MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLES FROM THE TIMES RELATING TO WHITBY, YORKS. 1840 - 1849
29 January 1840
The Late Hurricanes
On Tuesday last the town and neighbourhood of Whitby were visited
with a tremendous gale of wind from the west, which continued blowing
violently all day, and in the evening it became a complete hurricane.
The damage done in the town is not so destructive as it is in the county
amongst the agriculturalists. We hear that a vast number of corn and hay
stacks have been blown over. Whilst the Association Methodists were
holding their anniversary mission meeting in the evening, the glass from the
cupola was blown out and, .....with vengeance amongst the attentive
congregation, when the chairman very wisely told the gentlemen to put on
their hats. At Lythe considerable mischief has been created, as also at
Runswick, where chimneys and the roofs of houses are laid to the ground.
A coble was whirled into the air to a great height, and smashed to atoms.
We do not think that the loss at sea is of any great extent along this part of
the coast, but it is feared the farmers will suffer much. - Yorkshire Gazette
19 May 1840
We regret to have to announce the total wreck of the bark Arcturus, belonging
to Mr. Holt of Whitby, and bound from Sierra Leone to Sunderland, with a
valuable cargo of oak. Upon her arrival in the Downs, the captain had taken the
precaution, in consequence of the thick weather, to engage a pilot, by the aid
of whose skill and judgement the vessel might be navigated with greater safety
along the north-eastern coast - a course considered by mariners to be attended
at all times with more than usual risk. On Sunday morning last, when the vessel
was off Hartcliff Foot, the wind rose to a gale from the north-east, and the
pilot in charge of her bore down for the Tees, under the mistaken idea, it would
seem, that he was entering the port of Sunderland. In the attempt to take the
river the vessel missed the channel, and struck upon a sand-bank called the
South Gare. The perilous condition of those on board was immediately observed by
The pilots and fishermen of Redcar, who lost no time in getting out the
lifeboat, and dragging it, with horses to the Tees' mouth. After contending for
some time with the sea, which was breaking with tremendous force between the
vessel and the shore, a distance of nearly half a mile, the crew of the lifeboat
had the satisfaction to rescue the ship's company, consisting of 12 men, the
captain's wife, maid-servant, and three small children (the youngest only eight
weeks old), from a watery grave. The gallantry displayed by the crew of the
Redcar lifeboat on this occasion is beyond all praise - Yorkshire Gazette
1 August 1840
Whitby and its neighbourhood were visited by a severe fall of rain, in so much
that all the becks in the neighbourhood were filled to an overflowing, and the
fresh water brought along with it trunks, roots and branches of trees, as also a
vast quantity of hay; and early in the morning of Wednesday week, the
devastation in the neighbourhood was made known to the inhabitants of Whitby by
the appearance of the river Esk, the surface of which was covered with property.
It was the highest flood that has been known in this neighbourhood within the
memory of man. At Lealholmbridge, we are sorry to say, a man drowned, named
Winspear, who was engaged, along with two others, endeavouring to save some hay
7 August 1840
Woolwich, 7 August
The Fearless steam-vessel left Woolwich on Tuesday for Newcastle-on-Tyne, Whitby
and other adjacent ports, to bring round shipwrights for the several dockyards
belonging to Her Majesty. This fact is sufficient answer to the statements
recently made in the provincial papers, that the Admiralty agent had not been
able to obtain hands in these quarters.
21 August 1840
Shipwreck - Providential Escape - Intrepidity of Mr. Curteis, of the Coast Guard
On the morning of the 13th inst., Mr. William Curteis, chief officer of the
Kilmichael Coast Guard Station, county of Wexford, perceived a large brig
aground upon the most dangerous part of Arklow Bank, when he lost no time in
launching his small four-oared gig, the wind being strong at S.W., and proceded
to her assistance, a distance of nearly 12 miles, crossing Glasgennan bank, and
other dangerous places, and providentially reaching the vessel in safety. She
proved to be the British Tar, of Whitby, Captain John Blenkhorn, bound from
St.John's, New Brunswick, laden with timber, and consigned to Mr. John Astle, of
Dublin. Mr. Kelly, the zealous and skilful agent to Lloyd's at Arklow, was
already on board, and Mr. Curteis himself, and the master, used their united
efforts to save the ship, under circumstances of the most trying and perilous
nature, especially as the conduct of a large portion of the brig's crew was
discreditable to the established character of British seamen in extreme danger.
