Newspaper Stories 1869-1880 - Hartley-Kent: The Website for Hartley

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Newspaper Stories 1869-1880

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.

13 January 1872 - Robbery at Hartley Rectory
Gravesend Reporter

Burglary - between 7 and 8 o'clock on the evening of Thursday the 4th inst. the dwelling house of the Rev W W Allen, the Rectory, at Hartley, wa entered, and some amount of property stolen, an old fashioned French watch, an old French gold hunter, a lady's gold Geneva, a gold bracelet set with turquoise and rubies, a gold turguoise ring, three pebble brooches, a white cornelian brooch, an enamelled locket, a heart shaped locket, a child's chased silver mug engraved "W.W.A", £8 in money, and other smaller articles.  Entrance was effected by a ladder to the bedchamber window.  A reward of £30 is offered for information for the apprehension of the parties.

24 May 1872 - The Movement among Farm Labourers
Newcastle Courant

On Monday two large gathering of labourers of the western parts of the county of Kent were held, the first on the Brent, near Dartford, and the other at the Royal Oak, Northumberland Heath, near Erith, for the purpose of discussing their grievances and organising branches in cooperation with the Agricultural Labourers' Union, recently established at Maidstone.  The attendance was very numerous at both places, and there was a manifest determination to join earnestly in the agitation for increase of wages and reduction of the hours of labour.  Mr Simmons of Maidstone, and other connected with the movement addressed the meeting.  It was said that already there were in Kent some 1,200 labourers in union, and as arrangements were made for the forming of about 18 additional branches, no doubt, in 2 or 3 months, they would number five or six thousand members.  Arrangements were made for the formation of branches of the Union at Dartford and Erith, and the proceedings terminated....

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.

4 July 1872 - Hartley House and other properties for sale
The Times
The results are given in the Daily News 29.7.1872
Longfield Court £5,000
9 acres and 2 cottages at Hartley Green £1,050
Hartley Cottage (House) £1,080
Land at Grub Street £800
Bay Lodge wheelwrights £415
Forge Cottage £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 padocks of about 22 acres, and having stabling for 8 horses, coach house, gardener's and keeper's cottages, pheasantry, and extensive domestic offices, situate close to Longfield Church and Fawkham Station on the London, Chatham and Dover Railway.

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

A capital enclosure of arable land, 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; and also an enclosure of arable land, about 9 acres, all situate in Grub Street, in the parish of Hartley, about 1½ mile from Fawkham Railway Station.  (Forge Cottage and Bay Lodge)

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

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.

21 October 1872 - Sunday Trading at the King's Arms (2)
Gravesend Journal

John Callow, landlord of the Kings Arms, Hartley, was also summoned for opening his house for the sale of liquor before 12.30 on the morning of Sunday July 21st, PC G Webster (KCC) said that on visiting th house at 11.30 in the forenoon, he found 4 men in a wash house at the rear, 2 were standing, one holding a glass in his hand, the third was seated in a chair beside a table, and the 4th sat on the table, on which was 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 knew he was doing wrong.  Defendant said Letchford had represented himself as a traveller.  Witness said that he should report the same.  Defendant said Letchford.... (rest of photocopy missing)

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

7 June 1873 - A ramble from Gravesend to Longfield in 1873

This is an extract of an account of a Whit Monday ramble from the Gravesend Journal of 7 June 1873 by "A.W.G".  

The travellers decide to visit Gravesend, famous for shrimps and watercress, they take the train from Fenchurch Street to Tilbury and then ferry.  They walk up the high steet and thence to Windmill Hill, the mill grinds corn no more, and is now a vantage point for sightseers.

