Newspaper Stories 1869 - - Hartley-Kent: The Website for Hartley

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Newspaper Stories 1869 -

13 and 20 November 1869 - Two cases of Poaching at Hartley
Maidstone Telegraph

(13.11.1869) Edward Dicks was charged with having been trespassing on land belonging to William Allen esq of Hartley, in search of rabbits.  Fined 20 shillings and costs; in default of paying, one calendar month's imprisonment.

(20.11.1869) John Badd and George Hind were charged with stealing 5 rabbits, the property of William Marshall (King's Arms) of Hartley on the 6th November.  They were also further charged with having stolen a rabbit, the property of Thomas Mitchell of Hartley, on the same day.  2 months' hard labour in each case.


2 March 1870 - First Communication Cord Prosecution
Hampshire Advertiser

Unnecessarily Stopping a Train - The first prosection by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway Company against a passenger for unnecessarily stopping a train to be stopped by means of the apparatus provided for communicating with the guard was instituted last week, and the case heard at the Dartford Police Court on Saturday.  The defendant was Mr John Usher, an auctioneer, of Canterbury, who was a passenger from Canterbury to Rochester, and having failed to alight at the last named city communicated with the guard when near Farningham Road Station, the consequence being that the train was immediately stopped.  A fine of 40 shillings and costs inflicted.


16 May 1870 - Attempted Suicide
South Eastern Gazette
This case reminds us that until the Suicide Act 1861, it was a crime in this country to attempt suicide.  John Ware (1819-76) in 1861 had been living at Hartley Court Cottage, but in 1871 had moved to Darenth Cottages, so it looks like that when his employer fired him, he evicted him from his home as well.

John Ware, a labourer of Hartley was charged with attempting to commit suicide by hanging himself.  It appeared that about 6 o'clock on Monday morning last, prisoner got up early and went into a shed adjoining the house; his daughter Elizabeth saw him, and told her younger sister to go and see what her father was about. She accordingly went and found her father hanging by the neck from a beam, suspended by means of a neckerhief.  She called her sister, who cut him down.  He fell to the ground insensible, assistance was at once procured, and he was carried indoors, but he was unable to speak for 6 hours.  Mrs Ware said the only way she could account for his doing this was that some time ago he was severely struck on the head with a stone, and he has since been at times rather strange; also he had been discharged from his work as farm labouerer in consequence of his bad sight, which she thought preyed upon his mind, more especially as his sight was getting worse.  Upon the prisoner's promising that he would make no further attempts upon his life, the bench dismissed him.


4 February 1871 - Theft of Ferret
Maidstone Telegraph

On Wednesday before S C Umfreville esq, Edward Longhurst was charged with stealing a live ferret, value 4 shillings, the property of Henry Bensted at Hartley, on the 19th inst (January).  Fined 20 shillings, 5 shillings costs and 4 shillings the value of the ferret, or 21 days' imprisonment.


13 February 1871 - A Fox Hunt at Hartley
Maidstone Journal
A highly controversial topic today, but there is no denying it was a popular sport among many of the gentry in Victorian England.  An earlier report in 1868 suggests that the hunt was not always very popular in Hartley and Ash.

Sport seems to be the correct word to use, because it is clear they did not see themselves as being involved in pest control, the reference to coverts - little copses of wood in fields, gives the game away, for they are actually encouraging the fox population, so they will have something to hunt.

The West Kent Hounds.
Sir - being sure it will give pleasure to many of your readers, I propose sending you a short account of the doings of the above on the 4 advertised days of last week........

On Thursday we met at Hartley, a certain find, and very few minutes after throwing into covert, Charley was afoot, and the big pack close at him.  Happily Mr Allen was busied at the lower side of Hartley Wood with his men at stone cart, and our fox was headed going for Horton.  A lot of men stopped back for a view (which they got at a second fox) but dear it cost them.  The hunted fox went away at best pace through Foxberry Wood, Nine Horse Shoes, White Ash and Viney Woods, up and down the hills and across the valley of Stansted, to Mr Rigg's preserves, when, heading short, after running straight out for 5 miles, he slipped back to the left through Hall Wood, Meopham Banks and Elbows Wood, shortly after which a second fox being afoot, and the hounds dividing, Mr James Russell (on his second horse) the cold put the body of the pack back to Tom Hils, who was sticking with about 5 people of his hounds to the line of, as we thought, the beaten fox, to Hartley Wood, where was no getting to ground.  Here we hunted for an hour, when half a dozen jays jabbering overhead we thought our fox was dyng in the corner of Foxberry Wood, but it was not so  The hounds took the line across the open by Red Libbets and Pennis Woods to the Horton Coverts, where, though the hunting was slow, there was no dwelling, it was either St Margaret's or Darenth Wood, when Captain Laurie, who was going home, gave us a welcome halloa, seeing our fox lay down in the open.  He was away before the hounds could be got up, and the fog increasing, and pace improving, those who got thrown out now has no chance of nicking in, our gallant fox shunning some of the coverts of the morning, but in the main, running the same line, though at a faster pace, managed at 4 o'clock to save his brush for another day, by slipping into earth about 300 yards from Stansted Church.  The hounds seemed as though they would not be denied, and men were not wanting, who tried by ineffectually, to get him out by candlelight.


