1850-Mar-12 Horse for Service South Eastern Gazette
"For Service, this season, 1850: Metal, the property of Mr W Treadwell of Hartley, Kent at 2 guineas each mare and 5s the groom. Metal is a beautiful chestnut, 5 years old, stands 16 hands high, with immense bone and substance, was got by Metal his dam by Sir Peter, by Worthy, the wonderful trotter; his dam by Orisis; Osiris by Sir Peter Teazle, out of Ibis by Woodpecker, out of Isabella by Eclipse. Metal, bred by Captain Lamb in 1834, by Winter, by Muley, out of sister Juliana by Gohanna; granddam Platina, by Mercury; Metal's dam by Humphrey Clinker out of Gadabout by Orville. He will attend the principal markets and fairs in the neighbourhood during the season NB. To save trouble the proprietor particularly requests that the money be paid to the groom at the time."
1850-Apr-09 Fire at Longfield Hill South Eastern Gazette
"Destructive Fire: about 2 o'clock on the morning of Friday week, intelligence was received that a fire had broken out at the farm occupied by Mr John Doherty, at Longfield Hill, about 5 miles from Gravesend. The fire it appears was first discovered by one of the farm servants, who with his wife, was sleeping in the barn. He was aroused by a noise similar to the roaring of a heavy gale of wind, but perceiving also that there was a strong smell of smoke, he looked out of the barn and discovered to his consternation that a stack of straw near to the barn was roaring away like a blazing furnace. Without waiting to dress, he ran about in his shirt raising the alarm, and when he returned to the barn he found the fire had got a strong hold on that, and he was unable to save enve his own clothing. Like the fire which occurred on the previous Friday morning, at Mr Andrew's , the engine on its arrival was useless in saving the property, which was in the course of destruction, and the fire had spread in two directions. The stack of straw stood between the barn, and a stack of oats. Both became ignited, and were entirely destroyed, as well as a stack of about 60 quarters of wheat, and about 25 quarters of oats, that were in the barn. The farm we believe was formerly held by a brother of Mr Andrews, whose property was destroyed on the previous Friday, and the origin of each fire is very suspicious. Since the above was in print, we understand that Everest, the Northfleet constable, has apprehended a man named Chapman, on the charge of firing the stack; he has already undergone a private examination, and was remanded."
[The Dover Telegraph of 6.4.1850 has a shorter account but mentions that it is the 4th fire within a few miles within a week, commenting "rather a strong contradiction to the well being and contentment of the labourers with a cheap loaf."]
1850-Sep-10 Theft at Fawkham South Eastern Gazette
Dartford Magistrates: "James Stevens was charged with stealing a watch, the property of John Gilbert at Fawkham. Jane Gilbert deposed - I am the wife of prosecutor. Yesterday, the 6th September, I was upstairs, and saw the prisoner going away from my house. Thinking he had stolen something, I called to Master Smith to go after him. Michael Smith deposed - I went after the prisoner, and when I got near to him I saw him looking at a watch, which, however, I could not see when I overtook him. I took him back and my son, who is the parish constable, took him into custody. We then went to the place where I saw the watch in his hand, and found it hanging in the hedge. John Gilbert identified the watch. Prisoner, who declined making any defence, was committed for trial."
1850-Dec-10 Fawkham Thief South Eastern Gazette
"On Wednesday, Thomas Hower, aged 20, and as would appear a known thief, was arrested in Gravesend by PC Hickey, of the Dartford Police. It appeared that the prisoner had been lodging for some days previously in a beer shop in Dartford, kept by Thomas Collett; that he slept in a bed in the same room with Collett, adn taht about 7 o'clock that morning he absconded from the house, after possessing himself of 5 sovereings, which on the night before he observed Collett put into his trouser pocket, which trousers on going to bed Collett placed on a chair near his bed, and in the morning he missed both gold and prisoner. He at once gave information to the police, and both Hickey and himself, ascertaining that prisoner had taken the high road leading to Gravesend, followed on that line, and arriving in the town about half past one. On entering the town they went to a public house, and there they learned that the man for whom they ere in pursuit was at that moment in the tap room. They then found him, regaling himself, and treating other men, who it seemed had been in the room when he came in, with brandy and water, for which he had paid 2s 6d to the landlord, Mr Carley. On taking him into custody, he had 2 larger parcels of newly bought clothes and a new hat, and on his person 5s in silver and 7d in coppers. He for a long time denied all knowledge of the party robbed, but after Mr Carley recognised him as a native of Fawkham, he confessed to the robbery, and took the policeman to the shops where he bought the clothes etc."
[SE Gazette of 22.10.1850 reported that James Stevens could read and write imperfectly, was found guilty and sentenced to 6 months hard labour and to be privately whipped. Of the 77 prisoners, only one could read and write well, 48 could read and write imperfectly and 28 were illiterate]
1851-Aug-05 Hop Harvest South Eastern Gazette
"Horton Kirby: our hops and those in the adjoining parishes of Darenth, Fawkham, Kingsdown and Hartley, are so full of vermin as they can stick. Since the rain the vermin and honeydew have increased, and unless a favourable change take place, we shall not grow enough to brew with."
1851-Oct-11 Fire at Blue House Farm Kentish Independent
"On the following morning [Friday 3rd October] about 12 o'clock an express came over fro the village of Hartley for the engine, Mr Aitkin with his brigade and the engine proceeded there with all possible dispatch and found a fire raging at the farm of Mr James Armstrong, at Hartley Bottom (sic); 2 cottages, a barn, a stack of oats, and another of peas and a cart lodge in which the fire broke out were entirely destroyed when the engine arrived; and it was feared that the adjoining far hous which was only separated by a small orchard, would share the same fate, but fortunately that was saved. The property was insured in the Norwich and Kent offices; the liability of the Norwich Office is, we believe, about £600."
[A shorter article in the South Eastern Gazette of 14.10.1851 says the fire engine came from Gravesend and that arson was suspected]
1852-Mar-23 Selling Corn at Dartford Market South Eastern Gazette
"County Court - The Shooting Money Case - Josiah Harris v Jonathan Hills
The case was adjourned from the last court, and excited considerable interest.
Mr Phelp of Southampton Buildings, appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr Gibson of Dartford, for the defendant.
Plaintiff is a farmer at Gravesend, and the defendant a miller at Dartford, at the firm of Hards and Hills, of the Royal Mills. The action was brought to recover the sum of 1 shilling from defendant.
The principle involved in the case is whether the millers have a right to deduct the 'shooting' or sack money, viz 1 shiling for every 5 quarters of corn, and which the defendant had done, and contended he had a right to do, in this instance.
