday last Peter Jackson, for many years in the employment of Captain George Rendell, highly respected by all who knew him, whilst cleaning some windows at the captain’s residence at Wootton, fell from the ladder, and injured himself so seriously, that no hopes are entertained of his recovery.

THE NEW POSTMASTER. - We understand that Mr. Thomas Roe, Sub-postmaster of Ollerton, Notts, has been appointed postmaster of Ryde, and will commence his duties as soon as his successor at Ollerton shall have been decided on.


11 October 1862

BOROUGH COURT. - James Carr, an idle urchin, was charged with breaking the windows of the “Prince Regent,” public-house, in the High-street; but the evidence not being complete against him he was remanded till Thursday.

Emily Howard, a common prostitute, charged with using disgraceful language to the police in the public streets was fined 10s., and in default of payment, committed for one month.

COWES.- H.M.S. Egmont was towed out of harbour on Wednesday morning, and proceeded to Portsmouth.

The sewage works at East Cowes, under the able supervision of Mr. Chinchin, are rapidly progressing, and the construction of reservoirs bodes fair to be completed within the time stipulated. Whether the spot selected for the site of the reservoir might not have been chosen is a question which time only can answer. However that may be, the inhabitants of the East Cowes side will soon learn to appreciate the blessing of having a Local Board of Health in common with West Cowes. 


18 October 1862

A serious accident occurred on Sunday evening to Mrs King, the wife of Mr. Robert King, fruiterer, in the High-street, when on coming down the stairs, she unfortunately trod on a kitten, and was precipitated to the bottom, occasioning a serious fracture amongst the ancle bones.

The Queen’s Rooms were open again on Thursday, the 10th, as a theatre, by Mr. George Hodgson, of comic memory, with a very clever company of performers, who fully deserve all the patronage that can be bestowed on them. The place was well filled on Monday, when “The Colleen Bawn settled at last,” was produced for the first time, with Mr. Hobson as Miss Elly O'Connor, and he was ably supported by the rest of the performers.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - Jennett Dyer, a servant in the employ of Mr. Robert Brading, of Shorwell, was charged with stealing three pints of brandy, the property of her master. It appeared that a considerable quantity of liquor had been missed from time to time from a cupboard on the prosecutor’s bedroom, which was kept locked, and that the family were sorely puzzled to account for its disappearance, until the Wednesday preceding, when one of the daughters, having opened the bed-room in question, found the stall door open. She directly called her brother upstairs, who entered the prisoner’s bed-room, and under the bed clothes, in a chair, he discovered a large tin case, belonging to a neighbour opposite, named Harlock, but the cork being out he upset of the greatest portion about the floor, with the exception of about three half-pints, then produced. On examining a 2 gallon jar, in which said brandy had been kept, he found it nearly empty. On being given into custody the prisoner said she should never have thought of taking it, if Mr. and Mrs. Harlock hadn't persuaded her to have done so. Superintendent Horan said that he had the man Harlock, a labourer, at Shorwell, in custody, and would prosecute him, if any evidence could be produced against him, but the prisoner persisting now in the simple plea of guilty, it became necessary to discharge the man, and the girl was committed for a month to hard labour.

Albert Sheath, charged with breaking the greenhouse windows of Mr. John Briant, Ventnor, was fined 12s. 6d.

BOROUGH COURT. - Mary Ann Carr, who has been committed times out of number, was again sentenced to a month’s imprisonment for smashing the windows of Frederick Wells, in Cosham-street, because he refused to supply her with tobacco.

George James Knight, charged by P.C. Stubbs with being drunk and disorderly, at half-past ten o'clock in the morning, was fined 10s.

COWES. – NORTHWOOD BURIAL BOARD - the quarterly meeting took place on Tuesday last, present Messrs. Matthews, Moore, and Richardson. Various sums of money were ordered to be paid all of which must come out of the poor rates.

The opening of the Seamen and Working Men's Institute for the season took place on Monday evening, when Captain Legard, R.N., the treasurer, and the Rev. J.B. Atkinson, Rev. E. Silver, Rev. J. Monk, and Rev. T Bull, and other tried friends were present. The capacious reading room was well filled with members, who seemed truly to appreciate the kind and friendly advice offered to them by the gallant captain and his earnest and able condjutor, the Rev. E. Silver. Working Committees were appointed, and a resolution was carried that no youth under 16 years of age shall be admitted as a member unless he be strongly recommended for his fitness, and his good conduct guaranteed by two of the senior members.


