1850, January 5: Accident on the North Kent Railway - Telegraph Saves Lives Kentish Mercury
"An occurrence, occasioned by dense fog of Tuesday on parts of this line, and which might have been attended with fatal consequences, fortunately passed off without any injury to life or limb. A special engine and carriage were in the act of crossing from the down to the up line, at the junction of the two lines, near the old Gravesend Station, when they were run into by a ballast train, the driver of which in consequence of the density of the fog, did not perceive any object in advance of him. The carriage (which fortunately was empty) was smashed by the ballast trucks, and the driver of the engine, dreading the collision, unfortunately sprang from his engine to the ground, when it, affected by the accelerated impetus received from teh concussion with the other train, set off at full speed in the direction of the Gravesend Station, where the up train to London, just about to start, was standing at the platform siding. The switchan, unable to account for the approach of an engine at this speed (25 mph), turned the points to send it forward on the main lane, and it proceeded at a rapid pace through the station. The moment it had passed, the information was telegraphed up the line, and to the London Bridge Station where the information was immediately communicated to the chairman and superintendent of the railway. The latter instantly proceeded on an express engine down the line, and soon after his departure the telegraph brought the account of its having passed the Woolwich station. Under th personal directions of the chiarman and other officials at the London Bridge Station, if it should arrive there at full speed, so as to prevent any ill consequences ensuing beyond injury to the engine itself, sleepers were placed upon the road, and and engine was fixed there as a buttress to receive it. The special engine carrying the superintendent met the runaway engine between the Bricklayers' Arms Junction Station and the New Cross Bridge, then backed to follow it, crossing at the junction onto the same line as the runaway, which it pursued and overtook, running into it at speed. The driver of his engine gallanty sprang from the pursuing engine on the runaway, and immediately obtained control at the London Bridge terminus. We cannot record this transaction without remarking on the providential circumstance of the up train at Gravesend Station having been on the siding at the platform at the time the engine passed, for which many have abundant cause to be thankful; and there, perhaps, never was an occasion when the use of the electric telegraph was more signally beneficial in enabling measures to be taken to prevent a catastrophe, or to concert measure to meet the difficulty in the most judicious manner. The telegraphic news from station to station enabled every station to be kept clear, and the information received at London Bridge caused every energy there to be at once brought into play to meet the necessities of the case. The gallantry of the engine driver, who was ready to spring from engine to engine, at the moment of contact, and at the risk of being shaken from his hold to the ground, cannot be passed unnoticed."
1850, February 13: Defalcation by a Savings Bank Actuary Maidstone Journal
"In consequence of the late exposure of the Rochdale and other savings banks, the managers of the Dartford Bank adopted means of having the books and accounts examined by an examining committee of managers and an accountant entirely unconneted with the establishment. the first meetign of the committee was held at the Bull Inn on Saturday, the 2nd inst, when about 200 books were produced, and as far as they were examined no errors were detected. In the evening the secretary, Mr Pain, calling on Jardine the actuary, saw a depositor's book lying there, which he opened, and found it differed £100 from the ledger. He charged himself with having made a mistake, when the actuary confessed that he had committed fraud to the amount of about £1,000. This becoming known to some of managers, Jardine was allowed till Monday, the 4th to examine his books, on which day he said he was a defaulter to amount of £2,000. A meeting of the managers was held on Wednesday, at which the attendance of Mr Tidd Pratt was secured, and it was ascertained that £17,559 1s 5d was safely invested in government securities, and that Jardine had assigned all his property to the trustees, which will produce about £700 or £800, and together with £1,000 the amount of his bond, will go towards the liabilities. A sub-committee was chosen, consisting of Messrs Hugh Johnston and John Tasker, and the Rev James King, to investigate the matter, and to report the result as soon as possible. The business of the bank is of course suspended. Jardine, with his father, have been actuaries of this bank for upwards of 40 years, and he has hitherto carried on the first drapery business in that town, and bore an irreproachable character." // [In Jardine's Bankruptcy Hearing the Dartford Savings Bank claimed to be a preferential creditor, Morning Post 2.3.1850. He had been auditor for 34 years.]
1850, February 23: Gravesend Savings Bank Kentish Independent
"On Friday 15th inst, a meeting of the trustees and managers of the Gravesend Savings Bank was held in the justices room of the Town Hall, for the purpose of receiving the report of the managing committee appointed to receive and examine the depositors' books in accordance with a notice from the Commissioners for the reduction of the National Debt, and to adopt such measures as may be deemed sufficient to ensure a continuance of the confidence hitherto had by the depositors.....". It is a lengthy report, which mentions they have 1,700 depositors in total and have checked 1,000 depositors' books against their ledgers and all are correct. They have £34,000 in government securities. The problems at Dartford have caused a loss of confidence, last Monday they had £600-700 in withdrawals and only £30 in deposits. Many withdrawals were the workers of Captain Edmeades of Nursted Court, one of the bank's trustees. William Masters Smith was also named as a trustee, but he had written to say he was made one without his knowledge and demanded his name be removed. "..... Mr McRae, the treasurer begged to offer to them the best congratulations on the state of the affairs of the Gravesend Savings Bank, and had the course of management which has been pursued at Gravesend, been carried out at Dartford, that most mealancholy occurrence could not have happened; and no such exhibition would have taken place; he felt assured that on the strictest investigation being made into the management of savings banks, none would be found conducted on better and safer principles that the Gravesend Bank, for there was an assurance in its management of the greatest security. He hoped therefore that they would continue to give their support to the institution for in so doing they would be assisting in keeping up provident habits amongst the poor. In Dartford, the manager had been left entirely to himself. Mr Robert Hills, of the Commercial Bank at Dartford, had assured him, Mr McRae, that not a soul was at any time present, to support the manager of the Savings Bank, or was ever in attendance to receive monies deposited or pay them over to the treasurer. It was, continued Mr McRae no doubt that in consequence of this neglect, that Mr Jardine, being in difficulties and seeing that he had such an opportunity, took the various sums of money, supposing at the time that he would be enabled to refund them without detection, but this unexpected enquiry taking place, the defalcation had been discovered; but this was all attributable to the supiness amongst the managers of the Dartford Bank, for had they attended to their duties, and not left Mr Jardine to himself, the errors could not have occurred. At the Gravesend Savings Bank, as at present managed, it was a moral impossibility for anything like that to occur, for on the evening for receiving the deposits a manager was in attendance with the secretary, who commences with a balance, and sits during the whole hours of business to pay out and receive deposits signing his initials in every depositor's book to the amount paid in; at the end of the day the manager with the secretary balance the account, and together that same night they take the balance in hand to the Commercial Bank (the Treasurer's)......" The paper reported the question and answer session in considerable detail. Much of it was taken up by the liability of the trustees, a minority thought that if they were made personally liable for any losses that it would restore confidence, but the final resolution just expressed satisfaction with the current superintendence of the trustees. It quotes Mr Ditchburn's praise for savings banks as an institution - ".... He however considered th Savings Banks a great benefit to the neighbourhood, and of vast amount of good to the poor, for many small sums were saved through the means of it, which would otherwise have been squandered away. The nominally rich in a neighbourhood were the persons that ought to come forward and do all they could for the benefit of the poor; it was one of the most desirable things that gentlemen should possess, that they lived in a neighbourhood for, and did likewise all they could to support those institutions which were calculated to do good to the poor, for it had helped many of them to save money, which had protected them from becoming paupers. He considered, therefore, they ought to do all they could to support the institution....."
1850, March 12: Horse for Service South Eastern Gazette
"For Service, this season, 1850: Metal, the property of Mr W Treadwell of Hartley, Kent at 2 guineas each mare and 5s the groom. Metal is a beautiful chestnut, 5 years old, stands 16 hands high, with immense bone and substance, was got by Metal his dam by Sir Peter, by Worthy, the wonderful trotter; his dam by Orisis; Osiris by Sir Peter Teazle, out of Ibis by Woodpecker, out of Isabella by Eclipse. Metal, bred by Captain Lamb in 1834, by Winter, by Muley, out of sister Juliana by Gohanna; granddam Platina, by Mercury; Metal's dam by Humphrey Clinker out of Gadabout by Orville. He will attend the principal markets and fairs in the neighbourhood during the season NB. To save trouble the proprietor particularly requests that the money be paid to the groom at the time."
1850, April 9: Fire at Longfield Hill South Eastern Gazette
"Destructive Fire: about 2 o'clock on the morning of Friday week, intelligence was received that a fire had broken out at the farm occupied by Mr John Doherty, at Longfield Hill, about 5 miles from Gravesend. The fire it appears was first discovered by one of the farm servants, who with his wife, was sleeping in the barn. He was aroused by a noise similar to the roaring of a heavy gale of wind, but perceiving also that there was a strong smell of smoke, he looked out of the barn and discovered to his consternation that a stack of straw near to the barn was roaring away like a blazing furnace. Without waiting to dress, he ran about in his shirt raising the alarm, and when he returned to the barn he found the fire had got a strong hold on that, and he was unable to save enve his own clothing. Like the fire which occurred on the previous Friday morning, at Mr Andrew's , the engine on its arrival was useless in saving the property, which was in the course of destruction, and the fire had spread in two directions. The stack of straw stood between the barn, and a stack of oats. Both became ignited, and were entirely destroyed, as well as a stack of about 60 quarters of wheat, and about 25 quarters of oats, that were in the barn. The farm we believe was formerly held by a brother of Mr Andrews, whose property was destroyed on the previous Friday, and the origin of each fire is very suspicious. Since the above was in print, we understand that Everest, the Northfleet constable, has apprehended a man named Chapman, on the charge of firing the stack; he has already undergone a private examination, and was remanded." // [The Dover Telegraph of 6.4.1850 has a shorter account but mentions that it is the 4th fire within a few miles within a week, commenting "rather a strong contradiction to the well being and contentment of the labourers with a cheap loaf.". Kentish Gazette 16.4.1850 reported Dartford Magistrates had committed Thomas Chapman for trial]
1850, April 9: Dartford Church, Annual Vestry Meeting Maidstone Journal
"The annual election for church officers took place in Dartford on Easter Monday. For the first time in the memory of the 'oldest inhabitant' the Temple of Janus was shut and consequently there was peace in the parish. The most perfect unanimity prevailed in the Vestry, and after the old officers had been elected, the churchwardens invited their fellow parishioners to meet them at dinner on the following day at the Black Boy Inn, Dartford. Englishmen are proverbially partial to good living. So on Easter Tuesday above 30 of the chief and most respectable inhabitants, with the vicar and resident clergy responded to the invitation. To the young landlord of the Black Boy the event was important in two ways, it was his first parochial dinner, and it did him the greatest credit, for we speak advisedly (experientia docet), it was one of the best dinners we ever partook of in Dartford, and in the next point, about an hour after the party broke up, he had a son and heir born. The vicar's churchwarden, Mr Gurnell, filled the chair, and his coadjutor, Mr Waller, the parish warden, the vice chair. The most interesting and satisfactory speeches perhaps of the evening were by Messrs Callow and Robins, the former upon the great diminution in the expenditure on vagrants. It appeared that two years (owing to the wretched arrangements which existed from time immemorial) it was not an uncommon thing on some nights for 180 tramps to demand relief, and that then window breaking was almost an everyday occurrance, and one of the speakers affirmed that for the last 3 months tramps had ceased to cost the parish anything."
1850, May 13: The Dartford Savings Bank - In the Bankruptcy of Joseph Jardine Evening Mail
Court of Bankruptcy, Basinghall Street, May 10th, before Mr Commissioner Holroyd) "The bankrupt, who carried on the business of a linendraper at Dartford, was trustee of the Dartford Savings Bank. This was a last examination meeting. The court was crowded with persons interested in the case. Mr Lawrance appeared for the trustees of the bank; Mr Jones for the assignees, and Mr Linklater for the bankrupt. Mr Edwards was the official assignee. // The following are the main items of the balance sheet, prepared by Mr McKillop: Creditors, £1,194; ditto holding security £89; trustees of Dartford Savings Bank £2,081; Capital on the 1st January 1844, £843; gross profit on trading £1,543; sundry receipts £306. He also acknowledges the receipt of £270 as salary of actuary, and £36 as agent for Phoenix Fire Office. On the other side of the balance sheet credit is taken for good debts £300; property £1,254 (assigned for the benefit of the trustees of the bank); cash £20; losses £903; trade expenses £1,182; house and personal expenses £1,952; interest and discount £304; repairs to premises £132. The balance sheet includes a period of about 6 years, viz from January 1844 to February 1850. // Mr Lawrance claimed, on behalf of the trustees of the Dartford Savings Bank, payment in full o fhte sum of £2,207, which the bankrupt had received from depositors in his character of actuary, or, if the assets were insufficient to liquidate the whole of that amount, then the entire of the proceeds of the estate. The bankrupt had rendered an account before his bankruptcy, showing defalcations to the extent of £2,000, and that amount had been increased by a subsequent examination of the books of the depositors. The trustees had given the 40 days' notice provided by the statute, and were now prepared to prove that the bankrupt was actuary, that in that capacity he had received and misapplied the moneys of depositors, and therefore the whole produce of the estate must be made available to the uses of the trustees until their claims were satisfied. The mode in which these frauds had been carried on was by the bankrupt omitting to put down in the cash books the sums received from depositors, although they were entered in the books of the latter. The trustees placed great confidence in Jardine, and , the sums not having been entered in the cash book, they concluded all was right; they had, in fact, no means of discovering the misappropriation. // The bankrupt, who seemed to be suffering under great physical and mental affliction, substantially confirmed Mr Lawrance's statement. Mr Lawrance - How have you met the demands made by depositors? Bankrupt - I have paid them out of my own funds. Mr Lawrance - Did you always make those payments out of your own funds? The Bankrupt - No, not always. If I could not find means to make those payments out of my own resources, then I applied the money of other depositors to them. Mr Lawrance - You did not report that conduct to the bank? The Bankrupt - I did not (He bacame here very much affected, and sobbed aloud. When he became somewhat calm, he said he was suffering under neuralgia). Mr Lawrance - I cannot help feeling very much for your afflicted condition, and I will be very short with ou. You have handed in to the official assignee a paper showing the various items of these transactions. Now, had the managers of the bank had access to these memoranda? The bankrupt - They had not. // At the conclusion of his evidence, the bankrupt, who is an elderly man, retired to the further end of the room, and sat down. In a few minutes he rose up, uttered a piercing cry, rushed out of the court by the commissioners' private entrance, and fell in a fit outside. the occurrence caused a great sensation. It was some time before the unfortunate man was restored. Mr Lawrance read the following confession of the bankrupt in a letter written to one of the officers of the bank: 'Sir - I verily believe, nay, I am sure, that not one item has escaped me from the painful evidence of my guilt. I suppress nothing. I have, as far as possible, computed the interest to the uttermost..... Joseph Jardine.' // Mr Lawrance contended that the trustees of the savings bank were entitled to be paid in full, and cited in support of his argument 'Ex parte Riddell, in the matter of Batson and others' 3 Mont Deac and De Gex 80; 'ex parte Ray and others, in the matter of Woodliffe,' 3 Deacon 537. In the first named case, the claim of the trustees to be paid in full out of the separate estate of one of the bankrupts was admitted, although the moneys with which he was charged as trustee had been paid into the banking firm of which he was a member, and although the moneys did not actually appear to have been received by him; and in the second cited case the court had come to a cimilar conclusion, although a portion of the money with which the bankrupt was sought to be charged as treasurer was actually lying in the hands of the bankrupt at interest. The statute upon which the trustees of the savings bank relied was inteded to be construed beneficially for the depositors, and the receipt by any person of their moneys, if he ware in any manner acting on behalf of the bank, would entitle them to all the benefit of the statute. The cases of 'ex parte Whipham, in the matter of Wise and other,' 3 Mont Deac and De Gex 564, and 'ex parte Harris,' 1 De Gex 163, by no means displaced this argument, for it was quite clear in those cases that the bankrupts were not persons intrusted with, or having in their possession moneys of the savings bank, by virtue of their office or employment; in both those cases the bankers had received the moneys in the ordinary course of their business as bankers, and there was no case to b efound in which the time or place of payment had been held to be an ingredient, the simple question in all the decided cases being whether the money had been received by a person appointed to any office in a savings bank, and it wa perfectly clear in the present case that the bankrupt was the actuary, that he had received the money in that capacity, that he had acknowledged the receipt by entering it in the books of the depositors, and that he had therefore established as well their legal as their equitable right, although the bankrupt might have omitted to enter the moneys so received in the cash book of the bank. // Mr Jones, on behalf of the assignees, contended tha the bankrupt had not received the moneys of the depositors in his character of actuary, inasmuch as those sums had not been paid in the place or at the periods laid down in the rules of the bank. They had been paid to the bankrupt at his dwelling, and not in bank hours. The bankrupt was in no manner authorised to receive the money of depositors. To sustain the claim of Mr Lawrance it must be shown that Jardine received those sums at the times and places authorised by the rules, and that he was in a capacity entitled to receive them. // It was then asked how the bankrupt had mentioned the receipts in the bank books? Mr Lawrance replied that Jardine entered the receipts correctly in the depositors' books, but either entered smaller sums or made no entries at all in the bank books. Mr Jones said the days and hours for deposits and repayments were precisely set forth in the rules and regulations of the bank. Mr Lawrance said there could be no doubt but Jardine was fully recognised as a proper officer of the society to receive the depositors' money. He was actuary. The Commissioner - But suppose, instead of being actuary he was only porter in the establishment, would you still contend he had a right to receive depositors' money. Mr Lawrance - It would be then for the court to consider whther a porter was an officer within the meaning of the enactment. That the actuary was not ex officio disentitled to receive such meoneys was clear from the 23rd rule of the bank - 'That if any actuary, cashier, secretary, officer, or other person holding any situation or appointment in this savings bank shall receive any sum or sums of money from or on account of any depositor, he shall pay them over to the trustees or managers.' 'Such actuary, secretary, or other person, who shall not pay over such sums etc, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour.' The Commissioner - That is the only rule which gives the actuary any power. Mr Lawrance - the 18th rule also implies such power in the actuary, for it says, that depositors in country places may pay their money 'to any one of the officers.' Now it was clear that an actuary was an officer. The Commissioner - The term 'officer' does not seem to include the actuary. Mr Lawrance - From the rules I think it is plain that though an actuary be an officer, an officer is not ex necessitate an actuary. Surely an actuary is as much an officer as a treasurer or secretary. Mr Jones - An actuary is not a person appointed to receive money. There is not an actuary in the City of London, at the Globe, or any other Insurance office, who does so. He discharges certain specific duties quite distinct from those of receiving money. The Commissioners - What I want to know is, have not the managers of this bank, in point of fact, recognised these irregular acts of Jardine, if irregular they have been? Mr Jones - I deny that. Mr Lawrance - It is impossible to deny it. We have several witnesses present to establish the fact. Mr Jardine, I am told, filled htis office for 20 years. All his defalcations have occurred since August 1844. // The Commissioner said that before he gave his decision he must consult the authorities on the subject. Mr Linklater hoped the court would now allow the bankrupt to pass his last examinateion. Mr Lawrance thought the better course would be to adjourn the meeting until the court decided upon the question now raised. Mr Linklater - The question at issue has nothing to do with his passing. Mr Jones - The assignees are dissatisfied with many of the figures in the balance sheet, and wish to test their accuracy. Mr Edwards, the official assignee, thought the bankrupt could not with the materials he had furnish better accounts. The Commissioner - I think he may be allowed to pass. The bankrupt passed and a day was named for the certificate meeting."
1850, May 21: Notes Upon Kentish Villages (by "Our Commissioners") Maidstone Journal
"Maplescombe // Odo, Bishop of Baieux, the half brother of the Conqueror William. Must certainly have been a painstaking, persevering archaeologist, else he never could have found out the precious parish of Mapeldres Kampe, for it is situate in the most villainous-out-of-the-way-terra-incognita-part of this fine county of ours; to wit, in a bit of a valley between two perpendicular hills, upon which nothing grows but gigantic flints, twice as big, and perhaps as thick upon the average, as our heads. Even in getting from it, only last week, we broke the berst spring in our Sunday going phaeton. Dr Harris actually couldn't find this parish. He, a prebendary of Rochester moreover (!) says, 'I find in the Textus Roffensis this name of a parish in the diocese of Rochester - it is there charged with the usual Chrism rent to the Cathedral. But whereabouts it lay I can't discover, having never yet met with anything about it.' The church is now in ruins, but from the remains still standing in the centre of a field, through which no road leads, it is evident that it was of Romanesque character. It had a semicircular apse, on the south side of which is a hollow, probably for a piscina, and on the north another hollow probably for an aumbry. The structure was built of flints, piously contributed by the adjacent fields, where they never have been missed. A bell turret most likely stood at the west end. On the south side the flint facing is still very perfect. The soil around the walls has increased some feet. Neithe rhouse nor pigsty is within half a mile of this structure, and therefore the following extract from Antient Tenures, p 29, does not overmuch astonish us: - 'Will de Valoignes tenet de DR in capite medietat' in Manerio de Maplescampe, by the service of finding a half-penny for an offering whenever he should hear mass at Maplescamp.' Times are altered now, nothing to be found, nothing to be offered - nay, wondrous to say, no public house is near the church and so never a half penny can be spent. We have since learned this parish was united to // Kingsdown // in or about the year 1638. From Maplescomb church to Kingsdown parish church is by a most breakneck, perpendicular bridle way, composed of nothing bu enormous flints and here it was our spring snapped. After getting through a field, we traversed a wood swarming with nightingales, and decorated with some of the finest specimens of the orchis family we have ever wantonly plucked - violets, primroses, bluebells, and wild flowers enough the gladden the heart of a Londoner were plenteously spread around. From this wood we ermerged into a field and the bridle parht merged into a miry, rutty road, the deep ruts in which compelled us to reverse the order of things and carry our trap instead of the trap carrying us. At the end of this abominable parish road (may our maledictions lie heavy on its surveyors' heads) - we found ourselves in the turnpike road, and after a mile's trot at the chief hotel, the Cock of Kingsdown, where a hedge stick and a yard or two of rope spliced our spring, and on we journeyed, strengthened with hay and water and a glass of amber, by uphill and downhill wretched roads to // Stansted // Here, agreeably to the rule, a public house adjoins the church. The edifice has lately been externally restored and is of decorated character. The porch is on the north side and contains a stoup close to the door, and in one of the windows a plate of perforated zinc for ventilation. In the churchyard are some most noble old trees, a yew tree, and a blackthorn, especially deserve notice, the former is 30 feet in circumference, and from its centre springs another stem. A mass of enormously thick flint work in the churchyard long puzzled us, till at length, we settled that it was a portion of a formre enclosure wall, and that a piece of ground had at some period been taken to increase the cemetery. Very strange to say, Mr Odo had nothing to do with Stansted, at which our readers will be doubtless as much astonished as ourselves - how it happened deponents know not, it certainly is an out of the way place, and possibly of Saxon origin - stane a stone and stede a place. Stony, hard-hearted place. If any inhabitant will take in the Maidstone Journal for 6 months we will trace out another and more euphoneous etymology; to do this, we will at the risk of breaking our necks again visit this parish, when we trust we shall be able to see inside as well as the exterior of the church. From Stanstead we travelled to // Farsee Street [Fairseat] // through a beautiful country, on a shocking bad road, at the Vigo we crossed the turnpike road, and a few paces beyond we suddenly came to the summit of the great chalk range, and before us, ay, at our feet, lay the panorama of the valley of the Medway. The road of course was bad and awfully precipitous. The safest plan would have been to get out of the vehicle and roll down, but we didn't, and in the end we reached the valley; thence to Trottescliffe, nowadays called Trosley......" Article goes on describe visit to Trottescliffe, Addington, Malling and St Leonards. // [The following week the Rector of Stansted, Samuel G B White, wrote to complain about the description of his parish, accusing the commissioners of being Sabbath breakers, adding "so many suspicious characters have been seen in our villages of late, that it has not been deemed prudent to leave our church door open." Editor replies Rector assumed that from the common 'Sunday phaeton' name of their conveyance and says he hopes readers won't think the letter proves the 'hard hearted' description of the parish...]
1850, May 28: Beating the Bounds of Dartford - Part 1 Maidstone Journal
"Almost a quarter of a century has elapsed since the parochial bounds of Dartford were perambulated. Year after year has Mr Dunkin, in season and out of season, bored to death the parish functionaries upon this subject. The scheme was alternately snubbed, sneered and scouted; yet, perseverence finally conquered, even at a time when least expected. Nay it actually occurred through an unexpected opposition from one of the surveyors at the Easter dinner, which then drew the attention of the chief officer in the parish to the wanton and wilful destruction of the most prominent of its boundary marks. A vestry was consequently called to take into consideration the propriety of perambulating the parish and restoring such boundary marks as had either perished or been destroyed. At this meeting it was unanimously resolved that the measure should be carried into effect without delay, and a committee was appointed to make the necessary arrangements. Of course a fine day being a sine qua non to many, the weather-wise man of the parish was consulted and he pitched upon Thursday, the 16th of May, 1850, upon which morning at quarter to nine the officials of the parish and a selection of boys from the national and other schools in the town, started upon their task, armed with wands and with banners flying. At Maiden Lane, the first bound stone, they met the Crayford officials. There the author of the scheme was caught up to be first bumped, but he, in the most courteous manner declined the honour, till after his better, to wit, the churchwardens. Of course the innate propriety of the Dartfordians induced them at once to give the precedence to Mr Waller, and tehn to Mr Dunkin. Mr Landale had fortunately preserved teh notes he made with his father when the bounds were walked before, and had it not been for the miraculous preservation of this percious document, the whole parish would have been at fault. Under therefore this gentleman's guidance, assisted through the thick woods by Mr weller, the woodreeve, the party at a quarter to two arrived at Birchwood Corner, where a captial luncheon had been provided for them by Mr Jewell. The inner man being comforted, the more than half tired peripatetics resumed their labours, and again entered the thick woods and followed for miles the old road, now called the Roman road. This road is now overgrown, lofty aged trees spring from the centre of the agger and they fling their gnarled roots far on either side. At 7 o'clock in the evening, the thoroughly worn out party, having acccomplished half the bounds, found themselves in Dartford; the distance perambulated having been considerably more than 22 miles. Credat Judaeus! These parochial perambulations were derived from the Terminalia, and of old generally, took place on Holy Thursday, there is, however, no distinct day set apart for these walkings, and the auditor of every union has now to allow, unquestioned, all needful and necessary expenses of this duty, and for affixing bound marks where required. To these perambulations were added Rogations or Litanies for the good of the harvest. Du Cange says that they were founed on account of an incursion of noxious animals by Mamercus of Vienna. The three proceeding days were to be spent in fasting. This Rogation week was called in the Inns of Court Grass Week, because the commons then consisted chiefly of salads and vegetables. The monks made a procession to another church, sometimes the cathedrals, with staves which were intended to allegorise human assistance. In some churches a dragon with a great tail, filled with chaff was exhibited, and emptied on the third day, to show that the devil, after prevailing the first and second day, before and under the law, was 'on the thyrde day of grace, by the passion of Jheus Christe, put out of his reame.' The parochial boundaries, commonly those which marked the limits of juridiction appeertaining to the founder of the church, were distinguished by trees, called gospel trees, becasue the clergyman (the representative of the Propheta of Du Cange, the old name of the reader on this occasion) read the Gospel of the day on or near them. The processionists carried a cross, or crosses, and staves. Boys were taken, in order to be flogged at the boundaries, for the purpose of enfixing them on their memories; nowadays the improvement is ot bump all parties, boys, men, women, especially the girls, nay, the writer is not sure that the two latter to not wilfully throw themselves in the way of the perambulators to be bumped. The bumping is performed, secundum artem, by four men catching hold of the legs and wings of the bumpee, and thrice applying the latter's latter end to an object of attraction. (NB. it is not absolutely requisite for this object to be inanimate, as a live donkey will do). Among us a figure of Christ was hauled up by ropes to the church to represent the ascension, but there are other accounts. After dinner, in some countries at least, the people went to church, where a wooden image of the devil was placed upon the altar; this was drawn up above the roof, and let down by a violent fall and then beaten and broken to pieces by the boys. Wafers and cakes, wrapped in paper, were next showered down, and water poured from the beams, by way of jest, to wet the scramblers. The renovation of so much of customs long fallen into desuetude, as is useful and proper, is most praiseworthy, and we hope will be supported in every instance." // Further description by "The Commissioners" (Maidstone Journal 21.5.1850) // "The via militaris at the end of Malling was the boundary of one of these Marks or locations, for the Saxons in sharing the spoil and squatting, took, when they could, the Roman roads and sparkling, silvery streams for boundary divisions. The divisions of parishes will be generally found so in the present day. This fact was clearly shewn at Dartford on Thursday last, when the upper bounds of that parish were walked. Right through the heart of dense woods still runs the road yolept? Roman, overgrown with underwood, aged trees, and self sown stubs. This long unused road ran through the British City described by Mr Dunkin, in the 'Gentleman's Magazine,' and in the introduction to the Primaeval History of Kent, as the city to which Julius Caesar marched in his second invasion of this country. As a matter of course, the road was formed ages before the Romans ever heard of Britain. In the course of this perambulation Mr Dunkin pointed out many of the remains of the residences of the ancient Britons, and sheed to the representatives of Crayford and his fellow parishioners that a lofty tumulus had actually been selected as the boundary mark of three parishes, probably from a feeliing that its sanctity would always protect it from violation. By the bye, this perambulation of Dartford 'was no joke', as one of the speakers observed at the wretchedest public dinner we ever partook of, and as it is a part of our public duty to eat dinners, we flatter ouselves that, (without being epicures) we ought, after an experience of 2 a week upon the average, for the last 20 years, to be capable of giving something more than an opinion upon such points. Nay, in fact, be oracular! The perambulation was not all - for, at sundry spots, on sundry ????, stones, sticks, and such like gear was performed a fundamental ceremony of great antiquity, to impress upon the minds of the perambulators how far their parish bounds extended." // [The following week "Perambulator" of Dartford claimed everyone else liked the meal, especially as the party were 2½ hours late arriving.]
