The Isle of Wight 150 years ago.

Extracts from the Hampshire Telegraph.

November 1862

1 November 1862

A public meeting of the burgesses was held at the Grapes Tavern on the Tuesday evening, for the purpose of nominating three candidates as Town Councillors for the South Ward, in the room of Messrs. Samuel Pring, Dr. Wavell, and H. Loosemore, whose term of office has expired. Mr. Town Councillor R. Pinnock filled that the chair on this occasion, but the attendance was far from numerous. The chairman having stated the object of the meeting Mr. M. Morgan proposed the re-election of Mr. Pring, who had now been in the Council for 27 years, having entered it on the passing of the Municipal Act, and have always done his duty to his constituents. Mr Edward Upward seconded the proposition. Mr. John May then proposed that Robert Miller Wavell, Esq., be re-elected, which was seconded by Mr. J. D. Wright. Mr. W. Williams next proposed the re-election of Mr. H. Loosemore, which was seconded by Mr. H. Sheppard, and there being no other person proposed, the chairman signified to the three candidates that the necessary steps will be taken to ensure their election this day (Saturday). The three nominees having returned thanks the meeting dissolved. The three retiring members for the North Ward are Mr. R. Pittis, Mr. R. Stratton, and Mr. E. L. Hackett, again through as yet, we have heard of no opposition.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - William Hendy, labourer, was charged by William MacKay, the master of the barque Ellen Horsfall, which was driven on shore near Grange on 19 October, with stealing from the wreck a long line and reel, belonging to the ship, and which was found concealed over the oven in the prisoner’s cottage, in Compton-fields, Atherfield. Prisoner, in his defence, said he picked up the article a mile from the wreck on the seashore, and he took it home, thinking it would be useful to him as a garden line. Prisoner’s master, Mr. Heal, having given him an excellent character for honesty, the court let him off the payment of 18s. 6d. damages, fine, and costs.

BOROUGH COURT. - James Sackman, an apprentice to Mr. James Dyer, a millwright at Nodehill, was charged with continually absenting himself from work. It was stated by complainant that during the three years in which the prisoner had been apprenticed to him he has been absent for 38 weeks, he said that if prisoner with promised to keep his time for the future he didn't want him to be punished. Prisoner gave the required promise and was discharged with a strong admonition as to his future conduct and on the payment of costs.

Henry King, 11, charged with stealing a cricket ball, the property of James Wensley, of the High-street, stationer, pleaded guilty, and was committed for 14 days.

William Elliott, charged with throwing a stone of 1lb. weight at a poor cripple, named Theresa Austin, and injuring her leg, was fined 10s.

RYDE. – THE YACHTING SEASON. - The season of 1862, as regards yachting, has been brought to a close, not one yacht being now upon the station. The last season may be considered an exceptional one, and we confessed to a profound feeling of respect for every yacht owner who, in deference to the sorrow of the surviving patron of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, were willing to defer until next season the more active demonstrations of yachting life. We trust next year will open upon us with renewed life and vigour as respects the undertakings of the Royal Victoria Yacht club. We have to congratulate our neighbours upon an arrangement which has been made with the Board of Trade for hoisting Admiral Fitzroy's storm signals at the Royal Victoria Yacht Clubhouse at Ryde. The first was raised on Sunday last, containing the following words – “A gale, probably from the South.”

8 November 1862

A PUBLIC MEETING of the inhabitants of the borough was held at the Town Hall on Monday evening, the mayor, Francis Pittis, Esq., in the chair, for the purpose of determining whether any and what measures should be taken for celebrating the birthday of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. There was a very numerous and respectable assemblage, and after some hours of interesting discussion, it was resolved if the subscription should prove sufficient, to brilliantly illuminates the outside of the town Hall with gas devices, &c., and be regale the poor women with plenty of coffee and some cake in the market place, on Monday next, to issue a distribution of coal, meat, &c., to the poor, and to celebrate the auspicious event by holding the usual Corporation dinner in the town hall, instead of at the Bugle Inn, in order to allow as many of the inhabitants as choose to join in the festivities to be present. A strong committee was appointed to collect subscriptions, and carry out the arrangements, and after a cordial vote of thanks have been awarded to the mayor for his kindness in calling the meeting, and for the ability he displayed in conducting it, the assembly disbursed, with very strong hopes of being fully able to carry out in full everything which have been suggested. We understand that since the meeting was held the committee have abandoned the idea of having a double dinner on Wednesday, at the Town Hall, on account of the inconvenience it will occasion to the county and borough magistrates, and of the damage and expense it will cause by pulling down the fittings, so the dinner will be held at the Bugle Inn instead.