22 April 1871 - Theft of Boots
Gravesend Reporter
William Wells was servant to Rev W W Allen, rector of Hartley; he lived at Rectory Cottage at the bottom of Hoselands Hill.

Charles Russell, a tramp, was charged with stealing a pair of boots, value 2 shillings, belonging to William Wells, groom, at Hartley.  Prosecutor said he left his boots in the stable on the 10th April.  His daughter sw prisoner come out of the stable and shut the door.  PC Bailey went in pursuit of prisoner, and found him in the Railway Tavern, Southfleet, with the missing boots on.  1 month's hard labouer.


2 October 1871 - Sale of Farm Stock at Hartley Court
Maidstone Journal

Hartley Court...
Farming Stock and Implements, 3 stacks of oats computed 200 quarters.

Messrs Dann & Son have received instructions from Mr William Allen (quitting the farm), to sell by auction on the premises, as above, on Friday 6th October 1871 at 12 for 1 o'clock, 9 powerful cart horses, 3 breeding sows, 34 head of poultry, 3 handsome beagles, 3 ferrets.  The implements comprise 3 captial cylinder iron land rollers, 3 strong waggons, 5 dung carts, turnrise and Ransome's iron ploughs, ox, small and iron harrows, Suffolk drill brakes, sowing machines, sets of chain and plough harnesses, 30 quarters of corn, sacks, tools, ladders, 350 new hurdles, iron garden roller, 14 inch law mowing machine, and numerous items.  May be viewed the day previous to the sale.  Catalogues had on the premises, the inns in the locality and of the Auctioneers and Estate Agents, Bexley, SE.


21 October 1871 - Donation to Gravesend Hospital
Gravesend Reporter

Dispensary and Infirmary - The Hon Treasurer (G Sams esq) acknowledges with thanks the sum of £4 3s received as collection at Ash Church, on Sunday the 8th inst.  Also £6 1s 3d amount of collection at Cobham Church by the Rev O M Ridley MA and £1 13s 4d, a thank offering for harvest, collected at Hartley by the Rev W W Allen.


11 December 1871 - Sale of Wood at Hartley Wood and Gorse Wood
Maidstone Journal

Valuable Underwood.  Hartley Court Kent
Mr Robert Allen has been instructed to sell by tender, about 34 acres of valuable underwood, varying from 11 to 14 years' growth, growing in Hartley and Goss Woods, Hartley Court.  Any person desirous of tendering for the same may obtain the necessary form from William Turvill, Hartley Court near Dartford, or of Mr Robert Allen, Ruxley, near Foot's Cray, which must be forwarded to Mr Robert Allen on or before Tuesday the 26th December 1871.  Mr Robert Allen will not pledge himself to accep the highest or any tender.


10 June 1872 - Opening of Longfield Station
Maidstone Journal

Fawkham - Opening of a railway station.  
The inhabitants of this parish have at last succeeded in obtaining what they much required - a railway station on the London, Chatham and Dover line.  For several years many attempts have been made to induce the company to open a station at Fawkham, but without success.  A short time ago HB Hohler esq, came to reside there, when that gentleman took the matter in hand and succeeded.  The new station was opened on the 1st of June.


22 July 1872 - Sale of Properties at Hartley, Longfield and Ash
Maidstone Journal
The owner here didn't waste any time in realising the increased value of their estate from the opening of Longfield Station in 1872!

The auction results are recorded in the Daily News of 29 July 1872 - Longfield Court and 31a 2r 14p sold for £5,000.  Hartley Green - 2 cottages and 10a 1r 12p of land sold for £1,050.  Hartley House sold for £1,080.  9a 1r 30p of land at Grub Street sold for £800 (?).  Bay Lodge and wheelwright's sold for £410.  Forge Cottage and Farrier's shop sold for £310.

Longfield, Hartley and Ash Kent, 5 miles below Dartford, in an exceedingly picturesque locality.

Longfield Court, a charming old-fashioned gothic residence, standing in very tastefully disposed pleasure grounds, with paddocks of about 22 acres, and having stabling for 8 horses, coachhouse, gardener's and keeper's cottages, pheasantry, and extensive domestic offices, situate close to Longfield Church, and Fawkham Station, on the London, Chataham and Dover Railway.

