Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Update of the PAST NEWS........26th January 1884

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

*Henry Basil Boag and Mary Redfern

Henry Basil Boag was born in 1853 at Crich in Derbyshire.  He was the son of Robert and Jane Boag.  Robert was a lime burner and was born in Northumberland. 

At the young age of 27 years old Henry was employed as a manager at the lumber works.  A few years after in 1884 Henry married Mary Redfern at Matlock Parish Church.

Both Henry and his father Robert were successful and prominent members of the village of Crich.  They were both overseers of the poor and involved in the everyday running of the village.  Henry presided over the opening ceremony of the Crich Reading Rooms which were built in the Market Place at Crich in 1889.  Henry was recorded as saying that he “hoped the institute would be a resort for the working men and the youths where they could spend their leisure time in reading or playing games”.

Henry was one of the founding members of the Matlock Bath (Arkwright) Lodge of Freemasons.  In October of 1893 Henry was appointed the Worshipful Master of the Arkwright Lodge after Bro. T Cooper-Drabble retired.  In 1894 Henry was elected as a local councillor standing for the Independent Party. 

Henry was also a keen sports man and was especially fond of the game of cricket.  He was captain of the local cricket team, which was known as “Mr H B Boag’s Eleven”. 

Henry and Mary did not have any children.  They lived at Bank House in Crich, which was Mary’s family home.  Mary was the daughter of James Redfern a farmer, he died on 10th August 1882 and left an estate to the value of £6496 8s 10d. 

Henry’s mother Jane died on 15th July 1887 aged 63 years old.  On 20th July 1904, aged 87 years old her husband Robert died also.  They are buried together in Crich Parish Church graveyard.  Robert's obituary in the Sheffield Independent tells that he was the manager of the Clay Cross Company at Ambergate and that he was “very widely known and highly respected”.  In his will Robert left his estate of £1797 15s 1d to two of his sons; Henry Basil Boag and Willie Willis Boag a draper.

Mary wife of Henry died aged 79 years old on 22nd March 1924 she is also buried in the graveyard at Crich Parish Church.  Three years on Henry Basil Boag also passed away on 18th May 1930.  He was 76 years old.  In his will he left his estate to his younger brother Willie Willis Boag.  He left the grand sum of £9383 0s 3d.

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Sunday, 27 January 2013

Echoes of our Past NEWS....... 26th January 1884

Read all about it……. Echoes of our past NEWS
What was in the local news this weekend in 1884?


*The evil of drink  

In keeping with the popular temperance movement Chesterfield held a series of meetings on each evening of the last week.  The Gospel Temperance Mission, which was an establishment run by members of the local churches, chapels and Templar lodges in Chesterfield held meetings at the Assembly Rooms in the Market Hall.

It seems that the meetings were hugely popular with the residents of Chesterfield and each evening was well attended, many wearing the “blue ribbon” Temperance broaches to show their support.

The participants of Monday’s meeting were lectured on “the evils of intemperance”.  The Chairman Dr J Rose told how as members of the Temperance Movement their work must be undertaken “in no self-righteous spirit, nor should they display any pharisaical intolerance to those who differed from them”.    

Harsh words of warning were given out to the audience; Intemperance would bring “pauperism, disease, shortened lives and dragged people to the gaol, the workhouse, the asylum and the gallows”.  There was they said; £140,000,000  spent on drink each year and £100,000,000 spent as a result of drink in prisons and workhouses.  They even attributed 9/10’s of all crime committed to the evils of drink.  Where these figures and numbers came from is not known, but true or false they were what the general public were being  told to scare them from the demon drink.

Chesterfield was however doing very well in its abstinence to drink; “the slums of Chesterfield had greatly improved”.  This was down to the Gospel Hall at Wheeldon Lane from which “good and noble work” was being done.  They went on to say that “in towns like Chesterfield there were no less than 70 public houses , being one for every 115 of the population”.

At the end of the week’s meetings 221 pledges had been signed and 443 blue ribbons taken.  Temperance had well and truly arrived in Chesterfield.


*Education –

The following were all summoned by Mr Herbert Shaw the school attendance officer for neglecting to send their children to school. –

William Barnett, Edward Lee, Samuel Grainger, John Moore and John Taylor (for 2 children) of Newbold,

George Booker, Henry Tomlinson and Charles Whitworth of Heath.

All were given strict orders to send their children to school more often and fined amounts ranging from 1s to 2s 6d.

*Drug dealing –

Samuel Biggin a grocer of Eckington was charged with selling a drug which was not pure.  He had sold 4 ounces of sweet nitre but it was said that the drug was “destitute of nitrous ether, and useless as a remedy”.  Mr A H Allen an analyst was called to perform checks on the drug and the allegations were found to be true. 

