The Isle of Wight 150 years ago.

Extracts from the Hampshire Telegraph.

December 1862

6 December 1862

A SHOCKING ACCIDENT occurred at Northcourt House, the seat of Sir H. P. Gordon, Bart., to his gardener a Mr. Coligate, who whilst engaged in superintending the grubbing of some of the trees in the park, was struck on the head by one of the falling branches and levelled with the ground, in a similar way to that in which Mr. Willcox, the late member for Southampton came by his death, and though the best of medical attention was procured, he is not yet pronounced out of danger.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - A respectably dressed middle-aged woman, who gave the name of Edith Westwood, was placed at the bar by P.S. White, charged with swindling, but as no one appeared to sustain the charge the prisoner was again set at liberty. It appeared by a letter which was received that morning from the family solicitor that the respectable relatives of the prisoner has taken every means to restrain her, but without success, and they accordingly recommended the Magistrates to take it into their consideration whether she was not more fit for a lunatic asylum than gaol.

Elizabeth Carter, of Freshwater, a small retail grocer, was charged by Inspector Horan with being in possession of seven iron weights, every one of which was light, from a quarter of an ounce down, and a pair of unjust scales, which was a quarter of an ounce against the purchaser. The court administered a severe admonition, and fined the defendant in the penalty of 25s.

Ann Elizabeth Renton, of Ryde, a female servant late in the employ of the Rev. H. Bull, the Curate  Carisbrooke, was again placed at the bar on a charge of having concealed the birth of her infant child. The evidence which was given before the Coroner, the particulars of which we gave at the time, having been repeated, the prisoner said she was insensible at the time the act was committed. The court committed her to take a trial at the ensuing assizes, she having refused to procure bail for her appearance, which the Bench offered to take.

Mark Munt and Moses Munt, of Brixton, labourers, were charged with stealing two sacks of Barley, the property of Isaac Chippe, Yeoman, from Sheat Farm, of which about four bushels were discovered by P.C. Somerville during the night of Saturday last in the porch of a public-house at Brixton, in the backyard of which he saw the prisoners, one of whom he captured soon after, and the other was apprehended the same day. Mr. Beckingsale appeared on their behalf, and after an examination which lasted for hours they were committed to the Assizes for Trial.

RYDE. – STRAWBERRIES IN DECEMBER. - Captain Merriton, of Sandhill Cottage, has now in his garden strawberries in blossom, and many fully ripe. This is proof of the unusually mildness of the weather.

RYDE. - CONSECRATION OF THE NEW CEMETERY. - On Friday, the 28th ult., the Bishop of Winchester arrived at the Episcopal Chapel in the Cemetery, at half-past one o'clock accompanied by his officials, where he was met by a portion of the burial board, with G.F. Harrington, Esq. (chairman) at their head, together with the Episcopal clergy of the town. The usual services were performed, and the deed of consecration signed by the Bishop. His Lordship, with the board and the clergy adjourned to nearly the centre of the southern division of the ground, where the consecration prayer was offered up and the benediction pronounced, which brought the ceremony to a close. The day was very wet, and including those engaged in the service, there were not above 100 persons on the ground.

RYDE. – LITERARY INSTITUTE. - This long-established Institution has lately added to its former library several hundred volumes of valuable books. One of the latest acts of the late Prince Consort was to forward a cheque in aid of the special subscription raised to effect the purchase. The room formerly used as a library was found too limited to contain the valuable addition purchased by the committee, and it became necessary to erect another room for the reception of the new literary treasures. It is now completed, and the books have been deposited in their commodious resting places, and are now available for the use of the members. The committee having been very remiss for the last two years in providing lectures, but perhaps the meagre attendance at the last course that was provided, may have rendered it necessary, in a pecuniary point of view, to draw in, and avoid an outlay apparently not properly appreciated by those for whom the outlay was incurred. There are three institutions in Ryde, all more or less claiming a literary character. The Philosophical Society this takes the highest ground, socially and scientifically, but has lately proposed throwing its reading-room open nightly, to working men, at a low subscription; this is a step in the right direction. The literary, already alluded to, which has a well-supplied reading-room, and now, an admirable library. And the third society is the Young Men's Christian Association, which also has a reading-room open every evening to its members and associates. The latter Association has arranged a very superior course of lectures this season, and appears at present to carry off the palm for popularity and members. There is quite population enough to support all three. And a noble addition would be a purely entertaining Institute where men could get a hearty laugh free from the evil influences of the saloon and the pothouse.