Also about 9½ acres of choice building land, contiguous to the above, adjoining the railway station, having frontages on 3 sides to good roads.

A capital enclosure of arable land of about 9 acres and 2 cottages at Hartley Green.

Hartley Cottage (now called Hartley House), a comfortable detached residence in large garden with stabling, orchard etc., together about 3 acres.

Also 2 detached cottages in good gardens with wheelwright's and blacksmith's shops respectively (Bay Lodge and Forge Cottage); and also an enclosure of arable land, about 9 acres (Forge Field), all situate at Grub Street, in the parish of Hartley, about 1½ miles from Fawkham Railway Station.

And 2 cottages, and about 2½ acres of arable land at West Yoke, in the parish of Ash.

Mr Marsh will sell by auction at the Guildhall Coffee House, Gresham Street, City on Thursday July 25th at 12 for 1 o'clock in several lots, the above very valuable freehold properties....


21 August 1872 - Sunday Trading at The King's Arms
Gravesend Journal
Opening between midnight and 12.30 on Sundays was prohibited by the Limiation of Opening Hours Act 1848.

More Sunday Trading - John Callow landlord of the 'King's Arms', Hartley, was also summonsed for opening his house for the sale of liquor before half past 12 o'clock on the morning of Sunday July 21st - OC G Webster (KCC) said that on visiting the house at half past eleven in the forenoon, he found 4 men in a wash house at the rear, 2 were standing, 1 holding a glass in his hand, the 3rd was seated in a chair beside the table, and the 4th sat on the table on which was a quart pot containing beer.  The men were William Letchford (Hartley), George Munn, John Fincham (working at Red Cow Farm), and William Packman (Hartley).  Witness observed to the landlord that he supposed he know he was doing wrong.  Defendant said Letchford had represented himself as a traveller.  Witness stted that he should report the case....


31 August 1872 - Sunday Trading at the King's Arms
Dartford Chronicle
This would lead to the final closure of the pub, the building is now Hartley Bottom Farm.

Tipling - William Letchford, George Munn, John Fineham and William Packman were summoned for having been found for the purpose of drinking in the house of Mr John Callow, the 'King's Arms' Hartley, who was convicted at this court a fortnight back for illegally opening his house on July 21st.  Accused pleaded guilty, and were fined 2s 6d costs 7 shillings each.


1 October 1872 - Sale of Farming Stock at Hartley Wood Farm
South Eastern Gazette
Hartley Wood Farm is now called Hartley Manor Farm.

Hartley Wood Farm.... Messrs Hodsoll & Ray are instructed by the proprietor (who is quitting the farm) to sell by auction on the premises as above, on Friday October 11th 1872 at 12 o'clock.  The valuable live and dead farming stock, comprising 4 powerful and active draught horses, mare in foal with colt at foot, milch cow, 8 calves, 2 waggons, 5 dung carts, 2 rollers, 5 share Kent Drill, and excellent 2 horse threshing machine, galvanised iron water barrel on carriage and 4 wheels, ox harrows, hop nidgets, bean and pea brakes, cleaning machine, 75 hop bins and cloths, 160 new hurdle gates, sheep cages and troughs, harness etc.  Also a portion of the household furniture.  Catalogues may be had on the premises, and of the auctioneers, Farningham and Horton Kirby, Kent.


4 January 1873 - The man with a Red Flag
Gravesend Reporter


Traction Engines on Highways: The following letter has been addressed to the Editor of the South Eastern Gazette.  Sir, Seeing in your edition of Dec 24th an account o my being fined by the Dartford bench of magistrates for allowing a traction engine to proceed upon the highway in the parish of Longfield, allow me to say that it was upon a very unfrequented road, where you may travel in the daytime for hourse without meeting anything, shortly after 5 o'clock in the morning and pitch dark.  The engine was travelling with its proper lights, but a man with a red flag would be as useless at 60 yards from the engine as he would have been 6 miles off.  Yours truly John S Evenden


13 September 1873 - Last Try to Save the King's Arms
Gravesend Reporter

Mr E A Hilder of Gravesend, made an application respecting the King's Arms, Hartley Bottom.  This was a very old licensed house, but by some inadvertencethe licence was lost at the last year's licensing meeing; this the applicant did not know until it was too late to apply for it.  Superintendent Fread considered that this house was not requisite, and said he had received complaints of its being conducted improperly - Refused.


6 February 1875 - Fare Evasion
Pall Mall Gazette
The number of times my ticket has been checked on the footbridge at Bromley suggests that this type of fare evasion is still common.

