The Isle of Wight 150 years ago.
Extracts from the Hampshire Telegraph.
3 May 1862
We are informed that the Town Clerk has this week forwarded to the Lord Mayor of London the sum of £95 14s. 0d., as the contribution of the inhabitants of the Borough of Newport, toward the memorial fund for the erecting of a monument to his late Royal Highness the Prince Consort.
A fire broke out in a double cottage at Pitt-place, near Brixton, on the evening of Monday last, which was occupied by two labouring men named Cotton and Woodford, and the building being covered with thatch, the place was burned down in a very short space of time, and before the poor occupiers could save much of their goods. The property belongs to Sir John Simeon, Bart.
The new cedar built barque Cedrine, lately stranded near Grange Chine, with a number of returned convicts on board, has become such a total wreck that the underwriters intend submitting her hull and rigging to public auction, on Tuesday next, after a most unsuccessful attempt to get her off, in which probably more money was expended than the whole of her hull will ever realise under the Auctioneer’s hammer.
BOROUGH COURT. - A half-crazed individual, in the uniform of the 22nd Regiment, who had forgotten is own name, was charged by P.C. Tyley with being drunk and disorderly on Sunday evening. It appeared that the prisoner had gone into several public houses, called for liquor, and after drinking it, departed without paying for it. Prisoner said he had been discharged from the 22nd Regiment, but that he had lit his pipe with the discharge. The Court ordered the police to take him to the barracks, and ascertain if his story was correct, and the colonel having confirmed the tale, the prisoner was sent out of the island.
COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. – Charles Kinchler, a poor miserable-looking wretch of the tramp genius, was charged with breaking into the dwelling-house of James Wood, at Lake in the parish of Gatcombe, in the afternoon of Easter Monday, whilst the inmates were gone off to Carisbrooke Fair, and stealing therefrom a quantity of silver and copper coin, to the amount of about twelve shillings, amongst which were a remarkable green halfpenny, another with a hole in it, and four farthings. The prisoner, who was seen in the neighbourhood that afternoon, having been traced to a tramps’ lodging-house in Pyle-street by P.C. Lawlor and searched, these identical coins were found upon him, and clearly recognise by the cow-boy on the farm,, who had taken them the same morning for milk and deposited them in his master’s money-box in the kitchen, from which about twelve shillings in silver and copper was abstracted. Prisoner made no defence, and was committed to the next sessions.
COWES. The Swedish barque Tjalmar which arrived here in a leaky and damage state, having transhipped her cargo of coffee on board the English steam-ship Jarrow, has be taken into Mr. John White’s outer dock for repair, which will be somewhat of an extensive nature.
RYDE. RUSSIAN FRIGATE AT THE MOTHERBANK. - The fine screw Russian frigate Oleg has been at her present moorings for the last week. The crew had visited the town in great numbers, and appeared pleased with all they saw. They are well-conducted men, and behaved with great propriety.
FIRE AT ELVINGTON HOUSE. - On Thursday morning last, between five and six o'clock, a fire was discovered in the bed-room of the occupant of the mansion, the Hon. W. Stourton, who had been an invalid for some time. The fire was speedily extinguished, its ravages being consigned to the room in which it originated. The property is insured. The cause of the fire has not been ascertained.
10 May 1862
The wreck of the Cedrine, lately stranded near Grange Chine with a party of convicts on board, was sold by auction on Tuesday last, when the hull as it lays, masts, spars, anchors, &c., was knocked down to a Portsmouth merchant for £145.
THE COWES AND NEWPORT RAILWAY begins to show signs of vitality at last, and a number of stalwart navvies are now busily engaged in forming the approaches to the Newport terminus, which is rather curiously situated in close contiguity to the county police station. On Saturday the first railway engine, the “Pioneer,” with its tender, and a railway carriage, filled with the employees of the Company and their families, to the very great astonishment of all the old women in the neighbourhood, who had never heard the screech of a railway whistle in their lives, made its way up to the Newport terminus from West Cowes and back again, leading us to hope that the line would be opened very shortly; but since then we are informed that from the continual shifting of the clay soil at the gas works at the latter place, a further delay is inevitable, as the contractor has found it necessary to remove the present bridge to a safer foundation, and to cause a deviation in the line itself, which will necessarily prevent it from being opened as early as could be wished for.
