Wednesday, 26 September 2012

UPDATE of the Past News 21st September 1895

Catch up on the full story of last weeks NEWS...........
Death of Ellis Lettall.

The death of Ellis a miner was described as very sudden.  Ellis lived at London Street, New Whittington with his wife and 4 children.  He was thought to have been in good health and only the day before (Saturday) he was watching the village football match.  He retired to bed that night and was found dead in bed the next morning.  His death was attributed to heart disease.

~ ~ x ~ ~
William Marsden –

The fatality was reported in the Sheffield Independent Newspaper (20th September 1895, page 6).  William was 32 years old and lived at High Street, Eckington.  He was working in the heading, wedging some coals down when the roof collapsed, striking him on the back of the neck.  His widow and 3 young children were to receive relief from Eckington Miners Permanent Relief Fund and the Midland District Miners Fatal Accident Relief Society, of which William was luckily a member.

William George Marsden was born in Beeley, Derbyshire in 1862. He married Thirza Barker in 1886 and they had three children Emma, William and Mary.  Thirza died in 1907. 

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Basil Ewing, the full story

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

Basil Ewing....... his amazing story....

BASIL EWING, following the story of the letter writer of my last post…

Here is an insight into our very own Ewing family, the Dallas family have nothing on the Tupton family…………

Basil was born on 17th May 1875 at Tupton, Chesterfield, son of John and Hannah Ewing.

Kate was born in 1871; she was a little older than smitten Basil and the daughter of James and Mary Foster of Mickleover, Derbyshire.

Kate and Basil had become engaged on 12th June 1892, which according to a letter published in the Derbyshire Times was Kate’s 21st birthday. The letter told how the couple had pledged that afternoon to be “true till death”. Basil was a true romantic, enclosing lilies of the valley which he had pressed. He declared his love “oh, my love, I love thee so” and many kisses.

Letters passed and in January 1894 he wrote “I know you will be so proud when it is Mrs Basil Ewing, and I shall too, and I hope it will be before long”. Not long after this Kate went to Birmingham to live and the two continued to court, letters from Basil told how he was missing her and would visit soon.

A letter of 21st September 1894 told Kate good news, her fiancĂ© would be arriving in “Brum at 11.20, so I shan’t be late. I expect you’ll sit up for me”. Back in Chesterfield and Basil wrote on 24th September 1894 “I did enjoy myself in Brum”.

One month passes and on 22nd October Basil and Kate seem to have worries; Basil wrote “I have been bothered about what you told me in that letter, but do sincerely hope that it is not correct, but really we can consider ourselves very lucky. We have escaped up to this, but please let me know if anything further develops. I hope it is all false, but cheer up, old duck, and keep your pecker up and we’ll pull through some road...... I can tell you bills take a lot of meeting and money is very bad to get hold of..... I am enclosing proof of the Yeomanry photo”. Further letters passed and in November Basil is still keeping his fingers crossed that this is a false alarm “You know duck; I keep hoping and trusting that you are under a false impression....... You said in your last “pay me the debt you owe me” Next time you write please tell me what you are referring to”. It seems that Kate is beginning to see that Basil is not going to marry her and the love affair is sadly over. Basil is now talking more about his time with the Yeomanry and his duties with the regiment.

On 11th December 1894 Basil wrote “you want to know if my heart has grown fonder of another. If I want it to, I shouldn’t write to you and come over to see you....... You can keep the photo and trust to the boy it represents and he’ll pull you through”. Now for the news “without warning on 12 January 1895” Basil wrote “Kate, you might as well know that I am engaged to and passionately love the girl at Clay Cross. I have been there tonight and it is so late or should have written more. Basil”. No kisses or love, Basil has escaped his commitment to Kate and their baby. Later that month Basil wrote to Mr J Foster, Kate’s father regarding a solicitor’s letter and maintenance money. He offered £50 which was refused by Kate who wanted double that at £100. As Basil was still under 21 years of age Kate was unable to sue him for breach of promise and so he was to appear before the Bench of Justices.

Basil had married Maria Austin in January 1895 at St Lawrence Church, North Wingfield, the Bench heard how he was now married and had “a house, one servant, two horses and two men and a boy” but he was pleading that he was unable to pay maintenance for his child.

Kate confirmed that she was now 24 years old and had a male child which Basil was the father of, Basil did not contend his being the father. Kate had believed that Basil was going to marry her. The Bench decided on an order of 4s 6d a week until the child was 14 years old.

So what became of the couple once so in love and now parted in such bitter terms?

It looks like Kate returns to Chesterfield as in 1896 a Rosetta Foster married Charles Edward Bradley. By 1911 they are living at 4 Bridge Street, Spalding, Lancashire. Charles is an innkeeper. They have no children and on the 1911 census the word “none” has been written where the number of children should be recorded, but as this is only in relation to the marriage then this was correct. There is no evidence in census returns what the son of Kate and Basil was named or when he was born as he is never recorded as living with Kate or Basil. Kate passed away not long after on 7th August 1917. Her administration shows her as being the wife of Charles Edward Bradley a wine and spirits merchant. They lived at 30 Cliff Street, Bridlington. Her effects amounted to £394 10s.

