Saturday, 25 August 2012

Echoes of our past NEWS...... 24th August 1872

Echoes of our past….. Past News

24th August 1872
Main news -

There were no major events this week, but instead this article caught my eye.  An article about “Derbyshire curious epitaphs”.

This one was said to be located in the graveyard at Brampton Church, reading –

Sacred to the memory of Caroline, daughter of Charles and Mary Marsden of Cutthorpe, who died May 29, 1816 aged 22 years…..

Should the false youth observe this humble stone,
He for whom Caroline vainly sighed,
Let him reflect it was for him alone,
She wished to live, for him alone she died”

The explanation of this sad and tragic epitaph was that Caroline had committed suicide following her failed love.  The paper described it as a tale of “suicide following seduction”.


*A Clay Cross railway under-guard named Redwood was injured when the train he was riding on caught a lump of wood, which caught his leg and tore all the flesh away.  Redwood was transferred to Chesterfield station and then on to the North Derbyshire Royal Infirmary.

*Samuel and Jonathan French of Unstone, both under 7 years of age were charged with setting fire to a hay rick belonging to Mr H Rangeley.  Because of their “extreme youth” the boys were cautioned and discharged. 

*Stray animals – Joshua Turner a farmer was charged for allowing two cows to stray on the highway at Barlow, his case was dismissed.  Paul singleton was not so lucky, charged with allowing a horse to stray in Grange Lane, Barlow he was fined 2s 6d and costs.

*Samuel Deane an acrobat, was not so capable of acrobatics when he was found to be drunk and incapable in Stonegravels.  He was fined 5s and costs or 7 days imprisonment.

*A meeting took place in the Municipal Hall at Chesterfield with regard to the 1872 Licensing Act.  The Borough Magistrates for Chesterfield discussed the Bill and decided that public houses would be closed on Sundays, Christmas Day and Good Friday at 10pm and all other days at 11pm.  They referred to the Superintendent Home reports which stated that most of the drunk and riotous cases had taken place between the hours of 10pm and 1am.

*Chesterfield hospital admissions –

The hospital reported the following numbers of cases –

In patients – admitted 3, discharged 1, in hospital 18, died 0.

Out patients – admitted 22, discharged 20, on the books 81, died 1.


*William Hutton and Mary Frith at the Wesleyan Chapel, Chesterfield on August 19th.

*David Ellse of Ashover to Martha Barber at Ashover on August 19th.

*William Hubbuck and Susannah Davenport at Brampton Parish Church on August 18th.

*Walter Loverock and Frances Mary Stenson at Denby on August 14th.


*Richard Johnson aged 72, land surveyor on August 17th at Calow.

*John Straw Wheeldon aged 25 on August 20th at Tapton Cottage. (20th/22nd writing faint)

*Elizabeth Walker aged 29 on August 18th at Tapton.

*Matthew Reeves aged 1 on August 14th at West Row, Chesterfield.


*Cricket at Staveley Town –

Played at the recreation ground attached to the Crown Inn, a game between the “Victoria” Staveley and the “East Derbyshire Rovers” (Duckmanton) Clubs.  The game was reported as first class with special mention to Fullerton (EDR) and Jervis (Victoria).  The Victoria won the game scoring 126 runs in 2 innings.  The EDF scored 119 runs in 2 innings.


Fancy a new job?

*Cook for Chesterfield Hospital, £15 wages per annum plus board, lodgings and washing, apply to the Matron.

*Active young person as plain cook and willing to make herself generally useful.  Good salary – apply Mrs Burrows, Workmen’s Hall, Barrow Hill.

*Apprentice to the Whitesmith and bell-hanging business, apply J Hancock, Vicar Lane.

*Wanted, 20 good pickmen, at the Old Silkstone Collieries.  The advert offers married men accommodation with houses at moderate rents.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

UPDATE of the Past News 22nd August 1903

Catch up on the full story of last weeks NEWS...........

