The Isle of Wight 150 years ago.

Extracts from the Hampshire Telegraph (unless otherwise stated).

March  1862

1 March 1862

The Isle of Wight Steeple Chase Races are fixed to come off on Wednesday, the 26th inst, near Gatcombe Park, over three miles of fair hunting country, and the programme is one of the most promising we have ever yet seen, offering, some handsome stakes for no less than five different races.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS - James Salter, charged with assaulting a George Jolliffe, was discharged, the defendant proving, to the satisfaction of the Court, that the complainant commenced the affray.

BOROUGH COURT - George Wheeler, 18, was charged with stealing one shawl, a locket, and a brooch, the property of Caroline Pierce. The presecutrix, it appeared, had been assaulted by a woman named Vine in the public streets in the middle of the night, and in the scuffle the complainant lost the articles mentioned, which were sworn to by a witness as having been picked up by the prisoner, but the lad who actually picked up the shawl having come forward and prove that he was the person, and that he took it only till he could discover the owner, the prisoner was acquitted. The prisoner was next charged with stealing a brass candlestick, the property of Thomas Frampton, which was found in his pocket on his being searched at the station after the loss of the shawl, that has a prisoner proved that in this instance is also it was flung at him in the open street by another lad, and that he pocketed it feel he could discover who it belonged to, the Court dismissed the discharge as well.

RYDE PETTY SESSIONS - Benjamin Bell, a porter in the employ of Messrs. Padmore and Lane, drapers and silk mercers, Union-Street, was charged with robbing is employers, of five silk dresses, French merino, silk kerchiefs, kid gloves, and various other articles, amounting in value to nearly £50. It appeared that one of the silk dresses was missed on Friday last, in taking stock. It could not be found. In searching for it other things were missed, and suspicion having fallen upon the prisoner, Sergeant King of the police was sent for on Saturday, and with Mr. Lane, and in the prisoner, went to search the house of the latter, where the most valuable goods were found. The evidence given was quite conclusive, the prisoner, however, declared that he had purchased the silk dress of a hawker in Chichester, and also stated that he had the other when he kept a second-hand clothes shop in that city. He admitted that he had brought one parcel from the paper-room. One of the assistance in the firm, identified the goods as the property of Messrs. Padmore and Lane, and also stated that they had not been sold. This witnesses said the prisoner might have found an opportunity of taking the articles while the assistance were engaged in arranging in the shop, and in the performance of their other duties. On being asked if he had anything to say the prisoner replied, “I am not guilty of taking the beings from Messrs. Padmore and Lane’s shop.” He was committed for trial at the next size at Winchester.


8 March 1862

The necessitous poor residing in Barton’s Village, Cross Lanes, Coppin’s Bridge, and the neighbourhood were presented this week with a quantity of bread, via the order of Henry Nunn, Esq., according to the number of their families, and for this purpose upwards of 400 gallons of the very best white loaves were provided.

A sudden death occurred in the New Village, near Newport, on the Saturday morning, at the residence of three old maiden ladies, named Middleton, who lived at Cambrian-cottage, Castle-road. It appeared from the evidence which was laid before the coroner and jury on Tuesday, that the servant girl had carried out the usual quantity of warm water, to Miss Marin, the youngest of the three, aged 71, in the morning, that finding her in a sound sleep, she declined to disturb her, and on going up again some two hours after, she found her dead in bed. Verdict - Death from natural causes.

HIGHWAYS. - The adjourned meeting of the Commissioners of highways, was held at the Guildhall on Wednesday last, when the following matters were taken into consideration, in addition to the ordinary business of the Commissioners, James Blake, Esq., in the chair. - The report of the committee appointed to inspect a proposed improvement to the road at Little Whitcombe was received, and a communication with the owners of the adjoining land order to be forwarded. - The improvement of the road at Moon Lane, Freshwater, was deferred. - The improvement of the road near Chale Church was ordered.

COWES. We are glad to hear that the little yacht Arial, built by Messrs. Ratsay and Sons, and despatched for France on Sunday, and reached the opposite coast on Monday night, having 430 hours been exposed to the full fury of the jail then blowing, the sea running tremendously high; and that not the little craft being a well built one, and well handled, she must have been lost.

