Skelton Methodist Chapel - Built 1877
Output of ironstone peaked in this year, but was followed by a depression in the iron industry and the lack of demand caused stock
piling of the ore at the pit head. Skelton Shaft mine and some others were closed altogether, while the rest went on to short time working.
Apart from the economic situation, iron had now to compete with steel and at first it was found that the
local ore had a high phoshorus content which made it unsuitable for the steel making process.
Bolckow and Vaughan introduced a new process at their Cleveland Works by which the phosphorus was converted .
The closure of N Skelton mine was considered and the future was in doubt for the next two to three years. 50 extra houses were
nevertheless built in N Skelton.
9th January - UNLAWFUL WALL.
John Johnson and James Sharpe, builders of Skelton, were charged by Mr Makins, surveyor to the Board, with constructing a wall near
the public highway on Boosbeck Rd, Skelton Green without permission.
10th January - POACHING AFFRAY NEAR SKELTON CASTLE.
A singular affray between two gamekeepers and a gang of young poachers was brought up at the Guisborough Petty Sessions yesterday.
Only one of the gang, a youth named Aaron Windross of Charlton's buildings had been apprehended and charged with trespassing in search
of game and assaulting a keeper with a stone from a catapult.
Mr Wharton's keepers, Pennington and Barker, were out with a shooting party from the Castle when they saw a gang of poachers on the
Earl of Zetland's land a short way off.
|Having had instructions to stop poaching on this land as well they proceeded towards the gang
none of whom were more than 17 or 18.
When they were asked their business one of them aimed a blow at Pennington with a stick and ran away. He was pursued and caught and
then gave a name that proved to be fictitious.
Barker in the meantime had caught another and whilst taking a rabbit from his pocket, the prisoner shot a stone from a catapult at his
head which whizzed past him with tremendous force. He also ran away but was chased and caught again.
He also gave a false name and was traced only with considerable difficulty. As he had been convicted 4 times previously, he was fined
£1 for trespass and sent to prison for 1 month for the assault.
10th January - TELEGRAPH POLES ERECTED.
At the monthly meeting of the Guisborough Highway Board, Mr Thomas Petch of Barns Farm Skelton presiding, a letter was read from the
Telegraph Department of the Post Office requesting permission to set up telegraph poles from Eston to Chaloner pit, near Guisborough and
thence to North Skelton. It was agreed to give the leave required.
Despite the severe weather of the past month most of the roads were reported to be in fair condition.
13th Jan. - DOG LICENCE. Jesse Barker of N Skelton fined £2 for keeping a dog without a licence.
7th February - SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION.
The polling booths at the new schools were occupied all day with the election for the new School Board. At 4 p.m.
200 disappointed householders had to be shut out without voting. The results were:-
Thomas Taylor, Grocer and Draper..850
W H Rayson..600
David Thomas Petch, farmer of Barns Farm..548
James Chisholm, Chief Engineer at North Skelton Pit..529
Charlotte Wharton of Skelton Castle..453
Skelton Methodist Chapel
George Hobbs, Engine wright of Skelton..447
John Thomas Wharton of Skelton Castle..359
John Dixon, Merchant of Skelton..339
John Allerton, a miner of Skelton..251
Charles Broughton, a miner of Skelton..61
William Carter Longstaff, grocer, beer, Skelton..21
4th February - MUSHROOMING.
Summary conviction of Elisha Wood of Skelton, labourer, for maliciously damaging grass growing on land belonging to and occupied by Messrs Bolckow Vaughan and Company at Skelton.
10th Feb. - NEW INSTITUTE FOR SKELTON GREEN.
A new institute on Boosbeck Rd, Skelton was opened by the Rev John Lindsey.
The institute had been formed by a few working men and was under the management of Mr G Latimer of Skelton.
It was well supplied with newspapers and books.
14th February. - PROPERTY NEGLECT.
George Lynas, builder, was summoned by Mr Makins, Surveyor to the Local Board, with neglecting to make certain improvements to his
property in Robinson Street, Skelton, whereby the said paving, channeling etc was done by the Board who now applied for the cost
£23 14s 1d.