1850, June 4: Beating the Bounds of Dartford - Part 2 Maidstone Journal
"The Perambulation. Last Tuesday week the 'lower bounds' or 'short bounds' as they are more often called, probably from their being twice as long as the 'the upper' or 'long bounds' of Dartford parish, were perambulated. The Roman Road for a long distance was, of course, the bound mark so long as it could be adapted to that purpose. Bumpings, immersions in the brooks, and the other cusotmary practices on these occasions were duly observed. As the boundary marks were more destroyed in this division thatn in the one perambulated the preceeding week, a much longer time was occupied in the work before lunchtime. Certainly all parties were gratified beyond measure when the Long Reach tavern hove in sight, and symptoms were apparent of something edible. After luncheon the majority of the perambulators fanying thier task was done, miraculously disappeared till dinner time. Mr Landall and half a dozen other gentlemen, with the schoolboys started upon the work, and followed the creek banks till they arrived at the sport where a boat was to have awaited them, to enable them to cross the wter to the opposite shore - for here, as Mr Dunkin shewed, great alterations had been made by the stream in its course, since the days when the parishes were parcelled out. The old water courses and old embankments were however clearly defined; how the silting up of the creeks occurred was also self evident, as a similar silting up has taken place since the new cutting has been made - in fact, this portion of the walk was a highly intellectual gratification to the few who were present (This great alteration in the course of the river, by which a large portion of Dartford parish is now on the Crayford and Erith side of the Creek, might have been caused by the terrible innundation and storm described by Florence of Worcester, who, according to Higden, died in 1118, just 96 years after it had taken place. The course of rivers near the sea was then much changed, and he, describing this awful calamity says - 'Villas quamplurim innumerabilemque populi multitudinem subonerist.' [North Sea Flood of 1014]). At the division of the water, however, there was no boat - to cross without was impossible, the mud banks were precipitous and 20 feet deep - to swim was impossible - it was close on low water and the stream rapid. Annoyed beyond measure at this frustration of the perambulation, the worthies gloomily trudged on more than 2 miles to a spot whre the bottom appeared to be harder and the side not so declivitous. Here Mr Landall and some others determined upon crossing, as a labourer offered to carry persons over the ford for a gratuity without wetting them. After much labour, and getting covered with tenacious mud, Mr Landall safely got, Friar Tuck fashion, upon the man's shoulders, but alas, after 4 or 5 steps, both tumbled down in the stream and were thoroughly soused, amidst the laughter of those on terra firma. Undeterred by the fate of his predecessor, Mr Kerr then attempted the passage upon a different horse, after about the same number of stumbling steps he, however, to save himself, boldly jumped off into the stream and waded through. Mr Dunkin was the next, and he, by it was affirmed bribing high, got over safely though rather muddily, he said that whilst riding over, his horse asked him 'what allowance would be stood?' and as the first bid did not appear satisfactory, he bid again and so got over. On schoolboy alone joined the three, who then gaily trotted off on the perambulation. The remainder voting the passage impossible started off to join their fellows at the dinner table. The perambulators then tramped more than 10 miles, all the way back and afterwards again crossed the Creek. The occasion of twice crossing the Creek was caused by this river having been adopted as the original boundary mark. The sinuousities or reaches were of course, exceedingly wearisome to paddle upon, as well as excessively fatiguing. At 8 o'clock, sadly jaded and muddy, shorn of banners and followers, the three gentlemen and boy arrived at the primal bound mark, in Maiden Lane, from which they had started, and just contrived to bump the individual who had at the commencement of the perambulation received a similar favour, amidst the acclamation of a vast crowd Whether there was any mint sauce with the lamb, or melted butter to the asparagus, or spoons (not salt) to eat the custards with, or sweet sauce to the plum pudding etc etc, we are unabled to tell, as the dinner was eaten before those arrived who truly perambulated the parish bounds (With regard to 'the wretched dinner' alluded to in last week's Maidstone Journal, the informant of our reporter reasserts most unhesitatingly his prior statement. If further confirmation is wanted, it is at the service of 'a Perambulator' who said he had so enjoyed the preceding capital luncheon that henceforth all was couleur de rose)."
1850, July 6: The Dartford Savings Bank - In the Bankruptcy of Joseph Jardine Part 2 Morning Post
Court of Bankruptcy, before Mr Commissioner Holroyd. "… His honour gave judgement as follows - This is an application under the 28th section of the 3rd & 4th William IV c 14, by which it is enacted (among other things), that if any person appointed to any office in a savings bank, and being entrusted with the keeping of the accounts or having in his hands or possession, by virtue of his said office or employment, any monies or effects belonging to such savings bank, shall become bankrupt, his assignees shall, within 40 days after demand made by 2 of the trustees of the savings bank, deliver and pay over all moneys and other things belonging to the savings bank to such person as the trustees shall appoint, and shall pay out of the estates, assets, or effects of such person all sums of money remaining due which such person recieved by virtue of his said office or employment, before any other of his debts are paid or satisfied. Now, it appears that Jardine (the bankrupt) had been for many years, and was at the time of his bankruptcy, actuary of the bank for savings for the town of Dartford and its vicinity, and whilst holding such office he received, at different times, moneys from depositors for deposits in the bank for thier benefit, which he applied to his own use, and the trustees of the bank, having made the demand required by the above section, claim to be paid by the assignees the whole amount of the assets of the bankrupt's estate, upon the admission of the bankrupt that the sum of £2,130 now remains due from him, and which sum the trustees of the bank say he received by virtue of his office or employment of actuary. The gross assets of the bankrupt's estate amount to about £1,300 and the debts of the creditors who have proved to about £1,200. By the terms of s28 of the [act] which I have just stated, the assignees of the bankrupt... are bound to pay out of his estate all moneys remaining due to the savings bank, which he received by virtue of his said office or employment of actuary, before any other of his debts are paid or satisfied; and the question which I am called upon to decide is, whether all or any, or what part, of the sum of £2,130 claimed by the trustees of the bank was received by Jardine by virtue of his office of actuary to the bank. // The Dartford Savings Bank was established about the year 1816, and by the existing rules and regulations of the bank, made of the 5th of December 1844, the institution is to be continued under the management of a president, vice-president, trustees and a committee. By rule 3, the officers and committee are appointed as named at the end of the rules, and they embrace a president, vice-president, 12 trustees and a committee consisting of 14 gentlemen for Dartford and a less but varying number of gentlemen for 17 parishes in the neighbourhood, and then follow the names of the treasurer, actuary and secretary. The bankrupt is named as the actuary...... " Summary of rules follows: (4) no salaries to be paid to officers only expenses; (5) provisions for filling up vacancies; (6) Account books to be kept (7) Dates of meetings; (8) Powers to convene meetings; (9) Validity of proceedings. (10) Appointment of paid officers; (11) Removal from meetings for misconduct; (12) "The bank shall be open for receiving deposits on Saturday in every week, from 11 to 1 or at such other hours as shall from time to time be thought convenient by the managers, at the house of Mr Jardin (the bankrupt) in Dartford, or at such other convenient place as shall be appointed by the officers and committee.....When the committee or someone or more of them, according to a rota to be settled between them, shall attend to receive deposits and pay money out"; (13) Deposits to be recorded in the books of the institution and the depositor's pass book; (14) Maximum deposits per year are £3 and no more than £200 in total; (18) "For the convenience of persons residing out of Dartford, their deposits may be received by any one of the officers or committee of their respective parishes, with all the advantages of the regulations, and the persons receiving the same shall pay the amount to the despository in Dartford, or to the treasurer, before the end of every month...; (22?) Sums in excess of £50 to be used to buy Government Securities; (23) Authorisation of payments; (24) Depositors to hand over pass books for checking every year; (25) Trustees only liable for their own acts except in cases of wilful negligence. // The bankrupt has been an actuary from establishment of the bank in 1816, for the first 2 or 3 years with his father; on the proposal of his father he was appointed at a fixed salary. "..... What duties he performed as actuary will best appear by his own examination and I will now read that part of it which bears upon this point - // When, how and by whom were you appointed to the office of actuary of the Dartford Savings Bank? - I cannot accurately remember as to time, but I think it must be about 34 years since. No doubt, by the then trustees. I do not remember the form of the appointment. I believe a minute book was kept at that time. It never was in my possession, neither do I know in whose possession it was; but I presumed it was in the possession of Mr Strange, the then secretary. I have not seen the minute book of 1816. I executed a bond, but I cannot give the exact date, it appears by the copy bond now produced tha tthe bond was executed in 1830, the 17th April..... I entered on the duties of actuary in 1816. This was the first establishment of the savings bank. For the first 2 or 3 years, my father acted as actuary gratuitously; subsequently the duties became so onerous that my fatehr proposed that I should act as actuary at a salary of 5 shillings upon every £100 standing to the credit of the depositors in the Bank of England received up to teh end of the preceding year. With reference to my former statement, that I began to act as actuary in 1816, I wish to explain that my father and I acted in conjunction as acutary for the first 2 or 3 years. I continued to act as acutary from that time down to the date of my bankruptcy, and I have continued to receive that percentage from the time I have mentioned, about 1818 or 1819 down to Michaelmas last....... // What were the prescribed duties of the office of actuary? - To receive moneys, to repay moneys, to keep a weekly account of the business done, and to make a monthly return to the National Debt Office. In all cases it was the custom for the depositors to produce their books when they brought money to invest. It was my duty to enter into the depositors' books the moneys they brought to me to invest, and it was my invariable practice to enter the amounts so received; sometimes the depositors left their books with me when the moneys were irregularly paid in after office hours, but in all cases I entered in the depositors' books the moneys I received immediately I received the book. Sometimes the book and money were sent by parcel, or by carrier, or by post; if I were not in the way the money and books so received were labelled and put in a drawer appointed for the purpose, and brought to me by the young man in the shop, or by my son, when I was sitting at the table on the Saturday. This mode of transmission by parcel, post or carrier was not confined to any particular day of the week or to any particular hour of the day. Taking the average of the week, I should think it occurred 5 or 6 times a week. I should think this practice has continued for several years but not for the whole time. I cannot say when this practice first commenced. After the receipt of the depositor's money and the entry of it in the depositor's book, my next duty was to enter the money so received in the cash book of the bank. That cash book was kept by me. I did not always enter in the cash book the amounts so received by me...... // Supposing the moneys to be properly entered in the cash book, what was your next duty? - To make up the weekly account; I mean that no entry would be made in any other book until I made up the weekly account of cash receipt at the conclusion of each Saturday's business. Teh proper course of business would be to cast up the weekly receipts appearing in the cash book, deduct the payments out to depositors and disbursements (if any), and carry the balance forward to the account required by the National Debt Office to be furnished, and the balance, if any, appearing on the account, should be paid to the Treasurer. There was a ledger also kept by a clerk appointed for the purpose by the trustees, whose duty it was to post the cash book, so that the state of each depositor's account might appear on the ledger; this ledger was posted up when it suited the convenience of the clerk, who was a farmer; he did it sometimes every 4, 5 or 6 weeks. He had no other means of making up the ledger accounts except the cash book; the omission by me to enter in the cash book the sums in respect of which I am a defaulter necessarily caused the omission of those amounts in the ledger. Cross examined by Mr Jones..... On what day was it your duty ot receive the moneys? - On Saturdays, between the hours of 11 and 1. Was it your prescribed duty as actuary to receive money on any other day than Saturday or on any other hour than between 11 and 1 on that day? - No. Have you received from managers at any time instructions not to receive moneys on any other day or at any other hour? - I have not recollection of having received from the trustees a diret message for prohibiting that practice, but at a general meeting on the 24th day of January last, a trustee asked me if such was my custom, and I said 'yes'. Thereupon there arose a question among the gentlemen present as to what degree of acommodation should be me to adhere to the rules as closely as possible. // Will you detail to me the strict course that you pursued previous to any of your defalcations? - I adhered strictly to the rules, except that I cannot say that I did not receive money out of office hours. I always had the cash book at my house, and it was at my command at any moment, unless when with the clerk for the purpose of being posted. On Saturday at 1 o'clock, I made up the account of the moneys received that day, and I always took the balance to the Dartford Bank, and paid it to the account of the treasurer, and received at that time a receipt acknowledging the receipt of the money for the account of the treasurer. At that time a manager was usually present, and I showed him the receipt of the money I had paid to the Dartford Bank. Re-examined by Mr Lawrance - Do I understand you to say that a manager was usually present every Saturday down to the time of your ceasing to be actuary in the present year - For the last 3 or 4 years usually not.
1850, August 03: In the Matter of Jardine - The Dartford Savings Bank Trustees Morning Herald
[This is the appeal of Charles Hussey Fleet and John Tasker, two of the trustees of the Dartford Savings Bank, against the judgment reported in the Morning Chronicle of 6 July 1850 above] // "........The Vice Chancellor said he thought there was no difficulty about the case. Fortunately for some person or persons, the case was not before him in another shape. Nothing that he had heard at the bar would induce him to say that the bankrupt's estate was liable. The act of parliament (3rd and 4th William IV, c14, sec 23) provided that when a party belonging to any savings bank became bankrupt, the money in his hands should be paid over out of the estate before any of his other debts should be paid. But it spoke of money received by virtue of his office. Here the bankrupt had in his hands money belonging to the bank in this sense - that he became a debtor to some person or persons, or body of persons, by means of receiving meony properly belonging to the bank. But was it his duty and the nature of his employment, as a servant of the institution, to receive this money? He was, it seemed, the actuary, which he supposed was only another word for book keeper or calculator to the bank. The word 'actuary' he believed, was derived from the low Latin, and was used in a sense very different from that of the modern term. The word 'actuarius' was well known. What the modern English word meant did not seem to be very precisely known, although every insureance office had one. He did not observe by the rules of the society that the bankrupt's duty was to receive money. On the contrary, by the 12th regulation, it was provided 'that the bank should be open for receiving deposits, subject to restrictions afterwards mentioned, on Saturdays in every week, from 11 till 1, at the house of Mr Jardine, or at such other convenient place as should be appinted by the officers and committee, of which due notice should be given,' when the committee, or someone or more of them, according to a rota to be settled between them, should attend to receive deposits and pay money out. Two hours a day, once in each week, was not a very great labour for a person to bstow upon his poorer neighbours. He understood that neither the committee, nor any one of them, attended according to any rota or otherwise. They seemed to have entirely abandoned or delegated the duty of receiving deposits to a person who was not authorised to receive them, an dthat without any control, and so this person became what many servants did who had careless masters, and what he would not have become had he been looked after, a dishonest man. It was impossible to say that the regulations made the receipt of money as the agent or servant of some person or persons, but he did not receive it officially as the servant or officer of the institution, in which capacity it was not his duty to meddle with it. The claim made by the petition was not established, and the appeal must be disallowed, with costs." // [Although the courts had rejected the claims of the trustees, the Morning Advertiser 28.9.1850 reported that Commissioner Holroyd accepted a claim from James Young carpenter for £12 which he said he had entrusted to Mr Jardine on a Friday night as he was going to be out of town on Saturday. There was also a similar claim accepted from Samuel Yates, carrier for £90. About 100 other cases were to be investigated. The initial dividend for accepted claims was 5 shillings in the pound. // Further to this the Weekly Chronicle of 17.11.1850 said further depositor claims were accepted when they could show it was paid to Jardine as a sort of trustee outside of banking hours, but many couldn't remember how they paid the money in which was a problem.]
1850, August 10: Registry Office Wedding Kentish Independent
"On the 3rd inst at Dartford, at the office of the Superintendent Registrar of the Dartford Union, Mr Charles Bond, senior clerk in the Post Office, Gravesend, to Miss Eliza Woodrow." // [Although civil marriages were allowed from 1837, it apparently was quite rare to find c19th Registry Office Marriages]
1850, August 12: Destructive Fire at Gravesend Shipping and Mercentile Gazette
"The most destructive fire that has ever occurred at Gravesend took place yesterday morning. The particulars, as far as they could be ascertained from the most authentic sources, are as follows - At about 5 minutes past 2 o'clock a man, who stated his named to be Parker, called at the Station House, and told Sergeant Penman, who was then in charges of the place, that he had just seen smoke issuing from the window of a house close by, in High Street. Penman went to the spot indicated, and saw a flame bursting from beneath the weather boarding above the kitchen window of the house of Mr Adlington, grocer. He immediately gave the alarm, and in a very short time the town engines, together with those of the Custom House, and of Mr Plane's (the mayor) brewery, were on the spot, and a supply of water from the mains of the waterworks having been promptly got, every effort was made to subdue the fire, which by this time had extended itself to the house adjoining Mr Adlington's. Thw wind blew rather fresh from the SW, sweeping the flames over the houses down the High Street towards the Town Pier. The engines, though well worked and abundantly supplied with water, gained no influence over the fire, which had at about 3 o'clock extended to 7 houses on that (the western) side of the street. The engine from Tilbury Fort, accompanied by a body of troops, having now arrived, more vigorous, but equally unavailing, efforts were made to stay the further progress of the fire, which had soon after 3 o'clock crossed the street, seizing first upon the extensive premises of Mr Young, butcher. From there the flames spread to the houses all down the eastern side of the street, including the County Bank, the Savings Bank, the Kent Tavern, Brinchley's Distillery etc. The High Street on both sides from the Town Hall downwards to within a short distance of the town Pier was at 4 o'clock completely enveloped in flames, which, when tehy involved the premises of Mr Troughton, tallow chandler, and an oilshop and chemist's shop contiguous to it, formed an awful conflagration. All this time all hope of preserving a single house between the Town Hall and the pier was abandoned by all parties, notwithstanding that the Dartford and Rochester engines had arrived, and a prodigious volumen of water was discharged on the whole line of burning houses on both sides of the street. There was fortunately sufficient time to save teh cash boxes and teh securities and other documents of the County and Savings Banks, which were taken to the Custom House, all the officers of which were actively engaged with the military , police and townspeople in working the engines. Comparatively little property was saved from the fire, which, between 5 and 6 o'clock had destroyed upwards of 40 houses on both sides of High Street, Princes Street and the courts leading out of High Street, between the Town Hall and the pier. A telegraphic communication from the railway station, at the instance of the mayor, having been made to the London Bridge Station, a body of the fire brigade and two engines were as soon as possible despatched from London, and arrrived in Gravesend at about 20 minutes to 7 o'clock. The work of destruction was then done, the fire having been providentially stayed in its progress down the High Street, and extending backwards to Princes Street, by a change of wind to the north and westward at 6 o'clock. The assistance of the Brigade, with their powerful engines and practiced skill, was, however, effectual in suppressing the fire still bursting forth from the mighty mass of ruins - all that remained of the property destroyed, and which is calculated to amount in value to £60,000. The houses were insured, with the exception of those of Mr Adlington (where the fire originated) and of Mr Day, chemist. They were almost all shops, and well stocked, and, in fact, were the principal houses of business in the town. Those totally destroyed are on the eastern side of the High Street - Mr Spencer, chemist and druggist; the Kent Tavern, recently purchased by a Mr Temple from London; the shop of Mr Barber, hairdresser; of Mr Butcher, pastrycook and confectioner; the County Bank; the Savings Bank; the shop of Mr May, bootmaker; ditto of Mr Cramp, butcher; ditto of Mr Young, butcher; gutted the Commercial Coffee and Dining Rooms, and extensively damaged Brinchley's Distillery, and the shop of Mr Crofts, grocer. On the west side of High street, the shops of Mr Adlington, grocer; Mr Gregory, linendraper; Mr Fenwick, draper and tailor; Mr Kemp, hatter; Mr Pitman, grocer; Mr Barber, leather cutter; Mr Read, tobacconist; Mr Troughton, tallow chandler; Mr Hutton, linen draper; Mr Newman, bookseller and stationer; Mr Jerry, eating house keeper; Mr Day, chemist, were totally destroyed. The house of Mr Saunders, surgeon was considerably damaged. In Princes Street at the back of the western side of the High Street, and in the courts off High Street, within the range of the fire, there were destroyed 14 residences, several workshops, coach houses, stables, and other out offices. A man who sells crockeryware about the town as a hawker suffered severe bodily injury, having fallen down a burning staircase. He was removed to the workhouse in a dangerous state. The insurance offices which will be the principal sufferers are, as we learn, the Kent, the Sun and the Phoenix."
1850, August 24: New Postal Arrangements Kentish Independent
"After a tardiness of nearly 13 months, the Post Office authorities have availed themselves of the facilities of the North Kent Line, for forwarding the day mail. On Wednesday last, the midday post to and from London was conveyed by railway. As the down bags will now arrive earlier in Gravesend, it has become necessary that the box for receiving letters to be sent down the line, must be closed at the latest by 11.35, the time of despatch from the office to the station being fixed at 11.45; this despatch will convey bags to Rochester, Maidstone, Chatham, Sittingbourne and Faversham. The up mail will be despatched from the Post Office at 3 o'clock, and the box for receiving letters for this despatch will now remain open until 2.30, but letters with an extra stamp will be received as late as 10 minutes before 3. This despatch we regret to say will take but the London and Dartford bags, so that notwithstanding, that the mail will stop at Woolwich both up and down, the important towns on the line are for the present to have no midday communication with Woolwich; and this is the more astonishing, whien it is known that the towns of Chatham, Sheerness and Woolwich are in a national point of view so intimately connected."
1850, September 10: Theft at Fawkham South Eastern Gazette
Dartford Magistrates: "James Stevens was charged with stealing a watch, the property of John Gilbert at Fawkham. Jane Gilbert deposed - I am the wife of prosecutor. Yesterday, the 6th September, I was upstairs, and saw the prisoner going away from my house. Thinking he had stolen something, I called to Master Smith to go after him. Michael Smith deposed - I went after the prisoner, and when I got near to him I saw him looking at a watch, which, however, I could not see when I overtook him. I took him back and my son, who is the parish constable, took him into custody. We then went to the place where I saw the watch in his hand, and found it hanging in the hedge. John Gilbert identified the watch. Prisoner, who declined making any defence, was committed for trial."
1850, October 15: Early Closing of Shops Kentish Gazette
"The shopkeepers have unanimously agreed to close their shops at 8 o'clock from the 1st of November to the 25th of March. The publicans are not partners to this agreement."
1850, November 13: Dartford Protest Against the Pope Morning Herald
"The Dartfordians during the past week hasve been arranging to have a glorious demonstration upon the late papal usurpations, and burn the Pope and his Wiseman upon the identical spot wheron 'Christopher Waid, a linen weaver of Dartford,' was burnt, July 17, 1555, 'for heretical prairty.' It was at first resolved that the ceremoney should take place upon the orthodox 5th of November, but the promoters arranged that it should take place on Friday night. In order that the funds might not be wanting to carry out the demonstration in a fitting form the gentry and tradesmen subscribed a handsome sum. At 6 o'clock the preliminaries being completed, a large procession sallied forth from the Old Priory Lane to the church en route to the vicarage, where they make their first call upon the vicar, by whom they were fillingly received. The order of the procession was as follows: In front walked two stalwart men, bearing a banner with 'No Popery' painted on it in enormous characters; next to this some smaller banners were borne with sundry inscriptions - one had, 'No Papal aggressions; Britons down with Popery;' then follwed a gong and seme bells ringing the knell of the Pope; after these a man bearing a crucifix ten feet high, and by his side another bearing the archbishop's crozier; then a lad in a white surplice, bearing a long paper with two leaden seals, appended by bits of tape, professing to be 'the bull' of Pope Pius IX, appointing the cardinal to be Archbishop of Westminster; after him two artificers swinging lighted incense cups of naptha walked before his eminence, who was appropriately garbed in a red hat, and in a cardinal's cloak, with a long crucifix and rosary; after him, borne by 6 men, came the pope with tiara complete; this was an enormous figure gorgeously dressed with mock jewellery and heaps of gilt ornaments, sitting in a coffin, upon which was an elaborately executed pall, the whole of which was afterwards burnt; by the side of the pope walked incense, torch and pall bearers; after the effigy came the 12 newly created bishops, in full pontificalibus, their mitres were set with glittering stones and mock jewels, each bore his crosier, and wore a rosary at his side. After perambulating the town the effigy was conveyed to the destined spot, where it was burnt amongst the jeers and gesticulation of the multitude assembled to witness the demonstration. The first thing thrown into the fire was the bull, and after that the pope, at whose destruction sundry devils capered about, flinging squibs and crackers. it is now in contemplation to erect an obelisk, or some mortuary memorial, to commemorate the martydom of Waid, the 'Christian man,' as the articles exhibited against him style him, on the spot where he suffered, which remains precisely as the eye witnesses describe it, even to the knoll, or 'little hill' near the stake whereon 'was pitched up 4 stones quadrangular wise for a pulpit for those who intended to preach whilst Waid was consuming." (from Maidstone Journal) // [Dartford was one of many towns to protest about the creation of new Roman Catholic dioceses, the first for 300 years, the protests were enough for the government to pass the Ecclesiastical Titles act the following year which banned RC Bishops from saying they were the bishop of any town, but this act was ineffectual and was repealed in 1871.]
1850, November 15: Bankruptcy of Joseph Jardine Evening Mail
"There was a meeting for the proof of debts in this matter. The bankrupt appropriated to his own purposes £2,100, the moneys of the Dartford Savings Bank, of which establishment he was actuary. The court was today crowded with depositors, for the most part persons in a humble condition of life, who sought to prove the amount of their deposits against the estate. The principle which regulated those proofs was, that where the moneys were handed by the depositors to the bankrupt individually, not during bank hours nor in the bank, the claims were provable against his assets; but where they paid them to the bankrupt during bank hours in the bank, and as its officer, they could not prove; for the Court held that in the latter case the trustees were answerable. The trustees, it will be recollected, sought to prove for the bankrupt's defalcations against his estate; bu the Commissioner, in an elaborate judgment (since affirmed by the Vice Chancellor) decided against their claim. // A subscription, amounting to more than £1,000 has been raised by the gentry of Kent for the purpose of paying the poor depositors. // The whole sum proved today was about £150."
