In the Papers
What the Papers Said 150 Years Ago
Combe Martin Petty Sessions
Betsy Ley, farmer's wife of Berrynarbor, was charged by her servant, Prudence Perin, with assaulting her. The charge was admitted, but circumstances of provocation were pleaded. Fined 2s 6d, with 6s, costs.
Drunkenness and Disorder:
Richard Snow and John Slee, two married labourers, of Berrynarbor, were
brought before N. Vye, Esq., on Saturday, charged by P. C. Hodge, with being
drunk and creating a disturbance in the street on the previous night. The defendants had been locked up all night
in the 'Stone Lodge', a small cell under the town clock. Before
hearing the charge, the magistrate told the policeman that he would not have
any whom he might find it necessary to take into custody, kept in that small,
cold, close place, all night; especially during the winter. It was
not a place fit for a human being to be confined in the whole of a cold
winter's night: in summer it might do,
but even then not for two persons. The
cell might serve for the confinement of a prisoner for a few hours in the day,
but if they were required to be kept all night, it must be a private house:
when the new station was built, the difficulty now felt by the police with a
prisoner in charge would be done away. On
the charge being laid against the prisoners above named they denied being drunk
- they only had 'two pints o'drink' each. P.C. Hodge found them in
taking him into custody. Much scuffling ensued in getting him to the cell, his fellow tippler demanding him as his 'property' and on reaching the Lodge, Snow assaulted the officer, and attempting a rescue, was himself seized and first placed behind lock and key. By this time his 'property' had walked off, who had to be pursued and re-captured, which was soon affected and the pair left to their reflections in the rogue's roost. - Mr. Sommers, watchmaker, described the conduct of the men as outrageous and profane, but that the row was greatly heightened, perhaps, would not have occurred if they had not been maddened by the hounding of a knot of lawless youngsters in the street. Mr. Henry Harding, postman, gave evidence to the same facts. The magistrate said there could be no doubt about the defendants being drunk, and that a very disgraceful outrage had been committed. Until recently, all a magistrate could do in such cases, however disorderly parties might have been, was to fine them 5s, and the expenses, but he would take the opportunity of saying that by a late act, persons guilty of disorderly conduct might be fined 40s, or sent 7 days to prison, at the discretion of the Bench. Those whom it concerned would see that conduct of this description would be followed by far more serious consequences than had been the custom, and which would certainly be inflicted. In the present instance, he would not inflict the severer penalty, as they had already been punished by being locked up all night, and he understood the police constable intended in bringing a charge against them at the petty sessions for assaulting him in the execution of his duties. Fined 5s each, with 2s 6d each expenses.
What the Papers Said 150 Years Ago
A CHILD MORTALLY BURNT - On Friday, an inquest was held at Berrydown Cross, before R. Bremridge, Esq., county coroner, on the body of Emily Jewell, a girl between seven and eight years of age, the daughter of James Jewell, a labourer, residing in the hamlet. It appeared that on Wednesday morning, the father and mother left the house, the former to go to his work and the latter to the mill to get her grist ground, leaving the deceased and a younger child to take care of themselves as best they could. After the mother was gone, the children fastened the door by pushing something over the latch to prevent other children entering the house. In the course of the morning the neighbours perceived the smell of fire, and soon ascertained that it proceeded from Jewell's house. As the door was fastened they had to force it open; and, on doing so, found the elder girl burnt in a miserable manner. Mr. Stoneham, surgeon, of this town, was sent for, and on his arrival, pronounced the case to be hopeless. The poor child lingered until the next morning, when death put a period to her sufferings. The verdict of the Jury was in accordance with the facts, but the coroner thought it his duty to address the parents in strong terms of censure for their carelessness in leaving children so young in the house by themselves. It appeared that about eight years ago they had a child, of the same age, burnt to death under similar circumstances, and a third had since suffered from a like casualty, though the injuries had not proved mortal.
Tuesday, November 2nd -THE GAME LAWS -Quick v. Beer - Plaintiff is a farm servant, lately in the employment of Mr. Ley, of Crosshill, in the parish of Berrynarbor; and the defendant, gamekeeper to Arthur Davie Bassett, Esq., of Watermouth. The action was brought to recover £1.15s, the value of a gun and a quantity of powder and shot, the property of Quick, which Beer had illegally seized and taken possession of on the 20th of Sept., last. Mr. Incledon Bencraft appeared for the plaintiff; Mr. Hooper Law for the defendant. The plaintiff and James Ley [brother of his late master] were recently summoned before the Bench of Magistrates at Combmartin, for trespassing in quest of game, and convicted and fined for the offence; although the defence set up was, that they were upon ground where they had a right to be, and employed in farm operations - that the farmer had the right to kill rabbits, etc. It appeared that on the day named the two young men went to the field to work, taking with them a gun, intending to kill a rabbit if one should chance to start up - that Ley fired off the gun, which had been loaded several days, throwing up a stone as a mark at which to aim - that immediately after the gamekeeper and the Rev. Arthur Crawford Bassett entered the field and demanded who had fired the gun to which the plaintiff returned an evasive answer. Beer then searched in the hedgerow and found the gun hid under Quick's coat, of which he took possession, together with a quantity of powder and shot in the pockets of the coat. Evidence was given pro and con., the plaintiff and
his witness denied that either beat or searched for game, and Beer deposed that he saw Quick fire, and both beating the covers, though he confessed he was at a great distance at the time and several hedges intercepted the view. His Honour reviewed the evidence, and said he did not consider that adduced by the plaintiff worthy to be trusted, as much as that of the game-keeper. Judgement for the defendant - Mr. Law declined to ask for costs.