"And now we are getting into the country, when the sight of an old inn born in the days of the London and Dover coaches, gives emphasis to certain internal grumblings, and we make as Tony Weller would say, 'rayther a sudden pull up'.... 'Try our superfine 8d ale' is the invitation politely staring us in the face; and we try it with a fourpenny supplement of bread and cheese, and having paid the reckoning ask mine host to advise as to the best way to Longfield, the village which we have determined to make the turning point of our ramble.  M. Landlord is dubious, and refers us to an ancient dame outside, who is negligently nursing one leg, the foot being enveloped in a huge bundle of rags, which might have been meant either bandage or imposition, and probably did mean a little of both.  This dingy-faced lady was smoking the clay pipe of peace, moistened by small draughts from a quart pot at her elbow, 'Tell yer the way to Longfield?; well I oughter know for I've lived there this forty year, though 'ow I'm agoin' to get back agin with my poor old bones, I don't know'.  After sundry other laments on the subject of her 'poor old bones' and the 'rheumatiz', the old woman gave the desired information, and we were leaving with an earnest expression of thanks, when the crone broke out into a wild declaration of her love for a cup of tea, 'the only thing as comforts me'; and her intense grief at the thought that the requisite penny for the purchase thereof was not forthcoming.  Observing a philanthropic and charitable relaxation of our countenance, mother went on to bewail in sad terms the absence, from her domestic cupboard, of the penny loaf, which was such a desirable accompaniment to her 'poor cup o'tea'.  The foaming pewter had made us incredulous as to her preference for the sweet Bohea; we even feared that a penny entrusted for the purchase of a loaf might be smoked instead of eaten; but we were weak, and yielded to the extent of two pence, receiving in return a profound blessing, which was dirt chap at the price."

Leaving an argument between the landlady and the beggar, they turn onto the Wrotham Road with views as far as Swanscombe and Vigo.  They pass through the now disused tollgate and about three miles later encounter the finger post pointing to Longfield.

".... and we descend into a charming valley, mounting to the opposite hill by a zigzag road.  Rural beauty in perfection; the air truly 'laden with perfume' stolen from myriad flowers which beautify the fields and banks; the quietude only broken by that indescribable animal buzz of bird and insect nature......... On again through pretty copses and high-hedged lanes, until we get our first indication of the village in a straggling farmhouse, with quite a picture of a yard, and a big roomy barn suggesting exciting rope-swings; in front the water works - an old well with a giddy, dazed horse officiating as 'drawer of water'.  Curiosity prompts us to ask a ruddy faced little girl, whose house is this? 'Ours' was the reply, which the young lady evidently considered quite conclusive and satisfactory, for no amount of subsequent cross-examination, direct, leading or collateral, succeeded in eliciting the patronymic for which the possessive pronoun was doing duty.........  We reach the village, which is chiefly remarkable for the number of ducks and duck ponds who monopolize the leading thoroughfares... There is too, somewhat of a novelty in the form of a signboard.  Imagine one of the size and shape of a dressing table glass; drab border, light coloured interior, on which is represented a round bellied man, in billycock hat and gaiters; the legs a trifle bow, an ear of wheat boldly struggling up between them to represent the agricultural interest; in his right hand a formidable riding whip; in his left, raised aloft, a shallow champaigne glass, presumably filled with nut brown ale.  This 'Man of Kent' was nameless, at least to the eye; so was the owner of the house (a little low-roofed structure, from which a fair maiden might have eloped comfortably without rope ladder, or risk of a sprained ankle), and there was an entire absense of the familiar assurance that the liquor and the customers..... are licensed to be drunk on the premises........  A skeleton lamp, sticking out of the wall, seemed to denote the existence of gas at some barbarously remote period; and an overgrown besom fastened to the doorpost with iron wire - apparently in the fear that its great value would be too musch of a temptation to passers by - served to wipe the boots of invisible customers..  The door was shut but the window was open, and disclosed - not a beer engine, but a canary.... and a duck industriously paddling in a neighbouring pond.... the duck resented the intrusion with open mouth, and shaking its tail defiantly, waddled off through the mud with all the grace of a duck out of water.  So we left the Man of Kent to his lonely potations....."

They returned towards Betsham, seeing the orchards and hopfields there.  The author professes his knowledge of hops is "confined to the period after its unholy alliance with malt".  They cross beautiful green meadows with springy turf to Southfleet Church and return to Gravesend past Springhead Watercress Gardens, and Wombwell Hall.  A.W.G concludes that "Gravesend has been rather unfairly snubbed in some quarters", but in reality boasts attractions of its own, as well as the varied and beautiful scenery of the surrounding countryside.

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.

24 October 1874 - Governess wanted
Gravesend Reporter

Governess -  a situation required by a lady accustomed to tuition ; acquirements - English, French, Music, and singing.  Excellent testimonials.  Address P.M. Post Office, Hartley, Dartford.