On Thursday morning, while the Chairman of the Local Board, Morris Dear, Esq., and the Inspector of Nuisances, were looking at the gates in Cross-street, put out by the Railway Company, they were somewhat surprised to see a large heavy railway Van coming towards them from the tunnel, and, hastily removing of the crossing, the van dashed into the intrusive gates, breaking them to pieces, and thereby saving the Local Board all travel as to their forcible removal.

RYDE – ELECTION OF THE COMMISSIONERS. - The usual election will take place on the 25th instant, of seven Commissioners, to fill the ordinary vacancies occasioned by the retirement from office of Messrs. Baker, Cutler, Smith, Jolliffe, Thos. Dashwood, Futcher, and Harbour. There is also an extraordinary vacancy to be filled in consequence of the disqualification of William Humble. The election will in all probability result in the return of the greater number of the gentleman who retire, among whom are some who have done the “state some service.”

MURDER IN THE ISLE OF WIGHT. A miserable-looking old man, who appeared to be about the age of 60 years, named Joseph Wadden, who was employed as a labourer by Mr. Thatcher, of Wackland, was brought up before Mr. R. D. Shedden, on the Monday last, at the police office, Newport, on a charge of having wilfully murdered at Apse, on the night of Saturday last, a fellow labourer, of the name of William White, aged 20.

The prisoner was remanded till Saturday, but the full particulars may be gleaned from the following evidence, which was given before the Coroner, Mr. F. Blake, at an inquest held the same day, at the Stag Inn, Lake.

Jane Smith, a good-looking girl, said she was a single woman, and lived with her mother and her little boy, on Apse-heath, in the parish of Newchurch. Her son was five years age. She knew the deceased William White, of Trading, from her childhood. He was a hay trusser, and she had been on intimate terms with him for 13 months. He visited her every Sunday, and sometimes in the week, if his work can be that way. They were making preparations to be married, and had bought a few things. Deceased came to her house on Saturday, dined there, and left about half-past two. He returned in the evening at a quarter past seven, and about a quarter of an hour after Wadden came into the court, and called to her little boy. She knew his voice, that she didn't see him. She called, in answer, that the little boy was in doors. Wadden then asks if she would let him go and have some supper, and sleep with him that night, as he had some cakes and eggs, and she made no reply. He said that was more than that ---- lazy rascal would get for him. Wadden could see White was there as the door was open and there was a light there. Her mother had left the house about a quarter of an hour. (The witness here fainted away, and on her recovery is said) Wadden continued his observations, and said deceased hadn't cut ten tons of hay in a month. White answered, “I’ll do more work any day than you will, Joe. I have had enough of your nonsense, and if I have any more I'll put my fist alongside your head.” Wadden said he had better try it on. Deceased then sprang towards the door, and I press the door to with my back, and seized deceased by the neck, and struggled with all my energy to keep him from getting out. I found my strength was going, and he called me from the door, and I said to Willie “Oh, Willie puts the pin in,” and he did, but deceased called the iron bar away, which served as a fastening, and how he ran with it in his hand. I ran after him, and begged deceased to come in. They were on the high road quarrelling, and I got between them to separate them. I said “Oh, Bill, come in, and give me that bolt.” He told me to get away, for he wouldn't hurt me. I tried to get away the bolt and succeeded. He had not struck Wadden whilst I was there. I ran with the bolt, but before I got in I saw them sees each other around the shoulders. I threw the bolt in and ran out again, when I found them both down, one on top of the other, in the road. Wadden was under and deceased was lying on him carelessly, with his legs thrown out. I saw no struggling or crying out or anything said. They were doing nothing then, but lying in a quiet position, as if they had no power over themselves. I was not in doors a minute before I was out again, and I saw them in the road as I have described, and then I saw Edward Moorman trying to pull deceased of Wadden, who struggled twice, and we found he was unable to stand. We laid him against the bank, that he never spoke. I put my hand on his breast, and finding the blood, I said “O, he has murdered him.” Deceased was then alive, and I found him in breathe for about a quarter of an hour afterwards, and he died on the bank. Wadden got up of his own accord, and walked off as fast as he could. I think Moorman had said, “You have killed him;” that I said nothing. I do not know if Wadden had been drinking. Deceased had had a little ale. Wadden lived at Windford, about half a mile from our cottage (a wretched hovel, a disgrace to the Isle of Wight.) He has been in the Navy, and is a pensioner. He said he was 53, that he appears to be much older, and I believe he is. White is about 20 years of age; taller than Wadden, but not so stout. I have known Wadden some years. He was a widower. I have not been on intimate terms with him. I have been to his house, sometimes twice a week. I lived there as servant when his wife was ill six years ago, and about six months after her death. He hadn't been inside our gate for a long time till Saturday evening - not for three or four months. He has called at the gate to ask me to get his teeth for him, and I have occasionally, when he came from Lake with errands on a Saturday, and he has heard me talk to deceased at the time; and Wadden would always is have something offensive to say to him, asking where that “fellow” was, saying if he was a woman, he wouldn't walk with such a fellow. He was in the courts three or four months ago, when the deceased was there, swearing at and abusing deceased; and I requested White not to say anything to him, as I knew what a malicious man he was. Wadden some time ago said he should like to have me, and I said I wouldn't have him in every hair on his head was gold. I do not know that he knew I was engaged to be married to deceased. I have heard him say he would put the length of his knife into White, or anyone else, who interrupted him. When White said he couldn't stand it any longer, Wadden said he always had his knife sharpened for the purpose. That was three months ago, in the court of our house. Just before Christmas, when my sister's child was baptised, Wadden came into my sister’s who lives near me, saying he had a cup of tea ready, if we would come in. I said, “for all of us, Joe?” He said, “No,” (looking at deceased), “not that thing; I would sooner give him a drop of poison,” and then White wished me to get away and go to the Chapel with him, and I did. Deceased had no angry feeling towards Wadden, as I have asked him if he had any objection to my going and getting his teeth for him, and he said, “None at all.” Wadden was in the habit of carrying a knife in his trouser pocket. Heard him say that if anyone interrupted him he was ready prepared with his knife open - that was when the police were looking out for a nappy, who they said had killed a man. He always eat with the knife, but I never saw it on the night that White was killed. That is the knife now produced (a most formidable looking weapon, with marks of blood is still on it). I believe why it was that before he fell, or other never could have got the deceased down.

