The Isle of Wight 150 years ago.
Extracts from the Hampshire Telegraph.
1 September 1860
A melancholy duty is imposed upon us this week, that of recording in our obituary the death of the amiable Lady Simeon, the beloved wife of Major Sir John Simeon, Bart., of Swainstone-house, who died on Friday night 24th August to the irreparable loss of a fond and affectionate husband, and almost broken hearted family of six children, amidst the deep regret and sincere lamentations of all who knew her excellent qualities. Her ladyship was safely delivered of a son only the week before, and was considered to be doing well, but the return of an old affliction, a disease of the spine, under which she had suffered greatly as few months previous defied the efforts of the faculty to remove or alleviate, and she fell victim to its ravages in the very prime of life, and to the deep regret of a very wide circle of friends and relations. Her ladyship will be interred in the family vault at Calbourne this day.
[BOROUGH PETTY SESSIONS] James Underwood, charged with stealing apples, the property of Mr. Stephen Taylor, of St. Nicholas Cottage, was committed for one month to hard labour. - James Weare, mariner, charged with using violent threats towards William Stephens, master of the Newport and Southampton trader Emma, was committed till he found sureties to keep the peace for six months.
8 September 1860
The Harvest is progressing rapidly, thanks to a return of fine weather, and our farmers are everywhere making the most strenuous exertions to turn the auspicious change to the greatest advantage, though with a short supply of labourers. Some scores of wheat and barley ricks have been saved, and many of them in good order, and though here and there they mark a field of white wheat, which has sprouted in the ear, and a crop of barley which will not come very bright to the hands of the maltster, we believe that on the whole thing is not much mischief to lament over in the way of cereals, and the yield is pronounced on all hands to be equal to the last year's crop. The turnips are looking beautiful but the potatoes may be set down as a nearly nil, and those which are saved would not serve a months consumption amongst us.
[COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS – Licensing.] The license of the Sloop Inn, at Wooton, was refused to Mr. Edward Williams for having improperly conducted himself towards the police, on the complaint of P. C. Catchlove.
[BOROUGH COURT] William Young, charged by P. C. Gray with being drunk and disorderly in the Tontine yard, on Sunday morning, was fined 10s., and to be committed for 14 days in default of payment. - Edward Hawes, the landlord of the Tontine, who is a license was ordered to be forfeited on the Borough licensing day, applied for its restoration, a re-hearing of the case against him for drawing beer on the Sabbath, or an extension of time in which to pay the penalty imposed. - The Court refused to do either.
[COWES] The election of members of the Local Board took place on Wednesday, and the voting papers were examined at the Town-hall, T. P. Mew, Esq., presiding. After nearly 10 hours of close scrutiny, many ratepayers being present to watch the proceedings the state of the poll was declared to be as follows:-Michael Ratsey, ship builder, 429; James Corke, mariner, 403; William White, iron founder, 345; Maurice Dear, banker, 310; George Marvin, upholster, 295; James Moore, 271; Edward Harris, draper, 250; James P. King, druggist, 226; Alfred Barton, gentlemen, 224; C. M. Kernot, M.D., 209; Samuel West, coal merchant, 205; John Ward, timber merchant, 185; Thomas Barnes, grocer, 178; Sir Charles Fellowes, 174; J. E. Gibson, surgeon, 110; Charles Airs, brewer, 85; Henry Jolliffe, shoemaker, 67; S. Y. Hewett, sailmaker, 45. The nine first named were declared duly elected.
This election has been more sharply contested than any since the formation of the Local Board, owing to the opinion of a view that a change in the constitution of the Board was desirable; and the result is that good and well tried men have to yield their seats, and untried ones are to succeed them - and yet not so, as Mr. Marvin and Mr. Harris have previously held office, and Mr. W. White is a sound practical man, and will do his duty fearlessly whilst we feel confident Mr. King’s course will be a strictly independent one. Owing to the defective state of the poor-rate book, more than 100 voters were disqualified; but, as a new assistant overseer has been appointed, this evil will be limited by a thorough revision of the poor-book. Some little angry feeling has been shown during election, but now it is over, and the battles fought and won, we hope good humour and good feeling well again predominate.
