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Elmsted Crimes, Incidents and Inquests & odd clips of News.

Copies of the Kent Newspapers are available on microfilm at Ashford Library,
and the Centre of Kentish studies at Maidstone.






1 Nov 1836 of the Kentish Gazette


A Private Notice:   dated 18th October 1836.
I, William Smith, of the Parish of Elmsted, have at various times circulated false reports of Mr. Thomas Marchant, of Brabourn; and he having kindly consented not to prosecute me if I would make a public apology for so doing, I therefore humbly beg his pardon, and acknowledge the reports to be totally incorrect.
Signed: William Smith, his x mark
Witnesses: Onslow Andrews and Henry Barton.
William Smith and Thomas Marchant are leading characters in the formation of the Chapel some 35 years later (Click)

6 March 1838 of the Kentish Gazette


Lady Honywood
has presented to upwards of thirty families living in Elmsted, such articles of clothing as they were most in need of during the late inclement weather. Such acts of liberality contribute very much to conciliate the esteem of the poor and to keep up that kindly feeling in the community which is so essential to the welfare of all classes. What is more, they never fail of their reward, when performed from a Christian motive, even in this world; and will be made the test of our sincerity here after.
nee Mary Hughes Hallett (1815-1884) wife of Sir John Edward Honywood.

30 Oct 1838 of the Kentish Gazette


Ashford Agricultural Association Annual Awards:
5 Pounds to John Taylor, in the  employ of Mrs Susan Newport, Elmsted for having brought up ten children without parochial relief;
1 Pound to Thomas Noble, a single man in the employ of Mrs Susan Newport, Elmsted for having lived with her on Elmsted Court Lodge farm for twelve years;
2 Pounds to Elizabeth Hopkins, single woman in the employ of Mrs Susan Newport for having lived with her on Elmsted Court Lodge farm for 14 years.
Susan Newport died in 1850 aged78 yrs.

26 Nov 1850 of the Kentish Gazette


TWO POUNDS REWARD Stolen or Strayed, from the premises at Evington, in the parish of Elmsted about the 12th November, a brown mare Donkey (aged) the property of the Trustees of Sir Courtenay Honywood Bart.; the letters C.H. burnt on the front part of all her hoofs. Whoever shall bring her back shall receiveth above reward, if strayed; and if stolen, a further reward will be given if the offenders can be brought to justice, and all necessary expenses paid by Mr. G. Newport, on the premises.
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02 June 1851 of the KentishGazette


A very sad and alarming accident, occured at the termination of the sports at Wye races. The carriage of H.B. Swete Esq. of Evington House, was on its return from Wye about seven o'clock, when the horses became unmanageable. The party consisting of Mrs Swete and two ladies, had arrived at the entrance to the park, and the gate was opened, when from the circumstances already named, the carriage was dragged with great violence against a tree at the side of the gate,and overturned. Mrs Swete and the ladies together with two female servants, were frightfully alarmed, and much bruised, but the coachman was the severer sufferer. One leg was fractured, and the other nearly severed from his body, adhering only by a small portion of the flesh and skin. The poor fellow bore the operation of amputation with great fortitude under the skilful hands of Mr Hulke of Deal. We are sorrry to say that he still remains in a low and precarious state. We have reason to hope that a few days will restore the ladies to convalescence.
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10 Mar 1857 of the Kentish Gazette


Evington: Sir Courtenay Honywood Bart. has caused two acres of ground to be laid out for cricketing under the superintendence of Mr. Fuller Pilch, it being the intention of the worthy baronet to form a cricket club at Wye.
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15 Sep 1857 of the Kentish Gazette


A cricket match was played at Evington on Wednesday between Wye and Evington clubs which resulted in favour of Evington. The teams were:
Evington's Team: Mr. J Newport, Mr. G. Church, Sir C. Honywood, Mr. M Cox, Mr. G Sankey, Mr. J Daniels, 'Spike', 'Larkin', Mr. J Philpott, Mr. R Newport, and Mr. Usher.
Wye's Team: Mr. T Raines, Mr. W Thorpe, Mr. H Kennett, Mr. F Raines, Mr. J Allen, Mr. W Payne, Mr. J Beaney, Mr. C Steddy, Mr. E Adams, Mr. G Theobald and Mr. G. Small.
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19 May 1857 of the Kentish Gazette


Suicide of Elizabeth Philpott
Inquest was held at Elmsted, on the body of a young woman,who had destoyed herself by jumping down a well. She had been accused by her parents of being pregnant, which she denied, and in a fit of vexation committed the act that deprived her of life.