And as for basil well his life was a little more exciting....

After marrying Maria in 1895 it wasn’t too long before the couple had a child of their own; John Cecil Basil Ewing was born on 1st April 1896, he was baptised at the Crooked Spire Church on 26th April 1896.

In August 1896 Basil advertised 4 weeks running offering his land for the use of horses stating there was “plenty of water, river runs through land. Good pasture and near to town”. Basil must have needed the extra cash. A year on and on 25th August 1897 his shop, house and warehouse, two stall stable and out offices were all “to let”. Was this the start of the hard times Basil was to face?

Sadly tragedy struck when young John Cecil Basil Ewing died aged only one year old. I have found no more children born to Basil and Maria.

April 1898 and Basil has hit rock bottom, his business has failed and he appears in many newspapers all around the country, recording his receiving order under the humiliating heading “BANKRUPTS”. His public examination was held at Chesterfield Bankruptcy Court on Friday 29th April 1898. It was recorded that he had begun the business in 1893, under age he had received surety from his father, who was now deceased. The business was originally run by his sister, but she had passed the rights over to him. The examination heard how Basil had let his business go under due to his love of gambling but Basil replied that this was not true and he had not neglected his business for racing. A further examination was deferred for a month’s time. Also that weekend his property and stock is now advertised on sale via Samuel Short, Accountant, 31 Glumangate, Chesterfield.

Which way would Basil turn? He had failed in business, been unlucky in love and had an illegitimate child to maintain.......

The one thing that he had left of course, he would join the military service. We already know from the letters that Basil wrote that he was a member of the local Yeomanry. An article in the Derbyshire Times states how in January 1900 the Mayor of Chesterfield, Councillor Spooner presented Trooper Basil Ewing with a “fine charger” as he went off to train at Retford.

A few months later on 24th March 1900 Basil has yet another letter printed in the local newspaper, this time addressed to the Mayor of Chesterfield. The letter tells how Trooper Basil Ewing of the Sherwood Rangers is now serving in Maitland Camp, Cape Town, South Africa. Basil describes “we have arrived safe and sound and a very pleasant journey we had, although we lost 38 horses out of our battalion”. The Battalion has orders to prepare ready to strike camp and Basil estimates that there are in between 10,000 and 12,000 men ready for action. In fact, whilst he writes they receive orders to pack up and be ready to head out on a three days journey to Kimberley later that night.

Basil was Private 819 of the 10th Company Sherwood Rangers, 3 Battalion Imperial Yeomanry. At some point he transferred to 118 Company (Sharpshooters) 25 Battalion Imperial Yeomanry. He was awarded the following medals –

*Queens South Africa Medal Clasp – Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal
*Kings South Africa Medal Clasp – South Africa 1901 and 1902

Basil may have travelled to Canada as there is an entry on the passenger list record dated 12th January 1905 for a Basil Ewing, but this man is a single labourer. He travelled on the Sicillian. Basil does not appear on the English 1911 census. In May 1919 a Basil Ewing crosses the border into New York from Canada, the age of this man is slightly out at 40 years old making his birth around 1879. In 1925 a Basil Ewing aged 50 years old made the return voyage from New York to Liverpool on the ship named the Samaria; he gave his forwarding address as 70 Sharrow Road, Sheffield. This Basil was employed as an engineer.

The interesting tale of Basil Ewing ends in the winter months of December 1927. Basil died suddenly whilst in Derby on 1st December 1927. He was 52 years old. His funeral took place on Monday 5th December at North Wingfield. His obituary states that he was the fourth son of John Ewing of New Tupton. The military career of Basil is also mentioned, telling that he had served in the South African War and “came over with the first contingent in 1914 and served in the recent war”. So it does seem that the Basil who travelled to Canada and possibly on to New York was in fact our lovable rogue Basil.

Basil in Canada – Private 40801
Basil’s service record can be viewed online at ... 2gc7gvlnv0
The record tells that he joined the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force, the Reserve Battalion on 21st September 1914. He was 38 years and 4 months old now and gave his next of kin as Anna Ewing of New Tupton; his occupation was still corn factor, just as it was when we first met Basil. We are given a glimpse of the appearance of Basil; he was 5ft 9 inches tall, of fair complexion with blue eyes and black hair. From the papers we are able to see his neat signature, the hand that did expose all of Basil’s secrets, for all to hear.

I am left with some unanswered questions –

What was the illegitimate son named and what became of him?
What became of Maria? Did she also travel to Canada with Basil?
Who was Anna?

If anyone can shed any more light on his life I would love to hear all about it.

Sources – this article has been compiled using census, registration indexes, newspaper articles and military lists, No registration documents have been obtained and so this information would need to be confirmed with birth, marriage and death certificates to be fully proved.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Echoes of our past News...... 21st September 1895

Echoes of our past….. Past News

21st September 1895
Main news -

*Fireman’s head almost severed from his body...

On Wednesday morning an engine fireman name John Smith was fatally injured as he was raking the ashes from the locomotive engine as it was standing close to Maynard’s Meadow.  The engine did have its break on, but was standing on a slight incline.