*Charles Whiting -

Charles Whiting was a well-known and much loved member of Chesterfield’s society.  He was famous for his roundabouts and swings which would be found at all the local fairs in Derbyshire.  He was in ill health and died on the anniversary of his wedding – he had married Mary Elizabeth Partridge at Sheffield Parish Church on 15th August 1888.

Charles faced bankruptcy and not long before his death the Official Receiver in Bankruptcy paid his creditors. 

A large crowd attended his funeral service at St Thomas’ Church, Brampton, including high numbers from the two main van-dwelling families in the area – the Whiting and Partridge families.

The funeral did not go without incident though, as a letter written in to the paper complained how the Church was being decorated and no arrangements had been made by the Church for the funeral.  The mourning party and the curate were to huddle in the aisle and the service was cut short.  When the coffin was to be lowered into the grave it was found that it was too narrow to reach the bottom.  All the time more and more mourners were arriving at the Church, so much so that all the traffic on the road had to be stopped!  In the end the widow was asked to allow the coffin to be propped up on bricks, she agreed and an end was made to the sorry state of affairs the funeral had turned in to.  In a statement issued by the Church, they denied that the coffin was propped up on the bricks.

Bankruptcy –

Charles William Whiting appeared at Chesterfield’s Bankruptcy Court on 22nd March 1901.  He declared that he had no assets and owed £97.  He said he had started his business with a “cocoanut sheet” and progressed to own several roundabouts.  He could not explain where all his money had gone.  His biggest creditor was a John Whiting of Manchester, to whom he owed £150.  When the bailiffs attended Charles in the December earlier they estimated that he had around £2000 worth of property and the business was to be sold as a going concern.  The sale went ahead at Sheffield on January 2nd and released £411.  Charles was said to have taken £250 from his bank account two weeks later on 14th January.  He was asked what he did with the money, to which he replied that he had gambled the money away, “you can easily spend a quarter of a thousand in less than two months”.  He was asked if he had saved some, but answered no.  Had he given some to his father? No, his father Samuel a photographer had killed himself with drink and spent £1000.

In conclusion the Registrar asked “you can throw no light on this extraordinary state of affairs - £2,000 worth of assets gone, and nothing left now?” to which Charles replied “that is too true Sir”.  Charles was said to have “showed himself to be possessed of a very limited intelligence”.  He was at this time working for his wife’s father, a William Partridge as a roundabout engine driver.

Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 23rd March 1901

~ ~ x ~ ~

*The McDermott family

On the 1911 census George and Mary McDermott are living at 8 Victoria Street, Chesterfield.  They have documented that they have had four children born, including one which has died.

The other children are 14 year old Ethel, 11 year old George and 5 years old Harry.  Ethel and George would have been around 6 and 3 years old respectively when George and Mary had taken baby Thomas out and he had died the next morning.  I wonder where these two children where that fateful night?
~ ~ x ~ ~
*The wild Sarah Smith
A further article stated that Sarah Smith he had just come out of Gaol on the Friday and walked into Bolsover and got drunk.  Later that year in October, having been convicted 5 times previously in the last 12 months, Sarah was sentenced to 21 days hard labour at Derby Gaol.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Echoes of our past NEWS...... 22nd August 1903

Echoes of our past….. Past News

22nd August 1903
Main news -

Death at Grassmoor Colliery –

Yet another tragic death of a young person at a colliery was the subject of the news this week!

John Lawton aged 18 years old was a pony driver at No4 pit at Grassmoor Colliery.  John was a local lad, living at Long Row, Unstone. 

It was surmised that John was riding on the shafts of the first of a train of tubs, when the pony stumbled and caused the tub to rear, killing both John and the pony.

At the inquest which was held at the Boot and Shoe Inn at Grassmoor, it was pointed out that the boys were of habit to ride the shafts instead of walking and that over the past week this had caused 2 fatal accidents.  Mr Stokes, H.M Inspector of mines asked if this action was considered safe, to which witnesses said that both walking and riding could be a danger.