Elizabeth Philpott aged 18 was buried 21 May 1857. Daughter of Thomas and his wife Mary nee Bailey.

28 Apr 1857 of the Kentish Gazette


Cricketing Season: it is contemplated by the patrons of this noble and health inspiring game, resident in East Kent, to make a neary attempt this season at reviving the spirit which once pervaded the Kentish youths of excelling in the manly art of cricket. Sir Courtenay Honywood has had, under the able direction of the veteran Fuller Pilch, an excellent cricket ground formed on his estate at Evington, for the use of the cricketers of Elmsted and its neighbourhood, and Edward C. Dering Esq. of Surrenden, has bestowed the like attention for that vicinity, while at Canterbury the St. Lawrence ground is likely at a nearly date to be the scene of provincial matches. In pursuance of a resolution come to at the close of last year, a club is about to be formed by the tradesmen of Canterbury for the purpose of occasional practice when the ground is not otherwise occupied, and for playing two or three friendly matches during the summer months. Members of this society can be enrolled at the Saracens Head Inn.
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07 Jun 1859 of the Kentish Gazette


George Over
was summoned by his master, Mr. Sutton of Bavinge Farm, Elmsted, for misconduct. It seemed that the defendant had complained to his master of the rhubarb pudding, and on being told that he need not eat it, behaved in a very insolent manner.
During the absence of Mr. Sutton at Dover, with the East Kent Yeomanry, defendant abused his mistress, neglected his work, and stayed out the whole of one night.
The defendant said he might as well take a dose of salts as eat rhubarb pudding-(alaugh)- and he did not begin to swear till his master set him the example.
The bench directed that he should have a change of diet for a month at St. Augustine's.
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6 Aug 1861


On Thursday evening, a large number of persons assembled in a field near the Woolpack Inn, to witness a match of Running between the Elmsted and Smeeth Clubs. Both parties went very cautiousy to work and not withstanding the great efforts made by the Elmsted club, the Smeeth, rather brisker than common, succeeded in gaining 6 strokes to their opponents 5. They afterwards adjourned to the Woolpack Inn, where supper was provided and a pleasant evening spent, being enlivened by the Mersham band, who played several lively tunes during the evening, and in addition there were several other musical performers.
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12 March 1861 of the Kentish Gazette


Thomas Birchett
, on remand, appeared in escharge of bail, on a charge of stealing a quantity of potatoes at Elmsted, the property of Sir C. Honywood, Bart.-
John Philpott, gardener to Sir Courtenay Honywood: On Feb 21st the prisoner was in the same employ as myself as assistant gardener. At that time a quantity of potatoes were kept in a heap in the shed in the garden, adjoining a greenhouse. I thought that some potatoes had been taken from it, and I suspected the prisoner, I went to his coat, which hung in a shed, and found in the pockets about a gallon of potatoes, of the same sort as those in the heap. On Feb 22nd, in the afternoon, I was watching, and saw the prisoner come into the shed, and take six potatoes from the heap, and put them into his pockets. I was so near that I was able to count the number he took. I let him go out of the shed with them, and as he was just leaving the garden, I asked him what he was gong to do with the potatoes he had taken; he said he was going to roast them for his dinner. I said "This is not the first time you have taken them," and I charged him with taking about a gallon the day before. I told him I should not think of letting him go , but should take him before Sir Courtenay Honywood and he untimately admitted that he had taken about a dozen or thirteen the day before. The potatoes were Regents, and about the value of 1 shilling. I then gave him in charge of the constable. Prisoner had not the privilege of taking any potatos for his own use.
Prisoner: When I said that I had taken the potatoes the day before, did I not say they were a sample? No.
Prisoner: Have I not been bringing samples to and fro for the last six weeks for you? Yes that's right enough.
Prisoner: Haven't you cooked potatoes from the same shed before? Yes, I have, but because I do so it is no reason why you should. By the court, I have the privilege of taking potatoes from that heap for my own use, as well as vegetables for the same purpose.
Edward Norris parish constable: I was sent for by the last witness. Philpott told me in the presence of the prisoner that the latter had been stealing potatoes. I asked the prisoner where they were: he said in his pocket. I told him he must give them to me, and he took out four and said those were all he had got. Philpott said he had thrown two down and handed them to me. I took the prisoner to the steward, and he asked the steward to forgive him, but he said he could not. Prisoner admitted to the steward that he had taken 12 or 13 the day before, but said nothing about their being for a sample.
By the prisoner: The only time you said anything about the sample was when you were coming from the Magistrates, after being remanded.
Philpott recalled: The potatoes produced are the same as were taken from the heap. After I had charged the prisoner with stealing the potatoes, he went to the heap and was going to throw them back again, and threw two into the heap. I said, No, you didn't take them to throw them back again, and immediately picked up the two, which I handed next day to the constable.
Thomas Burchett was committed for trial at the assizes.

