Updated 3 Jan 2009

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Wirksworth newspapers 1858

The following extracts have been found in the Wirksworth Observer or Wirksworth Advertiser around 1858, displayed on the Kodak reader at the Local Studies Library at Matlock, photoed from the reader, and transcribed at home.

1290  Stealing a diamond ring
1291  Charge of false scales
1291  Assault
1291  Incorrect scales
1292  River tresspass
1293a Fatal Accident
1294  Petty Sessions
1294  Charge of drunkenness
1294  Stealing fruit
1295  Incorrect weights
1297  Shocking railway accident  
1299  Petty Sessions
1300  Accidents
1300  Another accident
1301  Sheep worrying
1302  Petty Sessions

1304  Petty Sessions
1305  Petty Sessions
1306  Petty Sessions
1307  Sale of Lead Mines
1315  Middleton-by-Wirksworth
1316  Accident (Wirksworth)
1316  Accident (Alderwasley)
1317  Suicide
1318  The Gas Question
1327  The Impertinent Census Bill
1331  Death of Mr Reeves
1333  Matlock Bridge accident
1334  Accident on the High Peak Railway
1334  Lamentable accident
1335  Lamentable case of suicide
1336  Suicide of Mr Kay of Hob Farm
1340  Accident

Wirksworth Oberver 26 June 1858

County Hall, Friday, June 18.

Stealing a Diamond Ring
Mary Hollingworth, 16, of Idridgehay, was charged with stealing a diamond ring, the property of the Rev Henry James Cotton, of Dalbury Lees. - Mrs Cotton deposed that the prisoner came into their service in February last as under nurse, and remained until the 31st of May. After prisoner was gone she missed a diamond ring of the value of about £10 from a ring stand. Prisoner might go into the room, but had no authority to remove the ring - Elizabeth Hardy, servant to Mrs Hutchinson, Wardwick, and previously fellow-servant with prisoner, saw prisoner in Derby on Whit-Tuesday; the latter had a ring upon her finger, which she said was worth £12, and that a gentleman had given it to her in Derby - Police-constable John Hallam apprehended prisoner at Mr Ault's, Quarndon, on the present charge. At first she denied all knowledge of the ring, but afterwards went up stairs and brought him the ring produced - Prisoner pleaded guilty - Dr Peach, in passing sentence, said: There is some suspicion that you have taken other things, and the Magistrates have given you an opportunity of restoring them, but you deny that it is true. It is a very bad case, and must be visited with considerable punishment. You are committed for six months with hard labour.

Wirksworth Oberver 14 Aug 1858

Wirksworth Petty Sessions August 3rd

CHARGE OF FALSE SCALES - Mr Burton, superintendant of police, charged Benjamin Clayton, grocer, of Middleton-by-Wirksworth, with having on the 24th ult, used scales which were 1¼ ozs against the purchaser. Burton stated he had previously examined defendant's scales and weights, and found them quite correct, but as they were now incorrect the Bench inflicted the usual penalty of 10s, and 10s 6d expenses.

ASSAULT-James White charged George Buckley with having assaulted him at Matlock. This was a mere boys' quarrel, and after the examination of a number of witnesses, chiefly boys and their fathers, the case was dismissed, the Bench ordering the expenses, amounting to 7s 6d, to be equally divided between plaintiff and defendant, the Bench remarking that the case ought not to have been brought to the cought at all.

INCORRECT SCALES-Superintendant Burton charged Benjamin Spencer, of Middleton-by-Wirksworth, with having on the 24th ult, used scales 1½oz against the purchaser. Burton stated that had the scales been properly cleansed, he believed they would have been correct, but that they were not so; he further stated that on a previous occassion he had found the same scales half an ounce wrong, and had then complained.- Defendant was fined 10s, the expenses being 10s 6d, and informed that another offence would certainly be met by a much more serious penalty.

Wirksworth Oberver 28 Aug 1858


This case, which was of considerable local importance, occupied the attention of the court for some hours. Mr Stone apperared for the plaintiff and Mr Harward, for defendant. - The real meaning of the action was this: Mr Walker, who keeps one of the Matlock Museums, has for many years had the privilege of letting out boats for hire on the River Derwent, at Matlock, his father having enjoyed a similar privilege for a great number of years previously. During the course of the present summer, Mr Buxton, who keeps another Museum, and who has property which extends in two places to the edge of the river, has also recently purchased boats for the purpose of letting them out also, and Mr Walker believing he had no right to do so, brought this action, claiming the nominal sum of £5 as damages, for having taken persons in a hired boat from his house down the river to the weir, and in so doing having tresspassed on land, covered with water, which plaintiff rented from F Arkwright, Esq and the proprietors of the Old Bath Hotel. After numerous witnesses had been examined, the fact of defendant having let boats for hire was proved, the Judge decided that the river Derwent was not a public navigable river like the Thames or the Trent, and, although it was proved that many other persons had let boats for hire at various periods, still there had been no continuous using of boats proved - Mr Stone, in a speech of considerable length, remarked that the object was not to obtain damages, but to ascertain the respective rights of plaintiff and defendant. It had been proved that plaintiff had at least at one part the privilege of both sides of the river, and there certainly did not appear to be such a right in existence as that claimed by defendent. If, indeed, such a right existed, any person having a few yards of land by the water side might fill the river with boats, and thus deprive his client of the benefit which he ought to derive from renting both sides of the river. - His Honour in summing up said that every person having land extending to the side of the river, had a right to the use of it for general purposes as far as the centre, but no further, except by an understanding come to between the parties, and as there was no precedent to show to the contrary, in his opinion defendant had committed a trespass, but, as damages were stated not to be the object, he would give a verdict for plaintiff, damages £2, with costs of witnesses - It was understood the case would be referred to a higher Court.