*Mary McDermott and her husband George McDermott appeared at the inquest of their 4 week old baby son Thomas who had died whilst in bed with his parents.  The family lived at 53 Spital Lane and George was a collier.  It seems that on the Saturday night at 21.00hrs Mary decided to take baby Thomas out to do some shopping.  Whilst out she called into 2 public houses and visited a friend’s home with her husband, they returned home at 01.30 in the early hours of Sunday morning.  Thomas was placed in the bed in between Mary and George and the family fell asleep.  Mary said she woke at 03.30 and Thomas was fine, but when she woke again at 08.00 poor baby Thomas had passed away. 

The Coroner Dr A Green was appalled by the parent’s actions.  He asked why Mary had taken a 4 week old child out so late at night, when he should be in bed.  Mary replied that she now realised that it was wrong.  Witnesses, Mary O’Neill, wife of Michael O’Neill of Church Lane and Elizabeth Toobey, wife of Thomas Toobey of 3 Beetwell Street, both gave evidence to state that Mary was sober but George was “fresh”. 

A verdict of death due to suffocation was passed on the sad loss of baby Thomas.  It is not stated as to what happened to poor Mary and George McDermott.

*Adoption – in a small advert in the classified ad’s was a request for homes to be found for 2 boys, one aged 2 years old the other four months; and 2 girls, one 15 months and the other 3 months.  The ad went on to say that the children were all healthy and no premiums or payments were required, however references would be required.  The children were from Whishaw Orphanage, Arnside, Carnforth.

*Maintenance of wife – A Whittington man named Alfred Joseph Cook was summoned at Chesterfield Court by the poor law authorities for deserting his wife and thus leaving her requiring help from the Union.  He was charged £20 and a further £5 payment in 3 months.

*Weddings –

Mr William Tarlton, son of Mr H Tarlton of School House, North Wingfield married Miss Mary Elizabeth Farnsworth, eldest daughter of Mr Fred Farnsworth of the Sportsman Inn, Grassmoor.   The groom was a trooper in the Sherwood Rangers and had seen active service in South Africa.  The service took place at St Lawrence’s Church, North Wingfield on the afternoon of 19th August.

*Chesterfield hospital admissions –

Joseph Harrison, aged 39 years of Hasland, admitted on Wednesday with bruises to the head which he sustained at Calow Colliery.

Tom Hargreaves, aged 30 years of Grassmoor, admitted on Thursday with scalp wounds received at Grassmoor Colliery.

S Wigley seriously injured on Thursday and still unconscious on this publication, he was also injured at a Colliery, this time Markham Colliery.


*Chambers – on August 15th a son was born to Mr and Mrs Fred Chambers of Staveley Town.


*Charles Shaw, husband to the late Rebecca Shaw of 3 Bradley Buildings, South Street aged 75 years. 17th August.

*Charles Whiting – aged 36 years old, at Brampton.  A van dweller and roundabout proprietor.  Interred at St Thomas Church, Brampton. 15th August.

*Samuel Draycott – at Cambrian Collieries, Natal, South Africa.  Aged 45 years old and husband of Alice.  17th July 1903.


Cricket – Derbyshire V London Town

The match which should have taken place on Thursday was postponed due to heavy rain which fell from 8am all day. 


A cheeky lass named Sarah Smith was called three times to the bench at Chesterfield Court, on charges of being drunk and disorderly in Market Street, Bolsover on August 12th.  When asked why she had not responded to her name being called she stated that she had 1/2d and so begged a penny and was able to get a drink! To which she laughed!  Sarah was drunk again.

The Bench decided upon a fine of 7s 6d and costs, but in true spirit Sarah replied “I shall pay nothing”.  The Court answered “Very well, seven days”

I wonder if Sarah ever did pay her fine. I doubt it.


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

UPDATE of the Past News 12th August 1865

Catch up on the full story of last weeks NEWS...........