Footnote: 18 June 1861 Edition: A correspondent alluding to the death of Mr. Thomas Burchett, which appears in our obituary of this day's issue, makes the following observations, which probably may, as he observes, not be exactly suitable for the columns of a newspaper, but as some within the circle of this district may be gratified by its insertion, we may accede to a request for its appearance:- "The deceased was highly respected and beloved by all who knew him. Nine years ago his father and three other persons, while engaged at hop picking at Sutton near Ashford, were killed by lightning. Among the large number assembled on the occasion only the four killed sustained injury from the electric fluid, and all belonged to Brabourne Lees and the immediate vicinity. That solemn visitation was not without its influence upon the mind of the deceased, who since that occurance may be said to have lived a life of preparation for death, and when the summons came he was 'ready to depart'. This may not be a fitting subject for a newspaper; but the interest felt by many in the welfare of this young man has induced the forming of this brief sketch, by one who visited the deceased during his illness. 

N.B.   Approximately 20 hop pickers caught in a storm near Sutton Valance on Tuesday 28th September 1852, sought shelter in an oast house. Between 4 and 5 o'clock a lightning bolt struck the cowl of the oast house resulting in the instant deaths of 3 male and 1 heavily pregnant female hop picker besides several injuries at the farm of Walter Stunt, Lested Lodge Farm, Chart Sutton.  The deceased were George Burchett aged about 50 who left a widow Charlotte and nine children, Stephen Kennett aged 22 a single man and native of Brabourne,  John Hogben aged 60 left a widow and six children and Mary Ann Ashman nee Burchett, aged 24, recently married at Brabourne to John Ashman, and a mother to Frederick Ashman aged 2. The tragedy  was reported as far away as Australia. [ detail of the inquest is available on GoogleBooks (Click) it is graphic!]

Thomas Burchett died 7th June 1861 aged 26 and was buried at Brabourne.

26 Nov 1861 of the Kentish Gazette


LOST! On Friday 8th November while hunting in the neighbourhood of Horton and Posting, a Bunch of Gold Charms and a Russian Coin.- Whoever will bring the above mentioned articles to Evington shall be handsomely rewarded.
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04 July 1863 of the Kentish Chronicle


A strange delusion.- On Tuesday, a stalwart man named Henry Leeds, belonging to Ashford, said to be an ostler, was brought before the Ashford Magistrates under the following circumstances. It seemed that he had started from the Victoria Inn, Ashford on the preceding day, and ran off into the country over fields and hedges and through King's wood for a distance of 25 miles and upwards, and wound up by undressing himself on the lawn in front of Sir Courtenay Honywood's residence, Evington. The man gave very collected answers to the magistrate's questions, and stated the circuit he took and the different parishes he went through. He alleged that several men were pursuing him with the design of flogging him; and that whenever he paused he could hear themrunning after him expressing that intention to each other. Two of the men appeared to be keepers belonging to the lunatic asylum. He added that he did not know any one was living in the house opposite which he had undressed or he should not have done so.
It is almost needless to say that no one had been running after him. He has been sent on three different occasions to an asylum, and was sent from Cranbrook six or seven months since. The bench made an order for his removal to Barming Heath.
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14 Nov 1863 of the Kentish Chronicle