A CORONER’S INQUEST was held on Wednesday, by F. Blake, Esq., at the residence of F.B. Tuttiett, Esq., surgeon, in Pyle-street, on the body of Edward John, his eldest son, aged 16, who was found dead in the surgery on the morning of Tuesday. It appeared by the evidence which extended to a considerable length, that two of his father's patients had waited for a considerable time that morning in a portion of the surgery, which was separated by a curtain from the dispensary, whilst the servant girl was searching the house over for the purpose of discovering where Master Edward had taken himself to, and she at last looked behind the curtain in the surgery, where she found him leaning back his head on the counter, with his feet on the ground, but quite dead. The family were directly alarmed, and his father laid him down on the ground and poured some strong ammonia down his throat but to no effect, as he had been dead probably for half an hour. It was stated that he breakfasted with the family at nine o'clock, and nothing particular was observed in his appearance, that from the discovery of a bottle of prussic acid, and another bottle of chloroform, which was left on the counter, there were strong reasons to suspect that he had come by his death from his own hands. It appeared, on examination, that about two months ago he was laid up with an irritation of the brain and symptoms of fever, which rendered him for a time delirious and unable to sleep at night, for which his father described a soothing medicine called chlorodine, which is a compound of hydrocyanic acid (prussic), chloroform, and laudanum, and that after he recovered he was frequently in the habit of resorting to this mixture to enable him to sleep, and was often trying experiments on himself as to its strength and effect, that whether on this occasion he had been preparing another, for the use of his father’s patients, or for the purpose of destroying his own life, could not be satisfactorily ascertained. No motive whatever was shown why he should have resorted to the latter dreadful alternative. After a lengthened enquiry the jury returned a verdict effect that “His death was occasioned by his having incautiously administered to himself an excessive dose of prussic acid and chloroform, and that by reason of his drinking the said medicine he did there and there did die”
RYDE. THE COMING SEASON. - The fine weather having set in so early, although for a day or two broken in upon by rain, has brought some visitors to Ryde already, and from recollections of 1851, the period of the first International Exhibition, a good season is expected this year. Should the weather prove favourable, there is little doubt that Ryde will obtain a fair share of visitors from the metropolis, who, after having satiated their curiosity by exploring the mysteries of the colossal Temple of art, science and industry at South Kensington, and becoming well acquainted with the amusements of the metropolis, will feel disposed to revel in the less sophisticated delights of the country. Such was the case in 1851, and there is every reason to anticipate a reputation in 1862 be circumstances being so similar.
17 May 1862
THE CONTRACT for supplying the police clothing (which is this year to be assimilated to the County uniform) was taken on Monday by Mr. John Lock, of the High-street, Draper, at 60s. 6d. the suit, (coat and trawsers); hats 11s. 6d., by Mr. Robert Cotton, St. James’s-street, hatter.
A VERY SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCE occurred at Brooke on Saturday morning, when the body of a man was discovered floating in the water, about four o'clock, by a fisherman named Cooper, and brought to land. From the appearance of his face a report was circulated that he had been murdered during the night. The Deputy Coroner, Mr. Edward Blake, in company with Dr. Wavell, went to the place directly, a jury was empanelled, and the body examined carefully, but there was nothing about it to warrant the supposition that the deceased had been murdered by a blow, the abrasions being probably occasioned by collusion with the rocks. In the opinion of Dr. Wavell deceased had died from suffocation, but he could not decide whether he came by his death from drowning or not. It was evident, however, that the body which was of the gigantic structure, had not been in the water many hours. Deceased was fully dressed, appeared to be between 50 and 60 years of age, very tall, and corpulent withal; had the appearance of a foreign Seaman, was dressed in a monkey jacket, and trousers, a “sou wester” hat, and a pair of shoes with wooden soles. A key and knife were found in his pockets, and a small metal cross was suspended round his neck by a string. The jury recorded a verdict of “Found dead, cause and name unknown.”
COWES. - Great activity prevails in the yachting world; a much larger number of yachts now being brought forward for the summer than on any previous year. At Ratsey’s, we find in the yachts Tartar and Skipjack are refitting. A yacht is in the course of building for J. Coode, Esq. One schooner for Liverpool, one for Norwich and two more are ordered for Liverpool, which Mr. Ratsey hesitates to accept, he being so full of work. At Hansen’s, Lord Fitzwilliam's Gypsy Queen, and Count Ratthyani’s Flying Cloud, are being completed for the sea, and a large steam yacht for G.H. Stevenson, Esq., is ordered of the same builders. Mr. John White’s men are fully occupied in completing H.M.S. Egmont, also a cutter for the Revenue Service, and a fleet of life-boats building for the Pasha of Egypt, and several of our great steam packet companies. At East Cowes at Messrs. White’s we find the beautiful Viking being coppered, the Sultana refitting, and Sir Henry Beacher’s yacht being rapidly completed.
24 May 1862
The purchasers of the Cedrine, from Bermuda with a number of convicts, which was wrecked at Grange Chine, have now entirely abandoned their attempts to float her out of the dock she has formed for herself under the Cliff, and several men are now employed in breaking up, when the materials would probably be once more submitted to the Auctioneer’s hammer, with a very small percentage of profit, we suspect, attending the speculation.
COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS. – Thomas Cotton, a fisherman belonging to Mottistone, was charged with stealing an axe, a property of a William Cooper, another fisherman, residing at Compton. It appeared that the article in question, together with some oars, a boathook, a gin, and a quantity of rope was stolen from the complainant's boat-house on the night of 15th March, and, having made the police acquainted with the robbery. P.S Biles searched the prisoner’s premises on Tuesday the 13th inst., when he found an axe of similar description to the one lost, several oars, some rope and a few gins, but the complainant could only identify the axe, and that by the notches on the edge. Mr. Beckingsale appeared for the prisoner, and contended that upon such loose evidence it would be hard to send the prisoner for trial, and, after some deliberation, the court dismissed the charge.
