Newspaper Stories 1851-1900 - Hartley-Kent: The Website for Hartley

Go to content

Newspaper Stories 1851-1900

25 March 1851 - Burglary at Meopham
South Eastern Gazette

Reuben Parker alias 'Hampstead Fred' 38, was indicted for burglary, and stealing 2 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 in 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; one man had 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 crepe over his face.  Witness was much hurt, and carried his arm in a sling 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, depossed 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 lived at Star Street, Gravesend.  Witness was taken up 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 down stairs into 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 3 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 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 2 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, stocks and caps, 5 of which were made of white stockings and one of black crepe.  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  4 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 taken to London.  The bundles were taken by the 4 men when they parted.

By prisoner - Did not know the men before he saw them at Clark's house.  Recognised you at Chelmsford.  Never said he 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 at Gravesend.  Knew the prisoner, who lodged with the 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 the 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.

Maria Ketling deposed that she lodged at Clarks 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 his lordship - When they left on Friday night, prisoner said he hoped 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 whom was prisoner.  They were all smoking cigars.  Witness stopped the prisoner and another man.  Prisoner made his escape.

By prisoner - Had never seen the men before.  Took more notice of you than the other men, because you had been recently shaved.

Emanuel Stringer deposed that he was in the service of Mr Fellows, a miller at Eynsford, on the 2nd June, on 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 2 men, one of whom was teh 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.  4 men came to her house on the 2nd June.  Had not known them before.  They brought 4 bundles ith them in stuff handkerchiefs.  Did not know the prisoner.  ONe man had on 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 that whe 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 leve this country for the remainder of his life.

Death recorded.  Clark was convicted at the Summer Assizes 1849.


6 August 1851 - Poor hop crop
Daily News
Hops were very profitable some years, but are quite a delicate crop so other years could see very little return (Brewery History Society)

Hop Intelligence
Horton Kirby - our hops and those in the adjoining parishes of Darenth, Fawkham, Kingsdown and Hartley are as full of vermin as they can hold.

Otford and Shoreham - we have in these parishes 200 acres of hop land, and as far as we are able to judge at present about 40 acres are likely to grown from 9 to ?? cwt per acre, the remainder are almost totally blighted.


11 October 1851 - Fire at Blue House Farm
Kentish Independent
Blue House Farm stood where Mintmakers, Church Road does today, so the paper's description of it being in Hartley Bottom is not right.  The nearby farm threatened by the fire was Middle Farm, next to the RC Church.  The fire brigade attending was from Gravesend.

There is a short report in the South Eastern Gazette of 14 October 1851.  It adds that arson was suspected.

Fires - About 11.30 on the night of Thursday week, an alarm of fire was raised in the New Road, and it was found to be caused by a fire in a cellar under the shop of Mr Macilwain, painter, facing the church in the New Road.  Mr Aitkin, superintendent, succeeded in extinguishing it before much damage had been done.

On the following morning [Friday 3rd], about 12 o'clock, an express came over from 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); two 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 farm house 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.

At 11 o'clock on Wednesday night, as PC Dawson was on duty in the New Road, he discovered a fire on the ground floor of the house belonging to Mr Winstone, painter.  He immediately gave an alarm and extinguished the same with the assistance of some neighbours.  The fire is supposed to have originated through one of the children going to a cupboard in which a dress was hanging with a candle, and letting a spark drop.  The damage was confined to the burning of hte dress and scorching the wood.  Mr Aitkin, the foreman of the fire engines, and Mr White, the Superintendent of Police with some of their men, were in attendance, but their services were not required.


2 December 1851 - Fatal Accident at Ash
Kentish Gazette
The Ash next Ridley burial register provides the details that the boy who died.  He was Edmund Stevens of Turners Oak, aged just 5.  The 1851 census does say he had brothers George (15 in 1852), Thomas (12) and Edward (3) so it may be he was not the one being employed as a bird scarer but with his older brother?