In his defence Samuel stated that he had sold the drug as he had bought it.  He was fined 10s 5d including costs.

*Fish for dinner –

Alfred Hambleton a quarryman from Tideswell was caught illegally fishing trout in the River Wye at Monsal Dale.  The incident happened on 12th January when two keepers named Horace Smith and Jonathan Sellors witnessed the act.

They stated that they saw Alfred pull a fish from the water and put it into his pocket.  They pursued him and retrieved the dead fish from Alfred’s person. 

Alfred still thought that he might get away with his act of poaching, denying the act he went on to tell how he had passed the river many many times over the years and had never so much as “soiled his hand in the water in his life”.  He was adamant that he had found the fish on the roadside after a man, whom he could bring to court had thrown it there.  All Alfred had done was to pick the fish up from the roadside.

Alfred did not plead his innocence enough though and he was fined an enormous amount of £1 plus costs of 12s 6d.  He asked how long he had to pay, when the court heard that he was a house owner they gave him two weeks to come up with the money.

*Women’s suffrage meeting –

Ladies met at Clay Cross Market Hall to discuss the issue of the qualification of women and men to take the vote.  The meeting was chaired by Miss Jane Cobden.


*Mr and Mrs Phillips of 32 Compton Street, a son on 18th January.  Mr Phillips was a jeweller

*Mr and Mrs Arthur Shipton of 2 The Square, Buxton a son on 15th January


*Henry Basil Boag of Crich to Mary Redfern also of Crich at Matlock Parish Church on 10th January

*William son of the late Charles Todd of North Wingfield to Alice Hannah Booth daughter of the late Rev J Booth of Mexborough, on 23rd January at Adwick-on Dearne

*Joseph Cutts farmer of Staveley to Mary Gavan daughter of Dominick Gavan farmer and inn keeper of Chesterfield, on 24th January at Spinkhill Roman Catholic Church


 *Sarah Jane Burton aged 18 months on 20th January at Whittington

*Mary Etches at Mr Sampson’s in Blackwell, she died suddenly of apoplexy on 22nd January aged 56 years

*Emma Fritchley wife of William of the Live and Yet Live Inn at Morton aged 61 years

*John Kitchen aged 58 years of Breck Farm, Staveley on 17th January

*Mary Shillito second daughter of Jonathan of Dronfield on 16th January aged 20 years
*Mary Warmsley aged 60 years on 23rd January at Brampton


A gale has swept all over the country especially on Tuesday and Wednesday but has now subsided.  During this time a ship named Edith of Padstow was reported to have become in distress.  The local lifeboats went to the ships rescue but when they arrived they only found one man alive who was killed before they could take him off of the boat.  The lifeboat also got into difficulties and capsized but all of its crew were rescued.


The hospital was busy this week with the following serious admissions –

*George Dunkley a Fireman with the Midland Railway had suffered concussion of the brain after he fell from an engine tender at Sheepbridge Works on Tuesday.  George was from New Whittington.

*Thomas Howe a labourer aged 69 years old of the Sheepbridge Company was crushed in between the buffers of some wagons.  He suffered contusion of the abdomen.

*Frederick Furniss another employee of the Sheepbridge Company also found himself in grave danger for his life.  Frederick was a pony driver and had been crushed by the wheels of loaded wagons at Langwith Colliery.  He had suffered fractures of his left leg and thigh, severe laceration on the left thigh and wound on the leg.




Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Update of the PAST NEWS..........18th January 1973

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

*George Warren –

George was in last week’s news as he had maliciously beaten his aged father, which had resulted in such terrible injuries that William Warren had died as a result.  The incident had caused outcry in the small mining village of Clowne. 

George appeared at the March Assize Courts in Derby on Thursday 6th March 1873.  He pleaded guilty to the charges but asked for leniency as the acts he had committed were as a result of drink.  The Judge announced that after hearing the medical men’s opinion on the death of William Warren that it could not be conclusive that the injuries that George had caused be the sole reason for William’s death.  That said, George was still given what was described as “a severe sentence”, five years penal servitude.  His actual conviction was for “inflicting grievous bodily harm”.

William Warren was buried at Clowne on 24th December 1872.
~ ~ ~ ~ X ~ ~ ~ ~

*John White –

Twenty four year old John was in trouble after he had taken a horse belonging to William White and George Davenport.

His case was heard and it was told how John had simply taken the beast for a ride and after that he had let it lose on Shirland Common.  The case was dismissed and John was discharged.