Surveyor said he served notice on the defendant in February of previous year and he failed to carry out the work.
Bench ordered payment with 5% interest and costs to be paid within 14 days.
27th February - TRESPASS.
Thomas Clarke and Ellis Green were summoned by PC Calvert with trespassing on land at Skelton, belonging to J T Wharton and fined
1 shilling and 3d damages.
27February - DRUNK.
Summary conviction of Joseph Winter of Skelton, miner, for being drunk and riotous in the street. Offence committed at the township of Skelton on 27 February.
3rd Mar. - PINCHING BOOTS.
Arthur Newton of North Skelton was charged with stealing a pair of boots belonging to David Reeves, with whom he had lodged for about five
weeks and worked the same 6 till 2 shift at the mine.
Newton was apprehended at Leeds, wearing the said boots. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced by Guisborough Petty Sessions to six weeks
in prison with hard labour.
6th March - TROUSERS PINCHED.
Thomas Gallagher, a youth of about 18, was charged with stealing a pair of trousers and waistcoat, the property of Messrs Moore and Co,
drapers of Skelton.
Ralph Mitchell, shop assistant,said defendant came into the shop and bought a pair of braces, before going outside to where the stolen
articles had been left.
When he returned from the back of the shop they had disappeared. PC Imeson, of Skinningrove, said that when he arrested the defendant he was
wearing the items. The Bench did not think it was a good idea to leave goods outside the shop and took a lenient course of action,
committing the youth to prison for 14 days.
13th March - BEER LICENCES At Guisborough Petty Sessions the licence for the Duke William was transferred from Robert Hall to James
New applicatons by Christopher Lawson and William Carter Longstaffe to sell beer to be consumed off the premises were granted.
14th March - AGRICULTURAL SHOW STARTED.
At a public meeting held at the Wharton Arms Inn on Monday, under the presidency of Mr Thomas Petch it was unanimously agreed that
a show should be held annually at Skelton and officers for the management of the society were elected.
22nd March - SUICIDE.
Aaron Carter of Aysdale Gate was buried at Skelton Church. Suicide by hanging. Coroner's verdict was temporary insanity.
30th March - 'OH ITS MY DELIGHT IN DAYLIGHT'.
Summary conviction of William Green, Fred Rudd and George Bowler, all Miners of North Skelton, for trespassing in the daytime in search of game on land belonging to John Thomas Wharton esquire and occupied by Thomas Hall at Skelton.
8th April - NOT FAIR GAME.
Summary conviction of William Lowe of Skelton, miner, for trespassing in the daytime in search of game on land belonging to and occupied by John Thomas Wharton esquire at Stanghow.
10th April - CRUELTY TO MINE'S HORSE.
Summary conviction of John Burgess of North Skelton, horsedriver, for ill-treating a horse by violently kicking it about its body. Offence committed at North Skelton Mine.
11th April - POACHERS IN THE GILL.
William Green and Frederick Rudd were charged with trespassing in pursuit of game in the gill, between Skelton and Brotton on Good
Friday. Fined 5 shillings each and costs.
14th April - BOARD OF HEALTH ELECTION.
Messrs Shemelds Taylor, W C Longstaffe, Noah House and Richard Brader withdrew.
Elected: John Thomas Wharton, gentleman 655, Christopher Heslop, Stanghow, mining engineer 541, Edwin Tuck, grocer Boosbeck 473 and
James Walter Trevenor, Lingdale, builder 374.
14th April - POACHERS.
William Green and Frederick Rudd were charged with trespassing in pursuit of game on land occupied by Thomas Hall and owned by
J T Wharton. PC Calvert said they had 4 dogs and were ranging the land beating the bushes. Fined 5 shillings and costs.
17th April - TRESPASSING FINE.
Summary conviction of William Ward, George Fawcett and John Taylor all of the township of Skelton drivers for maliciously damaging grass growing in fields belonging to John Thomas Wharton esquire and
occupier by Henry Robinson at Skelton.