It appears that the driver was absent at the time, but two other men were filing the bunkers with coal from a wagon which was alongside the engine.  A piece of the coal flew into the air, landing onto the break which was then released.  The engine was then free and moved forwards, knocking over John Smith.

The injuries were described as follows “almost decapitated him, the wheel catching him on the top of the head and running down across the neck and down the shoulder, practically detaching the arm from the body”.  John was found be dead when attended and his body was removed to the White Horse Inn.

The inquest was held on Thursday 19th September at the mortuary, the Cemetery, Chesterfield.  John Smith of Duckmanton a walking ganger on the East to West Railway confirmed that this was his son.  He told that John was 14 years old and had worked for the railway for about 10 months; he was a fireman on the tipping engines. 

The driver George Lambert of Calow Huts said he had worked alongside John for five or six months and had found the lad understood his duties.  He confirmed that the incident happened at about 11.08 on the Wednesday morning and at the time he was on the embankment getting his breakfast.  He had given John his instructions, but these did not include having to rake out the cokes. 

Great attention was made to the condition of the break and the Coroner suggested that a chain should be placed on them in future to prevent this happening again.  George Lambert was questioned in great detail about his service, he had been a driver since 1880 and had many years experience on the tipping system.

After listening to the witness Henry Coombs of Marsden Place, Newbold Road, a rope runner the Jury returned the verdict of “accidental death”

*Walton Water Supply.

At the Walton and Brampton Council meeting a letter was read from a Mr Humble of Walton.  He was making comment on the dreadful state of the water supply for the farmers, cottagers and other residents of the Walton area.  The villagers of Walton depended on their water from a spring located at Stonedge Hill.  The spring water was collected in a zinc tank about 18 inches square which was provided by the Council as a reservoir.  It did have a lid, but apparently this was often left open.  The issue was the condition of the water within the reservoir; all passersby would use the water.  Mr Humble described the uses including; a watering hole for horses and cattle, butchers for washing their carts and blood covered buckets.  This water was then expected to be used by the inhabitants of Walton as drinking water.  Mr Humble went on to state that he had a small well in his garden which at the time of writing was only one foot deep, he used this water for washing.  He had sunk another in the field opposite his house also, but when the inspector Mr Allen from Sheffield analysed the water both were condemned for use.  The response from the Council members was not favourable; they decided that there was nothing to be done until further consideration from Chesterfield Water Company was obtained.  The Chairman commented that “he doubted whether Walton was worse off than they were in the town” and Mr John Riggott, replied “I don’t think they are as bad. The bottom reservoir is empty and they are not cleaning it out”.  Chairman “there must be a great deal of sediment in it” Mr Riggott “enough to keep the fish alive” (laughter) Chairman wanted the situation to be remedied as the water would be muddy, Mr Riggott replied “They don’t need any soap at Chesterfield now I should think” (laughter).

*Clay Cross Petty Sessions, Wednesday 18th September –

·         Joseph Bramley, collier aged 30 was charged as being drunk and disorderly in Clay Lane on the 8th September.  Fined 5s and costs or 14 days.

·         William Cutts of New-market, Clay Cross was charged with assaulting Daniel Wardle.  Fined 10s 6d including costs.

*The tragic death of a young miner William Marsden at No2 pit, Renishaw Park Colliery.  In the early hours of Wednesday 18th September the roof collapsed on to William causing almost instant death by breaking his neck.  William had a wife and three children.

*Two men were charged with breach of the Swine Fever Regulations –

William Coupe had bought four pig’s from Mr White at Grassmoor and had taken three only to return on 21st August for the final pig, which he removed.  Mr White was not available on this day and so William Coupe stated that he was unaware that since taking the first three pigs Mr White’s pig’s now had swine fever.  Mr Coupe was ordered to pay the costs of the case as he did not have a licence for removing the pigs.

Matthew Wright was summoned for allowing a pig to be removed from his farm at Palterton by Robert Hallam without a licence.  Matthew Wright was ordered to pay 2s 6d and costs and Robert Hallam the costs only.

*Jane Goodwin of Lordsmill Street was chastised by the Mayor of Chesterfield for “brutally and wilfully exposed her infant child in a manner likely to cause injury to its health”.  She was found lying in a garden near Bowers Place and Browns Yard asleep, with the child at her breast.  It was said to have been a very cold and frosty night.  Luckily the child was fine, but the Mayor accused Jane of being a bad wife.  Jane stated that she had been married 2 years and her husband was living at Ashover.  The Mayor asked her to go to Ashover with her husband, who he had heard was a “decent man”.  Jane agreed and the Mayor ended the case with “Go and be a good woman”.


*Wilfred Adlington to Sarah Hall at the Parish Church, Chesterfield.  Wilfred was a miner.
*At Chesterfield Union Workhouse –

·         William Lambert aged 54 years, 18th September

·         John Musgrove aged 64 years, 18th September

·         Hannah Marsh aged 64 years, 13th September

·         Michael Farrell aged 64 years, 12th September

·         Bertha Hall aged 38 years, 31st August

 *Cora Annie James aged 9 months, on 11th September at Pinxton.  Daughter of Sidney James.

*Jane Hattersley aged 82 years, on 18th September at Chastworth.