~ ~ ~ ~ X ~ ~ ~ ~

*George Berrisford and John Bunting –

George and John were accused of highway robbery when they stole from James Holmes in Swanwick. 

John was aged 22 years old and George was a little older at 27 years old.  Both worked as colliers.  On the night in question James had been drinking in the Steam Packet public house from 5pm to 11pm.  It was stated that he had drunk 3 or 4 pints of ale and took himself a pint out with him to have with his supper when he got home.  He was said to have been perfectly sober.

As he got to the cross roads three men jumped out at him and got hold of him by the throat.  At this he ran away from them to the home of Mr Barratt.  He was found by the men and they attacked him and took the contents of his pockets from him.

The two men were found guilty and sentenced to 9 months gaol.  It is not mentioned as to who the third man was.

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Sunday, 20 January 2013

Echoes of our Past NEWS........ 18th January 1873

Read all about it……. Echoes of our past NEWS
What was in the local news this weekend in 1873?


*Domestic tragedy at Clowne –

A “rough looking fellow about 40 years of age” named George Warren (alias Rodger) who worked as a hawker was charged with the murder of his aged father.  George lived at Clowne Brook and on the night of Saturday 14th December he returned home in a drunken state and began to assault his wife as she had not “prepared him a meat super”.  His father had come to her defence and George had then set upon him knocking him to the ground by punching him in the face.  He then continued to kick his old father. 

The old man was named William Warren and although being 74 years old he worked for the Duke of Portland at the Welbeck Estate.  He stayed on the estate in a van provided by the Duke “for his aged workmen” Mondays to Fridays and was only at home at the weekends. 

After having been badly beaten William had returned to work on the Monday morning, but owing to his injuries he had been unable to do any work.  By Thursday he was so ill that he was sent home in a trap.  By this time he was unconscious.  He died the next day at midnight.  George had visited his father on his death bed, still in a drunken state.  He had not whispered kind words into his dying fathers ears, no he had lifted his head off of the pillow and dropped it back with such force that it had caused blood to flow from Williams’s mouth.  William was said to have been in good health prior to this assault.

John Ball was called as a witness as he shared a van as sleeping arrangements at Welbeck.  He said that William had told him about his son “ill-treating” him the previous Saturday.  John also stated that William was covered in bruises as if he had been beaten with a stick.

George Warren was charged with assault by PC Wheeldon at his house at Clowne Brook.  He did admit to ill-using his father “but not so much as people said”.  He was refused bail and sent to Derby Gaol to await trial at the Assize Courts.


*Mansfield Petty Sessions –

A man named Christopher Jelley who was a draper at Mansfield Woodhouse was charged with being an accessory to the act of abortion on a young girl.

The unnamed girl stated that Christopher was the father of the child and had taken her to Nottingham in a first class carriage.  Once in Nottingham she had been operated on and a five month old baby had been delivered.  They had returned home and Christopher had placed her in a cab to take her home. 

Christopher said that he had rode in a carriage with the girl and that she had stated that she was getting out at Lenton.  He got out with her and walked alongside her into Parliament Street.  He left her there and went to collect some items and returned on the next train. 

Christopher was remanded and sent to Nottingham Gaol to await trial.  The woman who operated on the girl was also apprehended.

*Horse stealing –

A man from Tansley in Derbyshire named John White was charged with stealing a mare from William White and George Davenport of Higham.  The mare was worth £20.

George said that on the evening of the 6th January he had put two mares in the stables.  At 7pm when he returned one of them was missing and he had set about looking for it.

John Davenport the son of George had gone with PC Bacon to look for the horse when they found it wandering loose, with its bridle on near Moor House on the Tansley Road.  Further along the road, about a ½ mile from Tansley they found a man crouching under a hedge.  The man was John White.

It was not looking good for John as a servant from Ford House named Charles Allsop saw him leaving White’s farm around 7pm with the horse.  John had asked Charles to give him “a leg on” and had then ridden off.   A further witness named Samuel Cox stated that he had also seen John on the back of the horse at “Bump Mill” on the road to Wessington that very evening. 

John’s defence was that he had taken the horse, but only “for a lark” not as a criminal offence.  He was given bail but ordered to stand trial at the Derby Assizes.

*Highway robbery –

On the 7th January James Holmes a labourer at Butterley Company Iron Works had been having a drink at a public house named the Steam Packet Inn at Swanwick.  At about 11pm he left to go home and was followed by George Berresford and John Bunting.  The men took his tin can of ale from him and drank the contents.  The two men then asked James to go back with them to the Steam Packet Inn, which he did as he was too afraid to say no.  However, when they got there the doors were locked so James took advantage and ran away and hid in a nearby field. 