We are pleased to hear that arrangements have been entered into for the Rifle Brass Band to perform either in Newport, or some other public place in the suburbs of the town, for an hour or two at least every alternate Tuesday evening. The first performances to take place in St. James’-square on Tuesday evening next, at seven o'clock. The following program having been selected for the amusement of the public, viz.:- Boleri, Good news from the Home, Waltzes, Sunshine; Polker, Primrose; Schottische, Garibaldi; God save the Queen.
31 May 1862
THE COWES AND NEWPORT RAILWAY is expected to be opened to the public somewhere about Whit Monday, the Government Inspector having surveyed the line on Friday last, and pronounced it sufficiently safe for all purposes of transit, though a few improvements in the viaducts and crossings have been recommended. The approaches to the Newport Terminus are fast approaching completion, so much of it, (as if expecting a junction at one time or another with the proposed to direct line from Ryde to Newport, a Bill for which is now before the Committee,) is necessarily of a very temporary nature, and not altogether of the most satisfactory appearance as regards the architectural part of it.
COUNTY PETTY SESSIONS, - Mr. Swainson, Solicitor to the Board of Admiralty, preferred a serious charge against a very old fisherman named John Snow, and his wife Jane, residing at Brixton, for having in their possession and concealing two blankets, the property of the Crown, marked B.O., and the broad arrow, and which formed a portion of the Government stores sent home in the Cedrine latterly wrecked near Grange China, it being, he (Mr. Swainson) averted, one of the clearest cases of possession and concealment he had ever heard of. He submitted that the prisoners must be committed to take their trial at the Sessions. P.S. Byles being sworn said, he went to the residence of the prisoners at Brixton on the 9th of April last, in company with Lieut. Cutajar, where he saw the female prisoner, and asked her if she had any Government property in the house which was marked with a broad arrow, when the old lady said she had nothing in the house at what she had honestly paid for, the then said he search the house, and went up stairs into her bedroom, the old lady following him, and herself turning up the beds to show that nothing was concealed, but wishing to look for himself, he examined a sort of case under the bed, and on opening it the found within the blanket now produce, was marked B.O., and the broad arrow, and Lieut. Cutajar found another similar to it on the bed, which Mrs. Snow declared she had purchased some years ago in Newport, and swore she'd be ------ if they should take it away. On the Tuesday following he went to the house again, and saw the old man, and asked him if he could account for the Government stores in his possession. He said the knew no more than his wife told him, namely, that is she had bought them in Newport some years ago. Lieut. Cutajar corroborated the Sergeant’s evidence, and deposed the two blankets then before the Court were precisely of the same description as those which came home in the Cedrine, wrecked at Grange Chine. Mr. Beckingsale appeared for the prisoners, and said that they were entirely innocent of the charges laid against them, which he should be able to prove from the most respectable and undeniable evidence, calling on the part of the defence, Mr. John Lock, a Draper, in the High-street, who on being sworn said: “I know Mrs. Snow now present, and in the year 1850 I purchased some Government Stores at a public sale at Gosport, and these blankets are precisely similar to those I did purchase. I have brought some of them here this day, which I retained for the use of my own servants, and they are exactly alike, Marks, colour, and material. I sold some of those blankets to Mrs. Snow, though I do not know how many at this period of time and they were all sold out in a year after I bought them.” The Court said the female prisoner must be dismissed at once, as her husband was the occupier of the premises where the blankets were found, and he alone was responsible for the possession of them As for the male prisoner, it was useless to go into the case further, as it was quite certain that he came into legal possession of these goods, he could leave the Court without a stain on his character, and they hope that there are thousands of people in this kingdom who after passing through such a long life, possessed a similar character. - (Loud applause.) Mr. Swainson, who appears to be quite taken aback by such an unexpected decision, said he must be allowed to ask the witness in question, as there was a legal point in the Act of Parliament, which declared that unless such persons when sent for trial should produce a certificate of their having been publicly sold by auction, they should be committed for having them in their possession he would ask, therefore, if Mr. Lock had any certificate with these goods when he purchased them? - Witnesses said it was so many years ago he was not quite certain, but he did at a public auction, Mr. Crook, of Gosport, being the auctioneer, and the blankets were represented as being returned from the Crimea. - The Court said Mr. Lock’s name was too well known to be disputed for one moment, and though it might be desired for the purchaser of such goods as these by wholesale to receive a certificate of their having been legally transferred to him, it would be useless for him to give another certificate of the fact to all the people to whom he retail them; they would, however, recommend him to preserve the certificate for the next time he purchased government property with the broad arrow on it, especially when, as it appeared in the instance before them, the government marks had never been defaced. - The old man was in consequence honourably dismissed, and the old lady went off with her bundle of blankets in a great passion, because the Court had no power to allow her any expenses!