By the Jury - the bar was as long as the width of our door, that he never struck Wadden with it. I ran out thinking murder would be done, as Wadden has threatened he would burn us in our beds, or anyone who interrupted him. I have often said to deceased, “Don’t say anything to him, Bill, as he would stab you in a moment.”

Edward Moorman, a labourer, working for Mr. Roach, examined - I was coming along the road on Saturday evening, about eight o'clock, to go to Branstone, when the first I heard was a dreadful noise of quarrelling. I knew White’s voice before I saw who they were, and I heard him say, “Not; get out of the way, Jane I'll kill that old ----.” Knew Wadden’s voice, and heard him say, “Oh, will you, then come out in the road” (they were then just within the wicket) “ and we'll have it here outright.” I was not then in sight of them, in consequence of the turn in the road. I then heard White say, “Let go, Jane,” and then heard the gates battle, as if they pulled it open. Then I could hear them as if of a scuffling in the road, but no clothes or words. It's only occupied half a minute, and I ran up to them as fast as I could, and asked what they were up to. They were both down, with Wadden under, deceased close on him, striving to raise himself up. Wadden said, “O, Ned is that you; here’s murder done here.” I said, “No,no, don't talk like that.” And I pulled the deceased, saying, “Get off, William.” He seems to struggle a little, and Wadden’s basket was lying by his side, with some of the errands fallen out, and when the White moved his arm he touched the basket, and more errands fell out; and Wadden said, “Hallo, you are overthrowing my basket again.” I then got White off Wadden, and he felt so limmer I thought he was tipsy; then I thought he had fainted, as he had no strength at all, and I lent him against the bank. Then James Smith screeched out and said he was stabbed, and I saw the blood on his shirt, that he never spoke after I got there. Wadden was just got out, and I said, “Joseph, you have been and stabbed this man.” He swore out, “What did the ---- come out to me with the poker for?” He picked up his errands, and I ran to the next house, leaving him in the road, and when I came back he was gone. The young man was the most powerful. I have known Wadden five or six years, but never heard him use threats to deceased. The knife now produced is not such as farm labourers use - it is much larger, measuring in length 10½ inches. White was not quite dead when I returned from the other house will. Wadden appeared to be sober I am sure that the deceased went out to attack Wadden, but I don't think he ever struck him with the iron bar.