1850, November 23: West Kent Freehold Land Society Kentish Independent
"On Monday evening a public meeting, to promote the formation of the West Kent Freehold Land Scoiety, was held in the [Woolwich?] Town Hall, David W Wire esq, undersheriff of the county of Middlesex in the chair. // The chairman opened the meeting by calling upon Mr Owens, the solicitor of the company, to read the report, which gave a brief outline of the history of the society, and its progress, together with the choice which had been made of officers. From this it appeared that William Joynson esq, D W Wire esq and Dr rendergast had consented to act as trustees; that the committee consisted of a number of gentlemen in Woolwich, amonst who were 5 of the Local Commissioners, an dof gentlemen from Dartford and St Mary Cray. The society presented a better opportunity for investment than either the Savings Banks or the Friendly Societies. The allotments could be obtained for £30, which would produce 40 shillings per annum, which at 25 years' purchase would yield £50. Some of the allotments had realised double this amount, many more, and none less. The society had already established branches in Dartford and St Mary Cray, and would extend its operations to all parts of the country. It would have several advantages over a society established in London; it would be managed by those who were personally known to the members - the money would be spent in the district - it would command a larger number of members than any distant society could obtain, and it would raise up in the district a body of thinking and prudent men. Admiral Dundas had been waited upon, and he had, though declining as a general rule to belong to any society, cordially wished it success, and offered to take charge of any bill that might be required to give it stability (cheers). The report concluded by expressing a hope that before 2 months 2,000 shares would be taken up in the society. // The chairman said it was very desirable that every person should understand the primary and secondary objects of the society. Its primary object was a political one - to give the people a real interest in the election of their members. The second, though equally important one, was to inculcate habits of prudence and independence. The vote of the poor freeholder was equal to that of the rich. 50 years ago there were a great number of small freeholders in this country, and at that time we held 8 million of our fellow creatures in slavery, which thinking men considered to be a great blot on the nation. The first grand movement for its abolition was made by that great man William Wilberforce, who put up as member for the county of York. All the aristocracy were against him - all the old arguments that are used against anything at is good, were raised against him. It was said that the abolition of slavery would lead to the ruin of the colonies - that the constitution would be undermined - that the church would go first, and then the state would tumble to pieces. There were, however, great number of honest men who were 40 shilling freeholders, and by great and extraordinary efforts on the day of the polling, Mr Wilberforce was returned. They came with their little rolls of parchment under their arms shouting 'Wilberforce and no slavery!' and thus the first impulse was given to the abolition of slavery. Mr Wire then cited another example in the case of Henry Brougham (then the man of the people) who was returned to parliament by the same constituency, and who ultimately succeeded in carrying the Reforem Bill. The enemies of the people, however, had stepped in, and defeated the measure by the introduction of the Chandos clause, so that though they had got rid of the existence of rotten boroughs, the counties were snug pocket elections; and up to this hour the people had yet to realise what they expected from the Reform Act. [The Chandos amendment extended the vote to some tenants at will who were pressured to vote the same way as their landlords, remember no secret ballot then] By extending the list of freeholders, however, the people would obtain everything they desired, and the House of Commons would become what it was intended to be - the Commons' house - a reflection of the intelligence of the people. The county members had hitherto been the obstructives - they voted for the continuance of the Corn Laws, the repeal of which had preserved the country from the disturbances which had troubled the continent, by enabling the people to procure cheap food, and providing abundant employment for the poor. The Chairman then alluded to the famous saying of Sir R Peel 'The battle for the constitution must be fought in the registration courts - register! register! register!' and alluded to the wonderful manner in which, having been left with the mere remnant of a party, that sagacious statesman in less than 10 years, built up a powerful party, ousted the Whigs, and became Prime Minister of the country. He next adverted to an attempt made by the government some time since, to impose fresh taxes, and to the manner in which that attempt had been defeated, and then alluded to teh obnoxious window tax, which defeated the gracious purposes of God in sending us light and air. One of the fruits that would be reaped by the present movement, was the equalisation as well as the reduction of taxation. It was provable by documentary evidence, that the poor paid 90 per cent of taxation, whilst the rich only paid 30 per cent [sic]; so that those who were least able to bear it were taxed most heavily. The recent Stamp Act was a proof of the attempt to return to a more wholesome state of things; for a poor man would now obtain a stamp for 2 shillings, which 2 months ago cost him £2, thus effecting a saving of £1 18; and this was the right condition of taxation, to impose duties according to the wealth of parties. He cautioned them against expecting anything from the government, without asking for it - governments were never in advance of the people - they were always a century behind them, and the people, who were their masters, ought to tell their servants, the government, what they required. After adverting to several topics of political interest, Mr Wire proceeded to refer to the secondary object of these societies - investment. A man, by paying the small sum of 1 shilling per week, could obtain a freehold worth £30. There was a tempation in every man's circumstances to spend his money, and habits of prudence were not so easily acquired as imagined. But, give the man an object, and they would find that he would feel pleasure in putting by his trifle week after week, till he obtained a position of independence, and secured a voice in the representation of his country. Habits of prudence would beget habits of thinking, and he would begin to inquire how his member voted, and if he had voted against the people, that would be no 1 of the things to be accounted for when the member came back to ask for his vote. In the event of sickness, or his being out of employment, this saving would form a nest egg, that would give the man something to fall back upon till he recovered, or again obtained employment. Nothing was so repulsive to the poor man as to be dependent, either upon public said or private charity, and the poor man would be 10 times more elevated if he was not dependant upon either one or the other. After denouncing the sin of bribery, Mr Wire referred to the return of Mr Cobden for York, and asked, amidst loud cheers, why Kent should not be represented by such men as Richard Cobden? They wanted no admirals, nor colonels, nor captains, nor lawyers, nor state pensioner, nor lordlings in the House - these men should be sent to their ships and barracks - but they wanted honest men, who would fairly represent the wishes and feelings of the people. The chairman concluded a lengthened address by giving the members some wholesome advice, to return a good committee, and to look closely after them and their officers, and sat down amid loud cheers. // Rev W Smith, of Dartford, in moving the first resolution (for which see advertisement) said, that however strange it might appear for a person of his cloth to take part at a meeting like the present, he did so because he had a love for haminity, and was especially anxious to promote the elevation of the huan family. If the committee of this society would do their duty, he was sure that the money of the shareholders whould be perfectly safe; for in the case of the recent failure of their savings bank at Dartford, if the committee had done their duty, that event would not have happened. This society proposed the great object of self elevation; the heart of the working manfelt enlarged at its being able to help itself, and it was on this account that he felt it his duty to lend his small amount of influence to help up that portion of society which now groaned in bondage. He could not put on a shoe, or a coat, or look at any article in his own rooms, without being struck with his obligations to the working man. He could not travel on a railroad without remembering that the working man constructed the rails and the engine. And yet this was the very class that was most degraded. The poor were sometimes treated with neglect, and sometimes shaken from the lap of society, because they were too degraded to join with those above them. It was easy to call them hard names, and proclaim them to be outcasts, but it would be wiser to show them that they had the power to elevate themselves, and to take the position of men. the spaker then referred to the habits of economy which the society would induce. There would be a constant itching to button up the pockets, and the man would shun those houses and palaces which so often proved the ruin of working men. After relating an anecdote illustrative of teh power of working men to elevate their own condition, the rev gentleman concluded by proposing the resolution. // Mr Hinde of St Mary Cray, after briefly explaining the formation of an auxiliary at that village, said they had now 72 subscribers who had taken 88 shares, and by way of a beginning they had received £17 in hard cash. He believed there was a good time coming, if they only waited a little longer. There was nothing that vibrated so clearly upon an Englishman's ear as the word liberty. In the county he came from (Buckingham) the farmers were all slaves, and a couple of hares were sent round to each of them every year by the Marquis of Chandos to secure their votes. He had seen a cartload of these hares go along, and two were dropped at this place and two at that, and they were offered to him but he never could partake of them, they tasted so 'torified' (roars of laughter). The working man with his 40 shilling freehold was far more independent than the farmer who farmed 300 acres. He thought that the Freehold Land Societies were noble institutions - they were the best thing he could conceive of, for advancing the working man in the scale of society. He was asked by several ladies whether they could not subscribe, but he feared they would not be able to vote for members of parliament; Mr Vincent told them that a little freehold would sometimes secure for them a husband. The Society had his hearty good wishes, and he hoped it might succeed to the utmost and might realise all they could expect or desire. // The motion was then put and carried unanimously. // Mr R Ruegg, in moving the 2nd resolution, explained the circumstances, and the train of thought that induced him to propose its establishment - it was that land purchased in the immediate neighbourhood of the place in which a working man lived would be far more valuable than it would be, if it was situated at a distance. He anticipated great results, both political and moral from this movement. One of the polical results would be the recognition of the interest of the people. They had heard in Parliament of a shipping interest, of a landed interest, of a West Indian and a Canadian Interest, but the interest of the people had never even been alluded to - as though they were no such body to be legislated for, as the great bulk of the community. In legal matters also great results would be obtained. The fact that a working man could obtain a conveyance of land for 30 shillings would set a good example, in a department in which it was much required. They would under such auspices no longer hear of one law for the rich and another for the poor - of divorces granted to the rich because they had money, and witheld from the poor because they had not money - of fines for offences which the wealthy paid and were free, and the poor being unable to pay were imprisoned, thus being punished not for the offence, but for their inability to pay the fine. In conclusion he referred to the moral advantages which arose from the cultivation of an allotment such as these societies proposed to give, in the taste it would induce and the benevolent feelings it would inculcate. // Rev J Smith MA in seconding the resolution, said that next to the Gospel he held as most important the teaching men to be saving and self denying. How many Christians were slipshod for want of habits of saving - entangled in the cares of the world, which a few unnecessaries cut off would set them free from, and enable them to follow their high vocation. He then referred to the advantages held out by Assurance Societies. A saving of a penny a day at the birth of a child would realise £25 in hard cash, when that child attained the age of 14 years, and twopence per day would realise £100 for the same child by the age of 21 years. The rich man could by one payment of £362 in a round sum secure the payment of £1,000 to his family should he die the next day. What poor man would deny this small saving for the sake of his child or would be the selfish thing to guzzle it away. Mr Smith then proceeded to say that he had little confidence in Savings' Banks, and benefit clubs were still worse, for Mr Nelson, the actuary had shown that a great part of them were insolvent, and in one case out of 152 inmates of a union, 79 had belonged to benefit clubs which had all broken up. In the Savings Banks the interest was poor, and the security bad, and till the Building Societies cam up he saw nothing for the working man, but Life Assurance. He regarded these Freehold Land Societies, however, as a great advantage and cordially supported that now before them. // The resolution having been put and carried unanimously and a vote of thanks having, on the motion of Mr Owens, being carried by acclamation to the Chairman, that gentleman returned thanks and urged those present not only to support the Society by holding up their hands, but also by enrolling their names as members. At the close of the meeting several persoons joined the society, and nearly 50 shares were taken up." // [Freehold Land Societies were at this time a new idea mainly to create more voters. South Eastern Gazette 4.2.1851 reported a similar meeting at Gravesend where a local committee was set up and 35 shares taken.]
1850, December 05: The Dartford Savings Bank - in Re Joseph Jardine Evening Standard
"Today was fixed for the adjourned certificate meeting in the case of this bankrupt, described as of Dartford, draper, and who was actuary of the Dartford Savings Bank. The case has been frequently before the court, and frequently reported in our journal. The bankrupt's defalcations as actuary of the bank amounted to £2,000, and his trade debts were £1,194. The assets were returned at £1,554. The trustees of the bank claimed that the amount in the hands of the official assignee be returned to them, so that the amount of the defalcations should be covered. The assignees under the bankruptcy resisted this claim, and ultimately it was directed that the depositors of the bank should come in and prove. About £200 had been proved in this way, and there are others to come in. // Mr Johne appeared to oppose, Mr Linklater supported the bankrupt. // Mr Jones said that the bankrupt had been in business for about 30 years as a draper at Dartford, and had been actuary nearly all that time to the Dartford Savings bank. In January 1844, he had a capital of £800, all of which he had dissipated, together with the sum of £2,180 which belonged to the bank. This was an offence of itself which disentitled him to a certificate under the 256th section of the new act [Insolvent Debtors Act 1842], but there was a more serious ground of objection, the embezzlement of monies belonging to the bank. It was a series of misappropriations, notwithstanding his knowledge of the rules of the bank. He had therefore clearly laid himself F546open to be charged with 2 offences - one under the 7th and 8th Vict, cap 83, sec 3 [Savings Bank Act 1844] for a misdemeanour; secondly, of embezzlement, and the only reason why the trustees of this bank did not prosecute him, was because they had so negligently conducted their business that they did not like the facts to come before the court. The bankrupt was still liable to be indicted, and under all these circumstances, it was prayed that the certficate be refused. // Mr Linklater, in asking for a certificate of the second class, said that the question of embezzlement was not for this court to decide. The bankrupt was to be dealt with according to the bankrupt laws, and his conduct as a trader judged; in which respect, a strong fact against him was the continuing to trade after he must have known that he could not pay 20 shillings in the pound......" (he quotes case law to support his argument) ".....Then as to his conduct as a linen draper; he succeeded to the business of his father, who died in 1832, and he was left residuary legatee, and instead of having £1,000 as supposed, he only had £182. The bankrupt was a man felt for at Dartford, was consulted on all charitable questions, and his defalcations wwere not the result of vice but misfortune. The people of Dartford were about making a collection by which the depositors would be ultimately paid.....[The South Eastern Gazette 10.12.1850 said the fund stood at £100]" (he outlines backgound to Mr Jardine's troubles) // "The bankrupt, in examination by Mr Linklater, deposed - about 35 years since my father established the bank at Dartford. I was then about 16 or 18 years of age. In 1818 I took the post of actuary. My father had been in business 60 or 70 years at Dartford, and myself about 20 years. I succeeded to the business of my father in 1832, and had to pay my four brothers a legacy of £1,000 each. I had less than £200 after this payment. From 1844 to 1847 my wife was extremely ill, and the business gradually declined. I had 8 children, and in 1848 the typhus fever raged in my house, and my business was almost stopped. I have filled, one after the other, all the offices of trust at Dartford. [Kentish Independent 7.12.1850 adds he had been vicar's Churchwarden] There has not been any irregularity in my trading transactions. Finding my business declining I broke up my establishment, and reduced my expenditure in every possible way. My books are accurately kept, and I have given every assistance to my assignees. A collection has been made for me at Dartford, and there will be sufficient to pay all defalcations. I have received letters from the managers of the bank sympathising with my position. Mr Linklater - the trade creditors will be paid in full. Mr Edwards the official assignee, said a dividend of 5 shillings in the pound had been paid, but after the payment of expenses he did not think there would be 20 shillings in the pound. // Examination continued - The list produced was a correct account of the moneys he had received from the depositors and not accounted for. He bought as little as possible from City houses towards the end of his trading. He owed Messrs Leaf £123 in 1849 for goods supplied by them. // By Mr Linklater - I had dealt with them 20 or 30 years and paid them £2,000 or £3,000. I owed them at one time £300 or £400. I could not tell the amount paid into the bank unless I had the depositors' books. // By the Court - I received from Mr Seager £25, but I cannot state when. Examined by Mr Jones - I received £30 of John Dalton on the 31st of October, and repaid him £7. // His honour - And the rest you appropriated, I suppose? Bankrupt - Yes. His honour - In what way did you use that money belonging to the trustees of the bank? Bankrupt - in my business. Mr Linklater - Were not the defalcations from 1847 to 1849 committed to meet previous defalcations? Bankrupt - They were. Nerly all the defalcations of 1847, amounting to £500 were paid off...." Judgment was deferred. // The Bankruptcy of Joseph Jardine (South Eastern Gazette 10.12.1850) // [Although a lot shorter, the account gives more details of why he embezzled the money] "....Adversity in every shape seemed to have pressed heavily on him. His wife was seized with a tedious and afflicting illness, and he was obliged, when his circumstances were embarrassed, to increase his expenditure by taking lodgings for her in London, so that she might be near her physician. The monetary panic next came, and his creditors added to his difficulties by calling in their debts; but a more dreadful calamity awaited him. In 1847 the typhus fever entered his dwelling, 4 of his children were attacked, and one fell a victim to this terrible malady. The fever returned to his house 12 months. This completed his ruin. 'My trade,' said the bankrupt, with tears in his eyes, 'gradually declined from the time the fever came until it became almost extinct.' There was no charge of excessive expenditure adduced. On the contrary it appeared that Jardine had striven in every way to suit his disbursements and position to his altered fortunes. He withdrew his children from school, contracted his credit, and lessened his domestic outlay. When bankruptcy came he did all he could to aid his assignees. As to the embezzlement of the money of the bank, he confessed that in an evil hour he commenced that practice; and, finding that in all times the means of satisfying the calls of clamorous creditors, he continued to draw from this source, but always with the view of repayment; and, indeed, he had paid back much, but his means becoming daily more slender and the demands more pressing, he at length found himself inextricably embarrassed, and was obliged to confess the serious offences of which he had been guilty. It further appeared that Jardine's character had always stood high in Dartford. He had filled all the public offices of trust and honour in the town, and the trustees now declined to prosecute him for the embezzlement. He gave his evidence in a very straightforward manner, and his pitiable condition excited the sympathy of everyone present...." // Important Judgment - The Dartford Savings Bank (Evening Mail 25.12.1850) // The paper reports that the court was packed to hear Commissioner Holroyd's judgment which he gave at length, quoting much case law. He said Mr Linklater was right that he has to consider whether to grant a certificate of discharge on the basis of the business debts only. That said the conduct of the bankrupt was so reprehensible that it would be wholly wrong to grant it. He also called for the creation of the office of Director of Public Prosecutions because no-one will prosecute Mr Jardine otherwise (the office of DPP was finally created in 1879). The judge was highly critical of Mr Jardine "..... in fine he was regarded, in every sense of the term, an honest trader. The sequel will show how far he abandoned all title to the appellation. In the course of his business the bankrupt had pecuniary difficulties to contend with arising from a declining trade and reduced capital. In this state of things, in his position as actuary of the savings bank, being in the habit of receiving money from depositors, he was tempted in the year 1844, under a presssure which he says was temporary, to apply the money of the bank to his own uses. I have no doubt that the bankrupt intended and believed that he should be able to replace this money, but one trick often needs a great many more to make it good, and the bankrupt, unhappily for others as well as himself, too readily yielded to this evil suggestion. It is said that he did repay some of the monies which he had appropriated. I fear, however, this was done by the aid of subsequent deposits..... It is urged that he had to struggle against further misfortunes - losses by bad debts and stagnation of trade, followed by contagious sickness in the family. It might be hard in such distress to bear up against the storms of Fortune, but no change in circumstance can absolve a man when he relinquishes truth and faithfulness - 'the band that knits together and supports all compacts' [Book of Proverbs in the Bible ch 12 v 22], and has recourse to a system of fraud, supported by artifice and falsehood....... the bankrupt, a trader, who from his long standing in trade and public offices he had filled, ought to have been an example to others, as one 'having a good conscience - willing to live honestly in all things' [A paraphase of Hebrews ch 13 v18] instead of despising a repetition of practices constantly coming in competition with the first principles of commercial life, shows a wretched regardlessness of what is due to himself and society, and scruples not to prop his credit by a scheme of treachery systematically sustained for about 5 years....He was in a situation above suspicion: how humiliating the position in which he now stands! Indeed, there is no vice which does so cover a trader with shame as to be found false and pernicious in pecuniary matters..... (he quotes from an editorial in the Times of 4.6.1850 about the importance of honesty in Savings Bank officials)... I must give judgement as on a matter of right or wrong..... in the present case the court should especially look to the paramount importance of sustaining the confidence of the industrious classes in the officers of savings banks....." // Letter to Editor - Dartford Savings Bank (Evening Mail 30.12.1850) // The paper had previously written a strongly worded editorial against the trustees of the bank. C R Gibson of Dartford replied to say he initially blamed the trustees too and had resolved not to contribute to the fund set up to help the depositors. But when Mr Tasker asked him to contribute, he changed his mind when Mr Tasker pointed out that the Committee not the Trustees were supposed to oversee the deposits and they had agreed not to deduct anything for the trustees' expenses in running the fund.
1850, December 10: Fawkham Thief South Eastern Gazette
"On Wednesday, Thomas Hower, aged 20, and as would appear a known thief, was arrested in Gravesend by PC Hickey, of the Dartford Police. It appeared that the prisoner had been lodging for some days previously in a beer shop in Dartford, kept by Thomas Collett; that he slept in a bed in the same room with Collett, adn taht about 7 o'clock that morning he absconded from the house, after possessing himself of 5 sovereigns, which on the night before he observed Collett put into his trouser pocket, which trousers on going to bed Collett placed on a chair near his bed, and in the morning he missed both gold and prisoner. He at once gave information to the police, and both Hickey and himself, ascertaining that prisoner had taken the high road leading to Gravesend, followed on that line, and arriving in the town about half past one. On entering the town they went to a public house, and there they learned that the man for whom they ere in pursuit was at that moment in the tap room. They then found him, regaling himself, and treating other men, who it seemed had been in the room when he came in, with brandy and water, for which he had paid 2s 6d to the landlord, Mr Carley. On taking him into custody, he had 2 larger parcels of newly bought clothes and a new hat, and on his person 5s in silver and 7d in coppers. He for a long time denied all knowledge of the party robbed, but after Mr Carley recognised him as a native of Fawkham, he confessed to the robbery, and took the policeman to the shops where he bought the clothes etc." // [SE Gazette of 22.10.1850 reported that James Stevens could read and write imperfectly, was found guilty and sentenced to 6 months hard labour and to be privately whipped. Of the 77 prisoners, only one could read and write well, 48 could read and write imperfectly and 28 were illiterate]
1850, December 10: Underwood for Sale at Ash South Eastern Gazette
"Valuable underwood in the parishes of Ash, Kingsdown and Fawkham to be sold at auction by Mr George Mandy. On Friday, December 13th, 1850 at the Porto Bello Inn, Kingsdown, Kent, at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, subject to such conditions as shall be then and there produced, comprising: // Lot 1 - 1 acre in Stone Ridden Wood (10 years' growth)
Lot 2 - 3 acres in Stone Ridden Wood (10 years' growth)
Lot 3 - 3 acres in Stone Ridden Wood (10 years' growth)
Lot 4 - 2½ acres in Lowes Wood (15 years' growth)
Lot 5 - 2½ acres in Lowes Wood (15 years' growth)
Lot 6 - 3 acres in Shortledge Wood (13 years' growth)
Lot 7 - 3 acres in Shortledge Wood (13 years' growth)
Lot 8 - 3 acres in Shortledge Wood (13 years' growth) // The above underwood is contiguous to good sound roads and short distances from Gravesend and Dartford, where a ready sale may be obtained for all the ware. May be viewed on application to Mr D Mandy at the Billet Farm, Ash, Kent."
1850, December 31: Bankruptcy of Simon Hood of Ash South Eastern Gazette
(Public Notice) "Whereas a petition of Simon Hood of Ash next Ridley, in the county of Kent, lately a farmer, but now out of business, an insolvent debtor, having been filed in the County Court of Kent at Dartford, and an interim order for protection from process having been given to the said Simon Hood..... the said Simon Hood is hereby required to appear in court before James Espinesse esq, the Judge seting (sic) in the matter of the said petition, on the 13th day of January next... for his first examination touching his debts, estate and effects..... All persons indebted to the said Simon Hood, or who have any of his effects, are not pay or deliver the same, but to John Hayward, the clerk of the said court, and official assignee in that behalf."
1851, January 18: The Dartford Savings Bank West Kent Guardian
"It will be gratifying to the public to hear that the affairs of this bank are in a train for speedy settlement, and that the appeal made by the trustees and committee to the gentry and tradesmen of Dartford and its vicinity, having been so liberally responded to, that nearly £1,000 has been collected towards making good the defalcations of the late actuary. It has been resolved at a meeting of the committee of management held on Friday last, to reopen the bank, under most careful inspection, early in March next, when the depositors will be paid in full, with interest up to the 20th of last November, a pleasing duty for the managers after the exertions they have made to collect subscriptions for the purpose, and an act of justice to the industrious labourer, whose self denial and care, had enabled him to lay by for old age a portion of his daily earnings; and we must here remark that had a small part of the time that has been spent to obtain means of repayment, been devoted to the duty they undertook for their poor neighbour, they would have been spared the unpleasant duty they have recently had to perform." // [Kentish Mercury 1.2.1851 said business will now be conducted in the National School Room]
1851, March 25: Burglary at Meopham South Eastern Gazette
Lent Assizes "Reuben Parker, alias 'Hampsted Fred', 38, was indicted for burglary, and stealing two watches, 9 rings, 20 spoons, 4 gowns and other articles, value £80, the property of Augustus Munyard, and at the same time beating and wounding the said Augustus Munyard, at Meopham. // Augustus Munyard deposed that he resided at Meopham. On the 1st June 1849, he was disturbed between 11 and 12 o'clock. There was no light in the room. Heard a noise at the window, and on getting out of bed and going to the window, saw a man getting in, followed by 3 others; oe man had on a dark cap and they all had white shirts over their clothes. Each had a candle and a stick, and witness struggled with them, and was struck on the head several times. Believed prisoner was the man who had a crape over his face. Witness was much hurt, and carried his arm in a sling for some time. Found a ladder next day under the window. About half a pound of cigars was taken away, and a quantity of plate and other articles, value £80. One of the men went to the window and said, 'If anybody comes, blow their brains out.' // Sarah Jane Munyard corroborated the evidence of her husband. // Harriett Kettle, servant to the prosecutor, deposed that she was alarmed on the above night, and saw 5 men in the house and one outside. // John Pryor deposed that he lived at Perry Street, Gravesend, and knew a man named Clark, who llived at Star Street, Gravesend. Witness was taken up on this charge and admitted as evidence against Clark at the Summer Assizes, 1849. Went to Clark's house on 13th May, where he saw the prisoner and three other men. Prisoner was called 'Fred'. Clark called the men downstairs to the sitting room. Prisoner and the other men asked if he knew any houses where there was any property, and he said that he did not know. Saw prisoner and three others at Clark's on the next day, and had breakfast there. An arrangement was made to meet at Hartley Bottom to go to the house of the prosecutor. Saw one of the servants of whom they made enquiry as to the number in the house. A man called 'Tom' went to a cottage for some water. Witness and two men went to Longfield Hill, and met the same evening at Clark's house. Left that night between 10 and 11 o'clock with 2 men, neither of whom was the prisoner. Met prisoner and his men on the road at Nursted turning. They had jemmies, sticks and caps, five of which were made of white stockings and one of black crape. They then went to prosecutor's, near which they found a ladder which they stood against the window. The black cap was put on by 'Navy Jem', who first went up the ladder, followed by prisoner and the other men. When the windows were smashed, witness went under the servants' window. Four bundles were brought out of the house. Went to Longfield mill after they left Munyard's, and from thence to Horton, about 4 miles. Prisoner and 3 of the men left, and he remained with Clark. Clark was to get some waistcoats out of pawn, and take to London. The bundles were taken by the four men when they parted. // By prisoner - Did not know the men before he saw them at Clark's house. Recognised you at Chelmsford. Never had any doubt about his identity. // Ann Clark deposed that she was the wife of John Joseph Clark, and remembered the 1st June 1849. Was residing at that time with her husband in Gravesend. Knew the prisoner, who lodged with them on the 1st June. He came on the Wednesday before the house of prosecutor was broken open. Had 5 men lodgers - one named Harry, one Fred, one Jim, one Tim and one Benjamin. Prisoner was Fred. Knew Pryor before the robbery. He came to their house on the Wednesday, and between 9 and 10 o'clock on the Friday morning. Prisoner had breakfast on that morning. The men went out together on Friday evening between 8 and 9 o'clock. Prisoner was one of them. It was daylight when her husband returned. The other men did not come back with him. Pawned 2 waistcoats on Thursday, and laid the money on the table before the 4 men. Her husband went to London on the following Monday. // By prisoner - Did not tell anybody whose waistcoats they were. Saw you at Rochester. // Martha Ketling deposed that she lodged at Clark's in May and June 1849. Saw Pryor there many times. Prisoner and 3 other men also lodged there. Pryor, prisoner, and 3 others were there on Friday night at supper. Did not see them after. // By Prisoner - Was at the Black Boy tap room when you were there. Mrs Clark was present. // By his lordship - When they left on Friday night, prisoner said they should get good luck that night. // Thomas Low, police constable, deposed that he was on duty at Sidcup, on the morning of the 2nd June. Saw 4 men about 5 o'clock, one of who was the prisoner. They were all smoking cigars. Witness stopped the prisoner and another man. Prisoner made his escape. // By the prisoner - Had never seen the men before. Took more notice of you than the other men, because you had recently shaved. // Emanuel Stringer deposed that he was in the service of Mr Fellows, a miller at Eynsford, on the 2nd June, onw which morning he was going to London with a waggon. Saw 4 men at Birchwood, going towards London, with 4 bundles. Asked him to take their bundles for them as they had been travelling all night. Prisoner was one of the men who were smoking cigars. The police stopped two men, one of whom was the prisoner. Did not know which man ran away. // Cross examined - Never saw the men before. Was talking to them 10 minutes. You are one of the men. You had no whiskers then. // Pryor recalled - The bundles were tied up in silk handkerchiefs. // Maria Anderson deposed that she lived at No. 63, Orchard Street, Westminster, in June 1849. Four men came to her house on the 2nd June. Had not known them before. They brought 4 bundles with them in stuff handkerchiefs. Did not know the prisoner. One man had a black waistcoat with sleeves. They came about 5 o'clock in the afternoon. // The prisoner put in a written defence, in which he imputed perjury to the witnesses for the prosecution, and called a witness named Carter (a prisoner in the gaol), who stated that the witness Low told him when he first saw the prisoner he could not swear to him, but on seeing his countenance change, he was sure he was the man. // Low, on being recalled, denied the statement of Carter. // His lordship, having recapitulated the whole of the evidence, leaving it to the jury to say whether they were justified with the evidence of the accomplice, confirmed as it was, in many points, by the evidence of the other witnesses. // The jury immediately returned a verdict of guilty. // The learned judge, in passing sentence, said, that no person who had heard this case could for a moment doubt his guilt. By the law he had forfeited his life, but he should recommend him to her Majesty, and he had no doubt his life would be spared, but he must expect to leave this country for the remainder of his life. // Death recorded. Clark was convicted at the Summer Assizes, 1849."
