The Isle of Wight 150 years ago.
Extracts from the Hampshire Telegraph.
4 May 1861
The collection at St Thomasís Church on Sunday last, in aid of the Blue Schools in this town, established 100 years ago, realised upwards of £28.
BOROUGH COURT. - Henry Brading, a respectable green-grocer, in Pyle-street, and the secretary of the Vectis United, Loyal and Independent Order of Modern Foresters, assembling at the Three Tuns Inn, in Holyrood-Street, was charged with feloniously stealing and carrying away the sum of £8 16s., the property of the trustees. Mr Eldridge appeared for the prosecution, and Mr Beckingsale for the defendant. As the examination occupied the time of the court for upwards of five hours, we are compelled to omit the details. It appears, however, any evidence of the president and treasurer of the society that in the month of April, 1860, they handed the money in question over to the defendant to pay their surgeon, Dr. Tuttiett his half-year's salary, which was usually carried to him by these three officers, but on this occasion the defendant represented to them that the surgeon was in his debt, and he should have an opportunity of getting a settlement of his account, they entrusted the money to him, but finding soon afterwards a great defalention in the funds of the society, on enquiring of the doctor they found that no part of the money had ever reached him, and on Dr. Tuttiett being examined, he declared that, so far from being indebted to the Secretary in April, 1860, the latter was indebted to him for attending on his family. The enquiry elicited the fact that the society was mismanaged, and the treasurer, on a severe cross-examination, admitted that he had borrowed money from the chest for his own purposes, which he had never repaid or accounted for, and that he had placed annual statements before the members which were untrue, and which had never been signed by the auditors; that the money in hand was never compared with their books, and that, in fact the funds were lent to anybody who wanted money, and the advance never entered in the accounts whilst the president refused to acknowledge similar borrowings on his own part, on the ground that he was not to incriminate himself. The Court came to the decision that, as the evidence of witnesses could not be depended on, and as the business appear to be conducted in the very loosest manner, and the chest being the resort of everyone who wanted anything out of it, they must dismiss the charge, hoping that society would conduct their business better for the future.
The great improvements now being affected at the Fountain Pier, will, we trust be keenly appreciated by the public, and has all these mighty changes are being effected by a new Steam-boat Company, it may be fairly assumed that the company may considerably calculate on a fair portion of support. One of their new boats, destined to run between the opposite shore and the island, appeared in the roadstead on Wednesday morning, and she appears to be a very fine craft, and well able to keep in the van of all others on the station. She is called the Lord of the Isles, and as Mr Webb, of Yarmouth, is appointed her Commander we are sure that his kind and conciliating manner will do much to establish the popularity of the new company.
11 May 1861
A serious accident occurred to our Inspector of Police, Mr. G. Grapes, on Tuesday evening, when he missed his footing and slipped down and fractured his arm, being the third time the same member has been broken within these years.
A devastating fire broke out on Monday night, between 8 and 9 o'clock, given the extensive range of buildings, chiefly in the occupation of Mr. George Russell, builder, at the west end of the mall on the road to Carisbrooke, and in less than 10 minutes after it was discovered, owing to the inflammable nature of the materials, both inside and out, the whole of the premises in his own occupation, the cooper's shop in the occupation of Mr. White, a spacious and splendidly fitted up counting house with stores attached, in the occupation of Mr. James Spickernell, and an extensive range of stabling in the rear in the occupation of Mr. John Spickernell, were enveloped in one horrific blaze, the likes of which could be seen nearly over the whole of the island. The buildings, being mostly of wood, and the stock-in-trade consisting of light wood, tar, oil, turpentine, paint, &c., in less than two hours nothing remained but a smoking heap of embers. The fire engines were brought to the spot and used, but no human aid could stop the progress of the fire. Three valuable horses, some dogs, and some poultry were extracted from the stables before the flames reached them, but there was little else of any value saved, excepting to iron chests, and the property of Mr. James Spickernell, who has lost a valuable collection of books, deeds, papers, &c. The stock-in-trade of Mr. Russell was insured, we are informed, to its full value, but his workmen and apprentices have lost their all in the shape of tools, &c. It is not known how the calamity originated, but the master and one of his men were at work till past nine o'clock in the upper carpenter's shop, which they then locked up, and everything appeared to be safe. In a very few minutes afterwards the whole was in a blaze. Luckily there was not a breath of wind of stirring, or the large dairy, closely adjoining on Milbrooke-place, nearly opposite, would have stood in imminent peril, a good supply of water being someway distant. The whole of the building was the property of Mr. William Spikernell, but the property was insured to only about one half its value, consequently Mr. Spikernell is a considerable loser. Colonel Jefferies very considerately dispatched a number of troops from Parkhurst Barracks to aid and assist in preserving the property, but unfortunately, it was almost all consumed before their arrival.
COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - Henry Webb applied for the endorsement of the license of the Vectis Tavern, at West Cowes, to himself, which he had occupied for some time by permission of the Board of Inland Revenue, but the superintendent of police having stated that during this time the applicant had conducted his business in a most disorderly manner, and that the inhabitants complained greatly of it, the Court refused to endorse the licence.
The splendid new steam-boat The Lord of the Isles made her trial trip on Monday, when the directors and a large number of their friends embraced the opportunity of taking a trip on the Solent, and as the day was fine and the supplies on board adequate to meet the demands of the most fastidious, the greatest hilarity prevailed on board. This fine craft is fitted up in a manner unequalled, and those who have inspected the are delighted. She will make a very nice boat for summer service, but for crossing the Solent in a gale we must honestly confess that we should prefer the Medina or some other of the old companyís boat is to her. The accommodation and comfort on board the The Lord of the Isles cannot be surpassed, and will be duly appreciated by the public. She will commence running on Monday, charging the same fares as those now paid to the old company.
18 May 1861
SHIPS ASHORE. - On Friday the 10th inst., at 10:30 a.m., the Brig Isabella, of Folkestone, 159 tons, with a cargo of coals from Llianally to London, Stephen Dunn master, with a crew of seven seaman and one passenger - a boy - got on the ledge of rock about a mile from Brooke Chine, Isle of Wight, the wind at the time being of the land, and fine weather. The officer of coast guard, Mr. Cutajar, with his crew immediately went to her assistance, but their services were declined, the master intending to throw overboard some of his cargo, and thus by lightening the vessel he hoped to get her from the perilous position in the evening tide. Fortunately, the wind and sea continued favourable during the day, and when the evening tide made, the brig floated, with her cargo, less about 20 tonnes discharged, the fishermen harvesting part of the coal overthrown in their boats. The coxswain of the lifeboat, Mr. John Hayter, was at his post in case of need.
COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - George Russell, a carter at Dean Farm, charged by Mr Campbell with being drunk in the highway and driving two horses in a waggon without reins, was fined 12s. 6d., and in default of payment committed for 14 days.
FARMERSí BENEVOLENT INSTITUTION. - We are much pleased to hear that one of the very first pensioner elected in this praiseworthy institution is Mr. John Smith, now of Wootton, but late of Yaverland farm, in this island, yeoman, who is now entitled to receive from the funds of the society, the sum of £26 per annum for life. We heartily commend of the objects of this benevolent establishment to the especial notice of every agriculturalist in the island.
25 May 1861
THE WATCH COMMITTEE have accepted the tender of Messrs. Aire & Son, in Nodehill, outfitters, to supply new clothing to the police force, at £3 10s. per suit. The town sergeantís to be £5.
At the bazaar to be held in August at Carisbrook Castle, under the distinguished patronage of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Prince Consort, in aid of funds for building a parsonage house for the parish of Newport, a tent will be set apart for the sale of live stock. John Spickernell, Esq., of Field-house, Carisbrooke having a kindly volunteered the superintendence of this novel undertaking, that gentleman has already received several promises of pairs of peacocks, swans, Cochin and other choice fowls, ducks, fancy pigeons, cages of singing birds, kids, fawns, and also some handsome well-bred whelps of the setter and spaniel breed.
COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - Henry Flux, a carrier, was charged by P. S. White with riding on the shafts of a waggon with a five horses and no reins, on the road between Wroxall and Newport, at the same time being fast asleep! Find 12s. 6d.
James Gosden, a recruit in the Isle of Wight Artillery Militia, was charged with misbehaving himself in the service of Messrs. Shepherd, of New Barn Farm, and was ordered to return to his masters after his term of service in the militia had expired, and to forfeit one weekís wages.