Samue Shrubook, a builder's foreman, living in Grange Road, Bermondsey, was summoned at Lambeth yesterday for having travelled on the London, Chatham and Dover Railway, without having paid his fare, and with intent to avoid payment.  The defendant took a ticket from Farningham Road to St Mary Cray, for which he paid a few pence.  He did not alight, but travelled onto Herne Hill, where he was met by a woman who gave him a ticket from there to the Elephant and Castle.  He thus avoided payment for the journey between Herne Hill and St Mary Cray.  It was stated that frauds of this description were frequently commited.  Mr Ellison sad it was a shameful fraud, and ordered the defendant to pay a fine of 40 shillings and £1 10s costs, with the alternative of one month's imprisonment.  The magistrate regretted that he had now power to inflict a heavier punishment.


25 June 1875 - Traffic Offence at Ash
Bexleyheath Observer
Note that the Magistrates ignored the police's plea for clemency in this case.

At the Dartford Petty Sessions on Saturday last, Alfred Parker, Hartley, was summoned by Mr Superintendent Fread for riding on a wagon without reins on the 20th May, at Ash.  The defendant is very deaf, and appeared to understand but imperfectly what was said to him, in explanation of the charge, whith was substantiated by PC Taylor.  The superintendent said he did not wish to press for a penalty, as he did not consider the defendant was the proper person to be entrusted with a team, being very deaf, and he was also lame.  Fined 2s 6d and costs.  John Forester, in the emply of Mr Ricomini of Ash, was summoned fora similar offence, viz driving a wagon at Kingsdown on the 29th May in such a way as not to have control of the horses.  PC Taylor said the defendant was riding on the shafts and had no reins.  Fined 2s 6d and costs.


25 December 1875 - Christmas at Dartford
Bexleyheath Observer
Notable for listing where the butcher shops bought their animals.  Mr Smith of Fairby supplied 16 cows and 20 sheep to Mr Barton.  In 1877 the agricultural returns state there were 54 cattle and 930 sheep in Hartley, so for cattle especially the Christmas market was very important.  It has resonance today when people are much more interested in the origins of the food they eat.  It also suggests that the turkey had not taken over locally as the Christmas dish.  Not entirely sure what a "Birmingham House" is, but I presume it would have sold manufactured goods.

Dartford: Mr Barton, High Street, had 6 Scots, 6 Devons, 4 Shorthorns, 20 Southdowns from Mr J T Smith, Hartley; 10 half breds from Mr Pigou and a choice calf from Mr G Solomon, Joyce Green.  Mr Jones, Lowfield Street, had 10 Scots, 4 shorthorns, half-bred sheep and a choice calf.  Mr Filmer, High Street, 6 benets, including 1 bred and fed and exhibited at Smithfield, by Mr Walter Farthing, Stoney Court, Somerset, sheep and nice porkers.  Mr Roots, Spital Street, had 2 prime Sussex beasts and some good Southdowns from Mr Stoneham, Crayford.  Mr Kemp, Lowfield, exhibited some good seasonable beef and mutton.  Mr Cosson, 2 Norfolks and Kent Sheep; Mr Manners, a fine pig, 11 months old, weight 60 stone, fed by Mr Faulkner, Erith; and another from Mrs Plummer, Belvedere, about 45lbs; also a good show of geese, turkeys etc.  High Street had a very gay appearance, from the shops of the grocers, drapers, stationers, Birmingham houses etc. being set off very tastefully.  We should not omit to mention also the shops of the confectioners and fruiterers, which were not deficient in picturesque effect.


5 April 1876 - The sale of a Horse (Lawrie v Grindey)
Morning Post

Queen's Bench Division - Tuesday.  Sittings at Westminster, before the Lord Chief Justice and a Common Jury.

Lawrie v Grindey.  This was a action to recover £55 10s on a dishonoured cheque.  The defendant pleaded no value or consideration.  Mr Hall and Mr Giles were counsel for the plaintiff.  Mr Kem was counsel for the defendant.  The plaintiff was formerly a proctor in Doctor's Commons, and was now engaged in farming pursuits and residing at Hartley Court Farm, near Dartford, and the defendant was a horse and cattle dealer also residing at Dartford.  It appeared that the plaintiff was the owner of a very valuable dray mare, about 16 hands 1 inch, which became lame in consequence of her having an enlarged hock, which rendered it necessary that she should be blistered and turned out.  The mare, if sound, was admitted to be worth between £90 and £100, and the defendant after examining her agreed to give 50 guineas  for her; she was taken away, but a day or two after she was sent back and the cheque stopped.  The defence was that the plaintiff, when he sold the mare, warranted her to be all right ???? and fit for work, when in reality she was not.  The evidence, as in all these cases, was contradictory, and the question was to whom the jury were to give the most evidence.  At the conclusion of the evidence for the defence, the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff for the full amount claimed.