The pumps were kept incessantly at work, even after all hopes of saving the
vessel wee abandoned, and at 4p.m., on the 14th instant, the crew, having, with
the exception of the chief mate, some time previously left the ship, the
captain, together with Mr. Curteis and Mr. Kelly, decided on the absolute
necessity of leaving her, after all human exertions had been used, there being
12 feet of water in the hold, and to have remained on board another night, under
such circumstances, would have been to tempt a merciful Providence. Captain
Blenkhorn was the last person who quitted the ship. The conduct of Mr. Curteis'
crew and the men employed by Mr. Kelly, was most praiseworthy. Mr. Curteis with
difficulty reached the shore, having received a violent contusion on the cap of
his right knee.
28 November 1840
Plymouth, Thursday Nov. 26
Yesterday the brig Theron of Sunderland, Captain Scott, came in, having on board
Captain F.Vannis, and the crew of the Boddingtons, of Whitby, which vessel was
Water-logged on the 4th of November, in 29 or 24 W and 47 N. Fortunately they
had timely notice of their danger, and secured some provisions from the hold,
in the roundhouse, on deck, just before the vessel filled. In this perilous
situation, (blowing heavily all the time), they remained from the 4th to the
12th, when the Theron hove in sight.............
14 May 1841
Stoppage of a bank at Whitby - From a correspondent
An extraordinary sensation and panic were felt in this town, on Monday last, by
The closing of the banking establishment of Messrs. Campion, in Church-street.
The parties in this well-known and old-established firm are not only bankers,
But ship-builders, ship-owners, manufacturers, and, in short, are very largely
Connected with the trade of this port and the interests of commerce generally.
A gentleman of Whitby thus writes on the subject - "My object in writing to you
Now is, to inform you that Campion's bank closed on Monday; in fact it was never
Opened for business. This has caused one of the greatest stagnations that could
Befall Whitby. Farmers are flocking in from all sides with notes, and stand
round the bank, looking as if they knew not what to think. There are many
rumours as to the cause, but nothing is yet known for a certainty. Their 5/-
(sic - ?£5) notes were yesterday sold for 50s each - that is a poor affair, but
many think the first loss is the best. The ship-yards, smith's shops, block and
mast yards, and kelp works, carried on by them, are all closed, thereby throwing
above 100 hands out of employment. This is a serious occurrence for Whitby, and
its neighbourhood, and I am afraid it is the forerunner of great distress"
20 September 1841
Murder at Eskdale - On the morning of Tuesday last, Mrs. Robinson, wife of Mr. W.
Robinson, a farmer residing at Eskdale-side, near Whitby, was left alone at the house,
following her avocations, her husband having gone to Egton market, and the servants
being at the harvest field. She was seen by Mr. Hill, of Iburndale, miller, who called
at the house about half-past 10 o'clock. At noon, when the servants returned from the
harvest field to dinner, they discovered the unfortunate woman laid lifeless upon the
kitchen floor on her side with her face towards the ground, surrounded by a pool of blood.
