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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