The Isle of Wight 150 years ago.

Extracts from the Hampshire Telegraph.

January 1863

3 January 1863

ROYAL VISIT. - On Tuesday His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and His Royal Highness the Prince Louis of Hesse, accompanied by Lieutenant-General Knollys, Captains Grey and Westerweller, and Mr. Fisher, paid a visit to the prison at Parkhurst, where, after inspecting the different departments, they paid a high compliment to the authorities of the establishment on the good order, decorum, and cleanliness that reigned throughout the place. They next proceeded to Parkhurst Barracks, and delighted the officers’ mess-rooms, where they were received by Colonel Jefferys, C.B., the Commanding Officer; his Adjutant, Captain W. C. Justice; and the Barrack-Master, Captain G. H. Sanders, in whose company their Royal Highnesses visited the married soldiers’ quarters and the newly-established gymnasium, leaving again for Osborne at one o'clock, and amidst the hearty cheers of the troops at the garrison.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - Michael Fitzpatrick was brought up on a charge of having endeavoured to pass himself off as a deserter. From the evidence of Sergeant Lowe, of the 13th Regiment, it appeared that the prisoner was brought over to Parkhurst Barracks by one of the Portsmouth police, to whom he had surrendered himself as a deserter from the 30th Regiment, which was stationed in Dublin in 1857. On searching the records of the regiment, however, no such name could be discovered, and the witness said as he was himself in Dublin at the time he knew of his own knowledge that the prisoner never was in the regiment there. Prisoner strongly asserted the fact, and said he was enlisted by one Michael Hafferton, who was now in Canada. Albion Tayler, a private in the 22nd Regiment, said he knew the prisoner well, and that he was discharged from the 81st regiment in Chatham in 1860, with a bad character and that he then went by the name of Bradshaw. The court remanded the prisoner till Saturday (this day,) for further enquiries into his antecedents.

COWES. - The late gales have been productive of much damage at sea, and no less than five ships are now in harbour in a leaky condition or otherwise damaged state, two of which are discharging their cargoes to remedy defects.

COWES. - A fire broke out on Tuesday morning at the back part of Mr. Morgan’s house, in the High-Street, which, had it not been for the prompt assistance rendered in extinguishing it, would have been one of the most disastrous witnessed in Cowes for many years, as the building yard of Messrs. Ratsey and Sons, adjoined it, as well as the wall and paint stores of Messrs. J. and G. Watts. The wind at the time was blowing a gale from the S.W., and great fears entertained that the fire would extended itself to the very inflammable property adjoining. However, due to the great exertions made in working the town engines, as well as one of Mr. John White's, and another belonging to Ratsey and Sons, the fire was confined to Mr. Morgan’s premises, and finally subdued at about six in the morning. How it originated, no one knows, but Mr. Morgan’s sisters and himself narrowly escaped death.

THE RYDE BOROUGH COMMITTEE. - The committee of the inhabitants appointed at the public meeting to obtain the necessary information respecting the Incorporation of Ryde, have begun their labours. G. F. Harrington, Esq., the chairman of the commissioners, has been nominated chairman of the committee, and George Garnett, Esq., has been appointed secretary. The gentlemen who form the committee are of the right sort, and the report when presented to the ratepayers will, there can be no doubt be perfectly satisfactory.

10 January 1863

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. - Joseph Wheeler, of West Cowes, grocer, and Henry Wyatt and Henry Cooke, labourers were charged with rescuing certain goods, seized under an execution issued by the County Court, from the possession of the High Bailiff, Mr. Charles Allen. Frederick Blake, Esq., the Registrar, conducted the prosecution and Mr. Cousins, of Portsea, defendied the conduct of the parties implicated, submitting that, the goods having been previously made over under a deed of assignment for the benefit of creditors, the Bailiff had no lawful possession of these goods on the day he put in the execution. The case occupied a considerable time in the hearing, but the Court decided that they had nothing to do with this questions of law, which must be tried by a superior court. The fact was evident that the defendants have removed these goods whilst in possession of a lawful officer, but as there were no aggravating circumstances attending the case, they should only fine Wheeler in the penalty of 15s. and costs and Wyatt and Cooke 2s. 6d. and costs.

William Vince and Charles Grey, of Ventnor, charged by P.S. White with being drunk and disorderly in the streets of that town at one o'clock on Thursday morning were fined 12s. 6d.each, and in default of payment to be committed for seven days.

William James Hollis, of West Cowes, baker, charged with threatening the life of his wife, Ann Hollis, whilst in a state of drunkenness, was ordered to find sureties for his good behaviour, and committed to the April Sessions for want of them.