*Ellis Lettall aged 44 years, on 15th September at Whittington.

*Frederick Lee at the Gas Works, Wirksworth on 16th September.

*Elizabeth Ann Pearce aged 39 years died very suddenly at Compton Street on 16th September.


Athletics at Langwith –
The weather was fine for the sports held at Langwith Cricket Club on Monday 16th September.  The results were as follows –

*100 yards flat race, boys under 15 1) R Cook, New Houghton 2) J W Clarke, Clay Cross
*110 yards flat race, 1) S Morris, Rotherham 2) W Stevenson, Sutton
*1 mile flat race, 1) A Hydes, Walkley 2) F Bartlett, Warsop 3) J Colton, Langwith
*110 yards flat race, members of Langwith Cricket Club only, 10 F Jones 2) J Humphries 3) W Ord 4) T Mitchell
*440 yards flat race, 1) I Bedford, Hoyland 2) S Morris, Rotherham
*Potato race, 1) W Stocks, Langwith 2) – Brown 3) – Smith
*220 yards flat race, 1) J Shepherd, Hoyland 2) W H Carnall, Walkley
*Obstacle race, 1) J Shardlow, Clowne 2) – Smith, Sheffield
*High Jump, Langwith people only 1) G Duckmanton 2) J Blackburn
*Bowling at wicket, members only 1) L Wright
*110 yards boys flat race, under 10 years, 1) – Fox 2) – Comer


The EWING family in Chesterfield......
The character of Basil Ewing was highlighted in all its glory when letters were shown as evidence into the case of his ex-fiancĂ©’s illegitimate son.  The case was heard for up keep of his baby son whose mother Rosetta (Kate) Foster had been wowed by Basil for many years previously.  Kate was employed at the Angel Hotel in Chesterfield and Basil was a corn factor on St Mary’s Gate.  The letters were kept by Kate and show how romantic Basil was, declaring his love for her and their engagement.  He often wrote telling her how much money he had made that day and how well his business was doing. That was however, until he wrote one night on 24th January 1895 “Kate, you might as well know now that I am engaged to and passionately love the girl at Clay Cross.  I have been there tonight and it is so late or should have written more.  Basil”.  Only months earlier the couple had written about her possibly being pregnant, he had assured her “Basil will not see you out on the street, not likely”.  The Bench eventually decided that Basil should pay 4s 6d per week until the child was 14 years of age.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Sarah Fretwell, the sad tale......

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

Sarah Fretwell.....her sad life ~

Sarah Fretwell was in last weeks news for causing a disturbance in the Shambles in the summer of 1861.  This was her second trial of the year as she had already appeared in June of 1861 accused of stealing £2 from George Parker. George stated that the “fair one” had lured him from the Burlington Arms to her house on Church Lane, where she “fleeced” him out of the money – I wonder if this was really the case or if he was refusing to pay for Sarah’s services rendered!  The case was dismissed as his claims could not be proven – Sarah was free for now!

The 1861 census shows Sarah aged 30 years old living on Church Lane with her 4 month old baby daughter Lydia.  This census was taken on 7th April 1861, just months before the court case meaning Lydia was born around Christmas time.  Sarah was born at Ashover c.1831.

It’s now 1871 and Sarah is living at 31 Browns Yard.  She has described herself as married and has 2 children – Lydia 10 years old and Edward 7 years old.  She is now “respectable” and has work as a stocking weaver.  There are 2 other visitors to the house; Edward Gratton a 48 year old labourer and Mary Ann Warner a 28 year old char woman.

By August 1872 Sarah is in trouble again; she was charged with stealing 30s from a man named Matthew Clay a miner, whilst in the brothel.  Sarah is also given an alias of Gratton at this police hearing.  She pleaded not guilty, but after hearing the evidence she changed her plea and was given 2 months hard labour.  Her children Lydia and Edward would be left for 2 months without a mother.

The Derbyshire Times of 7th June 1873 announces the marriage of Sarah Fretwell to Edward Gratton a labourer, the man who is a “visitor” at her home at Browns Yard in 1871.  And so it looks like Sarah got her man eventually.   Ah, lovely a happy ending to Sarah’s difficult life we sigh.... sadly I think that this may not be the case............

Many years earlier in April 1861 Edward Gratton was called to the Borough Police Courts as keeper of a brothel at Church Lane.  He was charged with receiving stolen goods after another prostitute Hannah Holmes, took William Straw a collier of Staveley, back to the brothel where she stole his silver watch, steel chain and purse.  Hannah passed these items on to Edward Gratton.  The case was passed to the Crown Courts for the July sessions and at this hearing Edward gave his excuses as to how he came to have the chain in his possession – “Sarah a woman with whom he cohabited, had bought the watch and chain last harvest”.  The excuse worked and both Edward and Hannah were acquitted.  Sadly, it looks like the connection of Sarah and Edward was one of “business”, had Sarah worked for Edward? Most probably!!  On the 1861 census Edward is living just a few houses away from Sarah and her baby daughter; he was also born in Ashover so Sarah may have connections to him from there.  He was 37 years old, working as a railway labourer, unmarried with a 2 year old son also called Edward.

