The Isle of Wight 150 years ago.
Extracts from the Hampshire Telegraph.
5 August 1862
BOROUGH COURT .– Edward Claheen was charged by the police with prowling about in the night-time and frightening timid females out of their spare cash, by a dismal tale of his being a mechanic out of work, having a large family in a state of starvation. On his person was found a document, to the effect that he was discharged from the 50th Regiment with a good character, but the manufacturer had neglected to forge a signature to it, and the Court committed him to hard labour for 14 days.
Marcella Lacey, a common prostitute, charged with assaulting the picquet and with attempting to rescue one of the Royal Artillery, whom they had in custody, was committed for one month to hard labour.
COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - George Smith, who was sentenced previously to a month’s imprisonment for robbing a butcher at West Cowes, and then to be sent to be reformatory for three years, had the latter portion of his punishment remitted, his father, a respectable man, having undertaken to be responsible for his son's good conduct in future.
A CHILD DROWNED. - On Saturday an inquest was held at the Star Hotel, Ryde, upon the body of Henry Hollis, aged 17 months. It appeared that the child had been left in charge of a sister, aged 10 years, and the child during the brief absence of her sister by some means fell into a pan of water, and when discovered was quite dead. Medical aid was immediately procured, but all efforts to restore animation were useless. Verdict – “ Accidental Death.”
RYDE FREE WESLEYAN SUNDAY SCHOOL ANNIVERSARY. - On Monday last the children connected with the above school enjoyed their annual treat. They assembled about one o'clock in the Chapel in the High-street, and went in procession, with banners flying, to a field in the Newport Road, kindly lent by Mr. Harbour for the occasion. The tea and cake gave greater satisfaction, and the sports of various kinds provided for the children, excited the enjoyment of the youthful participants to the utmost extent. About eight o'clock they returned, after having enjoyed a very delightful trip.
9 August 1862
At a Vestry meeting of the parishioners of Newport, held at the Town-hall on Thursday last, a rate of 9d. In the pound was made for the ensuing quarter, and to show the lowness of the amount of rating in the Parish, that sum not only includes the poor’s rate, but the county rate, the borough police rate, and the burial rate, the latter of which amounts to a considerable sum yearly, arising from the necessity of paying off a portion every quarter of the capital borrowed to complete the cemetery at Fairlee.
The quarterly meeting of the Town Council of the borough was held at the Guildhall on Tuesday last, the Mayor, F. Pittis, Esq., in the chair. The Town Clerk having read the minutes of the last meeting, reported, with respect to their finances, that he had a balance in hand upon the funds in general of upwards of £185. A watch rate of £80 was made for the next quarter, and proceedings were ordered to be taken immediately against the parish offices at Carisbrooke to recover a lighting rate in arrears to the amount of £88. Mr. S. Pring and Mr. R. J. Jewell were appointed to make the best arrangements in their power to keep the channel of the Medina clear of abstractions, and there being no business of importance before the meeting, the Council broke up after about half-an-hour’s discussion.
COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - Mr. Superintendent Horan commented his duties in the place of Mr. Thomas Campbell, who has been removed to the Andover district, in defiance of the wish of the whole of the Magistrates and the majority of the inhabitants of the island.
George Russell, laborer, charged with assaulting Charles Morris, the landlord of a public-house in Whitwell, by dragging him out into the high road by the hair of his head, was fined 12s. 6d.
Joseph Wickenden, a porter at one of the hotels at West Cowes, was charged with administering a thrashing to the superintendent of his household, Mary Ann Hunt, whom he charged with getting gloriously drunk on every occasion on which he gave her above a shilling at a time for domestic expenses, was fined 17s. 6d., and committed until he found surities for his keeping the peace.
BOROUGH COURT .– Charles Urry, the keeper of a beershop in Pyle-street, called “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” was charged by P. C. Jolliffe with keeping his house open till one o'clock on Saturday morning, and with refusing admission to the police. Fined 15s.
COWES. - The re-opening of Trinity Church (it having been closed for repairing) gave an opportunity to the Bishop of Winchester to preach a sermon in behalf of the fund for defying the cost of enlarging and repairing the church. The sermon was excellent, and the result was a very liberal contribution from one of the most crowded congregations ever gathered in the church. The Rev. Mr. Connor, vicar of the Newport, and the Rev. J. Protheroe, rector of Whippingham, preached in the afternoon and evening, when success also attended their efforts.