Wirksworth Oberver 4 Sep 1858

FATAL ACCIDENT - It appears that on Wednesday Aug 25, as Benjamin Mould of this town, aged 17, was emptying a quantity of gunpowder, from 10 to 12 lbs out of one vessel into another in the bottom of the old end mine at Crich, by some means the whole of the powder exploded and so burnt and mutilated the unfortunate young man that he died the day following. What is very extraordinary deceased climbed from the bottom a distance of 90 fathoms. [1 fathom=6 feet]

See email from Steve Thompson

Wirksworth Observer 4 Sep 1858


The routine business of renewing public-house licences occupied the attention of the Court from about eleven till after one. Mr Burton, superintendent constable, made complaints of irregularities in three public-houses in the district, stating that he had been requested by the Bench to name the irregularities complained of on the licensing day; it, however, appeared that the houses had been better conducted since the original complaints had been made, and as there was no pressing for penalties, and the landlords were all dismissed with cautions for the future only, we decline to mention either their names or the signs of their houses.

CHARGE OF DRUNKENNESS - Police constable H Clayton charged Henry Wain with having been drunk and disorderly at Idridgehay, on the 24th August - Wain admitted the offence, but pleading extenuating circumstances - The Bench however, intimated to the effect that proved cases of inebriation - especially when accompanied by disorderly conduct - must always be met by a fine, no matter how respectable the offender might be. Fines 5s and expenses.

STEALING FRUIT - Mr John Swindell, a butter dealer, of Kirk Ireton, who occupies an orchard and a little land at the place named, charged two boys, named David Cockey[ne] and William Millington, with having stolen about a quarter of a peck of apples from one of prosecutor's trees a few days previously. The boys had been caught in the act, and there was nothing in the shape of a defence; their parents, who were decent people, were present, and expressed their sorrow at what had occurred, and they would take all the care they could of their children for the future. Prosecutor said that he had been previously robbed, but not as he was aware of by the two boys now under examination, and he expressed a wish that the Bench would deal mercifully with the children - The Chairmen informed both the boys and their friends, that they - the boys - had rendered themselves liable to a heavy fine, or a considerable period of imprisonment with hard labour, and that another proved offence would be still heavier punished; but in consequence of what prosecutor and their parents had just stated, they were let off with a fine of 6s 6d each, the expenses being 13s 4d each.

[ ¼ peck = ½ gallon = 2.25 litres]

Wirksworth Observer 18 Sep 1858

Petty Sessions

INCORRECT WEIGHTS - Superintendent Burton charged a corn dealer, named [Francis] Barton, with having used weights which were incorrect and against the purchaser, at the Steeple Houses wharf, near Wirksworth, on the 23rd August - Mr Stone, for defendent, endeavoured to prove that the weights in question had been purchased of John Marsden, of Wirksworth, as old Iron, and were merely at defendent's wharf in transitus, but it appearing that the possession had been proved at a public wharf, and Mr Stone's witnesses could not substantiate that they never had on any occasion been used for weighing at the wharf, defendent was convicted in the penalty of 5s, the expenses being 10s 6d.

Burton next charged Samuel Frost with a similar offence, at the same place, on the same day. It did not appear that there had been any intention whatever of doing wrong, either in this case or the previous one, and that false weights were in possession simply through neglect. - The Bench, however, would not permit even neglect to operate injuriously on the purchasers of coals, and defendent was find 5s and expenses.

Wirksworth Advertiser 6 Nov 1858

at Matlock Bridge Station
Two persons killed

It is our painful duty to record this melancholy accident which occurred on the morning of Monday last, and resulted in the death of a lady named Mrs Royale, (wife of Mr Royale, late confidential valet and interpreter to the recently deceased Duke of Devonshire, and who had journeyed with the above named nobleman many thousands of miles on the European continent) and a porter named George Wall. It appears that just as the 9:10 am train from Ambergate to Rowsley came out of the short piece of tunneling before arriving at Matlock Bridge Station, Mrs Royale attempted to cross the line to go by the approaching train. The porter, who was on the opposite side of the line and at this end of the platform, seeing her danger, and after urging her in vain to keep back, sprang towards her with a view doubtless of keeping her on the up line. Unfortunately however, both met on the down line, and before they could make their escape to one side or the other, the train struck them, although a desperate effort had been made both by the driver and guard to stop it. Both the unfortunate persons were thrown across the rails, and the whole of the train passed over them, mangling both bodies in a most frightful manner. The sight before us (for we were eye-witnesses) was most horrifying; the head of the lady was almost completely severed from the body, and so dreadful was the mutilation that for some time after her identity was mistaken. The porter was also frightfully mangled, the train having passed over his leg and other parts of the body, so that by the time the train had stopped he was quite dead. Never have we seen this neighbourhood thrown into such a state of consternation, and we trust that this shocking catastrophe will prove a warning to all travellers (in this neighbourhood especially) against attempting to cross the line when there is a train approaching. How often has this been urged, but how little attention is paid to this warning? If not for ourselves we are duty bound on account of others to use all the caution, patience, and forethought we possess. The present melancholy case brings this very forcibly before us without any further argument. A few minutes of time waited and no accident would have occurred. The case of the unfortunate porter is very distressing. About three months ago his wife died, leaving him with three young children who are now left entirely unprovided for. We scarcely consider it necessary to remind the philanthropic portion of our readers that it is truly a case for their consideration. George Wall bore an excellent character, and the peculiarly distressing circumstances of his death call for every assistance it may lie in our power to give. We should be glad to hear of a subscription being got up for the benefit of the orphan children.

