13 and 20 November 1869 - Two cases of Poaching at Hartley
(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
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
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
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
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
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
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.