It appears that one of our Income-tax Collectors has neglected to pay in the amount he ought to have done (providing he got it) a month since. The Surveyor of taxes at Newport, finding the money not forthcoming, issued a notice to the churchwardens and overseers stating that if the arrears were not paid at once, proceedings would be taken against some one. These innocent officials, terrified at the implied responsibility, called a vestry, and many attended on Thursday afternoon to learn whether they should have to pay over again the sum they had paid. Fortunately their fears were alleviated by Mr. Joyce, solicitor of Newport, who appeared for one of the collectors, and who stated that whatever had been collected was in hand, and would be paid in forthwith.
A meeting of the Local Board of Health has been held. ……. A large number of cheques were signed, and as of the bank accounts is greatly overdrawn, Mr. Ratsey moved that a rate of 1s. In the pound be immediately made and collected, which was seconded by Mr. Matthews, was carried nem con. An application from Mr. W. Cole to slaughter cattle on his premises, at the rear of Market Hill, was made, and promptly refused. - The Cowes and the Newport Railway Manager having applied to know the cost of a supply of water for railway purposes, it was moved by Mr. Dear, and seconded by Mr. Matthews, that the charge made should be 1s. 9d. per 1,000 gallons, the same charge being made on the Floating Bridge Company, the Board having the option to discontinue the supply whenever it was deemed requisite. - Mr. Cox, owner of property opposite Sun Slip, applied by letter for a gateway to be erected in the slip, as many nuisances were created there, which operated injuriously to his houses. After some debate the subject was adjourned for six weeks. As the election for new members will take place early in September, the present respected Chairman, Mr. Dear, was requested to preside over the election, to which he kindly consented. The meeting was then adjourned.
16 August 1862
A vexatious disappointment awaited the would-be passengers by the 7.45 down train from Newport to Cowes on Monday night, when from some ineffective working of the points the engine got off the rails as it was shunting to head the carriages, and several hours elapsed before it could be again hoisted into its proper position. In the meantime other conveyances were engaged to convey the passengers to Cowes, but we fear that many of them who wish to reach Southampton by the mail steamer at 2.45 were compelled to remain on the island till the next morning.
COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - John Gubbins, of Newbridge, charged a boy named Charles Cooper with stealing his apples, and his father, Charles Cooper, sen, with striking him in the face when he charged him with the theft. The court dismissed the charge against the father, and fined the son 8s. 7d., damages, costs. Mr. Frederic K Wyatt, of Cowes insisted on paying the penalty for the offender, but the Court refused to receive it, and compelled the payment from the party himself, on pain of committal.
George Slade, of Cowes, butcher, brought a charge of pound-breach against William Stevens, of the same place. Mr. James Eldridge appeared for the defendant. The complainant said that, having discovered a pony trespassing on a piece of land in his occupation on Mill Hill, he took it to the parish pound, from which it had been rescued by the defendant, but, on being cross-examined, he admitted that any land in question was not enclosed, whereupon he was informed by the Court that the penalty only attached to enclosed land, and therefore the charge must be dismissed. Mr. Frederick Wyatt again rose to expound to the Bench his view of the law of the case, and for his trouble was peremptorily informed by the gallant Chairman that if he interfered with the proceedings again he would have him turned out of Court.
RYDE SUNDAY SCHOOL TREAT. – On Tuesday the children of the Haylands and Week’s Sunday School, numbering nearly 150, had their annual treat in a field at Haylands, kindly lent for the purpose by Mr. Hunt. The provisions were abundant, and were evidently to the taste of the young participants. All sorts of amusements were provided, which the children enjoyed amazingly, in which enjoyment the teachers participated. Hymns were sung by the children, and a brief address given by the Rev. J. C. Coltart. The happy party returned home in good time, after having spent a delightful day.
