Sunday, 16 December 2012

Echoes of our past ~ NEWS...... 17th December 1864

Read all about it……. Echoes of our past NEWS

What was in the local news this weekend in 1864?


*Christmas day dilemours –

There was great dismay around England as this year Christmas Day was to fall on a Sunday.  As Sunday was already the one and only day off each week for a high proportion of the working class population, it would mean that they would not be gaining an extra day off.

Calls were being made for the people to request that the 26th December be given as a “Christmas Day Holiday”.  The action was being reported all over England and an article from the London Telegraph was repeated in the week’s Derbyshire Times edition for the residents of Chesterfield to peruse.

The London Telegraph article suggested that there could be a benefit from the Christmas Day being a Sunday, in that most workers finished early on a Saturday and so if the day of 26th was also given as a holiday then everyone would have a good long break. 

The Saturday should finish at 12 noon “when the clock shall announce the hour, let the books be rammed into the iron safe, the samples and rolls and pieces taken back to the shelves, the shovel cease to scoop up its guineas, let the holiday begin”.

Sunday, Christmas Day should be taken in a calm and tranquil manner then on Monday “would be an innocent carnival of the people”.  The break would allow all families to reunite and make 1864 a year to remember.

The Derbyshire Times backed up these ideas in an article suggesting “that the Mayor should issue a requisition to the shopkeepers of Chesterfield to abstain from business on the Monday after Christmas, in order to give their assistants their usual holiday at this festive season”.

At least one shop keeper was in agreement with this as he had put his view forward in the “letters” section, stating “I see in some towns they are determined not to be cheated out of their Christmas Holiday, and that they have already announced their determination to keep Monday the 26th as such.  The young men of Chesterfield are not generally behind in canvassing for such favours; but perhaps they are so debilitated by idleness and half work as not to care for a Christmas Holiday”.  He concluded with “I thought Mr Editor, that if an humble individual like myself touched the string the mine might explode and in that case would be agreeable to all and offensive to none”.  Signed A SHOPKEEPER.


*Infanticide at Brimington –

The inquest was held on the body of a baby found in an old pit at Brimington on Sunday 4th December.  The examiner Mr Hugh Eccles Walker MD stated the baby was 6 1/2lbs in weight and in his opinion was a still born child.  The child was wrapped in a washed chemise and placed into a herring box.

An unsuccessful attempt had been made to find the mother of the child.

*Bastardy cases –

Hannah Fisher of Clay cross was claiming George Froggatt also of Clay Cross was the father of her illegitimate child.  The case was adjourned.

Jesse Limb was charged by Mary Ann Longmark and was ordered to pay 2s per week and costs.

John Watts was charged by Mary Bunn, both of Ashover and was charged to pay 2s per week plus costs.

George Whetton was charged with bastardy arrears by Mary Whild.  He was imprisoned for 3 months.

*Indecent assault –

A young 10 year old boy named James Hogan found himself in serious trouble this week. after a prank he allegedly played.  Mrs Mary Mitchell, wife of Adam Mitchell claimed that as she walked alone down Glumangate at about 8pm the “little boy” came up behind her and pulled up her petticoats over her head.  Mary had been to Chapel and was walking home.  Her clothing was flung so far upwards that a man behind her had to actually remove her shawl from her head.

James denied this and said that his clothing had caught on hers as he passed her.  He also told that he worked at Springwell Pit. 

Superintendent Stevens was called to give evidence and told how “these lads were a very great nuisance on a Sunday night”.  They all met up together in gangs of 6 to 12 lads around Knifesmith Gate, Low Pavement and then insulted passersby, especially ladies. 

The Bench decided not to punish James this time and his father was given instructions to take care of his son in future.  The father was happy with this and replied “long life to your honour” to which laughter was heard around the room.


*Mr B Turner junior of Clay Cross to Miss Mary Jane Cormeer also of Clay Cross on 8th December at Alton, Hampshire

*Mr William Langley to Miss Eliza Pickburn at Staveley on 6th December

*Mark Renshaw miner to Sarah Ann Mellors of Tapton on 15th December


*William Hall a tailor of Chesterfield aged 52 years on 10th December

*Ellen Watson of St Marys Gate, Chesterfield on 10th December

*Ann Loads aged 30 years, wife of William of Derby Road on 14th December

*Frances Mark aged 5 months, daughter of William Mark of Brimington on 29th November

*Mr Henry Wilkinson aged 38 years, formerly of Clay Cross died in London on 10th December

*Mary Bausell wife of George, of Clay Cross and late of Pilsley aged 55 years on 19th December

Rain has fallen heavily over the last few days.  This has meant that the wheat plant had benefited and was looking green and healthy.  The rain has been a great help to get the water mills into full working order again and all of the springs which had been dry are now running again, forming ponds and watering holes.


A ten pounds reward was offered for information relating to which “evil disposed person” had sent the rumour around Chesterfield that the wife of a respectable tradesman had stolen a silk dress from the shop of Mr Robert Parker on Low Pavement.

This rumour was totally without evidence and even the shopkeeper, Mr Parker stated “there is no truth in the rumour”.

Any information should be passed to Mr Brockmer accountant of Eyre Street.



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