Newspaper Stories 1700-1800 - Hartley-Kent: The Website for Hartley

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Newspaper Stories 1700-1800

25 June 1739 - The Press Gang
At Dartford in Kent, the press for seamen is as great as ever was known.  And county warrants are issued to the proper officers, requiring them to take care that the constables and head-boroughs in their districts make diligent search after all persons proper for his Majesty's service.  (Caledonian Mercury)

31 July 1746 - Lost Property in Hartley Bottom?
Lost the 27th of June last, between Trosley and Welling in Kent, coming to London, a pocket book with some memorandums, of no use but to the owner.  Whoever brings it to the Kentish Drovers at Trosley, the King's Arms at Hartley Bottom, the Ship at Green Street Green, the Guy of Warwick at Welling or to Mr Archbold's at New Cross Turnpike near Deptford, shall have 3 shillings reward with thanks.

NB: The owner's name John Sampson was wrote in it.

(London Evening Post - it shows that in the past Hartley Bottom Road was a significant thoroughfare for those travelling from mid to north Kent)

15 March 1750 - Counterfeit Coins
Last Wednesday, two young fellows, very genteely dressed, who had taken post horses in the Borough the day before, were taken at Dartford in Kent, for passing off bad half guineas, and upon a messenger being dispatched to enquire at the different houses on the road, it appeared they had put off 7 of them at the different houses between London and Dartford.

Whitehall Evening News

28 August 1746 - Land to let at Hartley Court
To be let and enter'd upon at Michaelmas next: A messuage house, with barns, stable, and outhouses, with 430 acres of land, arable, woodlands and meadows in Southfleet and Hartley in the county of Kent, and now in the occupation of Mr John Colyer.

Any person by enquiring of Thomas Allen of Southfleet aforesaid, may be shewn the whole farm, and by writing to Mr William Greaves of Repton near Derby, may treat for them.

(London Evening Post - Hartley Court at this time was split into 2 holdings that were rented out separately.  This advert does not include the house at Hartley Court).

15 May 1752 - A highwayman caught
On Wednesday the highwayman who had robbed Mr Lethieullier nd Mr Browne on Shooter's Hill last Tuesday afternoon, was taken near Dartford, after being pursued through Eltham, Bexley, Sutton and Darenth; and being carried before Justice Malcher at Dartford, where Mr Lethieullier and Mr Browne appearing against him, he was committed to Maidstone Gaol, in order to take his trial at the next Assizes.  There were found upon him those gentlemen's watches and several others he had taken from other persons; also a considerable sum of money.  On unloading his pistol there were a bullet and seven slugs.  He was lately an under-ostler at Dartford.

Derby Mercury.  Mr Lethieullier was very probably the Lethieullier who was the owner of Hartley Manor Farm at the time.  He lived at Beckenham.  The unnamed highwayman never stood trial.  The newspaper of following week reported he had taken poison and died in Dartford prison.
20 May 1766 - Sale of Hartley Court
To be sold by auction at Garraway's Coffee House in Exchange Alley on Wednesday the 25th of June at 12 o'clock in two lots:

Lot 1 - The Manor of Ridley......
Lot 2 - The Manor of Hartley, and the chief rents thereto belonging, amounting to £10 2s 2d per annum.  

The capital messuage or manor house of Hartley, with several parcels of inclosed lands, arable, pasture, meadow, wood and hop ground, with convenient outbuildings, hop kilns etc, containing about 190 acres, let to Mr Thomas Underhill upon lease, which expires at Michaelmas 1767 at £70.

Also several pieces of arable, pasture, meadow and wood in Hartley, let to Mr John Collyer upon lease which expires at Michaelmas 1767 at the yearly rent of £42.

NB.  The above being the old rents for many years back, will be capable of great improvements at the expiration of the leases.

These manors are situate about 5 or 6 miles from Dartford and Gravesend.

The timber upon the premises is to be taken at a valuation.