13 December 1862

DESTRUCTION OF A CHURCH. - We are sorry to hear that the ancient church of St. Mary, at Brooke, was destroyed by fire on the evening of Tuesday last. Nothing but the four outer walls remain standing. It appears that a new organ, which was only purchased a short time since at a cost of £70, beginning to show evidence symptoms of it being affected by the damp weather, a stove containing ignited charcoal was taken into the sacred edifice to try it, and was left, unfortunately, unattended. The consequence was that the overheated convenience set the woodwork on fire, and the whole of the fittings, organ, pulpit, gallery, pews, and roof are consumed. The property was not insured, and the damage is estimated at from £600 to £700.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - George Robinson, the master of the brig Mary Ann, of Sunderland, was sued by George Cheats, a Trinity-house pilot, for the sum of 19s 6d. piloting the ship from Cowes Roads into the harbour. Mr. J. Eldridge appeared for the defendant, and pleaded that from the insecure way which the plaintiff moored her she drifted on shore and sustained some considerable damage. The Court said it was not their place to interfere with the duty of a pilot. If damage had occurred to the ships to his misconduct, the defendant had his remedy in another way, and they must give an order for the payment of the pilotage due, with costs.

A Cockney sportsman, whose name was said to the W. H. Hobbs, previously residing in John-Street, Ryde, was charged with three separate offences by trespassing in pursuit of game on Yaverland Farm and other places. Mr. White, the occupier, having proved the case, said he had since then received a note from Mr. Hobbs to the effect that he was of more London, and he hopes that Mr. White would preserve the game for him during the winter, that he might have better sport when he came back! Fined 30s., costs 22s. 6d., and to be imprisoned for 30 days in default of payment - when they can catch him!

BOROUGH COURT. - Charles Moon, the landlord of the “Soldiers Joy,” beer-shop in Trafalgar-Road, was charged by P.C. Stubbs with keeping a disorderly house. The witness deposed that on the Monday night preceding he went to the defendant’s house with the picquet about 12:30, in search of an absent soldier, and that he was kept knocking at the door for admission for a quarter of an hour before he was let in. In the meantime he had a good deal of shuffling going on inside. When the door was opened the defendant said he had only one soldier in his house, and he had a pass. Witness went up-stairs and found a soldier and two common prostitutes in one room where there were two beds, and in another room he found, under the bed-clothes, three civilians and another soldier. Defendant said he couldn't deny that the girls were there, but the soldier obtained admission in a civilian’s jacket. Fined 25s., and cautioned that if he appeared there a second time his first offence would be remembered against him.

RYDE. – CHRISTMAS TREES. - On Tuesday and Wednesday last a bazaar for the sale of fancy and useful articles took place in the Town Hall. Among the articles displayed were some very well decorated Christmas Trees. The affair was got up under the auspices of the Bible classes in connection with the George-Street Sunday School, and the proceeds, which amounted to about £60, will be appropriated to the liquidation of the remaining debt on the school-room.


20 December 1862

APPREHENSION OF A NOTED HOUSEBREAKER. - Since the burglary at Cambrian Cottage, which we noticed in our last, several other depredations had been committed in the parish of Carisbrooke. A cottage in the Pit, near the Castle, belonging to Captain Rickard, of Southsea, has been plundered of a pair of handsome drawing-room lamps, which have no doubt been broken up and sold as old metal, in addition to which it was discovered that the whole of the bells, pulls, and springs attached, had been stolen from West Mill House, late in the occupation of Mr. George Owen Mew, wine merchant, but which were luckily traced to the position of the collector of old metal, named, named Ebbs, who deposed that he purchased them of a Labour named William Gladdis, who had just suffered the penalty of twelve months’ imprisonment for breaking into a dwelling -house then in the occupation of a Mrs. Dawson nearly adjoining Captain Rickard’s cottage, and stealing therefrom a wheelbarrow full of goods. Prisoner was apprehended on Saturday evening by the Police in the Workhouse, into which he had thrown himself on the plea of being destitute, and on being brought before the Magistrates on Monday, he was remanded for one week for further evidence. Since the above was in type we learn that the lamps above mentioned have been traced into the possession of a woman at Freshwater, named Adams, who says that she purchased them of Gladdis. He will therefore be brought before the County Magistrates this day (Saturday) to answer to this charge also.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - Edward Brine, a turbulent old inmate of the House of Industry, was charged with having wilfully and maliciously broken the Windows of that establishment. He was remanded in custody for a week.

