Sunday, 3 March 2013

Echoes of our Past NEWS ..... 3rd March 1888

Read all about it……. Echoes of our past NEWS
What was in the local news this weekend in 1888?

*Sad case of Kate Lyons –

Kate Lyons lived at New Whittington with her three children, one of them a baby.  She was a poor lady whose husband was in gaol for having assaulted her.  Kate was described as a “poorly clad woman”.  Life must have been very, very difficult for Kate and it was to become even more so on 13th February 1888 when she was visited my Mr Limb and Mr Allen.

Mr John Limb was a rent and debt collector who lived on St Helens Street in Chesterfield.  He took his “bum bailiff” (as described my Kate) Mr Allen, to the evict Kate from her home in New Whittington.  Kate was now appearing at the Chesterfield Police Court accusing Mr Limb of assaulting her during the process.

She agreed that she was aware that she was in arrears with the rent, but that she had not received any notice of eviction so she was not prepared when Mr Limb called on the Monday.  He entered the house and said “now Kate clear out” at which point he showed her the warrant for her removal.  Kate and the children were not dressed for leaving the house and so she refused to leave until she had collected her things together and got herself and the children ready.  Mr Allen did take the baby from Kate to enable her to get ready but Mr Limb was having none of that and made Mr Allen pass the baby back and go upstairs to “pull the bed to pieces”.  Mr Limb threatened Kate “you’d better go as quiet as you can”.

Mr Limb put some of Kate’s things together into a bundle and then he took hold of Kate by the neck and threw her out into the snow, where she fell on her knees.  She begged him to let her stay but Mr Limb was not interested.  Poor Kate and her three children were homeless on a cold snowy day, but luckily for her a neighbour did take her in.

It appears that the situation was all agreed by Mr Lyons, the husband of Kate.  When the debt had been noticed Mr Limb had visited Mr Lyons in gaol.  Mr Lyons had told Mr Limb to take the furniture from the house and sell it.  The money could then be used to pay off the debt and any surplus would be saved for Mr Lyons release from gaol.  Obviously Kate knew nothing of this up until now.  It was not clear whether Mr Lyons had actually agreed to Kate being evicted.

Two witnesses were called; Mrs Day and Mrs Mary Jane Hill –

Mrs Day told how she lived nearby and had heard Mr Limb telling Kate that she must get out of the house, but Kate had held back as she wanted to gather up her belongings.  At this Mr Limb had said “now are you ready?” and had taken her neck and thrown her out into the road, where Kate fell into the snow.  Mrs Day told the sorry story how Kate was out in the snow with her three children; she had put her hands together and begged to be allowed to stay in the house. 

Mrs Mary Jane Hill said she lived next door to Kate and so she could not see what was happening inside the house, but Kate did appear out of the door “in a hurry” and then beg as Mrs Day had already described.

When Mr James Allen, the bailiff was called to gives his account of the events he, as expected sided with Mr Limb.  He said that Mr Limb did not touch Kate.  His version of events were put into question however, after he agreed that he was sent upstairs to pull down the bed.  If he was upstairs, then how could he say whether Mr Limb did nor did not touch Kate?

The Bench decided that there was no doubt that an assault on Mrs Kate Lyons had been committed.  Mr Limb was fined £1 or 14 days hard labour.  Mr Limb stated that he would pay the fine.


*Health –

The fortnightly report taken by Dr Mackintosh gave the number of deaths in the area as 14.  This was broken down to –

·         2 > small pox (at Tupton and Eckington)

·         2> scarlet fever

·         1 > erysipelas [1]

·         1 > whopping cough

·         2 > accidental

·         1 >suicide at Ashover

·         4 > old age
This does only add up to 13 deaths, no other death is documented.
During the fortnight more cases of small pox had occurred; two at Eckington, two at Killamarsh, one at Hasland, one at Heath and one at Brimington.  Three of the cases were in houses that were already infected with the disease. The case at Heath was of an old woman aged 73 years old.  She lived in a public house and had not left the house for many years.  It was suspected that the disease had been carried by a passing tramp.  The public house was now closed to business.  The case in Eckington was causing concern as it was very close to the school and the authorities had now decided to ask Eckington School Board to close the school for the time being to prevent spread of the disease.

His report also gave details about the weather.  The temperature during the fortnight had been a minimum 24 degrees and maximum 52 degrees.  Snowfall was measured to “2/10 of an inch of water”.  The wind was blowing from an easterly direction.

*Fire on South Street –

A Mr Todd alerted the Chesterfield Police Station of a fire at the premises of Mr Holmes a tailor on South Street at around 11.30 pm.  The fire brigade were on the scene within minutes under the charge of Sergeant Nicholls.  They came equipped with the horse cart and chemical extinguisher and were able to gain water from the hydrant near to Mr Millson’s shop.

It took about 30 minutes to put the fire out and by this time the shop and all its fixtures and fittings were beyond salvage.  Luckily though minimal damage was caused to other nearby shops, only windows broke and paintwork was scorched at the premises next door belonging to Mr Phillips the jeweller.

The cause of the fire was not known, but it was thought it had started in the corner of the room, which was where the gas meter was situated.  Mr Holmes stated that he had turned off the gas himself as he closed the shop that evening.  He was insured at a Sheffield Office.


*Mr Foye to Mary Ann Linskey on 27th February at the Catholic Chapel, Spencer Street

*Mr Matthew Furness to Elizabeth Bland (youngest daughter of William Bland) on 23rd February at Eyam Parish Church


*Thomas Lucius Jervis Arthur aged 40 years at Glenomera, Co Clare, Ireland on 18th February.  The eldest son of Rev Lucius Arthur of Glenomera and now Matlock, Derbyshire

*Colonel Edward Thomas Coke aged 82 years on 26th February at Debdale Hall. Mansfield

*Mary Ann Holmes at Queen Street on 2nd March, relict of the late James Holmes

*Gertrude Bradshaw aged 22 months on 24th February at Upper Moor, Brampton

*Clara Burton aged 8 years at Greenhill Lane of 25th February

*Elizabeth Dennis aged 44 years at Marsden’s Place on 24th February

*Florence Johnson aged 2 years at Mountcastle Street, Newbold on 24th February

*Mary Johnson aged 77 years at Grassmoor on 23rd February


Need to get a birthday card?

The Derbyshire Times office was proudly announcing their stock of “new and beautiful designs” at all prices.

The Derbyshire Times Office was in the Market Hall in the centre of Chesterfield.

[1] Erysipelas is a skin infection caused by streptococcus bacteria.  The patient would suffer from blisters on the cheeks and nose and fever and the condition was very painful.  The skin would normally peel and then heal, but it was possible for the bacteria to enter the blood stream which could lead to infections in the heart valves, joints and bones. 

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