George and John soon found James and got hold of him by the throat.  They robbed James of his purse containing 6s 41/2 d and violently assaulted him. 

The two men were ordered to stand trial at the assize courts and witnesses were called.


*George Briggs to Miss Mary Ann Robinson on 12th January at the Wesleyan Chapel, Chesterfield

*Mr Herbert Jackson a draper to Miss Eliza Taylor of Lower Brampton on 13th January at Brampton Parish Church

*Mr George Holmes to Miss Millicent Radford on 13th January at the Parish Church, Chesterfield


*Elizabeth Clark aged 3 years of Tupton on 11th January

*Lucy Evans aged 4 years of Lordsmill Street on 11th January

*Edward Revill of Hipper Street aged 50 years on 3rd January
*Ann Booth widow of John Booth of Stoney Middleton aged 76 years

*Alice Barton aged 71 years at the Chesterfield Union Workhouse on 15th January
*William Simms victualler at Kelstedge, Ashover aged 67 years on 6th January


The weather was “reasonably mild” for the season although it had been wet, there were hope that the weather would now settle.  For the farm workers they were desperate for dry weather.


Messrs Wilkinson & Co of Bakers Hill, Norfolk Street, Sheffield were selling a magical potion for young men.  The heading shouted out “A WORD TO THE WISE” and called for all young men “on marriage the causes and cure (in every case)”.  This wonder potion would cure all ails including “debility, nervousness…. and premature decay”.  It came with “clear instructions” to “regain robust health and vigorous manhood”. 

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

UPDATE of the PAST NEWS.....11th January 1896

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

Betsey’s story -

Betsey was named after her Grandmother, she was the daughter of Harry and Sarah Ann Platts and was born in Chesterfield.  Harry was a miner, born at Shire Green in Sheffield.  The family moved around a fair bit looking for work; they move back and forth from Chesterfield to Sheffield.  She had an elder sister named Florence, elder brother named George and a younger brother named Harry.  In 1891 the family are living at 44 New Bridge Street, Whittington. 

Betsey’s father Harry died in 1895; she would have been around 14 years old.  Harry was on a cricket club outing, he was the umpire.  On the day of his death the team had been to play a match at Renishaw and had frequented a few public houses on the way home.  Whilst in the Travellers Rest at Shuttlewood on Sunday 22nd June Harry became involved in an argument with two brothers named Joseph and Edward Chidley.  The argument was said to have been about how to raise one’s family.  The situation did become heated and the men went outside to settle the situation.  Harry fought with both of the men and he did eventually end up on the ground where it was alleged that they continued to kick him.  George Platts the son of Harry was also present at the scene and he did try to help his father.  He was however held back by Edward whilst Joseph fought with Harry.  When they had finished George tried to rouse his father, but he was said to have died of his injuries.

Joseph Chidley was charged with manslaughter and committed to stand trial at the Assize Courts in July.  The Jury found him guilty and sentenced him to 18 months imprisonment.  Edward was also charged with manslaughter but there was insufficient evidence to find him guilty and so he was released.

It was most likely after this that the family had to seek help from the Chesterfield Union Workhouse.  During the trial it was heard that Harry had not had any work for the 9 weeks prior to his death, so life must have been very difficult for Sarah and her family.  It was whilst Betsey was an inmate in the workhouse that she married William John Barker.  William was 10 years her senior.

As we know Betsey and William marred on 17th August 1895, just weeks after Joseph Chidley had been imprisoned for Betsey’s father’s murder.  Poor Betsey was a still a young girl, grieving for the death of her father.  Her family had all been forced into the workhouse; she was having a tough old time.  To make matters worse still Betsey was also said to have given birth to a child by William sometime before the January 1896 when she was charging William for deserting her.  There is one child in the death registers for summer 1895 which may be their child, he was named William.  If this is the correct child then Betsey must have been heavily pregnant when she married William and must have known him prior to her father’s death (if he was the father that is).

So did Betsey and William “make it up” as they had been told to do by the Magistrate?  Whether they made up or not they did stay together, maybe Betsey began to get Williams meals ready for him after his desertion.  In 1901 they have 3 sons; George aged 4 years, Samuel aged 2 years and 1 month old William Redvers.  They are living at 115 Church Street in Whittington. 

Stability did not last long and in 1905 Betsey died, leaving William to bring up the children.  Only 1 year later William had found himself a new wife, he married Mary Ann Booth in the winter of 1906.  In 1911 he and his family are living at 8 New Bridge Street, Old Whittington (the same road that Betsey lived on in 1891).  Mary Ann had one son named Norman Booth and by 1911 she and William have their own child, yet another son named Albert.  William died in 1952 aged 83 years old. 