14 November 1874 - Beginnings of the Longfield Tip
South London Chronicle

Newington Vestry
A new feature in the arrangements for the sale of street and house refuse was introduced by the Depot Committee which recommended that as depots for the storage and sale of road sweepings etc, 2 acres of freehold land adjoining the Longfield siding be purchased of Mr Eborell at the price of £300; and that 4 acres of land adjoining the goods siding a the Meopham Station, on the London, Chatham and Dover Railway, be taken on lease for 21 years, at a rent of £20 per annum.  In moving this, Mr Barker pointed out how, from making a profit on their refuse, they had come at length to pay very heavily for having it taken away, and even then the parish was always in hot water about the slop shoot.  At lenght the depot was established, and although, and although they had done the work of removal better than the ontractors, they had still been at a great loss in the sale of refuse.  One reason for this loss was that while they were obliged to get the refuse taken daily from the depot, the farers would only purchase in the winter time.  He had long thought that if country depots could be secured for the storage of the refuse when not purchased, that they would be able to dispose of it at a better price, by not being at the mercy of any one farmer or set of farmers. This opinion had now been verified, for alrady they, by the greater publicity, had had an offer of 2 shillings per ton, a great advance upon their former sales.  By these depots, he believed they would be able to realise 2s 6d, and even 3 shillings per ton, which latter price would effect a saving to the parish of £2,000 a year.  He also referred to the sanitary improvement that their arrangements offered and claimed for Newington credit for having solved a great parochial problem.

After remarks from Messrs Snell, Malthouse, Salway and Dr Cortis, the motion was unanimously agreed to.

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.

28 April 1877 - Hartley's first shop?
Gravesend Reporter
This advert for cold medicine mentions the shop of Mr Wansbury of the Black Lion.

..... Fardon's Balsam of Aniseed is sold at every shop where medicines may be purchased, and by the following agents:-
Fawkham - Mrs Webster
Hartley - Mr Wansbury
Meopham - Mr Bishop....

17 & 26 May 1877 and 21 July 1877 - Fire at Darenth Cottages
(1) (2) Bexleyheath Observer; (3) (4) 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 - Alleged Setting fire to Cottages - Commital for trial of the Accused
On Saturday, William Longhurst, 50, labourer, of Hartley was brought up on remand at Dartford, before T Bevan (in the chair), J G Hepburn, esqs, and Col Evelyn, and charged with wilfully and maliciously setting fire to two cottages, on the 12th inst, at Hartley, the property of T H Fleet esq, several persons being in the cottages at the time.

The first witness called was George Day, who said he lived at Hartley.  Up to the 12th of the present month he occupied a cottage near the Black Lion.  It had one floor, and a thatched roof.  An adjoining cottage was occupied by his father Charles Day.  At about a quarter to two in the morning of the 12th inst, he was sitting indoors with his brother Henry, who lived with his father, and prisoner came in about half-past one and remained 10 minutes.  On leaving, the prisoner said he was soon going abroad, and that he (witness) would not be there (in the cottage) much longer - perhaps not two hours.

The Chairman: "And why were you sitting up so late?" Witness: "We were not doing any harm, sir."  The Chairman: "Were you drinking?"  Witness: "No sir, we sat talking."

Witness resumed: I asked prisoner what he meant by what he said, and he gave no answer.  Prisoner was not the worse for drink.  Shortly after prisoner had gone, hardly ten minutes from this, I smelt smoke and opened the door and heard someone run towards Longfield.  On going to the south side of the house, I saw that the eaves were on fire, and tried to put the fire out with water, but could not.  there was very little wind; and the weather was showery.  I ran for Mr Cooper, my landlord, and when I returned, commenced to get my things out.  In doing this I dropped my hat, before the front door and could not find it then.  Whilst engaged in getting my things out, prisoner came from the road and went to his hut, at the west corner of the cottage.  Prisoner had nothing on his head.  A man named William Cherry was assisting in getting the things out of the next cottage, and brought me a hat.  This was prisoner's; he wore it when he left my cottage shortly before.  About 7 yards separated his hut from my cottage.  Mr Cooper, on arriving, went and fetched prisoner out of his hut.  Prisoner came up to me; he had a hat on, and my daughter said to him, "That's my father's hat you have on," and prisoner took the hat from my head, and gave me his.