1851, May 31: Farningham Stock Market Kentish Mercury
"In consequence of the decay of one of the great Kent Stock Markets, and the inconvenience not only suffered by graziers and farmers in disposing of their cattle, but the difficulty butchers and the public experienced in supplying their wants; a committee of gentlemen undertook by and with the consent of the lord of the manor, to establish a stock market at Farningham, a village admirably situated, not only in the centre of an agricultural district , but midway between the towns of Sevenoaks and Dartford, and within an easy distance of Gravesend, Woolwich and Deptford, and may other densely populated places. In accordance with this arrangement, the first market was held on Tuesday last, being the 3rd Tuesday in the month, a day selected in consequence of its being a day most convenient to butcherss at a little distance, as it gives them an opportunity of getting their beasts home after purchasing, and allowing a day or two's grace before killing. The market on this first occasion was well supplied with every description of stock some hundred of beasts, sheep and pigs being exhibited in the pens. As a great competitionwas exhibited between the farmers which should send the best beasts on the first day, we are thereupon enabled to state that a finer assemblage of 'handsome stock' was hardly ever before collected together in this neighbourhood. This praiseworthy and judicious conduct of the farmers, was corresponded to on the side of the butchers, who congregated strongly with the intention of purchasing largely. A great deal of business was done among the buyers of London, Greenwich, Woolwich, Gravesend, Chatham, Sevenoaks and indeed from the whole of the northern part of the county. Messrs H & W Cook, Skinner and Allen were the principal salesmen present. During the morning the market was attended by Sir P H Dyke bart, Messrs Thomas and William Waring, F Campbell, Solomon (3), Russell (4), Cooper (2), Love, Smith (3), Phillips (3), Evison, Goose, Bassett, Hall, Ray (4), Mandy, W Dray, Edmonds, Kemsett, Bowles, Fellows, Elgar, Nevill, Clemson, Deane and party, Bellingham, Thorpe, Muggeridge, Hassell (2), Bensted, Mungeam (2), Robins, Bath, Gurnell etc etc. So well did they carry out this end that to use the words of Mr Cook, the celebrated salesman of Smithfield and Ashford, 'he never, in all his experience in London and elsewhere, felt so satisfied with both sellers and buyers, for all the stock entrusted to him to dispose of was parted with a good prices in less than 20 minutes after he commenced selling, for he upon his part meant selling and the butchers meant buying, and although the market might perhaps clash a little with Ashford, yet, it was his intention henceforth to attend Farningham, and he had no doubt but that the Great Romney Marsh Sheep men would also support this new market to the utmost.' The market was held in a convenient spot, immediately across the bridge and nearly opposite the Church......" Article goes on at length to describe a dinner for 90 at the Lion Hotel. // [Mr William Bensted lived at Hartley Court, Mr Glover Mungeam lived at North Ash Farm, Mrs Mandy in 1855 was owner of Billet Farm Ash, Frederick Ray was a farmer at Ridley. It appears the "decayed market" referred to was a cattle market at Wrotham. This might explain an advert for the sale of 10 horses from Ireland at Dartford Market - South Eastern Gazette 5.3.1850. The Kentish Gazette of 2.12.1851 reported on the market held Wednesday Week before with a record of 1,000 head of fat stock including sheep from Romney Marsh.]
1851, June 12: Dartford News Kentish Independent
Emigration // "The panic has at length reached Dartford, talk to whom you will and the subject is sure to turn to 'gold diggings'. A few families from Dartford have, during the past week, sailed from London, and several others intend to do so, as soon as the necessary arrangements are made." // [It doesn't say where the gold rush was but the date would suggest Australia, where gold was found in Victoria in 1851] // Accident // "An accident happened to a little boy a few days' since, while playing at 'leap frog', the unfortunate little fellow was in the act of jumping over a boy's back, when he slipped and in the fall broke his collar bone, and was much bruised in various parts of the body."
1851, June 29: Answers to Correspondents The Era
"A Baker - According to Mr Hard the eminent miller of Dartford in Kent, the following are products with the quantities obtained from one quarter of 8 bushels of wheat weighing 504lb - Flour 392lb; fine middlings 10lb; toppings 8lb; best pollard 15lb; second pollard 18lb; bran 50lb; loss sustained by evaporation and waste in grinding, dressing etc 11lb; total 504lb."
1851, July 05: British Agriculture - Part XI Kent Illustrated London News
(by Thomas Rowlandson) "…..North Eastern District - This may be called the market garden district, the lowlands being principally occupied with raising market produce, and comprises the parish of Greenwich, Woolwich, Deptford, Lewisham, Lee, Beckenham, Bromley, Chislehurst, Eltham, Plumstead, to which may be added a belt of country, about 4 or 5 miles wide, between Gravesend and Dartford, the latter consisting of a light fertile soil, producing a large quantity of early peas, turnips etc for the London Market. During the podding season, numbers of women and children are employed in pulling the peas, coming in swarms for the purpose from London, as also for hop picking. The adhesiveness of the London Clay soil in that part of Kent which adjoins the metropolis, is much ameliorated by the abundant application of long stable manure, and also by applying the spent bark from the extensive tan yards of Bermondsey; these dressings, and the frequent application of soot on clovers and young wheats, have, in some cases, altered the natural colour of the soil to a deep brown or black. Some of these market gardens have more than 100 tons of stable manure annually applied. In this district, within 10 or 15 miles of the metropolis, it is usual on general farming land to sell the greater part of the straw and hay, purchasing manure in return. Some dairies are also kept for the purpose of supplying milk to the metropolis."
1851, July 05: What Becomes of the Revenues of the See of Rochester Kentish Independent
"The following is an extract from the speech of Sir B Hall [The Ben of Big Ben] on Tuesday night, in the House of Commons, in the debate upon the spiritual destitution of the poor in England and Wales. // The Bishop of Rochester was appointed in 1829. He held the Deanery of Worcester, and some other benefices, which he resigned in 1846 to receive a stipulated income of £4,500 per annum, by which he gained considerably. He received, according to his own return £5,370. Now, having shown the income of the Bishop, he was going to show what were the duties he performed. One of his duties was to hold triennial visitation of the cathedral, to correct abuses, and to see tha thte statutes were observed. Now he (Sir B Hall) made enquiry on this point, and the result was that the bishop had not made one of these cathedral visitation, He not only ought to do this, but he had sworn to do so. And when he made a speech in anohter place on the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, the reason he assigned for not voting for it was that he had taken a certain oath. He seldom or ever preached in the cathedral, except on Easter Day last. Was it likely that the people would subscribe their money for the building of new churches if these things were known. He might be asked why, if he were a friend of the church who made public these things? His only answer was this - that they lived in an age when there was no chance of a remedy, except by bringing forward these matters before the public. He brought them forward in the hope that he might - however humbly and ineffectually - aid in putting an end to these things, and that one day or other he might be able to feel that by showing up these abuses he had helped somewhat to abolish these monstrosities. Let them now see how matters were conducted by the whole capitular body: The dean preached 12 times from December 1 to April 1, and attended service 4 times; his income was £1,400 per annum. One canon preached 12 times in 2 years; has a residence with income of £680. Another canon preached twice last December, and not since; he takes income of suspended canonry; £780; is vicar of Chadham, with a population of 16,000, and 3 villages in Dorsetshire. Another canon has not been in Rochester for upwards of 3 years, and has sold off all his goods and gone off. Up to the month of June 1851 - up to yesterday - no canon preached on any Sunday, not even Whit Sunday, with the exception of Ascension Day. Minor canons did all the work, with no additional pay; two of them got £150 per annum, the others £30. In a few days the cathedral will probably be closed, and then they might go and enjoy themselves as they generally did. The bishop receives from £5,000 to £6,000 a year; the dean £1,400; the canons £680 each, and £100, £3,500; making a total of £10,900. The dean and 5 canons hold additional incomes to the amount of £7,740; total £17,640 per annum. As he had said before, the see of Rochester had become very notorious. A fund had been left for the support of 6 old bedesmen. They were to receive £40 a year each, but there was no bedesmen in Rochester since 1790, the last of them being an old man naed Thomas Featherstone. The £2,400 that should have gone to the support of 6 poor men was taken up by the chapter. The chapter clerk till lately went through the farce of calling out the names of these men. He regularly called for 'Thomas Featherstone, come forward and receive your annuity.' Yet these abominable impositions, for he could call them no less - went on under the eye of the dean and canons, although they knew full wwell that these men were in their coffins for 60 years. In consequence of the exposure which had been made by the return presented at his insistance to the house, and there he might take credit for having done some good - new appointments of 6 deserving poor persons, from 65 to 75 years of age, one of whom fought in Lord Howe's action in 1794, and another at Waterloo, were made. A payment of £1 10s 10d was made a few days ago to some of these men, and he was sure the house would scarsely believe it - the chapter clerk had made a deduction of 10s from each as a fee - although no deductions had been made in the clerical incomes. The corporation had been receiving this money for 50 or 60 years, and when they did give it they stopped 30 per cent from the income of these poor persons. Were they so ready to give 3 per cent of their own income when his right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer asked them for the income tax? Then there was a hospital in the Diocese of Rochester, of which the Dean had taken the income for himself. In one year he took £3,000 for fines, and it was only in consequence of the exposure which had taken place that a stop had been put to this mode of misusing the charity. It was called the Lepers Hospital, but a foul moral leprosy had stepped in and pocketed the money which was intended for charity. How he would ask again could it be expected that the people would subscribe their money for new churches when they saw these abominations. It was from a sense of the shame and disgust which such conduct was calculated to inspire, that he felt bound to show up these proceedings of the deans and chapters and to bishops of his church, and who ought to be ministers of God. [Is there not reform wanted in the Church of England, while such corruptions are allowed to exist? It is not more churches we want, but a just and equitable distribution of church revenues, that the toilers in the vineyard may be paid according to their labour, and the poor protected, and not robbed of their just rights. Surely these abuses will not be allowed long to exist in the present enlightened and progressive age.]
1851, July 05: Opening of the Cattle Market Kentish Independent
Dartford "On Tuesday the 1st July, the opening of the Dartford Stock market took place, as advertised, in a meadow adjoining the Bull Hotel premises, although we had to regret the absence of 20 of our neighbouring and influential farmers, whose support had been promised, who were compelled to attend as jurors at the Kent Sessions, which commenced on the same day; yet the market was opened in a truly business like manner; large quantities of fat stock continued to arrive for a considerable time after 9 o'clock the hour of commencing buisness. The up and down trains brought many buyers. The site selected is most admirably situated for the purpose and reflects great credit on the committee for the selction and business-like arrangements made. The stock was of the first order, and sales briskly effected to the evident satisfaction of both buyers and sellers, all of whom expressed evident satisfaction of both buyers and sellers, all of whom expressed their determination to support a Dartford market, at the close of which about 50 partook of a substantial dinner, provided by mine hose Potter, of the Bull Hotel, at charge suited to the times......" // [The South Eastern Gazette of 9.9.1851 said the numbers were down and market in danger of closing. However the Kentish Independent of 18.10.1851 said the October Market "there was a plentiful supply of stock from some of our principal farmers and buyers were not at all scarse...."]
1851, July 11: William Cooke's Colossal Hippodrome The Era
(Advert) "The Great Sensation of the Exhibition revived in William Cooke's Colossal Hippodrome. The only one travelling in England. Embodying 100 horses and ponies, 30 carriages and cars, 100 male and female artistes, performing elephants, racing ostriches, trained horses, ponies, reindeers, and monkeys, Roman Games taken from Hisotry, the first introduction in the provinces of Roman Car Racing, Ladies' Chariot Racing, Riding 15 horse etc. The real Stag introduced in the Royal Hunt every day. First performances at 2pm, second at 7pm. // The Gorgeous Processing will enter Town Malling, Monday July 12th; Rochester 13th; Gravesend 14th; Dartford 15th; Woolwich 16th; Greenwich 17th. // The performances conclude with the spectacle of St George and the Dragon."
1851, July 30: Visit to the Great Exhibition Morning Post
"Messrs Pigou and Wilks, powder manufacturers of Dartford, liberally gave upwards of 100 men, women and boys employed on their works a day's holiday during the last week to visit the Great Exhibition, and 5 shillings each to defray expenses. We need not add that the bounty was gratefully received; and all repaired in high spirits to feast their eyes on what before had only reached their ears. They were highly delighted with the day's treat and cordially wished every workman had as generous and noble minded employers." (from Maidstone Journal)
1851, August 02: Visit to the Great Exhibition Kentish Independent
"The children in our union have fared equally well with those of Gravesend poor house; they were taken by the master of the union on Wednesday week to the World's Fair - the constellation of shows and shops. They had at least a 'feast of vision', and if good cheer, wondrous sights, cheerful faces, and hurrahing say much, they had 'a flow of soul', which an incessant rain could not cloud. Mr Cooke, the union master, deserves credit for his exertions and management, which were exceedingly praiseworthy."
1851, August 02: The Eclipse Kentish Independent
[This was not a total eclipse over England. It was also the first time one was photographed by German astronomers. The crowds were doing what we are told not to today, which was looking directly at the sun. Fortunately for their eyesight, it was mostly covered by cloud] // "On Monday afternoon the expectation of observing the phenomena attending solar eclipses drew large numbers to the eminences in and around London most favourable for that purpose. The Monument, the gallery of St Pauls, Greenwich Park and Primrose Hill were especially favourable for that purpose. The weather was most unfavourable to the purpose of observation, the sun and moon being alike hidden by the dense clouds at teh commencement of the eclipse at 3 minutes past two. For a short period, between 20 and 25 minutes past two, a glance at the sun was obtainable, but the clouds quickly gathered again the two orbs, completely concealing them from view. About 3 minutes before the greatest obscuration the sun might again be seen for a moment, and looked like a narrow crescent with its horns upturned. About half past three the sun was visible for an instant, and was afterwards concealed from view till the moon had passed completely over its disc."
1851, August 05: Hop Harvest South Eastern Gazette
"Horton Kirby: our hops and those in the adjoining parishes of Darenth, Fawkham, Kingsdown and Hartley, are so full of vermin as they can stick. Since the rain the vermin and honeydew have increased, and unless a favourable change take place, we shall not grow enough to brew with."
1851, August 12: The American Reaping Machine in Operation South Eastern Gazette
(advert) "Mr Dray has made arrangements with the inventor to exhibit the above valuable machine on his farm at Farningham, Kent, on Wednesday next, August 13th, at 11 o'clock in the forenoon, and on the following day at the farm of Ross D Mangles esq MP, Guildford at 11 o'clock. Orders received by Deane, Dray & Co, Agricultural Implement Makers, London Bridge. // [This firm were exhibitors at the Great Exhibition]
1851, August 12: The Harvest Kentish Gazette
"Dartford - the harvest which commenced in this neighbourhood last week by the cutting of oats, is now become quite general. There appears to be a good crop of wheat and oats, although the ears of the former considerably vary; in some places they are long and not very full, while in others they are full and large but not long."
1851, August 26: Post Office, Dartford Kentish Gazette
"It is understood that a receiving house for letters will shortly be opened in the centre of the town, for the better convenience of the public, and which will meet with due appreciation by the townspeople. The house of Mr Davids, in the High Street, is the spot fixed upon."
1851, September 30: Treat for Workhouse Inmates South Eastern Gazette
"On Tuesday last, the inmates of the Dartford Union House were gratified with a treat afforded to them thought the kind benevolence of our respected townsman, F Pigou esq of the Powder Mills, he having very liberally (after having made a visit of inspection to the house, and as a mark of his approbation of its good condition) placed in the hands of Mr Cooke, the master, funds for the above purpose. Mr C having made the necessary arrangements, at 2 o'clock the whole of the inmates, both aged and young, formed into procession, and paraded the streets of the town, after which they adjourned to a field belonging to Mr Robins, in which a spacious marquee had been erected. The children were provided with cake, and the old men with tobacco, snuff, beer etc. The afternoon was spent in various recreations, commencing with a very amusing game of cricket (the complete apparatus having been presented by Mr Pigou for the occasion) between eleven of the old men and eleven of the boys; the latter as might be expected, came off victorious. Next were formed running matches between the men, boys and girls. After the games they were all supplied with tea and cake. Mr Pigou himself attended in the field and appeared highly repaid for his generosity by seeing the many happy faces of the poor, as well as by witnessing their general decorum and good conduct. There were also present the Rev Mr Irish, the chaplain to the Union, the Venerable Archdeacon King, Revs W King and T Woodhouse (but we did not observe the vicar of this parish), R Tippetts esq and several of the respectable inhabitants of the town, many of whom sat down to tea in the marquee, Mrs Cooke presiding. Much praise is due both to Mr and Mrs Booke for the manner in which all the arrangements were carried out."
1851, October 11: Fire at Blue House Farm Kentish Independent
"On the following morning [Friday 3rd October] about 12 o'clock an express came over fro the village of Hartley for the engine, Mr Aitkin with his brigade and the engine proceeded there with all possible dispatch and found a fire raging at the farm of Mr James Armstrong, at Hartley Bottom (sic); 2 cottages, a barn, a stack of oats, and another of peas and a cart lodge in which the fire broke out were entirely destroyed when the engine arrived; and it was feared that the adjoining far hous which was only separated by a small orchard, would share the same fate, but fortunately that was saved. The property was insured in the Norwich and Kent offices; the liability of the Norwich Office is, we believe, about £600." // [A shorter article in the South Eastern Gazette of 14.10.1851 says the fire engine came from Gravesend and that arson was suspected]
1851, October 11: Martyrs' Memorial, Dartford Kentish Mercury
"During the past week excavations have been made in the cemetery of St Edmund, upon the East Hill, Dartford, for the martyr's memorial. About 4 feet below the surface, the workmen not only came upon the foundations of the old chapel of St Edmund, but they also broke into an ossuary, for we are totally at a loss otherwise to describe the amazing deposit of bones sepilated. Our readers are aware that one of the most affecting cases in Fox's 'Martyrology' is the burial of Christopher Waid on Dartford Brent, July 17, 1555; and that it is almost the only instance in which that pious and mistaking author attempts to shew that a Divine imterposition or miracle, occurred whilst the martyr was suffering. The memorial now raising in Dartford cemetery is on the site of the ancient chapel or chantry of St Edmund, and is to be an obelisk."
1851, November 01: Death by Fright Kentish Independent
Dartford "On Saturday last as a young woman named Burt was proceeding home from her work, she was followed by a boy with a lighted squib, which was thrown at her. The young woman was so frightened and hurt, that on her arrival home she was taken ill, fits ensued, and on Monday last she died." // Duties of Coroners (Morning Advertiser 5.11.1851) // Contains a letter from Mr B Newcomb of West Hill saying he'd written to the coroner to request an inquest but received no reply. He enclosed the following handbill from Dartford - "Fireworks - Caution. Whereas from the melancholy death of a female, on the 27th instant, caused by the throwing of a lighted squib, on Saturday evening last, in the Waterside, Dartford, strict and peremptory ordrs have been given to the constables, to apprehend all persons letting off fireworks in the public streets or thoroughfares of the town, and to taken them before the magistratees, to be dealt with acccording to law. Parents are requested to aid in the suppression of this dangerou practice, by every effort in their power, particuarly by withholding from their children the means of purchase of gunpowder and fireworks. Legal proceedings willl also be taken against all persons selling or exposing fireworks for sale. By order of the magistrates." // [Ann Burt, 1827-51, was a young wife living at Lowfield Street. It does make you wonder how accurate the census is for married women, as the 1851 census a few months before doesn't give her any occupation.]
1851, December 06: Explosion of a Rocket Factory and Loss of 7 Lives Kentish Independent
Warning This report contains harrowing descriptions of the terrible injuries suffered by the victims of the explosion. // "Dartford, Wednesday night. // During the last four and twenty hours the whole of this town, and the various surrounding districts, have been most painfully excited, in consequnce of an explosion of a terrific character, involving the destruction of the lives of no fewer than 7 human beings, having occrred in a temporarily built rocket factory, situate on Joyces Green, some 3 or 4 hundred yards from this town, but in the parish of Dartford. The following particulars connected with this lamentable affair have been obtained from parties who were eye witnesses, and notwithstanding that they are of such a harrowing character, may be relied upon as being perfectly free from exaggeration. // It seems that a few weeks since - probably within a month - a gentleman named Callow had taken up his abode in a large farm house, occupied some time since by Mr Wigman, one of the contractors of the North Kent Railway, but belonging to Mr Jeremiah Solomons. Shortly after Mr Callow came into the tenure of the premises he commenced manufacturing, in a timber building on the estate, blasting rockets or fuses. The building in question, from the ruins which remain on the ground, appears to have been something like 40 feet long, and certainly not more than 30 feet wide, and was covered with a thatched roof. This place, although of limited dimensions, was sufficiently capacious for 6 of 8 workpeople to carry on their dangerous calling; for we find that on Tuesday evening as many as 8 persons were at work therein, independent of the presence of several individuals whose business only occasionally called them there. // Between the hours of 4 and half past, the whole town, and indeed, every inhabitant living within a circle of 5 or 6 miles, were dreadfully alarmed by a report far surpassing in violence a discharge of a park of artillery, for the houses were literally shaken to their very foundations. Glass and china were hurled from their resting places, and had it not been for the fact of so many powder magazines being in the neighbourhood, some of the inhabitants assess that they would have been led to conclude that a convulsion of nature had occurred. Mr Cook, the master of the Dartford Union House, who was lounging on his sofa in his drawing room, a long distance from the scene of the explosion, was forced from his place by the concussion. That gentleman at once concluded that one of the large mills had blown up, and, judging what might be the results, at once ordered a ward to be got ready in the union for the reception of the killed and wounded, and at the same time gave notice to Mr Tibbetts, the medical officer of that establishent, so that no time might be lost in attending to the expected sufferers. // The inhabitants, immediately after the shock had subsided were to be seen running in sundry diretions, to render assistance, but it was some time before the scene of mischief could be found out, and, when it was, the sight which presented itself was such that no person can accurately describe. // The building, used for the manufactory, was levelled with the ground, and here and there were occasionally to be seen a slight glare of light rising from the remaining portions of wearing apparel, on some of the unfortunate sufferers' bodies. Head, legs, hand and feet were found scattered over the ground, not merely in the immediate vicinity of where the factory a few minutes previously stood, but a long distance off. The legs and thighs of a female were found just on the spot where the disaster happened, but the head had been blown in twain and the trunk had been propelled by the force of the explosion over a house, and had fallen a distance away of 250 yards. The body of a man, named Hagan, was found with the whole of the clothing consumed, portions of the flesh, and the brain protuding. Passing on to a still greater distance, hands and the entrails of a human being were found scattered on the ground. The remains of as many as 5 persons, where soon collected together, and 2 of the unfortunate work people were picked up alive; one had both his arms broken, and the other had his legs and thighs fractured; the eyes were blown out, and the lower portion of the trunk also badly injured. One was named James Goldsmith, and the other was a female supposed to be named Brown. // Mr Tibbetts immediately set about to reduce the injuries of the two survivors; but owing to their serious nature, he could not entertain the least hope of their recovery. He however, did everything that humanity or surgical skill could devise, but without effect; and the poor man lingered for only one hour and a half, when death terminated his sufferings. The unfortunate woman, however, only lived half an hour after being received into the union. The agony of these two parties during the short time they survived, after receiving such a complication of injuries, was most intense. // From the inquiry made this afternoon by Mr Webb, the coroner's officer, it appears, that at the time of the fatal explosion there were either in or about the factory ten persons, and the following is a correct list of the parties: // Frederick Haggard, a carpenter - not hurt
William Harrison from London, a mixer and head foreman - dead
Thomas Nash, also from London, foreman over the fillers - dead
Christopher Haggard, foreman over the women; whose business is to insert the rockets or fuses into the gutta percha tubes - killed
Joseph Loft, late of London, a filler - dead
James Goldsmith, a pincher off the gutta percha tubing - dead
Miss Sarah Kempton, otherwise Mrs Goodeve - killed
Mrs Brown - killed
George Waller, a carpenter - severely injured by the explosion
John Poole, varnish maker, who was standing at the side place - uninjured
Alfred Smallbone, one of the clerks, who had just left the factory - not hurt. // Upon viewing the bodies, or rather the mutilated remains, a singlular fact was discovered, that, although some of the sufferers had taken every precaution in respect to having such boots as could not by possibility cause an explosion by friction, yet some of the others had been at work with heavy hobnails and iron tips on their boots, which alone was quite sufficient to cause an explosion of gunpowder, providing they trod upon any. // Various rumours are afloat as to the precise cause of the calamity. One person who was at work in the place attributes it to the carelessness of one of the female sufferers, who, he states, was married on Sunday last, and Tuesday being her birthday, she promised the men half a gallon of beer if they would allow her to fill one of the cases. They acceded to her request, and, whilst filling the tube, he imagined that she must have driven the charge in too tight, for it exploded whilst the case was in her hand, and hence the catastrophe. Whether such was the fact or not, it is of course, impossible to tell, but one thing is quite certain, that in the hand of this unfortunate creature, notwithstanding that the body is blown into sundry portions, is to be seen firmly clenched, one of the rockets, to which is attached 3 or 4 inches of gutta percha. Mr Webb, who was in the factory not more than 5 minutes before the disaster happened, states that whilst he was present he niether heard nor saw anything like what the party had stated. Whilst he was in the place, the various hands were at their several occupations, and, as he was leaving, he noticed one of the men with a pot of boiling glue in his hand, and he had barely time to place the liquid on the table, when the explosion happened. // The whole of windows in Mr Callow's dwelling, some distance from the factory, were demolished, and many articles of furniture are much injured, as well as the windows of several houses and small cottages near. // It is to be regretted that most of the sufferers have left large families totally unprovided for. // Although an active search was made during Tuesday evening, the whole of the mangled remains of the unfortunate sufferers could not be found; and it was not until this day at noon, that some of the missing portions could be found. // Two men went over the grounds with a large bucket, and succeeded in gathering together a number of hands, a female's trunk with the bowels blown out, and several fingers. These were carefully collected together, and removed to the union house, and placed at the side of the other bodies. // Great as the loss of life has been, it is quite miraculous that it had not proved even far more extensive. For only a second or two before, a female named Ann May was at work in the place, and she merely left to hang some clothes on a line in the ground, when the calamity happened. Mr Smallbone was also passing across to the private house from the factory, by which he also escaped. John Poole had likewise left to get something from the fire, away from the factory, and also escaped. // A coroner's inquest was held on the bodies of the unfortunate sufferers on Thursday last, and after hearing some evidence, it was adjourned till a future day, the particulars of which will be given in our next number." // The Explosion and Loss of Life at Dartford - Coroner's Inquest (Kentish Independent / West Kent Guardian 13.12.1851) // Resumed inquest. Witness James Cooper spoke about seeing Mr Pool with with a blazing resin pot about 5-10 minutes before the explosion. Owner Mr Callow said they were making cartridges for government experiments at Holyhead. He said powder was inert until heated or coming into contact with fire. He blamed 'harum scarum' conduct of female employees. Former employee Ralph Fenwick, now 'artist in fireworks' said he had found the mixture dangerous. He said gravel on the floor was dangerous and he would never allow any employee of his to use such shoes. Mother of Joseph Loft said her son had said the previous Friday it was a mercy they weren't all blown up when a boy Pool brought glue pot to the door with the bottom on fire, but he had pushed him away. Pool told inquest he puts the glue pot on the same table as the men worked which caused a sensation in court. Jury rejected claims of Mr Callow and found "That the deceased lost their lives from an accidental explosion of blasting powder on the premises of Mr E Callow" and added "that they were unanimously of opinion that gross carelessness had been displayed on the part of Mr E Callow in suffering blasing cartridges to be manufactured in a building quite unfitted for the purpose, having imperfect floors of wood and gravel, and suffering the employed to work in nailed boots and shoes, and in not having any defined rules or regulations, either written or printed, for the guidance or protection of the persons employed on the premises'. The learned Coroner said he perfectly concurred in the verdict of the jury."
1852, January 13: Dartford Stock Market South Eastern Gazette
"This market was held on the 6th inst. There was a better supply and more buyers that on any previousl occasion. Everything sold at good prices, and a complete clearance was effected. Upwards of 200 sheep were sold, as well as other stock. Dartford market must eventually take precedence of any other local market from the advantages afforded by means of railway communication, and the farmers will see that it will be to their interest to send a good supply, as they will be sure to meet with a ready sale. At the market on Tuesday last it was observed that the supply was not equal to the demand; surely this state of things will be remedied at the next market day. At the close of the market several gentlemen sat down to dinner at the Victoria Hotel." // [This reads like an advert because at the time Dartford was in competition with Farningham to be the successor to the closed Wrotham Market, a battle Dartford would lose. However Farningham's attempt to take Dartford's corn trade - see below 27.1.1852 would also fail. A new entrant to the fray advertised in many papers, e.g. Maidstone Journal 1.6.1852, William and Henry Cook of Smithfield claimed they could transport sheep and cattle by train from Gravesend, Dartford etc to get best prices in London.]
1852, January 27: Farningham Market Kentish Gazette
"On Wednesday last the second corn market was held agreeably to the arrangements. Buyers and sellers seemed equally pleased, and there was a fair average of both. Upwards of 400 quarters changed hands. The contest between the millers and farmers in the neighbouring market town of Dartford seems to have tacitly subsided. For, although the Dartford millers have almost ceased purchasing in that market, yet there has been an influx of millers from Deptford and Essex, who have purchased all the samples offered them."