On raising her body her neck was found severed from the trunk. The kitchen was all in a
confusion, and the house ransacked. From a desk, which bore traces of the fingers of the
murderer, being in several places stained with bloody finger marks, thirty-two sovereigns
were abstracted and a box belonging to some of the servant men was broken open, and a
pocket-book containing a quantity of silver taken away, which they afterwards found about
200 yards below the house, in a field leading to the railroad. Behind the kitchen fire a
clasp knife, the handle of which was partly burnt, and the blade marked with blood, was
found, with which, doubtless, the murderer had committed his crime. An inquest was held
on view of the body on Wednesday, and also, by adjournment, on Thursday, when the jury
returned a verdict of "Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown". Two Irish
reapers, who had been seen near the house during the morning of Tuesday, were apprehended
on suspicion and investigated by the Whitby magistrates, who remanded them until the
coroner's inquest was concluded, when they were discharged. There are several incidents
(circumstantial) relative to the murder, which stamp a strong conviction on the public
mind that this atrocious crime has been the action of some person well acquainted with
24 September 1841
Mysterious Murder - Information was yesterday received from the various police-
stations of the metropolis, that on the morning of Tuesday a most horrid and
mysterious murder was committed on the person of Mrs. Jane Robinson, the wife
of Mr. George Robinson, a farmer residing near the Tunnel Inn, about six miles from
Whitby, Yorkshire, and a short distance from the Whitby and Pickering Railway. No
trace or clue has as yet been obtained to the discovery of the murderer or murderers,
and all that is known of the circumstances, owing to the unfortunate woman being
alone in the house, is the fact that, on the return home of Mr. Robinson for dinner,
he found his wife dead, and her throat cut, and evident traces of her having struggled
violently with her murderer, who, there is reason to believe, had cut his hands while
in the perpetration of the crime. The house was also found to have been pillaged, and
a large sum of money in sovereigns and silver carried away. The horrid deed is
supposed to have been perpetrated between the hours of 10 and 12 o'clock in the
forenoon; and a reward of £100 is offered to any person, not being the actual
murderer, who will give such information as may lead to the apprehension and
conviction of the offender.
11 April 1842
The Eskdaleside Murder
(This is a long article so I have summarised)
The article repeats the previous reports, and then says that
The last person apprehended by the local police was Isaac Hill, a miller at Iburndale. Hill
had said thst he called on Mrs. Robinson as usual at 10 o'clock on th day concerned, but
later the surgeon gave his opinion that the deceased had died before 10. This coupled with
statements that Hill had been seen on a different road to his normal route on the day led
to the police to question him further, and on the 27th of November 1841 he was committed
to York Castle charged with the murder. However, he was discharged by the Grand Jury. On
his return to Iburndale there was great concern and many still thought him guilty. The Marquis
of Normanby, trying to allay the concerns of the locals, then arranged for Inspector Pearce
of A Division, who had great experience of this sort of crime, to be sent, in plain clothes,
to the area. After a few days in the area Pearce was quite convinced that Hill was innocent.
He was sure that the murderer, although having some knowledge of the area, had come from
distant parts. Pearce found evidence that someone had hidden for several hours nearby with
a view of the cottage. He then heard that a man wearing a blue cloth cap, a white shooting
jacket and dark trousers had been seen passing a wood where a pocket book belonging to Mr.
Robinson's servant had been found, and part of a loaf of bread. The bread was made in a
different way to the local bread. Interviewing a servant girl Pearce was told that the girl
had, last turf time, met a man named Thomas Readhead in a field belonging to Mr.Robinson.
This man had, at one time, worked for Robinson. She described his dress and it tallied with
that of the man seen near the wood. She told Pearce that Readhead had said he came by the
Stockton coach, and with this information Pearce managed to trace him via Hetton and
Bishop Auckland to Darlington. He then checked again with the collector of the poor rate
at Bishop Auckland, and discoverec that a Thomas Readhead had died of the small pox at
Shildar in January 1842 and been buried by the parish of Bishop Auckland. A man at Shildar
remembered Readhead well and described his movements which tallied with the girl's story
of him having been in Whitby area in July 1841, and the man said that he had gone to Whitby
again on 11 September 1841 and had returned on the day after the murder. When he returned
he paid various debts, bought many things and put down £20 to open a grocer shop in Shildar
in partnership with another man. When he left for Whitby in September he was wearing the
clothes described for the man seen near the woods. He had subsequently been tricked out of
his share of the shop and he went down-hill and died on 5 January 1842. Pearce checked with
Tomlinson, who had been Readhead's partner, thinking that he may have been involved, but
did not consider that he had been involved. Later Pearce got hold of Readhead's pocket book
and found traces of blood.
So the mystery seems to have been solved !
1 August 1842
Court of Review
The report is too long and complicated to be worth transcribing, but it refers
To the Campion businesses in Whitby as follows -
"There were two partnerships at Whitby between three brothers, of whom Robert
and John Campion were bankers, and John and William Campion ship-bulders........."