[THE INQUEST follows this article on the same paper.]

Wirksworth Advertiser 6 Nov 1858

Moot Hall, Wirksworth
Tuesday Nov 2 1858
Before C.Clarke, Alfred Arkwright, F Goodwin and E Wilmot, Esquires

C Radford, esq, Tansley, charged Job Browning, a boy aged 14 years with setting fire to some cotton in the Tansley Cotton Mills. A young woman who worked in the mill saw the boy with a match in the mill and told him to put it in his pocket. There is a notice up forbidding all hands from bringing matches or any other kind of lighrs into the mill. Mr Rowbottom, the mamager, said that after the fire was extinguished he began to make enquiries, and the last witness told him about the boy Bunting having a match, upon which he sent for him but he could not be round for some time. When found the boy admitted playing with a "cracker", and that he rubbed it with a match, that it ignited and the sparks flew into the cotton. The boy had been with them for about two years, they had no occcasion to complain of his general conduct, - C C Radford, esq, said he did not think the boy had intentionally set fire to the cotton, but he considered the result might have been so serious that it was his duty to bring him before them, for a caution against any repetitions of it. - The bench after reprimanding him very severely told him if he had been committed and found guilty of a wilful intent to fire the mill he would have been liable to be transported for 10 years. Dismissed with a severe caution.

Michael Gleeson, a licensed hawker, charged William Ludlam with stealing a pair of braces from his basket. Plaintiff did not appear before the bench having reason to believe attempts were being made to compound the felony, remanded the prisoner until Yuesday nnext, and ordered the plaintiff to be brought as well. Bail allowed in two £10 surities, and himself for £20.

Edward Brookes, of Middleton, licensed victualler was charged with having his house open at half-past 12 am, on the morning of Sunday, the 24th ult. Mottishaw, the policeman on duty, went into the house and found three men drinking, it was then half-past twelve. Defendant said they were then upon business and had been waiting for him coming from Wirksworth, and could not be expected to sit there without something to drink. He called John Hooson, who said he went there to receive some money and was waiting for him coming in. Defendant afterwards admitted getting home about half-past ten. The bench considered he had sufficient time to transact his business before twelve o'clock. Convicted in the penalty of 20s, and costs 10s 6d.

Superintendent Burton next charged Thomas Hall, of Bolehill, with having unjust and false weights and scales. He had been cautioned only two months previously. The scales were 1oz short and a lead weight unstamped ¼ oz short. Convicted and fined 20s and 10s 6d costs.

Serjeant Rust had a complaint to make against a number of young men and boys congregating in the Market-Place, in this town, and other thoroughfares at night. Several of the inhabitants had complained to him of the great nuisance and requested him to disperse them. He had frequently attempted to do so, but was always met with hissing and very bad language. He knew many of them. They seemed to think he had no power to disperse them. The bench at once gave him orders to arrest any whom he found making a disturbance, or in any way annoying the public, and they would show them whether they had the power or not.

Wirksworth Advertiser 20 Nov 1858


ACCIDENTS-Within the last few weeks, similar accidents have occurred to two young women, respectively named Mary Eaton and Hannah Taylor, both employed in Masson cotton factory. In each case, one hand was drawn between two wheels of contrary motion, and badly crushed. Such accidents, however, we are glad to state, are of very rare occurrence, and are chiefly generated by neglect, rather than by an unguarded position of the machinery.

ANOTHER ACCIDENT - On Saturday, the 6th instant, John Hacket, a labourer employed on the Cromford and High Peak Railway, met with a severe accident which, but for his presence of mind, might have been attended with more serious consequences. It would appear that he has to attach the wagons to the wire rope at the bottom of the incline plane, when the same began to move up the plane. It is his place to go up as far as the curve upon the plane, and see that the wire rope keeps on the wheels at the curve, and there meeting the down wagons to jump on, and get down again to take them off at the bottom. As he was getting on while it was in motion, his foot slipped between the wagon and the wheel. Fortunately by pulling a red handkerchief out of his pocket, he signalled to the men at the bottom, when the waggons were instantly stopped and assistance rendered. The poor man's leg was found very badly hurt, the flesh being torn away by the friction of the wheel. Had he not had a strong nerve and acted as he did, it might have cost him his life.

Wirksworth Advertiser 29 Jan 1859


SHEEP WORRYING - on the morning of Saturday last, 30 sheep were discovered to have been worried during the night. Upon examination it was ascertained that a man passing about eleven o'clock the night previous, heard a dog barking furiously, but suposing it to be poachers took no notice. Twelve of the sheep were found to be the property of Mr T Watson, nine of Mr T Smith, and the remaining nine of Mr Wm Wright. In hope of finding out whose dog it was that had caused such disastrous havoc, three sheep were left in the field and the place watched the following night. The plan proved successful for the marauder was shot on Sunday morning and found to be the property of Mr John Gregory, of Harborough. It is time something was done to put a stop to such attacks, as Mr Hall, of Hopton, had three sheep worried the week previous, and Mr Elliott, of Carsington, lost two from the same cause.