8 July 1876 - No Dog Licence at Middle Farm
Bexleyheath Observer

Several persons were summoned at the petty sessions at Dartford on Saturday for keeping dogs without being in possession of licences.  Mr George Best, farmer, Hartley, pleaded guilty to an offence of the kind.  Mr Anderson, supervisor Tonbridge, prosecuted for the Board of Inland Revenue, and said the defendant had 2 dogs for which no licence had been obtained.  In reference to an observation of Mr Best, that he had not been called upon last year, the supervisor siad it would be impossible for the officers to call upon everyone.  The notices were always posted at the church doors.  The mitigated penalty of 25 shillings was ordered to be paid.


19 August 1876 - Burglary at New House Farm
Bexleyheath Observer
Joseph Lane had previously been sentenced to 4 months for sacrilege by breaking into Ash Chapel on 8 November 1875 and a further 2 weeks for 2 cases of larceny at Ash in October 1875 (Whitstable Times 25.3.1876).  For these offences he was convicted at the West Kent Quarter Sessions on 20 October 1876 and was imprisoned for 2 years with a 7 year police supervision order (Kent & Sussex Courier 20.10.1876).

A promising youth - On Thursday Joseph Lane of Ash, who had only recently left gaol, was brought up on remand before S C Umfreville esq, at the magistrates clerk's office at Dartford, and charged wtih breaking and entering the dwelling house of Thomas Gambrill at Hartley, and stealing therefrom 2 brushes and half a pint of milk, his property.  Evidence was given by a servant of the prosecutor, Ellen Tomeetz, to the effect that the articles named were in the pantry when she fastened it at 10 o'clock on the 31st July, and it was shown that the pantry had been entered by a window, only secured by string to a nail.  The prisoner was taken at Mr W Russell's farm, and admitted the theft, saying he had hidden one of the brushes in a garden, belonging to Alfred Elham, and the article was found by the lattre and given up to Mr Supt Fread.  The prisoner was then further charged with having stolen about 3 gallons of peas, a sack, bag, stone bottle, tin bottle and 2 keys, valued at 10 shillings, the property of William Russell, at Ash, on or about the 5th August.  The prisoner also admitted this charge when apprehended, and on Thursday made no defence.  He was committed to the sessions on both charges.  Supt Fread said the prisoner had been convicted on three previous occasions, once for sacrilege, and twice for larceny.  He had only been out of prison a few days.  Mr Russell said the prisoner was a native of Ash.


30 September 1876 and 21 October 1876 - Childcare Problems
(1) Bexleyheath Observer (2) Gravesend Reporter
These two articles relate to a case of alleged child neglect, although in the end it was dismissed because the medical officer said the child's state might not be caused by neglect.  George would have had considerable problems - his wife Mary Ann died the previous year, so he was left as a single parent with 2 children - George (b 1863) and Annie (b 1867) and no doubt had to work nearly all hours of the day.  

(30 September 1876) Alleged Parental Neglect - At the Dartford Petty Sessions on Saturday, George Day, a labouring man was summoned for neglecting to maintain a child on the 15th September, become chargeable to the common fund of the Dartford Union.  Mr McCleary, relieving officer, spoke to the child being in a weak and emaciated state, and to it removal to the union, and the case was adjourned for a fortnight for the medical officer to appear, the defendant being bound over to his own recognizance of £20 to be present at the next sessions.

(21 October 1876) George Day, labourer, of Hartley, who did not appear was again summoned for neglecting to provide sufficient nourishment for his daughter, whereby she became chargeable to the common fund of the Dartford Union.  Dr Tucker of Farningham, stated that when he saw the child it was suffering from low fever, but he could not say that it was caused by neglect.  Mr McClary, the relieving officer, stated that his attention was drawn to the child by Colonel Evelyn and the Rev W W Allen, rector of the parish, and he reported the facts to the Guardians, who ordered these proceedings be taken.  The bench dismissed the case.


17 & 26 May 1877 and 21 July 1877 - Fire at Darenth Cottages
(1) Bexleyheath Observer; (2) & (3) Dartford Chronicle
The case was sensationally dropped when it was discovered the chief prosecution witness had previously been suspected of arson himself.  The cottages were rebuilt but demolished about 1970 to widen Ash Road, they lay between the Black Lion and Hartley House.

