The Isle of Wight 150 years ago.
Extracts from the Hampshire Telegraph.
6 October 1860
The difference between gas light and a candlelight was very inconveniently made demonstrable on Wednesday evening, when some fault in the principal main pipes, nearly the whole town was suddenly plunged in “darkness visible” for upwards of an hour, when a remedy was supplied, and the candlesticks and snuffers were once more launched amongst the now-defunct tinderboxes, and brilliancy resumed its place amongst us.
Our farmers have been busily engaged during the last week of comparatively fine weather, in harvesting their outstanding corn, which it was much feared at one time would lay on the ground till it rotted. Some of the wheat crops have shown signs of sprouting, whilst much of the barley, where the clover has outgrown it, will be fit for nothing but fatting, and there are still a considerable number of acres of oats uncut, which, as the weather promises to be more favourable for the future, will gain rather than lose by the seizing being late. The grass and a turnip crop is very prolific, and as a consequence, fat stock in our market on Wednesday, went down in price considerably.
NEGLECT OF DUTY.- Owing to the non-attendance of a sufficient number of the guardians of the poor at the Board meeting on Thursday sen’night, the Clerk, Mr. J. C. Clarke, was compelled on Saturday last to ask the county magistrates to make a rate for the relief of the poor for the ensuing quarter. As of this mode of remedying any collect on their part will occasion some considerable expense, and as it is not at all likely that the Auditor will suffer it to be charged on the community at large, it is very probable that the absentees, unless they can furnish a reasonable and valid excuse, may find themselves subject under the provisions of the local act to a penalty of two pounds each for neglect of duty.
[Cowes] we hear that Messrs. Hansen’s have a good winter’s work looked out for them in lengthening and building new yachts. The Messrs. Ratsey have three fine yachts to build; and Spencer & Barnes will have full imply that their men during the coming winter
On Saturday a very pretty launch took place at the Medina Docks, when a very handsome yacht of 82 tons (but looking much larger), the property of F. B. Windsor, Esq., was launched from Mr. John White’s building yard. In the absence of the desired lady, A. Balliston, Esq., commanding her Majesty’s yacht Elfin, performed the ceremony of naming her the Doris. She is a fine craft, and will prove they could see boat. The owner, one of the good old English gentleman, did not forget a time-honoured, but not often practised, custom. After the launch, all the hands employed in building the yacht, together with the numerous officers connected with the establishment, were regaled with a substantial repast, to which ample justice was done, after which the healths of the owner and of Mr. White were drank in a manner that testifies those present were not had grateful for the kindness.
13 October 1860
William Cole, a butcher, at West Cowes, was charged with furiously driving through the narrow streets of the town, by R. C. Shedden,Esq., one of the county magistrates, who happened to be passing at the time in his pony phaeton, which was considerably damaged by coming into collision with the defendant’s cart, and one of the complainant’s children thrown out. Mr Beckingsale appeared for the complainant and having proved the fact, and that the defendant was driving at a furious rate through a narrow street when the concussion took place, the defendant, in reply, endeavour to convince the Court at the blame rested on the complainant himself, who was driving at a brisk trot, while he (the defendant) had come to a dead stand-still as the time, and that it was the pheaton which ran against his cart. To prove his assertion he produced several witnesses, whose evidence was so contradictory that the Chairman threatened to commit one of them, a Mrs. Nobbs, for perjury, and find the defendant in the penalty of 20s. and 15s. 6d. costs.
Jacob Johnson, of the New Village, Labourer, was charged by John Henry Turner, under the new Act for Prevention of Nuisances, with keeping pigs on his premises, and manufacturing we knew from the soil, so as to be an annoyance to the whole neighbourhood. The Court ordered the defendant to keep his place clean for the future, and to prevent the accumulation of manure, under a penalty for misbehaviour at the same time issuing an order to the owners of the premises in question to provide their tenants with the necessary accommodation of false to their privies, which it appears they are at present without, and to fill up a ditch at the rear, where the noted in your manufacturing is carried on.
[COWES] An Inquest was held on Monday evening, at the Grapes Inn, on the body of Susan Clark, wife of Henry Clark, boatman, who died on Sunday morning. As many unpleasant rumours were afloat attaching the cause of the death, it was deemed expedient to enquire fully into it, and funny evidence that used it appears that the woman was of rather dissipated habits, but that her husband had, no doubt, by a series of brutal treatment injured the health of his wife, and that's during her last illness he had not only debarred her from the common necessities of life, but that, by his broad treatment, he had in a great measure being instrumental in causing her death. After a protracted examination of the witnesses, extending over a period of 3½ hours, the jury returned a verdict of “Manslaughter” against Clark, who was fourth with taken into custody on the Coroner’s warrant.
20 October 1860
Mark Downer, of New Bridge, charged by the relieving officer of the Calbourne district with leaving his wife chargeable to the Guardians of the Poor, was ordered to refund the amount advanced, pay the expenses incurred and then the discharge, with a promise of imprisonment if he offended again.
[RYDE] ROYAL ISLE OF WIGHT INFIRMARY. - Patients admitted during the week, 1; discharged, 2; died 1; remaining in the house, 13. Out-patients, 81. Surgeon for the week, R. W. Bloxam, Esq. Chaplain for the month Rev. C. J. Garrard. House Surgeon, Mr. G. H. Case.
FASHIONABLE ARRIVALS. - Mr. Ross, Rosebank Cottage; Mr. and Mrs. Martin, Mr. Jones, Summer View; Mr. and Mrs. Sidney, Sea Villa; Mr. And Mrs. Lees, Bona Vista; Misses Peirson, Dysart House; Miss Twiner, Vale Lodge; Mr. Keith, Chester House; Mrs. and Mr. Oldmixon, No. 49, George-Street; Colonel Bruce, Castle Lodge; Major and Mrs. Vener, Manor House; Dr. and Mrs. Kent, Vienna; Mr. and Mrs. Boulcott, Balmoral House; Mr. Harris, 4, Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Peall, 38, Mr. and Mrs. Halstead and Mr. and Mrs. Highland, 40, Mrs Hayward and Mr. and Mrs. Allnutt, 11, Pier-street; Sir H. Paffermap, St. Michael's.
[The above two items appeared regularly in the Ryde section, the Agents being the Misses Turtle.]
27 October 1860
Elizabeth Webb, the landlady of the beer shop in carvel-lane, West Cowes, was charged with assaulting Mary Ann Young, a young lady well known in that locality. The defendant exhibited her own dress, which was torn to tatters in the affray, and declared that the complainant was drunk at the time that a witness having declared that “both on’em appeared to she has having had a drop,” the court dismissed the case.
John Rogers (10), one of the Arab population of Southampton, who appeared to have smuggled himself into the island, for the purpose of pilfering the tills of shopkeepers at West Cowes, was remanded to this day (Saturday) for production of evidence, a mark sixpence having been traced to his possession, and a foreign having been shaken from his shoes by P. S. Savage