RYDE IMPROVEMENT COMMISSIONERS. - On Tuesday evening the Board held its monthly meeting. Payment of £122 2s. 1d. was ordered on the General Purposes Account, and £638 5s. on the Waterworks Account. A rate was also made for the former account of 4d. in the pound, and another of 2d. for the latter. A report of the Water Works Committee was read by Mr. Stannard, which stated that the Ashey spring had altogether failed, and that since 26th July the town had been supplied from Knighton, and that there was plenty of water not only for household purposes but for watering the streets also. This report is very gratifying, as it confutes the evil forebodings of those who doubted the prudence of going to Knighton for a supply, and the no measured language blamed those who had taken a wise and active part in forwarding, without delay, the completion of the Knighton works. At the recommendation of the Burial Board a piece of Mr. Kent’s garden land was purchased, for the purpose of widening the proposed Cemetery Road; the land is 15 feet wide and 100 feet deep; the sum to be paid for it is £25. A conversation respecting the Gas Company’s charges took place; it was determined to bring the matter before the notice of the Directors of the Gas Company. The Ferry Company have again been stirring, and have compelled the Commissioners to have recourse again to law to defend the interests and rights of the town. The Commissioners then sat as a Burial Board, and resolved that £50 should be paid to Mr. Sibley, the contractor. The Clerk stated that the works should be completed in the month. The survey afforded a letter stating that he would require £210 for extras, in order to provide the necessary fittings &c. for the Cemetery. A rate of 2d. in the pound was ordered to be made, notwithstanding the balance in hand, as it would all be wanting for the buying out and planting of the grounds. The meeting and then broke up.
23 August 1862
The election of an assistant overseer for the Parish of Carisbrooke, in the room of Mr. Robert Bagwell, who has resigned in consequence of ill-health, was decided on Friday morning in favour of Mr. Charles Allen, his opponent, Mr. Alfred Bull, having retired from the contest, and the appointment of the former was ratified by the County Magistrates on Saturday.
HIGHWAYS. - The adjourned meeting of the Commissioners of Highways was held at Guildhall on Wednesday, when the following matters were taken into consideration, in addition to the ordinary business of the Commissioners. A report from the General Surveyor as to the expense of repairing the causeways in the town of Brading was deferred for a month for further enquiry. The state of repair of the causeway at Coppin’s Bridge was also adjourned for the inspection of the County Surveyor. The dilapidated state of the broken bridge at Dodner was discussed, but no steps were taken to repair it. The tenders for the improvement in the road at Bohemia Shoot, the road near Godshill Church, and for the erection of a bridge at Kingates, were next opened, and found to contain the following astonishing differences in the amount:- For improving the road at Bohemia Shoot: Mr. John Jackson, £149 10s.; Messrs. Denness, contractors, £130; Mr. J. Lowe, Chale, £103. For removing the causeway near Godshill Church: Mr.Rowson, Godshill, £17 10s.; Messrs. Denness, £12 10s.; Mr. J. Lowe, Chale, £11; For erecting a bridge at Kingates: Mr. Charles Newnham, Niton, £55; Messrs. Denness, £38 10s.; Mr. John Flux, Newport £38; Mr. John Jackson, Newport, £38 10s.; Mr. J. Lowe, Chale, £35. The last named contract being the lowest in every instance was accepted, and the meeting adjourned for a month.
In consequence of a violent dispute amongst the owners of the different horses which ran at the late races at Bowcombe Down, as to the identity of the animal which was entered as “Mr. A. Briant’s Knuston, 4 yrs," several very lengthened investigations have been held before the racing committee, who on Saturday last virtually disqualified of the owner from receiving either the sweepstakes of two sovereigns each, with £20 added, for the third race, in which he came in as winner, or the Silver cup presented by the contractors of the Cowes and Newport Railway, on the alleged ground that the said Knuston was trained in a professional stable contrary to the rules advertised by the stewards. The result is that Mr. Johnson's “Magnetic” comes in for the sweepstakes, and Mr. F. Way’s “Touch-me-not” for the cup, and as the bets go with the sweepstake, the backers of the disqualified and rejected Knuston will, we imagine, soon find that they have engaged in a very unprofitable speculation, but there were other serious and damaging charges, which we hear the committee have not carried out, it being publicly ascertained that whilst an imaginary Knuston was taking his morning trial on Bowcombe Down, in pursuance of the role which required all the animals entered to be in the island on the 8th of June, the real Knuston was comfortably ensconced in his trainer’s stables at Stockbridge preparatory to his engagement at Lyndhurst and Jersey Races!
COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - Phoebe Smith, of Bembridge,
charged William Love, a lad of 14, with committing a variety of offences,
such as using a dog and a gun for the destruction of game, killing a rabbit
in her father's copse, and threatening to shoot her for taking it away, the
whole of the charges being included in one summons. Mr. Beckingsale for the
defendant, contended that every separate offence must be particularized in a
separate document, in which the Court fully agreed, and dismissed the case,
with an admonition to the boy's parents to keep him more under control for
the future .
30 August 1862
THE LATE RACES. - We understand that a storm is brewing in the shape of an action at law, which is now threatened against the stewards by the solicitor to the owners of “Knuston,” unless the stakes recently awarded to Magnetic, and the Railway Cup awarded to “Touch-me-not,” are immediately delivered up to the owners of the former horse. We are of opinion that a little harmless thunder of this kind is absolutely necessary to clear away some of the murky atmosphere which still hovers over this rather cloudy transaction, and if the case be heard in a Court of Law, we shall perhaps be able to come at the truth of the matter.
CONSUMPTION OF MUTTON. – The island is at the present time full of visitors, and an idea may be gathered of the necessary amount of food required to gratify their appetites, together with the 55,000 inhabitants, when we mention that the fortnightly gathering of sheep skins by the fellmongers of the isle of Wight, amounted alone on Wednesday last, without the addition of hides and lamb skins, to upwards of eighteen hundred, showing that nine hundred sheep per week must have been slaughtered in order to supply the demand of the consumers! This number was actually exported from Newport Ouay this week, and we expect the number to be far greater during the ensuing fortnightly collection.
A SPECIAL SESSIONS was held on Wednesday last at the Town Hall, for the purpose of renewing the licences to sell spirits throughout the county of the Isle of Wight, when nearly 200 of the landlords or landladies made their appearances on the occasion, to whom in most instances they were granted without remark or admonition of any kind, with the exception of a refusal to renew a license to Henry Webb, of the “Vectis” Inn, at West Cowes, the police having certified that the house had been very badly conducted throughout the year, that the landlord and his wife were frequently drunk and fighting, and that they were often called in to separate them. A complaint was also lodged by the police against Samuel Underhill, of the “Prince Regent” at East Cowes, for having opened a dancing room, which was the resort of prostitutes, and a complete disturbance to the neighbourhood. The Court refused to renew the license until the applicant promised to close the room for the future. The licence of the “Sportsman’s Rest,” at Haven-street , lapsed from the fact that no person applied for its renewal.
COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - P. C. Sims charged James Blake, the guard of the Ryde coach, with being drunk and disorderly in the High-street of Ventnor, at one o'clock in the morning. Defendant refused to appear, and was fined 12s 6d. Including costs, in default of payment to be committed for seven days.
Matthew Kelleway, a mariner belonging to Yarmouth, was charged by Morris Attrill, of Freshwater Farm, with trespassing on his grounds, in pursuit of game, on Tuesday, 5th of August. The complainant said that on the day named in the information, he saw the defendant in one of his fields with a dog and gun, and beating up for game, but when the defendant saw him coming, he ran away. He, however, caught the dog, but since then another man named Pitman claimed it. Defendant denied being the owner of the dog, but admitted that he had no business there. Owing to his general good character, the Magistrates live it a penalty of 12s. 6d. only
ROYAL ISLE OF WIGHT INFIRMARY. - On Friday evening the annual Ball in aid of the above very valuable institution took place in the Victoria Rooms, which were the scene of a striking demonstration. The company exceeded two hundred and thirty, and comprised the elite of the residents and visitors, not only of Ryde but from all parts of the island. The dancing commenced between ten and eleven o'clock, and was kept up with unabated vigour until after two o'clock on the following morning. Mr.Conduit’s quadrille band was in attendance and gave the utmost satisfaction, proving that the management and responsibility of the band being transferred from Mr. Jones to Mr. Conduit will inflict no loss upon the public. The finances of the infirmary are greatly in need of support, and we are gratified to know that the proceeds of the ball will add to them considerably.