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Saturday, 12 January 2013

Echoes of our past NEWS........11th January 1896

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

What was in the local news this weekend in 1896?


*Accident at Rowsley Station –

Acting porter Joseph William Burdekin aged 24 years was killed on Tuesday 7th January 1896.  Joseph was the only son of Samuel Burdekin a quarryman and lived at Meadows Cottages in between Darley Dale and Rowsley.  Joseph had worked for the Midland Railway Company for several years being employed as a platelayer and had only 5 or 6 weeks ago been promoted to relieve a porter named Andrews whilst he was ill.

On the day in question just after 8 am the train from Millers Dale was approaching the platform at Rowsley when Joseph attempted to position himself at the other side of the line.  He must have run in front of the engine as it was stated that “when in front of the engine he lost all self-control”  He was knocked to the floor and his head “taken off below the ears”. 

The scene becomes even more gruesome as the Derbyshire Times goes on to tell that “the dismembered portion was collected in a bucket and the body removed to the third class waiting room……. Subsequently it was taken home about a mile away”.  Unfortunately as the incident had occurred at peak time, it was witnessed by a large number of people.  The scene of shear horror for the poor by-standers must have been most traumatic.

The inquest was held the following night in the waiting room at Rowsley Station – It was not recorded which class waiting room was used, but I would expect that it was  not the first class one.

Joseph’s father Samuel attended and confirmed that the body was that of his son.  He stated that Joseph had no physical defect of sight or hearing.

The Station Master, Thomas Pitt was called to give his version of events.  He had been with Joseph just minutes before the accident examining the milk delivery.  When the imminent arrival of the train was called Thomas had removed himself to the other side of the platform.  When the train was in between the north junction box and the platform he had shouted at the milk men “look out the train is coming”.  Joseph should have heard this call as he was with the milk men, but he moved to cross the line.  Thomas saw him and shouted “go back” and was of the opinion that Joseph was not aware that the train was only 10 – 20 yards away at this point.  In an instant he faltered not knowing whether to continue or go back, it was too late and the train struck him.  It was moving around 10 – 15 miles an hour at this time. 

Joseph was not required to be on the line at all.  He was supposed to be at the crossing to guard it.  Thomas thought however, that he was crossing the line to give him details of the milk delivery as he was carrying the paper in his hand.  In Thomas’s opinion he thought Joseph had followed the actions in order to “do what he thought was right”  he was described as “very steady, obliging and industrious”.

Next to the stand was the engine driver Arthur West.  He confirmed that the first he saw of Joseph was when he was in the “four-foot of the up line”.  The engine drivers mate had the whistle open full and Joseph should have heard them approach.  Arthur saw the danger and applied the break fully but it was too late, Joseph had been struck by the engine.

P.C . J Hutchinson of Rowsley confirmed that he had seen the body and that Joseph had also sustained a broken right arm in two places and possible broken back.

The Coroner summed up the incident and said no one was at fault.  He thought that the practice of porters crossing the lines was dangerous, but was aware that it was done regularly and they became blasé about the implications.  The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.


There were many incidents of family arguments and marital tribulations after the Christmas and New Year festivities were over –

*William John Barker was charged for deserting his wife, 16 year old Betsey Ann Barker of Shuttlewood.  William was described as “looked little more than a lad” at the court hearing.  Betsey told how they had been married on 17th August in the Chesterfield Workhouse and had been living together until the Friday after Christmas Day. 

She accused William of being cruel to her, being in a drunken state on a daily basis and having removed all of the furniture and some of her clothing just prior to him actually leaving her.  The cruelty went as far as him throwing a paraffin lamp at her which set her alight. 

In his defence William said that Betsey never had his meals ready for him when he returned home – Betsey denied this. 

A witness named Hannah Lees told how on one occasion she had seen William turn Betsey out of the house.  The couple had one child who had died.

The Bench told the couple “to make it up”.  William was given an order to pay Betsey 7s 6d a week.

*Job Henstock of North Wingfield was summoned after he had threatened Mary Buttey on 27th December.  Mary was his mother in law.  He had threatened to “chuck her downstairs and break every bone in her body”.

Job told how he had gone home about 10pm and had some supper after which he and his wife had begun arguing.  Mary was living with them and she came downstairs to see what was occurring, she threatened to “burst his door in”.  Matilda wife of Job said that the couple had only had a few words and her mother had come and “made a row outside their door”. 

The case was dismissed.

*Ellen Mansfield the wife of Robert Mansfield of Newbold Moor applied for a protection order.  She said that the marital home was hers and that her husband had left her the day after Christmas Day.  The order was granted.

