The Isle of Wight 150 years ago.

Extracts from the Hampshire Telegraph.

July 1862

5 July 1862

SUICIDE. – A Coroner’s Inquest was held at Havenstreet, on Tuesday last, before R. Wavell, Esq., as Deputy Coroner, in the absence of Mr. F. Blake, on the body of William Bower, a woodman, aged 62, who was found on Sunday morning dead in Chillingwood Copse, having suspended himself by his handkerchief from the bough of a tree, and as it was proved that the deceased had evinced several symptoms of insanity during the last three weeks, the jury returned a verdict to the effect that he came to his death by his own hand, whilst in a state of temporary derangement.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - Danielle and George Sheath, a father and son, labourers, residing at Greenvelle, we charged with stealing a hen and five chickens, the property of Mr. James Jolliffe, of Pack, but after a long hearing of the case the Court considered that there was not sufficient evidence to go to a jury, and dismissed the prisoners.

William Beavis, of Ventnor, charged with stealing seven cabbage from the garden of Mr. John Freeman, at four o'clock on Sunday morning, was fined 13 shillings, and in default of payment committed for 14 days.

RYDE - THE CORONATION HOLIDAY. - As usual, Monday was observed as a shut-up day, in commemoration of Her Majesty's Coronation. The day was beautifully fine and all parties have seemed in earnest to enjoy it. It was a glorious harvest for steam boats, cabs, hotels, and inn-keepers, not forgetting the pier companies. The recurrence of this holiday in the height of summer is in fact a great boon, and this relaxation from business toils and confinement, gives a fresh impulse to application. “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.” The day passed off, as far as our knowledge without accident and in the most satisfactory manner.


ROBBERY AT NEWPORT. – Catherine Reilly was charged with stealing 13 combs, the property of William Drew, at Newport, on 30 May, 1862. Mr Way prosecuted.

The prisoner had gone into the shop of the prosecutor under the pretence of looking at a brush, and while the prosecutor was reaching it from a shelf she took the opportunity of concealing the combs. On being taxed with having taken them she denied it, and on her being searched they were found under her shawl.

She was found guilty, and, two previous convictions having been proved, she was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment.

HOUSE BURGLARY AT BRADING. - Samuel Slotter, William Barker and John Bateman, were charged with stealing from the dwelling house of John Cripps, £7 15s, at trading on June 9th, 1862. Mr. Way prosecuted, the prisoners were defended by Mr. Bullen.

The prosecutor keeps a beershop at Brading, and in a room upstairs was a deal box in which the money was kept. The prisoners were at the house on 9th of June, and two of the prisoners, (who had previously lodged at the prosecutor's house) were upstairs while the third stood at the bottom of the stairs. After they had left the house the prosecutor went upstairs and found the box had been broken open and the money gone. There were marks as if the box had been broken open with a knife, and on the inside and outside of the box were spots of fresh blood. Information was given to the police which resulted in the apprehension of the prisoners, and on Slotter was found a knife, and his finger had recently been cut as though done by a knife. On the knife taken from Slotter there were drops of fresh blood. When apprehended £2 7s. 5d. was found on the prisoners.

They were found guilty and sentenced each to 8 months, imprisonment.

ROBBERY AT NEWPORT. – Robert Melvin was found guilty and sentenced to three months’ imprisonment for stealing a pair of spectacles, the property of Francis Pittis, at Newport.

BURGLARY AT GATCOMBE. – Charles Kinchler, for burglary at house of Isaac Woods, at Gatcombe, eight months’ imprisonment.

FRAUD AT NEWPORT. – Ellen Byrne and Elizabeth Byrne pleaded guilty to a charge of fraudulently obtaining by false pretences 10s., the monies of William Mollett, at Newport, and were sentenced to four months’ imprisonment each.

ALLEGED ROBBERY AT NEWCHURCH. – Emily Daish, a young woman of respectable appearance, was charged with stealing two pairs of boots, the property of William Drew, at Newchurch, on 30th of  May. The prisoner was acquitted.

ROBBERY AT NEWCHURCH. - Elizabeth Corney pleaded guilty to a charge of stealing several articles on wearing apparel, the property of Edward Marvin, her master. There was a second charge against the prisoner of stealing a cover and two pairs of stockings, the property of George Riddett, her master, to which she also pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment.