18th April. - NORTH SKELTON NEARLY BLOWN UP.
An accident which might have ended with terrible consequence occurred at the North Skelton Mines on Monday evening. A gunpowder van,
containing two and a half tons of gunpowder, was being conveyed by rail to the mines.
After being taken up the branch which connects with the Saltburn and Loftus Railway, it was unfortunately run into the coal siding
for the fire holes, instead of the siding for the magazine, where the powder is stored.
The fire-holes siding, as it is called, is on an incline and the gunpowder van was no sooner run into it that it proceeded with alarming
rapidity to the end of the siding.
Over this siding at a height of some 8 to 9 feet were pipes connecting the boiler with the engine in the engine house.
There were six in all and as the boilers and machinery here are of great size and power, the pipes were of considerable diameter and
The gunpowder van is fully ten feet tall and on the upper part of the van striking the pipes it went through the whole of them
with scarcely a perceptible check, snapping them as though they had only been tobacco pipe stems.
All the boilers, save one, were in use at the time as there was considerable steam up a slight explosion occurred, several pipes
connected with the boilers being damages.
The roof of the small house containing the donkey-engine, the engine which supplies the boilers with water, was entirely blown off.
Singular to say, the gunpowder van did not sustain the slightest damage in any way.
The man in charge of the boilers with great presence of mind, at once shut off the steam and Mr Robinson and Mr Wright the engine-wright
were sent for.
The connection between the boilers and the engine being severed, all communication with mines and the miners was stopped.
At that time there were 80 men underground and they had to be brought to bank by what is known as the back shaft.
Only a "kibble" [large metal bucket on a chain] could be used here and a considerable time elapsed before the whole of the men could be
brought to the pit's mouth.
The damage is estimated at £400.
19th April. - SKELTON CHORAL SOCIETY.
A concert was given in the National School Room, Skelton, kindly lent by their worthy patrons Mr and Mrs J T Wharton, who were present.
They were assisted by their conductor Mr Robert Bell, [Church organist and music teacher] and his String Band.
21st April - TRESPASS AFTER GAME.
George Bowler was caught trespassing in pursuit of game by John Pennington, gamekeeper, on land in the occupation of Thomas Hall and
belonging to J T Wharton. Fined 5s and costs.
21st April - SKELTON CHORAL SOCIETY.
Conducted by Mr Robert Bell and assisted by his String Band the Society gave a concert in the National School Room, kindly lent them
by their worthy patrons Mr J T Wharton and Mrs Wharton of Skelton Castle.
24th April. - CRUELTY TO A HORSE.
John Burgess, a driver, at North Skelton mines was charged by the Manager, Mr George Robinson with cruelly ill-treating a horse.
A rolleyman called Boothy saw him kicking his horse on the shoulder and breast. When he refused Boothy tried to drag him away and
was threatened with the same treatment.
The horse was found to be lame and has not worked since. Fined £2 or 2 month's imprisonment.
7th May - CRUSHED TO DEATH.
Skelton Park Pit. John Fincham, a miner aged 50 was killed when he was crushed between two tubs.
12th May - MINERS DEMONSTRATION.
The Annual Miners Demonstration is to take place on the 26th of this month at Skelton in a field loaned by Mr Stephen Emmerson, the
Mr Burt MP and many other are to address the crowd on "Trades Unions, Past Present and Future", "Education, Co-operation
and Temperance" and other subjects. Most of the lodges from the surrounding villages of Cleveland will meet at Saltburn in the forenoon and
march in procession to Skelton. Usually the schools were given a days holiday.
8th May - FIRE AT MINE.
On Saturday a dangerous fire broke out in the workshops at Longacres Mine, Skelton. It burned with great fury causing great fear that
it could come into contact with a powder magazine near at hand.
It was however brought under control before it could damgage the shaft gearing. It is only 2 or 3 years since another fire at the same mine
destroyed a great quantity of the tubbing and shaft and caused damage to the extent of £3,000.
12th May. MINERS BADLY INJURED.