(It may be that this case is relevant to the closure of the businesses referred
to on 14 May 1841 above)
31 August 1842
Western Circuit, Bristol, Monday, August 29
Tindall and another v Bell and another
This was an action brought by the insurers of the ship Ocean of Whitby, against
the insurers of the ship Ocean of Newcastle, to recover damages for an injury
which the Ocean of Whitby had sustained through the alleged negligence of the
Captain of the Ocean of Newcastle. Both vessels were laden with coal and were
coming up the river Thames on the 7th of December. When off Coalhouse point the
Ocean of Whitby became entangled with two vessels unknown, and while they were
locked together, the Ocean of Newcastle ran into the Ocean of Whitby, and did
considerable damage to her. She then got upon the mud and it became necessary to
have a steam tug to get her off for which a charge was made of £175. The
plaintiffs resisted this payment and the Tug company proceeded against them in
the Court of Admiralty, which decided the plaintiffs should pay £45. The costs
were exceedingly heavy, being £126 18s 8d and the defendants refuse to pay them.
The repairs amounted to £185. This action was being taken to recover the amont
paid for repairs, the sum paid to the tug company, and the costs of proceedings
In the Court of Admiralty.
Verdict for the plaintiffs for £253 3s 2d, subject to being increased by the
costs, £124 on application to the Court above.
8 January 1844
Royal Navy Appointments
Lieutenant - Thomas Stephen Coppinger from Glandore to Staiths station, near Whitby
18 March 1844
York, Friday, March 15
Crown side (before Mr.Baron Rolfe)
George Lowther and Matthew Pearson were indicted for the wilful murder of John Moffitt,
the head gamekeeper of the Marquis of Normanby, on the 29th of January last, at the
parish ofLyth, in the North Riding.
Mr.Baines, assisted by the Hon.E.Phipps, conducted the case on the part of the Crown:
Mr.Bliss defended the prisoner Pearson, and Mr.Wilkins appeared for the prisoner Lowther.
The court was crowded to excess, the trial having excited very great interest.
(The report of the case is very lengthy, so I have summarised it below, listing the names
of witnesses etc - a copy of the full report can be obtained from me)
Baines opened the case by referring to John Moffitt as a well respected employee of the
Marquis, Lowther as a labourer living near Whitby, and Pearson as being in a farmer's
service at Egton-green. On the night of 29/30 January 1844 two men named Taylorson and
Raine were on watch on the Mulgrave Estate when they heard a gunshot and called up John
Moffitt, Mr.Wompra, the under-keeper, and two others employed as watchers. They then
heard further shots. This party of six now went to a place called Trucky Rock-hole, where
they hid themselves at the side of a track, and after a short time Lowther and Pearson
were seen coming down the track, carrying guns. Moffitt's party had no guns as the Marquis
did not allow them to carry guns, but some had sticks. Williamson, one of the watchers,
thought Lowther had seen them in ambush so Moffitt and the others sprang out and challenged
Lowther and Pearson, saying "What are you doing here !". The prisoners then started to
retreat back up the track, followed by Williamson and Moffitt. Lowther then stopped and said
"Stand back or I'll blow your brains out". Williamson sttod back but Moffitt, who was deaf,
and is thought not to have heard, advanced, saying "Gang at them !". Lowther immediately
fired his gun and Moffitt fell mortally wounded. The watchers were at first paralysed by
what thy had seen but then gave chase to the prisoners and Wompra caught Lowther, but was
badly beaten about the head with the gun in Lowther's violent attempts to escape.
Lowther was, however, captured andtaken back to where Moffitt was lying, where he displayed
great alarm, and asked Moffitt's forgiveness. Moffitt and the others told him that he
should have given himself up, but he said that he knew that if he had then he would be
transported. Pearson had been with Lowther that evening and had carried a gun, but he did
not discharge it. He ran away when Lowther fired, and escaped for the time being. A constable
went to the house where Pearson lived in Egton-green and found him there in great distress.
Pearson tol the constable where his gun was hidden, and it was found there, loaded. Pearson
was then taken to Mulgrave Castle. Moffitt died at 6 o'clock on the Tuesday evening.
William Williamson, a labourer of Lyth, gave evidence. He said that he had been employed as
a watcher that night. He had been called up by Robert Taylorson, and they were joined by
John Moffitt, George Wompra, and W.Wray. They were later joined by Robert Anderson. He then
told the story as set out by Mr. Baines. He was cross-examined by Bliss and Wilkins.
