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.





  1. I really enjoy reading snippets of local news, thanks for posting!

    1. Thank you for reading!

      Me to, it does get a bit addictive reading past news!

      I have followed your blog, looks very interesting to and nice to read something local ;-)