Skelton Park Pit. Frederick Dawson and John Wormsley were erecting timbers when the roof collapsed on them, injuring them severely.
17th May. - SUICIDE - POISON
Mary Ann Lawrence of Lingdale was buried at Skelton Church. Suicide by poison. Verdict. Temporary insanity.
19th May - DOG POISONING IN CLEVELAND.
Much excitement exists in Marske by the Sea in consequence of a recent attempt to poison the dogs in the place.
No less than 20 animals have been poisoned. Amongst the most valuable were a harrier belonging to Mr John Thomas Wharton of Skelton Castle, 2 greyhounds of Mr Charles King and Mr William Suggett,
a terrier owned by Mr R Burrows and a flusher in the possession of Mr William Agar. The Police are dealing.
20th May - MINE HORSEDRIVERS DAMAGE WOOD AND ASSAULT WOODMAN.
Summary conviction of Robert Armstrong, Stephen Wear, John Oakley and Thomas Oakley all of Skelton, drivers for maliciously damaging the underwood of a plantation belonging to the Earl of Zetland.
Armstrong was also convicted for assaulting Thomas Husband of the township of Upleatham, woodman.
21st May - LEMONADE CART - DRUNK DRIVER.
At Stokesley County Court a 16 year old named Henry Wilson from Loftus was sued for £5 for running down and damaging a cow on the
highway between New and North Skelton.
It was alleged that a boy was driving a cow down the road when Wilson deliberately steered the horse driven lemonade cart into it, knocking
it down with one of the shafts and then asked why the cow had stopped his horse.
An allusion was made to him being drunk as he had recently been convicted of being drunk in charge of his cart at Carlin How.
Verdict was found for the plaintiff.
21st May - POACHER'S GREYHOUND IMPOUNDED.
At the same court Mr Pennington, gamekeeper for Skelton Castle was sued for detaining a greyhound belonging to James Brunton, a local
3 men, named William Green, Fred Rudd and George Bowler with 4 dogs were found on Skelton Estate in pursuit of game.
Pennington had claimed one of the dogs but His Honor found that it would be bad law to allow him to detain it and found for the
22nd May - TRESPASSING.
Summary conviction of Stephen Foster, Harrison Dale, James Warwick, John Warwick and Thomas Simmons all of Skelton for maliciously damaging grass growing in a field belonging to John Thomas Wharton esquire and occupied
by Charles Broughton at Skelton.
24th May - BEER.
Richard Mead, beer and wine dealer of Skelton, was fined £1 for allowing beer to be consumed on his premises.
26 May - WOMAN ASSAULTED.
Summary conviction of Robert Gray of Skelton, miner, for assaulting Elizabeth Mary Gray of the township of Skelton.
Queen Victoria Shilling 1877.
12 Pence in 1 Shilling. 20 Shillings in 1 Pound.
One shilling in 1877 would buy 8 pints of beer.
It is difficult to give a modern value.
Using the Retail Price Index it is about £3 in 2010.
Using Average Earnings it is
7th June. - BUILDER BANKRUPT.
In the Matter of Proceedings for Liquidation by Arrangement or Composition with Creditors, instituted by William McLean, of
Skelton-in-Cleveland, in the county of York, Builder. Notice is hereby given, that a First General Meeting
of the creditors of the above-named person has been summoned to be held at my offices, 36, Gosford-street,
Middlesborougb aforesaid, on the 30th day of June, 1877, at one o'clock in the afternoon precisely......
9th June. - DRUNKS ON PUB PREMISES.
William Dobson, landlord of Skelton was fined £2 10s for allowing drunks, namely William Dodgson and Robert
Hardy,on his premises. One of these had dropped down in the passageway and was asleep. Since the offence was not of a serious character,
Guisborough Petty Sessions only fined him the above amount with 13s 6d expenses. His license was not endorsed.
14th June. - MINES DEATH.
Longacres Mine. Charles Roberts of Fogga, a miner aged 35,was killed. "A shot had been fired which did not bring the
stone down he was preparing for another shot without first having set a prop or stay under the overhanging piece, when it suddenly fell."