The witnesses called on the part of the plaintiff were:
Mr Best of Fawkham (sic), whoe evidence went to show that he in one instance sold to an innkeeper named Relph, without allowing it, but that in all his dealings on the Dartford market, he had been obliged to do so, although he had 'grumbled' at it HIs honour remarked that people 'grumbled' at paying taxes.
Mr John Cooper of Sutton, proved that in one instance he had also sold to a miller without allowing the shooting money, but that, although he had been in the habit of attending Dartford Market for the last 30 years, he remembered no other similar instance.
Mr Gibson contended that the custom in this case, of allowing for shooting money, had all the requisites to make it as binding as any Act of Parliament. He cited several cases from Stephens's Commentaries on the Laws of England, upon the necessary requisites to support a local custom, and expressed his confidence that the evidence he shoudl adduce would fully satisfy all those requisites. He then called.
Mr John Tasker of Dartford, brewer, who proved that he had been in the habit of attending Dartford Market for the last 48 years; that he had carried on the business of a brewer, and also of a farmer, during a part of that period, and had consequently bought barley and sold wheat. On purchasing barley he invariably stopped 6d for every 5 quarters, and on selling wheat had always allowed 1s for every 5 quarters sold.
Mr Richard Austin of Greenhithe, also proved that he had always known it to be the custom to stop the shooting money. Witness, on being asked his age, replied 'Not quite a hundred'. On being futher pressed he admiited his age to be 93, at the same time saying he was 'only a boy' yet. His honour remarked he was rather 'an old boy'.
Mr Bensted of Hartley, Mr Cronk of Southfleet, and Mr Robins of Dartford, confirmed the former testimony.
His honour thought the custom contended by the defendant was virtually undefended, as the evidence was all on his side. He then dissected? the evidence, which he said left him no other alternative but to declare the custom fully proved, and judgement must therefore be given to the defendant."
[This case is about what local millers could deduct from the price paid, but a number of local people were witnesses. The "Mr Best of Fawkham" was almost certainly George Best, the tenant of Middle Farm, Hartley as noone called Best lived at Fawkham at the time of the 1851 census.]
1852-Apr-27 Sale of Fairby Farm Maidstone Journal
"Valuable and Important Freehold Estate - Hartley - near the market towns of Gravesend, Dartford and Farningham, Kent - To be sold by auction by Mr George Mandy at Garraways, Cornhill, London, on Monday, May 10th 1852 at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, by order of the trustees for sale under the will of the late Mr Francis Treadwell, and with the consent of the Mortgagee in one lot.
Comprising a very substantially erected farm house, and all necessary farm buildings, 200 acares of very extraordinarily productive arable, hop, orchard, meadow and woodland; together with 4 workman's cottages, known as the Fairby Farm, in the parishes of Hartley and Fawkham, within easy distances of the Dartford and Gravesend Stations on the North Kent Railway. To the lovers of sport this estate offers great attractions, being well stocked with game, and withi 3 miles of the celebrated fox hounds of Thomas Colyer esq. To the capitalist an opportunity is offered rarely to be met with, as the family, whose ancestors have occupied the estate for more than 200 years, have taken a lease for 21 years (determinable at the end of the first 7 or 14 years) at the rent of £220 per annum. The land, which is in a very excellent state of cultivation, is of easy tillage, very productive and famous for hops, admirably adapted for sheep and stock; frontages to good roads, and eligibly situated for building purposes - being one of the healthiest spots in the county. The late proprietor attained the age of nearly 100 years.
May be viewed on application to Mr W Treadwell; and printed particulars, with conditions and plan, may be obtained at the principal inns, Dartford, Gravesend and Farningham; at the Agricultural Implement Depot, Swan Lane, London Bridge; at the offices of Mr J Hayward, Dartford; at the place of sale; of the auctioneer and estate agent, Farningham, Kent, and of Mr Charles Colyer, Dartford."
[South Eastern Gazette 18.5.1852 reported that it was bought by Mr Justice Talfourd for £6,500]
1852-Jul-13 Dartford Cattle Market South Eastern Gazette
"Dartford Stock Market - on Tuesday last, the 13th monthly meeting was held. This undertaking is fast rising in the estimation of the graziers and butchers, as was evident by the number and quality of the supply on the last occasion. There were exhibited for sale 85 fat beasts, 207 sheep and lambs, and 6 calves, the prices realised being satisfactory. During the past year there have been in the market, 615 beasts, 2,671 sheep and lambs, 39 calves and 393 pigs.
In connexion with the above market, a complimentary dinner was given on the 7th inst, to J Soloman esq, for the support and encouragement given by him to the market. 35 neighbouring agriculturists and townsmen sat down to a splendid repast, prepared by Mr Potter of the Royal Victoria Hotel The wines supplied were of the first order, particularly the champagne and claret which flowed in a truly free trade stream. The chair was occupied by W Allen esq of the Stone Court Lodge farm, and vice chair by John Harrison esq of the Phoenix Mills, Dartford. The speeches were complimentary, without that fulsom adulation which too often characterises meetings of this kind The meeting was enlivened during the evening by some excellent songs from several of the gentlemen present"
1852-Sep-18 Sale of Stock at Fairby Farm Times
"Fairby Farm, Hartley, Kent - Valuable Live and Dead Farming Stock, the produce of 45 acres of wheat, 40 acres of oats, 12 acres of pease, 7 acres of tares, all the excellent household furniture, and other effects - by Mr G MANDY, on Thursday, September 23, upon the Premises, Hartley, Kent, by order of the executors of the late Mr Frank Treadwell, deceased.
The live stock comprises 8 young and active draught horses, gray mare and foal, a chestnut colt, by mettle quiet to ride and drive, a 3 year old bay colt (unbroken), a 2 years gray cart colt, and 3 yearling colts, 5 good milch cows in calf, fat calf, a handsome pony and donkey, 8 fat sheep, sow in pig, and a large quantity of poultry. The dead stock consists of 2 very strong waggons, timber carriage, light bavin carriage, 3 dung carts, 2 light chaise carts, pony cart and harness, turn-rise and other ploughs, ox and small harrows, capital iron land rollers, hop nidgots? bean and pea brakes, cleaning machines, sheep troughs and coops, quantity of hurdle gates, chain, quoller? and plough harness. A large quantity of seasoned oak and beech timber, felloes? naves and sundry useful wheeler's stuff, 850 16 foot hop poles, quantity of bavins and scares. All the useful household furniture, plate, linen, glass, china etc, and numerous miscellaneous effects. The whole will be inserted in catalogues, which may be obtained one week previously to the sale at the inns in the neighbourhood; at Messrs Dray & Co's agricultural implement depot, Old Swan-Lane, Upper Thames Street; at Jewell's city luncheon rooms, 51 Gracechurch Street, London; at the place of sale; and of the auctioneer and estate agent, Farningham. The auctioneer begs most respectfully to call the attention of his friends and the public generally to this sale, as the horses were bred upon the premises. The sale to commence at 12 o'clock punctually, on account of the number of lots.