25 October 1862

SHIPWRECKS AND LOSS OF TWELVE LIVES. - A tremendous storm passed over the Island during the night of Sunday last, between the hours of seven in the evening and one in the morning, but not without leaving the most devastating marks of its progress, in the shape of fallen trees and dilapidated buildings, bridges washed away,  and low lying lands inundated in every direction. The sea coast between the Needles and Ventnor is also strewed with wreck of all descriptions, for in the midst of the storm, about nine o'clock on Sunday evening, the Ellen Horsfall, a merchant man, 200 tons laden with beans from Alexandria, was driven right up under the cliff near Grange Chine by the force of the waves, and became a total wreck. One of the crew, however, managed to crawl up the cliff, and found his way to a cottage at Thorncross, and awoke the inmates, who proceeded to the spot together with fishermen, and they happily succeed in bringing the Captain (Muckey) the shore, together with his wife and infant child, and the whole of the crew in safety; and before the coast-guard knew that any vessel was wrecked at that spot they were comfortably ensconced by Mr. Mowbray's fireside at Thorncross farm. A correspondent, writing from Ventnor, says that the Ellen Horsfall was provided with one of Lieutenant Nare’s kites, by means of which the negro came ashore with a rope, and happily succeeded in rescuing his companions. We hope that this simple but useful invention will soon be regarded as a necessary part of the equipment of every seagoing vessel.

Later in the night a fine barque, the Lotus, 43 days from Demarara for London, with a cargo of rum and sugar, belonging to Mr. Dunlop, of Greenock, was smashed to atoms on the rocks near Blackgang Chine, when twelve of the crew, including the captain, and one passenger, Edward Murray, were drowned, and only two out of the whole (namely, James Gold and James Anderson) saved. Nine of the bodies were washed on shore on Monday, and a coroner's inquest was held on their remains on Tuesday at the Clarendon Hotel, by F. Blake, Esq. The following evidence was taken: - James Gold said: I was a seamen on board the barque Lotus, of 326 tons, bound from Demarara for London, with a cargo of sugar and rum, commanded by Captain William M’Neil, and belonging to Mr. Dunlop of Greenock. I have identified the bodies of Captain M’Neil; Mr. Robert Watt, chief mate; William Anderson, second mate, brother-in-law to the captain; Hugh Ferguson, Carpenter; Peter Montgomery, the cook; and a six seamen who have been recovered from the wreck. We left Demarara 42 days last Saturday. We passed Start Point at eight o'clock on Sunday morning; it was then blowing strong and with the wind about S.W. At about ten o'clock a light was seen a little on the weather bow by the men on the foreyard who were stirring the foresail, and I heard the mate say it must be St. Catherine's. The ship was then hauled close to the wind, with the yards braced sharp up, to endeavour to weather the point, but, finding she would not do so, the ship was put around, her head then being N.N.W., in which position she was about 20 min; the land then could be seen close aboard to leeward. Another attempt was then made to wear her; but as soon as the helm was hard up she struck the ground heavily. I was at the wheel receiving my orders from the captain. The sea immediately broke over the ship and knocked the captain down as he was standing on the poop giving orders to clear away the boats; I think he was washed overboard then, as I never saw him afterwards. Another one immediately followed the first, and took away the chief mate and the longboat and gig. The Carpenter then jumped off the starboard quarter into the sea, and swam for the shore, and got on the beach but was taken back again by another sea which broke over him. I did not see him again. By this time the masts were gone overboard, and the ship parted in halves below the chains. I clung to the wreck until the sea went over me, when I got on a rum puncheon, and the next sea took me and the puncheon right ashore, but another sea took me out again. I was afterwards washed in again and found myself lying among some broken timber and wreck high on the beach. I think it was about a quarter before 12 when the vessel struck. The captain was about 44 years old, and had been about three years captain of the Lotus. There was no time to fire guns for assistance after the vessel struck. We saw no one until about a quarter to six in the morning, when I and Anderson, the other man saved, got up the cliffs and met a fisherman named Phillips, who took us to the home of another fisherman named Wheeler, where we had clothes and refreshment found us. [Evidence of James Anderson not transcribed.] Several other witnesses were next examined relative to the recovery of the bodies, after which the Coroner summed up, and the jury returned a verdict in accordance with the evidence. The survivor Anderson had his right hand much injured, and the helmsman had his collarbone broken and face cut, but through the kind attention of Mr. Pomery, surgeon, of Newport, who fortunately visited the sad scene on Tuesday afternoon, the fracture was reduced, and the poor fellow relieved from much pain. In the opinion of men who thoroughly knew the locality by long experience it would have been impossible to have rendered the least assistance, even had the perilous situation of the bark been known to those on shore, during such a terrific storm, accompanied by such a deluge of rain, and the night so dark, which accounts for Anderson and Gold, although having called loud for help, having remained from the time of being wrecked until five o'clock on Monday morning before gaining any assistance, or even the Coastguard had decried that they wreck had taken place, the depth from the cliff and look-out beat being so great and perpendicular, and the storm and see raging so fearfully allowed, that no other sound could be heard, even though the wreck and the wrecked were close under the cliff. So sudden, indeed, was this direful catastrophe rendered to those on board the ill-fated ship, owing to the thick darkness which prevailed, that as soon as they became acquainted with their perilous position the bark was dashed to atoms. Anderson and Gold have been provided with clothing, and will shortly be forwarded to the place of destination at the expense of the “Chale Shipwrecked Mariners’ Association.” [Names of the crew not transcribed.] The broken-up vessel and her cargo now lies strewed along the coast for miles, and the scene which issued on Monday amongst the labouring population of the neighbourhood was of the most disgusting description ever witnessed, men, women, and children lying dead drunk on the beach by scores, from the effects of imbibing the new rum from the casks which were washed on shore.

