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Local records; or, Historical register of remarkable events which have occurred in Northumberland and Durham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Berwick-upon-Tweed, with biographical notices of deceased persons of talent, eccentricity, and longevity; (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryT FordyceLocal records; or, Historical register of remarkable events which have occurred in Northumberland and Durham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Berwick-upon-Tweed, with biographical notices of deceased persons of talent, eccentricity, and longevity; (Volume 1) → online text (page 44 of 58)
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Colonel Wilmot, Superintendent of the Oun Factories, Captain
Gordon, principal military store keeper, and Mr. John Anderson,
inspector of machinery. One of the extraordinary breach-loading
weapons invented by Sir William Armstrong, a 12-pounder, was
brought out on Woolwich Common, for driving and firing practice
by a detachment of Ecyal Horse Artilleiy. The most stringest orders
were issued to prevent the near approach of civilians, or any
examinations of the piece by strangers. During the few days the
gun remained in store at the arsenal even the officers of the estab-
lishment were refused permission to inspect it. A gentleman who
was detected taking a pencil sketch of the gun was immediately
arrested and called upon to forfeit his unfinished pi eduction, which
he most reluctantly yielded up to an officer present.

\Sb^ ( Fehruary^d)), — The inhabitants of Newcastle and neighbour-
hood were naturally proud of the honour done to their distinguished
fellow townsman, Sir William George Armstrong, by her Majesty
conferring the honour of knighthood upon him, and appointing him
Engineer to the War Department of Eifled Ordnance ; and, it
having become known that on the above day he would pay his
first visit, since his elevation, to the works at Elswick, great
preparations were made to give him a cordial reception. The shops
and offices were decorated with flags and streamers ; the workmen
and their wives and families came out in holiday attire ; and a row
of cannon \^as planted on an elevation facing the river. Sir
William, accompanied by his lady, arrived at the gates of the
factory in his carriage, at three o'clock, and was saluted with loud
and prolonged acclamations and a feu de joie of welcome. Alighting
he was conducted to a platform, where a highly congratulatory
address was read by Mr. Hutchinson, the manager of the works,
to which Sir William responded in a suitable manner, and thanked
them cordially for the warm reception they had given him, and
assured them that it would be his study, as their employer, to add
as far as he could to their comforts ; and he trusted the same
cordiality which had marked their intercourse hitherto, would
continue, so that they might labour in harmony and good feeling.
The assembly then dispersed.

March 3. — The official opening of that stupendous under-
taking — the Jarrow Docks — took place this afternoon, on a scale
of magnificence and splendour which has seldom, if ever, been
witnessed on either side of the Tyne. Precisely at a quarter-past
twelve a special train, for the conveyance of those gentlemen who
had to take part in the ceremony, left the Central Station, at
Newcastle. Amongst the passengers were the Right Hon. Lord
Ravensworth, the Right Hon. the Earl of Carlisle, Sir William
George Armstrong, the Mayor of Newcastle (Joseph Laycock, esq.),
the Mayor of Gateshead ^W. Brown, esq.), the Chairman and
Directois of the Noith-Eastern Railway Company, and several of
the shareholders and their friends. On the train approaching its