Tom Bartlett November 2008
IN THE PAPERS 150 YEARS AGO
RARE VISITOR IN THE CHANNEL- On Saturday some attention was excited by the appearance in the offing of a ship of unusual stateliness and size, accompanied by a smaller craft as odd as the other was majestic. The Coast Guard were able to give the information that the large ship was the Russel, one of Her Majesty's steam frigates, carrying 60 guns. The accompanying vessel with leg-of-mutton sail fore and aft, and funnel between, was a gun-boat. The frigate was a gallant object with all her canvas spread, going up with a fair wind, the sun shining upon her and everything looking so beautiful. The spy glass revealed her two tiers of guns - she did not appear to have her steam up. It was said she was cruising round this part of the island for the purpose of inspecting and promoting the means of defence along the coast. It is an extremely rare thing to see a ship of war in the Bristol Channel; men accustomed to traverse it do not recollect seeing one for years, hence the anxious inquiry, to what cause is it we owe the unexpected visit?
PAINFUL ACCIDENT - Yesterday [Wednesday], as the Rev. Thomas Hulme, Wesleyan minister, of this place, and the Rev. Joseph Chapman, with some friends were making an exploratory visit to the rocks and caves at Watermouth, the first named gentleman had the misfortune to slip his foot on the smooth surface of rock, when he fell and broke his right arm between the elbow and the shoulder. To make the matter worse, the bone is fractured in an oblique direction, rendering it more difficult to set and particularly difficult to keep in its place. The case is in the skilful hands of Mr. Foquet.
Tower Cottage July 2008
IN THE PAPERS 150 YEARS AGO
NB Please note that these extracts from the papers are reprinted exactly as published.
IN THE PAPERS 150 YEARS AGO
COMBE MARTIN PETTY SESSIONS Monday Jan. 4th 1858. [Present - The Rev. S.T. Slade-Gully and J.C. Roe, Esq.]
ASSAULTS - Ann Williams, of Berrynarbor, was charged by Maria Huxtable, of the same place, with assaulting her on the 23rd ult. Some disagreement arising between the two parties in this case, about their boys, who had been playing outside their dwellings, when the defendant gave the complainant a slap in the face and several other blows, and then threw a pitcher of water over her by way of finish. Fined 5s, with 11s.6d. costs.
TRESPASS - William Adams was charged by A.D. Bassett, Esq., with trespassing on his coach road, at Berrynarbor, it being private property, on the 1st instant. Robert Lovering saw defendant on the road with a horse and cart, and told him not to go on, but he persisted in passing over it. Sentenced to pay 6d damages and 8s costs.
Marriages 7th inst., [January 1858] at Berrynarbor, by the Rev. S.T. Slade-Gully, Charles Henry, son of William Williams, Esq., Tregullow, Cornwall to Harriet Mary, eldest daughter of Arthur Davie Bassett, Esq., Watermouth, Devon.
In the Papers 150 Years Ago
ILFRACOMBE and WATERMOUTH - DANGEROUS FOOTPATH
the Editor of the "
SIR - Having just returned from your
I cannot refrain from calling the attention of the authorities to the frightfully dangerous state of a short portion of the path to Watermouth. The earth and rock have broken away on the left-hand side of the originally narrow path, leaving barely room to pass, and exposing the unsuspecting traveller to a precipice of such fearful depth that falling from it must be instantly fatal.
It is a shame that a peril so easily to be guarded against should exist amidst such beautiful and attractive scenery, and I trust a regard to the public safety will induce the responsible party at once to prevent the sacrifice of life which, if the path be neglected, I expect to hear has arisen. Hoping the insertion of this notice may be useful. I am Sir, yours &c.
COMBEMARTIN PETTY SESSIONS
Monday Dec. 7th [Extract]
GAME LAWS - James Tucker, was charged by farmer Dermaid of Hele, near Ilfracombe, with trespassing in search of rabbits in a field of his in the parish of Berrynarbor, on the 10th September. Complainant heard the report of a gun and going in the direction of the sound, he found the defendant in his field with a gun with which he shot a rabbit. - Richard Gammon, a witness called by the defendant, said that on the day in question, he invited him [defendant] to come and shoot some rabbits with him on his land. They went to Mr. Watt's where they had leave to shoot, and acknowledged having passed over one of Dermaid's fields, but denied having fired a gun there. The Bench considered the charge proved, and fined defendant 10s with 8s 6d costs.
Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, November 2007
IN THE PAPERS 105 YEARS AGO
Home! On Saturday last this village was
the scene of great rejoicing on the occasion of the return to his paternal home
of Lieut. Francis Gully of the 31st Regiment, son of the Rev. Thomas
Slade-Gully rector of the parish, after eleven years service in the
"Stealing by a Servant - Mary Ann Moon, a girl belonging to Berrynarbor, was taken before N. Vye Esq. on Wednesday last week, charged with stealing a handkerchief, and other articles, the property of a lady lodging at Mrs. Lammas's, Montpelier Terrace. She was remanded to the Petty Sessions at Combe Martin on Monday, when she was convicted and sentenced to three months' imprisonment."