1852, March 23: Selling Corn at Dartford Market South Eastern Gazette
"County Court - The Shooting Money Case - Josiah Harris v Jonathan Hills // The case was adjourned from the last court, and excited considerable interest. // Mr Phelp of Southampton Buildings, appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr Gibson of Dartford, for the defendant. // Plaintiff is a farmer at Gravesend, and the defendant a miller at Dartford, at the firm of Hards and Hills, of the Royal Mills. The action was brought to recover the sum of 1 shilling from defendant. // The principle involved in the case is whether the millers have a right to deduct the 'shooting' or sack money, viz 1 shiling for every 5 quarters of corn, and which the defendant had done, and contended he had a right to do, in this instance. // The witnesses called on the part of the plaintiff were: // Mr Best of Fawkham (sic), whose evidence went to show that he in one instance sold to an innkeeper named Relph, without allowing it, but that in all his dealings on the Dartford market, he had been obliged to do so, although he had 'grumbled' at it HIs honour remarked that people 'grumbled' at paying taxes. // Mr John Cooper of Sutton, proved that in one instance he had also sold to a miller without allowing the shooting money, but that, although he had been in the habit of attending Dartford Market for the last 30 years, he remembered no other similar instance. // Mr Gibson contended that the custom in this case, of allowing for shooting money, had all the requisites to make it as binding as any Act of Parliament. He cited several cases from Stephens's Commentaries on the Laws of England, upon the necessary requisites to support a local custom, and expressed his confidence that the evidence he shoudl adduce would fully satisfy all those requisites. He then called. // Mr John Tasker of Dartford, brewer, who proved that he had been in the habit of attending Dartford Market for the last 48 years; that he had carried on the business of a brewer, and also of a farmer, during a part of that period, and had consequently bought barley and sold wheat. On purchasing barley he invariably stopped 6d for every 5 quarters, and on selling wheat had always allowed 1s for every 5 quarters sold. // Mr Richard Austin of Greenhithe, also proved that he had always known it to be the custom to stop the shooting money. Witness, on being asked his age, replied 'Not quite a hundred'. On being futher pressed he admiited his age to be 93, at the same time saying he was 'only a boy' yet. His honour remarked he was rather 'an old boy'. // Mr Bensted of Hartley, Mr Cronk of Southfleet, and Mr Robins of Dartford, confirmed the former testimony. // His honour thought the custom contended by the defendant was virtually undefended, as the evidence was all on his side. He then dissected? the evidence, which he said left him no other alternative but to declare the custom fully proved, and judgement must therefore be given to the defendant." // [This case is about what local millers could deduct from the price paid, but a number of local people were witnesses. The "Mr Best of Fawkham" was almost certainly George Best, the tenant of Middle Farm, Hartley as noone called Best lived at Fawkham at the time of the 1851 census.]
1852, April 24: Dartford Stock Market Kentish Mercury
"The market was held as usual on the first Tuesday in the present month. The stock was of first rate quality and realised high prices, and nearly all sold out. 54 beasts were penned, likewise 300 sheep and lambs, 15 calves, and 72 pigs. The market is evidently progressing in favour both of producers and buyers, and bids fair to be firmly established."
1852, April 27: Sale of Fairby Farm Maidstone Journal
"Valuable and Important Freehold Estate - Hartley - near the market towns of Gravesend, Dartford and Farningham, Kent - To be sold by auction by Mr George Mandy at Garraways, Cornhill, London, on Monday, May 10th 1852 at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, by order of the trustees for sale under the will of the late Mr Francis Treadwell, and with the consent of the Mortgagee in one lot. // Comprising a very substantially erected farm house, and all necessary farm buildings, 200 acares of very extraordinarily productive arable, hop, orchard, meadow and woodland; together with 4 workman's cottages, known as the Fairby Farm, in the parishes of Hartley and Fawkham, within easy distances of the Dartford and Gravesend Stations on the North Kent Railway. To the lovers of sport this estate offers great attractions, being well stocked with game, and withi 3 miles of the celebrated fox hounds of Thomas Colyer esq. To the capitalist an opportunity is offered rarely to be met with, as the family, whose ancestors have occupied the estate for more than 200 years, have taken a lease for 21 years (determinable at the end of the first 7 or 14 years) at the rent of £220 per annum. The land, which is in a very excellent state of cultivation, is of easy tillage, very productive and famous for hops, admirably adapted for sheep and stock; frontages to good roads, and eligibly situated for building purposes - being one of the healthiest spots in the county. The late proprietor attained the age of nearly 100 years. // May be viewed on application to Mr W Treadwell; and printed particulars, with conditions and plan, may be obtained at the principal inns, Dartford, Gravesend and Farningham; at the Agricultural Implement Depot, Swan Lane, London Bridge; at the offices of Mr J Hayward, Dartford; at the place of sale; of the auctioneer and estate agent, Farningham, Kent, and of Mr Charles Colyer, Dartford." // [South Eastern Gazette 18.5.1852 reported that it was bought by Mr Justice Talfourd for £6,500]
1852, May 29: Geology The Atlas
"Geological Society. May 19, 1852 - W Hopkins esq President, in the chair. The following communications were read: 1 On the soils that Cover the Chalk of Kent. By J Trimmer esq FGS. The author commenced by pointing out the existence of a great variety of soils upon the chalk of Kent; and by referring to his already published opinion, that these soils ere formed by agneious transport, and not be solution of the chalk in situ. As evidence of this view, and corroborative of conclusions he had arrived at when he lately described a section from near Hartley Parsonage, Kent, Mr Trimmer described a section of the summit level of the chalk between Farningham and Wrotham, about 700 feet above the seal level, in which large 'pot holes' in the chalk were filled with alternating seams of sand, clay and pebbles containing matter derived from the wreck of the chalk and the eocene tertiaries; these alternations being covered by uncomformable seams of similar composition. He pointed out also the characters by which 'pot holes' in the chalk belonging to the eocene period may be distinguished from thosse of more recent date, such as were described in the present communication."
1852, June 08: Sevenoaks to Dartford Railway? Kentish Gazette
"It would seem that some project is now on foot for the purpose of supplying this neighbourhood with efficient railway accommodation, and it is conjectured that the South Eastern Company are the originators of it. Two gentlemen, surveyors, have lately been staying at the Crown Hotel, who have been taking the levels of a line from the North Kent Railway at Dartford to Sevenoaks, near which latter place it is probable a fork is contemplated, proceeding to Maidstone on the one hand and to Tonbridge on the other. By this means the entire traffic of the county of Kent will be in the hands of the South Eastern, and the defects of their present circuitous main line, without question, in part skilfully remedied. The gentlemen referred to were reserved in their conversation, and wwere averse to enter into particulars, either as to the precise nature of their visit, or to the extent of the projected undertaking."
1852, July 13: Dartford Cattle Market South Eastern Gazette
"Dartford Stock Market - on Tuesday last, the 13th monthly meeting was held. This undertaking is fast rising in the estimation of the graziers and butchers, as was evident by the number and quality of the supply on the last occasion. There were exhibited for sale 85 fat beasts, 207 sheep and lambs, and 6 calves, the prices realised being satisfactory. During the past year there have been in the market, 615 beasts, 2,671 sheep and lambs, 39 calves and 393 pigs. // In connexion with the above market, a complimentary dinner was given on the 7th inst, to J Soloman esq, for the support and encouragement given by him to the market. 35 neighbouring agriculturists and townsmen sat down to a splendid repast, prepared by Mr Potter of the Royal Victoria Hotel The wines supplied were of the first order, particularly the champagne and claret which flowed in a truly free trade stream. The chair was occupied by W Allen esq of the Stone Court Lodge farm, and vice chair by John Harrison esq of the Phoenix Mills, Dartford. The speeches were complimentary, without that fulsom adulation which too often characterises meetings of this kind The meeting was enlivened during the evening by some excellent songs from several of the gentlemen present" // [the Kentish Mercury 9.10.1852 reported the October market had a small supply of stock]
1852, August 03: The American Reaping Machine Maidstone Journal
"One of these machines manufactured by the patentee, Mr Dray of Farningham, was tried on a field of rye belonging to Mr Landale, near the turnpike on Thursday last, the 29th ult, in the presence of….. On our arrival in the field at about half past 3 o'clock there were full 3 acres to be cut; and at a few minutes past six, te field was thoroughly and completely levelled. The expressions of satisfaction at the working of the machine were quite general; and deservedly so; for the work was admirably performed. The last acre was cut in less than three quarters of an hour; the stubble was left at a low and uniform height; and the rye was cut without waste. One feature of the affair was the fact of a labourer of the name of Stone, of Fulton, who had never seen a machine of the kind before, mounting the box, and raking off the corn with an ease and precision that, gaining general admiration, proved satisfactorily that with such a machin the farm need fear no difficulty in putting it to work. Even the labourers present were pleased, and expressed their satisfaction at the amount and quantity of the work done. // On Saturday this important machine was again exhibited in Dartford, in an oat field belonging to J Langdale esq, situate on West Hill. The reaper was set to work by Messrs G Howe and A Lockyer about ten minutes after 3, and at half past 6 o'clock had effecutally reaped the whole of the field, containing 4½ acres, and laid the corn in equal parcels ready for the binder's hand. The oats were reckoned by the numerous visitors at 10 quarters per acre. The last acre was reaped in 45 minutes, but the average time per acre for the whole was 49 minutes 6 seconds. During the time the machine was at work the field was visited by a very large number of persons, and among them we observed Messrs W Fleet, Pigou, H Chapman, Russell (Wilmington), Russell (Horton), Stoneham, J Cooper, W Cooper, S Cannon, Miskin, Mills, Solomon, Hills, Kerr, Allen, Thomas, G and A Mungard, G Morgan, Ray W Mungeam, Smith, Fisher, King, Spencer etc. Several of the farmers worked the machine during the afternoon, and expressed themselves in very high terms of the manner the corn was reaped, and of the ease with which the machine was worked." // [The "G Mungard" was probably Glover Mungeam, a farmer at Ash. There were two W Cooper farmers at the time, one at Sutton at Hone, the other at Fawkham. Mr Ray was a farmer at Ridley. It is just possible that Mr Smith was the new owner of Fairby. This website quotes a figure of 0.3 acres per day for one person to reap by hand, something this machine achieved in 15 minutes.]
1852, August 03: Farm for Sale at Dean Bottom & Churchdown Wood Kentish Gazette
"Fawkham, Horton Kirby. Desirable freehold estate. Mr Gadsden has received instructions form the mortgagees, under full powers of sale to sell by auction at the Auction Mart on Tuesday, August 31, at 12 in 2 lots. // Lot 1 - All that capital farm, situate in the above parish, and about 5 miles from Dartford, through Grinsted Green [sic], and near Dean Bottom, consisting of 88 acres of fine arable and woodland, also excellent homestead, with barn and buildings and 2 cottages. // Lot 2 - Churchdown Wood, in a thriving state, containing upwards of 12 acres. The property is in the occupation of Mr Andrews, and is in a good state of cultivation...."
1852, August 28: The Dartford Justices West Kent Guardian
(Letter to the Editor) "Sir, I beg to make known, through the medium of your paper, a circumstance which seems to me to be strongly opposed to the principles of our free constitution, namely, secret hearings and disposing of of cases at the Dartford Police Court or Petty Sessions. Some time ago a married man had to appear as a defendant in a bastardy case, and the attorney applied for a private hearing, on the ground that discredit would be thrown on the party accused by the admission of the public. It was immediately granted, and the Court was cleared and closed to prevent intruders. // On saturday, August 21st 1852 - magistrates present Sir Percival Hart Dyke baronet and John Malcolm esq - two prisoners were in court, one on the charge of stealing a quantity of soap, and a second for receiving it, knowing it to have been stolen. An application was made by the attorney for the prosecution for a private hearing, 'as the soap was not found, and publicity might frustrate the ends of justice.' The application was granted immediately without a question, and about 200 persons present turned out of the court, by an imperative order of the justices, many of them being respectable tradesmen of the town, who felt a degree of interest in the matter, in consequence of a private hearing which took place in the court house only 2 days before. // These cases are not at all infrequence at Dartford, and the inhabitants knowing that metropolitan magistrates are averse to privacy, feel astonished at the fact that every application of this kind made by an attorney is granted without question. Perhaps your valuable paper will enlighten us a little of the subject with a few remarks as to the necessity and policy of closing courts, if the administrators of law intend acting justly and delivering righteous judgments. // I am, sir, your obedient servant, Truth." // [It looks like this letter had the desired effect for when the case came up again the following week, the hearing was in public]
1852, August 29: Serious Accident on the North Kent Railway (last night) The Era
"An alarming occurrence took place on the above line last evening. The regular train from Dartford, at 5.38, was very full and continued to increase at every station it stopped at, so that when it entered the Blackheath Tunnel, the load up the incline there was too much for the engine, and the train stopped when about half through, to the consternation and alarm of all, but more especially to the 2nd class passengers, who were jammed together without any lighted lamps. Every precaution was immediately taken by the guards to warn any coming train, and after 20 minutes deliberation, it was agreed to detach part of the carriages, which was no sooner done that all the latter ones rushed down the incline, the others, with the disabled engine, following, the whole train joining again at the entrance to the tunnel with fearful violence, shattering 2 carriages, and severely injuring the passengers, but providentially we believe, no loss of life occurred. One lady the writer saw with her temple cut open by the broken glass from a window of the 2nd class carriage she was in. After some delay, during which the attention of the officials deserves mention, another engine was procured, but, strange as it may appear, the train again stopped at the same place as before in the tunnel, causing still more alarm, but after 10 minutes the engine conquered and arrived safely at London Bridge, over 2 hours over its appointed time. Many labourers were in the train, whose wives and children had been anxiously waiting for them at the station, and their safe arrival caused a scene not easily described or often witnessed. The company should really have more powerful engines, or start less carriages and run more often"
1852, September 18: Sale of Stock at Fairby Farm Times
"Fairby Farm, Hartley, Kent - Valuable Live and Dead Farming Stock, the produce of 45 acres of wheat, 40 acres of oats, 12 acres of pease, 7 acres of tares, all the excellent household furniture, and other effects - by Mr G MANDY, on Thursday, September 23, upon the Premises, Hartley, Kent, by order of the executors of the late Mr Frank Treadwell, deceased. // The live stock comprises 8 young and active draught horses, gray mare and foal, a chestnut colt, by mettle quiet to ride and drive, a 3 year old bay colt (unbroken), a 2 years gray cart colt, and 3 yearling colts, 5 good milch cows in calf, fat calf, a handsome pony and donkey, 8 fat sheep, sow in pig, and a large quantity of poultry. The dead stock consists of 2 very strong waggons, timber carriage, light bavin carriage, 3 dung carts, 2 light chaise carts, pony cart and harness, turn-rise and other ploughs, ox and small harrows, capital iron land rollers, hop nidgots? bean and pea brakes, cleaning machines, sheep troughs and coops, quantity of hurdle gates, chain, quoller? and plough harness. A large quantity of seasoned oak and beech timber, felloes? naves and sundry useful wheeler's stuff, 850 16 foot hop poles, quantity of bavins and scares. All the useful household furniture, plate, linen, glass, china etc, and numerous miscellaneous effects. The whole will be inserted in catalogues, which may be obtained one week previously to the sale at the inns in the neighbourhood; at Messrs Dray & Co's agricultural implement depot, Old Swan-Lane, Upper Thames Street; at Jewell's city luncheon rooms, 51 Gracechurch Street, London; at the place of sale; and of the auctioneer and estate agent, Farningham. The auctioneer begs most respectfully to call the attention of his friends and the public generally to this sale, as the horses were bred upon the premises. The sale to commence at 12 o'clock punctually, on account of the number of lots. // New House Farm, Ash and Hartley, Kent - Valuable Live and Dead Farming Stock and other effects - by Mr G MANDY, upon the premises, New House Farm, Ash and Hartley, Kent by order of the executors of the late Mr William Treadwell, deceased, on Friday, September 24; Comprising 6 young and active draught horses, 3 excellent milch cows in calf, a handsome 2 year old Durham bull, a strong waggon, bavin carriage, 2 good dung carts, turnrise ploughs, ox and small harrows, scarifier? chain, quoller, and plough harnesses, cleaning machine, ladders, cow cribs, quantity of hurdle gates, bavins and scares, and other effects. The whole will be inserted in catalogues, which may be obtained one week previously to the sale at the inns in the neighbourhood; at Messrs Dray & Co's agricultural implement depot, Old Swan-Lane, Upper Thames Street; at Jewell's city luncheon rooms, 51 Gracechurch Street, London; at the place of sale; and of the auctioneer and estate agent, Farningham." // [This is an advert from the Times of 18 September 1852. It lists the stock from Fairby Farm, Ash Road and New House Farm, Church Road (where New Ash Green is now). Fairby is particularly detailed and shows a farm mainly devoted to arable crops, which was commonplace then. But later the effect of the repeal of the corn laws and agricultural depression would alter the balance between arable and pasture.]
1852, October 02: National Freehold Land Society Kentish Mercury
"The second meeting of this society was held on Friday evening, at the institution, Dartford, when the chair was taken by F Rowton esq, one of the directors, who addressed the meeting upon the objects of the society, and entered into several details of its management and working. 86 shares were taken, and £870 paid up in the room, evidencing that the society has already gained confidence in Dartford. Mr W T Bray of Dartford was unanimously elected by the members, as their agent for this district, of whom may be had the prospectus and rules of the society; as also lithographic plans of the estate recently purchased by the society in Dartford, and which is now ready for distribution among its members. Members paying up their shares have an immediate right to choose from this estate a plot of land, which is indeed the only eligible site in Dartford for building purposes." // [The Conservatives were not slow to respond when they saw these societies boosting the Liberal vote. The Kentish Gazette 14.12.1852 has a long report of the Conservative Land Society Meeting at Gravesend. They planned to buy land in marginal seats of Middlesex and Surrey for their members. The report claimed controversy in the National Freehold Society purchase at Dartford. They had bought 10 acres of land for £3,000 but charged £5,000 after administrative expenses]
1852, October 12: Darenth Vale Railway Company South Eastern Gazette
"A meeting was held at the Lion Inn, Farningham on Wednesday last, with a view to ascertain the policy of establishing a railway communication between Dartford and Sevenoaks. In the absence of Lord Holmesdale, who was expected to preside, James Bramwell esq, Abbey Wood, occpupied the chair. The chairman introduced the business of the meeting by pointing out the advantages which must necessarily follow the introduction of a railway into the locality. // Mr Taylor having read the prospectus calling the meeting gave an explanatory statement of all the matters relevant to the undertaking - speaking very highly of the success that had attended him hitherto in his enquiries and measurements, and alos of the valuable support he had received from Mr Creasy and Mr Dray. He was quite unpropared for the strong feeling and eager support he had everywhere found in favour of the undertaking; but that was a matter attributable to the fact, that in his experience in such matters, he had never met with a branch railway of the same length that possessed so many advantages as the one now before them (hear, hear). The whole level of line contained no material obstruction. There was a trifling tunnel at the Powder Mills to obviate any fancied danger, and one also under the high road. Every mill along the line was to have its own siding, making it almost as valuable to the mill owners as if it were a private concern; and the line of rail could be so arranged as not to interfere with any valuable property. Since the meeting has been called, he had been accidently informed that a difficulty had arisen in that portion of the projected railroad from Farningham to Sevenoaks - one or two gentlemen not caring to have their property improved (hear, hear). To Farninham however (decidedly the most profitable portion of the project), there were no difficulties whatever; nor was it at all interfering with the ornamental property. The several parishes (continued Mr Taylor) through which it is proposed that this railway should pass, as scattered on each side of the river, contain a population of more than 15,000 persons, chiefly employed in the cultivation of upwards of 50 square miles of highly productive land, or in the paper and other manufactures, comprising 4 mills capable of grinding 60,000 quarters of wheat, which is far below the average production of the district. The rateable value of hte several parishes through which the line proposed is to be made is more than £60,000 per annum, and the productive value of the soil more than 6 times that amount. The paper manufactures are of considerable magnitude and power, and the expenditure for the carriage of the raw and manufactured goods is so considerable, that it is supposed that a single line of rail, laid down for their use alone, would have produced great saving in the item of carriage of goods and particuarly coals, one manufacturer alone burning 6 tons or more daily. The district on each side of the Darenth river is highly cultivated, and more than 20,000 sheep are annually sent fat to market; 1,000 tons of hops may be fairly considered as the production of the several parishes this year. The woods supply an abundance of fine oak timber, which would form an important article of transport, if facilities were afforded to the growers. Hoops, rods, poles and other articles of the kind, are sent by a long land carriage to be shipped from Dartford to the metropolis. Dartford is the market town of the entire valley, and having a navigable river entering the river Thames, for vessels of considerable burthen, the tonnage of which is little short of 100,000 tons per annum, there is every facility for the embarking of produce destined for the London markets, at a very moderate charge, and hitherto a good road on each side of the river has been the means of conveying the various productions to their destinations, which the propsed rail is to economise. When it is stated that more than 100 teams of horses are daily used to convey away the produce of the soil, and what is necessary for the manufacturers and consumers in the valley, is their respective destinations, at an expense of at least £500 per week, it may reasonably be supposed that a railway would be considered a boon to all. Independently of the goods traffic, it would be a convenience to the inhabitants to have the means of travelling from one station to another and to reach the metropolis in a shorter time than they can now do. The townspeople of Sevenoaks, by way of Dartford, might be conveyed to London within the hour, and such facilities affoded, that there is no doubt all the land situated along the valley would bear an increased value, and much would be sought after for the purpose of constructing villas etc etc, teh country being not only beautiful but healthy. Farnngham, stationed as it is in the midst of a rich agricultural district, with its increasing business as a market town, if assisted by railway communication ,w ill become a very important depot for the purchase of agricultural requirements, as manure, oilcake, seed, corn etc, and also for the sale of stock and produce of every kind. Coals delivered at Farningham by rail, will have their price very little enhanced by the transport; as the distance is no more from Sevenoaks than 8 miles, it would become an easy and convenient place to supply them to that district. Mr Taylor's statistics gave evident satisfaction, illustrated as they were by a very large coloured map, with copious references. // Mr Dunkin observed that he was glad to find that the meeting was so unanimous on the subject of carrying the line to Farningham. Mr Jenkinson was of opinion tha the best course to adopt would be, at present, to carry the rail from Dartford to Farningham only. The would be doing their part of the work, and would not interfere with the people of Seveonaks, who, seeing the line established so far and prosperously working, would no doubt, in their own good time, continue the line. He had every confidence in their proceedings being eminently successful. He concluded by proposing a resolution, which will be found in our advertising columns. Mr G Mandy seconded the resolution. He was glad to comprehend the original scheme, as it gave an opportunity for the townsfolk of Sevenoaks to give their views on the subject. He did not contemplate much opposition. He was satisfied that no reasonable man would stand in the way of such a veast improvement (cheers). The resolution was carried unanimously....." // The Darenth Vale Railway (Maidstone Journal 23.11.1852) // (From a Correspondent) "This is a project calculated to materially benefit the inhabitants of this beautiful and sequestered district. Besides uniting the town of Sevenoaks with Dartford and the metropolis, it promises to be the means of cheapening the carriage of coals, and goods of all description to the inhabitants of the villages along the line of the River Darenth ][sic], nearly its whole course; at present the turnpike road offers the only means of communication to the several corn and paper mills, which are situated on the stream, and at least 20,000 inhabitants receive their fuel by this means, at a cost of 2 shillilngs a ton per mile - thus enhancing on an average of the consumption of coal at least one half more than its actual cost at Strood. Corn is another commodity, the price of which is materially increased by its transport, and when such a quantity as 60,000 quarters of wheat are annually ground at the various mills, a saving of six pence per quarter on the transport of corn and flour is a great consideration; for the one must be taken to be ground, and tother, after its manufacture, has to be carried to the consumer, thus constituting a double charge. // So it is with the paper manufacture, which is carried on to a vast extent, in the heart of this lovely valley; some of the manufactures making as much as from 20 to 30 tons per week; and sonuming 6 tons of coals per day, for their establishments. The raw material as well as the perfect paper has to be brough from and carried to London, in the same manner as much of the wheat and the flour which is made from it. // To anyone acquainted with the valley of the Darenth, and who has witnessed the slow progress made by heavy teams of 4 horses, which he encounters hourly on the turnpike road, drawing each 4 or 5 tons of rags, paper, corn or flour, must naturally be astonished aht no better system, or one fraught with more economy, has not been substituted....." Outlines route of railway Dartford to Hawley, then a little beyond to Mr Wiggin's Paper Mills, then follows valley to South Darenth taking in Mr Saunder's Paper Mill and Mr Hall's papser mills at South Darenth, before proceeding to Farningham. Writer thinks passenger traffic will be higher than the low population might suggest as a lot of people, especially women, commute on foot from Dartford to work in the mills. He also thinks that reducing the cost of transporting manure will enable farmers to use more and bring more land into cultivation. Elsewhere he estimates the cost of taking corn to a mill to be 2 shillings per quarter. Concludes by saying "Let us then hope that the promoters of this very necessary and useful project may meet with every encouragement from those whom it is intended to benefit, and that the inhabitants of Dartford will see the necessity of throwing out communications in every direction to maintain, increase and prosper the trade which was once the peculiar boast of that town; formerly upwards of 1,000 horses were fed there, which were employed solely in the transporting passengers and goodds; these have now no occupation, and it behoves every well wisher of that place to do all he can to keep within its grasp the little trade which remains."[Kentish Independent 30.10.1852 reported a canvas of Dartford Shopkeepers was 43-9 in favour of the new line. The bill to run the line to Farningham received royal assent and Herapath's Railway Journal of 27.8.1853 carried an advert for the sale of 10,000 x£5 shares in the company. It said stations were planned at Dartford, Hawley, Darenth, South Darenth, Horton Kirby and Farningham. Freight traffic was said to be (Up) Corn, Coals, Rags, Chemicals, for the manufactories, manure, guano and oil cake; (Down) Corn, seeds, flour, malt, hops, timber, stone, manufactured paper, stock etc]
1852, November 06: Dartford Infirmary Kentish Mercury
"Last week a very remarkable case was brought into the infirmary of Dartford Union from Longfield, viz a man who, it was said, had gone a full fortnight previously to Gravesend for some medical advice, and, instead of returning home, had wandered about the fields and lanes for that length of time subsisting upon wild berries and turnips, and lying at night under the hedges. From constant exposure and privation, mortification had seized his feet and reached his ankles. He now lies in a very precarious state, but it is thought his life may be saved by amputation of the feet."