Osborne Worthy the landlord of the George Hotel, West Cowes, charged with having refused admission to the police at two o'clock in the morning, was fined 10s.

Michael Fitzpatrick, who was charged on the previous Saturday by Sergeant Lowe with endeavouring to pass himself off as a deserter from the 30th Regiment, and was then remanded for want of proof, was again placed at the bar, when the Chairman said the answers to the questions sent to the Horse Guards were of such an unsatisfactory character that he must dismiss the prisoner, who on hearing the decision, jumped out of the box and darted through the crowd of spectators, with a view to escape, when a scene ensued which almost defies description, the sergeant in command of the escort immediately ordering his men to secure the prisoner again, and they scampered off in all directions in pursuit, the sergeant himself following him and inflicting a severe kick on his person as he was descending the stairs. The Chairman ordered the police to follow and apprehend the sergeant, and to bring him before the court for contempt, an order which was speedily executed. On being placed in the box the Chairman, addressing him, said: “Sergeant, you have been brought back for committing a most unprovoked and unjustifiable sold in laying violent hands on the man in the presence of this court, which had ordered his liberation. You ought to have remembered that we are not under military discipline, and that you were in a Civil Court, and you ought not to have committed such a gross outrage within the precincts of that Court. Now go about your business, and you may consider yourself an exceedingly fortunate that you are not committed for contempt of that Court towards which you ought to have shown every respect."

RYDE. – STORM SIGNALS. - On Sunday last Admiral Fitzroy’s storm signals were hoisted at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. The notice was as follows:- “Dangerous winds, probably from the North;” and Monday, “Dangerous winds, probably first from the North.”The same telegram had been received at other stations and ports.


John Monk was charged with stealing a pair of boots at Newport, the property of Annie Newnham, on 30 October, 1862. Mr. Gunner prosecuted. The prosecutrix lives at Newport. On the night in question she saw a soldier running out of her house, and on going indoors found the boots stolen, but she could not swear to the prisoner. A witness named Frampton saw the soldier running and gave chase, following him down the High-street into East-street, and from there into a shed near Ford Mill. He obtained a light, and their found the prisoner lying in a cart in the shed, and near him, lying on the ground, was one of the stolen boots. Guilty, four months’ imprisonment.

John Collins, a soldier, was charged with stealing two coats, the property of Andrew Comrie, at Carisbrooke, on 25 December, 1862 and John Thue, soldier was charged with receiving the same, well knowing the same to have been stolen. Mr. Way prosecuted. The prosecutor keeps a public-house at Newport. On 25 December the two coats were hanging up in the passage. At eight o'clock the two prisoners came into the house, and soon after this the prisoner Collins was seen by the prosecutor to go out of the door, having coats on his arms, running like a deer. On the same evening the prisoners were in another beer-house, the prisoner Thue having the coat on his arm. The other coat had during the evening being thrown into the passage of the prosecutor's house, but by whom could not be proved. The prisoners were both found guilty, and sentenced, Collins to four months’ and Thue to three months’ imprisonment.

Peter Cassidy was found guilty of unlawfully assaulting Jane Woodford, with intent to ravish and carnally know her, at Newport, on 10 October, 1862, and sentenced to eighteen months’ imprisonment.

George Cavell and Mary Ann Cavell were charged with feloniously receiving a basket, 32 towels, and five tablecloths, the property of Elizabeth Harvey, well knowing the same to have been stolen, on 21 September, at Newchurch. The man was acquitted, and the woman found guilty, and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment.

Alfred Dash, on bail, pleaded guilty to a charge of obtaining of and from Joseph Johnson, two bushels of Barley-meal, at Newport, on 20 September, 1862. There was a similar charge against the prisoner committed on 20 September, to which he also pleaded guilty. Sentenced to three months’ imprisonment on each charge.

James Gladdis pleaded guilty to a charge of breaking into the dwelling-house of George Pink Rickard, at Carisbrooke and stealing several articles therefrom. There was a second charge of stealing four glass bells, and other property, from the house of the Rev. A. Hewitt, of Newport, he also pleaded guilty to the charge, and to a previous conviction. Eighteen months’ imprisonment.

Francis Coster, after a previous conviction, pleaded guilty to the charge of stealing a bottle of rum, the property of Henry Wall, at Northwood, on 8 December, 1862. Six months’ imprisonment.

17 January 1863

The business at the County Petty Sessions, on Saturday last was nil, there not being a single case brought before the magistrates for a hearing, and the Borough Court produced as little interest, there being but one summons for an assault, in which the complainant did not appear.