Wirksworth Advertiser 19 Feb 1859

Petty Sessions, Moot Hall, Wirksworth Tuesday January 25th 1859

Before G G Goodwin, C Clarke, A Arkwright, and E Radford, esquires

Noah Kidd, Wm Musgrave, George Hodgkinson, Jonathan Hodgkinson, and John Mason, all of Cromford, and Wm Debanks, of Matlock, were charged with wilfully damaging some birch trees, on the 9th inst., the property of P Arkwright, Esq. All admitted the offence excepting Wm Debanks, who said he had turned back before they got to the wood, John Shelley, the keeper swore to seeing him with the others; they were all squirrel hunting.- The prosecution was not pressed but wished to be remembered as a warning for the future. - Ordered to pay the costs, which amounted to 4s each.

John Kelly was charged with being drunk at Wirksworth, on the 18th inst. Defendant admitted being "fresh", and in extenuation said he was an old soldier and had a crack in his head.- Ordered to pay costs amounting to 15s, six weeks allowed for payment.

Elizabeth Pearson v John Wall.- This was a case of affiliation, adjourned from last sitting. Mr Stone appeared for defendant and based his defence upon a quibble of the law, but was overruled by the bench.- Order granted 2s per week, to commence from date of application.

Esther Holmes v John Carding. - This was another case of affiliation, and evidence was brought to prove that defendant had offered £10 to be freed from any further liabilities.- Order granted 2s per week from time of birth.

Thomas Cooper (18), Job Vaines (16), and Wm Buckley (14), all of Matlock, were charged with stealing two pigeons, the property of Sarah Marshall, of High Moor Farm, Crich, on Sunday, the 23rd inst. - Sarah Marshall said that the three prisoners came and wanted to purchase one of the pigeons, but she would not sell it, and about an hour and a half afterwards she missed two two of them; the two produced were her property.- The prisoners pleaded "not guilty" but consented to be tried by the bench. - The case was most clearly proved against them and Buckley was sentenced to one month, and Cooper and Vaines each to two months imprisonment.

Wirksworth Advertiser 26 feb 1859


Moot Hall, Wirksworth
Tuesday February 22nd 1859
Before F G Goodwin, C Clarke and A Arkwright, Esquires

Eli Brooks of Matlock was charged with stealing two deal boards, valued 3s, the property of Mr John Wheatcroft, on Tuesday the 15th inst. William Walthall said he saw prisoner on the night of Tuesday the 15th inst, going through Matlock Bath about 8 o'clock with two boards on his shoulder, he was going along the road in the direction leading from the quarries occupied by Mr Wheatcroft. Samuel Smedley (a worker at the quarry), said, that in consequence of information received from last witness, they went together to Brooks's house and asked to see the boards, he showed them the boards now produced. They had been taken from the quarry. He told him they were Mr Wheatcroft's property and that he had better take them back, he said he would not for either him or Mr Wheatcroft. We then all three went to Mr Wheatcroft's, and he returned with us to see the boards. Prisoner then said that he would take the boards back to the quarry. John Wheatcroft said that he went to prisoner's house, and he offered to bring them back. He (prisoner) said he had taken the boards out of a mine near the quarry and did not know to whom they belonged. Since prisoner had been out on bail he had asked me two or three times to be merciful, I told him I would recommend him to the merciful consideration of the Magistrates. Police Constable Hancock went on the 16th inst, and told prisoner he was charged with stealing two boards, he said his brother had told him to fetch them from the mine. Prisoner afterwards said that his brother and another man had brought them out of the quarry into the mine, and that he had fetched them away to make a scaffold. Prisoner elected to be tried by the bench. Convicted for one month and hard labour.

Wirksworth Advertiser 26 Mar 1859

Moot Hall, Wirksworth
Tuesday March 22 1859
Before C.Clarke, F G Goodwin and A Arkwright, Esquires

Thomas Brooks, John Allen, William Byard, William Godbehere, William McDonald, William Pearson, William Phillips and Mary Seeds were severally summoned by Mr Street for non-payment of Poors Rates. The whole of the above persons were ordered to pay, excepting the last named Mary Seeds whom the bench excused because she was receiving parish pay. The reason why Mr Street considered a rate was due, was because Mrs Seeds had several relatives living in the same house, from whom, he (Mr Street) believed she received support. The bench enquired of Mr Street how often poor rates were collected, and on being informed that they were collected half-yearly, said they did not approve rates remaining so long, and remarked that if poor persons could not pay small sums it was not likely they could pay large ones. Mr Street in reply urged that according to his experience the present mode was the best.

Isaac MacIntosh, of Matlock, was charged by Mr Matthew Marsh, of Low-lees Farm, near Matlock, with having stolen on the 18th inst., a harrow tooth, the property of the said Mr Marsh. Both Mr Marsh and his son swore to the iron tooth, which Police Constable Hancock produced, having found it on prisoners person. Prisoner pleaded guilty, but said he took it from a hole in the wall thinking it was of no use. Mr Marsh had previously missed several valuable pieces of iron, which he believed prisoner had taken, having frequently seen him on his premises when he had no business there - One month imprisonment.

Joseph Cockayne, of Lea, was charged with being drunk and disorderly at Holloway, on Sunday morning, the 20th inst. - As Cockayne had been confined in the Lock-up since Sunday, the bench excused the penalty, and ordered him to pay the costs, which amounted to 7s 6d.