By the Bench: I had not spent the evening with the prisoner.  Was greatly surprised to see prisoner come into my cottage at such an hour in the morning.  He was not in the habit of coming in at such a time.  Do not recollect what prisoner said when he first came in.  Had seen him between 8 and 9.  I went shopping afterwards, between 9 and 10, and on returning home did not go out again.  Sat down and talked all the time, from 10 till nearly 2.

Prisoner put some questions to witness, which were heard vry indistinctly; the witness, however, gave a negative reply to all.

The chairman: Did he have any beer with you?  Witness: "Yes sir; a glass.  We had a half a gallon from 10 o'clock.

Henry Day, labourer, who gave his evidence, in reply to the clerk, in a very inattentive and loutish way, said: I live with my father at Hartley, and am brother to the last witness.  Remember the night of the 12th.  Was at my brother's cottage at ten, and remained there till the alarm of fire was given.  Prisoner came in about half past one.  He had a drink of beer.  I made no answer to what prisoner said, neither did my brother.  Prisoner left a little before two.  A few minutes after, my brother remarked that he smelt smoke, and opened the door.  He shouted out that the place was on fire, and I assisted my brother in trying to put it out, but found we could not.  I then went and called father and mother.  The hat produced is the same prisoner wore when in the cottage.

William Cherry, labourer, living at Hartley, said he lived about 30 yards from the cottages.  Was called up at two in the night of the twelfth.  Got up and saw the cottages were on fire; and that this had reached the roof.  Prisoner was coming up the road from Longfield; he turned into the garden of the cottages about 8 or 9 yards from me, and went to the hut in which he generally sleeps.

By the chairman: Prisoner walked straight into his hut.  We found him there at 3 in the morning.  He seemed as if sober when coming along the road.  He was walking fast and had no hat on.

The Chairman: "Then are we to understand from you that he walked straight by the cottages on fire, and paid no attention to them?"  Witness: "Yes, sir."

Witness resumed: On going to the fire, I saw George Day and his little girl.  Day did not appear drunk at all.  It was a foggy night.  I picked up a hat, that now produced; it was at the corner of the cottage nearest the prisoner's hut.  I placed it upon George Day's head, as I saw he had no hat.  Mr Cooper came up shortly after, and he went to the prisoner's hut.  We told prisoner to come out, or he would be burnt out.  Prisoner replied "Put it out Harry" (Cooper), and went straight to George Day and the little girl of the latter said to her father, pointing to the prisoner's head, "That's your hat, father, and you have Longhurst's," and they exchanged hats.

Annie Day, an intelligent looking girl of about 10 years, daughter of George Day, said when n bed in the night of the 12th, she heard her father and Longhurst talking, and the latter say that they would not be there much longer.  Longhurst was not in the cottage more than 10 minutes or a quarter of an hour.  She was called up, being told that the house was on fire.  Saw her father endavour to put the fire out.  Afterwards he went for Mr Cooper.  When he returned with Mr Cooper, she went to Longhurst's hut and called him.  He gave no answer, but she heard him breathe hard.  Went back to the cottage and assisted in getting the things out.  When prisoner came up with Mr Cooper, she told prisoner he had her father's hat on, and that her father had his.

Henry Cooper said he was called up at ten minutes to two on Saturday morning by George Day, who told him the cottage was on fire.  Day appeared to be sober.  The fire had reached the eaves, and was breaking through the roof.  Tried to put the fire out.  Afterwards went to prisoner's hut.  Prisoner appeared to be awaking up from sleep; he had had a little beer, but was not drunk.  Prisoner has asked him 7 weeks before to let him the cottage George Day had, and he declined to.

Police Sergeant Hoar, at Hartley, said from what he had heard he went to the prisoner at a quarter past three.  He asked him what time he had gone to bed.  Prisoner said he could not say; but he had gone to Mr Dean's, who was not at home.  Prisoner told him he then returned and went to George Day's cottage and had a "drain" of beer; then he went to bed, and knew nothing of the fire till called by Cooper in the morning.  Asked prisoner to accompany him to Day and Cooper.  Before these persons he asked him if it was true what George Day told him, that prisoner was in Day's cottage a few minutes before the fire.  Prisoner did not reply; but afterwards he said he knew nothing about the fire.  Witness then told him he should take him into custody on suspicion of setting fire to the cottages.  Prisoner replied, "All right; you must do your duty."  Prisoner had his own hat on.  Found on him a fusee, knife and 1s 10d in money.