Ash - on Wednesday last, a fatal accident happened here owing to the incautious use of lucifer matches.  Two little boys named Stevens who were in a field keeping crows for Mr Glover Mungham, lit a fire to warm themselves, and the clothes of the youngest becoming ignited he was shockingly burnt, the whole of his clothes except his shoes being consumed.  He died in about an hour afterwards.


23 March 1852 - Selling corn at Dartford Market
South Eastern Gazette
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.

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), 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.


8 May 1852 - Fairby Farm for Sale
Kentish Mercury
The South Eastern Gazette of 18 May 1852 reported that the buyer was Mr Justice (Thomas Noon) Talfourd (1795-1854) who paid £6,500.  The late proprietor referred to was Francis Treadwell, who had died the previous year at the age of 93.

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 on Monday May 10th 1852, at Garraways Cornhill, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, by order of the executors 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 acres of very extraordinary productive arable, hop, orchard, meadow and woodland, together with 4 workmen's cottages, known as Fairby Farm, in the parishes of Hartley and Fawkham, within easy distances of the Dartford or Gravesend Stations on the North Kent Railway.  To the lovers of sport this estate offers great attractions, being well stocked with game, and within 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, would gladly take a lease for 21 years, at a fair rent.  The land, which is in a vry excellent state of cultivation, is of easy tillage, very productive and ???? for hops, admirably adapted for sheep and stock; frontages to good roads, and adapted for building purposes, being the healthiest situation in the county of Kent.  The late proprietor attained the age of nearly 100 years.......


13 July 1852 - 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


14 September 1852 - Sale of farm stock at Fairby and New House Farm
South Eastern Gazette (also in 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.

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.


19 April 1853 - 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.


23 April 1853 - Fairby Shooting: More Details
Canterbury Journal
This extract contains a few more details, apparently from Mr Treadwell or his supporters.

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.


14 May 1853 - 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.


24 May 1853 - The Fairby Case, 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.


21 June 1853 - 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.


26 July 1853 - Sale of the freehold of Woodins
Maidstone Journal

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
.................


1 October 1853 - 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.


4 October 1853 - Fire at Hartley Court
South Eastern Gazette
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.

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.


19 September 1854 - Estate notice for Robert Hayes
Maidstone Journal
Robert Hayes was landlord of the King's Arms (now Hartley Bottom Farm) since 1843, it also mentions his other occupation - cordwainer (shoe maker)

Robert Hayes, deceased, notice - All persos having claims upon the estate of Robert Hayes, late of Hartley, in the county of Kent, victualler and cordwainer, deceased, are requested to send the full particulars thereof to me on or before the 1st day of October next, and all persons indebted to the said estate are required forthwith to pay the amount of their respective debts to me.

Thomas Creasy Barber, 67 High Street, Gravesend, administrator of the estate and effects...


21 March 1854 - Obituary of Mr Justice Talfourd
South Eastern Gazette
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.

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.


31 October 1854 - 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.


24 March 1855 - 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


2 October 1855 - 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.


23 October 1855 - Another 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.


22 January 1856 - 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.


6 May 1856 - 4th fire in 5 years 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.


14 June 1856 - 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...


10 March 1857 - Case of rabies at Hartley
South Eastern Gazette
A very sad case, it was not until 1885 that a vaccine was discovered by Louis Pasteur.

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.


5 October 1858 - Missing boys from Horton Kirby
South Eastern Gazette
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.

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.


26 May 1859 - 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.'


9 August 1859 - Sale of Darenth Cottages and "Defoe's 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.

10 April 1860 - Sale of hop poles at Hartley Wood
South Eastern Gazette

Important and Extensive Sale of Oak and Elm timber......
Mr William Hodsoll is favoured with instructions to sell by auction, at the Lion Hotel, Farningham on Thursday April 12th 1860 at 2 o'clock......

At the same time and place will be sold, 18,000 of 10 feet, 14 feet and 16 feet hop poles, lying in Hartley Wood....

The timber etc may be viewed on application to... Mr Allen, Hartley.....


18 September 1860 - Earthquake in Kent
Kentish Gazette
The main areas affected were Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Wrotham and others with the epicentre believed to be 7 miles west of Maidstone.  Uncertain if Hartley was affected but the quake was felt at Meopham and Stansted.