Ellen Bryan was charged with stealing on Thursday, the 17th inst, 6s 6d, the property of William Martin, Matlock Bath. - Sarah Martin said, I am the wife of William Martin. Prisoner came to my house on Wednesday evening and asked me to allow her to sleep there that night; I consented, and she slept with me. I rose on Thursday morning about seven o'clock and left prisoner in bed. There was 7s 6d in a small box in the same room; the box was not locked. I went and fetched a shilling out about nine o'clock; prisoner was in bed and seemed to me to be asleep. I left 6s 6d in the box; went to call the prisoner about ten o'clock, she got up and came down stairs directly, went upstairs again to do her hair, came down again and got her breakfast; she then put on her bonnet and went away, I had to go out to work that day. I locked the door and took the key with me; I went out a few minutes after her. I was not at home again until about half-past nine o'clock at night. When I went to bed I looked in the box and the money was gone. No other person had been in the house from the time of leaving in the morning. - Police Constable Hancock said he apprehended prisoner on Sunday and told her that she was charged with stealing 6s 6d from Mrs Martin. She said "I didn't take 6s 6d. I only took a half crown and a two shilling piece."- Prisoner pleaded Not Guilty of stealing 6s 6d, but Guilty of stealing 4s 6d - There were several charges against the prisoner for obtaining money and goods by false pretences - Committed to prison for 21 days with hard labour, and at the expiration of that period to be sent to a Reformatory School for 4 years.

Wirksworth Advertiser 2 Apr 1859

Moot Hall, Wirksworth
Tuesday, March 29th, 1859
(Before C.Clarke, F G Goodwin, A Arkwright, and E Wilmot, Esquires)

Messrs Ward and Son, of Matlock, were charged by Superintendent Burton with using a dray without having the proprietor's name written thereon, contrary to law. Defendant acknowledged the charge but said it was on the day previous to that on which the charge was made. Fined 5s, and costs 10s 6d.

Joseph Carline, of Starkholmes, was charged by Superintendant Burton with using unjust scales for the purpose of weighing flour &c. Defendant said the scales were right the day before Superintendant Burton called and the reason why they were then untrue was owing to his girl having weighed some salt and left a small portion in the scales. Fined 2s 6d, and 10s 6d costs.

Samuel Kirkland, of Kirk Ireton, was charged with being drunk there on the 26th March. Defendant admitted he was fresh. He called Mr Henry Matkin, publican, to "give him a character". The Bench:- Have you ever seen anything amiss by this man. Henry Matkin:- No. The Bench:- Did you ever see him drunk? Henry Matkin:- O Yes, many a time. (Laughter). Fines 5s, and 10s 6d costs.

Joseph Bottom, of Wirksworth, beerhouse keeper, was charged with keeping open his house after eleven o'clock in the evening, contrary to law. Defendant said he was acting according to instructions he received from the supervisor. The Supervisor not being present the case was adjourned until next meeting of the magistrates.

Ann Allen, Wirksworth, was charged with stealing a pair of boots, the property of Margaret Smith, but there not being sufficient evidence the case was dismissed.

Wirksworth Advertiser 9 Apr 1859

Sale by Mr J Poyser

Valuable Lead mines in the Wapentake of Wirksworth


At the Cock Inn, Cromford, on Thursday, the 21st April 1859, at Three o'clock in the Afternoon, punctually (subject to such conditions to be then produced, and in the following or such other lots as may be agreed upon.)

All that Lead Mine, Level and Sough, situate in the parish of Bonsall, in the county of Derby, called "The Ball Eye Mine", with the several other Mines, Veins of Lead Ore, and mineral possessions adjoining and belonging, called "Bunting's Mine", in Bradley Wood, "Blackwell's Pipe", "Cowper's Pipe" and "Munkser Rake" comprising a range of Mineral Ground extending over an area of about 30 acres, and now occupied by the Ball Eye Mining Company.
Also about 400 yards of Wrought Iron and other Rails, or Tramway and sleepers lying within the said Level or Sough, commencing from the Mine Hillock at the entrance and teminating at the forefield of the said Mine, together with the Waggon, Fly Wheel, Smith's Implements, 260 yards of Air Pipes, Augurs, and other working Stock, Tools, and Implements, belonging to the said Mining Company.
Upwards of £1,200 has been expended by the Company in driving the Level and Veins to their present position, and there are numerous other valuable Veins near thereto requiring only a reasonable outlay to explore them, and a further prosecution of the works will prove remunerative, as great advantages must necessarily be derived from the labour and capital already expended.
The Mine or Level is situate in the Valley leading from cromford to Bonsall, and is driven in a direction towards Matlock Bath.
Mr William Brookes will attend at the Rutland Arms Inn, Matlock Bath, on Thursday and Saturday, the 14th and 16th days of April, to conduct applicants to the Mines.

All that Productive and Valuable Lead Mine, situate at Middleton Moor, near Wirksworth, and called "Wigley" or "Bond Dog Hole", with the several extensive Veins of Lead Ore, Scrins, Pipes, and Mineral possessions belonging thereto.
Also, the Horse Gin, with Ropes, Kibbles, Rails, Waggons, and other plant and working machinery thereto belonging.

