[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."]
[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]
[A shorter article in the South Eastern Gazette of 14.10.1851 says the fire engine came from Gravesend and that arson was suspected]
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), whoe 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.]
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]
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 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.]
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."
[This extract contains a few more details, apparently from Mr Treadwell or his supporters.]
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...."
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."
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."
[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"]
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.]
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... "
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, and particulars may be obtained of the Auctioneer and Surveyor, Farningham, Kent."
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"
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."
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 evry 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 powr 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 ben 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)." [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]
[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."
[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."
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."
[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.]
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."
[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.]
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."