In April 1862 Edward was sentenced to 9 months hard labour for keeping a disorderly house.  He appeared at the Derbyshire Assize Courts on Wednesday April 9th and it was argued by the defence a Mr Bristowe that “the house had ceased to be disorderly and that the unlawful calling had been given up”.  The house had been of bad character for years.  The Court heard how Edward had been let off previously and had failed in its “leniency”. 

In February 1867 Edward was described as a “ruffian” when he was tried for assaulting the landlady Mrs Walker at the Crown and Cushion Inn.  He was given a fine of £5 costs or 2 months hard labour – he chose the later.   On to June 1871 and again in trouble for assault; Edward is charged by Sarah Wragg after a quarrel over the garden at Brown’s Yard.  This time he was fined £2 and costs or one month’s hard labour.

Two years after the marriage, in January 1875 the couple appear at the Borough Police sessions charged with assaulting a neighbour William Moore.  The couple now live on Wheeldon Lane, where the assault took place.  But, it wasn’t all as bad as at first it may seem..... William Moore was arguing with his wife as she had taken out a summons against him.  During the argument William Moore had taken a chair and threatened to strike her with it, to which she had shouted “murder”.  Sarah and Edward had arrived at her defence and William Moore had punched Sarah in the face, to which any husband would see red and Edward had joined in the fracas.  The Bench decided that too much violence had ensued and each 20s and costs. 

The marriage had it’s ups and downs and in June 1880 Edward is in front of the Chesterfield Borough Police Court again, this time accused of assault on his wife Sarah of Bradshaw’s Place, Chesterfield.  He pleaded guilty and was fined 20s and costs or 14 days. 

The 1881 census details Sarah and Edward living at 1 Bradshaw Place.  Edward is a coal higgler.  They have a 17 year old son named Edward Gratton-Fretwell who is also a coal miner.  A new edition to the family has now arrived; Ada Columbine aged 3 years old is their grand-daughter.

The trail of Sarah Fretwell / Gratton goes cold after 1881 but there is a marriage announcement for a marriage that took place on 21st September 1885 at the Parish Church, Chesterfield.   The marriage was between Mrs Sarah Gratton and Mr John Cowlishaw a labourer of Brampton.  If this is indeed the marriage of “our” Sarah then where was Edward?  I can find no possible deaths for him in the years in between 1881 and 1885, but he may have died in a different area of the country or have even left the country all together.  Assuming that this is “our” Sarah then she hopefully has a more settled and happy life now.  In 1891 John and Sarah are living at 23 Browns Yard, only a stone’s throw away from her previous home in 1871.  They live alone and John works as a gardener.  Sadly before 1901 John dies and Sarah is recorded in the 1901 census as a widow aged 70 years old (she has lost a few years here!).  She has gone up in the world though and is described as a grocery shop keeper -  a much more appropriate business than the life we first meet her trading. 

What became of Sarah after 1901? Well if she was now Mrs Sarah Cowlishaw then she is not on the 1911 census but the only death in Chesterfield is for a Sarah Cowlishaw in 1909 aged 70, so the age is out by some years. 

Was baby Lydia the daughter of Edward Gratton?

We will never know for definite but in 1851 Edward is aged 27 years old and still living with his parents David and Lydia Gratton at Ashover.  It does seem that Sarah may well have named her daughter after her paternal grandmother Lydia. Lydia’s birth was registered in 1861 she was given the middle name of Gratton.  In 1876 Lydia married Thomas Columbine, thus the grand-daughter living with Sarah and Edward in 1881 is the daughter of Lydia. 

Lydia’s life was no better than her mother’s, she was in court in January 1878 charging her husband of assault.  She stated that she had been married to Thomas for about a year but had not lived with him for the last 6 weeks.  She had returned to live with her parents in Browns Yard.  On the day the summons was issued Thomas had turned up at the Gratton’s house in a drunken state, Lydia’s parents had left the house leaving Lydia to speak with Thomas.  She told him to go if he was drunk to which he turned and hit her in the face, knocked her down into a corner and took a knife out if his pocket which he threatened to cut her throat with, he also tried to throttle her.  At this time Lydia had her child in her arms so she bit on Thomas’s finger in self defence.  The court heard how she had been unable to live with her husband as he was violent against her.  In his defence Thomas said he had never been violent towards her, however he had “frequently been provoked to it by her foul mouthed language”.  He added that at times he had been required to sit up all night to bake the bread as she refused to do the task in the day time.  The Bench found Thomas guilty and fined him 21s including costs.  

This would explain why Ada was living with her grandparents in 1881 but where was Lydia? 
On the 1881 census there is a Lydia Gratton born around 1861 in Chesterfield now living at 4 Wooleys Yard, Nottingham she is working as a lace doubler and lives with George Dills a collier. 

Edward Gratton-Fretwell the son of Sarah may well have followed in his father’s footsteps along the criminal path.  He got off with a caution in October 1873 for stealing apples along with 7 other boys, in the market place. In June 1877 he was in trouble for birdnesting and damaging the roof of an engine house at Wingerworth.  He was living at Browns Yard at the time.  There are many other mentions of an Edward Gratton which may well be this Edward, mainly for poaching related incidents.