All those 18 twenty-fourth parts or shares of an in all that other valuable Lead Mine, called "Hopton Pipe", situate near to Middleton-by-Wirksworth aforesaid, with all the Veins of lead Ore, Rakes, Scrins, and other mineral possessions belonging thereto.
These Mines are situate in or near to one of the most valuable Lead Ore Fields in the county.
Lots 2 and 3 were formerly the property of the late* Mr Roger Knowles, Mine Agent, Wirksworth, and were worked by him to considerable profit for a series of years, and offer an excellent investment for a small outlay.
A portion of the Hopton Pipe Title is let subject to a rental or cope of 3s per Load on Lead Ore, and 2s per load on inferior Ore, and at the present time such Mine is productive.
Mr Elias Knowles, of Wirksworth, will show Lots 2 and 3; and further particulars as to any of the Lots may be known on application to Mr Stone, Solicitor, Wirksworth.

*[Roger Knowles died Dec 1858]

Wirksworth Advertiser 12 Oct 1859


Mr Llewellyn Jewitt, of Derby, has recently published an interesting little work entitled "The Matlock Companion and Visitor's Guide", and amongst the villages he has thought worthy of mention therein is that of Middleton-by-Wirksworth.....

"Middleton is perhaps one of the most quaint and genuine specimens of a Derbyshire mining village which the visitor can find in a long day's ramble. The houses or rather huts or hovels as many of them mat more appropriately be called, are as rude and simple, as picturesque and uncomfortable-looking, as the people who inhabit them, who are almost a race by themselves. The visitor who knows nothing of mining villages may perhaps be surprised to be told that at Middleton not only are the miner's cottages in which they, their wives and families, "live and move and have their being" and vegetate generation after generation, in some cases built not only close to the mouth of a mine, but that in others the shaft of the mine opens in the floor of the house itself, - the floors in may instances, being only the bare soil and rock. These huts, the miners in their quaint dresses covered from head to foot with the yellow earth, their hard features darkened by constant work, their wives loosely and picturesquely attired, and their dusty children rolling about the doorways and roads bare legged, bare footed, bare headed, and almost bare bodied."

["The Matlock companion, and visitor's guide to the beauties of Matlock, and its immediate neighbourhood, including also a brief sketch of Buxton, and short notices of places generally visited." by A. Jewitt, published 1834]

Wirksworth Advertiser 2 Dec 1859


ACCIDENT-On Saturday last, whilst Samuel Spencer, of Middleton, was engaged in getting stone at the works of the Hopton Wood Stone Company, a large piece of stone, estimated at about a ton weight, accidentally dropped from above upon him, but falling in an oblique direction, produced serious injury to his back and face, instead of immediate death as was expected by his fellow workswen. W Webb, Esq M D of Wirksworth, is in attendance upon him, and we understand that he is likely to recover.


ACCIDENT- On Tuesday, the 22nd ult, as Mr Phineas Peat, of Cuninglow Farm, was letting a cow loose from his cowhouse his fingers became entangled in the chain, one was dislocated and the other so severely injured as to require amputation, which was performed by Dr Webb of Wirksworth.

Wirksworth Advertiser 11 Feb 1860

SUICIDE - A lamentable suicide occurred in Parwich last week, the poor victim of the rash act being a shop-keeper of Matlock, named Moses Wheeldon. Rumour alleges certain discreditable circumstances as the primary cause of the man's flight from Matlock to Parwich, where he put an end to his life by hanging himself in a stable.

Wirksworth Advertiser 25 Feb 1860

To the Editor of the Wirksworth Advertiser

THE GAS QUESTION Sir- I do not think it necessary to reply to all the charges made by your correspondent, "Z" in your last week's Advertiser, because my replies to "X" chiefly embody the same. I cannot, however, avoid making some passing remarks on the censure he so liberally bestows upon the management of our Gas affairs. I wish the writer had made himself better acquainted with his subject before he stated his own fancies for facts. Our price for Gas has been reduced four times in sixteen years, and yet he says, "the enormous price now charged is greater here than anywhere in the country, and yet with greater facilities for procuring the material for making it". Now, Mr Editor, as we are paying 3s per ton for coal more than what is paid for it at Bakewell, and double the price it is obtained for at Matlock Bath and Belper Gas Works, what facilities have we to make our Gas cheaper? His concluding remarks, too, on the quality of our Gas, is just in keeping with his other ipse dixit; and I fearlessly appeal to our Gas consumers for their testimony to the contrary.

In the very style of treating the subject the writer seems to assume by calling upon "the public to speak out", &c, that the Gas consumers of Wirksworth have already advanced a sufficient sum of money to the Gas Company, either by gift or loan, to put the Works in the best possible condition, and complains that "for many years nothing has been given in return but promises of amendment; and therefore grumbling becomes a legitimate subject".

As this is not the case, the Wirksworth Gas Company can surely please themselves, as well as any other Firm, to what extent, and in what way they employ their own capital, without being dictated to by those who have no interest in their concerns.

All the succeeding committees of the Company have acted honourably and generously towards the public; and, whilst they and the other shareholders are amongst the greatest consumers of what they manufacture, it is to their own interest and comfort to make the article as cheap and good as possible; and this is a sufficient guarantee that the public advantage must be secured along with their own.
I am, Sir, yours obediently,
Clerk pro Gas Co
Feb 23rd, 1860

[Second master of Grammar school, registrar of births and deaths for the Wirksworth district, and clerk to the Gas and Coke Co.]