SHEEP STEALING is very prevalent amongst us at the present time, but the delinquents, as yet, have escaped detection. On Saturday night a fine ewe, heavy in lamb, was stolen from Woolverton Farm, the property of Mr. John Way, and another from Smallmore, the property of Mr. William Harvey. These depredations having aroused the suspicions of Mr. William Horlock, of Dungewood Farm, he calls his own flock to be counted, when he found that there were no less than six fine ewes in lamb missing. The police were set on the track of certain footsteps from the fold, and on searching and adjoining furze they discovered seven heads, the entrails, &c, much of which, however was in a state of putridity, as if the thieves had killed them off as they wanted them. They next Thursday a cottage in the occupation of one of Mr. Horlock’s labourer’s named Newbury was searched, where they found a meat saw and a chopper, both of which had scraps of fresh meat adhering to them, and around the premises they found entrails of sheep, in the mixon a quantity of blood, and in the adjoining ditch a set of sheep’s Trotters, none of which, however could be identified as having formed any part of the missing animals, and therefore it was decided not to take the man into custody. Since the above was in type we have learned that so many other circumstances have turned up against Newbury that he has been apprehended, and will be brought before the Court for a hearing this day (Saturday).

COWES. - Her Majesty's corvette Falcon, is in Mr. John White’s Medina dock for repair and refitment; also in Mr. White’s building yard and we observed the keel of a large revenue cutter laid down; vis a vis to which is the Emperor of China's splendid clipper steam-ship Keang Soo, which in about two months we hope to see completed and afloat.

COWES. - The tenants of W. G. Ward, Esq. were entertained at dinner on Tuesday last, at the Fountain Hotel, when the catering of the host, Mr. Bull, gave a much satisfaction. The smaller tenants of Mr. Ward were regaled also the following day, at the George Inn, when a dinner worthy of the occasion was placed on the table by Mr. Clotworthy.

RYDE. – REPORTED ROBBERY. - A report appeared in some of our contemporaries that a highway robbery had been committed near Ryde last week, about seven o'clock in the evening, upon the person of Mrs. James, residing in Haven-street. Upon making enquiry into which we find that in fact no robbery whatever has been perpetrated, and that there is every reason to believe that the matter from beginning to end was simply a “lark.” Such “larks,” however, may prove dangerous to those who are silly enough to practice them will stop

RYDE. – ANOTHER FALSE REPORT. - Instigated perhaps by a love of curiosity, and feeling a desire to become a victim, a man named Connell, a labourer, stated that on Monday evening last, at Whipford Woods, he had been knocked down by a ruffian, who was afterwards joined by others, who stripped him “stark naked,” and then made off. From the man's own admission these robbers never searched his pockets for money, but tore all his clothes to rags. The Police-Sergeant Mitchell, not believing this tale, as the man was scarcely likely by his appearance to tempt the cupidity of highwayman, made enquiries of the man's father, at whose house he called shortly after the time the “ferocious attack” was said to have taken place, but it appears that instead of being “stark” naked he had all his clothes on except his waistcoat. We should scarcely have thought it worth while to trouble our readers with the silly concoction of a silly man, but as some nervous people are easily frightened we have sought out the facts of this terrible story, in order to re-assure such simple-hearted recipients of such “dreadful” doings. The roads in the Isle of Wight are as free from danger as they ever were, and we may add that highway robbery in this island is almost, if not entirely, unknown.