Prisoner, who said he was innocent, was then committed for trial at the assizes.

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.

8 December 1877 - Amount of refuse sent to Longfield and Meopham
South London Chronicle
A previous report in the paper of 24.11.1877 said in the previous 2 weeks the Walworth depot had received 2,243 loads of refuse and sent away 1,631 tons to Kent.

Newington Vestry meeting
A report received from the Depot Committee stated that durig the last fortnight 2,157 loads had been received at the [Walworth] depot, and 1,830 tons sent away by rail.  The same committee recommended 'That they be empowered to purchase additonal horses for the work of the parish'.

Mr Stuart Barker sen, in moving the adoption of this recommendation, said that at the present time the horses were working too much.  If the recommendation wre adopted, tehy would be enabled to give some over worked horses a day's rest, which would be beneficial both to the animals and the parish.

Mr Sale seconded, and it was carried unanimously.

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?
Dartford Chronicle
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).

Dartford Petty Sessions - Saturday December 18

Before A W Bean esq in the chair, and J G Hepburn esq.  

George Charles Wansbury of Hartley, grocer and publican, was summoned for having 3 unjust weights in his possession, and also with having a certain weighing machine deficient.

Mr Webb, inspector of weights and measures, said he visited the defendant's premises , and found, on examining his weighing machine , that it was three-quarters of an ounce against the purchaser.  On examining the weights he found a half pound weight 2 drams light, a 2 ounce one 1 dram light, and the other one slightly deficient.

The defendant's plea was that he told his repairer of weights and measures (who resided at some distance) to come over and look after his scales previously to this, but he did not come.  He was the only repairer of weights and scales in the district, and consequently he could not get them done elsewhere, or he would certainly have done so.  He had always tried to do jstice to everyone.  He was at present a dealer in pork and there had never been one complaint made against him before  Teh cause of his weights being deficient was that when any pork was weighed the brine would run off the scales onto the counter where the weights wwere standing, and after a while the weights became deficient

The Chairman told him to see his weights and scales more correct in future.  He would now be fined 10 shillings and costs in each case.

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.

18 October 1879 - Sale of Stock at Hartley Court Farm
Dartford Chronicle
Mr Hudson had only been the tenant of the farm since 1878, in succession to Captain Lawrie.

Mr W Day jun has received instructions from Mr Hudson, who is leaving, to sell by auction on the premises on Wednesday October 29th, 1879, the alive and dead farming stock, including 7 powerful cart horses, milch cow, fowls and geese, six store pigs, 2 narrow wheel wagons, 2 togs, 4 dung carts, new combined reaping and mowing machine, chaff engine, with horse power, 5 share drill, 3 pair york harrows, 2 Kent ploughs, 2 horse land presser, 3 horse iron land roll, 6 new sheep troughs, 2 chaff engines, 2 cutting boxes, sheep gates, pig troughs, tools, root pulpers, new cleaning machine, 2 sets 4-horse harness, complete, quoiler and plough harness, a portion of the household furniture and other effects.  To be viewed on day of sale.  Sale to commence at 3 o'clock to the minute  Catalogues may be obtained at auctioneer's offices, 23 High Street, Maidstone

15 November 1879 - Sale of Hay at Old Downs
Dartford Chronicle
Before the house was built

The Old Downs, Hartley
Mr William Hodsoll is instructed by Col Hartleyto sell by auction at the Railway Tavern, Fawkham Station on Friday November 21st 1879 at 1 for 2pm.  Almost 40 loads of capital upland grass hay in 3 stacks, exceedingly well got standing at the above place.  May be viewed on application to Jessup, the gardener at Old Downs of whom catalogues may be had....

15 November 1879 - A Newington Vestry Dinner
South London Press
There is a slightly different account in the South Eastern Gazette of 15.11.1879.  Newington Vestry had a depot in Hartley Bottom Road by the railway line where they sold manure from the streets of Walworth called "Newington Mixture", and also ashes from burning coal to the brickmakers.  At this time they held annual dinners for their customers and members of the Depot Committee.