Frank Coster, an incorrigible thief, who had not long been out of prison for stealing ducks, was again placed at the bar on a charge of stealing a bottle of rum from the bar of the Flower Pot, public-house at Northwood, being the property of Henry Hall, the landlord. As the prisoner was met by the landlady in the act the Court committed him for trial at the Sessions. The license of the Woodman's Arms, on Wootton Common, was transferred to Mrs. Martha Cooper, and the license of the Bugle Inn, at Carisbrooke, to Mr. James Jones.

RYDE. – AMATEUR THEATRICALS. - On Tuesday and Wednesday amateur theatrical performances have been given at the Theatre in aid of the Royal Isle of Wight Infirmary. The performances were exceedingly well received. They consisted of the Miller and his Men, the Secret, and Lord Dundreary. The gallery and picked were well attended, but the boxes were without their fair proportion of occupants. The infirmary, as far as the Isle of Wight is concerned, has the highest claims upon the public of all classes for support.

RYDE. – THE PROPOSED TRAMWAY. - A special meeting of the Commissioners was held on Tuesday evening last, to determine what course should be pursued in respect to the formation of tramways, of which notice had been given to Parliament, one in connection with the Old Pier Company and the other with the works of the Ferry Company, and the Eastern Section Island Railway. The railway act has been laying in abeyance for the last two years, and the board felt it would be a matter of uncertainty whether the railway would or could be constructed in the time prescribed by the act. Under these circumstances a petition against both proposals was carried unanimously, the board feeling that when the railway had been constructed would be quite time enough to entertain the question how the terminus should be reached. It was determined to resist or encroachment upon the rights of the law, and Mr. Hearn was appointed by the board to conduct all legal proceedings. The chairman having declared the meeting a burial board, it was determined to issue hand bills for tenders for a lodge for the superintendent of the new cemetery; plans and specifications which had been placed before the board by Mr. Newman, the town surveyor. The cost of the proposed buildings will be £250.


27 December 1862

Two sermons were preached in St. Thomas’ Church on the Sunday in aid of the fund for protecting the building by an iron railing around it, when the sum of £10 was collected, but it will require a much larger contribution before the work can be completed.

ISLE OF WIGHT RAILWAYS. - The Town Council of the Borough was hastily called together on Monday, for the purpose of taking into consideration the two railway bills for constructing a line of rail between Newport, Ryde, and Ventnor, to jointly meet the present Cowes and Newport line at Little London, and in both of which the projectors have altogether ignored the existence of our town quay and the income the borough funds derived from it, as well as the traffic up to it by the numerous traders and other craft which bring all convey away goods daily. The subject having been fully discussed, the following resolutions were put by the Mayor (F. Pittis, Esq.), and carried unanimously: - Moved by Mr. S. Pring, and seconded by Mr. R. Stratton, “That it is the duty of the Corporation to promote and encourage any well-advised scheme of Railways which shall afford to the inhabitants of the Borough of Newport the greatest facilities of communication with Ryde, Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor.” Moved by Mr. M. Morgan, and seconded by Mr. W. B. Mew, “That it is the duty of this Corporation to oppose any scheme of railway which proposes to cross the River Medina to the north of the town quay, whereby any impediment to the free approach of shipping to the town quay may arise.” Moved by Mr. R. Pinnock, and seconded by Mr. T. P. Mew, “That the Town Clerk be requested to return the circulars addressed to the Mayor and Town Council, and enter therein that the Corporation dissents from the proposed scheme to for Railways, and that he be also requested to send a copy of these resolutions of the Corporation to the solicitors whose names are attached to the notices.” Moved by Mr. E. L. Hackett, and seconded by Mr. R. J. Jewell, “That the attention of the Lords of the Admiralty and the Board of Trade be drawn to these projected Railways by a letter signed by the Mayor, and pointing out the entry to the navigation of the River Medina by the proposed crossing at Little London, near Newport.”

