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British Library Newpaper site

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Re: British Library Newpaper site

Postby ksouthall » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:12 pm

I just found another family reference, by chance, relating to the sale of an ancestor's effects:

Two single barrel Percussion Guns, about 50 Stone of Pickled Pork,

TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION, BY Mr. PHILIP PAGE, ON THE PREMISES, On WEDNESDAY. 6th of June. 1849, at One o'clock for Two precisely, By direction of the Executors of the late Mr. Hawkins.

THE FURNITURE comprises mahogany dining and other tables, sofa, chairs, eight-day clock in mahogany case, barometer, chimney, pier and dressing glasses, fenders and fire irons, carpets and hearth rugs, mahogany four-post and other bedsteads, excellent feather beds and bedding, washhand stands, dressing tables, chests of drawers, linen, china, glass, earthenware, kitchen requisites, &c. &c.

May be viewed on the morning of sale, and catalogues had at the Inns in the neighbourhood; on the Premises; and of Mr. Philip Page, Land and Timber Surveyor, Estate Agent and Auctioneer, St. Alban's.

I wonder why he had about 50 stone of pickled pork? Edward Hawkins had been the miller at Redbournbury Watermill in Hertfordshire for the eight years preceding his death. The mill is often open to the public. Details can be found on their website at
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Re: British Library Newpaper site

Postby kenw » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:12 am

I took advantage of the weekend access to the beta site in November and found an article concerning a 1st cousin 3x removed, James Thomas Hardicre, who seemed to have disappeared after the 1891 census. The article was in the Manchester Evening News of 22 June 1899; unfortunately the article was headed "Death in a Cab: A Warning to Excessive Drinkers"; he died in a cab on the way to the Prestwich workhouse, an order having been obtained by the police for him to be sent. Through this article and reference to the Oldham burials and cremations website I was able to trace Jane, one of his sisters whose marriage and death I had not previously been able to find, but finding that Jane and her husband are buried in the same grave as James Thomas was a great help.
The Oldham burials website, and a similar one for Ashton-under-Lyne, are both excellent and free to view. It is a great help to be able to click on the grave number for a known relative and be able to find a list of the people buried in that grave. Burial records often show the deceased's last address which is a useful cross reference, and the list of people in the grave can confirm family units are correct. The Manchester website is also good but is limited in what details can be viewed without payment.
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Re: British Library Newpaper site

Postby zoid9969 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:01 pm

I've found some rather amusing (and surprising) stories concerning my 4x great grandfather:

1850 - charged with pilfering materials for road repairs. He claimed that as a ratepayer, he was entitled to them. Fined 1s plus costs. He had been caught doing so on a number of previous occasions.

1853 - a delightful and rather random story about him collecting half a gallon of mushrooms from a field on a fine February morning. No further information given.

1853 - charged with trespassing in pursuit of conies (rabbits). Fined £1 plus costs. He was armed with a gun.

1857 - claim made against him by his landlady for £45 10s for board and £10 by her niece for cooking. He became intimately involved with the niece. Talk of marriage was in the air, until her husband turned up - he was thought to have deserted her and was assumed to be dead. My ancestor managed to avoid the charge as it was the husband who should have bought the charge.

1858 - claim regarding a horse that he sold. The buyer didn't think it was as described (fitness and health). He got off this one too.

1858 - claim for two years' wages by a lady engaged by my ancestor as a housekeeper shortly after his wife died six years previously. They became intimate, despite her being married, and she became pregnant. He promised marriage, and tried to get her aunt to give her £200 as a dowry as he needed the money. As the birth neared, he gave her £5 on two occasions and promised to look after her. She asked for her wages, he refused. In court, he claimed she was a bad housekeeper, but this wasn't enough, so he was ordered to pay all monies outstanding, plus costs.

1876 - our story ends in the workhouse - he's 81 at this point. My ancestor is sitting on a sofa in front of the fire in the old men's room when another inmate (in charge of the room) asked him to move further away as the sofa was too close. He refuses, so the other inmate pulled the sofa back, causing him to fall on the floor. He wasn't injured, but was rather riled, so followed the other inmate around and tried to seize him by the beard. He eventually grabbed hold of him, and in the kerfuffle fell against a seat and broke a rib. He died a couple of weeks later from "exhaustion" caused by the fall. The other inmate was found not responsible for his death (the death certificate blames my ancestor for provoking the fight).
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Case of Witchcraft - in Cornwall

Postby ksouthall » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:53 pm

I'm just having another look at the British Newspaper Archive as it has had so many records added to it in the last few months. I have found several birth, marriage and death announcements and other interesting articles. These include an account of a wedding, in which the decorations around the village and most of the female guests' outfits are described in detail. I also found this unusual story from 1843:-


At the Cornwall assizes, Frederick Peter Statton, 23, a chubby, dumpling-faced looking fellow, was charged with having unlawfully pretended to conjuration, witchcraft, and sorcery; and also with having pretended, from his skill in witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment, conjuration, and knowledge in occult or crafty science, to discover to one William Henry Nottle that he was bewitched, and under the influence and power of enchantment; and that he, Statton, would, by exorcising or using witchcraft, and by means of his skill in the occult or crafty science, remove the spell and enchantment by which he, Nottle, was then bound. The reading of this incident caused great laughter. Mr. W. H. Nottle was then examined - He said, I am a farmer, and live at Stoke Climsland, in this county; the prisoner lives in St.Dominick, on the common; I went to his house on the 17th of January 1842, and saw him; I asked him if he could inform me how I had lost some cattle that had died; he told me that I was ill-wished (laughter), and he would put the thing all to rights, and I should lose no more cattle. A calf or yearling was ill, I expected it would die, and he said it would not die before I returned home. The witness then read the following morceaux which he had duly registered in his memorandum book, and most probably acted upon: "Take the calf and kill it. Take the heart out and prick it full of pins. On Thursday morning next, at the first hour the sun rises, put the heart into a fire and roast or burn it to ashes. The person's name you suspect of ill-wishing you, Must be written on a piece of paper and put in the heart, with the pins run through the name. During the time the heart is roasting, the 35th Psalm must be read three times." [The reading of this curious document convulsed the court with laughter, in which the prisoner heartily joined.] After this I asked him what he charged, and he said he had been accustomed to charge a pound, but he would charge me 10s. He did so, and I paid him 10s. The prisoner was acquitted of this, and three other similar charges, on technical grounds, but the judge told him he had no doubt he was a great rogue, and must change his course of life if he wished to escape punishment.
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