New House Farm, Ash and Hartley, Kent - Valuable Live and Dead Farming Stock and other effects - by Mr G MANDY, upon the premises, New House Farm, Ash and Hartley, Kent by order of the executors of the late Mr William Treadwell, deceased, on Friday, September 24; Comprising 6 young and active draught horses, 3 excellent milch cows in calf, a handsome 2 year old Durham bull, a strong waggon, bavin carriage, 2 good dung carts, turnrise ploughs, ox and small harrows, scarifier? chain, quoller, and plough harnesses, cleaning machine, ladders, cow cribs, quantity of hurdle gates, bavins and scares, and other effects. The whole will be inserted in catalogues, which may be obtained one week previously to the sale at the inns in the neighbourhood; at Messrs Dray & Co's agricultural implement depot, Old Swan-Lane, Upper Thames Street; at Jewell's city luncheon rooms, 51 Gracechurch Street, London; at the place of sale; and of the auctioneer and estate agent, Farningham."
[This is an advert from the Times of 18 September 1852. It lists the stock from Fairby Farm, Ash Road and New House Farm, Church Road (where New Ash Green is now). Fairby is particularly detailed and shows a farm mainly devoted to arable crops, which was commonplace then. But later the effect of the repeal of the corn laws and agricultural depression would alter the balance between arable and pasture.]
1853-Apr-19 Man Shot at Fairby Farm South Eastern Gazette
"Hartley - Serious Affair - A Man Shot.
On Thursday last, between 1 and 2 o'clock in the morning, Mr Treadwell, the occupier of a farm at Hartley, was awoke by hearing, as he imagined, someone trying to get into the house, and as there had been very recently a burglary committed in the immediate neighbourhood, he became alarmed, and on looking out of his bedroom window he saw three men in his garden. He called out to them from the window, and immediately went and aroused two of his men who were sleeping in his house, got his gun, and proceeded to the front door. As soon as the door was open, he saw a man standing near the gate, and instantly discharged his gun, without taking aim, the contents of which the man received, it appears, just below the left breast. The unfortunate man, whose name is John Young, and who resides at Meopham, then went towards Mr Treadwell, and said they were sparrow catching, and 2 others immediately came up, both young men residing also a Meopham, named Thomas Goodwin and ____ Crowhurst, and alleged the same thing, that they were only sparrow catching. Two bags were also lying on the lawn at the time, and near a yew tree, in which Mr Treadwell's fowls roosted every night. No sparrow nets, however, appear to have been seen by Mr Treadwell. Young appears to have been seriously wounded, and Mr Treadwell sent him home in a cart with one of his men, his other two companions accompanying them. Medical assistance was immediately procured, and grave doubts are entertained of Young's ultimate recovery. Mr Treadwell obtained a warrant the same day for the apprehension of Goodwin and Crowhurst, and Superintending Constable Brandon apprehended the two young men at Meopham on the same evening and the following day they were taken to the magistrates' clerk's office at Dartford, and underwent examination before T H Fleet esq, who remanded them till the following day (being the regular bench day), when they underwent a further examination, and were again remanded.
A warrant appears also to have been obtained against Mr Treadwell, for shooting at Young, and was placed in the hands of the Meopham constable; the hearing of that charge likewise stands over till Saturday next. The whole matter at present is involved in mystery. Mr Treadwell is positive he heard some one trying to get into his house, although there are no apparent traces of it, and it certainly appears rather an unusual thing for 3 young men to be seen miles away from home, at 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning, sparrow catching, and especially in a parish where a burglary had been recently committed. If, however, such should turn out ultimately to be the case, it is a most unfortunate thing that they were not more prudent, and it will still be more lamentable if the young man should lose his life in consequence. In the present stage of the proceedings it assumes a serious aspect with all the parties concerned in the matter.
Bail was taken for their appearence on Saturday next by which time it is to be hoped the truth will be ascertained."
1853-Apr-23 Fairby Shooting: More Details Canterbury Journal
"A Man Shot - A serious accident occurred at Fairby Farm, on Thursday morning, through the very reprehensible custom of people going about catching sparrows at unseasonable hours. On Thursday morning about 2 o'clock, Mr J Treadwell was aroused by his wife, who felt sure that some burglars were in the house. In opening the window he broke a pane of glass, and on looking out saw some men run away, and saw something under the chamber window, which looked as if it had been thrown from the parlour window. He immediately called his waggoner, who opened the door while his master held a gun, and as soon as the door was opened he caught the glimpse of a man under a tree, and fired. The man's companions called to know if he was shot, and he replied he was. Mr Treadwell, still thinking there were burglars cautioned them not to coe back, as he had another barrel. They then said they were catching sparrows, and hearing the window broken thought a gun was being thrust through, and ran away, leaving their bags, which their unfortunate companion was returning for."
[This extract contains a few more details, apparently from Mr Treadwell or his supporters.]
1853-May-03 Sale of Billet Farm, Ash Maidstone Journal
"Valuable and Desirable freehold estate for investment or occupation. To be sold by auction by Mr G Mandy on Thursday May 19th 1853 at 2 o'clock, at the Auction Mart, London.
Comprising a very compact farm of 24 acres of highly productive hop, arable, meadow and woodland, in the highest possible state of cultivation. Also a very substantially erected genteel residence, recently built, regardless of expense, and replete with every convenience. Together with 5 cottages let to good weekly tenants. Also a recently built oast house, with farm yards, stables, barn and lodges.
The valuable estate, known as the 'Billet Farm' in the parishes of Ash and Fawkham, about 4 miles from Farningham, the intended 'Darenth Valley Railway', 5 miles from Dartford, 6 from Gravesend, forms a favourite meet of the west Kent Fox Hounds. It is of the estimated value of £85 per annum...."