19th June - MINERS STRIKE.
Sir James Fitzstephen, the umpire in the Cleveland miners' arbitration, recently awarded the Mineowners a reduction of 1 penny per ton.
A number of men at Longacres consisting mostly of Horse Drivers refused to work on these terms and turned out. Their action had the
effect of laying in the whole pit and the men are now out of work.
23rd June - YOUNG WOMAN ASSAULT.
A young woman of respectable appearance, named Maria Grange, was summoned by Annie Grange, her sister-in-law, for assaulting her
at North Skelton.
The complainant, in company with her husband, was walking in a lane near North Skelton, when they met the defendant,who, at the instigation
of her husband, gave her a violent blow on the face.
Defendant admitted the assault, but said a great deal of provocation was given, complainant in the first instance striking her and using
bad language. This having been corroborated, the Bench dismissed the case.
23rd June - POACHING - Matthew Porritt, a young man, was charged by John Pennington, gamekeeper to J T Wharton, Esq with trespassing in pursuit of game
between Lingdale and North Skelton on the 6th June. Fined 10 shillings and costs.
27th June - BRASS BAND CONTEST.
At the Loftus Band Contest 6 bands competed for a first prize of £25. Brotton Brass. Black Dyke Mills, Mirfield, Saltaire, Skelton
and St Helen's [Auckland].
The Skelton Band played one of the most interesting portions of Mozart's Il Flauto Magico. Saltaire won with Black Dyke Mills second.
30th June - INDECENT ASSAULT,
John Fleming, a young married man, was fined 40s for indecently assaulting Margaret Donnelly, a servant at Mr Moore's public
14th July - PINCHING LETTUCE, BOOK AND ASSAULT.
At Guisborough Petty Sessions James King, a miner, was charged with stealing lettuce from the garden of Alfred Brighton of 17 Vaughan St,
N Skelton. Fined 5 shillings with £1 3s costs.
Sarah Jane Taylor of N Skelton was charged with stealing a child's picture book from Redcar Railway Station. Apprehended and kept in the
lock-up. Discharged by the Bench.
An Irishman named Peter Gowland was fined £1 2s 6d for assaulting Peter Reddington, a fellow labourer at Skelton on Sunday afternoon.
18th July - WILL NOT PAY FOR MOTHER IN WORKHOUSE.
George Collingwood, a working man, residing in Skelton, was summoned to show cause why he should not contribute towards the maintenance
of his mother, who for some time past has been an inmate of Guisborough Workhouse and towards whose maintenance his brother had been
paying since January last. Mr Cyrus Smith, the relieving officer, stated that the defendant had regular work and his earnings last month
amounted to £6 7s 6d. He had a son at work and there was only one child at home, a little girl. In January last the Guardians made an
order upon the old woman's two sons for 1s 9d per week towards her maintenance and although the one who was the worst off had paid
regularly, the other had failed to pay anything at all and was now £3 2s 6d in arrears. The defendant said he was badly off and could
not afford to pay anything, but on it being shown that he had a house in connection with a building society and was in fair
circumstances, the Bench made an order for the 1s 9d per week claimed. Owing to the section of the Act under which the proceedings had
been taken it was stated that the arrears could not be allowed.
25th July - DRUNK DRIVER.
A middle aged man, named Richard Carpenter, was yesterday fined 2s 6d and costs by the magistrates at Guisborough for being drunk whilst
in charge of a horse and conveyance at North Skelton on Sunday week.
28th July - DROWNED IN GUNPOWDER TUB.
An inquest was held in N Skelton mines office into the death of Elizabeth Hall, age 2 and a half, who had fallen into a
gunpowder tub which which was full of water.
One of the top ten wettest years on record.
2nd August - AGRICULTURAL SHOW.
The First Annual Show of the Skelton Agricultural Society took place in the picturesque grounds adjoining Skelton Castle.
9th August - TEACHERS APARTMENTS.