Printed particulars may be had of Mr Wallis, Pump Court, Temple; at the above place of sale, and of Mr Christie, Castle Court, Oxford Market.

(London Evening Post)

3 December 1768 - Heavy rains
We are told that the roads between Gravesend, Rochester and Chatham are almost impassable in many places, by the late violent rains.

Kentish Gazette

2 November 1769 - More Counterfeiting
We have received the following extraordinary intelligence from Dartford viz, that a a few days ago, a man, digging in a field near that place discovered a trap door, which having been with difficulty removed he went down a pair of stairs, and entered a large open place, where he found all sorts of materials used in coining, as also about 500 counterfeit guineas and half-guineas.  He immediately informed a justice of the affair, and diligent search has been made after the persons concerned.

Dublin Mercury

10 May 1775 - Stormy weather
We hear from Dartford that several hop plantations and cherry orchards in and about that neighbourhood have suffered considerably by the storm on Sunday last; in many places the branches of the trees are entirely stript as if peeled with a knife. (Kentish Gazette)

18 December 1776 - Robbery at Longfield
A few days ago James Ashdown, William Webb, John Squire and William Squire, were committed to Maidstone Gaol, being charged with robbin John Jewiss of 10 guineas, and about 22 shillings in silver, near Longfield... (Kentish Gazette.  Case held over until the next assizes, but accused were charged with other robberies in Longfield too - Kentish Gazette 22 March 1777.  Evenually they were cleared by the Grand Jury - Kentish Gazette 26 July 1777)

10 February 1785 - First balloon flight in Kent
The ingenious Mr Blanchard, having been disappointed by the weather on Monday, and the weather clearing up unexpectedly yesterday morning, he used the utmost diligence in gratifying the curiosity of a prodigious multitude, by ascending fromt eh Rhedarium in Park Street, Grosvenor Square, about a quarter before three o'clock.  He was accompanied by an American gentleman (an evening paper says Dr Jefferies) and proposed to make very different observations from those which have amused us from another voyager.  The wind was westerly, inclining a few points to the north, and it blew so gently tht it required very little of that skill which Mr Blanchard is known to possess, to keep him at the elevation which would be most likely to gratify the whole town, the utmost length of which he must have traversed.  Over Grosvenor Square and other places which must have appeared to him to be crowded, he rendered his balloon nearly stationary, waved his flag, and politely saluted the company, whic rent the air with their accclamations.

Though another man has profited by the public favour, for having been the first who visited our variable atmosphere, Mr Blanchard is by far the most expert and accomplished aerial traveller we have seen in England.  Besides an exquisite mechanic, he is the inventor of that species of oars or wings, which alon3 have hitherto found of any material utility.  He is sufficiently a philosopher to know the use of a thermometer, barometer, compass etc, which another traveller it seems forgot.  We should not have hnted at these points of comparison, if Mr Blanchard's merit had been properly distinguished.

The whole neighbourhood of Grosvenor Square was astonishingly crowded by the best and worst company of the land.   We are glad to find the Prince of Wales loses no opportunity of countenancing these scientific attempts.  Knowledge is friendly to both public and private; and is the best instrument to rescue a young man from bad company and bad counsels.

Soon after Mr Blanchard's balloon was launched, two small balloons were let off, which ascended perpendicularly with great velocity.  They passed the large balloon, which at that time was going almost horizontally, and thereby proved that the large balloon was not under the influence of the wind, but under that of Mr Blanchard himself who was guiding it.

About three o'clock the balloon passed over the city, in an eastern direction.  Several reports were circulated last night of its descent; but none were authentic where this paper went to press

The weather being hazy, prevented the inhabitants of the city having a distinct view of the balloon while it was passing over the metropolis.  When the balloon was at a considerable height, the exercise of the oars was plainly perceived, which seemed evidently to accelerate Mr Blanchard's motion.  He expressed a determination to let the balloon take as far a course as possible, while he had a ray of light to guide him.  He was provided with sufficient refreshments, instruments for observations, and defences against the cold and inclemency which he expected to experience.

