1856 draft

Sep 26th

Yesterday yet another pit tragedy — this one at the iron pits in West Hallam — and the victim was young Thomas Henshaw of Ilkeston, aged 19, the son of Jonathan and Sarah. He was leaving the pit when a rock fall caught his neck and pinned him to a supporting prop, prsessing him to death. Collapses like this are too frequent and one wonders whether sufficient supports are used underground ?

In March of last year the brother of Thomas, named Jonathan and also then 19 years old, was involved in a pit tragedy — he however survived that accident, although his work companion, George Starbuck, did not.

Sep 30th

Last year I reported on the building of a new factory in the Heanor Road, the work of Joseph Bailey, lace manufacturer. As a consequence poor Joseph has found himself in conflict with the rate collector, Richard Vickerstaff, for refusing to pay two portions of the poor rates, a total of £13 7s. His defence came in two parts — first, that only a small part of his factory was occupied at the time, and second, the rates were “unjust and oppressive”, much higher than the Balls or Carriers were paying on their factories.

Unfortunately for Joseph the magistrates at Smalley Petty Sessions yesterday were unconvinced by his reasoning — he was ordered to pay up !! — and with costs.

Oct 1st

Sophia Wigley is a daughter of Jedediah and Ruth and trades as a milliner in the Market Place. She also helps her parents at times in the Market Tavern but needs to be more careful to follow the rules applied to beer-house keepers. A few days ago she found herself walking out of the Smalley Petty Sessions, having been fined 20s with 15s costs for serving beer after the 11 o’clock deadline.

Oct 15th

It is the occasion of the ‘Wakes’ of course, a time when the town attracts a great number of visitors … many of them keen to explore the inns, taverns and beer-houses of the town. One such is Clay’s beer-house at the foot of Bath Street and one such explorer was Thomas Horne who unfortunately — last night — had imbibed too much of what the beer-house had to offer. In its tap room he found himself in physical conflict with a man called Bostock, when constable Thomas Roberts entered. The latter tried to diffuse the situation, and while Bostock refrained, Horne continued what was now a one-sided fight. Finding no resistence from Bostock, Horne turned his attention to the constable, trying to throttle him. Eventually constable Roberts managed to handcuff the prisoner (as he now was) and transport him to lock-up.

Today, at the Nisi Prius Court, Thomas Horne was found guilty of common assault and sentenced to three months’ imprisonment with hard labour.

Oct 25th

Last Sunday, the 19th of October, was the anniversary of the re-opening and dedication of St. Mary’s Church, and was duly celebrated with three sermons. A debt of £290 still remains for the restoration work and a collection on the day reduced that debt by £30.

The Correspondent for the Nottingham Journal was not impressed by aspects of the occasion however. He writes ” The singing was, we are sorry to say. ‘not up to the mark’, especially when we compare it with what we heard on a simlilar occasion last year, being almost a ‘break down’ in chanting the psalms for the day. The rest of the singing consisted entirely of psalm tunes, the monotomy of which was not relieved by one anthem of any sort. We had many appropriate ones last year”.

Oct 30th

It amazes me how many Ilkeston beer-house keepers feel the need to flaunt their regulations. At the beginning of this month I noted one example … and at the end of the same month I hear that Keyworth Earnshaw has been fined 10s with 15s costs for having his beer-house open from 3pm to 5pm on a Sunday afternoon.

And in between these dates there have been several other examples of miscreant beer-house keepers.

Nov 1st

The Ilkeston Pioneer has not been impressed by the recent Statutes ‘celebrated’ in the town. It noted the ‘trumpery collection of penny take-you-ins and gingerbread traps obstructing the thoroughfare of the Market-place and the doors of respectable tradesmen’. It wished for some ‘evil genius’ to consign the whole lot to a general bonfire.

‘The sooner our Statutes are discontinued the better if they serve only to bring to our doors the rankest scum of society’.

I wonder if the Pioneer will achieve its wish in the near future ??

Dec 16th

A strange case was heard at the Derby Assizes yesterday.

A few weeks ago, Matthew Hardy, a framework knitter of Ilkeston, was returning home from a money club at 11 o’clock pm, along the Awsworth Road, close to Barker’s Inn at the canal …. when he encountered three young men just leaving the Inn. What happened next led to the three men … brothers Robert Chambers, aged 20, and Abraham Chambers, aged 24, with their brother-in-law John Charlton, aged 24….. appearing at the Assizes to answer charges of cutting and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The three live over the border at Awsworth and as they left the inn, shouting some very disgusting language, they passed Matthew. Unfortunately for him, he chose to intervene.
“You seem to be using pretty language, my lads”
The response was an even worse tirade.
Matthew then indicated what he would do to them if they were his lads, and this provoked them to attack the glove hand, forcing him to the ground, and then stabbing him in the side…. though crucially he could not say which man had stabbed him. The injury he received was such that he was confined to his house for several weeks, and he was still so weak that he had to sit down while giving his evidence.
At this point however, the judge stopped the case.
There was no evidence to support which of the three attackers had stabbed the victim. A verdict of not guilty was therefore imposed. However the men were not free of blame — they were now charged with common assault to which they pleaded guilty. All three had evidence of previously good character and so enjoyed a lenient sentence of one week’s imprisonment.
Matthew Hardy then limped from the court.

Dec 23rd

Yesterday was the occasion for the distribution to the poor as required by the charity of Francis Gisborne.

The vicar, churchwardens and parish officers assembled at the Town Hall (also known as the Old Market Hall) for the aforementioned distribution. Also present was Joseph Bailey, one of the guardians of the parish poor  — the reason given was that he was there, like his predecessors, to ensure that the money was doled out fairly, to church people and dissenters alike. This appears to have angered the Rev. Ebsworth who asked Joseph to immediately leave the hall — it was his hall and if Joseph did not leave at once he would fetch the constable to eject him. Joseph then disputed the ownership of the Hall, stating that it belonged to the town as it had been built by public subscription. At this point the constable arrived but was hesitant to intervene, having been warned by Joseph of serious consequences if he did. The Vicar then reassured the constable of his full support, at which Joseph was removed from the Hall by the collar. The distribution then proceeded in a proper fashion — though I feel that the matter will not rest here.