*Bad language –

A case was dismissed as “trivial” after William Breeze was summoned for using threatening language to Charles Ogden on Whittington Moor on 28th December.  William told how Ogden’s little boy swore and used bad language at him.  When he went to the house to complain the Ogden’s shut the door in his face. 

*Newbold District Council Meeting –

The committee met on Monday 6th January.  The following items were discussed –

Plans for new houses –

Six to be built on Foljambe Road and six new cottages on Newbold Back Lane.

Health –

The Inspectors Report was read stating that only one case of Typhoid fever was reported in the month of December 1895.  This case was at Stonegravels and was “going on in a satisfactory manner”.  The cause of the fever was not traceable at this time.

The Medical Officers Report told that 33 deaths had occurred, which gave the area an annual average death rate of 22.1. 
There had been 60 births registered for the district, 35 boys and 25 girls. 
There had only been one death caused by Typhoid Fever.

Proposed Isolation Hospital –

The idea was to have a hospital for the areas of Chesterfield, Newbold, Whittington and Brampton.  The Rural District Council had the opinion that there should be a central hospital and then two smaller hospitals in the North and South of the area.  It was suggested that the central hospital be built where the small pox hospital stands.  The committee agreed with the larger scheme of a central hospital and 2 smaller emergency hospitals, staffed with “a nurse or two” who “could be despatched from Chesterfield one promptly if necessary”


*Rev James Smith Curate at Brimington to Miss Ellen Josephine Greenshields at St Andrews the Great Church at Cambridge on 7th January.  The bride wore a dress of cream bengaline with a demi train and a lace veil fastened with sprays of orange blossom.  She wore a pearl and diamond broach and carried a bouquet of white flowers. 
*Miss Hibbert eldest daughter of Mr T R Hibbert  married Mr Frank William Alton son of the late Mr John Russell Alton of Heague.  The marriage too place on Tuesday 7th January at an early hour of 10am at Christ Church in Belper.
The marriage venue was a spectacular sight with Christmas decorations still on display and it was said that several hundred relatives and friends attended.  The bride wore a blue cloth traveling gown, trimmed with blue and old gold shot silk, a fawn hat with blue velvet trimmings and an osprey.  The bridesmaids wore grey with old rose and lace trimmings, beefeater hats decorated with old rose ribbon, ospreys and buckles.  After the luncheon the couple went off on honeymoon to London.

*Mrs Alfra Hills, widow of the late Rev Thomas Hills, Vicar of Elmton.  The Rev had also previously been Vicar at many local Churches; St Thomas at Brampton, Clowne and Whittington.  He was buried in Bolsover churchyard.

Alfra had never fully recovered from her bout of influenza 4 years ago and she passed away on Sunday aged 85 years old.  She was also said to have been senile. 

The Hills were a very religious family and three sons were also Vicars; Rev George Hills at Curdridge, Southampton, Rev T C Hills at Bolsover and Rev Dr Hills at Ironville.

The life of Alfra was celebrated at the Ironville Parish Church 8am on Wednesday 8th January.  The funeral cortege then proceeded to Bolsover Parish Church where Alfra was reunited with her husband Thomas. 


*Football suspensions –

A meeting was held at the Queens Head public house by the Chesterfield and Derbyshire Football Association to discuss several suspensions.

Stanfree club was banned from the association after not fulfilling their fixtures.  The following men were suspended until they had paid 2s 6d each toward fee and expenses – G Gregory, W Taylor, T Phillips, John Ashley, James Ashley, Sid Taylor, John Abel and Edmund Dukes.

Eckington Works were in trouble for using players who were members of other clubs.  One such man was Jack Bennet of Holbrook who was suspended for one month.

Eckington Town found their player, George Willis suspended after misconduct at a match against Renishaw.

C Smedley was charged as he had “played rough” during a match at Old Brampton.  He played for Newbold and was suspended for one month.

Two players named J Silvers and W Heppenstall who played for Poolsbrook United Reserves were suspended for one month for misconduct.

E Morris who played for Killamarsh Athletic was suspend for two months after he had refused to leave the pitch when the referee had instructed him to do so. 


A man’s best friend, two dogs lost –

“lost in Chesterfield, black and tan terrier, on Tuesday night.  Whart on forehead – apply G Henshaw, Church Lane, Chesterfield”

“ten shillings rewards – lost Jan. 9th a brown terrier bitch at Lea Bridge, a leather collar and two part labels on the dog.  Anyone restoring the same to Mr H Briddon, Matlock Bath, will receive the above reward”


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Update of the Past NEWS...... 6th January 1883

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

* Witham V Wardman

The two men Henry and Walter were brothers, although they were slightly different in age than recorded in last week’s news.  Walter was born in 1855 and Henry in 1858, they were the eldest two sons of William and Julia Witham (nee Turton). 