Wirksworth Advertiser 12 May 1860


Mr Toulmin Smith, in his Parliamentary Remembrancer, calls attention forcibly to the impertinent, arbitrary, and (if passed into law) tyrannical proposals of this bill. He says:

The present bill departs very widely from all its predecessors in the particulars which it requires to be answered by every one. In addition to the particulars that have been heretofore asked - namely, name, sex, age, occupation - every one will, under the bill, be compelled to answer as to the "rank, profession, and birthplace" of every person who is in his or her house on the night of Sunday, 7th April, 1861, "and also whether any were blind, or deaf and dumb."

A census is valuable, when properly taken, for certain definite purposes. But the propiety of it ceases, when it is made a cover for prying inquisitiveness beyond the line of a few precise facts. It will be impossible for any man or woman of self-respect to read the above demands - all of which are to be enforced under penalty of summary conviction - without a feeling of indignation. No man, of any sense of delicacy, would insist on knowing the rank, profession, condition [whatever that means], or "religious profession", of all his guests. To demand an account of the "religious profession" is, indeed, to make a statuary declaration that it is desirable to foster sectarian jealousies. No Man is bound to answer to any other man what his own "religious profession" is. The question, from whomsoever it comes, is an unwarrantable impertinence. An enforced answer is peculiarly offensive. It is assumed that there exists in England a National Church - which can only be such by being catholic, not sectarian. Sectarianism may delight in pains and penalties, and in enumerating its pledged votaries. A true National Church can require no "profession".

But there are other points in the present Census Bill that need attention. It proposes to empower the "enumerator" to "complete" such returns as "shall appear to them to be defective"; and to "correct" any that they shall choose to say are "erroneous". This is rather like the way in which the Ballot returns at Nice were made agreeable to France. It amounts to telling the enumerators that the schedules actually returned need to be of no account; those who collect them may alter or doctor them, and cook their statements of facts and figures, just as they like. Again, "instructions" are to be prepared by the Secretary of State. If such instructions are to be made, they ought to be contained in a schedule to this bill, so that they may be known and approved by Parliament. For it is to be observed, that not only is any man who refuses to parade his "religious profession" to be summarily convicted, but there is a separate clause expressly ennacting that whoever shall refuse to answer to any "enumerator" any "such questions as shall be directed in any instructions to be prepared by or under the direction of the said Secretary of State" shall be summarily convicted. In the Act of 1830 (II Geo IV and 1 Will IV c 30) the instructions were contained in a schedule. The same course ought now to be insisted on.

Wirksworth Advertiser 27 Jul 1860


DEATH OF MR REEVES - We regret to announce the death of Mr Reeves, for many years the organist of Wirksworth Church, which happened near Willenhall, under melancholy circumstances on Friday last. Mr Reeves it appears, who was on a visit to his mother, had eaten a hearty dinner after which he intimated his intention of visiting a friend about a mile off. On his way Mr Reeves suddenly fell down and expired. The cause of this melancholy event, was, we understand, appoplexy. Mr Reeves was an able musician, and was much and deservedly respected by all who knew him.

Wirksworth Advertiser 24 Aug 1860

Matlock Bridge

ACCIDENT- On Tuesday morning last an accident of a serious character occurred at the Cawdor lead mine, which fortunately was unattended with loss of life. Two men, Charles Webster, (son of the agent), and John Pidcock, of Cromford, were passing down the shaft on what are called the travelling irons, when some part of the machinery connected with the engine gave way, and the rope rapidly uncoiled from off the drum. Their descent became fearfully rapid, and they came to the bottom of the pit with tremendous force. The men, who had received severe internal injuries, were conveyed home and received prompt medical attention from Dr Cash, with whose aid it is hoped they will shortly recover.

Wirksworth Advertiser 31 Aug 1860


ACCIDENT ON THE HIGH PEAK RAILWAY - On Friday last, as three waggons containing various kinds of luggage, were being let down the Middleton inclined plane, the rope (which is a wire one) broke, and set the waggons at liberty, when they ran to the bottom at a fearful rate. A crate of glass for Mr Wildgoose, Cromford, a cask of whiskey belonging to Mr Wilson, of Wirksworth, were destroyed. The whole damage amounted to about £300.

LAMENTABLE ACCIDENT - We learn with regret that Mr Samuel Myers, jeweller, of Wirksworth, met with a serious accident at the railway station, Uttoxeter, on Monday morning. Mr Myers it appears was sauntering on the line and was watching the movements of a train in front of him, when a pilot engine came up behind him and knocked him down. He has received internal injuries of so severe a character that no hopes are at present entertained [of] his recovery.

Wirksworth Advertiser 28 Sep 1860


LAMENTABLE CASE OF SUICIDE - We regret to inform our readers that Mr Kay, of the Hob Farm, Wirksworth, killed himself yesterday morning at his residence, by cutting his throat. For some time past the deceased has been suffering from slight mental derangement, which was no doubt the cause of his thus putting an end to his existence.