Next witness was George Wompra, who saidhe was under-keeper to the Marquis. He had joined
William Raine, Robert Anderson, Robert Taylorson and John Moffitt when called up on that
night. Again his story was much as outlined above. Next witness was William Raine, who said
that he was a labourer at Lyth and was employed as a watcher by the Marquis. His evidence
supported the prosecution case, as did that of Robert Taylorson and Robert Anderson.
Those who mentioned Pearson in their evidence said that he had not shown any sign of using
his gun against them. The Earl of Mulgrave gave his evidence. Another witness was Robert
Rosamond, constable at Lyth. He gave evidence that he had found Pearson at his home, the
house of John Agar, farmer, at Egton-green. John Glover Loy, a doctor at Whitby gave evidence
that he had been called out to Mulgrave Castle to examine Moffitt and he confirmed that
Moffitt had died of a gunshot wound to the stomach.
The case for Pearson's defence was that he had not taken any part in the shooting and had no
intention of using his gun except for shooting birds. The case for Lowther was that he had
not shot Moffitt from premeditation but by accident. Witnesses were called who gave Pearson
an excellent character.
The jury found Lowther Guilty and Pearson was Acquitted.
Lowther was sentenced to death. Pearson received a caution for his part in the poaching and
(I believe Lowther's sentence was later commuted to transportation to Australia)
17 May 1844
A Cork Leg - Some time ago a pauper belonging to Whitby, named William Holliday, formerly a
tailor, became a confirmed lunatic, and the parish authorities were under the neccessity of
sending him to Mr.Martin's retreat for insane persons at Gate Helmsley. About two months
since this pauper died in the asylum, and on the 15th ult., Mr.Martin addressed a letter to
Mr. Robert Breckon, the clerk of the Whitby Union, informing him that £20 5s 4d had been
"found in William Holliday's cork leg, wrapped up in rags", and that the amount was placed
to the credit of the Union. We understand instructions have been given for the cork leg to
be forwarded to the Whitby museum.
17 June 1844
Duncombe, Rev. William, late curate of Sneaton, near Whitby, to the vicarage of Crowle,
22 July 1844
Cholmley v Stephenson and others
This court case was about a trespass said to have been committed by the commissioners
authorised by an Act of Parliament to make improvements to the town of Whitby, in
covering the course of a beck and converting it into a quay. The interest in the report
is that it outlines the history of the manor of Whitby and the Chomley family.
7 August 1844
The contemplated marriage between the Earl of Mulgrave, only son of the Marquis of
Normanby, and Miss Russell, niece of the Dowager Duchess of Cleveland, is fixed to
take place on the 17th inst., at Mulgrave Castle, near Whitby.
5 April 1845
On Thursday morning, the 3rd inst., between 11 and 12 o'clock, William Leslie, the master of
the bark Sophia, when near the Rame-head, on her passage into Plymouth Sound, jumped off
the deck and sunk immediately. The bark was bound to Quebec, to which port she belongs, and
during the voyage from London the captain had made frequent attempts to drown himself, in
consequence of which the mate, William Kay, confined him to the cabin, where, on saturday,
he destroyed the glass in the windows and committed other damage. The Sophia was then put
about to obtain more water, and, if absolutely neccessary, to land the captain. When near
the Eddystone a pilot came aboard and took charge, and the master dressed himself to go
ashore, but on reaching the deck he suddenly went over the larboard quarter. The boat was
instantly put over the side of the vessel, but every effort proved unavailing, as the
deceased effected his purpose with the most determined resolution. He was born in Whitby,
is 35 years of age, and without family, and had been four years master of the Sophia.
12 December 1845
York, Dec. 10
Thomas Kirk and John Blades were indicted for having, on the 27th of September last, at
Stainacre, near Whitby, feloniously and violently assaulted one William Ward, and stolen
a shilling and two pence from his person.
Mr.Blanchard, the Hon. Mr. Phipps, and Mr.Shaw were counsel for the prosecution. The
prisoners had no counsel.