It seems William Longhurst did not emigrate as he said he was thinking of. He is probably the William Longhurst buried at Hartley on 14 October 1915, aged 87. Although other members of the Longhurst family did emigrate later to Australia. William had a police record - Gravesend Journal 28.11.1866 - William Longhurst given 2 months’ hard labour for stealing 12 rabbits from Hartley Manor estate on 12 November. Gravesend Journal 15 June 1870 - William Longhurst given 2 months’ hard labour for stealing pair of scales belonging to Fanny Parris. But was also the victim of crime - Dartford Chronicle 25.10.1879 - Thomas Spicer fined 5s for assaulting William Longhurst at Longfield)

17 May 1877 - Alleged Arson.  a man named William Longhurst, 50, labourer, was taken before the magistrates sitting in petty session at Dartford on Saturday, these for the case being T Bevan esq (in the chair), and J G Hepburn esq, and charged with having wilfully and maliciously set fire to 2 cottages that morning, at Hartley, the property of T H Fleet esq, several persons being in the cottages at the time.  PS Instructor Hoar said at 2a the alarm of fire was given that the cottages in question were on fire, and on enquiry as to the ersons seen last in the vicinity of the cottages previous to the outbreak of the fire, he ascertained that the prisoner, who slept in a little shed near, was seen in a field at the back of cottages shortly before.  He asked the prisoner what time he went to bed on Thursday night, and the prisoner could not tell him.  He said he had taken some beer with a person, and went to bed and knew nothing about the fire till called in the morning.  A person named Day occupying one of the cottages told him (the constable) he left the cottage at half past one and returned in half an hour, when the cottages were on fire.  Just before the occurrance Longhurst had threatened Day that he should not remain in the cottage long.  On the application of Supt Fread, the prisoner who had nothing to say, was remanded for a week.

26 May 1877 - Charge of Arson: William Longhurst, a middle aged man of poor appearence, was charged on remand with having maliciously set fire to two cottages at Hartley, on the 12th inst.,  several persons being at the time therein.  George Day living at Hartley, said the one cottage belonged to him, and the other to his father.  They were tenants under T H Fleet esq.  Prisoner, who lived in a shed between the two cottages, came in on that morning at about a quarter to two.  Witness and his brother Henry were sitting up late talking, and were surprised at the visit.  Prisoner went out threatening that he was going to leave the country and they should not be there long.  Shortly afterward he found his own cottage on fire, and both were burned down.  Henry Day brother, and Annie Day, daughter corroborated.  William Cherry spoke to having seen prisoner walking fast along the Longfield Road without his hat.  Mr Cooper, agent, said he went to Mr Longhurst’s hut, and that finding him apparently asleep, he roused him.  PC Law said that the prisoner, when charged, made no reply.  The case was sent for trial in the usual manner, prisoner briefly protesting his innocence.

21 July 1877 - Charge of Setting Fire to Dwelling Houses: William Longhurst, 50, labourer, was indicted at the Kent Summer Assizes on the 13th inst. for setting fire to two houses, several persons being therein, the property of T H Fleet esq. at Hartley, on the 12th May.  Mr Waring prosecuted, and Mr Dean defended prisoner.  George Day, a labourer, said that he occupied a cottage next door to his father near the Black Lion, at Hartley.  The roofs were thatched.  About one o’clock at night the prisoner came into the room, where witness was talking with his brother.  Prisoner remained about a quarter of an hour and left.  Before he left he said he was going to leave the country, and witness would not stop [much longer]. Shortly after prisoner left [a smell of fire was noticed]  He saw the house [was on fire at the eaves.  Witness commenced getting his goods out and dropped his hat  Henry Day, brother of last witness] corroborated, and identified the hat produced as the one worn by the prisoner.  William Cherry [deposed] to seeing William Longhurst coming fromt the direction of the hut shortly after it commenced.  Prisoner had no hat on then.  Witness afterwards found the hat produced near where the fire originated.  Annie Day, daughter of George Day, corroborated her father’s evidence, and said she saw the prisoner take her father’s hat from his head and put it on his own whilst the house was on fire.  George Day recalled, acknowledged to being apprehended once on a charge of setting fire to a stable. The case was dismissed without Mr Dean addressing the jury.


7 October 1878 - Flints for Sale at Hartley Manor
South Eastern Gazette

To cotractors and others: Broken flints for roads, fine flints for paths, in trucks at Longfield siding or delivered at any station of London, Chatham and Dover Railway, or lines in connection with it.  For terms apply to the manager, Flint Quarries, Hartley Manor, near Dartford.


28 December 1878 - Hartley's first shop?
Gravesend Reporter
Mr Wansbury's shop at the Black Lion is first mentioned in an advert of 1877.  I am not aware of any shop before then (excluding agriculture related business such as the wheelwright and smith).

Petty Sessions Saturday - Before A W Bean esq in the chair, and J G Hepburn esq.  George Charles Wansbury, grocer and publican, of Hartley, was fined 10 shillings and costs for having unjust weights and scales in his possession.


31 May 1879 - Early Cycle Club
Kentish Independent
The Invicta Bicycle Club is described as "old established".  The earliest reference I can find is 1875.