Wirksworth Advertiser 5 Oct 1860


We last week briefly recorded the lamentable fact that Mr William Kay, of the Hob Farm, had committed self-destruction, and we this week add the melancholy details of the case. The deceased was 66 years old, and, we believe, was a man highly respected in the vicinity, and his premature end will be regretted by many friends. He had, it appears, lived on the farm nearly thirty years and had made extensive improvements upon it, which necessarily involved a considerable amount of expense and trouble. About two years ago, when the farm passed into the hands of a new landlord, he received a notice to quit and he was very much grieved and showed great agitation and anxiety of mind at the thought that he must leave the farm on which he had made so may improvements. His landlord afterwards gave consent for him to stay if he chose, but still the poor man entertained the thought that he should be compelled to leave the place, and was continually mourning and appeared very unhappy respecting it. In November last he became worse and was seized with fits of giddiness, from the effects of which he fell twice and slightly injured himself. He was then under the care of Dr Mant, of Wirksworth, and from then to the time of his death he had been in a very low state, constantly murmuring and expressing a fear of some approaching calamity. On Thursday morning he went out of the house, and was seen to pass the window in the direction of the cart shed, and his son going shortly afterwards to fetch him in the house, found him in the cart shed, resting on his hands and knees, with his throat bleeding. He was still living and his son carried him into the house, and a messenger was despatched for medical assistance, but the poor man died before its arrival. Some mystery at first presented itself, from the fact that the instrument with which the deed had been committed was nowhere to be found. The police were unceasing in their endeavours to find the missing instrument, the soil floor of the cart shed was brushed over, a garden adjoining wasweeded throughout, and the grass in the orchard and some corn in an adjacent field were mown with this object, but their efforts were unsuccessful until another search in the cart shed discovered an ordinary pocket knife buried in the soil about two feet distant from the place where the deceased was found. None of the principal blood-vessels of the neck were injured in the least, but the wind-pipe was completely severed and presented a ragged appearance, as though the deed had been the work of some blunt instrument. An inquest was held on Friday afternoon, at the George Hotel, before F G Bennett Esq, when Mr George Kay, son of the deceased, testified to the forgoing facts and R R Alderson Esq, surgeon, witnessed to the effect that the wound from its appearance was inflicted by the deceased upon himself, by such an instrument as the one produced. He stated, as his opinion, that had a medical gentleman been upon the spot at the time his services would have been unavailing, for death would be caused by suffocation, consequent upon the trickling of blood into the air vessels. The jury returned as their verdict, "That deceased committed suicide whilst in a state of temporary insanity".

See email from Stuart Flint

Wirksworth Advertiser 2 Nov 1860


ACCIDENT- A serious accident, through the imprudent use of fire-arms, occurred at Wirksworth, on Monday, to a youth named Edward Adams, of Middleton. The youth was loading an ordinary pistol at the time, when it exploded and shattered his fingers, nearly removing one of them. It was only on the previous Tuesday, as would be seen from our police report last week, that this youth was brought before the Bench for discharging a pistol in the public street, but through some legal technicality he was dismissed with a caution


Steve Thompson writes: re 1293a
Thanks for this item: I don't know very much about the mines at Crich, but there is some information about them in the various editions of "Lead Mining in the Peak District".

According to these books the shaft at Old End Mine was, at 912 feet, the deepest in Derbyshire to be sunk entirely in the limestone. The Crich Sough met the shaft at a depth of 420 feet, so clearly in 1858 some pumping was taking place, as the deceased is described as climbing 90 fathoms, 540 feet. Mining there is said to have ceased in 1864, but there was renewed activity from 1867 to 1879, and a brief revival for a few years after 1908.

In the 1940s the shaft was reopened to a depth of 300 feet by miners seeking fluorspar, but the shaft had been filled in sometime before 1968.

The shaft was located close to the junction of Great Rake, Shack Vein and White Rake at approx. SK 3456 5585.

Hope this is of a bit of interest...

Best wishes Steve

Stuart Flint writes: re 1336
William Kay who committed suicide at Hob Farm Gorsey Bank married Martha Wetton of Holehouse which is off Pratt Hall Lane Ashleyhay twixt Ashleyhay and Gorsey Bank I can see the farm from my front room window ..

The Wettons are of my allied kin as my Uncle Arthur Botham was son of Henry and Mary Botham nee Wetton of Gorsey Bank Uncle Arthur married my father's sister Leah Amelia Flint he a Pit Deputy at Clipstone Colliery retiring to Whitley Bay Tyne and Wear living near my cousin Harry Sprake Botham he named after my father and his brother John Botham who left Bolsover after the 2nd W.W. having served in the Army/Airforce during the war to open Garages and Vehicle Dealerships at Newcastle Upm Tyne and Lisles Taxis/Chauffer Driven Cars. I was offered a job by Harry as a Driver in my 20s .. John emigrated to Australia in the 1960s his daughter is my fellow family history researcher today she having married a retired Australian Assistant Chief Constable he born at Mansfield where he was a Police Officer

William Kays son George Kay had a daughter Anne Mary Kay who married James Slack son of George and Sarah Slack nee Butler Sarah daughter of John Butler of my wifes kin of Alderwasley George Slack was son of my 3XUncle and Aunt Samuel and Sarah Slack nee Land Sarah sister of my 2XGrandmother Hannah Land who married James Smith of Carsington .. Samuel Slack was kin of my wifes family of Slack of Middleton.. Samuel and Sarah's daughter Elizabeth married William Allen Flint son of my 4XUncle Robert Flint they emigrating as Mormons to Kaysville Utah in 1850 Samuel and Sarah's son Samuel married William Allen Flints sister Hannah Flint..

George and Sarah Slack nee Butlers children were:
Emma married Charles Phillips Hairdresser of Wirksworth he born in Warwickshire.
Louisa married Jonathan Logan Schoolmaster
Alfred.. William George.. James born 1867 married Anne Mary Kay dau of George Kay Farmer of Hob Hall Farm
Regards Stuart G Flint

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