William Ward was the first witness examined, and he stated that on the 27th September he
had been at Whitby, which is about 2 miles from his house in Stainacre. He was on his way
home in the evening, at about 8 o'clock, when he saw two men in the road at some distance
out of Whitby. He became alarmed at the manner of the two men, who directly seized him,
one of them taking hold of his collar, and knocking him down by a blow on the head. He
was unable to describe the persons of the men, but said that one was in a dark dress, and
the other in a light dress. After knocking him down in the road, one of the men rofled his
breaches pockets, and took from one of them a purse in which there were 1s in silver and
2d in copper. He was so badly beaten about the head as to be incapable of getting up for
some time, and at first could only crawl on his hands and knees. His head and face were
wounded and scratched, and covered with blood. On coming to he found a large thick stick,
which was now produced, and which he supposed had been used by the two men assaulting
him. The stick was lying across his body as he lay on the ground after they left him.
To identify the prisoners as the same two men, the following facts were then proved: -
it was shown that they were seen at about 5 o'clock in the afternoon of the 27th at a
short distance from the spot, and in the same place again at a short time befotre the
robbery. Soon after the prosecutor left Whitby on his way home, two others who knew him,
a man and his wife, were going home on the same road, and they met the two men at the bar
coming into Whitby, and walking at a somewhat quick pace. A constable stated hat he had
met with them very late the night before, and being told by them that they were destitute,
he had found them lodgings in the town of Whitby. They left that lodging in the morning
having had nothing to eat there, from which it might appear they had no money. But on the
night of the robbery they returned to the same house, at a little after 9 o'clock, and
they produced 2lb of bread, some cheese and a quantity of tobacco. All these articles they
were then shown to have purchased only just before at two shops in the town, in one of
which Kirk had produced a shilling and had 8d in change on purchasing the bread. The cheese
and tobacco cost them 4d. When they came back to their lodging the person keeping it asked
them if they had "done anything" and they said they had got enough to pay for the lodging
which was 6d. On being asked by the principal police officer of Whitby where they had got
the bread, a portion of which he found at the lodging, they said they had begged it in the
town, but could not say whereabout. The bit ofbread thus found was not kept but the officer
stated that it was bread of a kind which is made in a particular form to be sold by weight.
It was "sad", that is close and moist. the shopkeeper who sold the bread to the prisoner
corroborated this statement, saying that the bread now produced was ofthe same description
as that sold to them. It appeared that Kirk had gone alone to purchase the bread, and that
Blades had bought the cheese and tobacco at a shop next door. A surgeon was called to state
the condituion of the old man after he had been attacked. The man, he said, was sitting on
a chair, but scarcely sensible, from the injury he had received. He had several severe
wounds and bruises about the head, and appeared quite stupified.
The jury consulted for a short time and found a verdict of Guilty. The prisoners were
sentenced to transportation for life.
25 December 1845
We learn from a correspondent, that a vessel called the Mercury, belonging to Colchester,
coal laden, wasdriven on shore, on Friday night week, at half-past 11 o'clock, about three
miles north of Whitby, during a perfect hurricane and terrific sea. Lieutenant Brittain, R.N.
and the whole of the coastguard from Whitby, immediately proceeded with the life-boat and a
set of Carte's rockets to assist the unfortunate sailors. ......
Too much praise cannot be given to Lieutenant Brittain and his gallant crew, the men going
into the sea nearly up to their necks to assist the poor fellows in landing.
26 January 1846
Lieutenant G.S.Brittain, commander of Whitby station to command the Mermaid, vice Howes.
2 February 1846
Lieutenant J.Stubbins, in command of Coatham station, to Whitby station, vice G.S.Brittain,
appointed to the Mermaid, cutter.
6 July 1846
Royal College of Surgeons
The following gentlemen were admitted members of this college, on Friday evening, the 3rd
John Yeoman, Whitby
20 November 1846
Dreadful Accident Near Whitby
An accident of a most fearfull description occurred between Staithes and Runswick on Friday,
the 6th instant, to a number of men employed to obtain jet out of the cliffs by Mr. Andrew,
jet manufacturer of Whitby. Seven of these men had retired from labour about noon, and seated
themselves against the cliff to eat their dinner, not having the least apprehension of danger,
when a small piece of stone fell upon the shoulders of one of them, named James Cuthbert.
Looking up to ascertain the cause, he perceived the cliff giving way, and immediately sprang
from his seat, calling his companions to make for safety, as the cliff was coming upon them.