Invicta Bicycle Club
On Saturday last, the members of this old established club met at headquarters, Mr Hanson's, Burrage Road for a run to Wrotham, 12 competitors putting in an appearance.  The men looked very smart in their new uniforms of dark blue with the rampart horse of Kent in their polo caps.  The start took place at a few minutes past 3, and after a preliminary canter round the buildings, away they went, through Plumstead and over Bostal Heath to Bexley, Crayford and Dartford, Green Street Green, Hartley and Ash to the Horse and Groom, at the top of Wrotham Hill, where they had tea and a wash.  At five minutes past 7 the bugle sounded for the return journey home.  The captain saw all the men mounted, and away they flew on their silent steeds, through Kingsdown, Farningham, Sutton at Hone, Dartford and Wickham to Plumstead again, where they arrived at 15 minutes past 9, the journey homeward occupying 2 hours 10 minutes, it being the fastest run the club has ever had.  The squadron consisted exclusively of good riders, and they did credit to the oldest club in Kent.


10 November 1879 - Dinner for the Customers of Newington Vestry
South Eastern Gazette
Newington Vestry (Walworth area of south London) opened the rubbish depot at Longfield in 1874.  From there they sold brickearth and "Newington Mixture" - a manure made up the street sweepings of the borough (of course then with a high horse manure content).  This helped them to cover the cost of refuse collection.  The prime mover of this was the powerful vestry clerk, Levi J Dunham.  The iist of people attending gives us a good idea of who used the Newington Mixture locally.  The one Hartley name on the list is Colonel Evelyn.

A similar report appeared in the South London Press of 15.11.1879.  It mentioned that 56 were at the dinner and the Newington contingent left on the 10.45 pm train from Gravesend.

Gravesend: Farmers and Brickmakers' Dinner at Gravesend

A very pleasant gathering took place at the New Falcon Hotel, Gravesend, on Friday evening, when the members of the Vestry of St Mary Newington, gave their 4th annual dinner to the farmers and brickmakers of North and West Kent.  Dinner was served in the handsome dining saloon, commanding an extensive view of the Thames, and mea itself was placed on the tables in a manner which reflected the highest credit on the proprietor (Mr S Hubbard) and the resources of the establishment.  The Chair was taken by Charles Hart esq, chairman of the Depot Committee ofthe vestry, and among the company were Colonel Evelyn, and Messrs W Richardson (Teynham), H Read, G Featherby (New Brompton), Neason, Malthouse (Vice Chair), Renton, Stokes, Woodhall, Williams, Ditch, L J Dunham (vestry clerk), Marsland, Goodall, Pascall, and A Vinson (St Paul's Cray), S Ballard (Ash), J Clinch and W A Conford (Green Street Green), J Allen and J Allen jun (Stonehill), F Goodyear and Bennet (Eynsford), J Quaife (Gravesend), A C Hedgcock, J Ashdown and G French (Meopham), H Jackson and B Miller (Swanley), F Wood and F Wood jun (Upper Ruxley), J Hartridge (Gillingham), R French (Southfleet), W Hammond (Hunton) etc.  Justice having been done to the tempting menu set before the guests.

The Chairman gave the usual loyal toasts, which were very heartily drunk.  In proposing that of "The Army, Navy and Reserve Forces" he highly eulogised the several branches of the service, and concluded by coupling the toast with the name of Colonel Evelyn.  Colonel Evelyn, who was warmly cheered, said he had seen a good deal of fighting in his youthful days, and he did not know that he should object to see a little more.  There was, however, a bill to be paid as a result of a war, and a considerable portion of it fell on that unfortunate class of individuals, the owners and occupiers of land, so that if war were not necessary they had better not engage in it [applause].  As to their present complications with Russia and Turkey, he could not help thinking it would be better if they were clear of the whole business.

The Chairman then gave the toast of "Our Friends and Customers".  He said in the first place he ought to express the unfeigned regret which the men of Newington felt at the disastrous season farmers had exprienced [hear, hear].  Byron said that when things were at the worst, they sometimes mended, and he hoped it would be so in the history of their friends the farmers [cheers].  He was at the West Kent Agricultural Association meeting in the previous week, when gentlemen were expected there whom he was sorry did not attend.  He thought it would have been better if they - he referred more particularly to Sir W Hart Dyke and Sir Charles Mills - had made an effort to be present [hear, hear], and that, considering the depressed state of agriculture, the least they could have done was to countenance the meeting.  He trusted that the landlords would behave in a liberal spirit to the farmers, and try to relieve them in their distress, though he was pleased to see so many bright, happy faces before him that evening [cheers].  He believed their motto would still be "nil desperandum", and he trusted that, as next year an exceptional circumstance would take place, viz, that there would be 5 Sundays in February, their crops might be exceptionally heavy.  He was quite satisfied that their vestry had introduced to the farmers a very valuable kind of mixture, and this was shown in Mr Goodyear's successes at the West Kent show [hear, hear].