1853-May-14 Fairby Shooting and Burglary at Woodins West Kent Guardian
"We are happy to learn that the young man who was unfortunately shot a few weeks back is fast recovering. Much discussion has taken place, at Hartley and Meopham respecting the occurrance. The following, however, appears to be an unprejudiced view of the case: Mr Young, the unfortunate man was a gamekeeper, and a good shot. A sparrow shooting match had been made, and Young and others were trying to get the birds. The practice of destroying sparrows is encouraged by most farmers, but it is seldom attempted at a house after 10 o'clock wihtout arousing the occupiers, and asking that permission which is invariably given. But in this instane the sparrow-catchers left their own neighbourhood and came to Hartley, where they were entire strangers. On that and on a previous night some damage was done to windows and tiles of houses, and many people at lone houses had been much alarmed. About three weeks before a lone farm house in the parish of Hartley was robbed. The inmates consisted of an old lady and gentleman, very helpless, a son about 50 and a neice. The son had been tending a sick cow till 12 o'clock and was scarcely in bed, when the door was tried by some parties, and on the son looking out a stone was thrown at him, which he avoided. He went downstairs and told them if they came in at the window they were attempting, he would knock them down. They then burst the door in bodily, and he escaped upstairs. 4 men then entered the house with blackened faces, burst the stairfoot door open, and proceeded to the old man's room, armed with a gun and 2 hatchets. They threatened to dash the old man's brains out if he did not tell them where his money was. He would not. They then put the candle under the bed and threatened to burn him and his house. Still he would not tell them. The niece, faring for the safety of the old couple came into their room and gave them a purse. They then told them they kept 2 purses and demanded the other. This she was obliged to give up and the two purses containing £12. After ransacking every drawer, they returned downstairs and regaled themselves plentifully, leaving the house about 3 and 4, taking with them some hams; and although an experienced officer is convinced there were 7 in the gang, no clue has yet been obtained by which any of them may be detected.
Now, about 3 weeks after, between 1 and 2 o'clock, a neighbouring farmer is aroused by his wife. His first thought is of his neighbour's robbery - next his gun was downstairs. He sprang from bed, and in opening a window broke a pane of glass. He then called out "Who are you, and what do you want?" No answer was given to this, but 3 men ran away, and one falling over a box hedge called out, "Don't shoot." This was the only word the farmer or his men heard. On looking from the chamber window he saw some parcels under the parlour window, which he concluded were his property. Afraid to go downstairs and up the men's stairs to call them, he opened an old door, and had his two men through the room his wife was lying in, and down the front stairs. His men were now afraid to open the door, but he told one to hold the light, and the other to open the door while he held his gun. Immediately on opening the door he saw the glimpse of a man advancing towards him, although ten minutes before he had seen them all run away. He fired - the man fell, calling out, "You should not have shot, we were only sparrow-catching." These were the first words the men heard after they had joined their master. The people of Ash and Hartley almost unanimously acquit the farmer of all blame."
1853-May-24 Fairby Shooting: Defendants Acquitted South Eastern Gazette
"Dartford Petty Sessions before Sir PH Dyke bart, F Dashwood esq and the Rev G E Murray.
The Shooting Case at Hartley - William Crowhurst, Thomas Goodwin and John Young, the three young men who stood remanded upon a charge of an attempt at housebreaking at Hartley, on Thursday, the 14th April last, attended on their recognizances. The latter it will be remembered, was the young man who was shot, but had recovered from the wound. The defence on that last occasion was that they were sparrow catching, although it was 2 o'clock in the morning. The nature of the evidence tending to show that such was in all probability the case, they were discharged, after a caution from the chairman, on their entering into their own recognizance in £20 each to appear when called upon."
1853-Jun-21 Woodins for Sale South Eastern Gazette
"Kent: Freehold first class landed investments in the parishes of Erith, Bexley and Hartley. Mr H Morris has received instructions from the trustees for sale of the estates of the late James Page esq., to sell by auction at the Mart, London, toward the end of July next in 5 lots (unless acceptable offers are previously made by private contract).
[Beadonwell Farm (155a), Erith and Bexley]
[Tile Barn Farm (11a) at Beadonwell and Tithe Rentcharge on 365 acres of land at Erith]
[Two inclosures of marsh grazing land (36a) near Abbey Wood station]
[Picardy Garden (2a) at Belvedere]
A small farm, comprising farm house and the requisite farm buildings, and 26a 3r 0p of meadow and arable land, situate in the parish of Hartley, now under lease to a very old tenant at £26 per annum."
[Maidstone Journal 26.7.1853 reported "At Mr Morris's sale at the Mart on July 26, the following extraordinarily high prices were realised: ...... Farm at Hartley, 26a 3r on lease at £26 per annum: £1,350"]
1853-Sep-01 Write Home from Australia Melbourne Argus
"John Treadwell from Hartley, Kent, per ship Kent - your friends E and E B Cooper would be glad to hear from you. Address to them at the Post Office, Kilmore."
1853-Oct-01 Poor Hop Crop Locally Kentish Mercury
"Ash near Wrotham: Hop picking has now become general in this and the adjoining parishes of Hartley and Longfield; they come down short of expectation. We cannot calculate on more than half a crop, viz 4 or 5 cwt per acre, good in quality, and free from vermin or mould."
1853-Oct-04 Fire at Hartley Court South Eastern Gazette
"Hartley Fire. In he night of Saturday, the 24th ulimo, a fire broke out on the farm of Mr William Bensted of Hartley Court Farm, which ended in the destruction of nearly £1,000 worth of property. Mr Benstead was aroused by the alarm of fire about 2 o'clock, by a man who was burning charcoal on the farm. It broke out in a barn 120 feet long, which was full of corn, and extended o a shed and cowshed, and also a large stack of corn, which were all entirely destroyed. Soon after the fire broke out Lord Darnley arrived with his own engine and men, and set to work most vigorously, himself taking the lead and conducting the branch. The engine, which is a very powerful one, had been at work 2 hours before the engine of the Norwich Union could arrive from Dartford at about 5 o'clock. The wind was blowing south at the tie, otherwise nothing could have saved the whole of the homestead.
Too much praise cannot be awarded to Lord Darnley, for his kindness and indefatigable exertions Not only must Mr Bensted be deeply grateful, but the Norwich Union Fire Office, in which Mr Bensted is insured, are as deeply indebted to him for his prompt and able services The neighbourhood at large has reason to be thankful that a fire engine and sufficient staff are kept by his lordship for any similar emergency. Had it not been for this engine, the loss would doubtless have been fearful.
The origin of the fire is not satisfactorily ascertained. One of Mr Bensted's labourers on the farm was taken up on suspicion of having caused the fire, and examined before the bench of magistrates at Dartford on Saturday, but there not being sufficient evidence against him he was discharged. It is supposed by some that the man was drunk, and that the contents of a tobacco pipe had caused the fire. A pipe was found in his pocket, as also a lucifer. Others suppose it is the vile work of an incendiary, but we incline to think it more likely to be serious effects of a drunken man's conduct. He slept in the house generally, but he was not in on that night, and from many circumstances there were great reasons for suspicion against him."
[The Lord Darnley who sent and led his private fire brigade was John Stuart Bligh of Cobham Hall. In the 1851 Census, Mr Bensted had 3 farm labourers living at Hartley Court, later in the 19th century farmers built cottages for their labourers instead.]