15 September 1860
Another sad domestic affliction occurred at Swainstone House, on Tuesday evening, when one of the female servants of the worthy baronet, Sir John Simeon, of the name of Elizabeth Bounes, fell from her seat and expired in a very few minutes; no inquest was held on the body, the medical attendant of the family having certified that he had for some time attended the deceased for a supposed disease of the heart.
[COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS.] Henry Ward, of West Cowes, the mate of the Sylph, yacht was brought up on a warrant issued by Madam Eugenie Le Marté, on a charge of not keeping his payments up towards the support of an illegitimate child which the complainant had affiliated on the defendant, on whose behalf Mr. Beckingsale appeared, and produced the mission order, upon which appeared an acknowledgement, signed by the complainant, that she had received all claims upon him from 1859 to 1863. Marté admitted the signature to be hers, but the figures were altogether or forgery, and that they were not upon the document when she received the sum of £4 10s. from the defendant in June, 1859, when he owed her for two years maintenance of a child. The Court said that in the face of her own signature they could not interfere in the case as she could not have any claim upon the defendant till of the year 1863 had elapsed. The woman appeared considerably agitated by the decision of the Court, and declared that the defendant had induced her to give him the order under a promise of marriage, and he has since married another woman.
Jacob Gridley, a private in the 96th Regiment was charged by Rosanna Holley with indecently exposing himself on the highway near Fairlee, on Wednesday evening. Prisoner was also charged with the same offence by Mary Ann Wickens. It appeared from the Court records that he had been twice convicted and suffered three months’ imprisonment for the same offence since he had been at Parkhurst, and narrowly escaped a third conviction. The prisoner denied being near the spot at the time, but could bring no proof of his innocence, and the Chairmen, in addressing him, “It appears that you are a most insulting fellow, and that you have committed a nasty, dirty, and a disgraceful act. It is not the first or second time that you have been here for similar offences, and suffered imprisonment, and therefore we shall now commit you to Winchester for three months upon each case, with hard Labour, and when you come out of prison again we hope to hear that some impression has been made upon you.”
22 September 1860
THE FLOATING BRIDGE. - We have from time to time noticed the increasing success of the Floating Bridge running from East to West Cowes, and believe there is not one person who, knowing the disadvantages and inconveniences of the old system of crossing that must acknowledge the very great superiority of the present method. Everything, however, has its drawback, and we hear complaints made of the time lost in waiting for the bridge, and this by persons to whom time is of the greatest importance. Another matter concerning the bridge is that persons intending to cross, but having to await the return of the bridge, have no place of awaiting provided, no shelter from the storm, blow it ever so fiercely. This requires amendment, and a covering on board the bridge under which passengers may be protected is indispensable.
[COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS.] William Williams, one of the Coast Guard at the East Cowes station was charged with assaulting Mary, the wife of John Russell, another Coastguardsman, that the evidence for the complaint having disclosed the fact that she first commenced the shindy by attacking the defendant with the fire shovel, the Court dismissed the case.
P. C. Kinshot was charged with assaulting Lazarus Manuel, an Italian exhibited of a learned dog and a monkey. It appeared by the evidence that the complainant having been twice ordered out of the town of Ventnor, where he had frightened several ladies by intruding himself and his dog and monkey into private residences, the defendant was asked by P.S. White to remove him, when the complainant set his dog and monkey to attack him to prevent to which the policeman to his staff, and in the meleé the exhibitor came in for a share of the blows which, in his own language, “almost made a goose of him.” The Court decided that the complainant had first commenced the assault by setting his beasts to attack the policeman, and dismissed the charge, advising the old man to quit the island as soon as possible.
29 September 1860
RYDE PIER IMPROVEMENTS. - It has been decided to construct a tram road for carriages by the side of the present pier, for the conveyance of passengers and luggage.