This day at a quarter past two o'clock Mr Blanchard returned in a post-chaise and four, from Dartford in Kent, where he landed from his balloon yesterday about dusk.

(New York Journal.  This has clearly been copied from another paper as the balloon flight acutally took place on 30 November 1784.  He landed at Ingress Abbey.  The same paper of 21 April 1785 has a short comment from Mr Jefferies).

14 March 1786 - Shooting at Bexley
On Sunday, the 26th ultimo between 9 and [...] o'clock in the evening, as George Tantt, coachman to Laurence Holker esq of Bexley... having driven his master home from a neighbouring house where he had dined, and having put the horses in the stable, within a hundred yards of his master's house (having a lanthorn with a lighted candle in it) he was suddenly, and withour any words being spoken, shot at; he just saw a an [....] but could not perceive whether it was from a gun or a pistol; nor had he any distinct view of the man so he would know him again.  The lanthorn was shot from out of his hand, which he found in the road next morning much shattered; and upon his crying out murder, the person who shot at him immediately ran off, and has not since been discovered.

(Kentish Gazette.  There is Hartley interest here because Laurence Holker owned Blue House Farm and Brickend in Hartley)

23 April 1787 - Boxing (and cricket) at the Brent
The old English athletic exercise, the science of boxing, was yesterday exhibited in its highest perfection, at Dartford in Kent, between Ben from Kingswood near Bristol, and Tring, whose fame has long been recognised as an adepte in that art.  The place chosen was upon the Brink (sic) where the gentlemen in the neighbourhood play their cricket matches.  The ground was railed in, and at 2 o'clock the competitors appeared in the ring.  The battle was for 20 guineas.  A great number of gentlemen attended.  After the first round, which was merely an introduction to a more serious affair, the combatants closed.  Tring threw the first fall.  Ben was successful in the second.  A dreadful combat then ensued, in which the odds varied on either side.  It continued for 25 minutes; in the course of which victory alternately seemed to incline; but at the last the superior strength and dexterity of Ben prevailed, and Tring was taken from the field, totally disabled, though not disheartened.

Charleston Morning Post

22 October 1790 - Kentish Drovers robbed
On Saturday morning last, about 4 o'clock Mr Goldsmith of Lydd, and William Curteis of Tenterden, drovers, were going to London with a drove of sheep, they were stopped near the Nag's Head at Lee Green, near Blackheath by 3 footpads, dressed in sailors' clothes, who robbed Mr Goldsmith of £15 12s 6d, but Curteis, telling them he was only a servant, and had no money, they threw him down, and with horrid imprecations threatened his life, gave him a large cut on the hand, and then told him to go about his business.

Kentish Gazette

24 February 1791 - Hartley Court up for sale
Kent - by Mr Christie at his Great Room, Pall Mall, on Thursday March the 24th in 2 lots at 1 o'clock precisely.

The following freehold estates, situate in the parishes of Ridley and Hartley, about 20 miles from London, 6 from Dartford and 4 from the turnpike road leading from London to Rochester, let on leases which will shortly expire, at very low old rents of £350, but of nearly the annual value of double that sum

Lot 1 .... Manor of Ridley....
Lot 2 A desirable freehold estate, consisting of the Manor of Hartley Court, with quit rents etc, an elegant new built house, with suitable offices, and 404 acres of rich arable, meadow, pasture, hop and woodland, compact within a ring fence, let on lease for 21 years, 3 of which will be unexpired at Michaelmas next, at a low old rent of £150, capable of considerable improvements.

The tenants will shew the estate, and printed particulars will be ready by the 1st of March, and may be had of the printers of the Canterbury, Maidstone and Lewes papers, of Mr Charles Willord, Sevenoaks, of Mr Williams of Dartford, the Rainbow Coffee House, Cornhill, and in Pall Mall where a plan may be seen.