1854-Mar-21 Obituary of Mr Justice Talfourd South Eastern Gazette
"Mr Justice Talfourd - It is not generally known, we believe, that the late Mr Justice Talfourd, to whose many amiable, noble and benevolent qualities men of all ranks and parties bear earnest testimony, was a Kentish landowner. He was the proprietor of a farm at High Halstow near Rochester, of another at Hartley, and of a third at Eastchurch and Warden in the Isle of Sheppey, at each of which places his tenants speak of him not merely as a kind and liberal landlord, but as a generous and valuable friend, whose counsel and aid was ever at their service. He also purchased a cottage residence, called The Retreat, at Margate, which was being fitted up for his reception at the time of his death." [Justice Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd (1795-1854) had bought Fairby Farm in 1852. He was a friend of Charles Dickens, and the Pickwick Papers is dedicated to Thomas.]
1854-Apr-11 House of Commons Petition Maidstone Journal
"A petition was presented against the sale of intoxicating liquor on Sunday by Mr M Smith from the inhabitants of Longfield, West Kent."
1854-Sep-19 Estate of Robert Hayes Maidstone Journal
Probate notice for claims against estate of Robert Hayes of Hartley, victualler and cordwainer, to be in by 1 October. Administrator: Thomas Creasy Barber of 47 High Street, Gravesend.
1854-Sep-26 Sale of Pennis Farm Stock Maidstone Journal
"Pennis Farm, Fawkham and Hartley, Kent. Valuable live and dead farming stock, excellent modern household furniture and effects to be sold by auction by Mr George Mandy on Wednesday September 27th 1854, on the premises, Pennis Farm… at 1 o'clock by order of the proprietor, Mr Robert Allen, who is quitting the farm.
The live and dead stock, comprises 6 young and powerful draught horses, 100 extraordinarily good 2 tooth Down tegs, fit for market, quantity of poultry, 2 very strong waggons, 2 good dung carts. Howard's iron and other ploughs, ox and small harrows, a capital iron land roller, a good wood roller, 11,000 12ft hop poles, chaff cutting machine, chain, quoller, and plough harnesses, bean brakes, hop nidgets, hurdle and stakes and various agricultural implements.
The excellent modern household furniture consists of nearly new mahogany 4 post bent, and other bedsteads and furnitures, home made goose feather beds and bedding, mahogany chest of drawers, dining tables and chairs, sofas, Brussels carpets, chimney, pier, and dressing glases, china, glass and earthenware, dairy utensils, kitchen requisites, and various effects....."
Pennis Farm, Fawkham Kent. Important and extensive sale of Wheat and Oats. To be sold by auction by Mr George Mandy. On Wednesday, Sept 27th, 1854, on the premises, Pennis Farm, Fawkham, immediately after the sale of the valuable live and dead stock, by order the proprietor (quitting the farm), comprising 4 stacks of superior wheat, a large mow of wheat, 7 stacks of red and black oats, 2 mows of oats. The wheat, computed at 160 quarters, and the oats at 270 quarters will be inserted in catalogues... "
1854-Oct-31 Sale of Underwood South Eastern Gazette
Hartley, near Meopham, Kent: 15 acres of capital underwood to be sold by auction by Mr George Mandy on Tuesday November 7th, 1854, at the King's Arms, Hartley, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, by order of the proprietor Mr William Benstead, in such lots and subject to such conditions as will be produced at the time of sale.
Comprising 12 acres in Hartley Wood and 3 acres in Foxburrough (sic) Wood, of very valuable underwood, of 14 years' growth, adjoining good sound roads. May be viewed on application to Mr Benstead, and particulars may be obtained of the Auctioneer and Surveyor, Farningham, Kent."
1855-Mar-24 Hop Growing in Kent Canterbury Journal
Cultivation of Hops...
The usual annual return to an order of the House of Commons has just been issued. It gives the particulars of the number of acres of land under cultivation for hops from the 5th of January 1854, to the 5th of January 1855.....
Canterbury Collection 11,490¾ acres
Rochester Collection 19,337¾ acres
Total for England 53,823 acres
[Selected Rochester Collection parishes]
Ash 139 acres
Fawkham 24½ acres
Hartley 33½ acres
Horton Kirby 92½ acres
Longfield 37½ acres
Meopham 145 acres
Ridley 12¾ acres
Stansted 106½ acres"
1855-Jul-10 Property Sale at Fawkham Maidstone Journal
"Extensive Sale of Property: A few days since Messrs Farebrother, Clark and Lye at the Auction Mart, disposed of many freehold estates in the parishes of Horton Kirby, Farningham etc, sold by the direction fo the executors of James Russell esq, with possession October next. The lots and prices were as follows:
Lot 1: The Canada Farm in the parishes of Fawkham and Horton Kirby, comprising 105 acrs of land - sold for £3,100
Lot 2: An enclosure of 12 acres of woodland, known as Churchdown Wood - £230
Lot 3: Part of Dean Bottom Farm, comprising farm buildings and 40 acres of land - sold for £1,500
Lot 4: Skidders [Scudders] or Lower Fawkham and Speedgate Farm, containing together 367 acres of land, farm buildings etc, knocked down at £7,900
Lot 5: Brandshatch farm, comprising sprting residence, pleasure grounds, agricultural buildings at 614 acres of land - knocked down at £12,600
Lot 6: Little Brandshatch, comprising 3 cottages and 4 acres of land let at £25 - sold for £500
Lot 7: Knockmill Wood, containing 65 acres of woodland - knocked down at £950
Lot 8: An enclosure of marsh land near the village of Heaverham, bing about 8½ acres, let at £16 - sold for £500
Lot 9: A freehold cottage in the village of Horton Kirby, let at £14 - knocked down for £240
Lot 10: 5 freehold cottages near the preceding, let to weekly tenants and producing £37 14s per annum - knocked down at £340
Lot 11: Tithe rent charges amounting to £79 15s per annum and secured upon South Darenth Farm, Horton Kirby - sold for £1,200
Lot 12: Tithe Rentcharges amounting to £50 8s per annum, secured upon Pinden Farm and Dean Bottom, Horton Kirby, knocked down at £890
Lot 13: Tithe rentcharges of £16 17s per annum secured upon South Darenth and other lands, Horton Kirby - knocked down at £280
Lot 15(sic): A tithe rent charge of £20 4s per annum, issuing out of portions of Lots 1 and 4 - knocked down at £350."
1855-Jul-10 Dartford Cattle Market Maidstone Journal
"The Stock Market Anniversary - Opening Dinner
On Tuesday last, the gentlemen attending Dartford Stock Market, to the number of about 70, celebrated their 4th anniversary by dining together at their market house, the Bull Hotel; Mr Bray the new landlord, marking his accession to the management of that 'ancient hostelrie' by placing upon the tablet (sic) a banquet of the most recherche character, comprising evry delicacy of the season, and wines of very superior flavour, and of the first vintages.