BOROUGH  COURT. - Elizabeth Lewis, a common prostitute, charged by P.C. Jolliffe with being drunk in the streets was fined 10s. and in default of payment, committed for one month.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - Elizabeth Riley, aged 13, a domestic servant, in the employ of Frederic Woodford, landlord of the Wheat Sheaf Tavern, at Ryde, was charged with stealing a prayer book and other articles, the property of Isaac Salter, of Ryde, a dealer in fancy goods. There were several other small ornaments, &c. found on searching the prisoner's box, for which no owner could be discovered. The prisoner pleaded guilty, and was committed to 6 weeks to hard labour.

Mary Ann Riley, the mother of the above offender, employed as a charwoman at the Wheat Sheaf Tavern, was charged by Mr. F. Woodford with stealing three glasses and a vegetable dish, his property. It appeared by the evidence that the prisoner had left prosecutor’s residence to go home to Newport on the Wednesday preceding, but being too late for the coach, she returned and solicited a bed for the night, which was granted her. Suspecting her honesty and having detected the thieving propensities of her daughter, the prosecutor searched the prisoner’s basket, and having discovered three of his own glasses, wrapped up in his wife's handkerchief; on searching her house in Cosham-street, Newport, he found the vegetable dish then produced. The prisoner pleaded guilty, and was committed to hard labour for three months.

RYDE. – ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ROYAL ISLE OF WIGHT INFIRMARY. - On Wednesday last, at noon, the above meeting took place in the board room of the institution, A. F. Leeds, Esq., in the chair. The report was not very satisfactory as regards annual subscribers, which were less than they had been for 12 years. The active exertions of the committee have brought up the total receipts rather above those of last year. The out-going governors, Captain Condamine, Rev. C.U. Barry, and W. H. Gillson, Esq., were re-elected, and to extraordinary vacancies were filled by the appointment of - Peters, Esq., and Dr. Learmouth. There were six candidates for the appointment of house surgeon; Mr. Cook of Greenock, was appointed. Mr. G. H. Case, the retiring medical officer leaves with the respect and esteem of everyone with whom he has come in contact, on account of the attentive, and gentlemanly manner in which he has carried out the duties of his office.

15 November 1862

COWES. - The coming of age of the Prince of Wales was a celebrated at Cowes on Monday last in a very consistent manner. A committee having been appointed and subscriptions collected, it was resolved that the children of the different schools in the town should be treated with tea, cake, &c., and that the aged poor should be regaled at the Town-hall with beef and ham, cake and tea, which was accordingly done, to the gratification of all, whether recipients or donors. Great credit is due to the committee for the way in which a laborious and often and irksome duty was carried out. To the Misses Ward, of West Hill, the best thanks of all are due for their kind aid enabling the work to be effectively carried out, and Mr. Hamilton, of Harriet Lodge, manifested his liberality by distributing, through his agent, a goodly sum of money to the poor and aged widows.

ISLE OF WIGHT PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY. -This society has placed itself in connection with the Society of Arts, and we hope that the young men of the island will avail themselves of the opportunity of competing for certificates, the possession of which has been found, in many cases, the means of placing the holders of them in lucrative and honourable situations. The candidates are allowed to choose the subjects upon which they offer themselves for examination. A meeting took place at the institution, Melville-street, last evening, when the subject was fully discussed. On Monday next the third lecture for the session will be delivered in the town-hall by Sir John Simeon, Bart., on “The Philosophy of Language.” The worthy baronet made such a favourable impression when he last lectured in Ryde that there is every reason to anticipate a full room on Monday next.