destination the vessels at anchor in the river presented an unusually
gay appearance, displayino; a profusion of flags from the bulwark
to the main truck. On the arrival of the train at the high station
the company formed in procession, led by the Right Hon. Lord
Eavensworth and the Right Hon. the Earl of Carlisle, and proceeded
in that order down to the jetty of the docks, headed by the splendid
band of the Rifle Brigade, then stationed at the Newcastle Barracks
which played the familiar local air " The Keel Row." On arrivinf^
at the jetty the Vanguard steamer was in readiness to receive the
gentlemen who formed the procession. In addition to the noble
lords on board the Vanguard the following directors were also
present: — W. C. Copperthwaite, esq,, of Malton ; George Dods-
worth, esq., Clifton, York ; James Hartley, esq., Sunderland ;
W. R. Hunter, esq., Newcastle; James Kitson, esq, Leeds; C.
G. Maclea, esq., Leeds ; N. Plews, esq , Darlington ; James
PuUiene, esq., Bedale ; C. H. Seymour, esq., York; W. L.
Wharton, esq., Dryburn ; R, Williamson, esq , Scarborough ;
Amongst the general company were G. J. Fenwick, esq., William
Woods, esq., William Hunter, esq., Thomas Bourne, esq., William
Weallens, esq., Christian Allhusen, esq., T. E. Harrison, esq.,
A. C. Sheriff", esq., John Cieghorn, esq., Hedworth Williamson,
esq., John Hope, esq., Edmund Crawshay, esq , T. C. Meek, esq.,
C. Bramwell, esq , Gibson Kyle, esq., R. W. Henley, esq., Captain
Herd, R.N., R. Hodgson, esq , W. Hunter, esq., Thomas Young,
esq., J. Straker, esq., A. C. Stevenson, esq., John Jobling, esq.,
H. T. Meynell, esq., tfec, &c. On entering the dock the procession
was welcomed by a salute of sixteen guns, which was fired in
rapid succession, amidst the cheers of thousands of spectators,
who covered every available spot where a view could be obtained.
After sailing round and surveying the entire docks, the steamers
returned to the jetty, and disembarked their passengers, who
proceeded to inspect the various works and enormous capabilities
of this gigantic andertaking, all the arrangements of which had
been most admirably carried out, according to designs, by T. E.
Harrison, esq., the engineer of the company, under the personal
inspection of Robert Hodgson, esq., C.E. With a view to give
the coals abundant and rapid access to the docks, five substantial
viaducts span the old road at the south-east bend of the slake, and
connect the various lines of the North-Eastern Railway with so
many means of access to the dock, Avhere the coal waggons are run
on to a stupendous suite of jetties, in the construction of which
upwards of 400,000 feet of timber had been employed : there
being four jetties extending considerably into the dock, each
having a shipping spout at the end and four at each side, so that
thirty-six vessels can be in process of loading at the same time.
The standage for waggons is equal to twenty-five miles of railway,
and with these combined facilities from 12,000 to 15,000 tons
may be shipped in a day. In the evening a numerous and influential
party of the shareholders and gentry of the neighbourhood cele-
brated the opening by a sumptuous banquet at Mr, T, B. Jeffrey's,


the Central Station Hotel. Mr. H. S. Thompson presided, and
Mr. Leeman occupied the vice-chair.

1859 (March 10) — Lord Lovaine having been appointed to
another office under Government, was this day declared re-elected
for North Northumberland.

March 15. — A most appalling catastrophe occurred this day
in North Shields. The Waterworks Company had arranged for
a supply of water from a spring in South Preston New Pit, and
Mr. Robert Wilson, foreman to Messrs. Heppell and Landells,
engine builders, and Mr. Procter, foreman to the waterworks,
descended the pit, in a cage, to arrange about the requisite machinery
for pumping the water. John Herdman, the banksman, had
forgotten that the cage had gone down, and, while talking to some
cartmen, pushed a tub to the top of the shaft. He then saw the
cage was not there, and tried to prevent the tub from falling into
the pit, but it overmastered him, and they were both precipitated
to the bottom. They fell upon Mr. Wilson, and killed him on the
spot. The tub also struck Mr. Procter, breaking his thighs, and
otherwise seriously injuring him. Herdman's back was broken
by the fall, and he died a few days afterwards.

March 25. — A serious fire took place at the Snab Leazes,
a farm in the occupation of Mr. James Patterson, of the Plough
Inn, Alnwick. The total amount of damage was not known, but
all the stacks of corn (sixteen in number) were entirely consumed.
Mr. Patterson, was uninsured.