The chair was occupied by Mr Solomon of Stone, the vice chair by Mr Alfred Russell of Dartford, and amongst the gentlement prsent were: Messrs W Allen, Saxton, F Stonham, Phillips (2), G Mandy, Love sen, Jas Russell, W Russell, Thos Muggeridge, Slaughter, Miles, Beadle, Franks, Skinner, Cook (2), English, Solomon, J Paine, Hassel, Walter, R Hills, J Wate, Potter, Landell, Munn, Quait, Philcox, Pottinger, Tolhurst, Ticehurst, Love jun etc etc. [none of the names obviously local to Hartley] ....
The Chairman, in acknowledging the toast, did not disclaim the honour of being the founder, and an earnest supporter of the Dartford market; but there were many others around that table, and some who were absent, who had likewise put their shoulders to the wheel, and joined their efforts to his to make this a good and a large market. The show of stock that day (although from the badness of the London market of the day previous the sale had been rather flat) had been equal to that of any day during the last 4 years; and he felt justified in auguring from it a larger measure of success for the future. (cheers)
R Hills esq, banker of Dartford, proposed the next toast, 'Prosperity to Dartford Cattle Market' (cheers). He thought this was an auspicious day for the cattle market. There had been an unusually large supply, and their dinner, too, was attended, not only by the gentry and farmers of the neighbourhood, but by a few of the townspeople (cheers). He was in the habit of attending this market dinner, because he felt it was a duty he owed to the town and to the farmers in the neighbourhood to do so, and he was sorry so seldom to meet his brother townsmen, for they, in neglecting their duty in this respect, neglected also their interest (cheers). The establishment of a market did a great deal of good to a town like Dartford, inasmuch as it brought together a number of gentlemen and their farmpeople and servants, every man of whom spent something. How was it he heard many of the townsmen complain of not being able to get a living? Simply because they showed so much apathy in respect to evry project for increasing the traffic of the place, and adding to the number of those who trafficked in it (cheers). Dartford had all the requisites for an extensive and lucrative trade - it was the metropolis for an extensive district, just as Maidstone was the metropolis of the Weald. The tradesmen of the town, therefore, ought to do everything in their powr to encourage this stock market. When this market started there was a little jealousy exhibited by their friends at Farningham, who thought it was a move in opposition (no, no). He was glad that that had passed by, and that there was now no misunderstanding (cheers). There was, in truth, plenty of scope for both markets, and both, he had no dobut, would prosper, now that that market of Smithfield had been removed to Islington - a most inconvenient locality for the farmers and butchers of the county of Kent generally. If, instead of sending their cattle so far, the farmers sent them to Farningham or Dartford, they could do so at a less cost, and in teh case of a flat sale like that of Monday at Islington, they would neigher be obliged to sell at a loss not to bring the stock back at a great expense, and much to its detriment (cheers). If the farmers of the district were careful to supply the wants of the buyers, and the townspeople did their duty, there was little doubt but that the Dartford Market would, now that Smithfield was removed, soon become second to no market in Kent (cheers).
The toast having been drunk with great applause, the chairman returned thanks. The farmers of the neighbourhood could not themselves receive benefit from the establishment of this market without benefiting the town of Dartford (cheers). Look, for instance, at the unfortunate situation in which Sevenoaks now found itself! He remembers a large and respectable market at Sevenoaks, but the people, with strange apathy, allowed it to be taken elsewhere, and now their town might just as well be in the middle of Darenth Wood, without any trade or commerce at all (cheers)........
Mr Mandy said that now the great London market for stock had been removed so far to the north, local markets should and must ben the markets for Kent, and they ought to amalgamate as much as possible for the benefit of each other (cheers). Having alluded to the apathy of the townspeople of Dartford, and mentioning that it was much regretted by his late lamented friend Mr Russell, he expressed his belief that the assembly of that day was an indication of better times, and pledged himself to attend the monthly market, and to send something 9 months out of the 12 (cheers). He and some of his neighbours, larger stock growers than himself, had made up theitr minds to snd no stock at all to London, but, if possible, confine their business to Farningham and Dartford (cheers). He trusted the townspeople would see their own interests in this matter. He happened to be present at a trial at Maidstone when Sevenoaks brought an action against Tonbridge for establishing a market on the same day, and he heard Mr Joseph Palmer, the banker, state that his returns on stock market days were from £5,000 to £10,000. This then was a most important matter to any town; and indeed the Sevenoaks people were seriously thinking of trying to establish another market. Dartford and Farningham, however, possessed great advantages. They had a central position, a large population around them, a railway, and everything to make their's the first market in Kent. And when the line from Strood to Maidstone was open, the Maidstone butchers would very soon find it to their advantage to come to this market (cheers)....
Mr Cooke... expressed his concurrence in all that had been said of the advantages of Dartford and Farningham, but it would depend on the quality and condition of the stock sent to market, whether or not the butchers would attend to purchase (cheers).
The chairman then gave 'Mr Tolhurst and the buyers' (cheers). Mr Tolhurst in acknowledging the compliment, assured the company that neither he nor any other butcher in Dartford would ever think of going to London if they could purchase what they wanted in their own town. Butchers did not go to one market to buy stock to sell again at another, but what they wanted was something that would furnish good joints to their customers (cheers). Now, the advantage of Smithfield was this, that a butcher could get anything there if had the money in his pocket; and if Dartford was to become the Smithfield of the district, the farmers must take care there was quality and variety in the supply (cheers)." [As there is a picture of a cattle market at Dartford in 1750, this market must be a refounding in 1851. The speakers stress the amount of trade it brought to the town in general, but a note of realism was injected by the buyers present, who explained why Smithfield was currently better for them. The references to Smithfield moving to Islington where no-one in Kent will want to go, are a bit disingenuous as this was a supplementary market opened in 1855 expressly to make it easier for sellers to send their cattle by train]
1855-Oct-02 Fire at Middle Farm South Eastern Gazette
"Fire at Hartley: On Sunday evening week, between 9 and 10 o'clock, a fire broke out in the farm buildings of Mr George Best, of Hartley near Dartford, which consumed the barns and the whole of the farm produce, including several stacks of wheat , oats and hay. Two useful farm houses and several pigs were also destroyed The origin of the fire is unknown. When Mr Best retired to bed, about 9 o'clock, everything appeared to be safe."