ROBBERY AT NORTHWOOD. - James Davey pleaded guilty to three charges of stealing various articles of wearing apparel from Charles Jacobs, Thomas Matthews, and Alfred Hopgood, all of Northwood, on the 5th of June. Three months’ imprisonment on each charge.

STEALING GOVERNMENT PROPERTY. - John Russell was indicted that he did unlawfully have in his possession certain blankets, the property of the government, marked with the broad arrow. Mr. Russell and Mr. Yonge appeared for the Crown, and Mr. Charles defended the prisoner.

From the evidence adduced it appears that on the 2nd of April there was a wreck of the convict ship Cedrine, off Brixton, in the Isle of Wight, freighted with convicts. As soon as information of the wreck has been received in the village, the farmers sent down their wagons to take off the convicts. One of these persons was a Mr. Brook who sent the prisoner in charge of his waggon. The waggon was loaded with invalid convicts wrapped in blankets, who were taken by the prisoner to the public-house, where they were taken out & the blankets thrown on the ground. They were then picked up by some of the convicts and given to the prisoner with the remarks “that they were of no use to them.” The chief of the Coast-guard, in collecting the stores belonging to the wreck, found some were missing, upon which he gave information to the police, and the result was that the prisoner was asked if he had any stores of the Cedrine in his possession, and he said “No.” On being pressed by the, he said “Yes, I had. If you wait here I will fetch them.” The policemen declined and went indoors, where the blankets were found under the flooring.

The learned counsel having addressed the Court for the prisoner, and call witnesses to character, the learned chairman summed up, and the jury found the prisoner guilty.

Isaac Morris was charged with a like offence as the last prisoner, arising out of the same circumstances, the only difference being that instead of being under the floor, as in the case of Russell, the five blankets were found place in the middle of a straw mattress, where they were stitched up, and the mattress was placed under the featherbed. When asked where he had got them, he said the convicts had given them to him on the morning of the wreck of the Cedrine.

This prisoner was also found guilty. Six months’ imprisonment.

ALLEGED ROBBERY AT GODSHILL. – Charles James, on bail, was indicted with stealing twenty pounds of iron, the property of John Tucker, at Godshill, on the 9th of April, and after a very careful and lengthened trial, was acquitted.

ASSAULT AT FRESHWATER. - Samuel Beresford was indicted or unlawfully assaulting Anne Spencer, at Freshwater, with intent, &c., on the 25th of May. We forbear giving the evidence as it was unfit for our columns. The prisoner who was found guilty, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment.


12 July 1862

Our cattle market was well filled on Wednesday, there being nearly three score head of fat cattle exhibited, and nearly a thousand sheep: that as there seemed to be a conspiracy amongst the butchers not to countenance any longer the new system of selling by auction, very few animals were disposed of, and prices underwent an astonishing reduction, and the amount, it was said, of two pence per pound in order to force a sale, and even then a great quantity of stock remain on hand. The price of the few which changed ownership is hardly worth quoting as a criterion to guide either the buyers or sellers. We hope to hear that the consumer has derived a benefit ‘cru this from the reduction in the market.

A memorial, signed by the Mayor and 700 of the principal inhabitants of the island, was presented to Capt. Forrest, Chief Constable of the Hants Police Force, on Friday, requesting him to reconsider his determination to remove Mr. Campbell, our worthy superintendent, to another district. In answer to the memorial, however, we learn that a very uncourteous reply has been returned by the chief constable, to the effect that he wishes to know “what the The Mayor and Magistrates of the borough, having a staff of their own, have to do with the county matters?” We may, in reply, they are the property of the inhabitants of that borough extends over the whole of the county of the Isle of Wight; that that property is, and ought to continue, under the protection of the county police; that there is not a single town, and scarcely a carriage even in the island, in which some one amongst the respectable signers of that document is not either an owner or occupier of property of some description or other; that a heavy county police rate, amounting during the past year to upwards of two thousand and nine pounds, was extracted from the owners and occupiers of property in this island towards paying for protection, of which some be memorialists bore their fair proportion, and feeling a confidence the present superintendent (a confidence which was never yet misplaced), they are naturally more anxious to keep him in the island than to trust their affairs to the care of a stranger, who, however competent he may be in other districts, will require years of experience before he can make himself acquainted either with the requirements or the vices of the population of the Isle of Wight.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - The only case before the Court was an application by Edith Cooper to affiliate and illegitimate child on one of the County Police, but being entirely uncorroborated in her statement, the case was dismissed.