Edward Gratton aged 2 years old in 1861, son of Edward Gratton – born around 1858/9 in Chesterfield.  There is no trace of this boy further.  There is an Edwin Gratton living with his siblings and Aunt and Uncle John and Elizabeth Walker at Stonegravels in 1871. This may or may not be him, further research would be required.



Wednesday, 19 September 2012

UPDATE of the Past News 14th September 1861

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

*Francis Shacklock –

Had appeared at the County Petty Sessions on Saturday March 5th 1859.  He was charged with keeping the beer house open at illegal hours on 20th February that year.  Francis ran a beer house at Stanfree and at “at ten minutes past twelve, by Staveley time” on the said night Sergeant Wagstaffe and PC Joseph Higgins of Bolsover had found two local men; Dobbs and Dennis Mullins in the house, one of the men held a quart pot containing ale.  The defence argued that it was not after time, but Dennis Mullins was called and stated that it was 12.30 when he called at the beer house.  Francis Shacklock was fined 10s and 11s costs, but as he could not afford to pay this he was given 2 weeks to pay or a distress warrant would be issued against his property.

In September 1870 Francis is again applying for a license to trade at the Royal Oak at Stanfree, the license was opposed by Mr Eyre of the Apple Tree Inn, who had also applied for a license.  Both applications were refused, but the reason is not stated.
~ ~ x ~ ~

*Joseph Scott and Nathan Moore –
Joseph Scott appeared at the Derbyshire Assize Courts on 16th October 1861. He pleaded guilty to stealing £1 5s, a watch and a pair of trousers from Nathan Moore.  Joseph was 20 years old and worked as a cutler.  He was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment with hard labour. 

As for the story of Nathan wanting to murder his wife, well this may have been true as the week earlier Nathan appeared on Monday 2nd September at the Borough Police sessions, charged with using threatening language to his wife Middy Moore.  He was a beerhouse keeper and was fined £20 to keep the peace for 3 months.

The Sheffield Independent Newspaper (19th October) adds more to the story, stating that after Nathan had quarrelled with his wife he had left the public house “in charge” of Joseph Scott, where during his absence Joseph helped himself and walked to Sheffield.  As he arrived in Sheffield he was “accosted” by a policeman as he looked suspicious.  The possessions were found to be the property of Nathan Moore.


Saturday, 15 September 2012

Echoes of our past News...... 14th September 1861

Echoes of our past….. Past News

14th September 1861
Main news -

*Brewster Sessions –

These were annual meetings to grant licences to trade alcohol in public houses. 

Transfer of licences to the following establishments were made –

*Royal Oak, Shambles – from James Walker to John Knight

*Crown and Cushion, Low Pavement –from George Hearnshaw to James Walker

*Market Hall Vaults – from Mrs Pearce to Henry Chantry

*Kings Head, Knifesmithgate – from Henry Chantry to Jos. Spray

Other licenses granted were –

*Bay Horse, Chesterfield to Mr Newton

*St Helen’s Inn to Mr Samuel Bennett (on the grounds that there was “no licensed house for a great distance and that the premises were commodious”)

*Hat and Feathers, Brampton to Mr Maynard, despite their being an incident during the year for selling drink at “improper hours”.  It had been the servant that had served the liquor in Mr Maynard’s absence and so the licence was granted this time, but more care should be taken over the actions of his servants.

*Burlington Arms, Staveley/Woodthorpe to Henry Bingham.  These premises had been built to replace the previous house run by Henry Bingham.

*Sir Colin Campbell, near the race course to Mr Woodward.

Licences refused –
*Three Horseshoes, Brimington. 
Mr Hesling was refused a license as he had been fined £3 earlier in the year for opening on a Sunday.  The County Magistrates stated that they were “determined to put a stop to these sorts of disorderly houses”.  Mr Hesling replied that it was the Church Wardens who had been drinking.  He was told that “he had no right to fill Church Wardens drink no more than anybody else”.

*Royal Oak, Stanfree.
The licence had been taken away from the landlord an elderly man named Francis Shacklock two years ago after he was found by the local policeman to be serving several persons of “suspicious character”.  Mr Shacklock had thought they were travellers and only served them small amounts but this had not appeased the Magistrates and the license had been revoked.  At that time Mr Shacklock had begged the court to grant his licence as it was the only way he could gain a livelihood.  Again, the court were still not prepared to grant a licence and poor old Mr Shacklock left saying it was “ a very hard case”.

*Forester’s Arms, Staveley.
Refused as the application had not been fully completed, notices had not been served to the overseers.  Landlord Mr Thomas Dyson.

*Angel Inn, Staveley.
Was refused as the application was argued by a Mr Gainsford.  He stated that there were already licensed houses close to the property of Mr Abbott and that there was insufficient room to accommodate carts etc, without obstructing the highway.   Landlord Mr Wm Abbott.

*The Gate, Marsden Moor.
The landlord John Belfitt had been summoned for keeping a disorderly house.  He had given to drink to already intoxicated persons.  The court stated that publicans should not encourage a person who was drunk into their houses.  John Belfitt was fined £1 16s and costs.