[Another report from the Maidstone Journal 2.10.1855: "Between 9 and 10 o'clock on Sunday evening, a most destructive fire broke out in the farm buildings etc of Mr George Best of Hartley, consuming the barns and the whole of the farm produce, consisting of several stacks of oats, wheat, fodder etc. Two valuable horses and several pigs were also destroyed. The Norwich fire engine from Dartford, was quickly on the spot, but the flames had gained such power that it could render little or no assistance. Mr Best retired to bed about 9 o'clock, leaving all quite safe; and about 10 o'clock the whole of the farm buildings were in flames. Superintendent Brandon was at the scene within an hour after the outbreak, and made every enquiry, bu the origin could not be ascertained. The property is insured in the Norwich Union."
1855-Oct-23 Fire at Hartley Court Kentish Gazette
"On Wednesday week a barn, containing a large quantity of corn, on Court Lodge Farm, Hartley, the property of Mr Bensted, was destroyed by fire, with its contents; also a stack of oats adjoining, containing about 100 quarters. The property was insured."
[Alternative report in Maidstone Journal 16.10.1855: "Between 2 and 3 o'clock on Wednesday morning, a fire broke out in a barn on Court Lodge Farm, at Hartley, in the occupation of Mr W Bensted. The barn was full of corn, the whole of which was entirely consumed. A large stack of oats, containing about 100 quarters, standing near the barn, also fell a prey to the flames. The Norwich engine, from Dartford, was quickly on the spot, but could render little assistance, thre being such a scarsity of water. This is the second fire within a month in this parish, and they are now supposed to be the work of an incendiary. The property is insured."
1856-Jan-22 Break in at All Saints' Church Daily News
"Three Churches Broken into and Robbed: Yesterday information was forwarded to the various stations of the City and Metropolitan Police of the following churches having been entered, and the undermentioned property stolen therefrom: - The Parish Church of Wilmington near Dartford, in Kent, was forcibly entered, and the following articles stolen, viz - a black silk gown or suplice, 2 black silk scarves, a black silk hood, the communion cloths, a looking glass, and some communion candles (wax)...... The parish church of Hartley, in the county of Kent, has also been forcibly entered, and following property stolen - a blue cloth communion cover, with "JHS" and a cross worked in the centre with gold coloured silk, and the keys of an iron safe, which have very large wards. A handsome reward is also offered for the guilty persos in this case. It is generally believed that a gang is going about at the present time, breaking into the parish churches for the purpose of steaing the communion plate, but fortunately the plate has in all the above cases been either sent to the residence of the churchwardens, or locked up in an iron safe, which the thieves were unable to force."
1856-May-06 Fire at Hartley Court Kentish Gazette
"Fire at Gravesend - On Saturday se'night a fire broke out in the farm yard of Mr William Bensted, Hartley Court, near Gravesend. A large stack of straw and some outbuildings were consumed. The fire is supposed to have been the work of an incendiary This is the 4th which has occurred upon Mr Benstead's premises during the past 5 years, although he is acknowledged to be a very kind master."
1856-Jun-14 Confirmation at Ash Maidstone Journal
"On Saturday last, the Bishop of Rochester confirmed 326 young persons of both sexes, at the church of the Holy Trinity, Milton. His lordship had held a confirmation the day previous at Ash Church, where a large number of persons from the parishes of Ash, Ridley, Hartley, Fawkham and Longfield were confirmed..."
1856-Dec-20 Fire at Fawkham Gravesend Reporter
"At about half past one on Saturday morning last, the attention of the patrol-sergeant was arrested by the reflection of a fire. He immediately proceeded in the direction from whence the light emanated, and found that the conflagration was taking place on the farm of Mr John Cooper, of Fawkham. As there was no water at all in the locality of the premises, it was useless to bring the engines to the spot, so that the flames had almost uncontrolled sway. The property destroyed was as follows - 2 barns containing 9 quarters of peas, and 9 quarters of wheat; 1 wheat stack; 1 straw stack; 2 barley stacks; a cow lodge; a straw lodge and stable, all of which was insured in the Norwich Fire Office."
1857-Jan-13 Theft at Fawkham South Eastern Gazette
West Kent Quarter Sessions: "George Butler, 20, farm labourer, for stealing a waistcoat, value 5 shillings, the property of Thomas Smith, and a flannel shirt, value 2s 6d, the property of Thomas Trevillian at Fawkham, on the 15th November. Mr Papillon was for the prosecution; prisoner was undefended.
Prisoner, who was formerly a private in the Foot Guards, had lodged in the house of Trevilian, where Smith also lodged. On the day in question prisoner left the house and shortly afterwards the articles named in the indictment were missed. Search was made for the prisoner, and he was arrested at Dartford railway station with the property in his possession - 6 months' hard labour."
1857-Mar-10 Case of Rabies at Hartley South Eastern Gazette
"Death from Hydrophobia: On Wednesday evening, a labourer named Ambrose Arnold, aged 36, in the service of Mr Treadwell of Hartley, died from the effects of a bite from a mad dog, which he received in May last. On Monday the deceased felt very unwell, on the following day symptoms of madness presented themselves, and on Wednesday he became so unmanageable that he was conveyed to the union, where he died in a raving state, the same evening, and howling like a dog."
[A very sad case, it was not until 1885 that a vaccine was discovered by Louis Pasteur. Maidstone Journal 10.3.1857 adds he was bitten on wrist and knee by dog which was ultimately destroyed.]
1858-May-04 Desperate Escape of Prisoners from a Railway Train South Eastern Gazette
Greenwich Magistrates: "On Friday last as Mr Traill, the sitting magistrate at the police court, was proceeding with the business, information was brought that two prisoners, Isaac Walton and James Hills, had made a most daring escape while being brought from Maidstone Gaol to undergo a second examination on the charge of burglarously entering the premises of Mr Henry Howettson, of 3 Upper Park Place, Blackheath Park, and stealing therefrom a quantity of plate. The prisoners were apprehended on suspicion about half past 5 o'clock on Friday morning by Westbrook, a constable in plain clothes, and Ralph 136B, and after a desperate struggle were captured, a third man escaping and throwing away a dark lantern. On being serached at the station house, they were found to be possessed of a quantity of silver plate, which was subsequently discovered to be the property of Mr Hewettson. On Friday, Sergeant Grant 10H was in company with Preston 378R, in charge of the prisoners, the burglars being in the charge of the sergeant, and an old man looked after by Preston. They started by the 7.40 train from Maidstone to London, and halfway between Greenhithe and Dartford the door of the carriage was suddenly opened, and Walton and Hills, who were linked together, dropped out of the carriage suddenly, notwithstanding teh train was at full speed, and were thrown down. Seargeant Grant instantly followed, and was also thrown down, his head and shoulder coming into contact with the ground. His head was much grazed, and his arm dislocated. While he lay there stunned by the blow, the prisoners made their escape, followed by Preston. The old prisoner remained in the train, and proceeded to the Greenwich Police Station, giving himself up and stating the circumstances of the escape. Sergeant Grant, on his arrival, appeared much shaken. His arm was bandaged across his breast. Information was immediately forwarded to the police and railway stations by horse and telegraph, and pursuite was given by the police in all directions. The superintendent of teh Dartford police, Mr Christopher Brandon, accompanied by a constable of that force, scoured the country for several hours, and at half past 4 o'clock they arrived at the village of Fawkham, about 10 miles from the spot where the prisoners escaped. On entering a room at a public house, Brandon saw two men answering the description of the prisoners, regaling themselves with steaks and brandy and water. One of the men, who turned out to be the prisoner Walton, on seeing the policement, instantly sprang out of the window, and ran into an adjoining wood. He was pursued by the constables and soon captured. His companion, the prisoner Hill had received such severe injuries that he was unable to leave the room. It appears from the statement of the landlord that on entering the house the prisoners stated, in order account for their bruises, taht they had met with an accident by falling from a vehicle; and Walton arranged to leave Hill whilst he proceeded to London to bring down a horse and cart. Both prisoners were lodged at the Greenwich police station on Friday night, and under medical treatment.