April 7. — An event of a most painful and distressing nature
occurred at Ryton this morning. It appeared that the deceased,
Mr. Henry Leonard Belt, the youngest son of Mr. George Belt, of
the Groat-market, Newcastle, had, in company with a relative,
left his uncle's house, at Ryton for the purpose of bathing in the
Tyne, and when Mr. Belt's companion was undressing he heard a
shout from the deceased, and, on looking round, observed nothing
but his hands above water, when he instantly disappeared. A
fishing boat having been procured, every effort was made to
discover the body, which proved unsuccessful for fully two hours.
When recovered life was of course quite extinct. It was supposed
that the deceased, who was an excellent siwmmer, had taken a fit.
He was nineteen years of age, and had been employed in the office
of Messrs. Joseph Heald and Co., Quayside, Newcastle. He was
a young man of considerable ability and of great promise.

Ajjril 18. — A boat race, which for some time past had excited
considerable interest, came off this afternoon. The competitors
were Robert Chambers, of Newcastle, and Thomas White, of
Bermondsey, London. The stakes were for £100 a-side and the
honour of the championship of England. The distance was from
the High Level Bridge to Scotswood Bridge. Chambers, after
being fouled twice, won the race by upwards of 100 yards. The
winner was hailed as the Champion of England by an immense
crowd assembled at the Suspension Bridge, and, as the steamers


camp up, the cry was again and again renewed. This was one of
the greatest triumphs that had ever been achieved in boat racing,
and the Tynesiders had reason to be proud of their champion.

1859 {April). — Owing to an adverse vote on the Government
Reform Measure, Parhament was dissolved, and the following was
the result of the elections in this district : —


Apj'il 29. — Mr. John Stapleton was nominated by Captain
Smith, R.N., and seconded by Mr. John Wood: Captain Charles
William Gordon was proposed and seconded by Mr. J. R. Dunlop
and Mr. G. Macaskie ; and Mr. Ralph Anstruther Earle was
proposed by Mr. Logan and seconded by Mr. R. Thompson. Mr.
Thomas Bogue proposed Mr. D. C. Majoribanks, and Mr. Robert-
son seconded the nomination. At the close of the poll the numbers
were : — Mr. Earle, 348 ; Captain Gordon, 33b ; Mr. Majoribanks,
830; Mr. Stapleton, 257.


A2:>ril 30. — Dr. Greenhow proposed, and Mr. John Benson
seconded, Mr- Headlam. Sir John Fife and Mr. Isaac Lowthian
Bell nominated Mr. Ridley. Mr. Charles Larkin proposed, and
Mr. George Bradley seconded, Mr. P. A. Taylor. At the close
of the poll the numbers were : — for Mr. Headlam, 2,687 ; Mr.
Ridley, 2,680 ; Mr. Taylor, 463.


April 30. — Mr. Hutt was returned without opposition.


April 30. — Mr. Hugh Taylor was elected without opposition.


April 30. — Mr, J. C. Stevenson and Mr. Alderman Glover
nominated Robert Ingham, esq, Mr. J. L. Thompson proposed,
and Mr. J. D. Welch seconded, J. T. Wawn, esq. The poll
terminated with the following result : — Mr. Ingham, 506 ; Mr.
Wawn, 300.


^pn7 30. — George Hudson, esq., was proposed and second
by Mr. Christopher Bramwell and Mr. William Ord. Mr. Fenwick
was nominated by Mr. James Allison, and seconded by Mr. If.
Williamson. Mr. W. S. Lindsay was proposed and seconded by
Mr. E. Backhouse and Mr. Joshua Wilson. The poll terminated
as follows:— Mr. Fenwick, 1,527; Mr. Lindsay, 1,292; Mr.
Hudson, 790.


A2:>ril 30. — Mr. Shafto and Lord Adolphus Vane Tempest
were elected without opposition.


May 1.— Sir George Grey was again re elected.



1859 (2Iay \). — Alderman George Robson proposed, and Alder-
man Storey seconded, William Atherton, esq., Q.C. Mr. W. L.
Wharton proposed, and Mr. J. W. Hays seconded, the Right Hon.
J. R. Mowbray. No other candidate was proposed, and the lion,
gentlemen were declared duly elected.