Horse Stealing.-at the Magistrates' Clerk's Office, Hythe, on Saturday, John Hearnden, late of Willesborough, labourer, was charged with stealing a mare and saddle and bridle, Value 21 pounds 5 shillings and belinging to Mr. John Wood of Elmsted, farmer and inn keeper.
On the night of Monday the 2nd instant, prisoner who is known to Mr. Wood, slept at his house, The George Inn, Elmsted, and got up at about six o'clock on the next morning. Between 6 and 7 o'clock the prosecutor went into his stable and found that his mare and a saddle and bridle were gone.
On the evening of Tuesday John Earl, a labourer of Willesborough, met the prisoner on the road between the latter place and Ashford. Prisoner told him he had a won a horse raffling, and on the same evening Earl met him at the White Horse Inn, Willesborough, and he had then the mare and saddle and bridle with him, which he offered to sell to Mr. Earl, who refused to buy them, as he had all the horses he wanted, but lent him 3 pounds, and the prisoner then took the mare etc to Earl's house and left them there.
The prisoner was apprehended at Canterbury on Friday, and on the same day Superintendent Dewar K.C.C. took possession of the mare, saddle and bridle, which were identified by Mr. Wood.
Prisoner was committed for trial.

[see also 09 Jan1864]

The George Inn is located on Stone Street.

17 Oct 1863 of the Kentish Chronicle


At the County Petty Sessions held at Hythe on Thursday, George Taylor, of Elmsted was charged with stealing one plated spoon and other articles of the value of ten or twelve shillings, the property of his master Mr. George Cloke, farmer, of Elmsted, who deposed to the prisoner being in his employ as all-works boy. The prisoner was to leave on the 11th inst. and from some suspicion witness asked him on Tuesday night last if he had any objection to his looking into his box before he took it away, to which he replied "No." Witness accordingly opened it and found in a handkerchief the following articles; Three books, plated spoon,  knife,  brush, padlock and key, and two cur chains, all belonging to the witness. The prisoner pleaded guilty and was sentenced to be imprisoned at St. Augustine's Canterbury for one calendar month with hard labour.
George Cloke, son of Thomas Cloke and his wife Ann Maria nee Sayer. George was born in Hastingleigh and farmed at Spong Farm, Elmsted.

9 Jan 1864


John Hearnden 33, labourer, was indicted for stealing a mare, value 20 Pounds, the property of John Wood, at Elmsted, on the 3rd November 1863.- Mr. Wood, the prosecutor, stated he resided at Elmsted and had the mare in the stable on the evening of Monday, November 2nd, and missed it on Tuesday morning, and also a saddle and bridle. He knew the prisoner, who came to him on the 1st November, and asked the loan of the mare the following day to go to Sellindge and Saltwood. Witness assented to lending it him, but he did not come for it on Monday. The mare was not brought back, and on Tuesday witness saw prisoner at the Flying Horse, at Canterbury, and accused him of having taken the mare. Prisoner said the mare was safe at Willesborough, and that he had not sold it. Prosecutor then gave the prisoner into custody on the charge of ...... having stolen the mare, the bridle and saddle.
Prisoner, on being called on for his defence, told a long and rambling story, alleging that the mare had been lent to him, and that he had only borrowed the money of Mr. Erle to pay a debt he owed and had come to Canterbury to get the money of his uncle to redeem the mare and take it back to the owner.
After some considerable time had elapsed in the jury consulting together, they gave a verdict in the following terms:
"We find the prisoner guilty, but considering that it is a trumpery case recommend him to mercy."

Prisoner was also indicted for embezzling divers sums of money amounting to 3 Pounds, the property of James Smeed, his master, at Stelling, Elmsted and Stowting, in June and July 1863.
Prosecutor Mr James Smeed, a farmer at Whitstable, engaged the prisoner during the season of the past year, with an entire horse, for which 15 shillings was charged if paid ready money, and 20 shillings was charged if the price was not paid at the time and he returned the respective sums as due.
Prisoner, in his defence, said he had to keep horse out of the money he took.
A verdict of guilty was returned.
Sentence 12 months for stealing the mare and six months for the embezzlement.
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02 Apr 1864 of the Kentish Chronicle