COWES. - The town on Wednesday bore a lively appearance, despite the rain, owing to the arrival of the members of the London Master Bakers’ Society, several hundred of them, with their wives and friends, landing at the pier shortly after midday. In the evening some departed to Newport by rail, and others to the different towns in the island, so that every vehicle was in requisition for the day. Those who remained were comfortably settled at various inns, and private lodging houses.

RYDE. – THE PIER IMPROVEMENTS. -The Tramway is progressing very rapidly, the piles having been driven for a great part of the distance. Mr. Langford, the contractor, is pushing the works forward, and we hope that next spring will see the work completed. When it is finished it will make our pier one of the most commodious in the Kingdom

RYDE. – YOUNG THIEVES. - Three boys were brought up before Captain Brigstocke, on Wednesday last, charged with breaking into and robbing the Ryde, Isle of Wight Volunteers’ Magazine, at Binstead. The boys were named as Edmund Ward, George Morey, and Henry Williams, and their respective ages being 10, 12, and 13 years. The case was not gone into, but the prisoners were remanded until Saturday (this day.) The police have already recovered some of the stolen property.


19 July 1862

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - Edwin Ward, George Moorey, and Henry Williams, three boys belonging to Ryde, were charged with breaking in to the magazine of the Ryde Rifle Volunteers at Binstead, and stealing therefrom 400 rounds of ball cartridges, 2,000 caps, shot flasks, powder flask, gauges, tests, and other articles, the property of the Government and the officers of the corps. - George Garnett, the quarter-master, and John Hornsey, the sergeant-major of No. 1 and No. 3 Company of the Ryde Rifles, proved the loss of the above, which will safe on the 1st of July, and were extracted by cutting a hole through the earthwork walls before the 8th instant. – Samuel Moul, of Ryde, and Margaret Howard, the daughter of another marine store dealer of that name, deposed that they purchased a number of beaten up bullets, with several perfect ones amongst them, and marked with a broad arrow of the prisoners, for which they gave them something over a penny per pound. -Prisoners pleaded guilty, and were committed - Williams to hard Labour for three months, and Ward and Morey for one month. The court sharply reprimanded the marine store dealers for buying such suspicious property of children, and recommended that the officers of the corps should construct their magazine in a safe spot.

Richard Rolfe, a Shoemaker, was charged with a serious breach of trust, in having received of his master, Joseph Rands, on 24 June, 34 pairs of boots to take to his wholesale customers at Yarmouth and Freshwater, and absconding with the proceeds, the offender never appearing in Newport again till he was brought into the town by P.S. White, who apprehended him near Ventnor the day previous with only a halfpenny in his pocket. Prisoner was committed to the assizes for trial.

George Smith, 14, of West Cowes, was charged with pilfering the shop till of James Young, Baker, of 2½d., which the prosecutor, who had been plundered daily, had marked, and which was found in the pockets of the prisoner within 10 minutes after it had been stolen. Prisoner was committed to hard Labour for one month, and was ordered to be transferred to a reformatory for three years

COWES. - At the Royal Yacht Squadron Castle on the 12th inst., a meeting of the members of the squadron took place, when the following were elected as members :- Count Edmund Batthyany, Flying Cloud, 75 tons; Lord Rendlesham, Egidia, 137 tons; Lieut-Col S.J.L. Nicoll, Zonave, 105 tons; Captain A. Norris, Lavrock.

VENTNOR.- RAIL AND COACH. - A correspondent says:- “The opening of the railway from Cowes to Newport has caused a change in the coaches from Ventnor to Newport; the one driven by Faulkner left Ventnor at 10 o'clock and return from Cowes at three. It now leaves Ventnor for Newport at 7.45 and 1.0 and returns at 10.30 and 3.30. And the coach which goes round by Blackgang instead of leaving Cowes at 10.30, now leaves Newport at 12.30 and returns at 4.30. Even this little bit of rail is an advantage as to the time of the getting to Ventnor, and the proprietors  are making the most of it, by giving additional accommodation to passengers. Ventnor has undoubtably suffered from want of better and more frequent communication with the Ryde and Cowes, and if we may take the increased number of passengers going by rail from Cowes to Newport as a specimen of what may be expected if the rail was completed to Ventnor, it surely will induce the Eastern Section Company to commence their line with all possible dispatch.”


26 July 1862

The Isle of Wight Races are to take place on the Bowcombe Down, on Friday, the 8th of August, and of those of our readers who intend to run any horse for a prize must bear in mind that the entries are to be made at the Bugle Inn, on Saturday next, the 2nd of August.