At the Skelton School Board it was resolved not to provide furnished apartments for the school teachers, but that the house at
Stanghow Lane be let to some person.
14th August. Mary Purvers was buried at Skelton, age 71. "A stranger who had come on a visit to Park Pit."
18th August - BOY ASSAULTED.
Corney Lynn was charged with assaulting a lad named George Simmons at Skelton on the 6th. Simmons with 2 other boys were throwing
stones, one of which killed a duck belonging to the defendant. When Simmons gave him insolence, the defendant caught him and
struck him. Case dismissed.
21st August - STRANGE ASSAULT AT NORTH SKELTON.
Christopher Lean was charged with assaulting Caroline Rosevar, a married woman on the 16th. Complainant said the defendant was a
next door neighbour and about quarter past five he came to her house, kicked the door open and went up to her bedroom.
On his coming downstairs she followed him to the door, where he struck her 4 times, knocking out one of her teeth and breaking a
piece off her jaw.
She produced a piece of bone and handed it to the Bench stating that it was a piece of her jaw.
A different version was given by PC Calvert, who said that the defendant never struck Mrs Rosevar, but she attacked him with a shovel.
22nd August. - BEER HOUSE KEEPER BANKRUPT. In the Matter of Proceedings for Liquidation by Arrangement or Composition with Creditors,
instituted by James Moore, of Skelton, in the county of York, Beerhouse Keeper. Notice is hereby given, that a First General Meeting
of the creditors of the above-named person has been summoned to be held at my offices, No. 1, Zetland-road,
Middlesborough aforesaid, on the 10th day of September, 1877, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon precisely.....
30th August - SKELTON WIN BRASS BAND CONTEST.
The first brass band contest took place in a field near Skelton Castle and although not favoured with fine weather proved a better success than was anticipated. First prize of £8 and a tenor sax horn value £4 was won by Middlesbrough, with South Bank second, Brotton band third andUpleatham Mines Band fourth.
In the second annual contest at Guisborough, which took place on Monday in Mr Henry Watson's paddock Skelton came first and were awarded £8, Brotton second and the 20th North York Rifles Volunteers, Guisbro third.
31st August. - SCALDED TO DEATH.
Mary Drury of Skelton, age 8 months, was buried at Skelton Church. "Scalded by teapot falling in the bed."
2nd September. - CHILD DROWNED.
John George Ross of Skelton, age 1 year, "drowned in a swill tub."
4th Sep. BANKRUPTS.
....John William Davison, of Skelton-in- Cleveland, in the
county of York, Contractor....
...William Carter Longstaff, of Skelton-in-Cleveland, in the North Riding of the county of York, Grocer and
...James Clarke Durham, of Skelton-in-Cleveland, in the North Riding of the county of York, and Thomas Wilson,
of Pierce Bridge, in tbe county of Durham, Builders, trading at Skelton-in-Cleveland, under tbe style or firm
of Durham and Wilson.....
Skelton Methodist Chapel First Right.
[Photograph kindly donated by Peter Appleton of Skelton.]
28th September - NEW WESLEYAN CHAPEL AT SKELTON.
On Thursday a new Wesleyan Chapel opened at Skelton in Cleveland.
This building, the foundation stone of which was laid by Mr David Dale
in August 1876 is a welcome addition to the architecture of Skelton.
Its position is very commanding and its appearance very pleasing.
It is of the classic style of architecture, the internal size being 70 feet long, 42 feet wide and 37 feet high with accomodatioon for
Behind the chapel is a school room to accomodate about 200, chapel keeper's house, stabling etc.
The cost of the building is about £3,000. Messrs Clark and M'Glasson of Saltburn were the builders. The plans were prepared by and
the building carried out under the direction of Mr Neil Macara, architect, Darlington.
At the opening ceremony there was a good attendance. The sermon was preached by the Rev Dickinson of Leeds.
The opening services of the next month were conducted by visiting Reverends and collections amounted to £170, which with subscriptions exceed £2,000. Over 1,000 people attended on each of the Sunday nights.
2nd October - ALLEGED INDECENT ASSAULT.