Mr. Leeson, surgeon, examined - I am practising at Sandown. I saw the body of deceased about nine o'clock on Saturday evening, at Apse-heath, lying against a bank by the side of the road. He was quite dead. I examined a wound about four inches from the left breast. It was an incised wound, of one inch in length externally, and my finger would not reach to the bottom of it. It's direction was downwards, inwards, and slightly backwards, and I think the wound was caused by the knife now produced. It was sufficient to cause death. He died from haemorrhage, the knife having penetrated to a large vein as the bottom of the heart, which occasioned a large flow of blood, admitted thereto the heart, and caused instant death. He might have been stacked whilst he was standing or lying, from the direction of the wound. I could discover no other injuries on the body.

After some further evidence, the Coroner sum up, and the jury returned a verdict of “Wilful murder” against Wadden.

15 March

One of the witnesses who appeared against Wadden for murder, on Saturday, named William Leigh, the keeper of the turnpike gate at Lake, cut his boat on Monday; but assistance being at hand the rash man was saved from immediate death, and the wound being sewn up, it is believed that he will recover.

A magnificent clock has been for these last few days exhibited at Mr. C. Dudley’s jeweller’s shop, in the High-street, which has been purchased by the subscription of the officers of Parkhurst prison, for the purpose of being presented to George Hall, Esq., the governor, as a testimonial of the esteem and respect in which he is held by the establishment.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS - James Joseph Wadden, a pensioner of the Royal Navy, was brought up on the serious charge of having wilfully murdered William White, of Apse Heath, labourer, on the Saturday evening preceding. The spacious hall was densely crowded, and hundreds outside were unable to gain admission, but as the evidence before the magistrates was in every way similar to the depositions made before the Coroner on the previous Monday at Lake, a full details which we gave in our last Saturday's edition, it is unnecessary to repeat it. After a very long examination the Court committed the prisoner, who admitted “doing the deed,” but in “self-defence,” to take his trial for the wilful murder at the next Assizes.

Five of the Arab population of Ryde, named Sanders (convicted 19 times), Jones, Spanner, Riley and Sivill, three of whom were just liberated from gaol for various offences, which charged by P.S. King with stealing between two and three hundredweight of turnip greens, the same gang having been detected only a week previous in plundering a jeweller’s shop of goods to the value of £20, but the owner refusing to prosecute, they were set at liberty. This case being clearly proved, Riley, being pronounced almost irreclaimable, was remanded for a fortnight for the purpose of sending her to a Reformatory, Sanders and Jones were committed for a month, and Sivill for 14 days, and Spanner discharged.

Henry Francis, an officer of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, charged James Alexander, a carrier, at Sandown, with working a horse unfit to the Labour, and with a number of scores under its collar. The case being clearly made out, the Court to fined the defendant 10s. and 7s. 6d. costs.

BOROUGH COURT - Charles Adams, together with his wife Anna, was charged by P.C. Stubbs with having behaved in a disorderly manner in the public street in the middle of the night of Sunday, and when placed in the station-house, and the wife endeavoured to strangle herself in the cell with a silk neck-tie, but the witness after locking up her husband in another cell, providentially went back, and by cutting the ribbon with his knife, was in time to save her. The Commissioner Adams said he was a bricklayer, just having been discharged from the Government Works at Freshwater, but if there Worships would let him go, he would leave the Island directly. The woman said she was the worse for drink, and being unable to procure a bed, she was so overcome that she did not know what she did. - The Court discharge the pair on their promising to emigrate immediately.

COWES. - At the Local Board meeting on Tuesday last, present -Mr. Dear (chairman), Messrs. Gibson, Bull, Matthews, King, and Moore, it was resolved that, should the row way directors neglect or refused to remove the gates and posts in Cross-street within seven days, it should be done under the directions of the Clerk to the Board.

On Friday the Walter Scott, J. Williams, master, from Newcastle, bound for Marseilles, coal laden, and I've tea in a damage state, with loss of bulwarks, sails, &c. She landed the crew of the brigantine Jane, of Shields, which vessel, on her voyage from Neath to Rouen, encountered the jail on Thursday night in the Channel and foundered. The crew, consisting of captain, mate, and a six Seaman were providentially picked up by the Walter Scott, and landed here in safety, the poor fellows having saved nothing but their lives.