SUICIDE:- On Tuesday the Deputy Coroner, held an inquest at Elmsted Court Farm, on the body of Harriet Hopkins, a domestic servant, who had committed suicide by precipitating herself into a well. The following evidence was adduced:
James Newport, of Elmsted Court, farmer: The deceased has been a servant of mine for eight years; she is about 20 years old, her parents live at Stelling. About two years ago the deceased was very low spirited, caused I believed, through an attachment she had for a man being broken off. For the last two or three days she has been more low spirited than before, and would keep very much to herself. I have never heard her threaten to destroy herself. A young man to whom she was attached lately has left her. About half past seven yesterday morning I saw her standing by the well on my premises moving the bucket; she spoke, but I could not hear what she said. I thought she was going to draw water; half a minute afterwards I heard a great agitation in the water. I went to the well and found one lid up; two pocket handkerchiefs were were laying there. I went for assistance and the body was brought up. The well is 20 rods deep. The deceased has been a very excellent servant to me.
Richard Harnden of Elmsted, labourer have known deceased since she was a child. Yesterday morning about 8 o'clock, Mr Newport called me to the well. I went down the well to the top of the water, and with grappling irons brought her up.
John Waters: I work for Mr. Newport. I have known deceased. Yesterday morning deceased said to me,as she was lighting the fire, it was the last time she would doso. She never told me a reason forher threats, which she was often repeating. She was crying very much yesterday morning. Verdict "deceased drowned herself while in an unsound mind."
This well was 330 feet deep.Harriet was the daughter of Stephen Hopkins and Sarah Bailey.

4 June1865


On Tuesday, Joseph Taylor, waggoners mate, of Elmsted , was bitten by a viper on the finger of his left hand, and admitted to Kent and Canterbury Hospital.
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16 Sep 1865


John White, of Elmsted, waggoner to Sir Courtenay Honywood, was admitted into the Kent and Canterbury Hospital on Saturday, with severe compound fracture of the leg. He was riding on the shafts of the waggon, and when near Petham the flies were very troublesome to the horses, one of them kicked out and struck White on the leg, completely shattering the bone.
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21 Sep 1867 of the Kentish Gazette


FIRE AT GREAT HOLT Farm on Wednesday the 11th September, about 2.30am as Mr. Hopkins, carrier, of Elmsted, was returning home about a mile and a half from Great Holt, on the opposite hill, he saw a small flame of fire run up the windward side of the clover stack, quickly enveloping the whole in a blaze. He immediately ran across to the farm and called up master and men, and they with such alacrity as admitted of very little attention to their toilette, ran out with all the blankets they could find, and covered the surrounding stacks of corn, and kept them saturated with water until assistance arrived. From 30 to 40 willing hands were soon on the spot; three or four got on to the stack, regardless of risk, and cut it out, the others mean while, carrying it into a field, and, by this means not only saved the whole of the remaining stacks, but also a good portion of that which was on fire. The centre of the stack being quite free from fire, was a proof that it was not from over heating, and it being thought by some that it was the work of an incendiary, Mr. W.G. Pidduck, inspector to the "County Fire Officer" in which the property was insured was instructed to investigate the matter. From the evidence he gathered, the remarks of labourers in the parish, and the respect in which Mr. Newport is held by all, and the generally expressed feeling that no one could possibly harbour any malice against him, the only conjecture arrived at is, that some wayfarer must have been lying under the stack and smoking. Mr. Pidduck immediately settled the claim, a promptness satisfactory to all parties.
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20 Nov 1883 of the Kentish Gazette


Notorious Poachers.- Charles Terence McNally, Charles Joslen and Charles Todd were charged with trespassing in search of game and coneys upon land in the occupation of Mr. C.J. Wood. John Hope, gamekeeper to Mr. Whiting of Thannington deposed: On November 9th I saw defendants in a wood at Milton. Todd had a guano bag under his arm, and when I attempted to take it Joslen took it and dared me to touch it. He told me that if I did he would knock my brains out. I saw some nets hanging out of Todd's pocket. Todd in defence said that he had been to Evington with Joslen and McNally to get some work on a building at Sir John Honywood's. As they came back they went to the wood and picked up a few nets. He did not know a rabbit net from a pig net. (Laughter)
Superintendent Wood stated that Joslen had been convicted ten times and McNally three times. The Bench imposed the small penalty of 5 shillings and costs. Defendants behaved in a noisy manner and were removed from court.

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