Saturday, 5 January 2013

Echoes of our Past NEWS......... 6th January 1883

Read all about it……. Echoes of our past NEWS
What was in the local news this weekend in 1883?

MAIN NEWS –            

*Dangerous mill chimney at Chesterfield –

The chimney at Victoria Mills on Low Pavement in central Chesterfield was under scrutiny this week.  It was said to be at risk of falling down and thus injuring or killing innocent people. 

The Victoria Mills were in Peacock Yard off of Low Pavement, the said chimney being situated at the south east corner of the yard.  The chimney was 106ft high, 6ft diameter at the top with 15inches thickness of brick.  The chimney has of late begun to become out of repair at the top, the bottom was still in good condition.  In fact the situation was so dire that the steeple jacks sent to repair the chimney from Sheffield refused to undertake “the dangerous task”. 

Some of the locals who live close have moved out, others are refusing to leave their homes.  On Wednesday last the repairs have begun and the cap and other pieces of the brick work have been knocked to the floor. 

The mill was built by Samuel Walters back in 1849, for Mr Baker a corn factor.  Mr Baker sold the business to Mr George Naish and ran the business until it fell into liquidation.  Since then Mr Sampson has owned the mill.


*Affray in the Shambles –

Anthony Wardman was having a drink in the Royal Oak public house, a pub located down the dark alleys of the Shambles in the centre of Chesterfield.  It was the night of the 27th December.  Henry and Walter Witham entered the pub along with George Hatfield and immediately a row broke out. 

Henry Witham was aged 22 years old moulder; Walter was 25 years old and worked as a foundry man.  George Hatfield was older, aged 44 years and worked as a labourer.  It seems that there was a feud between the Witham and the Wardman family.  One of the Witham men had “interfered with” the wife of Anthony Wardman whilst he had been away in America. 

On the night of affray Anthony had got up and gone outside, whereby the Witham’s started to fight with him, one of them hitting him on the head with a poker.  Anthony ended up on the ground and George Hatfield had kicked him.  Anthony endured injuries including; 2 wounds on the crown and one on the forehead. 

In defence the Witham’s stated that Anthony had started the fight as he had a grudge against the Witham family.  They said his injuries had occurred because he fell and hit his head on the pavement or that someone else had also hit Anthony. 

Many witnesses were called as the pub must have been busy and in the end the jury charged the Witham’s with “unlawfully wounding” and George Hatfield with “common assault”.  The Witham’s were sentenced to 4 months hard labour and Hatfield to one month’s hard labour.  The family feud would now be fuelled even more.

*Too much seasonal drink –
William Charlesworth a 64 year old farm labourer from Upper Langwith died on 31st December 1882.  He was found dead in bed by his wife Sarah Charlesworth.  An inquest was held at the Devonshire Arms at Upper Langwith.

Sarah told how her husband was a very heavy drinker.  How he has gone out drinking on Sunday 24th December and on Christmas Day.  His drunken state had continued all that week until the Friday when he had returned home about 11am, but by 4pm that afternoon he had again gone out to drink.  On Saturday William did stay in the house, but drank “about 4 quarts of beer” at home.  The next day he did complain that he felt unwell and stayed upstairs in bed until around 7pm when he ventured downstairs.  He wasn’t downstairs long before he returned to his bed.  Sarah went up to check on him about 7.20pm and he was found to be dead.  Sarah identified the body for the inquest.

The jury decided that William had died “from the effects of the excessive consumption of intoxicating liquor”.

*Drunkenness was in the air –

Many of the inhabitants found themselves on the wrong side of the law for being drunk including –

*John Martin, collier Whittington at Newbold Moor on 23rd December, charged 7s 6d
*Joseph Holland, collier Barrow Hill, charged 10s including costs
*George Carter, navvy Bolsover on 24th December at Bolsover, Georges wife also asked that he be bound over as she feared for her safety – he was fined 10s and bound over for the sum of £10 to keep the peace with his wife for 12 months
*James Wolf, labourer Birdholme, on 16th December at Hasland, fined 10s including costs
*Ann Sadler, “middle aged woman” drunk at Bolsover on Christmas Day, charged 10s
*John Skelton, farmer of Woodthorpe drunk at Wingerworth, fined 12s
*William Orien, moulder of Brimington on 23rd December at Brimington, fined 12s 6d
*Walter Fox, drunk at Brimington, fined 12s 6d

*Workhouse –

A tramp who found himself in the Chesterfield Union Workhouse was in trouble after he refused to “perform task work”.  The tramp was named John Edward Walters.  When he had been asked to do this menial work, he had replied that he would not do it and did not intend to do it either.  For his argument John was sent to gaol with hard labour for 14 days.

*John Thomas Lee eldest son of John Lee of Woodthorpe, Staveley to Annie Maria Rodgers, youngest daughter of the late Robert Rodgers of New House Staveley.  On 2nd January at Staveley Parish Church

*Alfred Nicholls moulder to Harriet Stoppard on 1st January at St Thomas Church, Brampton

*Omri Twigg to Ellen Ellis Fryer both from Youlgreave on 2nd January at the Wesleyan Chapel, Bakewell

*Charles William Reynolds solicitor to Elizabeth Moore at Chesterfield Parish Church on 31st December 1882

*Jesse Holt railway goods guard to Lucy Sarah Seal also on 31st December 1882 at Chesterfield Parish Church

*William Fretwell clerk to Annie Watts at Chesterfield Parish Church on 1st January 1883


*Rev John Kirk Marsh, late vicar of Brampton Derbyshire died on 30th December at 3 Church Lane, Old Charlton, Kent aged 78 years

*Henry Keates at New Whittington on 28th December aged 13 years

*Samuel Woodhouse at New Whittington on 28th December aged 78 years

*Mary Wetton of Grassmoor on 28th December aged 10 months

*Cornelius Hancock on 28th December at Old Brampton aged 81 years

*John Magson at Church Lane, Chesterfield on 29th December aged 72 years

*William Randall at Hasland on 1st January aged 9 years

*George Kiddy at Brimington on 2nd January aged 1 year


The New Year of 1883 saw the continuation of an “abnormally wet autumn”.  In fact the last week of 1882 had been unusually mild with continuous rainfall which had caused wide spread flooding. 

The first week of 1883 had seen some let up in the rain and by Friday 5th January the weather was now cooler and “rather dull”


*Christmas treats for the children –

Christmas was still the focus of attention especially for the younger members of Chesterfield.  On 3rd and 4th of January the children of the Roman Catholic School were to receive their special tea.  On the Wednesday 3rd January the elder children were shown into the girl’s schoolroom, which had been decorated with not one but two trees.  These trees were so magnificent that the tops touched the ceilings.  The branches were full of gifts for the children; fancy gifts, flannel petticoats, caps, and coats to name a few of the treats that were to be given to the children. 

Tea was served at long tables where the children were seated and waited on by some of the ladies from the church congregation.  Songs and laughter followed and then the gifts were distributed.  The next day the same followed but this time it was for the children of Barrow Hill, Whittington and the infants of the Chesterfield school.


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