May 3 — W"entworth Blackett Beaumont, esq., and the Hon*
H. G. Liddell ^ve^e elected without opposition.


May 4. — Mr. Henry Pease and Mr. Farrer were returned
without opposition.


May 5. — There being no opposition, Lord Lovaine and Sir
Matthew White Ridley were declared duly elected.

May 10. — A grand banquet was given to Sir William G.
Armstrong, C.B., in the Assembly Rooms, Westgate, Newcastle,
by a numerous body of his friends and admirers, in public recog-
nition of his eminent scientific discoveries, and in celebration of
the honour of kuighthood conferred upon him by his sovereign,
and of his appointment to the responsible position of Inspector
General of Riiled Ordnance. The Right Hon. Sir George Grey,
bart., M.P., presided, having the guest of the evening on his right ;
and Sir John Fife, John Clayton, esq , and C. M. Palmer, esq.,
occupied the vice-chairs. Above three hundred gentlemen assembled
to do honour to the worthy knight.

June 7. — Mr. Charles Wilson Bragg, only son of Mr, Charles
Bragg, draper, Pilgrim-street, Newcastle, met with his death
under very painful circumstances this morniag. It appeared
that Mr. Bragg lived at Lintzford, a few miles west of Newcastle,
and at that place there is a large mill dam, which is often bathed
in by the residents of the neighbourhocd. Mr. Bragg having gone
to the place to bathe, was shortly after seen by some men struggling
in the water as if out of his depth. A number of persons
were soon on the spot, and rendered every assistance, hut all was
in vain, he sank and never rose again. The b jdy was not discovered
until an hour afterwards.

June 24. — A number of ladies and gentlemen, belonging to
North and South Shields and neighbourhood, visited Marsden upon
a scientific excursion this afternoon. Amongt the gentlemen
present were Dr. Dodd, Dr. Emmerson, Dr. Stevens, Rev. G. C.
Abbs, J. B. Dale, esq., J. W. Fen wick, esq., E Young, esq.,
Messrs. L. Armstrong, G. Brady, E. C. Robson, W. H. Brown,
Horatio Adamson, and F. R. N. Haswell, members cf the
Naturalisis' Field Club. The party visited the Trow Rocks, the
extensive and curious caves at Manhaven, and other objects of
interest along the coast. After tea at Mrs. Allan s, the party
adjourned to the Velvet Beds, a beautifully detached rock, and,


while reclining on the turf, listened to a deeply interesting address
from the Rev. G. C. Abbs, of Cleadon House, on the geology of
the coast, the lecturer pointing out many interesting circumstances
in connection with the magnesian limestone, and the great basaltic
dykes of the Northern Counties, the latter apparently radiating
from the extinct volcanic centre of the High Force, and Cauldron
Snout, in Teesdale. The party broke up after having spent a
highly instructive and pleasing afternoon.

1869 (Jtine 27 J. — Amostdistressingoccurrence took placeon board
the barque Malcolm, Captain Natt, Newcastle, \ying off Cookson's
Quay, South Shields. The vessel being infested with rats, it was
deemed advisable to have it stoved, consequently chaicoal fires
were lighted in the hold, strict orders being given that the crew
were to sleep in the house on deck. However, four of the crew,
named James Laing, James Prophet, Henry Jones, and William
Wright, with a crowbrow, wrenched the forecastle hatch off, and
went below to sleep. In the morning Laing and Prophet were
found dead, and the other two appeared to be dying. Dr. Coward
was in attendance, and applied the usual remedies to Jones and
Wright, but the latter expired on the following day.

June 28 — Owin^^ to Mr. Headlam having accepted the office
of Judge Advocate, an election of a member to represent Newcastle
took place. Mr. Headlam was proposed by Mr. T. E. Greenhow,
and seconded by Mr. John Benson. Mr. Hodgson Hinde nominated
Mr. Cuthbert, Dr. Gregson seconded the nomination. The result
of the poll was as follows :— Headlam, 2,153 ; Cuthbert, 1,086.