Benjamin Cole, a middle aged man, was charged with indecent assault at Skelton upon a young girl of 14 or 15 named Mary Eliza Greenhouse.
The girl stated she went to pay her mother's club money at Hutchinson's public house, the New Inn, Skelton Green. Then she went to
buy some candles.
It was a moonlit night and on the way back home a man, who was standing by some railings, seized her, threw her
down, committed the alleged offence and ran away.
The girl's mother confirmed that when she got home she was wet, her arm was grazed and the candles broken.
The defence said the prisoner was the father of 6 children and it was impossible for him to be at the place at the
time. A witness said Benny Cole was in the tap room of the New Inn all night and the Landlord said the same. Case dismissed.
3rd October - FIGHTING DRUNKS.
A miner named Nathaniel Martin was charged with being drunk and wanting to fight at North Skelton on the night of the 22nd.
Several previous convictions being proved against him he was fined £1 and 14s 6d costs.
At the same court session John Brown and Christopher Mitchinson were charged with being drunk and riotous at North Skelton on the night
of the 22nd. Brown had created a distrubance in the public house of Mr Horne and on being ejected by PC Calvert, who had to be called
in, both men assaulted him. They were fined 10 shillings and costs and Brown for refusing to quit Mr Horne's house was ordered to pay
a further 10s and costs.
12th Oct. BANKRUPTS.
....Matthew Wilson, of Skelton-in-Cieveland, in the North Riding of the county of York, Coal, Coke, Lime and
Builders' Merchant, and Commission Agent.....
...Isaac Smales of Skelton-in-Cleveland, in the North Riding of the county
of York, Slater......
13th October - THE PENGE CONVICTS.
An enquiry into the Penge case took place at the Home Office yesterday and Mr Cross went thoroughly into the real merits of the case.
He had a long conference with Mr Justice Hawkins, and also with some eminent medical witnesses.
The convicts yesterday received no visitors and no reprieve has yet arrived. The health of the convicts continues good as usual.
They are calm and apparently resigned, though the women still hope for a reprieve.
In reply to a petition signed by the principal inhabitants and tradesmen of Skelton in Cleveland, praying for a commutation of the
sentence in the case of Alice Rhodes and the Stauntons,
Mr Shemeld Taylor has received the following communication from the
Secretary of State.
Whitehall, 11th October 1877.
SIR - I am directed by the Secretary of State for the Home Department to acknowledge the receipt of your application in behalf of
Louis Staunton, Patrick Staunton, Elizabeth Staunton and Alice Rhodes and I am to acquaint you that the same will be fully considered.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
S F O LIDDELL.
Mr S Taylor, West End, Skelton in Cleveland.
[The convicts had been sentenced to death for the murder of Louis' wife, Harriet Staunton. She was a wealthy woman, but mentally backward.
It appears that he had married her purely for her money, which at that time became the property of the husband.
The case which aroused world interest brought about a change in the law with the Married Woman's Property Act.
Despite this evidence of popular sympathy for the convicts, all the evidence pointed to the fact that Louis in company with his
brother, sister-in-law and mistress slowly starved Harriet and her infant son to death. The death sentences were commuted to life
imprisonment and Alice Rhodes was pardoned.]
19th October - SEWING MACHINE EMBEZZLER.
Adam Stainsby Allison, a salesman and collector for the Middlesbrough branch of the Singer Sewing Machine Co was charged with
On the 2nd Aug he collected £3 14s from Miss Catherine Middleton, housemaid at Mr John Bell's Rushpool Hall, Skelton
in settlement of an account of £4 4s, but accounted to his employers for only £1.
On the 1st October he collected 3 shillings from Mrs Simpson, the wife of a miner at Skelton, but never paid it in.
The Bench sent him to prison for 4 months with hard labour.
24th October - FIGHTING DRUNK IN THE STREET.
John Pascoe of Lingdale and John Harker of Old Skelton were charged with being drunk and fighting on Saturday evening at Skelton.