Mr Richardson, in acknowledging the toast, said it was a great pleasure to do business with the vestry.  He regretted that the farmers had not had very prosperoud times lately, but he was glad to say that the brickmakers - who, next to the farmers, followed the oldest civilized calling in the world - had continued to enjoy prosperity, as they were protected by an accident.  Mr Reed, who first replied on behalf of the farmers, alluded to the improvements that had been made in the "Newington Mixture" during the past few years, and to its value as a fertilising agent.  Mr Allen agreed that the farmers were under an obligation to the vestry, who had introduced a very valuable manure to them [hear, hear], but suggested that they should not set the price too high [laughter].  As to agricultural depression, bad as their condidtion as agriculturists was, he did not hesitate to say that he believed they could hold out as long as any other part of the community, than whom he did not think they had suffered worse [hear, hear].  Various suggestions had been made.  Lord Derby thought they ought to keep bees, Mr Gladstone that theou ought to grow violets to sell at a penny per bunch, while some had gone in for the abolition of the law of entail, and others for a reduction of rent, but he thought they wanted a better remeday than they had yet got [applause].  Mr Goodyear, who also acknowledged the toast, considered a return to protection would be a perfect absurdity [hear, hear].  He spoke very highly of the value of the Newington Mixture for certain land.  Mr Vinson, who likewise spoke, said he thought the remedy for the depression which was so much spoken of lay to some extent in themselves, and they must try to grow the best crops they could [hear, hear].

The Vice-Chairman, in very complimentary terms, gave "The Health of the Chairman", which was cordially received, and suitably acknowledged by Mr Hart.  Mr Allen then submitted "The Health of the Auditors of the Newington Vestry", which was acknowledged by Mr Williams, who said his prophetic suggestion was that next year the farmers themselves would form a sub-committee, and from grateful appreciation of the benefits they derived from the use of the Newington mixture, would invite the Newington Committee to meet them in that room [hear, hear and laughter].  Mr Goodall also replied in suitable terms.  "The health of the vice-chairman" was next given from the chair, and acknowledged by Mr Malthouse.

Mr Marsland submitted "Success to the Agricultural Interest", which was replied to by Mr Hartridge, who, in turn, gave "The Health of the Vestry Clerk", speaking of the pleasure which it gave them to do business with Mr Dunham.  Mr Dunham in the course of his reply, suggested that the vestry should give prizes for roots grown on land manured with their mixture, and that the prizes shoud be awarded at that meeting [cheers].  They had formerly given them to the West Kent Association, and they hoped to continue their support to that society, but many of their customers where thereby shut out from competing.  Several subsequent speakers cordially approved the suggestion.  The gathering, which was a very pleasant on, was enlivened by some capital vocal music.


27 December 1879 - Christmas Fare at Dartford
Bexleyheath Observer
As in the similar report in 1875, Mr Barton bought much of his meat from Mr J T Smith, the owner of Fairby.

Mr Barton in High Street, showed 10 Aberdeens, a Hereford ox from Mr J T Smith (Hartley), a shorthorn, bred and fed by ditto, and also a calf and 10 sheep; 10 sheep from Mr Cox, St Albans; 15 ditto from Mr Wells, Metropolitan Market, and pigs.  Mr Jones, Lowfield Street, exhibited prime Scots and down sheep; Mr Filmer had the second prize Devon in class 2 of the Smithfield Club Show, and 2 Norfolks.  Mr G Penney showed a choice Scot bullock, purporting to be of the same breed and quality as the beast from which her Majesty's 'baron' had been cut.  Mr Cosson, Lowfield Street, showed 2 bullocks from Essex, Scots from teh London Market, and sheep fed by Mr G Upton, and home-fed pork; Mr Ticehurst a prime Scot and sheep from Farningham market; and Mr Roots and Mr A Cosson (Spital Street) provided according to requirements.  Mr Grindey, Hythe Street, showed a fine beast, fed by F Friend esq, Footscray; a prize sheep from the Smithfield Club Show and other animals.  Mr Manners, pork butcher and poulterer had a resisting piece suspended from his front premises in the form of a pig of his feeding, and weighing about 70 stone.  Here was also to be seen a fine display of turkeys and geese from Normandy and Suffolk, the latter ranging in price from 8s to 14s.  Mr Tyer and Mr Penney, provision merchants also had large supplies of the feathered adjuncts on sale  At Mr Winch's grocery establishment (late Taylor & Co) the first prize (£30) Cheddar cheese at the Smithfield show was on view.



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