* Sarah Fretwell a prostitute was charged by Police Sergeant Vincent for causing a disturbance in the Shambles at about 10.54pm.  She was committed for one calendar month under the Vagrant Act.

*Rebecca Davenport of St Helens Street charged her husband Chas Davenport with assault.  Chas a sawyer was bound by £20 to keep the peace for two calendar months.

*Martin Burke was charged for stealing turnips from Mrs Hinde’s field at Walton.  He was committed to Derby Gaol for 7 days hard labour.

*Joseph Scott appeared at the Town Hall, Sheffield charged with stealing a watch and wearing apparel from a man named Moore.  The pair had resided in Chesterfield.  Moore had travelled to Sheffield to report the incident. Joseph Scott had in his defence stated that Moore had given him the things to look after as he had intended to murder his wife and would want them afterwards.  Joseph had been unsure at this as he thought he may get into trouble for holding the possessions.  So, Moore had allegedly given Joseph a written receipt for the goods.  The receipt was proved but it was unclear who had actually written it.  The case was remanded to Chesterfield.

*Accidental drowning – an inquest was held at the St Helen’s Inn, Stonegravels on the body of 15 year old Joseph Hardwick, son of Chas Hardwick.  Joseph was bathing in the river at the wharf when he was said to have ventured out of his depth and drowned.  A man who was working close by ran to his help, but he was dead when his body was removed from the water.  Verdict “accidental death”.

* “Roughs” from Staveley Collieries arrived at Bolsover and caused disturbances.  They were fighting amongst themselves and “some of similar fraternity” of Bolsover.  They robbed Mr Gethins orchard of apples. 


*Francis Fisher to Hannah Bond, both of Chesterfield at the Parish Church.

*John Smith to Miss Brailsford at Barlboro’.

*Thomas Heathcote, currier, 70 years old.
*Barbara wife of John Cutts aged 32 years at Calow.

*Martha relict of Mr Joseph Riley in Kent Road, late of Staveley aged 83 years old.
*Joshua Tomlinson aged 76 at Ashover.

*Mr James Brampton of Edensor.

The Derby Races were held on Thursday 12th September.  The results were as follows –
*Chatsworth Stake – 1st zodiac, 2nd Caller Qui, 3rd Sawcutter
*The nursery handicap – 1st C by Grasshopper, 2nd Old Towler, 3rd Rossmoor, 4th Forester
*The tradesman plate – 1st Coronet, 2nd Jingling Johnny, 3rd Zodiac
*The innkeepr’s plate – 1st Sawcutter, 2nd Roesia, 3rd Maid of Chesterfield.


Bolsover, the harvest was reported as being nearly completed.  The crops being of “average quantity” and “excellent quality”.  The weather was reported as being “beautiful and fine”.  The drought of the past weeks had caused some issues with the turnip crops but the potatoes although small were “of excellent quality and very few diseased”.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

UPDATE of the Past News 5th September 1857

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

*Tapton Colliery Excursion to Chatsworth –

Around 200 people attended this festivity.  They left Stonegravels and passed through Chesterfield
around 9am.  The procession was led by the Chesterfield and Scarsdale Brass Band and the revellers followed in a number of carriages festooned with flags.  Lunch was taken at Baslow and the party then continued through the gates into Chatsworth.  They were given special permission to inspect the house and gardens and afterwards spent time in the grounds.  They left for dinner at Baslow at 4pm and then on to Chesterfield, arriving back in Stonegravels around 10pm.  The day was described as “exceedingly fine and the whole of the party were highly delighted with the days enjoyment”

~ ~ x ~ ~
*Jemima Wright –
Poor Jemima was labelled “weak-minded, if not insane” after further reports were heard at the inquest to her death.  The jury heard how she received every possible attention on the way to her sister at Staveley, but that Jemima had refused to give a name of the sister she wished to be delivered to and this had caused the delay.  A young man named Thomas Pearson of Matlock had accompanied Jemima on the journey.  The story of her death had apparently been reported abroad and the character of the landlord of the public house where Jemima had worked as cook had been put into question.  The landlord was Mr Brooker of the Hodgkinson’s Hotel, Matlock Bath. The Jury decided that Jemima had died of “inflammation”.  As for the insurance policy – it seems no such policy had ever existed!
~ ~ x ~ ~
The Hardy’s –
the 1861 census shows William and Harriett Hardy living at “Gillotts Row”?? Sheffield Road.  William is a provisions dealer.  They have no children yet, but do seem to be doing well as they employ a house servant. 
By 1871 the couple have one daughter, 9 year old Ann Jane.  They now live at the public house on Sheffield Road called the Star Inn, next to Foundry Street.  William is also recorded as being a grocer as well as beer house keeper.  They still employ a domestic servant, 15 year old Sarah Ann Ellis and nephew 13 year old John Shentall. 
Sadly, 10 years on and Harriett is now a widow.  She lives with her daughter Ann at 10 Avenue Road and is described as “owner of property”.  Annie marries Thomas Margereson in 1882 and they have a son called Joseph William in 1883.  Harriett is living with her daughter and family in 1891 at Fairfield Road.  Her son-in-law Thomas is a post office clerk. 
1901 and Harriett is now 78 years old and still lives with her growing family at 14 Fairfield Road.  She now has two more grandchildren; Dorothy May aged 8 and Nora aged 5.  Thomas Margereson is now described as a post office clerk and builder and Joseph is employed as a bank clerk.  The family employ one servant 15 year old Annie Coot. 
The family are still together in 1911 – Harriett is now 88 years old.  They live at 13 Fairfield Road.  The census states that Annie and Thomas have actually had 5 children but only the three mentioned are still living.  Joseph is an accountant, Dorothy has no occupation and Nora is a dressmaker.  Harriett passed away in the winter of 1916, she was 93 years old.
Death of William Hardy –
William died on 17th November 1878.  His will describes him as of the parish of Whittington and provision dealer and beer house keeper.  His will was for a personal estate of less than £3000 and was proved at Derby by his wife Harriett Hardy, Richard Bargh, blacksmith of Barlow and Charles Shentall, greengrocer and fruit merchant of Chesterfield on 17th April 1879.