24 January 1863

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. –  George Newbury, a former Labourer, was brought up on three separate charges of sheep stealing. William Ryall, being examined on the first charge, said he was Shepherd to Messrs. Harvey, of Chillerton farm, who owned a field of turnips at Smallmore, in the parish of Shorwell, in which, on the Saturday previous, when he left the flock in the evening, they had 309 sheep. The next morning he found two of the hurdles down, and the tracks of a man and a boy, and on counting the sheep he could only find 308. The sheep were marked with the letter H on the right pin, and on the skin now produced the remains of such a mark were clearly perceptible. P.C. Lawler said he searched the prisoner’s cottage at Little Dungewood, on Monday, after visiting a furze-break about 100 yards from the sheep fold, in which he found the parts of four sheep, three heads, two horns, a paunch, containing a full-grown lamb, parts of three other paunches, and several lambs’ feet, some of which were putrid, and some quite fresh. He also found four bags which appeared as if they had contained entrails. In the prisoners’ cottage he found a rush bucket, the inside of which was smeared with mutton fat and blood, a saw, the teeth of which were filled with scraps of mutton, a large chopper, and a butcher's knife, covered with mutton fat, two pots in a shed, in one of which mutton had been boiled, from the streaks of fat inside, and a butcher's gambrel. Around the premises he dug up parts of paunches, blood, entrails, horns, and sheep's feet, and in one part where some of it was buried, the left boot of the prisoner exactly fitted the tracks. On searching the inside again, he saw a greasy nail in a beam overhead, and on a splinter in the beam he found a piece of sheep's wool. Superintendent Horan said he went to the prisoner’s cottage the day before, and in consequence of what the prisoner’s son told him, he took into a withy the bed about half a mile off, where, amongst the high grass, he discovered two legs and two shoulders of mutton, raw and fresh, several ribs, liver, hearts, some boiled mutton, and some mutton fat, rolled up in a cloth, and the skin of a sheep now produced, which was identified by the Shepherd as one of Mr. Harvey's. Frank Lewis, a butcher, deposed that he had compared the legs of mutton produced with the skin, and they corresponded exactly, as well as the feet which were found on the prisoner’s premises, and which had all been cut off with a saw. Henry Newbury, the prisoner’s son, a boy of about 10 years of age, having made a full confession the day before of his participation in all these depredations, was now sworn, when some person at the back of the Court, whom it was impossible to detect, exclaimed, “Don't tell, boy,” and neither persuasion or threats could induce this boy to open his mouth. He was, therefore, for want of bail, committed for safe custody to Winchester, with a request to the Chaplain of the gaol to instruct him in his duty. Prisoner pleaded not guilty, and was committed to the next Assizes for trial. Prisoner was then charged with stealing a sheep, the property of Mr. John Way, of Woolverton Farm. Joseph White, the shepherd to the prosecutor, deposed that he missed a sheep on Thursday, 8th January, from Mayfield about three fields distant from the prisoner’s cottage. It was a horned sheep, and both horns were branded with the letter K, similar to the pair of horns now produced. P.C. Lawler produced a portion of a cooked sheep's head which he found in a pond joining the prisoner’s cottage and to which one of the horns fitted exactly. Prisoner: and who can swear that I stole that sheep from Mr. Way or who saw me do it? The court answered the enquiry by committing the prisoner on this charge also. A third charge of stealing six ewes heavy in lamb, the property of Mr. William Horlock of Dungewood, where prisoner was employed was not proceeded with for the present, the boy being a most material witness in the case, and his evidence is necessary to a conviction.

Jacob Pritchett, charged by P.C. Hughes with suffering his cattle to stray on the highways was fined 17s 6d.

RYDE PETTY SESSIONS. –  Capt. Bristoe was summoned by George Williams for 10s. cab hire. It appeared that on 19th August last the plaintiff had driven the defendant and four ladies to Binstead and back, the fare for which was 8s., and he charged 2s. extra for waiting. The defendant denied the waiting and disputed the charge as an imposition. After hearing the case the magistrates ordered the captain to pay 8s. fare and 8d. for time.

31 January 1863

THE RURAL DEAN. - It will be a great pleasure and cause of thankfulness to many in the Isle of Wight to know that their inestimable friend and kind neighbour, the Rev.  E. McAll, continues, by God's blessing, to improving health, and that such great blessing may be vouchsafed to him during the remainder of the period of his proposed retirement from duty, and for many years to come, will be met with a heartfelt response.