Three of them, named William Smallwood, Michael Bennings, and Isaac Jefferson, promptly obeyed,
and, with Cuthbert, fortunately got from under the main fall, and caught hold of a rope,
suspended over the cliff to assist them in ascending and descending to their work, which
prevented them falling over, and they escaped with sundry bruises on their legs, feet and other
parts of their bodies, from pieces of cliff rolling against them while suspended in mid-air.
The other three men, Christopher Bennings, Thomas Hopper, and Henry Sayers, delayed a moment,
thinking Cuthbert only in jest, but looking up they beheld the horror, when too late to escape,
that the assertion was too true; the entire mass, comprising several thousand tons, came down
and hurled them to the bottom, a distance of about 60 feet. Some women who were on the scar
gathering bait saw the frightful accident, and hastening to Staithes they gave the alarm, when
a great number of men set off to their assistance. After great exertion they were extricated
from their awful situation, and miraculous to say, notwithstanding the great distance they had
fallen, and the huge masses upon them, they were all found to be alive. Hopper showed very
little sign of life, but after lying a short time on the beach he rallied a little, and they
were all conveyed to Staithes, when Mr. Clark, surgeon, of Whitby, was sent for and promptly
attended. - Yorkshireman
30 January 1847
A Veteran Mariner
On Monday, the 25th inst., the mortal remains of Captain Levi Preston, aged 96, were interred
in the churchyard of Grantham, in which town he had resided during the last 40 years, being the
oldest inhabitant of that place. He was born at Whitby, in Yorkshire, and in early life had the
reputation of a skillful, enterprising and intrepid sailor. When commanding an armed transport,
the Admiral Barrington, in 1782, she was the first ship that arrived to the relief of the
starving garrison of Gibraltar at that memorable siege. On several subsequent occasions he
performed essential service by conveying secret despatches in case where nautical skill, promptitude
and confidence were essential to success, receiving high rewards and public thanks from the
authorities. He finished his career as a master mariner by making an unprecedented voyage from the
Downs to St.Petersburgh and back to Southampton in 1793, when his ship, the Acorn, was taken into
the transport service, and he retired to enjoy the just reward of his previous exertions.
20 March 1848
York, March 17
Crown Court (before Mr. Baron Rolfe)
Shooting at GamekeeperS
Hannam Cantrill was charged with having on the 22nd February last, at Newholme-cum-Dunsley, in the
North Riding, feloniously discharged a loaded gun at James Brown with intent to murder him.
The Hon. E.Phipps, Mr.Travis, and the Hon. A. Liddell appeared for the prosecution. the prisoner
was defended by Mr. Matthews.
Mr.Phipps, in stating the case to the jury, said that the prisoner was charged with having discharged
a gun at Mr. James Brown, one of the keepers on Lord Normanby's estate. On the 2nd of February, about
9 o'clock at night, one of his watchers on Lord Normanby's estate, named Waite, had his attention
directed to a wood by the report of an air-gun. He took no notice of it in the forst instance, but
having heard it repeated, took measures to collect the other keepers together, and they at once
proceeded to the place where the sound proceeded from, where they met with a gang of poachers, with
whom a fierful conflict ensued. Lord Normanby did not allow his keepers to use firearms; but Brown,
however, this evening took a gun. The poachers discharged an airgun several times at the keepers, and
sunbsequently a common gun was fired, which wounded Brown severely in the arm. Waite told Brown to
fire, but, on account of being wounded, he could only raise the gun to his thigh, and he then fired
it. Brown was taken to one of the keeper's houses that evening; and early next morning. on several
of the keepers going into the wood, they found a person of the name of Joseph Rhodes, who was
fearfully wounded, crying out for assistance. The man was taken home, and on the magistrates consulting
together about the best way to proceed, they came to the conclusion to admit him as Queen's evidence,
as they found he had been one of the party. Rhodes was wounded in the leg, mortification took place,
and two or three days afterwards he died. Before his death, however, he made a confession in the
presence of the prisoner and the magistrates, which was taken down in writing. Other evidence was
brought forward, which corroborated the poacher'sstatement.