The dinners were very controverial in Newington.  The 1877 dinner cost £50, and some members said the 1878 dinner at the Bull, Dartford was an unlawful item of expenditure because the Vestry hadn't approved it, although the council retrospectively approved it.  It was hinted that the auditors were guilty of a conflict of interest because they attended the dinner too as they would do again in 1879.

Both local papers criticised the expenditure with the South London Chronicle saying (31.5.1879) "The fierce light which beats upon an election is a rare revealer of secrets.  This week there has been a Vestry election in Newington, and more than one curious fact of the doings of the past yer has come to light.  The members of the Depot Committee of the said Vestry especially have been exposed to this fiery trial.  They are a gay festive lot, and do not believe in serving the public without a fair return in the shape of 'cakes and ale'.  But really, gentlemen of the Depot Committee, £12 for champagne, and £7 for other wines, £3 for cigars and £5 9s for railway fares, all to set forth one dinner at Dartford, is a 'leetle' too stiff in these hard times.  The Depot Committee has something to do with the parochial dust, if I mistake not.  £19 worth of wine ought to wash a goodly amount of dust down Vestry throats.  Evidently Dartford is the place to spend a happy day."

The report drew a letter from T Taylor of Walworth in the paper of 29.11.1879.  He noted Mr Malthouse had previously been against the project, and had defeated Mr Taylor at the last election by criticising him for attending last year's dinner at The Bull, Dartford - an event he said he would have glady paid to stay away from!

The 4th annual dinner of the Depot Committee of the Newington Vestry to the farmers and brickmakers who are their customers took place at the New Falcon Tavern, Gravesend, on the 7th inst, when Mr Charles Hart, the chairman of the Depot Committee, occupied the chair, and Mr William Malthouse, the vice chair  There were also present: Messrs C Vinson, St Paul's Cray; Reed, Newington; S Ballard, Ash near Sevenoaks; J Clinch, Green Street Green; J Allen, Honchill Green; J Allen jun, Honchill Green; F Goodyear, Eynsford; Pascall, St Paul's Cray; Quaife, Gravesend; A C Hedgcock, Meopham; H Jackson, Swanley; T Wood, Upper Ruxley; T Wood jun, Upper Ruxley; J Ashdown, Meopham; R French, Southfleet; G Featherby, New Brompton; W Richardson, Teynham; B Miles, Swanley; W A Conford, Green Street Green; Hammond, Hunton; G French, Meopham; J Hartridge, New Brompton; Bennett, Eynsford; and Colonel G P Evelyn, Hartley Manor.  The following members of the Depot Committee were also present: Messrs J C Emmett, J B Harris, R Higs, Malthouse, Newsham, Parker, Poulton, Renton, Stokes, Dr Waring, Churchwardens Chester and Ditch, and the auditors Messrs Williams (vice-chairman of St Saviour's Union), Sexton and Vince.  56 sat down to a bountiful spread.

The chairman gave the usual loyal and patriotic toasts, that of "The Army, Navy and Reserve Forces" being suitably replied to by Colonel Evelyn.

(The South Eastern Gazette adds his speech: "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 pay as a result of 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 ot 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 clar of the whole business.")

The chairman then rose to propose the toast of the evening  He called upon the men of Newington to drink to the prosperity of their friends and customers.  He was pleased to see so many farmers present on that occasion, but still he should have liked to have had the gratification of presiding over a greater number.  (Hear, hear and applause). Nevertheless, he hoped they would return home satisfied, and increase, if possible, the number of customers for the refuse at the disposal of the Depot Committee (Hear, hear).  The past season, from first to last, had been bad for the farmers, and he hoped it would be the worst they would see for many years to come, for Byron had said when things were at the worst they sometimes mended.  All he could say was that if their friends wanted treble the amount of manure, they could not do better than deal with the Newington Vestry (hear, hear).  He was at the West Kent agricultural meeting the previous week, when gentlemen were expected who did not attend.  He referred more particularly to Sir W Hart-Dyke and Sir Charles Mills, and he thought it would have been better if they had made an effort to be present (hear, hear).  It was exceedingly gratifying to find that some of what was formerly the worst land in Kent had taken prizes through patronising the depot of Newington and Mr Goodyear of Eynsford was the recipient of the first prize at the show.  Their excellent vestry clerk had reminded him that he must not forget the brickmakers, who dealt largely with them.  He should feel that he had grossly neglected his duty as chairman if he allowed himself to be so unmindful.  They were good customers, and he trusted they would continue to be so.  He believed their motto would be 'nil desperandum', and he hoped as next year woudl be an exceptional one, being 5 Sundays in February, that their crops would be unusually heavy (hear, hear).  He therefore begged to propose 'Health and prosperity to the farmers and brickmakers, the friends and customers of Newington Vestry.' coupled with the names of Mr Richardson, Mr Reed, Mr Allen, Mr Vincent and Mr Goodyear (cheers).