9 May 1794 - Swaisland - Armstrong wedding
On Tuesday last was married at Southfleet Church by the Rev P Rashleigh, W Armstrong esq to Miss Swaisland (a young lady possessed of every accomplishment to render the marriage state happy), both of the same place.

Kentish Gazette = their children ultimately inherited Blue House Farm in Hartley.

15 August 1796 - Sale of the patronage of Hartley Church
Sales by Auction
Valuable Advowson, Kent by Messrs Skinner, Dyke and Skinner.  At Garraway's on Wednesday, August 17, at 12 o'clock, by order of the executors and trustees of Mr Richard Forrest late of Greenhithe, deceased.

The valuable advowson and next presentation to the rectory of Hartley, situate 5 miles from Northfleet and Southfleet, 6 from Greenhithe, and within 10 miles of Rochester.  A beautiful, fine, healthy part of the county of Kent, comprising the great and small tithes of the parish, containing about 1,200 acres of excellent land, with the parsonage house and offices, 9 acres of glebe land, tithe barn, and proper buildings, the income about £220 per annum.  The present incumbent aged 45 years.....

(London Daily Advertiser.  An advowson of a church is a right to appoint the next vicar.  They still exist today but the rights are much more limited.  Now if a new rector is not appointed within a fixed time, the right goes to the local bishop which is what happened here.  Hartley Church advowson now belongs to the Bishop of Rochester.  As it turned out the buyer had a long time to wait to exercise the power as Rev Bradley, the rector in 1796 continued here for another 30 years).

20 May 1797 - Pennis Farm for Sale
Kent - by Mr Smith at Garraways on Tuesday May 30th at 12 o'clock in a lot:
An eligible and improveable freehold estate, comprising Pennis Farm, situate in the parishes of Fawkham, Ash, Hartley and Longfield, 20 miles from London and 3 from Farningham, in the county of Kent, with a spacious residence, offices, barns, stabling and out-buildings and 26 acres of arable and pasture land, including a quanitity of woodland, containing upwards of 111 acres, well stocked with fine thriving timber and underwood, part let at low rents amounting to £80 per annum, and remainder with the woodland in hand.  To be viewed 20 days preceeding the sale and particulars then had, at the Bull, Farningham; Maidstone; Crays; Bell, Bromley; at Garraways and of Mr Smith, 62 Broad Street, near the Royal Exchange.


9 December 1797 - A drover with epilepsy
One day last week as Mr Small, of Swanscombe, near Dartford, was walking out in the fields, he found a man lying cold and lifeless, he had him conveyed to a public house near the church, when it appearing to the satisfaction of every person present, that he was completely dead.  His jaw was tied up, and he was put into the stable till the coroner could be sent for; but the astonishment of the good people of the inn, the next morning, they found the man alive, who informed them that he was a drover, that he was subject to those sort of fits, and has sometimes lain for 40 hours together without the least sign of life.

New York Diary

6 July 1798 - Stocks Farm for Sale
KENT: To be sold by auction, by Mr Johnson, at the Rose Inn, at Dartford, on Saturday, the 14th of July 1798, at three o'clock -

A valuable and desirable freehold estate called Stock Hill Farm, in the occupation of the proprietor; situate in the parish of Hartley, 5 miles from Dartford and 6 from Gravesend; comprising a new brick-built dwelling house, a large barn, stable, etc, with 19 acres of arable land, in a high state of cultivation, 1 acre of woodland, a garden and orchard well planted with fruit trees, and lying near the house.

Green Field (5a 2r 0p)
Two Acre Field (4a 2r 0p)
Five Acre Field (6a 0r 0p)
Wood Field (2a 0r 0p)
Orchard Field (1a 0r 0p)
Woodland (1a 0r 0p)
Orchard, garden and barnyard (1a 0r 0p)

Acres 21a 0r 0p

May be viewed by applying to Mr Treadwell, Black Lion, Hartley, and particulars held at the place of sale; Ship, Green Street Green; Queen's Head, Northfleet; and of the auctioneer, Gravesend.

(Kentish Gazette)

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