Mr W E Hickson of Fairseat, Wrotham writes as follows to a London contemporary:- "On Monday, September 3, this neighbourhood, and as it now appears a considerable part of Mid Kent, was alarmed by a shock of violent explosion, followed by a storm of hail and rain of unusual severity.  The morning had been fine, with the barometer steadily rising, as it had done, after a long depression, the two days previous; so that the difference in the height of the mercury between Saturday and Monday, at 9am was fully an inch.  Fahrenheit's thermometer indicated no further wavering of the temperature, standing in the shade as on the day before at 60, and wind blowing from the north-east, a dry quarter; we had decided in our minds against the probability of any unfavourable change in the weather for the next 24 hours.  At 3 o'clock however in the afternoon, the inmates of every house in this hamlet, and those of every village and town for some miles round, were startled by a violent shaking of doors and windows, accompanied by a noise, which to some sounded like the rumbling along a road of heavily loaded waggons, and to others as if the roof were falling in, or some heavy piece of furniture was being rolled overhead.  The vibration was sufficient in the house of one of my neighbours to shake a hammer and some other articles from the kitchen shelves, to the great consternation of his domestics, and to cause the horses in our stables to neigh loudly, and struggle hard to get loose.  Out of doors there was a tremour of the ground, but of a less strongly marked character.  After the shock, the duration of which was probably 20 seconds, the clouds were observed to gather, and at a quarter to four discharged, with some thunder and lightning, first a shower of hail of the largest size (some with us having been picked up as large as marbles), and then a perfect cataract of rain, the heaviest seen this year, which is saying much, considering the quantity that has fallen.  This storm had a limited area, commencing about Nurstead and going off in the direction of Tonbridge.  A few drops only fell at Cobham, and none at Ash, villages 10 miles apart, although the roads between were deluged with water.  At East Peckham, between Tonbridge and Maidstone, the lightning struck and destroyed the spire of the church, doing at the same time serious injury to the town.   The cause of the shock preceeding this storm was at first ascribed to blasting operations at Cuxton, near Rochester, for which preparations had ben made, and this was so strongly my own impression that on Sunday I visited Cuxton, with a scientific friend from Guys to inquire into the fact.  At Cuxton however, we learnt that there had been no blasting there on the 3rd, and that the operations carried out on the 7th for blowing down a chalk cliff had produced no sensible effect at the distance of a hundred yards; but the shock we heard and felt on the 3rd, was heard and felt at Cuxton, and was referred to the supposed explosion of a powder mil at Tonbridge.  In some places reports wre current of a powder mill having been blown up at Sittingbourne, in others at Dartford; but no accident of the kind anywhere during the week has been announced and as it now appears certain that the shock must have had either of a meteoric or telluric origin, all the particulars that can be collected of it, as connected with the extraordinary characters of the season, become of interest.  A local paper says that onl the day in question 'the attention of Mr Flint, of Mill Hall near Aylesford, was suddenly arrested by strange rumbling noise, and immediately afterwards the house began to shake so violently as almost to threaten the destruction of the building.  At the same moment the servants came rushing in from the kitchen, greatly alarmed, stating the earthenware was clattering on the shelves.  The effects of the shock were still more perceptible on a large heap of coals in a shed at the back of the premises, and a man who was erecting a wall there states that it rocked to and fro in such a manner that he expected every moment to see it fall the ground.  The same extraordinary vibration was experienced at various other places, chiefly as our reports would seem to indicate in the country between Maidstone and Farningham.  At the former town it was felt in different directions, and still more distinctly at Malling; while our Sevenoaks reporter states that, in some instances, even the house bells in that town were set in motion, and the turret bell at Knole House was suddenly rung to the dismay and consternation of the inmates.'  Statements to a similar effect reach me daily.  Our medical authority communicates the case of a poor woman, a patient, who having experienced earthquakes abroad, rushing out of her cottage with her children, expecting it to fall, as she had seen houses fall in Peru.  Mr Durling of the Plough, Meopham, standing on a haystack, felt the stack give way beneath him, while at the same instant, a lad assisting him near the stack cried out 'the ground is moving'.  At Stansted a man who had been employed in cutting peas, and was sitting on the ground, feeling the shock, started on his feet from the surprise it occasioned.  At Borough Green some bricklayers, at work at a new school room there building, saw the sand falling of itself from a heap they had deposited for mortar.  Earthquakes have not been common in Kent, but they are not confined to volcanic districts; and if the cause of earthquakes be sometimes, as supposed, a disturbed state of the electric currents, and an effort of nature to restore their equilibrium, this is certainly a year to account for their occurrence, even on chalk downs.  The weather has been remarkable, and remains so.  On these elevated lands we have still large breadths of corn uncut, and which shows no signs of ripening, from the deficiency of heat.  Today, the 12th of September with a bright sun, my thermometer in the shade stands at 1pm, but at 56; and we have had white frosts this week for three nights in succession  Kent has lost almost totally this year three of its staples - fruit, potatoes and hops.  Oats will be a fair crop, but the wheat greatly below an average, except on warm sandy soils, and we have a proverb that:

When the sand doth feed the clay
Then for England well a day!

Yours truly
W E Hickson"


13 July 1861 - Oddfellows meeting at the Black Lion
Maidstone Telegraph
The Oddfellows were a mutual help society, which still exists as a Friendly Society today.  According to the 1875 return of the Dartford District, the Heart of Oak lodge based in Hartley was founded in 1852 and met at the Black Lion every 4th Saturday.  It was well supported with 69 members.  The Oddfellows Heart of Oak lodge were still going in at least 1937.

Hartley - the Oddfellows' anniversary was held at the Lion Inn on Monday last.  The members sat down to a good dinner provided by Mr Cooper, the host after which they retired to a field adjoining the inn, attended by the Birling Amateur Band, and greatly enjoyed themselves in dancing and cricket.  The amusements however, were greatly marred by two very severe thunderstorms.


7 August 1861 - Alterations to Hartley Church
The Guardian

On Wednesday July 10th, the little parish church of Hartley, Kent was reopened, having been under repair for 10 weeks.  The Church is about the date of 1100, with later insertions.  The east end has been entirely rebuilt, and a handsome Early Decorated window put up.  The old pews and west gallery have been removed, and the church fitted with substantial open seats, whereby 35 additional sittings have been obtained.  A sum of nearly £400 has been expended on these and other improvements, which have been most successfully carried out under the superintendence of Mr J P St Aubyn.  Evening prayer was said at 4 o'clock, and an admirable sermon preached by the Rev Edward King, Dean of Cuddesdon.  The collection amounted to £11.  After the service the whole parish adjourned to the rectory grounds, where a substantial tea was provided.


7 May 1862 - The local carrier
Gravesend Reporter

Dartford Petty Sessions before Sir P H Dyke and F M Lewin esq
John Page, a labourer living in Green Street Green, was charged with assaulting an old woman named Sarah Roots, on Saturday 3rd May.  It appeared that complainant, who is a sort of carrier twice a week from Ash to Dartford, was going over the green on her return home, having a large dog tied under the cart.  The defendant, who was drunk, kicked the dog, when the complainant struck at him with her whip.  He then commenced a savage assault upon her, for which the bench fined him £2 and 9s 6d expenses.


15 October 1862 - Gift of Pennis Farm to Westminster Hospital
Derby Mercury (quoting Leicester Chronicle)
Pennis Farm is mostly in Fawkham, but did include about 4 fields in Hartley on the western boundary too.  The rents from Pennis etc, are said to be worth £800 p.a which is equivalent to about £60,000 today.