22 March 1862

A VALUABLE TESTIMONIAL of regard and esteem, in the shape of a magnificent ormolu time-piece was presented to George Hall, Esq., the governor of Parkhurst Prison, at a general meeting of the officers of that establishment, the wives, and families, on the evening of Friday last, and which had been purchased for the purpose by the subscriptions of the present officials, as well as many who had been previously removed to other situations. The chaplain, the Rev. J. J. Spear, was voted to the chair, and in a very feeling and complimentary address presented the offering to the governor, who responded at considerable length, and conveyed in plain words is warm acknowledgement of the great kindness at all times manifested towards himself and his family. He gratefully accepted the highly flattering testimonial, promising that he would carefully preserve it, and it should be handed down to his children as a substantial evidence of the kindness they had a evinced towards him during the 18 years he had been governor of the prison. The elegant present bears on its pedestal the following inscription:- “Presented to George Hall, Esq., Governor of Parkhurst prison, by the officers who have served under him in that establishment, as a token of their sincere respect and esteem. March 1862.”

BOROUGH COURT - John Kemp, a shipwright, lately working at the Cowes docks, was brought up by P.C. stamps on a charge of having his possession nearly a hundredweight of old junk, warp, cable, &c., Which he was about to dispose of at a marina store dealer’s in this town. Prisoner said he had picked it up on the Cowes-road, and the court remanded him till Monday, for the purpose of trying to find an owner for the property, which is deposited in the police-station for identification.

COWES – The R.Y.S. schooner Galatea, having been lengthened at Messrs. Hansen’s yard, was launched on Tuesday. On Wednesday the schooner Gleam, one of the finest yachts that Hanson ever built, was launched from the same yard. The vessel is the property of R. Richardson, Esq., of London, tonnage 140. The ceremony of naming the vessel was ably performed by the amiable daughter of the builder, Mr. Charles Hansen. The schooner Witch, in the same yard, is rapidly progressing, and will soon be ready for launching.

RYDE Floating Bath Company. - We learn that this project has been warmly supported by the Pier company, in conjunction with the inhabitants, and that nearly three-fourths of the required capital has been raised. Contracts have been advertised for, and everything promises a successful termination to the enterprise.


29 March 1862

A meeting of the subscribers to the fund for erecting a monumental tablet in St. Thomas’ Church to the memory of the late Prince Consort was held at the Town-hall on Monday last, the Mayor in the chair, when a new design, introducing a bust of the deceased, to be executed in marble, and presented by Mr. F. Mew, architect was adopted after a very long discussion of its merits. The cost was estimated at about £150, and in order to meet the increased expenses many of the subscribers agreed to increase their subscriptions, but a very large sum is still needed to complete the work as it ought to be.

BOROUGH COURT - John Kent, a shipwright, working at Cowes, who was detained for having been found in possession of a quantity of old junk, pieces of warp, &c. supposed to be stolen, but which the prisoner said he picked up on the road to Cowes, was ordered to be discharged, the police having been unable to find an owner of the property, which was detained for further enquiries.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS - Henry Smith, Thomas Hookey and Cornelius Orchard, of Ventnor, charged with playing at “pitch and toss” by P.C. Webster, were admonished and discharged, and the offence not having been committed in any public road or footpath.

Henry Webb and William Holman, two lads belonging to West Cowes, were charged with trespassing on the Cowes and Newport Railway, and smashing the workmen's bottles of tea out of pure mischief, but the contractor not being willing to press the case against them if they would keep off the line in future, they were admonished and discharged.

NEW CHURCH AT SWANMORE. - The new church now in the course of the election at the above village, will be so far completed as to allow Divine Service to be celebrated in eight in the course of the Easter week.

COWES - A fine Swedish barque named Djalma, Capt. Norbey, from Santos, with a cargo of Coffee, arrived in the roads on the 23rd, in a leaky and damage state, having whilst coming up the Channel, been in collision with a vessel, the crew of which abandoned her and took message on board the Djalma. She is now in the Harvard discharging her cargo in order to effect the necessary repairs.

The Isle of Wight 150 years ago

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1 March 2012