The family lived at Brimington; William was publican at the Prince of Wales public house on Common Road.  William was originally from Skegby in Nottinghamshire, he married Julia Turton in 1854 at Chesterfield.  They had a large family of at least the following children and probably more –

*Walter Washington 1855
*Henry Albert 1868
*Charles 1860
*George 1863
*Margaret 1865
*Frank 1866
*William Edgar 1868
*Kate 1871
*Florence 1875

Walter Washington was infamous around the Chesterfield area, so much so that in 1890 he was described as “alias Devil a noted Brimingtonion”.  Walter was quiet a character, he was in trouble on numerous occasions for poaching or being drunk and disorderly.  Not only did he assault Anthony Wardman in 1883 but he was also charged with a very serious offence in 1887 when he assaulted Walter Harris so badly that he was “dangerously injured in hospital” and was unable to attend the remand trial.  Walter Witham was said to be 29 years old at the time and worked as a coal miner.

Walter Harris and his house mate Michael Quinn lived at Froggats Yard, Walter was a labourer.  On the night in question Walter and Michael were walking along Holywell Street when they came upon Walter Witham “falling out” with a man named Macguire.  Walter Harris had told Walter Witham to go home, but this just angered Walter Witham more and he offered to “fight Harris for a sovereign”.  The men moved down Tapton Lane and both began punching each other.  Walter Witham had the upper hand though and knocked Harris down to the floor where he jumped on his face with his clogs.  He then raised him from the floor a little and kicked the back of Harris’s head and then chest.  He finished by saying “let the ------ die”.  Harris was taken home, the doctor called and transferred to the Chesterfield Hospital. 

Walter Witham was remanded in Derby gaol until Walter Harris was fit to attend court and the trial was set for 31st October 1887 at Leicester Assize Courts.  He was found guilty and sentenced to 12 months hard labour.

I have been unable to locate Walter Witham on any of the census after 1881, I don’t know if he married or what became of him after 1896 when he was fined for assaulting James W Shawcroft at Brimington.  Walter had admitted the incident but said that he had taken too much drink and did not mean his actions.  He was told to pay the costs for the court appearance but replied “think I shall pay? I shall pay “note”, I have “note”.  There is a death for Walter Washington Witham in Chesterfield in 1931 aged 72 years old – does anyone know what he was up to for the last 30 years of his life?

As for Henry Albert Witham, his life seems to have also taken a “wild” route.  He was with his brother in May 1877 when they were found guilty of poaching at Ault Hucknall.  They were both fined 10s.  In December 1879 he was charged with being drunk and disorderly with his mates Zimri Ashmore and Frederick Wagstaff in Brimington.  They were to pay the costs and received a caution.

In January 1882 Henry is charged with being drunk and disorderly in Brimington.  This time with 2 married women – Ruth Wardman (alias Ruth Bamford) and Anna Swift.  So this is where the rumours that one of the Witham men had “interferred” with the wife of Anthony Wardman stem from – it was Henry Witham who was the cause of the families dislike for each other.  On the night in question Henry, Ruth and Anna were seen to be very drunk and had been thrown out of the Bugle Horn public house.  They were using terrible language and being very noisy.  Luckily for Ruth Wardman she was found not guilty, but Henry and Anna were both fined 15s including costs.

Henry did settle down and married Bertha Unwin in 1893.  In 1901 he is living with his family at Cotterill Lane, Brimington.  Henry works as a pipe shop labourer and they have 3 children – Kate aged 7 years, Julia aged 4 years and baby Wilfred aged 11 months. 

Henry and Bertha were involved in an altercation in September 1898 at Brimington when Henry was charged with assaulting Margaret Cockerton with bad language.  He was also said to have given her a blow and she was said to have set the poker at him.  Bertha was also involved as she was charging Margaret Cocketon with using indecent language at her- Margaret had called Bertha “Mrs Dyer”.  The court heard how this was due to the Witham’s death of their son Henry Witham.  In the end it was decided that as Henry Witham was a repeat offended and a bad character he was committed to Derby Gaol for 14 days hard labour.
By 1911 Henry is living recorded as widowed, but I have been unable to locate a death for Bertha Witham.  What became of her is unknown, she may have died, been imprisoned or did the couple simply split?  Two children were living with Henry; Wilfred aged 10 years and Dorice Annie aged 9 years.

Henry Albert died a few years later in 1913 at Chesterfield. 

Anthony Wardman was the man who disliked the Witham brothers because one had “interfered with his wife”.  We now know that it looks likely that it was Henry as he was at least caught "up to no good" with Ruth Witham.