J2ine 28. — The Newcastle Races commenced this day. The
Northumberland Plate was won by Mr. G. Forster's Underhand
(Aldcroft), beating Lifeboat, Paul, and nine others. This was the
third year in succession that the same horse had won the plate,
a feat never before accomplished. The Gold Cup was won by
Mr, T. Dawson's Daniel (Madden), beating Gift, Rachel, and
three others.

Juli/ 6. — Early this morning a very alarming fire broke
out in the ropery of Mr. Lawson Dunn, East Ballast-hills, near
Newcastle, in whose premises a fire of a similar character took
place about tw^elve months before, when damage was done to the
extent of £3,000. The Newcastle and North British fire engines
were quickly on the spot, and there being a plentiful supply of
water, the flames were prevented from extending to the neigh-
bouring houses.

Juli/. — The following paper was read at the meeting, at
Rothbury, of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club, by F, R.
Wilson, esq., Associate of the Royal Institute of British Archi-
tects, Member of the Northern Architectual Association,
Member of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club, &c. : — " In the
green shade of a deep set valley on the banks of the river Coquet,
Osbertus Colutarius built Brinkburn Priory. The smoke from
the hospital fires of the priory must have mingled in fleecy
clouds w ith the boughs of outspreading trees, and the sound of the



[a.d. 1859.

church bells must have reverberated, thunder-like, through their
intertwined branches, for on both sides of the river high banks,
crested with trees, rise steeply up to a great altitude, and shut out
the world from the priory as completely as a convent gate closes
upon its inmates. These banks are clothed with one rich entagle-
ment of foliage, through which jnts of grey rocks protrude
themselves, covered with mellow patches of amber lichens, and
from which tall fir trees cast sombre shadows into the rippling
stream below," tfcc, tfcc.


1859 (Jvly 12 J. — The second great gun and rifle trial came off at
Horosey Wood House, near London, under the superintendence
of the Editor of the " Field,'' when Mr. Pape, of Newcastle, again
distanced all competitors Last year Mr. Pape's guns headed the
list as being superior to others in one or two qualities only, but on
this occasion his gun figured at the top of the coloumn in every one
of the characteristics which the trial was instituted to educe.

Juli/ 19.— A great deal of excitement was created at Jarrow,
this morning, in consequence of the discovery that a man,
named John Shafto Wilthew^ had murdered his wife by cutting
her throat, and had attempted to commit suicide in a similar
manner. Wilthew was in the employment of Messrs. Palmer
Brothers and Company, iron ship builders, as timekeeper, which
situation he had held about five weeks. Previous to his employ-
ment at Messrs. Palmers he was storekeeper with Messrs. Leslie,
iron ship builders, Hebburn. Deceased, who was fifty-one years of age,
and had been married to her husband twenty-nine years, had borne

A.D. 1859.]



him eleven children. She was a daughter of Mr. Anthony Charlton,
Wellington-street, South Shields, and had been twice married.
Wilthew, who was a native of Dunston, was tried and convicted
of the murder before Baron Watson, and was executed at Durham
on the 11th of August following.

1859 (Aug^tst ^). — A large congregation of the friends of Mr.
Aid. Ingledew assembled in the vestry of St. Nicholas' Church,
Newcastle, this afternoon, for the purpose of presenting that
highly-esteemed gentleman with a testimonial expressive of the
sense entertained by the subscribers of his long and valuable
labours for the public good, as an alderman of the borough, a
churchwarden of the parish of St. Nicholas, and chairman of the
Board of Guardians over a long course of years. The testimonial,
manufactured by Mr. Thomas Sewell, silversmith, Newcastle,
consisted of a handsome silver tea and coffee service and claret
jug, value not less than £130, the salver bearing, with extreme
accuracy, a representation of the famous steeple of St. Nicholas'.
The company included the Rev. the Vicar, Sir John Fife, the
churchwardens, and a number of gentlemen connected with the
parish or interested in the proceedings, besides a good many ladies,
and to give eclat to the auspicious event, the bells of St. Nicholas'
rang many a merry peal, which was only interrupted as the day
came to a close.