The Glasshouse Pit incident -

The inquest was held at the Fleur-de-Lis Inn at Unstone, chaired by Mr Busby, coroner.  A government inspector was also present, named Mr Evans.
James Clarke was to give his recollections of the tragic morning of 8th August 1865.  He stated that he and William Booth had been sent down to the bottom of No2 pit, when the cage sprang back up to the top.  James Clarke was lucky to have been thrown out of the cage, but William Booth fell with the cage to the bottom of the pit where he was killed.

Frank Lowe was in the cage with Daniel Cooke and another boy named Hibberd, they arrived at the bottom of No.3 pit when it sprang back.  Frank Lowe and Hibberd were able to remove themselves from the cage, but Daniel Cooke was not so lucky.  He cage sprang back to the pit top where it remained but Daniel fell to the pit bottom where he was killed.

Several witnesses to the accident were called including John Wilson and Benjamin Draycott.  The inquest heard how the procedure was to send down loaded corves to the first half of the shafts, then on the successful completion of that check the boys then got into those cages and were sent back down the pit, whilst the other half of the shafts were checked with the loaded corves.

The inquest returned a verdict of accidental death.  The coroner added that he was of the opinion that “the works were insufficiently managed, from the fact that there were from 16 to 18 shafts of different depths and distances worked by one engine and the engineer having only three in view of him from the engine house”.  James Pollard and engineer from Renishaw stated that in his opinion it was not right to draw empty cages against full ones and that 16 pits should not be worked from one engine.

William Booth was the son of Walter and Elizabeth Booth.  On the 1861 census he was living at Unstone with his parents, elder sister Hannah and younger siblings Eliza, Frederick and Elizabeth.  William was 11 years old and recorded as being born at New Basford.  His father Walter was a labourer at the iron works. 

It looks like Walter also met a tragic end as a 49 year old Walter Booth of Unstone was crushed by falling clay whilst he was filling wagons with fallen earth at the Ramshaw Wood cutting on the branch line from Chesterfield to Sheffield.  The incident occurred on 8th March 1869 when he sustained fractured ribs and he died Saturday 13th March 1869.

Daniel Cooke was the son of Vincent and Emma Cooke.  His father was also an iron stone miner, born in Thorpe, Yorkshire.  On the 1861 census the family are living at Apperknowle.  At age 12 years old, Daniel was the eldest child still living at home and he and his younger brother, 10 year old James were also working at the Ironstone pit.  Other siblings are; Henry aged 7 years old, Arthur aged 5 years old and Alfred aged 2 years old.


Saturday, 11 August 2012

Echoes of our past NEWS.......12th August 1865

Echoes of our past….. Past News

12th August 1865
Main news -


On the Tuesday morning the day began as normal at the Ironstone Pits on Glasshouse Common.  It was 7am and about 100 men and boys were gathered at the pit top waiting for the daily check of the ropes which would be used to send the corves up and down into the pit bottom.  A corve is a basket / tub which was lowered into the pit and the coal then brought up to the surface in them.  The men were not allowed to descend into the pit before these corves and namely the ropes and mechanism’s that lowered them, had been checked for safety.

On this day, the safety checks were to prove catastrophic –

Two empty corves were brought to the bank and Daniel Cook and two boys got into one corve, whilst James Clark and William Booth got into the other.  They were then both lowered into the pit, at the same time as seven full corves where drawn up by the pulley system.

As the seven full corves reached the surface it was reported that a load bang was heard and chaos ensued.  The ropes had broken the laggings off the drums and were “flying in various directions”.  The engine man did act quickly and apply his brakes but the sudden descent of the seven laden corves back into the pit bottom was so rapid that neither Cook nor Booth was able to get out of their respective baskets.  The two boys were able to jump to safety and Clark also escaped but was caught on the leg in the process.

And now for the gruesome bit – if you are of delicate disposition please skip this bit!

The Derbyshire Times gave the following account of the injuries caused to William Booth and Daniel Cook –

“Cooks head was split open: he fell a depth of 50 yards: he was 16 years of age.

