Mr Paxton, who at that time was a noted cricketer, lived at the same house.
Born about 1816, the son of framework knitter George and Hannah (nee Beardsley), John Paxton lived at least the latter part of his life in this Mount Street area.
He married Hannah Hofton on November 6th 1837, the bride being the daughter of framework knitter of William and Sarah (nee Birkimshaw).
From 1838 until 1845 they had at least four children together, but on the 1851 census John is at Mount Street while Hannah is acting as ‘housekeeper’ for Edwin Riley at the Gallows Inn.
The 1861 census then records John still in Mount Street as a married lodger with Sarah Burgin-Richardson and at that time he was bailiff of the Derbyshire County Court for the Belper District. Hannah is living as a charwoman in Granby Street.
John had access to a stable in Mount Street where, one Saturday in 1863, he was keeping three hens and a cock which he had taken possession of, ‘as a distress’. When he came to visit them on Sunday morning two hens had been killed, only their heads remaining to greet John. However the bailiff was able to follow a trail of feathers for about 100 yards from the stable to a wall nearly opposite the home of collier Herbert Green in Mount Street.
Police Inspector Edward Brady was soon on the case and accompanied by John he entered the then empty house where, in the fire grate, they found a fowl’s rump and bones, and feathers suspiciously like those of the dead hens. When Herbert returned home he was charged with theft but pleaded ignorance of the crime — the blood and feathers sticking to the right leg of his trousers he could not explain to the satisfaction of Inspector Brady who promptly took him to the lock-up.
At Ilkeston Petty Sessions a few days later, Herbert admitted his guilt and said he was very sorry for what he had done.
He was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment instead of the customary three months, after John had pleaded for mitigation on his behalf.
Herbert Green, alias ‘Bruzzer’, was born Herbert Grimley in 1843, the illegitimate son of glove stitcher Ann Grimley and needlemaker William Castleton alias Green.
When his mother married William in 1847 Herbert, along with Ann’s illegitimate daughters, Charlotte and Emma, adopted the Green surname.
John Paxton was an extremely fast and deadly bowler for Rutland Cricket Club with a very pronounced local reputation but a very short ‘first-class cricket’ career. It lasted for one match when John played for the North of England against the South, August 30th-31st 1848 at Leamington Spa. In his side’s one innings he opened the batting but was out for a duck, he took no wickets but did make two catches. And his side won by an impressive nine wickets. (see ESPNcricinfo for more details)
John Paxton died in December 1868, aged 52 ….
“his end was not unexpected and his long affliction had been borne with exemplary fortitude”. (IP)
“I have good reasons for recollecting the day of his funeral. Ugh! How it rained! It fairly ran out the top of your boots, and with it came the lightning and thunder. It was this which impressed the day so forcibly on my mind” (Sheddie Kyme)
John’s successor as bailiff for the County Court was carriage proprietor William Thorpe of Heanor who was requested by his new employer to leave his home town and reside in Ilkeston.
Hardly had he taken up his new post than he was perhaps regretting it.
In the execution of his duty the bailiff visited the premises of lacemaker William Carrier, accompanied by P.C. Baker and carrying a warrant to levy on William’s goods. A scuffle ensued and the lacemaker bit the bailiff’s thumb, causing it to bleed. And then for good measure he bit the constable’s thumb.
For this he found himself at Heanor Petty Sessions and promptly paid his fine, anxious to avoid a month in prison with hard labour.
Three days after this affray — nursing his sore thumb and again in the execution of his duty — William Thorpe found himself at the home of miner William Slater in Sisson’s Row.
Another fight and another assault on bailiff William, this one involving a flailing red-hot poker and a flying saucepan.
Just over a year later William Thorpe had left his job, left his wife and family, left the town, left the district and left behind many serious debts and angry defendants. He had absconded, having embezzled monies which he should have paid into the court.
The post of bailiff for the district was then filled by Harry Morley Brand who would ‘infuse a little more respectability and soberness’into the role. (IT)
What happened to William Thorpe of Heanor after this?
And after Mrs. Burgin’s butcher’s shop, Mrs. Boy’s Girls’ school.