August 10 ami 11. — The bazaar and grand fete on behalf
of the new church at Lumley came of with more than ordinary
success. The bazaar was opened in the entrance hall of the
castle, which had been kindly granted by the Earl of Scarborough,
and was appropriately decorated for the occasion. The stalls


consisted chiefly of fancy work. The centre stall was presided
over by Mrs. Dodd, assisted by Miss Young and Miss Carritch ;
the second by Miss Ward and Miss Nevvaiarch ; the third by
Miss E. Dodd and Mrs. Mitchell ; the fourth by Miss Booth and
Miss Corner ; and the fifth, designated the " fairies' stall," was
watched over by three pretty little girls, daughters of the Rev. J.
Dodd, Mr. J. Crawford, and Mr. M. Clark. A stall for refresh-
ments was most assiduously and profitably attended to by Miss
Arrowsmith and Miss Skelly. The principal contributors were the
Countess of Scarborough, the Countess of Durham, Lady Georgina
Grey, Lady F. Milner, Mrs. Shipperdson, Mrs. Dodd, Mrs. Craw-
ford, and Mrs. Robinson. The total proceeds of the two days
were altogether about X"200.

1859 (August 15). — A grand gala and balloon ascent took place
at the Northumberland Cricket Ground, Northumberland-street,
Newcastle, under the direction of Mr. Smith, lessee of the Victoria
Rooms, which resulted in the death of Mr. Hall, the aeronaut. It
appeared that he had made his descent with too great precipitance,
near to Scots House, on the Sunderland-road. On reaching the
ground the car was overturned, dislodging two bags of sand, as
well as Mr. Hall, whose leg became entangled in the rope-work.
In this critical position he was drawn upwards to the height of
120 feet, when he fell into a clover field, near to Scots House, the
residence of H. L. Pattinsou, esq., to which place he was removed
on two sheaves of wheat, which served as a stretcher. Mr. Hall
was afterwards removed to the Infirmary, where he lingered until
the 18th.

Sejytemher 6. — The Alnwick Horticultural and Botanical
Society held their seventh annual county show ia the beautiful
Abbey Grounds, which, since the commencement of the society,
have been granted by the Duke of Northumberland for the purpose.
The fame of the previous shows of the society, together with the
access which is afforded to the sylvan walks and glades of the
noble duke's grounds on the occasion, contributed, in addition to
the inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood, to bring special
trains, loaded with visitors, from the towns on the banks of the
Tyne and along the line of route from the south, as well as special
trains from the north. The grounds during the day were crowded
by a gay assemblage, who appeared to be highly gratified by their
visit, and after they had inspected the floral and horticultural treat,
enj<jyed almost equally the promenade on the green sward or the
retirement and rest afforded under the umbrageous foliage of the
woody retreats.

September 11. — The chapel of St. Mary the Virgin was
opened for divine service by the lately appointed Master, the Rev.
Robert Anchor Thompson. This beautiful edifice, which is connected
with the Hospital of St. Mary the Virgin, is most eligibly situated
on a fine, open, salubrious space, immediately in front of Rye-hill,
Newcastle, midway between Elswick-lane and Scotswocd-road.
The charity with which the chapel is connected originated, like


many similar charities, at so remote a period, or the origin of it
has been so obscurely handed down, that it cannot be traced
clearly further back than the time of James the First, in whose
reign it was reconstiucted by royal charter. The objects of the
charity may be described as threefold, viz., the maintenance of an
hospital for the eleemosynary residence of the brethren, of a
residence for the master, and of an establishment for the education
of youth. To support these various objects a quantity of property,
situated between the old Spital and the river, now occupied by the
Central Railway Station, besides other properties situated in the

Online LibraryT FordyceLocal records; or, Historical register of remarkable events which have occurred in Northumberland and Durham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Berwick-upon-Tweed, with biographical notices of deceased persons of talent, eccentricity, and longevity; (Volume 1) → online text (page 44 of 58)