Munificent Bequest
Joseph Almond Cropper esq, barrister, died on Saturday the 27th September last, at his residence, Fulwood House, Gray's Inn, London.  He has left by his will the following legacies, clear of legacy duty, viz

£200 to the East Kent and Canterbury Hospital
£200 to the Midland Institution for the Blind
£200 to the Leicester Infirmary
£200 to the Stafford Infirmary
£100 each to each of the 20 following charitable institutions: Royal Free Hospital, Gray's Inn Road; St Mark's Hospital, City Road; Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street; University College Hospital; Hospital at Brompton for Consumption; St Mary's Hospital, Paddington; Strangers' Friend Society; Royal General Annuity Society; Society for the Suppression of Mendicity; London Socity for the Protection of Young Females; Female Aid Society (late London Female Mission); Indigent Blind Visiting Society; Ragged School Union; Fox Court Ragged Schools, Gray's Inn Lane; Great Northern Hospital, King's Cross; Adult Orphan's Institution; Trinity National School, Bedford Road; Field Lane Ragged School and Night Refuge for the Utterly Destitute; Bethnal Green Philanthropic Pension Society and City of London Hospital for Diseases of the Chest.

The testator also devises houses and land woods and woodlands in the parishes of Fawkham, Ash, Hartley, Horton Kirby, Milton next Gravesend, Plumstead, Meopham and Luddesdown in the county of Kent, to the Governors of the Westminster Hospital.  

He gives his manor of Ashborne and houses and land in Caldow and Carlton, Staffordshire; Whitwick, Thringstone, Belton, Shepshed and Dadlington in Leicestershire to St George's Hospital.

He gives his fee farm rents in the counties of Middlesex, Surrey, Sussex and Chester, and his houses and land at Windsor, Wapping, Kingston upon Thames, East Greenwich, Croydon and Fulwood House, and all the residue of his personal estate, to the Middlesex Hospital.

Mr Cropper has also left several small estates and legacies to his friends, and appointed W Latham esq, solicitor, Melton Mowbray, and George Capes esq, solicitor, Gray's Inn, his executors or trustees.  This gentleman was a native of Loughborough, and died at the age of 79 and left no relatives, his only son having died unmarried about 23 years ago.  The rent of the property devised to Westminster Hospital amounts to about £800 p.a.; to St George's Hospital, £300; and the Middlesex Hospitl will receive in rents £1,000 p.a, and money to amount of £4,000.  These hospitals are enabled, by special acts of Parliament, to receive lands, notwithstanding the Statute of Mortmain.


11 August 1863 - Mr Bensted's Sporting Achievements
South Eastern Gazette
Mr Bensted was owner of Hartley Court.

Farnborough - High Elms Races
These now annual races, which are carried out under the auspices of Sir John W Lubbock, bart, came off at High Elms, the seat of the worthy baronet, on Friday last.

Greater publicity than usual having been given to the gaterhing, and the day being fine, a very large number of persons were present, including the principal families of the district.......  The proceedings were carried out in a most beautiful spot, and it was in every way admirably adapted for the object, being a level plain nearly a mile in length.  The course was properly fenced, and was well kept by a body of the metropolitan police, under Supt Bray, and Inspectors Kent and Nimmo.  Apart from the racing there wasa all th paraphernalia of a first class fair, and the lovers of music were delighted with the excellent playing of the Royal Artillery Band from Woolwich, under Mr Smyth......

The Farmers' Race - A silver cup given by R Birbeck esq for horses which have regularly been hunted with the West Kent, Old Surrey or Burstow's foxhounds, or Mr Russell's harriers, the property of and to be ridden by, farmers or their sons.  Three-quarters of a mile, 7 entries.
1st Mr W Bensted's (Hartley) Harkforward
2nd Mr Thorne's Perseverance
3rd Mr F W Smith's High Flyer.....

Hurdle Race - Open to horses that have run the Farmer's Race, and the Whip.  Entry 10s.  12 ran.
1st Mr H Jenner jun's Jumping Powder
2nd Mr B W Lubbock's Quicksilver
3rd Mr W Benstead's Harkforward.
.....

Foot Races etc.....
For the prize for the high jump there were 9 competitors, and it was won by Mr F Lubbock, who cleared 4ft 11in; Mr Benstead of Hartley, near Dartford, being second.....