1852, November 06: The Underground Electric Telegraph The Sun
"On Monday the operation of laying down the wires of the underground electric telegraph between Dover and the metropolis was completed, and a junction having been effected with the submarine cable, a direct communication was at once established between the offices of the European and Submarine Printing Telegraph Company in Cornhill and Paris. The new line of telegraph follows the route of the old Dover Coach road, passing through the several towns of Dartford, Gravesend, Rochester, Sittingbourne and Canterbury, and has been laid down by Messrs Frend and Hamill of Bedford Row. The works have been rapidly done in defiance both of unfavourable weather and of direct opposition, and it is a matter of congratulation to all whose business or pleasure renders frequent communication with the continent requisite or desirable, that there need not now be any delay in the transmission of messages between the two countries. Whether there will be or not, of if the facilities will be developed as they should be, we have yet to see. Before the completion of this line all continental messages from London were conveyed by means of the South Eastern Railway Company's telegraph to Dover, where a break occurred, owing to the absence of a direct telegraphic communication between the station and the office of the submarine company. It was partly to avoid this interruption, but mainly to save a very heavy rental paid to the South Eastern Company for the privilege of using their telegraph, that the construction of the underground telegraph was resolved upon. The pecuniary loss involved led the South Eastern directors to resist, even by force, in defiance of an Act of Parliament the transit of the telegraph under their railway. This happened at Canterbury, and was carried so far that Mr Frend, the contractor, was actually given into custody by the railway officials, and taken before the Mayor and magistrates, by whom he was, of course, at once discharged." (from The Builder)
1852, November 27: The Dartford Union - Serious Charge against the Officers West Kent Guardian
"On Tuesday evening, at the weekly meeting of the board of guardians of the parish of St George the Martyr, Southwark, the case of Eliza Hayes, was again brought forward. It will be remembered that on the evening of Tuesday, the 5th instant, this woman applied for relief at St George's workhouse, stating she had that morning been delivered of a child in a barn near Dartford; that she had asked to be taken in at the Dartford Union, and that being refused relief there she had walked up the entire distance to London, without having received any medical assistance whatever. // Mr Stevens, the chairman of the board, said that since they had last met he had communicated the facts of the case to the guardians of the Dartford union, and had received a reply from them to the effect that they had caused inquiries to be made, and as far as they could ascertain no such application had been made at the Dartford Union House on the morning in question, and therefore either the woman had mistaken the house, or there was no foundation for her story. Under these circumstances perhaps the best course the board could pursue was to collect all the information they could on the subject and consider what was then to be done. // Eliza Hayes was then called in, and in answer to questions from the chairman and others, stated that she was an Irishwoman, and was 25 years of age. Was married about 6 years ago, in the county Mayo, but had not her marriage lines in her possession. Her husband died in June last, having been killed on the railway works at Abergavenny. He was an Irishman. Had had one child before the one now in her arms, but it was dead. During the month before her confinement, she had got her living by hopping on the grounds of Mr Cogan (as we understood) about 3 miles from Maidstone. After leaving hopping she was backwards and forwards, trying to get something to do. First went up to London, then to Chatham and Gravesend, and was on her way back again to London when she was taken ill. Was going from Gravesend to Dartford, and on the road she met with a woman, and asked her if she could get into Dartford Union for a night's lodging. The woman told her she could not without an order from the relieving officer, but she did not know where he lived. She then told her there was a barn lower down the road where she might get in and get a night's lodging, and she went there, and it was there she was taken ill. The child she had now in her arms was born about 2 o'clock in the morning. There was no-one with her, and no-one came to her until the morning, when a man came in and told her she must be off. She told him she had been confined in the night, but she did not know whether he understood her. He did not attempt to turn her out. Did not ask him for any assistance, or to give her some water, or anything. She left the barn about 6 o'clock, and it was about 7 when she reached the Dartford union. When she got there she rang the bell at the gate, and a man came out dressed in the workhouse clothes. She told him that she was after being confined in a barn, about 2 miles from the house, and that she wanted to get in. He answered that she could not get in there, as they did not take in any strangers. She showed him the child. He was a middle aged man. She did not think it was after 7, but before 7. It had not struck 7 when she rang the bell. She was quite satisfied it was the Dartford Union; when she was going down hopping she called there for relief, and did not get it. She then proceeded to London, and going along the way she fell in with a woman on the road. Felt very weak by that time, and told the woman her case, showing her the child, at which she was very much surprised. Had not applied at any house along the way, and they went along till they came to a little town, Welling, where she said she would beg a little bread, as she was a stranger. The woman told her she had some bread and a pint of beer. She said to the man who was waiting at the public house, an old an, 'Here is a poor woman been confined in a barn last night; she called at the Dartford Union and could not get in' she has the baby in her arms, and it is not washed or dressed.' He looked at it, and seemed much surprised, and went upstairs, and brought down an old shirt to put on it. It was raining all the way to London. They came up Kent Street [Old Kent Road] and this woman directed her to St George's workhouse. It was about 6 o'clock at night when she got there. This was the same day she was confined. They received her kindly at the workhouse without hesitation, when she told them the circumstances of the case, and they behaved very kindly to her. Walked up from Abergavenny to London, and had about half a sovereign when she started. Had only 8s 6d to take when she had done hopping, and laid it out in a little shawl and a gown to wear. // After some further unimportant questions, Mrs Hayes was directed to retire. She appeared to be strongly built woman, and, it was stated, had entirely recovered from the effects of her untimely exposure to wet and fatigue. The child also seemed strong and healthy. // The Chairman said that, in consequence of the letter from the guardians of the Dartford Union, impugning the correctness of the woman's statement, he had instructed the master to take her down to Dartford, and make her point out the places on the road where she stopped, and the barn in which she had alleged she had been confined; also, if possible, to find out the man who had told her to leave the barn, and take other steps to ascertain the accuracy of her story. The master had done so, and he should now read his report, which was as follows: // 'Sir - You directed me to ascertain if the statement made by Eliza Hayes was correct, as to her having been confined 2 miles from Dartford, on the morning of the 2nd November, and her having been seen in the road leading from thence, about 10 miles from London. I, with the woman, went on Friday last along the road leading to Dartford; and at Welling, situate 10 miles from London, she pointed out a house (the Guy, Earl of Warwick) where she had stated a poor woman had overtaken her about this side of Dartford, had taken her in, and had given her some bread and meat and part of a pint of beer; and also that the ostler ther ehad given her some bread and cheese and an old shirt to put round the infant, it being at that time quite naked, his attention being called to it by the woman who was with her. The man, John Harding, on seeing her, said she was the woman who was there a short time since with a baby. He stated that two woman came there, he was almost certain on Tuesday the 2nd of November, before 12 o'clock, the woman with an infant in her arms quite naked, drenched to the skin. He saw the child, and she then stated to him, that she had been delivered that morning about 2 miles of the other side of Dartford, and that she had applied to the Dartford Union workhouse to be taken in, and had been refused. Her statement respecting the bread and cheese , and shirt was quite right. I then went with her to show me where the child was born, and upon passing the Dartford workhouse she stated that to be the place she had applied for admission. About a quarter of a mile the other side of Dartford she directed me to turn down a lane on the right hand, and about a mile and a half down the lane on the right hand side she pointed to a cart shed, next to a barn, where she said she was delivered. The farm belonged to Mr John Sears, and is in the parish of Darent [sic]. I saw Mr Sears, who stated he had heard nothing about the case, he only came there on Monday the 1st November. Wishing to find the man who told her to get up and go from the shed, he directed me to the barns, to see if she knew the man again, and upon her description of him the men there stated that it must be Bird, who acted as a bailiff, and who was at harrow in a field about three-quarters of a mile away. I went with her to the field; there were 4 teams at work, and she told me she though that the second man was the same that told her to go. Upon his coming up, I asked for Bird, when he answered to that name. He said he did not recollect the woman, as there were always persons sleeping there, and his master, Mr Parkhouse, who rode up at the time, told me he always directed his men to turn them out when they saw any there. I then went to Mr Richard Hoard, the registrar, to register the child, who after asking her several questions, declined for the present to do so, but admitted she had given a correct description of Bird. The registrar went back with us, and saw the place, and said if he was satisfied he would come up to London and register the child. He is relieving officer as well as registrar. I then asked her where she slept on the Sunday night. She answered, 'At Gravesend Workhouse, and on Saturday night at Chatham workhouse.' She said, the reason she did not apply at the Dartford Union, was, that they were obliged to obtain an order from some person whom she did not know where to find, and having been told of these sheds, she had gone there, as she did not expect to be confined so soon. Agreeable to your directions, on Saturday afternoon, I and and woman went to the Chatham workhouse. The porter, William Hopkins, recollected the woman sleeping there on the Saturday night, and leaving on the Sunday morning, as she had stated. They enter upon a slate the names as they are taken in, and those only who are taken in and ordered to have bread, are put in the book; the total of persons are taken, and the names are then rubbed off. I asked her if the porter at the Gravesend house would recognise her. She said yes, as he had stated to her she was a good girl for picking her oakum so fast and so well, and gave her an extra piece of bread in consequence. I went to the station house, where she said she had got a ticket to go to the workhouse, and on inquiry there, I found they did not take their names, but gave them a ticket. I went to the workhouse with the woman, and saw Mr Dewdney, the master, who upon looking over the book could not find the name of Eliza Hayes entered at that time, but found it some time in August. The porter, on being called, recognise her as being there about 3 week's since, and such remarks being made at the time. The matron also remembered the porter telling her of having taken in a woman, who was heavy in the family way, and the master also told me he recollected the porter making a remark to him about a woman having picked her allowance of oakum, viz one pound, exceedingly quickd. The woman's ticket for that date could not be found, though several others were, and the master could not account for the name not being entered in the book. He thought the woman was right in her statement about being there. The porter's name is Leake.' // The case being in the hands of the board, and it was now for them to take any further steps in the matter. Mr Martin thought the statement they had just heard should be sent to the Board of Guardians of the Dartford Union. They appeared to have been led astray in the matter, and if that evidence was sent to them, perhaps they would order a fresh inquiry. Mr Moorcroft thought no good could be got from referring the case back to the Dartford Union, and moved that the evidence and report be sent to the Poor Law Board for their consideration. Mr Pratt thought that something should be done to guard against any similar occurrance for the future, and suggested that a copy of the report be sent to the Dartford Union, as well as to the poor Law Commissioners. Mr Jones was in favour of such a course, and moved an amendment to that effect. He confessed that, for his own part, it seemed very strange, that the woman should have come straight up to St George's Workhouse from Dartford, when she had to pass Greenwich and Deptfor Workhouses on her road. He should like to have that matter cleared up. // The chairmand said that the woman who accompanied Mrs Hayes to London was in attendance, and perhaps it would be desirable to take her evidence. Mry Pritchard was then called in, and examined - She stated that about 3 weeks ago she was coming along the Dartford Road, towards London, and near Welling she overtook a woman carrying a child, who told her she had been confined that morning by herself. Had had children herself, and could tell from what she saw that that one had been recently delivered. It had nothing on. She took her into a public house at Welling, and gave her some beer, bread and meat. Had 4 ribs of mutton, and gave the woman 2 of them. The ostler at the public house gave her an old shirt for the child, and she warmed it, and put it round the child. They came right to London from Welling, and only stopped once at a public house, where she had a glass of gin, but the woman would not have any, nor any more beer, so she gave her a penny which was all she had left. The woman had nothing more to drink or to eat after they left Welling. Towards the latter part, she seemed very weak, but still walked on. She told her to go to St George's Workhouse as being the nearest place. They came across Blackheath and down the Kent Road, through Deptford. Did not know anything about Deptford Workhouse. They went to the station house at Deptford, and the policeman there told them they had better get an order. She told him what state the woman was in, and he said he could do nothing for her; she ought to get an order at the workhouse. It was then pouring with rain. The child had nothing on but the shirt that had been given them, and a sort of workhouse bedrug which the mother had wrapped round her shoulders. He told her if she went ot St George's workhouse it was ten chances to one but they would be taken in, such a case as hers was. Told no-one along the road except the man at the public house at welling, who gave her the shirt, and the policeman at Deptford, who said she ought to get an order, but she did not know where the Deptford Workhouse was or who to apply to. // The chairman said he was happy to find from all the statements that the officers of St George's had behaved with the utmost propriety and kindness. The question now before the Board was whether the matter should be at once referred to the Poor Law Commissioners, or whether the Guardians of the Dartford Union should previously be again communicated with. On the show of hands Mr Moorcroft's resolution was carried, and it was accordingly ordered that the report and evidence should be laid before the Poor Law Commissioners. Subsequently it was agreed that copies should be sent to the Board of Guardians of the Dartford Union." // [John Harding was aged 67 and worked as an ostler at Welling. Francis Birch was 65 and lived at Gore Cottage, so Eliza appears to have walked along the Green Street Green Road. It is uncertain from this article where the birth was registered, it is possible that the child is Jane Hayes, registered in 1852 Q4 at Dartford]
1852, December 04: Dartford - Inundation Dover Chronicle
"In consequence of the heavy rains of Friday, the High Street of Dartford became on Saturday night, near the Church, inundated to a considerable extent. The works now in progress connected with the sewerage of the town, have suffered some little damage as well as delay to their construction."
1853, January 14: Singular Discovery The Sun
"The following are details from a Maidstone paper, of a circumstance which was lately mentioned as having occurred. 'On Saturday, as Mr Garnell's assistant and a lad were removing some boxes into a loft at the back of his premises, from a house on the opposite side of the street at Dartford, the boy said to the assistant that there was a coffin in one of them. The boy said he peeped into the box as they were getting down the stairs, and saw something just like a coffin. Nothing more was thought of it till, in turning the box, the lid was broken, and the boy's assertion was found to be true, and that, in addition to candles, there was indeed a small coffin. Upon further examination it was discovered that, inside the wooden coffin was one of lead. The other boxes were doomed for inspection, an done of them was found to contain a larger coffin 4 feet in length with a plate and inscription. Information was given to the police, and from inquiries instituted by them, the following results have been obtained. About 8 years ago, these boxes were left with Mr Hammond, grocer, by a lady who was leaving the neighbourhood, and did not wish to take them with her; since then the lady has died, and the boxes remained in statu quo until last week, when they were removed. The bodies contained in the coffins were daughters of this lady, the one dying about 1 year of age and the other 4 years. If the latter had lived till this time she would have been 34 years old. The lady, whose children they were, used to have them carried about with her from place to place, and once had them interred at Hampstead, and afterwards exhumed. The surviving children say they knew the children had died, and were buried, but did not know they were exhumed and kept in their parent's house. We learn from another account that a Mrs King, who resided some years since between Crayford and Dartford at Bowman's Lodge, dealt with a grocer of the name of Hammond in Dartford. When leaving the neighbourhood she deposited with this tradesman a heavy box. The death of Mr Hammond, the departure of his family from Dartford, and a consequent sale, combined with other circumstances, led to the examination of this box, and in it was discovered the bodies of two children. An old proverb exists in Dartford that 'no law was ever long enough to reach to Dartford', and in this case the proverb has not been refuted, for in every other town in the kingdom the coroner would have sat and a jury been empannelled. In Dartford, however, the authorities do things quickly, and the bodies were buried, it is believed, Wednesday evening last, without any other question than an incentive to the magistrates, and a question or two by the police.'" // [The likeliest burials at Holy Trinity Church were Kate King, aged 4 years 6 months and Frederick King, infant, buried 4.5.1853, which suggests some errors in the paper's account]
1853, February 15: Dartford: Female Moral Reform South Eastern Gazette
"A very interesting lecture was delivered by Mr J Harding, a deputation from the society in London, at Mr Munn's schoolroom, on Tuesday evening last. The Rev C Gilmor was in the chair. The lecturer explained the object of the society, embracing the suppression of vice and immorality, as well as obtaining greater legal protection for the youthful and virtuous of our land, and for the punishment of all persons trading in vice. He gave some very interesting details and statistics connected with the society; not such as to gratify a morbid mind, or to raise a blush upon the most modest cheek, but calculated to procure a sympathy in the minds of all who listened to him, as well as an utter abhorrence of all those monsters, who are striving to obtain victims for the slaves of man's grossest passions. The lecturer was listened to chiefly by young females, none of the young men of Dartford attending, which the worthy lecuturer commented upon, and observed that he was generally listened to by crowded audiences. He said he would not visit Dartford again unless they could secure him a better attendance that there was there that night, as he had the whole world to combat with...."
1853, April 19: Man Shot at Fairby Farm South Eastern Gazette
"Hartley - Serious Affair - A Man Shot. // On Thursday last, between 1 and 2 o'clock in the morning, Mr Treadwell, the occupier of a farm at Hartley, was awoke by hearing, as he imagined, someone trying to get into the house, and as there had been very recently a burglary committed in the immediate neighbourhood, he became alarmed, and on looking out of his bedroom window he saw three men in his garden. He called out to them from the window, and immediately went and aroused two of his men who were sleeping in his house, got his gun, and proceeded to the front door. As soon as the door was open, he saw a man standing near the gate, and instantly discharged his gun, without taking aim, the contents of which the man received, it appears, just below the left breast. The unfortunate man, whose name is John Young, and who resides at Meopham, then went towards Mr Treadwell, and said they were sparrow catching, and 2 others immediately came up, both young men residing also a Meopham, named Thomas Goodwin and ____ Crowhurst, and alleged the same thing, that they were only sparrow catching. Two bags were also lying on the lawn at the time, and near a yew tree, in which Mr Treadwell's fowls roosted every night. No sparrow nets, however, appear to have been seen by Mr Treadwell. Young appears to have been seriously wounded, and Mr Treadwell sent him home in a cart with one of his men, his other two companions accompanying them. Medical assistance was immediately procured, and grave doubts are entertained of Young's ultimate recovery. Mr Treadwell obtained a warrant the same day for the apprehension of Goodwin and Crowhurst, and Superintending Constable Brandon apprehended the two young men at Meopham on the same evening and the following day they were taken to the magistrates' clerk's office at Dartford, and underwent examination before T H Fleet esq, who remanded them till the following day (being the regular bench day), when they underwent a further examination, and were again remanded. // A warrant appears also to have been obtained against Mr Treadwell, for shooting at Young, and was placed in the hands of the Meopham constable; the hearing of that charge likewise stands over till Saturday next. The whole matter at present is involved in mystery. Mr Treadwell is positive he heard some one trying to get into his house, although there are no apparent traces of it, and it certainly appears rather an unusual thing for 3 young men to be seen miles away from home, at 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning, sparrow catching, and especially in a parish where a burglary had been recently committed. If, however, such should turn out ultimately to be the case, it is a most unfortunate thing that they were not more prudent, and it will still be more lamentable if the young man should lose his life in consequence. In the present stage of the proceedings it assumes a serious aspect with all the parties concerned in the matter. // Bail was taken for their appearence on Saturday next by which time it is to be hoped the truth will be ascertained."
1853, April 23: Fairby Shooting: More Details Canterbury Journal
"A Man Shot - A serious accident occurred at Fairby Farm, on Thursday morning, through the very reprehensible custom of people going about catching sparrows at unseasonable hours. On Thursday morning about 2 o'clock, Mr J Treadwell was aroused by his wife, who felt sure that some burglars were in the house. In opening the window he broke a pane of glass, and on looking out saw some men run away, and saw something under the chamber window, which looked as if it had been thrown from the parlour window. He immediately called his waggoner, who opened the door while his master held a gun, and as soon as the door was opened he caught the glimpse of a man under a tree, and fired. The man's companions called to know if he was shot, and he replied he was. Mr Treadwell, still thinking there were burglars cautioned them not to coe back, as he had another barrel. They then said they were catching sparrows, and hearing the window broken thought a gun was being thrust through, and ran away, leaving their bags, which their unfortunate companion was returning for." // [This extract contains a few more details, apparently from Mr Treadwell or his supporters.]
1853, May 03: Sale of Billet Farm, Ash Maidstone Journal
"Valuable and Desirable freehold estate for investment or occupation. To be sold by auction by Mr G Mandy on Thursday May 19th 1853 at 2 o'clock, at the Auction Mart, London. // Comprising a very compact farm of 24 acres of highly productive hop, arable, meadow and woodland, in the highest possible state of cultivation. Also a very substantially erected genteel residence, recently built, regardless of expense, and replete with every convenience. Together with 5 cottages let to good weekly tenants. Also a recently built oast house, with farm yards, stables, barn and lodges. // The valuable estate, known as the 'Billet Farm' in the parishes of Ash and Fawkham, about 4 miles from Farningham, the intended 'Darenth Valley Railway', 5 miles from Dartford, 6 from Gravesend, forms a favourite meet of the west Kent Fox Hounds. It is of the estimated value of £85 per annum...."
1853, May 14: Fairby Shooting and Burglary at Woodins West Kent Guardian
"We are happy to learn that the young man who was unfortunately shot a few weeks back is fast recovering. Much discussion has taken place, at Hartley and Meopham respecting the occurrance. The following, however, appears to be an unprejudiced view of the case: Mr Young, the unfortunate man was a gamekeeper, and a good shot. A sparrow shooting match had been made, and Young and others were trying to get the birds. The practice of destroying sparrows is encouraged by most farmers, but it is seldom attempted at a house after 10 o'clock wihtout arousing the occupiers, and asking that permission which is invariably given. But in this instane the sparrow-catchers left their own neighbourhood and came to Hartley, where they were entire strangers. On that and on a previous night some damage was done to windows and tiles of houses, and many people at lone houses had been much alarmed. About three weeks before a lone farm house in the parish of Hartley was robbed. The inmates consisted of an old lady and gentleman, very helpless, a son about 50 and a neice. The son had been tending a sick cow till 12 o'clock and was scarcely in bed, when the door was tried by some parties, and on the son looking out a stone was thrown at him, which he avoided. He went downstairs and told them if they came in at the window they were attempting, he would knock them down. They then burst the door in bodily, and he escaped upstairs. 4 men then entered the house with blackened faces, burst the stairfoot door open, and proceeded to the old man's room, armed with a gun and 2 hatchets. They threatened to dash the old man's brains out if he did not tell them where his money was. He would not. They then put the candle under the bed and threatened to burn him and his house. Still he would not tell them. The niece, faring for the safety of the old couple came into their room and gave them a purse. They then told them they kept 2 purses and demanded the other. This she was obliged to give up and the two purses containing £12. After ransacking every drawer, they returned downstairs and regaled themselves plentifully, leaving the house about 3 and 4, taking with them some hams; and although an experienced officer is convinced there were 7 in the gang, no clue has yet been obtained by which any of them may be detected. // Now, about 3 weeks after, between 1 and 2 o'clock, a neighbouring farmer is aroused by his wife. His first thought is of his neighbour's robbery - next his gun was downstairs. He sprang from bed, and in opening a window broke a pane of glass. He then called out "Who are you, and what do you want?" No answer was given to this, but 3 men ran away, and one falling over a box hedge called out, "Don't shoot." This was the only word the farmer or his men heard. On looking from the chamber window he saw some parcels under the parlour window, which he concluded were his property. Afraid to go downstairs and up the men's stairs to call them, he opened an old door, and had his two men through the room his wife was lying in, and down the front stairs. His men were now afraid to open the door, but he told one to hold the light, and the other to open the door while he held his gun. Immediately on opening the door he saw the glimpse of a man advancing towards him, although ten minutes before he had seen them all run away. He fired - the man fell, calling out, "You should not have shot, we were only sparrow-catching." These were the first words the men heard after they had joined their master. The people of Ash and Hartley almost unanimously acquit the farmer of all blame."
1853, May 14: Strike Amongst Brickmakers Kentish Independent
"William Alchin, a moulder and George Holman, a temperer, in the employ of Messrs Heron and Rutter, were brought before J Malcolm esq and other Magistrates on Saturday, charged with a breach of contract - Mr Gibson attended to support the charge. The two men, it appeared, had signed with others, a written contract to work for Messrs Heron and Rutter, in the making of bricks at 3s 8d per 1,000 but had struck work, insisting upon payment of 4 shillings per 1,000 urging as a reason the rise in the price of bricks. The whole of the men in the employ of Messrs Heron and Rutter ,at their extensive works at Crayford, have struck work for the same reason, during the past week, between 100 and 150 were in the justice room. The written contract having been put in and proved, the bench sentenced Alchin to 1 month's imprisonment, and Holman to 3 weeks' which it is to be hoped will act as an inducement for others to return to their work." // [Another case to show how the law at the time favoured the propertied classes, by bringing the force of the criminal law to bear on something which is obviously a civil matter.]
1853, May 21: Confirmation by the Archbishop of Canterbury Bell's Weekly Messenger
"On Wednesday morning his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury confirmed a large number of young persons at the parish church of Dartford, Kent. After the ceremony was concluded, his lordship proceeded to Farningham, and in the afternoon confirmed a very large number."
1853, May 24: Fairby Shooting: Defendants Acquitted South Eastern Gazette
"Dartford Petty Sessions before Sir PH Dyke bart, F Dashwood esq and the Rev G E Murray. // The Shooting Case at Hartley - William Crowhurst, Thomas Goodwin and John Young, the three young men who stood remanded upon a charge of an attempt at housebreaking at Hartley, on Thursday, the 14th April last, attended on their recognizances. The latter it will be remembered, was the young man who was shot, but had recovered from the wound. The defence on that last occasion was that they were sparrow catching, although it was 2 o'clock in the morning. The nature of the evidence tending to show that such was in all probability the case, they were discharged, after a caution from the chairman, on their entering into their own recognizance in £20 each to appear when called upon."
1853, June 18: Dartford Water Supply Kentish Mercury
"The works for the water supply of the town have been commened during the past week. The contractor for the reservoir, Mr Jarvis Beard, has commenced the works under his contract. The site for the reservoir is on the Brent. It is to be capable of holding a daily supply of 160,000 gallons, which will be a very ample supply. The water will be supplied by an artesian well. The dead lift will be 120 feet, thus affording a high service pressure, sufficient to reach the top of any house in the town, in case of fire. Fire plugs are to be fixed in various parts of the town, which can be used at a moment's notice, in case of emergency. The site for the well and engine house has not yet been determined upon." // [There are a number of articles around this time on the subject. Drains were also being installed. A keenly fought election for the board in 1853 led to the improvers winning over those who complained about the cost.]
1853, June 21: Woodins for Sale South Eastern Gazette
"Kent: Freehold first class landed investments in the parishes of Erith, Bexley and Hartley. Mr H Morris has received instructions from the trustees for sale of the estates of the late James Page esq., to sell by auction at the Mart, London, toward the end of July next in 5 lots (unless acceptable offers are previously made by private contract). // [Beadonwell Farm (155a), Erith and Bexley] // [Tile Barn Farm (11a) at Beadonwell and Tithe Rentcharge on 365 acres of land at Erith] // [Two inclosures of marsh grazing land (36a) near Abbey Wood station] // [Picardy Garden (2a) at Belvedere] // A small farm, comprising farm house and the requisite farm buildings, and 26a 3r 0p of meadow and arable land, situate in the parish of Hartley, now under lease to a very old tenant at £26 per annum." // [Maidstone Journal 26.7.1853 reported "At Mr Morris's sale at the Mart on July 26, the following extraordinarily high prices were realised: ...... Farm at Hartley, 26a 3r on lease at £26 per annum: £1,350"]
1853, June 25: Treat for Workhouse Inmates Kentish Independent
"The master of the Dartford Union kindly gave all the children in the union (upwards of 40) a treat on Friday week by taking them to Farningham, to see the exhibition of poultry. They were highly delighted with their afternoon's pleasure, and their cleanly and neat appearance, as well as their good demeanour, were worthy of notice. Upwards of 2,000 boys and girls belonging to the various schools in the neighbourhood were admitted free to this exhibition, which must be a source of much gratification to the committee, who gave a public invitation by advertisements."
1853, July 05: Schools, Dartford Infant Maidstone Journal
"It is a gratifying fact to all who have long deplored the vast amount of vice and immorality in Dartford, that one of the good effects of an effiicient curate has already shown itself in the opening of the infant school for divine service on Friday evenings, especially for the inhabitants of that densely populated portion of the town. A licence from the Archbishop being obtained, the first sermon was preached in this school room last Friday week, under very encouraging circumstances."
1853, August 13: Contract for the Supply of Gas Kentish Independent
"The Dartford Local Board of health hereby give notice that they are prepared to receive tenders for the supply of gas for lighting the public lamps of the town of Dartford for a period of 3 years, from the 150th day of September next. The board will require the lamps to be lighted at dusk throughout the year (subject to a suspension of lighting during one month in each year, from the 15th of June to the 15th of July, and to be kept constantly lighted with a good and full batwing light till one hour before sunrising....."
1853, September 01: Write Home from Australia Melbourne Argus
"John Treadwell from Hartley, Kent, per ship Kent - your friends E and E B Cooper would be glad to hear from you. Address to them at the Post Office, Kilmore."
1853, September 17: St Mary of Crays, Crayford The Tablet
Appeal from pastor of RC Church at Crayford for money to build a school and presbytery. He says theiir "parish" or mission includes the areas of the Poor Law Unions of Dartford and Bromley. Thus any Roman Catholics in the Hartley area would come under this parish then.
1853, September 29: Hop Intellligence The Standard
Hop intelligence (from Maidstone Journal) Ash near Wrotham - hop picking has now become general in this and the adjoining parishes of Hartley and Longfield. They come down short of expectation. We cannot calculate on more than half a crop - viz 4cwt or 5cwt per acre, good in quality and free from vermin or mould.
1853, October 01: Poor Hop Crop Locally Kentish Mercury
"Ash near Wrotham: Hop picking has now become general in this and the adjoining parishes of Hartley and Longfield; they come down short of expectation. We cannot calculate on more than half a crop, viz 4 or 5 cwt per acre, good in quality, and free from vermin or mould."
1853, October 04: Fire at Hartley Court South Eastern Gazette
"Hartley Fire. In he night of Saturday, the 24th ulimo, a fire broke out on the farm of Mr William Bensted of Hartley Court Farm, which ended in the destruction of nearly £1,000 worth of property. Mr Benstead was aroused by the alarm of fire about 2 o'clock, by a man who was burning charcoal on the farm. It broke out in a barn 120 feet long, which was full of corn, and extended o a shed and cowshed, and also a large stack of corn, which were all entirely destroyed. Soon after the fire broke out Lord Darnley arrived with his own engine and men, and set to work most vigorously, himself taking the lead and conducting the branch. The engine, which is a very powerful one, had been at work 2 hours before the engine of the Norwich Union could arrive from Dartford at about 5 o'clock. The wind was blowing south at the tie, otherwise nothing could have saved the whole of the homestead. // Too much praise cannot be awarded to Lord Darnley, for his kindness and indefatigable exertions Not only must Mr Bensted be deeply grateful, but the Norwich Union Fire Office, in which Mr Bensted is insured, are as deeply indebted to him for his prompt and able services The neighbourhood at large has reason to be thankful that a fire engine and sufficient staff are kept by his lordship for any similar emergency. Had it not been for this engine, the loss would doubtless have been fearful. // The origin of the fire is not satisfactorily ascertained. One of Mr Bensted's labourers on the farm was taken up on suspicion of having caused the fire, and examined before the bench of magistrates at Dartford on Saturday, but there not being sufficient evidence against him he was discharged. It is supposed by some that the man was drunk, and that the contents of a tobacco pipe had caused the fire. A pipe was found in his pocket, as also a lucifer. Others suppose it is the vile work of an incendiary, but we incline to think it more likely to be serious effects of a drunken man's conduct. He slept in the house generally, but he was not in on that night, and from many circumstances there were great reasons for suspicion against him." // [The Lord Darnley who sent and led his private fire brigade was John Stuart Bligh of Cobham Hall. In the 1851 Census, Mr Bensted had 3 farm labourers living at Hartley Court, later in the 19th century farmers built cottages for their labourers instead.]