George Waite, one of the keepers of Lord Normanby, and who lodges at Mr. Foster's, described the
locality where the affray took place. On the 22nd February last, about 9 o'clock in the evening, he
went to the cow-house to fetch Mr. Foster's milk, and remembered hearing a gun, the sound coming from
the direction of the south lodge. When he got a little further, he heard another discharge, and then
another. He then proceeded to the house of william Siggs, about a mile from Foster's. Siggs was not
at home, but he found two persons of the name James Brown and William Raine there. They returned to
Foster's with him, and when against Foster's he heard another crack of an air-gun. They all then went
to Hebden's, who resides at the high-side of the Hagg, to fetch two watchers named Ward and young
Hebden, who got up and joined them. They had all sticks, and Brown took a gun out of hebden's house
besides. They had orders not to take any firearms out with them. They proceeded to the Garside-track
and then straight to the place where the poachers were, touched Ward on the right shoulder, and said
"Go at 'em lads". The poachers immediately rejoined "Go at 'em again". The poachers fired two air-guns
instantly, and the keepers rushed on them. One of the party then came to the witness, and another to
Ward. The man who advanced toward Waite had someting about a yard long, and which he continually
moved backwards and forwards as if he wanted to stick him. A common gun was then fired by the poaching
party. Brown was at witness's left hand, about half a yard back, when the gun was fired, and about four
yards from the man who fired it. He could not say who it was that fired the gun. One of the poachers
said "Give me that other gun", whereupon, Brown got the gun to his thigh (being wounded by the shot
and not able to raise it higher) and fired one barrel. in three or four minutes Brown called out "Oh1
Jack, I'm shot" Witness and Ward took hold of him, and carried him just over the brook. Then Raine came,
and Siggs, having shouted, Raine took Brown to Foster's. Witness and Ward turned back to the Hagg,
whence Siggs' voice came. The three followed the poachers , who made off nearly to the East-row, and
then turned back. About 1 o'clock in the morning, after the fray, witness was coming from Siggs's when
he heard someone call out, "Heigh". Old Mr.Siggs and Hebden were with witness, and after a short lapse
of time Siggs whistled, when about a quarter of an hour afterwards a man called out "Heigh" again.
They went down to East-row to fetch some more men, and then proceeded to the place where the shout
came from. They found a man named Joseph Rhodes in Johnson's field, at the top side of the Hagg, and
took him down to Lister's. There was a gun laid beside him, which Rosamund took possession of, and
on examining it, found it to be loaded.
Other witnesses, some policemen, and some of Lord Normanby's gamekeepers, were examined in proof of
the case. Dr. Loy, physician, of Whitby, proved the nature of the wounds that had been inflicted
on Brown. He sted that the deceased man (Rhodes) had died from mortification, produced by gunshot
wounds received in the legs. Brown, the keeper, produced some slugs which had been extracted from
his own wounds.
The statement made before the magistrates by Rhodeswas read in evidence. It stated that he and the
prisoner and other men were in Mulgrave Wood on the night in question, and that Cantrill fired the
common gun. There was another gun fired besides that fired by Cantrill, and the charge hit the
deceased in the leg just as he was turning round. This gun was fired by the keepers, and he was quite
certain that it was Cantrill who fired the first shot at the keepers. It was agreed that night, before
they went out, that if the keepers came they were to shove them off with their guns.
The prisoner was ultimately Acquitted of this charge, it not appearing clear whether he had discharged
the gun intentionally, or whether he had, in so discharging it, intended to aim it at Brown or any of
Subsequently, however, he pleaded guilty to another indictment in which the charge was night poaching.
27 January 1849
A prisoner who gave his name as Thomas Johnson, and said he was a blacksmith from Whitby, was found
guiltyof begging from Mr. George Cooper of George-street, Old Kent road, and sentenced to 14 days
10 February 1849
A long report of a case heard at the Mansion House in which Robert Brown was charged with having forged
and uttered several forged warrants for payment of the sum of £50, with intent to defraud Messrs. Barclay,
Bevan and Tritton, bankers, of Lombasrd St. The Whitby connection is that the forgeries were perpetrated
through thw Whitby bank of Simpson, Chapman and Co. One of the witnesses was Mr. George Wetherill, a
bookkeeper and clerk to Messrs. Simpson, Chapman & Co.
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