26 December 1863 - Fire at New House Farm
Gravesend Reporter

Fires - on Saturday night, about 6 o'clock, a fire broke out on the premises of Mr Cleghorn, Terry's Lodge Farm.  It appeared to commence in the eaves of a lodge which was thatched, and soon afterwards fire was seen to issue from a barn at some distance from the lodge, which seems to make it certain that the fire was caused by an incendiary.  The whole of the outbuildings, agricultural implements, and some wheat in the barn, were destroyed.  The police were in attendance, and assisted by the people assembled, did all that was possible to prevent the fire extending.  On Monday night another fire occurred at New House Farm (Mr W Treadwell's)  The fire was seen about 8 o'clock, and commenced in a barn.  The out-buildings were destroyed and also 2 or 3 stacks of corn  The cause of the fire is entirely unknown.  Mr Superintendent Brandon with some of his men were present, and did all they could to stay the progress of the fire.


5 January 1864 - More local fires
Kentish Gazette

Fawkham - Fire.  At about 12 o'clock on Christmas night a fire broke out in a stack near the road leading from Fawkham to Ash, and continued to burn until 2 stacks standing near to each other were consumed.  They were the property of Messrs John and William Crowhurst of West Yoke Farm, Ash.  This is the third fire within a fortnight - Terry's Lodge first, then New House, Hartley and now West Yoke.  They all seem to be the work of an incendiary.


16 February 1864 - Call for a station at Longfield
Maidstone Journal
It would not be until 1872 that the writer of the letter would get his wish.

Sir.  As the London, Chatham and Dover Railway Company are about to form a siding on their line at or near Longfield, it is most desirable to bring under the notice of the directors an inconvenience much felt and complained of in the neighbourhood - I allude to the want of a station between Meopham and Farningham.  An intermediate station might be placed with manifest advantage at Longfield, where the proposed siding is to be made; or on that part of the line where the parishes of Longfield and Fawkham meet.  Either situation would be convenient to the surrounding parishes of Southfleet, Fawkham, Ash, Ridley, Hartley etc; and if the passenger traffic should not be great at frst, there is no doubt as to its being sufficiently remunerative to the company in a commercial point of view.  If you will make known this crying want through the medium of your widely-circulated journal, it may meet the eye of those who have now an excellent  opportunity of supplying the accommodation desired, and by so doing will greatly oblige the inhabitants of a wide district now deriving no benefit from a line running through the midst of it.

Yours obediently, A mid-Kent Farmer.


29 March 1864 - Theft from Mr Treadwell of New House Farm
Maidstone Journal

Isaac Outred, a labourer, was brought up on remand, charged with stealing 2 pieces of wood, value 1s, the property of Mr W Treadwell, farmer, Hartley.  The Bench sentenced the prisoner to 7 days' hard labour.


31 May 1864 - Sunday Trading at the Black Lion
South Eastern Gazette

William Treadwell, landlord of the Black Lion, Hartley, was charged by PC 149, KCC with having his house open for the sale of beer, between the hours of 3 and 5 o'clock on Sunday April 24th.  The defendant pleaded guilty.  The Bench fined him only 5s and costs, as it was the first offence, and the house being properly conducted.


1 October 1864 - Drink and Money
Gravesend Reporter
The case related to money belonging to Catherine Hayes.  It shows that people were prepared to walk a long way on business, for she and the accused walked together from Hartley Bottom to Gravesend.

Catherine Hayes could be the Catherine, born in Cork, Ireland in 1845 and working as a servant at the Royal Oak Pub at Spital Street, Dartford in 1861.