1853, October 08: Revising Barrister Court Kentish Independent
the annual revision of the electoral register resulted in a gain of 43 voters for the Liberals. However the Liberals were to come unstuck when the Freehold Land Society buyers tried to get on the electoral register (Spring Vale): "In the parish of Dartford, John William Matthews claimed to be inserted on the register as a freeholder of land worth £3 a year. The claim was supported by Mr Roberts [Liberal Representative], and opposed by Mr Hilder [Conservative Representative]; Mr Russell having left the court. The claimant was holder of a £30 allotment of the Dartford estate of the National Freehold Land Society; the estateis a field just at the back of the town, without any approaches to it at present, and divided into allotments of £120, £90, £60 and £30; the £30 ones of course being the most ineligible of all. The claimant being examined by Mr Roberts, said he held freehold land at Spring Vale, Dartford; he had held it since January last; it was in his own occupation; he meant it for burilding purposes, and as such he valued it at £3 a year; he was a builder, and therefore he was practically acquainted with the value of land a little. On examination by Mr Hilder, he said that at present the land was part of an open field; he had not got any rent or any profit from it yet, as no roads had been made; he was not to contribute to the expense of making roads, but towards keeping them in repair when made; he paid £30 for the land, including the costs of conveyance. He had not made anything at all of it yet, and did not know that any portion whatever of the estate as allotted, had been let. Mr Hilder submitted, that land which had only cost £30, including the costs of conveyance, and which, as yet, had not produced anything whatever, could not, without sufficient evidence of the fact, be taken to be worth 40 shillings a year; and the only evidence of the yearly value of it was, that of the claimant himself, who had admitted that not one single allotment had yet been let at any price. The claimant said, were he to build a house upon it at a cost of £150, he could let it for £15 a year at least. The barrister said that when Mr Matthews did so, he should be most happy to put his name on the register, and it ought then to be there in letters of gold; but at present, he could not take the value at more than 5 percent on the outlay, and, therefore, the claim could not be allowed...."
1853, October 17: Threshing Machine for Sale Bell's Weekly Messenger
(Advert) "To agriculturalists. Threshing machines fo rhand, horse or steam power supplied on the shortest notice by William Dray and Co, Swan Lane, London. William Dray & Co received the prize for the Bath and West of England Society for the best 4 horse threshing machine at Plymouth 1853. // Testimonial: Swanley near Dartford, Sept 21, 1853. Gentlemen, I have used your 2 horse threshing machine for the last 3 years, and am much pleased with its work. Previously to using your machine, I had been paying 8 shillings per quarter for threshing wheat, but, as soon as I set your machine to work, I got my work done much better, and for less than half price. I think this a machine that every farmer should have. Yours very truly. Henry Staples......"
1853, October 25: Pollling Places Maidstone Journal
Kent Quarter Sessions. Magistrates agree to request to add Dartford, Lewisham, Harrietsham and West Malling as polling places for the West Kent Constituency.
1853, October 25: Average Indoor and Outdoor Relief in Kent and other Counties Kentish Gazette
Dartford Union - population 1851 - 27,342. Average weekly expenditure for year ended 25.3.1853 (1852 in brackets) Indoor Relief £24 (£24), Outdoor Relief £43 (£47). Average weekly cost per 100 population 4s 11d (5s 2d)
1853, November 12: Slum Dwellings at Dartford Kentish Independent
"Petty Sessions…. This was a special sessions for hearing information against parties proceeded against under the Nuisance Removal and Disease Prevention Act. Upwards of 50 cases were disposed of, many of them comprising nuisances of a frightful description, the worst of them being Webb's Alley in Dartford, in which there are 17 houses and several families living in some of the houses, and only one privy for the whole locality. Upwards of 100 people live in this wretched place. The court is a disgrace to the town of Dartford, and is of long standing." // [The same day's The Globe reported 3 deaths of cholera in Dartford on the 9th November.]
1853, December 10: City Corporation Commission Morning Post
The commission heard evidence on a number of matters including the London coal tax, Southwark complained that they had only see about 0.1% of the £3 million collected in tax over the years but seen nearly all of it spent on the City of London. This was the problem of the tax the whole of the London region paid it but the area of benefit was much smaller. For more details see Wikipedia Article which mentions the tax paid for the rebuilding of St George's Church in Gravesend. Paper manufacturer T H Saunders made the same point. The tax was 3 shillings per ton, so he was paying £780 per year in coal tax. // "Mr T H Saunders, paper manufacturer of Dartford, in Kent, gave evidence as to the oppressive character of the coal tax. He used 100 tons of coal a week in his own manufactory, and he felt the tax as a very heavy impost, for he derived no benefit whatever from it, while he was compelled to pay more for his coals than manufacturers in other parts of England."
1853, December 24: Downe Church Chalice The Field
"It is with feelings of grateful satisfaction that we are enabled to state that the ancient chalice and 2 patents which disappeared mysteriously upwards of 40 years ago, have been discovered and restored. That eminent antiquary, Mr Dunkin of Dartford, found the missing chalice at 'an old curiosity shop' in that town, and that it was profaned occasionally by being used for spiced elder wine and mulled ale, for which, as the owner irreverently remarked, it was 'just the ticket.' Mr Dunkin communicated with the worthy incumbent, and was commissioned to purchase the sacred vessels. The rev gentleman has thus had the satisfaction of restoring them to their original purpose. They were first given to the church ib the reign of Queen Anne."
1853, December 27: Dartford - The Christmas Pudding Maidstone Journal
"In one purely indigenous family, the observances are, that everyone in the house, big and little, is to stir the composition round with a spoon. At another, the recipe for the compound (which is boiled in a cloth, and served upon a dish, not like the ambassadors at Constantinople, boiled without a cloth, and subsequently served in tureens) was 4lb of plums, 2lb of currants, 1lb of flour, 6 eggs, 1lb of suet, half a pound of citron, lemon candied, 1lb sugar, cup of milk, and 2 glasses of brandy."
1854, January 28: Dartford - Accident Kentish Independent
"As a waggon belonging to Messrs Dray of Farningham, the agricultural implement makers, was proceeding along Lowfield Street, last week, one of the wheels sank into the opening lately made for laying down the sewer pipes, and became embedded to the axle. The waggon being loaded with iron ware was not extricated without much difficulty and delay; but we understand that no damage was sustained."
1854, March 14: Dartford YMCA South Eastern Gazette
"Young Men's Christian Association. The lectures which are delivered on alternate Tuesday evenings in this town are becoming very popular. The subjects selected and the talented lecturers draw large and attentive audiences. On Tuesday last T H Tarlton esq, the hon secretary to the parent society, delivered a highly interesting lecture on 'Palestine', and on Tuesday the Rev J Jones, Wesleyan Minister, Dartford, one of the presidents, is to deliver a lecture on 'The Tongue, its powers and government,' which there is no doubt will be as numerously attended as the others hitherto have been. We believe the origin of this branch of the society may be traced to the exertions of Thomas H Saunders esq, the president. Th main objects of the associations are the religious and mental improvement of young men. A library is being established in connection witht he association, which is open to non-members on payment of one shilling per quarter, an opportunity which ought not to be lost sight of."
1854, March 21: Obituary of Mr Justice Talfourd South Eastern Gazette
"Mr Justice Talfourd - It is not generally known, we believe, that the late Mr Justice Talfourd, to whose many amiable, noble and benevolent qualities men of all ranks and parties bear earnest testimony, was a Kentish landowner. He was the proprietor of a farm at High Halstow near Rochester, of another at Hartley, and of a third at Eastchurch and Warden in the Isle of Sheppey, at each of which places his tenants speak of him not merely as a kind and liberal landlord, but as a generous and valuable friend, whose counsel and aid was ever at their service. He also purchased a cottage residence, called The Retreat, at Margate, which was being fitted up for his reception at the time of his death." [Justice Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd (1795-1854) had bought Fairby Farm in 1852. He was a friend of Charles Dickens, and the Pickwick Papers is dedicated to Thomas].
1854, April 11: House of Commons Petition Maidstone Journal
"A petition was presented against the sale of intoxicating liquor on Sunday by Mr M Smith from the inhabitants of Longfield, West Kent."
1854, May 13: Bankruptcy Court Canterbury Journal
"In the Maidstone Insolvent Court last week….. William Wharton, late of Longfield Hill, farmer and licensed victualler [was] discharged unopposed…"
1854, May 30: Theft at Ash South Eastern Gazette
"Ightham. We some time since stated that a man named Vaughan had stolen a truss of hay and absconded from this place. He returned a few days ago, and Superintendent Hilton went to his whereabouts to apprehend him, but he again disappeared, and on his road to Wrotham stole the victuals and cloths of two labouring men who were working in a field, and who followed and captured him with the cloths in his possession, and also a handkerchief and victuals of another labouring man whom he had robbed at Ash. He expressed a wish to be taken to Dartford, where he is not so well known as at Malling, but he was brought before J A Wigan esq at the latter place on Friday, and committed for trial on the two last named offences. He was remanded on the charge of stealing the hay, but was committed for trial on that charge also on the following day."
1854, June 03: Postal Service West Kent Guardian
Woolwich Local Board: "…..as yet there appears to be no intention of extending the benefits of the morning down mail, on the North Kent line to Woolwich. The present system is certainly an anomaly. A letter posted in the morning at London, or Dartford, for Gravesend or Chatha, is delivered on the same evening; but if posted in Woolwich, it is sent to London, and not forwarded until the evening mail...."
1854, June 12: Opening of the Crystal Place at Sydenham Evening Standard
Long article about the opening mentions "From a multitude of hilly districts in Surrey and the surrounding counties this Sydenham Structure may now be seen. From the summit of the Round Tower at Windsor Castle, and from the east terrace, when the sun shines on its crystal walls - from Hampstead and Highgate and Primrose Hill, from Dartford and Knockholt, and from the Dorking Hills, the building can be seen, either in its broad outline, or the glitter from its acres of glass....."
1854, June 17: Capture of a Sturgeon Kentish Mercury
"One of these 'royal fish' was caught a few days ago in Dartford creek, the first which has been taken in the waters of the Darent for many years. Formerly the stream was celebrated for this epicurean luxury, and for the salmon which abounded in its pools and rapids."
1854, July 01: Fawkham Dame School Bell's Weekly Messenger
"To parents and guardians. A lady residing near Gravesend is desirous of meeting with 2 or 3 young children, to be educated with her own 2 little boys, by an experienced governess; or delicate children requiring a healthy air; or children deprived of maternal care, where every attention and kindness will be shown them. Address: Mrs Gray, Cross House, Fawkham, Dartford, Kent."
1854, July 08: Cricket: Dartford v Ash Kentish Independent
"An interesting match of cricket came off last week, between the Dartford and Ash clubs, in which the former were victorious, by only 3 runs. The following is the score: // Dartford. First Innings 72 all out (Barton b Fletcher F 1, Tasker b Fletcher F 7, Allen b Fletcher F 5, Robson J c Fletcher A 25, Robson E c&b Fletcher F 2, Gibson b Fletcher A 6, Applegarth c Fry 2, Marchant R c Treadwell 0, Ray not out 0, Marchant W stumped Treadwell 0, Hills c&b Fletcher F 0, Byes 19). // 2nd Innings 46 for 7 (Barton c&b Fletcher A 0, Tasker c Treadwell J 1, Allen lbw 9, Robson J not out 0, Robson E lbw 3, Gibson b Fletcher A 0, Applegarth c Treadwell W 1, Marchant R not out 5, Ray run out 14, Marchant W not out 0, Hills not out 0, Byes 13) // Ash First Innings 45 (Fletcher F b Robson E 9, Treadwell W b Barton 3, Elcombe b Robson E 3, Sharpe c&b Robson E 1, Fletcher J stumped Robson J 7, Fletcher A b Robson E 1, Fry b Robson E 0, Treadwell J run out 0, Bennett b Robson E 11, Young b Barton 0, Allen not out 0, byes 9, wides 1 // Second Innings 70 (Fletcher F run out 0, Treadwell W stumped Robson J b Allen 4, Elcombe b Robson E 0, Sharpe c Allen 4, Fletcher J b Barton 0, Fletcher A c&b Tasker 3, Fry b Barton 16, Treadwell J b Tasker 0, Bennett b Robson E 5, Young not out 0, Allen b Barton 12, byes 25, wides 1. // The enormous number of byes may be attributed to the short distance which the long stop had behind the wicket; as part of the field was laid for hay, and a hurdle fence, separating the two parts, and the bowling being very strong, so that each time the ball struck the fence it was to score 'two'. We are obliged to our unknown correspondent for the above, which would have appeared last week but for want of room [Ed K.I.]." // [Given the description of the ground we can be sure that although the correspondent did not give the venue, it will have been in Ash, and not at the Brent, then one of the best grounds in the country. There are some Hartley names in the Ash team - James Treadwell (24) of Fairby Farm, William Treadwell (25) of New House Farm]
1854, July 11: Pennis Farm to Let Maidstone Journal
"Kent - Villa and Farms - To be let. Pennis House, a gentlemanly villa residence, situate very salubriously at Fawkham, in its own beautifully embellished park like grounds of about 8 acres; 6 miles from the Dartford and Gravesend Railway Stations, and 21 from London; with or without the right of shooting over about 500 acres of surrounding land; also about 250 acres of it, in two productive well-culivated farms. May be viewed by applying to John Featherstone, at the Cross House, near the premises; and to treat, apply to Messrs Crawter, Surveyors and Land Agents, No 5 Bedford Row.
1854, September 19: Estate of Robert Hayes Maidstone Journal
Probate notice for claims against estate of Robert Hayes of Hartley, victualler and cordwainer, to be in by 1 October. Administrator: Thomas Creasy Barber of 47 High Street, Gravesend.
1854, September 26: Sale of Pennis Farm Stock Maidstone Journal
"Pennis Farm, Fawkham and Hartley, Kent. Valuable live and dead farming stock, excellent modern household furniture and effects to be sold by auction by Mr George Mandy on Wednesday September 27th 1854, on the premises, Pennis Farm… at 1 o'clock by order of the proprietor, Mr Robert Allen, who is quitting the farm. // The live and dead stock, comprises 6 young and powerful draught horses, 100 extraordinarily good 2 tooth Down tegs, fit for market, quantity of poultry, 2 very strong waggons, 2 good dung carts. Howard's iron and other ploughs, ox and small harrows, a capital iron land roller, a good wood roller, 11,000 12ft hop poles, chaff cutting machine, chain, quoller, and plough harnesses, bean brakes, hop nidgets, hurdle and stakes and various agricultural implements. // The excellent modern household furniture consists of nearly new mahogany 4 post bent, and other bedsteads and furnitures, home made goose feather beds and bedding, mahogany chest of drawers, dining tables and chairs, sofas, Brussels carpets, chimney, pier, and dressing glases, china, glass and earthenware, dairy utensils, kitchen requisites, and various effects....." // Pennis Farm, Fawkham Kent. Important and extensive sale of Wheat and Oats. To be sold by auction by Mr George Mandy. On Wednesday, Sept 27th, 1854, on the premises, Pennis Farm, Fawkham, immediately after the sale of the valuable live and dead stock, by order the proprietor (quitting the farm), comprising 4 stacks of superior wheat, a large mow of wheat, 7 stacks of red and black oats, 2 mows of oats. The wheat, computed at 160 quarters, and the oats at 270 quarters will be inserted in catalogues... "
1854, October 31: Sale of Underwood South Eastern Gazette
Hartley, near Meopham, Kent: 15 acres of capital underwood to be sold by auction by Mr George Mandy on Tuesday November 7th, 1854, at the King's Arms, Hartley, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, by order of the proprietor Mr William Benstead, in such lots and subject to such conditions as will be produced at the time of sale. // Comprising 12 acres in Hartley Wood and 3 acres in Foxburrough (sic) Wood, of very valuable underwood, of 14 years' growth, adjoining good sound roads. May be viewed on application to Mr Benstead, adn particulars may be obtained of the Auctioneer and Surveyor, Farningham, Kent."
1854, November 21: Thomas Pottinger Tailor and Breeches Maker South Eastern Gazette
(advert) "Thomas Pottinger, Tailor and Breeches Maker, 9 Eastcheap, London Bridge. JP resides at 17 Harmer Street, Gravesend, where he can be seen after 6 o'clock pm; he also attends Dartford Market on Saturdays. JP begs to state his goods are all cut and made in London. There is a competent person, as above, and also at Dartford, to take orders and forward them to London, and also to do repairs and alterations when required."
1854, November 25: Augmenting the Militia Kentish Mercury
"We have it on good authority that every exertion is being made to fill up the vacancies that have occurred in the West Kent Light Infantry Regiment, in consequence of so many having volunteered into regiments of the line. The brass band of the above regiment will, by order of its Colonel, Sir T M Wilson, attend at Dartford on Saturday (this day) with a recruiting party, when an opportunity will be afforded to any young man out of employ (of which there are many in this district at this season of the year) of enlisting in her Majesty's service, for which they will receive a bounty of £6. We are informed also that this will be repeated for 3 or 4 successive Saturdays. The martial strains of the band will, we hope, remind the Dartfordians of the Patriotic Fund, which, by the bye, seems to have been quite lost sight of here."
1855, January 13: Dartford Stock Market Kentish Independent
"The first market for the present year was held on Tuesday week when there was a good supply both of beasts and sheep. The market goes on steadily increasing, and doubtless when the Smithfield Market is removed to Copenhagen fields, it will become one of the most important provincial markets, from its proximity to the railway, its easy distance from town, and from its being a central neighbourhood. We hope it will not only prove of benefit to the butchers here, but also to the consumer, as the price of meat ranges high in this town; it general quality, however is always first rate." // [The Maidstone Journal 9.10.1855 reported that the market of 3 October had 400 sheep, 115 beasts, and several fat calves, pigs etc for sale. Trade was good even though nearby markets on same day.]
1855, January 14: The Law at Railway Stations The Express (London)
Southwark Police Court: "Mr Charles Reginald Gibson, a solicitor at Dartford, and clerk to the magistrates at that place, was summoned before Mr A'Beckett for unlawfully obstructing Jame sLineham, an officer of the South Eastern Railway, while in the execution of his duty. Mr Church appeared for the railway company, and the defendant was accompanied by a number of gentlemen residing at Dartford and other places. // The complainant, on being sworn, stasted that he was a porter in the employ of the South Eastern Railway Company, and at 8 o'clock on Wednesday evening, the 3rd instant, he was placed at a barrier close to a train whtat was about to start. The clock had struk and the signal had been given to him by a man a tthe booking office when witness closed the gate. The outer door had also been closed at the North Kent entrance where he was placed. The defendant came in by another door, and asked whether the train was gone. He told him, 'No; but the signal had been given.' After that defendant asked him to open the gate and let him through. He refused to do so as his orders were otherwise. The defendant then said, 'Oh! nonsense, I have got my ticket; let me go.' Witness told him that he could not go as the signal had been given. The defendant then went to the righ tof him and jumped over the iron railing which was placed as a barrier. Witness went up to him and laid hold of him to bring him back outside the barrier until the train had started, when defendant struck him with his umbrella on his head and face. Witness used no more than necessary force to bring him back, and while doing his duty he made two desperate charges at him with the umbrella. It was his duty to prevent passengers passing the barrier after the clock had struck and the signal given, and until the train had started. George Tilley, also in the company's service, and Mr John Weatherhead, station master, gave evidence confirmatory of the previous witness's statement, and said that defendant had no righ tto enter at the door by which he got admission. // Mr Gibson, in defence, positively denied striking the officer. It was highly important to him that he should have proceeded by that train, as the next did not leave until 2 hours afterwards. He had his return ticket giving him authority to travel by the company's train, and he ought to have been allowed to proceed on his way, as the train had not started. The company had nothing in their bye laws to withhold him, and the general act gvave them no power to act as they had done. The way that he entered the station was frequently used by return ticket holders, and it was convenient to the railway company, as it saved time and a great deal of unnecessary trouble to the servants. The complainant seized him by the throat in a fruffianly manner, and took his umbrella from him. In wresting it away it might have touched him slightly, but he most solemnly denied wilfully assaulting him. When he got into the station the clock had not commenced striking, and he shoudl have been able to enter the train before that, had not the complainant prevented him, which he had no right to do. // After considerable argument on each side. Mr A'Beckett said that defendant was charged with obstructing hte officer in the execution of his duty. The officer's duty was to prevent passengers passing the barrier. He had not done so, fo rdefendant has passed the barrier before he was interfered with. The question was, whether the officer then took the proper course. He thought not. The alledged offence was not proved against the defendant, and the summons must been dismissed."
1855, January 16: Basket Carriages South Eastern Gazette
(advert) "Improved basket carriages, Dog Carts and Carriages of every description, built at w Hardige's Manufactory, Welling, near Dartford. Basket Carriages from 16 guineas." // [See Wikipedia article on Dogcarts]
1855, February 24: The Weather Kentish Independent
"The long continued frost is now telling very sadly upon the town, for in addition to the agricultural labourers, the gardeners, and other outdoor workers, being thrown out of employment, the fisherman and watermen are experiencing the effects of it. During the whole of tghe week the river has been full of ice, carried up and down with the tide, and each day it has been expected tha thte next or the approaching evening would see the passage across the river entirely stopped. Fortunately, however, this had not taken place, for the ferry boat, and the steam boats belonging to the Tilbury Railway have managed to plough their way through the floating ice. For the last 10 or 12 days the peter boats and othe rsmall fishing boats have been entirely laid up, and hte poor men working them are of course out of employment. The cod smacks and other fishing boats arriving from the North Sea also suffer from the frost, for the fish in teh wells of the smacks are choked with the ice, so that it becomes necessary that on the arrival of the smack at Gravesend, the whole of the fish on board should be sent at once to the London market, and this of course is a great loss to the owners. The quantity of fish sent to the London market last Monday morning on account of this was almost incredible, both railways, as well as the road fish machines, were fully employed in the work, the river communication being entirely stopped. None of the steamers have been running since Thursday week."
1855, March 13: Wood Sale at Fawkham Maidstone Journal
"Fawkham, near Dartford, Kent. A quantity of valuable oak timber, and 3,000 excellent spokes, to be sold by auction by Mr William Hodsoll at the Rising Sun Inn, Fawkham, on Thursday, March 29th, 1855, at 1 o'clock Comprising 339 superior oak timber trees (felled), most of large meteings and of remarkably fine quality, lying close to sound roads, also 3,000 capital spokes; which will be sold in convenient lots. May be viewed, on application to Mr Ralph, at the Rising Sun, Fawkham...."
1855, March 24: Hop Growing in Kent Canterbury Journal
Cultivation of Hops... // The usual annual return to an order of the House of Commons has just been issued. It gives the particulars of the number of acres of land under cultivation for hops from the 5th of January 1854, to the 5th of January 1855..... // Canterbury Collection 11,490¾ acres
Rochester Collection 19,337¾ acres
Total for England 53,823 acres // [Selected Rochester Collection parishes]
Ash 139 acres
Fawkham 24½ acres
Hartley 33½ acres
Horton Kirby 92½ acres
Longfield 37½ acres
Meopham 145 acres
Ridley 12¾ acres
Stansted 106½ acres"
1855, June 09: Dartford and Farningham Markets Kentish Independent
"The rivalry between Dartford and Farningham market is at an end. That grand climax to all Englishmen's proceedings - a dinner - to celebrate the fusion of the two institutions took place on Tuesday. All the world is invited to the feed, which mine host of the Bull Hotel, Dartford, put upon the table in his very best style, at half past two o'clock precisely."
1855, June 12: Farm for Sale at Longfield and Meopham Maidstone Journal
"Kent - for sale by auction by Messrs Cobb. At the Crown Inn, Rochester, on Tuesday June 19th 1855 at 2 o'clock. A valuable freehold farm in the parishes of Longfield and Meopham, 5 miles from Gravesend and 5 miles from Dartford, containing 59 acres of excellent arable and hop land. On lease to Mr John Doherty, a highly respectable and responsible tenant, for an unexpired term of 10 years from Michaelmas 1855 at £80 per annum....."
1855, July 10: Property Sale at Fawkham Maidstone Journal
"Extensive Sale of Property: A few days since Messrs Farebrother, Clark and Lye at the Auction Mart, disposed of many freehold estates in the parishes of Horton Kirby, Farningham etc, sold by the direction fo the executors of James Russell esq, with possession October next. The lots and prices were as follows: // Lot 1: The Canada Farm in the parishes of Fawkham and Horton Kirby, comprising 105 acrs of land - sold for £3,100
Lot 2: An enclosure of 12 acres of woodland, known as Churchdown Wood - £230
Lot 3: Part of Dean Bottom Farm, comprising farm buildings and 40 acres of land - sold for £1,500
Lot 4: Skidders [Scudders] or Lower Fawkham and Speedgate Farm, containing together 367 acres of land, farm buildings etc, knocked down at £7,900
Lot 5: Brandshatch farm, comprising sprting residence, pleasure grounds, agricultural buildings at 614 acres of land - knocked down at £12,600
Lot 6: Little Brandshatch, comprising 3 cottages and 4 acres of land let at £25 - sold for £500
Lot 7: Knockmill Wood, containing 65 acres of woodland - knocked down at £950
Lot 8: An enclosure of marsh land near the village of Heaverham, bing about 8½ acres, let at £16 - sold for £500
Lot 9: A freehold cottage in the village of Horton Kirby, let at £14 - knocked down for £240
Lot 10: 5 freehold cottages near the preceding, let to weekly tenants and producing £37 14s per annum - knocked down at £340
Lot 11: Tithe rent charges amounting to £79 15s per annum and secured upon South Darenth Farm, Horton Kirby - sold for £1,200
Lot 12: Tithe Rentcharges amounting to £50 8s per annum, secured upon Pinden Farm and Dean Bottom, Horton Kirby, knocked down at £890
Lot 13: Tithe rentcharges of £16 17s per annum secured upon South Darenth and other lands, Horton Kirby - knocked down at £280
Lot 15(sic): A tithe rent charge of £20 4s per annum, issuing out of portions of Lots 1 and 4 - knocked down at £350."
1855, July 10: Dartford Cattle Market Maidstone Journal
"The Stock Market Anniversary - Opening Dinner // On Tuesday last, the gentlemen attending Dartford Stock Market, to the number of about 70, celebrated their 4th anniversary by dining together at their market house, the Bull Hotel; Mr Bray the new landlord, marking his accession to the management of that 'ancient hostelrie' by placing upon the tablet (sic) a banquet of the most recherche character, comprising evry delicacy of the season, and wines of very superior flavour, and of the first vintages. // The chair was occupied by Mr Solomon of Stone, the vice chair by Mr Alfred Russell of Dartford, and amongst the gentlement prsent were: Messrs W Allen, Saxton, F Stonham, Phillips (2), G Mandy, Love sen, Jas Russell, W Russell, Thos Muggeridge, Slaughter, Miles, Beadle, Franks, Skinner, Cook (2), English, Solomon, J Paine, Hassel, Walter, R Hills, J Wate, Potter, Landell, Munn, Quait, Philcox, Pottinger, Tolhurst, Ticehurst, Love jun etc etc. [none of the names obviously local to Hartley] .... // The Chairman, in acknowledging the toast, did not disclaim the honour of being the founder, and an earnest supporter of the Dartford market; but there were many others around that table, and some who were absent, who had likewise put their shoulders to the wheel, and joined their efforts to his to make this a good and a large market. The show of stock that day (although from the badness of the London market of the day previous the sale had been rather flat) had been equal to that of any day during the last 4 years; and he felt justified in auguring from it a larger measure of success for the future. (cheers) // R Hills esq, banker of Dartford, proposed the next toast, 'Prosperity to Dartford Cattle Market' (cheers). He thought this was an auspicious day for the cattle market. There had been an unusually large supply, and their dinner, too, was attended, not only by the gentry and farmers of the neighbourhood, but by a few of the townspeople (cheers). He was in the habit of attending this market dinner, because he felt it was a duty he owed to the town and to the farmers in the neighbourhood to do so, and he was sorry so seldom to meet his brother townsmen, for they, in neglecting their duty in this respect, neglected also their interest (cheers). The establishment of a market did a great deal of good to a town like Dartford, inasmuch as it brought together a number of gentlemen and their farmpeople and servants, every man of whom spent something. How was it he heard many of the townsmen complain of not being able to get a living? Simply because they showed so much apathy in respect to every project for increasing the traffic of the place, and adding to the number of those who trafficked in it (cheers). Dartford had all the requisites for an extensive and lucrative trade - it was the metropolis for an extensive district, just as Maidstone was the metropolis of the Weald. The tradesmen of the town, therefore, ought to do everything in their power to encourage this stock market. When this market started there was a little jealousy exhibited by their friends at Farningham, who thought it was a move in opposition (no, no). He was glad that that had passed by, and that there was now no misunderstanding (cheers). There was, in truth, plenty of scope for both markets, and both, he had no dobut, would prosper, now that that market of Smithfield had been removed to Islington - a most inconvenient locality for the farmers and butchers of the county of Kent generally. If, instead of sending their cattle so far, the farmers sent them to Farningham or Dartford, they could do so at a less cost, and in teh case of a flat sale like that of Monday at Islington, they would neigher be obliged to sell at a loss not to bring the stock back at a great expense, and much to its detriment (cheers). If the farmers of the district were careful to supply the wants of the buyers, and the townspeople did their duty, there was little doubt but that the Dartford Market would, now that Smithfield was removed, soon become second to no market in Kent (cheers). // The toast having been drunk with great applause, the chairman returned thanks. The farmers of the neighbourhood could not themselves receive benefit from the establishment of this market without benefiting the town of Dartford (cheers). Look, for instance, at the unfortunate situation in which Sevenoaks now found itself! He remembers a large and respectable market at Sevenoaks, but the people, with strange apathy, allowed it to be taken elsewhere, and now their town might just as well be in the middle of Darenth Wood, without any trade or commerce at all (cheers)........ // Mr Mandy said that now the great London market for stock had been removed so far to the north, local markets should and must been the markets for Kent, and they ought to amalgamate as much as possible for the benefit of each other (cheers). Having alluded to the apathy of the townspeople of Dartford, and mentioning that it was much regretted by his late lamented friend Mr Russell, he expressed his belief that the assembly of that day was an indication of better times, and pledged himself to attend the monthly market, and to send something 9 months out of the 12 (cheers). He and some of his neighbours, larger stock growers than himself, had made up theitr minds to snd no stock at all to London, but, if possible, confine their business to Farningham and Dartford (cheers). He trusted the townspeople would see their own interests in this matter. He happened to be present at a trial at Maidstone when Sevenoaks brought an action against Tonbridge for establishing a market on the same day, and he heard Mr Joseph Palmer, the banker, state that his returns on stock market days were from £5,000 to £10,000. This then was a most important matter to any town; and indeed the Sevenoaks people were seriously thinking of trying to establish another market. Dartford and Farningham, however, possessed great advantages. They had a central position, a large population around them, a railway, and everything to make their's the first market in Kent. And when the line from Strood to Maidstone was open, the Maidstone butchers would very soon find it to their advantage to come to this market (cheers).... // Mr Cooke... expressed his concurrence in all that had been said of the advantages of Dartford and Farningham, but it would depend on the quality and condition of the stock sent to market, whether or not the butchers would attend to purchase (cheers). // The chairman then gave 'Mr Tolhurst and the buyers' (cheers). Mr Tolhurst in acknowledging the compliment, assured the company that neither he nor any other butcher in Dartford would ever think of going to London if they could purchase what they wanted in their own town. Butchers did not go to one market to buy stock to sell again at another, but what they wanted was something that would furnish good joints to their customers (cheers). Now, the advantage of Smithfield was this, that a butcher could get anything there if had the money in his pocket; and if Dartford was to become the Smithfield of the district, the farmers must take care there was quality and variety in the supply (cheers)." // Dartford Stock Market, July 3 (Maidstone Journal 10.7.1855) // "A very large supply of stock, the quality of which was excellent. The sale was brisk, at good rates, for animals fit for the butcher, London prices being full maintained. Upwards of 3,000 changed hands, and the prospects of the market at this meeting, which was its 4th anniversary, never appeared to be so encouraging." // [As there is a picture of a cattle market at Dartford in 1750, this market must be a refounding in 1851. The speakers stress the amount of trade it brought to the town in general, but a note of realism was injected by the buyers present, who explained why Smithfield was currently better for them. The references to Smithfield moving to Islington where no-one in Kent will want to go, are a bit disingenuous as this was a supplementary market opened in 1855 expressly to make it easier for sellers to send their cattle by train]
1855, August 12: Pedestrianism Bell's Life in London
"Reed and Hosspool - the stakes in this match (£50 a side) have been all made tood at Peter Crawley's. Both men have been for some time past in active training. Reed has been taking his 'breathings' at the Ship, Green Street Green, Dartford; we saw both him and Hosspool at Wandsworth last Monday, and they certainly appeared in first rate condition."