22 November 1862

We regret to state that our once flourishing Mechanics’ Institute ceased to exist on Monday last, having perished for want of support in its thirty-eight year. The neglect and apathy of the working classes for whose benefit it was originally established, caused it to decay rapidly during the last few years, and having become insolvent, its valuable library of 1300 volumes of books, &c., are to be sold by auction on Thursday evening, for the benefit of creditors.

A CORONER’ INQUEST was held before Mr. F. Blake at the Castle Inn, Carisbrooke, on Monday evening, on the body of a newly-born female infant, which had been discovered by Dr. Wilkins, concealed under the roof of a house in that village, occupied by the Rev. Mr. Butt, the curate of Carisbrooke Church. It appeared that by the evidence of Mrs. Butt that she had engaged a servant girl from Ryde, named Renton, about a month since as cook and general servant, but had not noticed anything very suspicious in her appearance, until the morning of Saturday last, when having been unwell during the night, and complaining of a cold in the back, she was induced to examine her bedroom, and from some strange appearances she sent for Dr. Wilkins, who taxed the girl with having been confined, she hesitated at first, but at last stated that she had miscarried, and pointed to a small door under the roof, as the place where the child was deposited, and from whence she afterwards bought out a full-grown infant, which was dead and cold. The evidence of the Dr. went to prove that the child had breathed, but that it came to his death from suffacation. The jury took a lenient view of the case, and found a verdict that the child had been “Accidentally suffocated.” The offender, when sufficiently recovered, will be taken before the county magistrates, and no doubt committed for trial for concealing the birth.

BOROUGH COURT. - The Overseers of the parish of Carisbrooke, again applied for a warrant to enforce the payment of a four years’ rating from Mr. Samuel Dyer, grocer, of Newport, under the powers of the Small Tenements Act, for certain premises to which he was rated as owner. On the last occasion it was urged by Mr. J. H. Hearn, for the defendant, that the chairman of the Vestry not having attached his name to the minute book of the proceedings of the meeting when the act was adopted, the omission was fatal and the adoption illegal, when the court adjourned the hearing for the purpose of allowing the Overseers to produce further evidence, and on this occasion they produced the poll book, which had been regularly signed, and the courts therefore held it to be a part and parcel of the proceedings, and a proof that the act had been legally adopted. Mr. Hearn now brought forward a variety of other objections, and was ably met by Mr. Thomas Urry, the attorney for the applicants (his maiden brief), but having neglected to prove by evidence that the defendant was the owner of the property in question, the application was again dismissed, after a discussion which lasted for hours. Another three hours was taken up in hearing the evidence upon a claim brought by the Town Council of Newport against the late Overseers of Carisbrooke, for the arrears of a lighting rate amounting to £83, Mr. Jas. Eldridge appearing for the corporation, and Mr. Field, of Gosport, and Mr. Tizard, of Weymouth, for the defendants, but the discussion turning upon dry points of law, of no interest to the public at large, we need only to add that the case appeared so complicated that the court adjourned the further hearing for a fortnight.

RYDE. – SHIPWRECKED MARINERS SOCIETY. - On Sunday last two sermons were preached in St. James's Church in aid of the above society, that any morning by the incumbent, the Rev. H. Ewbank, and that any evening by the Rev. F. Sullivan. The collections amounted to £18 17s, 6d.

A MAN DROWNED IN THE FERRY COMPANY’S BASIN. - On Tuesday evening last, about seven o'clock, a man named Whittington, in the employ of Messrs. Oakley and Co., went to the quay of the above company, along with another man, to leave some trucks until the following morning. The companion of the deceased went away with the horse that had drawn the trucks, leaving Whittington to follow. Nothing more was heard of the deceased that night. This excited no unease, his wife being accustomed to his occasional absence at Ventnor, where his employment sometimes took him, and where at times he slept. The next morning, as he did not go to his work, enquiries were made about him, and suspicions arose that possibly he might have fallen into the dock basin, as the night was very dark, and there was no gaslight on the quay. The basin was dragged, and the body discovered. It was conveyed to the Coast Guard station. The deceased was 44 years of age, and leaves a widow and one child. An inquest was held on Thursday afternoon, at four o'clock, at the Duke of Wellington, Pier-street, before F. Blake, Esq., the coroner for the island. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidentally drowned.”