We understand that the Cowes and Newport Railway Company have handsomely voted a silver cup, of the value of 20 guineas, to be run for at the Isle of Wight Races, to be held on Bowcombe Down, on the 8th of August, subject to the rules and regulations of the race committee.

An accident, which was nearly attended with fatal consequences, occurred in the River Medina, on Sunday afternoon, to three young ladies, named Smith, Perkins, and Allen, who, whilst in a small sailboat, with the management of which they appear to have been but little acquainted, in endeavouring to make a tack near Dodner, were upset, and the whole of them precipitated into the water. Luckily they were observed by a young man coming down Dodner-lane, who swam off to their assistance, and enabled them to keep a hold of the boat or the sails till another boat approached, which took them in and bought them on shore safely.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - Charles Middleton Kernot, Esq., of West Cowes was charged by the Inspector of Nuisances under the Local Board, with having had in his possession a quantity of gunpowder above 50lbs. in weight, he not being a dealer or manufacturer of the said gunpowder, under the provisions of the statute in that case made and provided, whereby he had made himself liable to a penalty of 2s. for every pound so found on his premises over 50lbs., and the forfeiture of the said gunpowder. Mr. Damant, of Cowes, appeared for the prosecution, and having stated the case, called P.S. Kent, who deposed that on Friday, the 11th inst., he went to the defendant’s residence at West Cowes, saying that he had a warrant to search his premises for a quantity of gunpowder, when the doctor took him to a shared in the yard, where he kept it, and pointed out to him four casks, saying that was the article he was looking for, but that it belonged to Mr. Robert Pinhorn. Witness said he removed the casks to the station-house, and in the afternoon prisoner sent for him, and demanded the powder back again, threatening an action if it was not surrendered. He next asked who gave the information, and was told that it was Mr. H. Halliday, and he then asked which magistrates signed it, and was told it was Mr. Shedden, when he said that he would enter an action against both of them, as it was not the first magistrate that he had had “a go-in at.” Defendant’s was a private house, with no shop, and the shed in question was at the side of the yard. The gunpowder was put into tin canisters, one out of each cask of which he now produced, and the whole of it was 190lbs., including the casks and canisters. The Court thought it would be necessary to start the whole in order to arrive at the nett weight, to fix the penalty. Mr. Blake, for the defendant, said he would at once admit that the net weight of the powder is self was 126lbs., but as he could prove that not a single grain of it belongs to the defendant, it would not be necessary to go into that question. William P. Kernot being called for the defence, said: I am the son of the defendant, and am in business on my own account as a soap manufacture and a dealer in gunpowder. I rented the premises where the powder was deposited of my father, for the purpose of carrying on my business. I pay him rent for it, and I have done since June, 1861. The powder found there is my property, and I bought it of Mr. Robert Pinhorn, and paid for it. Cross-examined by Mr. Damant: I pay £10 a year for this part of the premises, and I paid the first rent in June 1862. My father pays the rates for it. I carry on any sort of business which I think may be profitable. I have never bought a small quantities of gunpowder before, and I have sold this to go to Southampton. I paid Mr. Pinhorn for it in cash, and I produce the receipt. The Bench said it appeared to be a mistake, and they consider defendant not liable under the present information. The powder must be returned, and they would allow him any reasonable and proper costs.

Isaac Arnold, a respectable builder, of Shalfleet, was charged by the directors of the Yar-Bridge Company, with having placed a quantity of bricks on the side of the banks, so as greatly to obstruct the traffic over the bridge. Mr. C. W. Estcourt appeared for the company, and produced the toll collector, Adam Kelly, but who, instead of proving the fact, proved a direct negative, stating that it was the captain of a vessel who placed the bricks complained of on the sides of the embankment, and that afterwards the defendant had brought his cart there, and took them away again. The Court said in that case it appeared the defendant had removed an obstruction instead of creating one, and the charge must be dismissed, the prosecutors to pay all reasonable and proper costs. Mr. Estcourt said the company had instituted in the proceedings for the purpose of letting the public know that they were not to be suffered to interrupt the traffic over the bridge with impunity, and perhaps the present proceedings might have the effect of preventing it in future.

George Coombes, of Godshill, was charged with assaulting a poor half-witted old man, named Morris, by beating him over the head with a prong, and being unable to pay the fine of 17s. 6d. Was committed for 14 days.

The Isle of Wight 150 years ago

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1 July 2012