Anthony married Ruth Maria Bamford in 1879.  In 1881 Anthony and Ruth are living with Ruth’s father George Bamford at East Street, Hasland.  Anthony is 27 years old and works as a coal miner. 

According to the NEWS article Anthony had been to the USA and it was during this time that a Witham man had been around his wife so I would suspect he was away around 1882.  I have not been able to find him in any passenger list though. 

Anthony and Ruth went to live in Canada.  They had one son Taylor around 1891.  If anyone can fill in the gaps I would be most interested.
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* Omri Twigg -
With such an unusual Christian name I had to find out more about this man.  Omri was in last week's NEWS announcing his marriage to Ellen Ellis Fryer on 2nd January 1883 at the Wesleyan Chapel in Bakewell.
Omri was born in 1840, the son of Joseph and Phoebe Twigg.  Joseph was a lead miner and the family lived at Youlgreave in Derbyshire.  Omri had 2 older brothers named Joseph and William and 2 elder sisters named Phoebe and Maria.  After Omri was born came Isaac, Benjamin and Georgiana.
Omri was late to get wed; in fact he would have been 41 years old.  Ellen was 22 years his junior.  The couple lived with Omri’s family in 1891 at Bradford, Youlgreave.  They had 4 children – Phoebe aged 6 years, William aged 5 years, Benjamin aged 3 years and Maria aged 1 year old.  Also living with then are Omri’s younger brothers Isaac and Benjamin, both were unmarried general labourers and Maria Ellis sister in law who was widowed.
On Tuesday 8th March 1898 tragedy struck the family when Omri’s younger brother Isaac committed suicide.  Isaac had lived with his brother and family for about 2 ½ years at Elton.  He was unmarried and around 48 years old.
The house was full with Isaac, his sister, brother Omri and his family and Maria Ellis all living there.  Around 6am on Tuesday morning the chimney sweep named John hope had arrived at Omri’s home and was led into the kitchen where they were shocked to find a pool of blood on the floor.  On further investigation it was found that the blood had seeped through the floor boards from the bedroom above, the bedroom which Isaac and Omri’s son William shared.
They proceeded to the bedroom to find the door handle secured close with a cord.  Unable to gain access they had to knock loudly in order to wake William.  Isaac was found still alive, but he had cut his throat with an old pocket knife which was found in the bed with him.  It was thought that Isaac may survive and arrangements were made for him o be under police supervision.  However, he became seriously ill and died during that night.
An inquest was held on the Thursday morning at the Duke of York Inn, Elton, the verdict was that Isaac had committed suicide whilst of unsound mind.
By 1901 Omri and Ellen have moved to Moor Lane, Elton a nearby village.  He is 60 years old and works as a cattleman on a farm.  They have 3 children living with them – William aged 15 years, Isaac aged 9 years and Emma aged 5 years old. 
Only a year later in November 1902 Ellen applied to the Bench for a separation order as she could no longer live with Omri anymore.  The heading of the newspaper article read “A LAZY HUSBAND” “Elton man tells his wife to “scrat” for herself and five children”.  The couple had been married 19 years earlier and had lived for around 8 years at Youlgreave, 4 years at Bonsall Moor and the remainder at Elton. 
Three weeks earlier Ellen had moved to live with relatives in Winster.  She had 8 children altogether but only 5 lived with her.  She stated that Omri had provided for her until the past 2 years, when he had stated that “he was not going to work anymore for anybody”.  Omri had maintained that he was ill and had visited Dr Fletcher for him to certify him sick and allow him to claim support.  Dr Fletcher had refused, stating that Omri was “an idle vagabond”. 
In the past five weeks that Ellen had lived with Omri he had given her 13s to feed and clothe the family, even though he was earning 7s per week.    The Bench were very supportive of Ellen and could clearly see the failings of Omri.  She was given an order for a judicial separation and custody of the five youngest children, one being only 5 months old.  Omri was ordered to pay 5s a week to Ellen.
These goings on would explain why on the 1911 census Omri is living all alone, he is retired aged 70 years old and interestingly has recorded himself as “widower”.  Ellen is alive and living far away from her husband at Holy Bank, Chesterfield Road, Staveley, Chesterfield.  Her eldest son William is the head of the household.  Ellen and Omri’s children are living with them; Benjamin 23 years, Maria 21 years, Isaac 19 years, Eliza 18 years, Emma 13 years and James aged 8 years old.  Ellen has also described herself as “widow”.  There is a death for an Ellen Twigg which fits with her age in 1937, so let’s hope she had a nice happy life after Omri.
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