1855, October 02: Fire at Middle Farm South Eastern Gazette
"Fire at Hartley: On Sunday evening week, between 9 and 10 o'clock, a fire broke out in the farm buildings of Mr George Best, of Hartley near Dartford, which consumed the barns and the whole of the farm produce, including several stacks of wheat , oats and hay. Two useful farm houses and several pigs were also destroyed The origin of the fire is unknown. When Mr Best retired to bed, about 9 o'clock, everything appeared to be safe." // [Another report from the Maidstone Journal 2.10.1855: "Between 9 and 10 o'clock on Sunday evening, a most destructive fire broke out in the farm buildings etc of Mr George Best of Hartley, consuming the barns and the whole of the farm produce, consisting of several stacks of oats, wheat, fodder etc. Two valuable horses and several pigs were also destroyed. The Norwich fire engine from Dartford, was quickly on the spot, but the flames had gained such power that it could render little or no assistance. Mr Best retired to bed about 9 o'clock, leaving all quite safe; and about 10 o'clock the whole of the farm buildings were in flames. Superintendent Brandon was at the scene within an hour after the outbreak, and made every enquiry, bu the origin could not be ascertained. The property is insured in the Norwich Union."
1855, October 23: Fire at Hartley Court Kentish Gazette
"On Wednesday week a barn, containing a large quantity of corn, on Court Lodge Farm, Hartley, the property of Mr Bensted, was destroyed by fire, with its contents; also a stack of oats adjoining, containing about 100 quarters. The property was insured." // [Alternative report in Maidstone Journal 16.10.1855: "Between 2 and 3 o'clock on Wednesday morning, a fire broke out in a barn on Court Lodge Farm, at Hartley, in the occupation of Mr W Bensted. The barn was full of corn, the whole of which was entirely consumed. A large stack of oats, containing about 100 quarters, standing near the barn, also fell a prey to the flames. The Norwich engine, from Dartford, was quickly on the spot, but could render little assistance, thre being such a scarsity of water. This is the second fire within a month in this parish, and they are now supposed to be the work of an incendiary. The property is insured."
1855, October 28: Foot race at Green Street Green Bell's Life in London
"Horner v Mahoney - the mile match for £5 a side, between John Horner and Jeremiah Mahoney, came off on Monday at Green Street Green, within 4 miles of Dartford, in the presence of about 200 spectators, amongst whom we were glad to see the veteran Peter Crawley quite recovered from his recent indisposition, and rather more lusty than when he fought Jem Ward on Royston Heath in 1827. Previous to starting Mahoney was the decided favourite, and a good deal of money was invested in the speculation of backing him at 5 to 4. Although possessing considerable advantage in height and length of limb, we did not like his appearence, and considered his condidtion to be anything but 'up to the mark'. At half past 4 o'clock, the men bounded away from the scratch at a rattling pace, Mahoney with a slight lead, which he increased to beteween 7 and 8 yards ere they had traversed 200 paces; but from that point Horner gradually stole upon him, overtook and passed him when they had gone about the first quarter of a mile, and by the time they had reached half the distance, Horner then being some 20 yards ahead, Mahoney gave in, and Horner completed the race at his leisure."
1855, November 20: Firework Explosion South Eastern Gazette
Gravesend Magistrates: "Joseph Gyngell, pyrotechnic artist to the Rosherville Gardens, was charged with making fireworks at his residence, Bath House - An explosion took place there on the night of the 3rd inst, and a number of cases, supposed to be for squibs, were found there. It however, was satisfactorily proved by the defendant that the same were not to be used as squibs, and that at the time of the explosition, which resulted from spontaneous combustion, they were being packed for use in some devices to be shown at Chelmsford and Dartford, in commemoration of the Battle of Inkerman. The summons was dismissed."
1856, January 19: Wiggins' Bankruptcy Kentish Independent
"In re Wiggins - On Friday a meeting took place in the Bankruptcy Court for a choice of assignees. The bankrupt is a paper maker of Hawley Mills, Dartford. The preliminary statement of Messrs Harding and Pullein shows debts between £17,000 and £18,000; assets uncertain, the bulk of the property having been seized by the bankrupt's father by virtue of a bond. Assignees were appointed."
1856, January 22: Break in at All Saints' Church Daily News
"Three Churches Broken into and Robbed: Yesterday information was forwarded to the various stations of the City and Metropolitan Police of the following churches having been entered, and the undermentioned property stolen therefrom: - The Parish Church of Wilmington near Dartford, in Kent, was forcibly entered, and the following articles stolen, viz - a black silk gown or suplice, 2 black silk scarves, a black silk hood, the communion cloths, a looking glass, and some communion candles (wax)...... The parish church of Hartley, in the county of Kent, has also been forcibly entered, and following property stolen - a blue cloth communion cover, with "JHS" and a cross worked in the centre with gold coloured silk, and the keys of an iron safe, which have very large wards. A handsome reward is also offered for the guilty persos in this case. It is generally believed that a gang is going about at the present time, breaking into the parish churches for the purpose of steaing the communion plate, but fortunately the plate has in all the above cases been either sent to the residence of the churchwardens, or locked up in an iron safe, which the thieves were unable to force."
1856, January 28: Interesting Surgical Operation The Globe
"An operation which has excited great interest in the surgical profession, and one but seldom attempted in this country, has been briefly mentioned in the daily papers - of the extraction of a tooth which had been swallowed by a patient in Guy's Hospital. We have been favoured with a more correct account of this singular case: - A gentleman residing at Dartford in Kent, having lost one of his front teeth, had an artificial one made, with a gold framework to fix it into its place in his mouth. On the night of Wednesday week, while asleep, the apparatus got loose, and the unfortunate gentleman soon became aware that he had swallowed it. Surgical assistance was speedily procured; but it was deemed necessary to convey him to Guy's Hospital, where he was placed under the care of Mr Cock, the senior surgeon, who tried all the means in his power to relieve him; but the peculiar shape of the apparatus baffled all his efforts. At length, 5 days after the accident, the patient underwent the operation (with chloroform) which has happily proved successful. An incision, 4 inches in depth, was made in the side of the neck, and hte tooth and its framework was discovered behind the larynx, in the swallow, from whence it was soon extracted. The operation is considered to be one of great surgical skill. The patient, we learn, is going on well, and is in a fiar way of recovery. He is enabled to take food by means of a silver tube, through which nourishment is introduced into the stomach." // [This is believed to be the first lateral pharyngotomy operation in this country performed by Professor Edward Cock (such an operation would have been impossible before the discovery of chloroform as an anaesthetic in 1846), the linked article reports that the patient made a full recovery. Other reports say the patient lived at Lowfield Street, was called Thomas Guildford, and was referred by local doctor Mr Martin]
1856, February 23: Dartford Corn Exchange Kentish Independent
"The farmers of that district of West Kent of which Dartford and Farningham are the twin capitals are celebrated far and near as an exceedingly high spirited, independent body of men, and 'whatever they put their hands unto, they do it with all their might.' A short time ago they showed a lively appreciation of the requirements of these bustling times, by being the foremost to establish local cattle markets, to remedy the inconvenience done to farmers, salesmen and purchasers, by the removal of Smithfield market from the south to the north side of the metropolis; and it is now our duty to chronicle the opening of a new corn exchange at Dartford, for the purpose of removing a still greater inconenience, as for many years past the market has been held in the open street, exposed to winder snows and spring rains, summer dust and autumnal mud. The evils arising from this state of things were long felt, and the absence of any extensive buyer or large grower, from illness caused by colds caught in draughty, damp and muddy weather, would at times eccite strong remarks upon the necessity of a corn exchange; but all movements in this direction invariably terminated in the discovery that a suitable site could not be obtained. This might have gone on for another 40 years, but there recently happened a concurrence of circumstances which produced at once the desired change. First of all the spirit of improvement had been for some time perseveringly active, and it so fell out that at this very time the principal hotel passed into the hands of an energetic and enterprising landlord, who showed an unusual desire to forward and promote all the designs of the farmers, which pointed to an increased acccommodation fo the public and their own greater comforts. Mr Solomon being the father of the stock market, Mr Love, a no less zealous advocate, placed himself at the head of the new corn market movement, and hit upon a scheme which, being fully entered into by Mr Bray, the new landlord of the Bull, met with the immediate approval of almost everyone connected with the market as buyers and sellers. The entrance to the Bull Hotel is by a wide gateway, the bar and coffee room being on one side, and the commercial and other rooms on the other. A gallery on the outside at the second storey gives access to the bedrooms, and in order to screen these, the tiling of the buildings on either side was continued inwards over the yard for some distance. The proposed plan was to remove this tiling and let in the whole light of day, to span the yard with a roof of glass, so as to enclose a sufficient area for the market. No corn exchange would have been erected of equal extent at a cost of less than £1,500; by this plan the whole cost is within £500. Of this sum, the farmers undertook, we understand, to raise half, and Mr Bray the remainder, a certain number of yearly subscriptions being entered into to defray the current expense. At the market on Saturday there was a good attendance of both buyers and sellers, and a large business was done at the current rates. in the evening a snug party sat down to an excellent dinner in the large room of the Bull Hotel, to celebrate the event. Mr Solomon of Stone occupied the chair, Mr Jonathan Hills was his vice chair. amongst the other gentlemen present were Messrs Love, R Hills, E Hills, Ffookes, W Dray, G Mandy, D Mandy, Slaughter, Philcox, M Ray, A Russell, W Russell, Gibson, H Mungeam, W Mungeam, H Hubble, T Ray, T Daun, Hayell, Potter, Staples, Mumford, Harrison, Webb, Howe, Oakley, Munn, Landale, Parkhurst, W Miskin etc etc. In the course of the evening, excellent speeches were delivered by the chairman and other gentlemen."
1856, April 12: A Clever Witness Maidstone Journal
"At the Maidstone sessions on Thursday, in the case of the robbery of tools at Greenhithe Church, a witness named Lewis Lang, was examined as to his having seen the accused at a public house near previous to the robber, when the following dialogue took place. // Counsel - Were you on that night at the Railway Arms?
Witness - Yes
Counsel - Did you see the prisoner at the bar?
Witness (sharp as a needle) - No; in the tap room! // Great laughter followed this unconscious Greenhithe witticism."
1856, April 19: Failure of Sanders and Harrison West Kent Guardian
Dartford: "On Monday week the suspension was announced of Messrs Sanders and Harrison, seed crushers, oil refiners and soap makers. It created great surprise, the firm being in excellent credit. The liabilities are supposed to be about £60,000, of which the amount due on acceptances is said to be £20,000. The assets are thought likely to yield 15 shillings in the pound. The disaster is attributed to the reaction in prices consequent upon peace, the house being large holders of produce, and many of their recent sales having been cancelled on an option allowed to the purchasers of declining the contract on payment of a sum far less than the depreciation which has actually occurred."
1856, April 19: Wood for Sale at Fawkham etc Maidstone Journal
"Winter felled oak and elm trees on the estates of the late James Russell esq. Messrs Farebrother, Clark & Lye are instructed by the executors to sell at the Corn Exchange, Dartford on Saturday, May 3 at 12 for 1 precisely - 439 winter felled oak and 60 elm trees lying at Fawkham Green, Sexton's Wood, Heaver's Wood, Garland's Shaw, Stoneyfield Wood, Honeydean's Wood, Farningham Field Shaw and Wellfield Shaw, in the parishes of Horton Kirby, Farningham and Fawkham near to Dartford, Kent. Thomas King at the Rising Sun, Fawkham Green, will show the timber....."
1856, May 06: Fire at Hartley Court Kentish Gazette
"Fire at Gravesend - On Saturday se'night a fire broke out in the farm yard of Mr William Bensted, Hartley Court, near Gravesend. A large stack of straw and some outbuildings were consumed. The fire is supposed to have been the work of an incendiary This is the 4th which has occurred upon Mr Benstead's premises during the past 5 years, although he is acknowledged to be a very kind master."
1856, May 10: Mid Kent Railway - Bromley to St Mary Cray Herapath's Railway Journal
"The East Kent has withdrawn its bill for making a line between Dartford and Lewisham, and the Darenth Valley Extension of Time Bill is also withdrawn, and its compulsory powers expiring next month, that scheme is practically defunct. The only railway bill for accommodating Mid Kent now before Parliament is the little line from Bromley to St Mary Cray, which passed through committee on Wednesday.... This promises to be a valuable little line, being promoted by the landowners of the district who subscribed largely, and moreover take payment for their land in shares. The line is to be worked by the South Eastern Company, who will take the city traffice to London Bridge over their Lewisham and Beckenham Line now constructing, and arrangements are made with the West End of London and Crystal Palace Railway Company to carry the West End traffic to Waterloo, or wherever else their West End terminus may be eventually placed. The latter company have engaged to complete at once so much of their Farnborough Extension as lies between Beckenham and Bromley, so that the Crays line will have the enormous advantage of double termini. With advantages so great, and a capial so small, we do not see how it can be otherwise than remunerative."
1856, June 14: Confirmation at Ash Maidstone Journal
"On Saturday last, the Bishop of Rochester confirmed 326 young persons of both sexes, at the church of the Holy Trinity, Milton. His lordship had held a confirmation the day previous at Ash Church, where a large number of persons from the parishes of Ash, Ridley, Hartley, Fawkham and Longfield were confirmed..."
1856, July 05: Increasing Circulation of Newspaper Gravesend Reporter
"To Advertisers. T M Blackie begs respectfully to call the attention of advertisers ot the Gravesend Reporter as a desirable medium for the announcement. The paper is gradually acquiring the confidence of the public and is extending its circulation throughout Gravesend and its neighbourhood, including the town of Dartford, and the wealthy agricultural districts of South Essex. Since its publication it has averaged abone fide sale of from 700 to 800 weekly, and the publisher states with confidence the as a vehicle for advertisements, it is unequalled in this locality."
1856, July 12: A Virago Kentish Mercury
Dartford. "At the petty sessions on Saturday, Ann Brown was fined 5 shillings and costs, and, in default, 21 days' imprisonment for wilfully breaking a lamp, in the union house, Dartford. While in court, the prisoner clenched her fist and smashed four large panes of glass in the hall windows, and was with difficulty secured by the police. She was then again placed before the bench and committed for 1 month, in addition to the former sentence."
1856, August 09: Cricket: Stansted v FP Campbell's XI Maidstone Journal
"On Wednesday last the inhabitants and visitors of Stansted were much gratified in witnessing on the rectory grounds one of the most iinteresting games of cricket that have been played in this part of the county during the season. F P Campbell esq of Kingsdown, had long promised to bring 11 gentleman to play against an equal number selected by J B Nunn esq, of Stansted, to give them a thorough good thrashing. The determined and offhand manner in which these gentlemen set about their work clearly manifested their determination; but their opponents, however, were not to be terrified, and the unflinching and skilful manner in which they played soon showed their superiority, although some of their opponents belonged to the Dartford Club, which has a considerable reputation in the neighbourhood. The weather was glorious for the sport, and attracted a large number of ladies and gentry to the ground. The cricketers partook of an admirable collation, provided by Mr Scudder. Wickets were drawn at half past 7, when the score was as follows: Stansted 88 and 64, Dartford 69 and 34. [The Stansted team included 4 players, who turned out for Ash in 1854 - Elcomb, F & J Fletcher, Sharpe]
1856, September 06: The Harvest Maidstone Journal
"The Reaping Machine // Mr Dray's reaping machine has been at work all the harvest, and has given great satisfaction to numbers of agriculturalists who have visited the farm. We are glad to hear that no fewer than 150 have been purchased this harvest." // "The Harvest // There is at the present moment a very interesting evidence of the excellency of the crops this year now visible from the road leading from Farningham to Dartford. Opposite Horton Court Lodge no fewer than 40 corn stacks, standing in a straight line, extend about half a mile across the farm of Messrs Robert and John Russell."
1856, December 20: Fire at Fawkham Gravesend Reporter
"At about half past one on Saturday morning last, the attention of the patrol-sergeant was arrested by the reflection of a fire. He immediately proceeded in the direction from whence the light emanated, and found that the conflagration was taking place on the farm of Mr John Cooper, of Fawkham. As there was no water at all in the locality of the premises, it was useless to bring the engines to the spot, so that the flames had almost uncontrolled sway. The property destroyed was as follows - 2 barns containing 9 quarters of peas, and 9 quarters of wheat; 1 wheat stack; 1 straw stack; 2 barley stacks; a cow lodge; a straw lodge and stable, all of which was insured in the Norwich Fire Office."
1857, January 13: Theft at Fawkham South Eastern Gazette
West Kent Quarter Sessions: "George Butler, 20, farm labourer, for stealing a waistcoat, value 5 shillings, the property of Thomas Smith, and a flannel shirt, value 2s 6d, the property of Thomas Trevillian at Fawkham, on the 15th November. Mr Papillon was for the prosecution; prisoner was undefended. // Prisoner, who was formerly a private in the Foot Guards, had lodged in the house of Trevilian, where Smith also lodged. On the day in question prisoner left the house and shortly afterwards the articles named in the indictment were missed. Search was made for the prisoner, and he was arrested at Dartford railway station with the property in his possession - 6 months' hard labour."
1857, March 10: Case of Rabies at Hartley South Eastern Gazette
"Death from Hydrophobia: On Wednesday evening, a labourer named Ambrose Arnold, aged 36, in the service of Mr Treadwell of Hartley, died from the effects of a bite from a mad dog, which he received in May last. On Monday the deceased felt very unwell, on the following day symptoms of madness presented themselves, and on Wednesday he became so unmanageable that he was conveyed to the union, where he died in a raving state, the same evening, and howling like a dog." // [A very sad case, it was not until 1885 that a vaccine was discovered by Louis Pasteur. Maidstone Journal 10.3.1857 adds he was bitten on wrist and knee by dog which was ultimately destroyed.]
1858, May 4: Desperate Escape of Prisoners from a Railway Train South Eastern Gazette
Greenwich Magistrates: "On Friday last as Mr Traill, the sitting magistrate at the police court, was proceeding with the business, information was brought that two prisoners, Isaac Walton and James Hills, had made a most daring escape while being brought from Maidstone Gaol to undergo a second examination on the charge of burglarously entering the premises of Mr Henry Howettson, of 3 Upper Park Place, Blackheath Park, and stealing therefrom a quantity of plate. The prisoners were apprehended on suspicion about half past 5 o'clock on Friday morning by Westbrook, a constable in plain clothes, and Ralph 136B, and after a desperate struggle were captured, a third man escaping and throwing away a dark lantern. On being serached at the station house, they were found to be possessed of a quantity of silver plate, which was subsequently discovered to be the property of Mr Hewettson. On Friday, Sergeant Grant 10H was in company with Preston 378R, in charge of the prisoners, the burglars being in the charge of the sergeant, and an old man looked after by Preston. They started by the 7.40 train from Maidstone to London, and halfway between Greenhithe and Dartford the door of the carriage was suddenly opened, and Walton and Hills, who were linked together, dropped out of the carriage suddenly, notwithstanding teh train was at full speed, and were thrown down. Seargeant Grant instantly followed, and was also thrown down, his head and shoulder coming into contact with the ground. His head was much grazed, and his arm dislocated. While he lay there stunned by the blow, the prisoners made their escape, followed by Preston. The old prisoner remained in the train, and proceeded to the Greenwich Police Station, giving himself up and stating the circumstances of the escape. Sergeant Grant, on his arrival, appeared much shaken. His arm was bandaged across his breast. Information was immediately forwarded to the police and railway stations by horse and telegraph, and pursuite was given by the police in all directions. The superintendent of teh Dartford police, Mr Christopher Brandon, accompanied by a constable of that force, scoured the country for several hours, and at half past 4 o'clock they arrived at the village of Fawkham, about 10 miles from the spot where the prisoners escaped. On entering a room at a public house, Brandon saw two men answering the description of the prisoners, regaling themselves with steaks and brandy and water. One of the men, who turned out to be the prisoner Walton, on seeing the policement, instantly sprang out of the window, and ran into an adjoining wood. He was pursued by the constables and soon captured. His companion, the prisoner Hill had received such severe injuries that he was unable to leave the room. It appears from the statement of the landlord that on entering the house the prisoners stated, in order account for their bruises, taht they had met with an accident by falling from a vehicle; and Walton arranged to leave Hill whilst he proceeded to London to bring down a horse and cart. Both prisoners were lodged at the Greenwich police station on Friday night, and under medical treatment. // The prisoners, Isaac Walton, aged 27, and James Hill, 25, both seamen, were charged with the burglary on Saturday before Mr Truill, when also the evidence of their attempted escape, on the way from Maidstone Gaol, and of their recapture at Fawkham, was gone into. Mr Truill said that, although evidence of the escape made by the prisoners while in custody might be taken as presumptive of their guilt, yet he did not think it necessary to adopte such a course on the present occasion, the evidence as to the burglary having been committed by them being perfectly conclusive. At the same time he thought a report of the circumstances attending the escape ought to be made to the Police Commissioners in order that steps might be taken to prevent the possibility of prisoners escaping in a similar manner. Mr Inspector Saunders said a report had been forwarded to the Commissioners of Police. The prisoners, who declined saying anything in their defence, were fully committed for trial."
1858, May 11: Escaped Prisoners Maidstone Journal
"The Escaped Burglars - In our last we stated that 2 men named Walton and Hill, while beign conveyed by railway to Greenwich, when the train was betewen Greenhithe and Dartford, suddenly jumped from the carriage, being handcuffed togother, and made their escape, the train at the time travelling at the rate of about 30 miles an hour. Sergeant Grant immediately jumped after them, when, unfortunately, his head came into contact with the a steep embankment, and his right shoulder was dislocated. Information of the escape being communicated to Mr Superintendent Brandon, of the Dartford police, officers were sent in pursuit in all directions, and about 4 o'clock in the afternoon Mr Brandon came up with the prisoners at a public house in the village of Fawkham, about 10 miles from Dartford, whre they were eating beef steaks and drinking brandy and water, the landlord being told by them that they had both sustained injuries by being thrown from a cart. Walton, on seeing the superintendent, made his escape out of a back door of the house, and was not apprehended for some time afterwards. Hill being at once secured. Both had suffered considerably from their perilous leap,a dn were immediately placed under medical treatment. Mr Traill thought a report of the circumstances attending the escape ought to be made to the Police Commissioners, in order that steps might be taken to prevent the possibility of prisoners escaping in a similar manner. Mr Inspector Saunders said a report had been forwarded to the Commissioners of Police. The prisoners were fully committed for trial. The greatest commendation is due to Superintendent Brandon and his men for the clever manner in which they traced out the track of the prisoners."
1858, October 5: Missing Children from Horton Kirby South Eastern Gazette
"Horton Kirby - Two children lost: On Tuesday the 7th ultimo, two little boys, named Amos and James Deane, aged respectively 13 and 11, left their homes, and it is supposed that they went somewhere into the hop growing district; that were last seen between Hartley and Meopham, and have not been heard of since. They were both dressed in white pinafores, corduroy trousers, dark caps, and laced boots, when they left home. They are both short, fat, ruddy-looking boys. Should this meet the eye of any individual who has seen, or knows the whereabouts of two such boys, a communication to James Deane, care of George Webb, schoolmaster, Eynsford, will be most thankfully acknowledged by the distressed parents." // [We may presume this had a happy outcome as Amos and James are back home with their parents in Horton Kirby at the time of the 1861 census.]
1858, November 2: Property For Sale at Ash South Eastern Gazette
"A valuable freehold estate to be sold by auction by Mr William Hodsoll at the Swan Inn, Ash on Friday, November 19th 1858, at one for two o'clock precisely, in one lot: Comprising 5 freehold dwellings houses, with large gardens, occupying about an acre of ground, most eligibly situated in the much admired and healthy village of Ash next Ridly and about 3 miles from a proposed station on the East Kent Railway. The property possesses an extensive frontage to the road of 270 feet, and an average depth of 153 feet. In the several occupations of Elcomb, Hills, Tomlin, Accleton, and Burnett, at rentals amounting to £33 4s per annum. Particulars and conditions of sale may be had of Messrs Madox and Wyatt solicitors, 30 Clement's Lane, City; at the principal inns at Dartford, Farningham and the neighbourhood; at the place of sale; and of Mr William Hodsoll auctioneer etc, Farningham, Kent."
1859, April 26: General Election Maidstone Journal
Lengthy reports of Conservative election meetings at Gravesend and Dartford. At the Gravesend meeting Mr Barnett of Meopham did not deny the Conservatives used coercion but said Liberals did too: "Our opponents talk a great deal of the purity with which they conduct their elections, and assert that coercion is only resorted to by the Conservatives; but an instance of coercion on that side has recently come under my own personal knowledge. I was canvassing in the neighbourhood of Longfield, applied to a publican there for his vote, when he showed me a letter he had received from his landlord, a certain London brewer, ordering him to vote for Messrs Martin and Whatman." Conservative candidates got a rougher ride at Dartford, where they couldn't make themselves heard.
1859, May 26: Accident on the New Railway North Devon Journal
"Melancholy Accident - An inquest was held on Monday at the Green Man, Longfield, Kent, before Charles J Cartiar esq, coroner, on the body of James Murrell, aged 28, who was killed by a mass of chalk falling upon him during the construction of the new East Kent Railway from Strood to St Mary Cray. It appeared from the evidence of his fellow workmen, that he was standing on a ridge nearly at the bottom of a cutting about 70 feet deep, from the top of which large masses of chalk were being detached. One mass of about 9 tons fell sooner thn was anticipated, and the deceased, being a new hand, and inexperienced in the work, became frightened, and attempted to step across the cutting on to another ridge in the opposite side out of the way. He was however, overtaken by the falling mass, and buried with it into a deep pit at the side, where his death must have been instantaneous. The jury returned a verdict of 'Accidently smothered under a fall of earth.'"
1859, August 9: Sale of Darenth Cottages and "Defoes Cottage" South Eastern Gazette
"Hartley Parish Property, Kent. // Mr William Mungeam has received instructions from the Guardians of the Poor of the Dartford Union, with the sanction of the Poor Law Board, to sell by auction at the Lion Inn, Hartley, on Thursday the 18th August 1859. // All those three substantial built cottages, occupied by Charles Day and others, situate at Hartley, with the garden ground to the same and containing about 36 perches. The above property is freehold. To be seen by application on the premises."
1859, December 6: Hop Sets for Sale South Eastern Gazette
"For sale: Golding Grape Hop Sets, warranted true. Apply to Mr EJ Goodwin, Canon Court, Wateringbury, or to Mr J Millen, Fairby Farm, Hartley."