The prisoners, Isaac Walton, aged 27, and James Hill, 25, both seamen, were charged with the burglary on Saturday before Mr Truill, when also the evidence of their attempted escape, on the way from Maidstone Gaol, and of their recapture at Fawkham, was gone into. Mr Truill said that, although evidence of the escape made by the prisoners while in custody might be taken as presumptive of their guilt, yet he did not think it necessary to adopte such a course on the present occasion, the evidence as to the burglary having been committed by them being perfectly conclusive. At the same time he thought a report of the circumstances attending the escape ought to be made to the Police Commissioners in order that steps might be taken to prevent the possibility of prisoners escaping in a similar manner. Mr Inspector Saunders said a report had been forwarded to the Commissioners of Police. The prisoners, who declined saying anything in their defence, were fully committed for trial."
1858-May-11 Escaped Prisoners Maidstone Journal
"The Escaped Burglars - In our last we stated that 2 men named Walton and Hill, while beign conveyed by railway to Greenwich, when the train was betewen Greenhithe and Dartford, suddenly jumped from the carriage, being handcuffed togother, and made their escape, the train at the time travelling at the rate of about 30 miles an hour. Sergeant Grant immediately jumped after them, when, unfortunately, his head came into contact with the a steep embankment, and his right shoulder was dislocated. Information of the escape being communicated to Mr Superintendent Brandon, of the Dartford police, officers were sent in pursuit in all directions, and about 4 o'clock in the afternoon Mr Brandon came up with the prisoners at a public house in the village of Fawkham, about 10 miles from Dartford, whre they were eating beef steaks and drinking brandy and water, the landlord being told by them that they had both sustained injuries by being thrown from a cart. Walton, on seeing the superintendent, made his escape out of a back door of the house, and was not apprehended for some time afterwards. Hill being at once secured. Both had suffered considerably from their perilous leap,a dn were immediately placed under medical treatment. Mr Traill thought a report of the circumstances attending the escape ought to be made to the Police Commissioners, in order that steps might be taken to prevent the possibility of prisoners escaping in a similar manner. Mr Inspector Saunders said a report had been forwarded to the Commissioners of Police. The prisoners were fully committed for trial. The greatest commendation is due to Superintendent Brandon and his men for the clever manner in which they traced out the track of the prisoners."
1858-Oct-05 Missing Children from Horton Kirby South Eastern Gazette
"Horton Kirby - Two children lost: On Tuesday the 7th ultimo, two little boys, named Amos and James Deane, aged respectively 13 and 11, left their homes, and it is supposed that they went somewhere into the hop growing district; that were last seen between Hartley and Meopham, and have not been heard of since. They were both dressed in white pinafores, corduroy trousers, dark caps, and laced boots, when they left home. They are both short, fat, ruddy-looking boys. Should this meet the eye of any individual who has seen, or knows the whereabouts of two such boys, a communication to James Deane, care of George Webb, schoolmaster, Eynsford, will be most thankfully acknowledged by the distressed parents."
[We may presume this had a happy outcome as Amos and James are back home with their parents in Horton Kirby at the time of the 1861 census.]
1859-Apr-26 General Election Maidstone Journal
Lengthy reports of Conservative election meetings at Gravesend and Dartford. At the Gravesend meeting Mr Barnett of Meopham did not deny the Conservatives used coercion but said Liberals did too: "Our opponents talk a great deal of the purity with which they conduct their elections, and assert that coercion is only resorted to by the Conservatives; but an instance of coercion on that side has recently come under my own personal knowledge. I was canvassing in the neighbourhood of Longfield, applied to a publican there for his vote, when he showed me a letter he had received from his landlord, a certain London brewer, ordering him to vote for Messrs Martin and Whatman." Conservative candidates got a rougher ride at Dartford, where they couldn't make themselves heard.
1859-May-26 Accident on the New Railway North Devon Journal
"Melancholy Accident - An inquest was held on Monday at the Green Man, Longfield, Kent, before Charles J Cartiar esq, coroner, on the body of James Murrell, aged 28, who was killed by a mass of chalk falling upon him during the construction of the new East Kent Railway from Strood to St Mary Cray. It appeared from the evidence of his fellow workmen, that he was standing on a ridge nearly at the bottom of a cutting about 70 feet deep, from the top of which large masses of chalk were being detached. One mass of about 9 tons fell sooner thn was anticipated, and the deceased, being a new hand, and inexperienced in the work, became frightened, and attempted to step across the cutting on to another ridge in the opposite side out of the way. He was however, overtaken by the falling mass, and buried with it into a deep pit at the side, where his death must have been instantaneous. The jury returned a verdict of 'Accidently smothered under a fall of earth.'"
1859-Aug-09 Sale of Darenth Cottages and "Defoes Cottage" South Eastern Gazette
"Hartley Parish Property, Kent.
Mr William Mungeam has received instructions from the Guardians of the Poor of the Dartford Union, with the sanction of the Poor Law Board, to sell by auction at the Lion Inn, Hartley, on Thursday the 18th August 1859.
All those three substantial built cottages, occupied by Charles Day and others, situate at Hartley, with the garden ground to the same and containing about 36 perches. The above property is freehold. To be seen by application on the premises."
1859-Dec-06 Hop Sets for Sale South Eastern Gazette
"For sale: Golding Grape Hop Sets, warranted true. Apply to Mr EJ Goodwin, Canon Court, Wateringbury, or to Mr J Millen, Fairby Farm, Hartley."