*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.
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
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*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?
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*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.