FRESHWATER. - An inquest was held before Mr. Coroner Blake, at the Needles Hotel, Freshwater, on Thursday week, on the body of a newly -born child belonging to Ann Snow, a servant employed at the Needles Hotel. The following evidence was adduced. Maria Wickens said: I am a chambermaid at the Needles Hotel. Ann Snow is the kitchenmaid. She has been here two months. I never suspected her to be in the family way, as she had a bedroom to herself. About half-past seven on Monday evening she said she thought she should go to bed, but gave no reason nor did she complain. I said, “Then why don't you go?” And she went, and I saw no more have her that night. The next morning, when I came down, about half-past seven, I saw her sitting by the kitchen fire, and I asked her why she didn't open the house? She made no reply, but got the breakfast , but made no complaint of being unwell. I afterwards saw her washing out some things in the laundry, and after seeing the water at the back of the watch house excited my suspicions, and I went up to her bedroom, when I observed certain stains by the bedside carpets, and I then called Mrs. Meaning, the laundry woman, to come and see it, and then we both went down and called Ann Snow into the kitchen, and asked her the meaning of it, and she said “nothing.” About half an hour after that I went to the closet, where I saw Ann Snow, who said she had broken a dish, and asked what she should do with it; should she fling it in? I see she could if you liked. She then asked how often it was cleaned out, and I said “very often,” and she then took the dish back to the scullery. My suspicions were again excited, and I looked down and could see something in a cloth. I went for Mrs. Meaning, and we lowered a lighted candle, when we could see a bundle in the soil. She went out for a pair of tongs, and I took it out, and on opening the duster in which it was wrapped I found the body of a female child, with a small napkin tied right round its throat. I then went to Ann Snow, and told her Mrs. Meaning wanted her. She said, “What for?” I said, “Go down and see that the baby we have taken up.“ She said, “Oh! Don't say anything about it.” I said I should tell Mr. Beazley, my master, and I did. She went down, and she then acknowledged that the child was hers, and we then asked why she tied the string round its neck. She said first she didn't know, and then that she thought she should never able to get a living for it. Mr. Beazley had given her notice to quit. We have since examined her box, and there was no preparation made for her confinement. She told me she had one child now living, and not two years old. [The napkin round the infant’s neck was marked in Ann Snow's name.] Sarah Meaning corroborated the above statement, adding that when she asked who tied the napkin round the child's neck, Snow said she did it to destroy it, but she had never heard it cry. P.C. Gilbert said he was sent for to the Needles Hotel on Tuesday. He saw Ann Snow there, and said there was a serious charge against her, and she replied that whatever punishment there was awarded her, she must take it, as she tied the napkin round its neck on purpose to destroy it. She said she had been delivered of one child in the Workhouse last Easter twelve-month, which was then alive. C. W. Hollis, Esq ., M.D., said he was sent for on Tuesday to the Needles Hotel, where he was shown the body of a child recently born. A napkin had been tied round his neck, which had caused the face to be much swollen, and the tongue to project. The body was then cold, but it had not been dead a very long time. He then went into the kitchen, where he found Ann Snow sitting by the fire, and asked her if she was the mother of the child he had just seen, and she said she was. He then had her removed, and properly attended to, and on examination he found that she had been recently delivered, and she said she tied the napkin round its neck after it was born, but that it had never cried. He then examined the infant, and found that it was a fine full-grown child. He found a great effusion of blood on the brain, the blood vessels were gorged with blood, and he had no doubt whatever that his death was occasioned by suffocation, and that it was strangled by means of the napkin which was tied around his neck. The Jury returned a verdict of “Wilful Murder” against Ann Snow, and the coroner immediately made out a warrant for her being committed to the next Assizes for trial, as early as it is possible for her to be removed. Prisoner’s friends live at Swanmore, near Ryde, and she herself lived in service at Ventnor previous to her engaging at the Needles Hotel.

COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. –  Ann Snow, of the Needles Hotel, Freshwater, who was charged before the Coroner's Jury on Thursday, the 22nd  inst., with the wilful murder of her infant child, and a verdict was returned against to that effect. The Court granted the application, and the prisoner, if sufficiently recovered from illness, will be brought before the Court this day (Saturday).

COWES. - An inquest was held on Monday, at the Three Crowns, on the body of Mr. Hauxthausen’s child, which was accidentally scolded the day previously, owing to the upsetting of a saucepan filled with boiling water. A verdict of accidental death was recorded.

COWES. - The crew of H.M.’s frigate Emerald have been allowed to visit Cowes, in small parties, much to the delight of some, and the annoyance, we hope of none, as the men generally have conducted themselves well, although some have not returned to their ship as punctually as may have been desired.

COWES. – FATAL ACCIDENT. - The quiet town of East Cowes was painfully excited on Wednesday afternoon by an accident which occurred at the gas works. It appears that Mr. Billowes, the manager of the East Cowes Gas Works, accompanied by Mr. Watts, manager of the Parkhurst Gas Works, and two sons of Mr. Strickland, of Parkhurst, was standing by the side of the station meter, which Mr. Billowes was showing to them, when an explosion took place - killing Mr. Billowes and the eldest son of Mr. Strickland, and seriously injuring the younger son, as well as Mr. Watts and a mechanic present, named Guy, whose jaw was broken. An inquest was held on the bodies on Thursday last, and the jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death .”

VENTNOR. - On Thursday and Friday the amateur theatricals gave entertainments at the Institution to crowded audiences. The parts were well sustained by the different performers and gave great satisfaction to the audiences. The proceeds are to be devoted to the funds of the 5th Isle of Wight Rifle Volunteers, but the profits will be considerably reduced by the great expense incurred by the fitting up of the building, the female performers from Southampton, and the band.

The Isle of Wight 150 years ago

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1 January 2013