Walter Martin and Catherine Hayes, who were on Friday convicted of drunkenness, were again placed before the bench under the following circumstances.  Mr Superintendent White said that the prisoner both were on Friday convicted of drunkenness,a nd he woman then stated she had been robbed of a half sovereign and some silver.  On enquiries being made he (the superintendent) ascertained that the man was seen to take some money out of the woman's breast; another constable was told so at the time, but he admitted it; he therefore detained them at the police station, instead of sending them to Maidstone on Friday with the other prisoners.  Mrs Mary Ann Page deposed that while standing in Church Street on Thursday evening last; she saw the woman rolling down on a door step drunk, and the man was with her, and she saw him put his hand into her breast and take out some money; it looked like gold, but she could not positively say it was gold.  Mrs Huntley, a neighbour, fully corroberated Mrs Page's evidence, and stated that she told the constable about it on Thursday evening when he took them into custody.  Catherine Hayes, the woman, said she did not know the man Martin, but she had walked from Hartley Bottom with him to Gravesend; she then had about 14s, she was not drunk when she came to Gravesend.  Superintendent White said that there was 12s 8d found upon Martin when he was brought into custody.  The bench ordered money found upon the man to be given to the woman, and they also remitted her sentence, the man was then removed to undergo the 14 days' imprisonment for drunkenness.


5 November 1864 - New landlord of the Black Lion
Gravesend Reporter
The transfer of licence may have had something to do with the recent prosecution for Sunday Trading, as it would have made a renewal more likely.

The following licenses were transferred... the Black Lion Hartley, from Henry Treadwell to Henry Cooper.


13 March 1865 - Archaeological Discovery at Chapelwood
Maidstone Journal
The ruins of the old house in Chapelwood were rediscovered in 1927.  Like Rev Bancks sixty years later, the ruins were wrongly assumed to be Roman.

Hartley - Archaeological Discovery
Whilst Mr Treadwell and a party of friends were rabbit shooting last week in Chapel Field, Hartley, near the Black Lion, an archaeological discovery of muh interest was accidently made.  A wounded rabbit sought shelter in a hole, when, after vainly probing for some time, the rabbit seekers sent for spades, and, upon digging a short distance, a mass of foundations were laid bare.  Further examinations were then made, when masses of oyster shells were thrown out, three layers of ashes, mixed with heaps of pottery, which from the description given to us, appear to have been Roman amphorae and urns.  The fictile ware was in enormous quantities.  Below this debris were oyster shells again.  It is intended to puruse these explorations by further excavation, and two or three gentlemen who take an interest in archaeological matters in this county have been invited to be present.


4 June 1865 - Black Lion freehold for sale
The Era
The Morning Advertiser of 27 June 1865 records the auction realised £32,100.

Dartford, Kent.  Mr J J Orgill is honoured with instrucitons from William Fleet esq to submit to public competition at Garraway's Coffee House, Change Alley, Cornhill, London on Monday the 26th day of June 1865, at 12 for 1 o'clock, in one lot, a valuable freehold estate known as FLEET'S BREWERY, situate and being in Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent.  It is scarsely necessary to allude to the high position the above brewery occupied in relation to its compeers; for it is a well-attested fact that for stern integrity, solid respectability, and all the attributes which ought to characterise all large establishments, it stands second to none in the kingdom, and which is amply confirmed by a successful career for upwards of a centry by the present proprietor and his family.  The premises are very extensive, in good repair, well drained, and possess an abundant supply of excellent water; they are conveniently situate, being but a short distance from the station, and about a quarter of a mile from the wharves at Dartford Creek.  The erections are well built, of a substantial character, and comprise a 35 quarter brewhouse, wiht the usual appliances for efficiently conducting a trade of magnitude; also a capital Vat Store of a capacity of nearly 1,400 barrels, extensive beer and ale stores, numerous malt floors and hop lofts, abundant stables, cooperage, carpenter's shop, counting houses, principal's office etc, large garden and field.  The present business is extensive, but capable of great augmentation, inasmuch as only porter and one class of ale is brewed, leaving it to future proprietors to introduce stout and other malt beverages, so much sought for in the present day;