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - Joseph Hobby, the recently appointed town cryer for the Town of Ventnor, was charged with assaulting William Rayner, the “old original bellman,” but the charge was of such a paltry character that the bench dismissed the complaint with costs of 7s. 6d. on the party who made the charge.

John Leek, of Ventnor, was charged by P.C. Buttley with being drunk and disorderly in the public Street of that town, was fined 12s. 6d., and to be imprisoned for seven days in default of payment.

Henry Webb, of West Cowes, charged with flinging stones in the public highways, whereby Dr. Kernot’s Windows was smashed, was fined 8s. 6d., and committed for seven days in default of payment.

James Gladdis, a noted housebreaker, was once more placed at the bar, under a charge of breaking into Mountain Cottage, in the Pit, at Carisbrooke, and stealing therefrom a pair of elegant drawing-room lamps, and an urn stand, the property of George Rickard, Esq., R.N., of Southsea, Paymaster on board H.M.S. Excellent. The prosecutor having identified the property, which was safe in the pantry when the Captain Pearson left occupation a few weeks previous, P.C. Lawton proved that an entry was made during the morning of the 9th inst., by forcing open the pantry window. William Piper deposed that he met the prisoner that morning coming down the path leading to the cottage, with something in a bag under his arm. John Bignell, of Freshwater, proved the purchaser from the prisoner of one of the lamps then produced, at the Albion Tap, on Thursday evening the 11th, together with the urn stand, for 3s. 6d. and a pot of porter, and George Robins deposed that he bought the other lamp of the prisoner that same evening for 2s., and that he sold it again to Elizabeth Adams, for the same amount, and in whose possession it was found. Prisoner had nothing to say in his defence, and was committed to take his trial at the next Sessions, but was afterwards handed over to the Borough police, on a charge of breaking into West Mill House, within the Borough.

BOROUGH COURT. - James Gladdis, who was committed on Saturday for housebreaking, was again brought up on a charge of having feloniously broken into West Mill House, near Newport, and stolen therefrom thirteen door knobs, for bells, and a jack weight, the whole of which he sold to some unlicensed collectors of old metal, much under its cost. Prisoner said he was in the workhouse on the very days when the witnesses swore that he purchased the articles from him; but a reference to the governor’s books prove the fact that it was on this very day that the prisoner was absent from the establishment. Prisoner was committed on this charge also.

James Creese, the landlord of the “Lame Dog,” public-house, in St. James’-street, was charged with assaulting Corporal Brannon, of the 30th Regiment, and fined 20s. and 7s.6d. costs.

COWES. - On Sunday morning the gale which had been blowing freshly on the day previous, came on with terrific violence lashing the sea into a state of fury such as has seldom been witnessed here - much damage was done at East Cowes to the quays, and in the harbour, several boats and lighters damaged or swamped. The tide was higher than has been seen for some time, the water spreading over the road in front of the Medina Terrace, and necessitating the residents to adopt the precaution of claying up their front doors to keep out of the rising flood.

RYDE. – CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS - As usual in this town the tradesmen closed their shops, with very few exceptions yesterday for the purpose of giving their employees two days to enjoy their Christmas holidays

RYDE. – CHRISTMAS CHEER. - The show of good things at the various shops in Ryde was exceedingly good this year. The butchers, of which we have a goodly number, and the quality of their meat through the year is of a very high standard, displayed some splendid bucolic specimens, and “exquisite red and white marble beef,” so much prized by the gourmands, was to be seen in full perfection, while their mutton and veal well maintained the reputation of their vendors. Some exceptional specimens of the “swinish” multitude wooed purchasers, it would seem not unsuccessfully, while the more aristocratic tastes were ample provided for by an immense assortment of turkeys, keys, and game of every wing.

VENTNOR. - The eastern section of the Isle of Wight Railway has been considered almost a dead letter, the Act for its construction having past two years and a-half ago, but quite unexpectedly the hopes of the people at Ventnor are revived by the arrival on Tuesday night about 11 o'clock, of three waggons, containing 25 navvies, some few women, children, and working implements. About 15 men are also come to Wroxall. They are to commence the cutting through the Down at the Stone Quarry, near which spot is to be the terminus. The contractor says it can be completed in eight months. We may therefore hope that by new year's day, 1861, the journey from Ventnor to Ryde, which now occupies more than two hours will be accomplished in about one quarter of the time.

The Isle of Wight 150 years ago

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1 December 2012