Another unfortunate vessel is supposed to have gone down during the night off Compton, and, if so, all hands must have perished, but no traces of such a catastrophe could be discovered in the morning.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - Such was the amount of business before the court, that although it commenced at twelve o'clock, it was not concluded till nine at night.

Edith Attrill, the female attendant on the bathing machines at Shanklin, was charged with stealing an umbrella, the property of the Rev. Charles Hole, which had been left in the fisherman's hut whilst his lady was bathing. Prisoner plead guilty, and was committed for one month to hard labour.

William Mundell, a respectable looking a young man, who described himself as a carpenter belonging to West Cowes, was placed at the bar on a charge of sacrilege, for breaking into St. Mary's Church, in that town, and robbing the poor box. It was proved by two respectable witnesses that they saw him in the church yard on the Monday evening. The clerk of the church proves that it was forcibly entered before the next morning, by prising open the door with a chisel, which left a number of marks on the jambs, and P. S. Kent proved that a chisel was found in the prisoner’s front room the next day, which exactly fitted these marks. It appeared also that the church had been robbed on the 31st of July last, and that this said chisel exactly fitted the marks which were made in the vestry door on that occasion. Prisoner said he knew nothing about the chisel, but was committed for trial at the next Assizes.

Edward Johnson, the drill serjeant of musketry at Parkhurst Barracks, was placed at the bar under serious charge of having forcibly violated a young girl named Sarah Burns, but the prisoner was dismissed after an examination which lasted three hours, on the ground that no jury would convict him upon such evidence as has been brought forward. 


Hampshire Assizes Michaelmas Session 1862 (October)

John Tobin, soldier, was charged with stealing 35s. from John Hott, at Carisbrooke, on the 10 September 1862. Mr. Charles prosecuted. Guilty – Six months’ imprisonment.

Miles Morris pleaded guilty to a charge of stealing a set of sleeve links, the property of Henry Edward Watson, at Carisbrooke, and was sentenced to 6 months’ imprisonment.

Patrick Murphy was charged with stealing a watch, the property of John Alfred Gissing, at Parkhurst, on the 18th August, 1862. Mr. Way prosecuted. Guilty of receiving. Three months’ imprisonment.

Robert Guy pleaded guilty to stealing 7 eggs, the property of Sir William Mortens, his master, at Newchurch. The prisoner received an excellent character and was sentenced to 14 days’ imprisonment.

William Higgins was charged with stealing one rabbit, the property of James Read, at Newport on 1st October, 1862. The prisoner was found guilty, and sentenced to four months’ imprisonment.

Thomas Woodford, on bail, was indicted for unlawfully and maliciously wounding George Gray, at Carisbrooke on the 27th July, 1862. Mr. Gunnar prosecuted, and Mr. Way a defended the prisoner. The facts were simply these. The prosecutor was, with his wife and family and a brother-in-law, returning home from Newport, and when passing Dedman’s-lane a great many stones were flying about. He cried out, “Mind there are children here.” Soon afterwards he, (the prosecutor) was struck in the eye with a stone. The brother-in-law swore he saw the prisoners further stone that struck the prosecutor. Mr. Way addressed the jury, who acquitted the prisoner.

Sarah Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor were acquitted of the charge of stealing four pounds weight of cheese, at Ryde, on the 15th September, the property of Thomas M. Goodlake.

Peter Handel for stealing two fowls, at Freshwater on the 14th of September 1862, the property of William Lane, was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment.

James Simmonds and John Groves were charged with stealing a coat, the property of Henry Groves, at Newport, on the 14th July. Simmonds pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to twelve months’ imprisonment. Groves was acquitted.

The Isle of Wight 150 years ago

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1 October 2012