Booths head, it is thought was caught by the head-stocks by a large pulley, and the top of the head was cut off the brains being scattered for many yards round the top of the pit.  His thumb was found nine yards and a half from a portion of the brains.  The body was completely smashed and every bone broken.  Booth was 15 years old”

It was said that the cause of the accident was a mystery, “the engine is a steady experienced workman”

The inquest –

On the following morning an inquest was held at the house of Vincent Cook, chaired by C.S.B Busby.  The jury were taken to the place of the accident at Glasshouse Common in Whittington.  Vincent Cook father of the Daniel Cook and Elizabeth Booth mother of William Booth identified the bodies.  The inquest was adjourned until the 31st August at noon.


*Thomas Heath a potter of Brampton was charged by Samuel Barber a tailor of Brampton with assaulting him.  Thomas Heath was the nephew of Samuel and he had allegedly struck him without any provocation.  This was not the first time that Thomas had caused troubles to his Uncle; he had previously “robbed his garden” but as the lad was a relation Samuel had not pressed charges that time.  Now however, Samuel was “in bodily fear of the defendant, and wished him to be bound over to the keep the peace towards him”.  Thomas did not attend the hearing, but was fined 20s and 17s costs, or one month’s imprisonment with hard labour.

*Careless driver – Josh. Garick was charged by Sergeant O’Connor whilst traveling in Brampton.  He had two carts but only one had a horse attached.  The farmer of Stony Middleton said that he left his horse and cart in the care of a young man whilst he went to buy a coat for his boy.  The young man had promised to take charge of the cart as far as the Pheasant public house.  Josh. Garick was “such a distance behind his horse and cart that he had no control over them”  Josh was fined 8s 4d.

*The new school at Cutthorpe was advertised to take place on Tuesday 15th August , the Floral and Horticultural Society was exhibit on the day.


*William Turner, Collier of Stonegravels to Martha Hill of West Bars.

*William Nadin, Collier to Martha Mallinder of Stonegravels.


*William son of John Langden, Newbold aged 5 weeks

*William Barber aged 72

*Susannah Scott daughter of Henry Sterland aged 7 weeks

*Mary Hannah daughter of Henry Mason, Newbold aged 4 days

*John Joseph McSwiney, youngest son of James Joseph McSwiney died at 44 Gloucester Road, Regents Park

*Mrs Hannah Coates, aged 35 at “Smythy-moor” Stretton

*Alice daughter of John Brown, confectioner at Bank Yard, Low Pavement aged 10 months
*Jane Gaging of Church Lane aged 72

Cricket – Chesterfield V Chatsworth

The return match which was played on Thursday in Chatsworth Park resulted in a draw.  Play was good on both sides.

On a brighter note, “an interesting event took place in a third class carriage on the Midland Line on Tuesday evening”.  An unnamed couple were traveling from Leeds when she “was seized with pangs of maternity”.  By the time they had arrived in at the Wicker station a “fine young boy had been born”  The family were placed in a cab and took residence with relatives in Washington Road.


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

UPDATE of the Past News 4th August 1860

Catch up on the full story of last weeks NEWS...........

William Roper and James Cafferny ~

William Roper and James Cafferny appeared at the Derby Quarter Sessions on Wednesday 17th October 1860. They pleaded guilty to the 3 indictments for stealing against them. Witnesses were called and all called for mercy upon Roper and confirmed his good character. But the Bench was not to be easily convinced and both men were sentenced to a further 4 months imprisonment with hard labour.

A check of the 1861 census shows that William Roper had been released from prison. He was aged 32 years old and living with his wife Emily on Ashgate Road. He was still working as a plasterer. William and Emily (nee Pursglove) had married at Chesterfield Register Office in 1859 - just before he was arrested for theft. How bad it must have been for poor Emily when her new husband was the talk of the town! Sadly William passed away aged just 39 years old in 1868. He left a wife Emily and a new born baby daughter called after her mother, Emily. In 1871 the two Emily's are still living on Ashgate Road, Emily senior is a shop keeper.