also 26 Freehold inns and public houses viz, The Black Boy, The Crown, The Cricketers, the Windmill, the Waterman's Arms and the Long Reach Tavern, all situate at Dartford; the Brown Bear, Greenhithe; the Railway Hotel and Blue Anchor, Swanscombe; the Bull, Hawley; the Jolly Millers, South Darenth; the Chequers, Farningham; the Portobello Inn, Kingsdown; the White Swan, Ash; the Black Lion, Hartley; the King's Head, Bexley, the Red Cross, North Cray; Five Bells, St Mary's Cray; New Inn, Farnborough; Blacksmith's Arms, Cudham; One Bell, Crayford; Fox and Hounds, Darenth; Rising Sun, Fawkham; the Ship, Southfleet; Six Bells, Northfleet; King's Arms, Eltham; all in excellent condition, let to old and respectable tenants at manifestly low rents, amounting to £800 per annum, together with the goodwill in Trde arising from the aforesaid house, as also from several others, held by lease etc.  If it is desired, £15,000 of the purchase money can remain on mortgage for a period of 7 years, upon interest at the rate of 5% per annum.  The Brewery can be viewed by cards from the Auctioneer.....




7 August 1865 - Threatening letters from Hartley
Daily News
William Parris is recorded as being admitted to the Surrey County Asylum on 1 May 1865 and discharged as "recovered" on 12 June 1865.  On 18 July 1866 he was back in the asylum, where he stayed until discharge on 2 April 1867.  On 14 August1865 he had pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey for sending another threatening letter, the court sentenced him to 6 months for this in October 1865.

Lambeth Police Court
William Parris, a labouerer, was charged with sending threatening letters to Sir G Grey and others.

Dr Bullen, surgeon to Lambeth Workhouse, stated that prisoner had before been held to bail, and in default suffered 6 months for a similar offence.  He was of weak mind, and had been confined in the County Asylum.  The following letter had been sent to him by the prisoner:

"July 23, 1865 - To Mr Bullen - Now, Bullen, you may think that you have done it up fine by taking that false oath, but you must look out for your blood head.  I, William Parris, will pop a bullet in your head yet, you blood murderer, and will be hung for you yet.  I told you I would stick to you like the cabman did Muller, you blood murderer of hell flames; I will have you yet.  Your or also me must have a coffin, or both of us."

A letter of similar style was produced, which had been sent to Mr Worster, of the Vauxhall Gas Works, where prisoner had been employed, and contained threats of murdering him.

Revell, one of the warrant officers attached to the court, said he took prisoner at the King's Arms, Hartley Bottom, Kent, where he had just finished and was about posting a letter addressed to Sir G Grey, which was as follows:

"Let him beware.  I, William Parris, formerly called Woolwich Will, now at the King's Arms, Hartley Bottom, now write to ask you how long you are going to hide them blood murderers at Lambeth.  If you don't soon make a stire in it I must have a bill stuck up.  I will not hide murders and blood scandals, and I mean to stick to them as the cabman did Muller."

Prisoner, in a wild manner, said he should next write to the Queen and the Times.

The Magistrate said the case was a very serious case and committed the prisoner for trial at the next sessions of the Central Criminal Court.


3 February 1866 - Theft from George Burnet
Gravesend Reporter
The Reporter of 10 February reported that he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 2 months' hard labour.

Hartley - on Wednesday last [31st January], a young man named Charles Lowell was apprehended by PC Relfe, on a charge of stealing a pilot cloth jacket, the property of George Burnet, of Hartley.  He was taken on Thursday before Robert Bradford, esq, and remanded to this day.


26 May 1866 - Prize boxing fight at Longfield
Gravesend Reporter

Prize Fight - the neighbourhood of Dartford has long been noted for the resort of prize fighters, the marshes of Long Reach having oftern been visited by pugilists.  On Thursday they visited the other side of the town, having come down by the London and Chatham Railway by special train, and alighted at Longfield Court, between Farningham and Meopham Stations.  The combatants were Mace and Goss, but from some cause there was little or no fighting.  The men stood in the ring for nearly an hour sparring and fencing, but scarcely touched each other, when they at last shook hands and agreed that it should be considered a drawn battle.  Another pair agreed to fight for the amusement of those assembled, and while this was proceeding some police arrived from Dartford, and others who had been specially sent for from Chatham.  One or two of the constables were roughly used, but the ropes and stakes were secured by Superintendent Brandon, and carried away.



© Content P Mayer 2000-2018.  Created with WebSite X5
Weather Underground PWS INEWASHG2
Back to content