SERIOUS ACCIDENT FROM FURIOUS DRIVING. - On Tuesday afternoon, about three o'clock, as William Chessell, an aged man, was at work on the road at St. John’s, breaking stones, one of Pescott’s vans was driven out a furious rate down the hill, and knocked the old man down, who was exceedingly deaf, which accounts for his not getting out of the way. The unfortunate man was at once conveyed to the Infirmary, where he received every necessary attention. Upon examination it appeared that Chessell had received one severe scalp wound, and two others less serious. Sergeant Mitchell proceed at once to Messrs. Pescott’s yard, where he apprehended James Skates, the driver of the van, and conveyed him to the station-house. On Wednesday, as the wounded man could not be removed without danger, T.T. Fowke, Esq., and T. M. Leacock, Esq., magistrates, went to the Infirmary, to take the evidence of Chessell, after which James Skates was brought before them. The evidence of the parties who witnessed the occurrence was quite conclusive, and was to the effect that the prisoner was driving into the most reckless manner, at the rate of twelve miles an hour. The prisoner was committed for trial to the next assizes, but if he could obtain bail, to the quarter sessions.

29 November 1862

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - Ann Elisabeth Renton, of Ryde, was brought before the magistrates on a charge of having concealed the birth of a female infant child whilst in the service at the Rev. H. Bull’s, the curate of Carisbrooke, but not having recovered from her consequent illness, the court remanded to till this day (Saturday).

William Pressy, a labourer at Niton Farm, was charged with flinging a beer can at the head of a boy named William Hayles, also working on the farm, which inflicted a frightful wound on the scalp. Defendant said he flung the can in a passion because the boy wanted all the beer, and that he didn't intended to injure him. Fined 17s. 6d.

William Woodford, an itinerant collector of “unconsidered trifles,” remanded from the previous sitting on a charge of having in his possession several pounds weight of metal sheeting, having produced the person he purchased it of, was discharged but the metal from the vessel was detained, being shipwrecked material.

Barnabas Brading, a labour employed at the gas works at Fareham was charged with leaving his wife and family chargeable to the guardians of the poor; the Relieving Officer, Mr. R. S. Hearn, proving that he had advanced upwards of £5 towards relieving the prisoner's wife and children since he absconded in June last. On the understanding that his employer would refund a portion of this sum the court ordered the prisoner to be discharged.

VENTNOR. – CAUTION TO LODGING-HOUSE KEEPERS AND TRADESMEN. - A few days ago a person calling herself Miss West went to Dr. Martine to consult him, and she also asked his opinion respecting apartments, and the lady engaged respectable room for herself and maid, stating at the same time that her doctor at Ryde drove her over to Ventnor in his own carriage to prevent her taking cold. In the course of Saturday she visited some of the drapers, purchasing some good, and giving orders for a mantle to be trimmed with velvet. She also ordered a church service at a bookseller’s, wine, ale, spirits, &c. and engaged sittings at Holy Trinity Church. Her maid not having arrived with the luggage, she borrowed some underclothing of her landlady on Sunday, and hired a carriage to take her to church in the evening. The next morning Dr. Martin called on her by appointment and was much surprised to find her out. In the course of the day she gave orders for groceries to be sent to her lodgings, and about six o'clock she went to another tradesmen, purchased a few articles and borrowed 5s. In the course of the Monday afternoon she also engaged other apartments for six months, and had tea, bed, and breakfast, and then took her departure. One of the tradesmen who were victimized gives the following description of her:- About 30 or 35 years of age, middle height, grey bonnet, dark brown shawl, small checked dress, no crinoline, and keeps a black fall over her face.

The Isle of Wight 150 years ago

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1 November 2012