William's death was reported in the 2nd May 1868 edition of the Derbyshire Times, it reads "27th April at Hasland, Mr. William Roper a plaster of Chesterfield" The two Emily's do not appear in any census after 1871 - there is a death of a child Emily aged 8 years old in 1876 and the Derbyshire Times dated 16th February 1878 reports a death on "9th February, Brampton Emily Roper aged 47" and so it seems that the lives of the Roper's were sadly full of heartache.

And as for James Cafferny the second offender - I have found no trace of him in any census or registration indexes - maybe he was Irish and he returned home or maybe he changed his name and started over again - we may never know!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Echoes of our past NEWS........ 4th August 1860

Echoes of our past….. Past News
4th August 1860

The townspeople were excited at the news, that William Roper a plasterer and James Cafferny a labourer, had been charged with stealing from the premises of Mr Roberts, a small ware dealer of Low Pavement, Chesterfield. 

William Roper was a “thoroughly trustworthy man” and the news of his crime had caused much interest in the town of Chesterfield.

It seems the incidents occurred over the three weeks previous and the stolen objects included; two pieces of oil cloth, a box containing 26 worsted balls, 10 packets of Glenfields crystal, 16 boxes of matches, 12 lead pencils and a 6 small “pin poppits”.  Roper was found out after Superintendent Radford had been given information about the thefts and proceeded to Cafferny’s home, which he then searched and found the items.  Cafferny stated that he had been given the oil cloth eight of ten days ago by Roper.  Cafferny was working as a labourer for Roper at Mr Robert’s premises.  A search of Roper’s house found the other missing items, but his wife said she had got them from Eliza Page, sister-in-law to Mr Roberts, who lived at the shop premises.

But, this was not to be the end to the story! 

Whilst searching the house of William Roper, the police found a large counterpane, some china dishes, napkins, an antique punch ladle and a number of articles which were identified as belonging to his Grace the Duke of Devonshire. Roper had been working for the Duke of Devonshire at Hardwick Hall for some time and had been stealing various items during this time.  The list of stolen items was large and Roper had even stolen from his fellow tradesmen; a pulley block from Mr Hoyland, plumber, joiners tools from Mr G Heath and paint cans and brushes from Mr A Dutton. 

William Roper was tried at the County Police Court on Thursday 2nd August; he had nothing to say to the charge and was committed to take his trial at the October Quarter Sessions.  Both Roper and Cafferny were transported on the 2.23pm train to Derby Gaol.  It was reported that a large concourse of people assembled at the station to witness their departure.


*Elizabeth Holmes & Mary Gambles, “two nymphs of the pave” were charged, the former with stealing, the later with receiving.  Holmes took a bag containing a quantity of leather, sprigs and twine from shoemaker Joseph Slinn of Haughton, near Ashover.  He had stopped off for refreshments at a public house in the Shambles.  Holmes denied stealing and said it was done as a joke.  The Bench agreed with Holmes and the two women were dismissed of the charge against them.

*Jonathan Blank of the Boot & Slipper was charged with having his house open for the sale of drink on Sunday morning.  Sergeant Vincent entered the house to witness a man, drain his mug he was drinking out of.  Sergeant Vincent then went into the kitchen to find several me “shulling peas”.  The defence argued that the men were drinking coffee and the case was dismissed.

*Sarah Fearn, 20 a servant, pleaded guilty at the Summer Derbyshire Assizes to concealing the birth of a female child by secretly disposing of the dead body in a pit at Hartshorne.  Sarah was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment.


*William Holehouse to Mary Briggs, Chesterfield

*Benjamin Bunting to Mrs Matilda Needham of Ashover


*Ellen, wife of Alfred Fogg aged 19 years

*Mrs Martha Rees aged 33 years

*Mrs Mary Walsh ages 63 years

*Mr Thomas Turner, blacksmith aged 68 years

*Phoebe, daughter of Charles Shirley, Derby Road aged 17 years

*Mr Joseph Biggin, clerk to Brampton Brewery aged 35 years

*Nathan, son of Thomas Longden of Brimington aged 18 years


Cricket – Staveley v The Wednesday Club
Described as an easy win for Wednesday after a feeble opposition. 


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