Mr Richardson responded for the brickmakers, observing that he liked to do business with Newington, as he had alsways found matters satisfactory.

Mr Reed, as a young farmer, had had about 1,000 tons of the 'Newington Mixture', and it appeared to him to be worth more now than formerly (hear, hear).

Mr Allen thought such gatherings cemented friendships and increased business, and he felt there was honour conferred upon them by the presence of Colonel Evelyn (cheers). He considered that they had done good service to the district, for John Wood and himself were the first to take away from Newington that which was a burden to them.  However, he would remind the vestry of the wisdom of not puttinig up the price too high (hear and laughter).

Mr Goodyear then followed, remarking that when he had a good order, as a commercial man he invariably invited his customers to dinner.  (hear, hear and laughter).  It was true he had received a first class prize for growing swedes through using the Newington Mixture, which he had a belief in.  After all, he considered the fact of his winning the prize a very good advertisement for the Newing Depot Committee (hear, hear).

Mr Visnon was the next to respond and in doing so said he felt indebted to the Newington Vestry for the facilities they had offered the farmers, and which had enabled them to grow heavier crops (hear, hear).

Mr W Malthouse (vice chairman), proposed 'The Health of the Chairman of the Depot Committee, Mr Charles Hart' (cheers).  That gentleman was indefatigable in carrying out the duties of his office, and he hoped he would long continue to do so (hear and cheers).

The chairman heartily thanked the vice-chairman for the kindly mention of his name, and also for the way in which it had been received by the company.  He had been 10 years closely connected with the Newington Vestry, and he considered that he had been amply repaid that evening by the way in which his services - such as they were - had been appreciated (cheers).  Mr Allen proposed 'The Auditors' coupled with the names of Mr Williams, Mr Goodall, and Mr Sexton (hear and applause).

Mr Williams, as one of the auditors of Newington Vestry, was quite prepared to assert that, so well were the accounts kept, that it was but one roudn of pleasure in being an auditor.  The proceedings of that evening had been a source of pleasure to him, and especially so in listening to the remarks of Messrs Vincent, Richardson, Allen, Goodyear and Reed.  He ahd no doubt but that the vetry of Newington would at all times be ready to business with the in a liberal spirit (hear and cheers).  He was gratified at the fact of a first class prize having been won by Mr Goodyear.  Indeed, there appeared to be no doubt - in fact, it had been admitted - that if gentelmen wished to grow large crops, they could not do better than use the 'mixture' (laughter and cheers).

Mr Goodall, as auditor, also responded.

The chairman then 'The Health of the vice-chairman, Mr W Malthouse'.

The vice-chairman, in response, observed that the interests of Newington were in a great measure bound up with the farmers of Kent, on behalf of whom he fanied he could again see the silver cloud of prosperity looming in the distance.  He thanked the chairman for the compliment, as also the farmers of Kent for the cordial receiption of his name, and wished them every properity (hear and cheers).

Mr J Marsland proposed 'The Agricultural Interest' coupled with the name of Mr Hartridge, who replied, and proposed 'The Vestry Clerk' (hear, hear).

Mr Dunham, in reply, stated although the prizes given by the Vestry for the best roots grown from land manured with the Newington Mixture had been this year handed over to the West Kent Agricultural Association for distributionn, he was in favour of such prizes being awarded at these annual meetings, as only a limited number of those taking 'the mixture' had an opportunity of competing.  It must not be thought from this suggestion that he would advise the vestry to withdraw their connection with the West Kent Association.  There were other ways in which the vestry might give their support to this association, and he ahd no doubt that the Deot Committee would help them to make their annual meetings in the future as successful as they had been in the past.

The company shortly after separated, one and all having expressed themselves well pleased with the proceedings of the meeting.  The members of the committee left Gravesend by the 10.45 train for London.

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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