Sunday, 2 September 2012

Echoes of our past News...... 5th September 1857

Echoes of our past….. Past News

5th September 1857
Main news -

The closure of Tapton Colliery.

A dinner was served in a marquee erected in the paddock of the Hare and Hounds public house at Stonegravels to celebrate the past success and closure of Tapton Colliery.  Around 150 people attended including several workmen who had been employed at the Colliery.  The Newbold Band entertained the diners until the late hour.

The colliery was owned by Mr Robert Stephenson at Lockoford at Tapton.  Its closure would be a great loss to the locals as it had employed around 300-400 men and boys.

An excursion was planned for the following Monday for the workmen and their friends to Chatsworth and a large attendance is expected.


*Fatal accident –
an itinerant lady known simply as “Scottie” or Mary Scott was to meet a fateful end when on Thursday around 4 pm she fell into the river at Horse Croft.  She was seen earlier in a drunken state going along Lordsmill Street into Horse Croft.  A man saw her slip into the river and attempted to rescue her but alas it was too late.  “Scottie” was a traveller that had become a regular passer of Chesterfield.  No one really knew much about her other than she was from Scotland.  She had boarded the two previous nights at Mrs Dutton’s on Tapton Lane.

*Suspicious Death -
the death of Jemima Wright was the subject of the inquest held at the Devonshire Arms Inn, Staveley.  Jemima was 24 years old and had worked as a cook at Hodkinson’s Hotel, Matlock.  She had complained of her head when she took ill but instead of receiving medical attention was put in a cab with two men and taken to the Nag’s Head Inn.  This was around 3pm and by this time she as unconscious.  Jemima was taken to her sister’s home, Mrs Coupe in Staveley around 8pm.  The death took further interest when the mother of Jemima said that she had received a letter from her daughter stating that she had insured her life for £200.  Proof of this was still to be found, no insurance policy had been found.  The Jury decided that a post mortem would be required and the inquest adjourned until the next Monday.  Witnesses were also called to attend from Matlock.

*W Warner announced that he was to open a new fish shop in the new market hall.  He already had premises on Burlington Street and his new shop could be located opposite the Angel Inn in the New Square.  He told how he would receive a “daily supply of all kinds of fish in season, poultry and game”
*At auction by Mr Hatton –

For sale - Handsome mule, 4 years old.  Quiet to ride or drive.
To let – The Crown Inn on Lordsmill Street, Chesterfield was valued at over £60.
To Let – On Eyre Street.  The house had three bedrooms, a kitchen, parlour and cellar with garden.


*Mr William Hardy married Miss Harriet Bargh, daughter of John Bargh.  William was from Newbold-Moor and Harriet was from Newbold.  The couple married on 30th August.
*Lieutenant W K Bush RN married Emily Gossip at “Barlbro” on Thursday 27th August.  Emily was the daughter of the late W Hatfield Gossip Esq. of Hatfield, Yorkshire.

*Mr Matthew Smith a book keeper of Whittington married Martha Walker at St Mary’s Church, Barnsley on 24th August.


*Joseph Pinder passed away after a short illness.  Joseph was 38 years old and the eldest son of the late Mr Pinder. 

*On 13th August, Mrs Elizabeth Fenton aged 79 of Bakewell.  Wife of Mr John Fenton a watchmaker.

*Mr Francis Anthony Bateman Esq. died at Teignmouth from sunstroke whilst bathing.  He passed away on Saturday 22nd August.  Francis was the fourth son of R T Bateman Esq., of Hartington Hall, Chesterfield and Hillgrove House, Somerset.

*5 month old son of Mr Savage of Bolsover.

*Noah Neal a labourer aged 31 years at Newbold.


*Cricket – a match was played by the Tailors against the Painters at the Albion Ground on Wheeldon Lane.  The Painters won with six wickets to go down.

“Large egg”
Mr Samuel Heath of Brampton, Eastmoor was pleased with himself and his hen as on Friday last the hen laid one huge egg! The egg was weighed at 33/4 ounces, measured 63/8 inches around the middle and 77/8 in length.  There is no mention of the eggs fate- was it eaten or hatched? We will never know!!