Pasco had a crowd of about 200 men and boys around him when he was removed by the police and Harker after being ejected from the
Duke William Inn, where he had been creating a disturbance commenced a fight outside. The were each fined 20 shillings and costs.
A punishment of up to 12 strokes of the birch rod could be ordered for boy offenders up to the age of 14. It was not
abolished in England until 1948 and continued in the Isle of Man to 1962. Although called a "rod", it was a bunch of pliable birch
or hazel of specified weight and length applied in private by the police to the bare buttocks usually on the day of the sentence.
30th October - IN THE LURCH.
Joseph Dixon was charged with trespass in pursuit of game on land belonging to Mr J T Wharton of Skelton Castle and refusing to give his
name to the gamekeeper.
Mr Pennington said he saw the defendant with 3 other men and his lurch dog leave Skelton village.
He followed them and saw the dog being sent into a field in the occupation of Mr Petch. When he charged Dixon with poaching he
was struck to the ground, but kept hold of the offender.
Defendant said if he would let go he would give his name, but then ran away.
While Dixon was cross examined he gave the names of his mates and summonses were applied for. Fined £1 and costs.
17th November - GREENGROCER SUES.
James Stephenson, a miner of North Skelton, was sued by Nathaniel Garth, greengrocer at Brotton, for £3 9s for goods sold. Defendant
claimed that he had paid and produced a book to show that everything he purchased from the plaintiff had been put down in it, but
a leaf was found to have been torn from the book, the items of which had been impressed on the interleaved sheet of blotting paper.
He energetically denied this but His Honour pointed out that it was clear he had interfered with the book, but if he liked he
could prosecute the greengrocer for perjury.
28th November - 12 STROKES OF THE BIRCH ROD.
An intelligent looking and respectably dressed boy about 13 years of age, named Edward English, was charged with stealing a hand
lamp, the property of Messrs Thomas Vaughan and Co, South Skelton Mines.
John Thomas Carr, a fitter, said on Friday the 21st, about 5 in the afternoon, he locked up the storehouse, leaving the lamp safe.
The following morning he found that a window had been broken and the lamp was gone.
PC Lamb said he apprehended the prisoner in the Boosbeck Mines and charged him with stealing a lamp. He had
the item in his possession at the time and at first said it was his own, but afterwards said a lad named Burgess told him to take it.
The lad had nothing to say and his mother wishing the case to be disposed of by the Bench, he was ordered to receive 12 strokes with
the birch rod.
8th December - WHEN IS GAS COMING.
The fortnightly meeting of the members of the Skelton Board of Health was held on Friday.
The Chairman stated that they were £1.000 on the wrong side of the books; but this, it was observed by Mr Downey [Surveyor] was owing
to the Mineowners not having paid the Local Board rates.
In answer to the Chairman it was stated that the Local Board rate amounted to 1s 6d [7.5 new pence] and the Poor rate to 1s 4d [6.6
new pence] making the total rates 2s 10d for the whole year.
Mr R P Petch inquired when they were going to get gas at Skelton. The Chairman thought that the contractor would be able to complete
his work by the first of January. He had had considerable trouble with his men, who in turn had had bad weather to contend with.
The desirability of reducing the wages of the roadmen in the employ of the Board was considered and after a short discussion it was
resolved to make a slight reduction only in the wages of the cartmen.
The Medical Officer [Dr Keith] reported an outbreak of scarlet fever in Wilson Street, Lingdale. One death had resulted.
18th December - DID NOT PAY FOR SUPERIOR CARRIAGE.
Yesterday at South Stockton Police Court, William Smith, a labourer of New Skelton was fined 10s and 15s 6d costs for riding in a
superior rail carriage to that for which he paid his fare.
18th December - SAVAGE ASSAULT ON PC.
George Kay, a miner, was charged with assaulting PC Calvert in the execution of his duty at North Skelton on the 15th.
The policeman said that on Saturday night last he saw two men fighting and went up to them and asked them to go away.
One of them went,but the prisoner refused to go and struck witness a violent blow on the face. He then endeavoured to gouge his eye out,
caught hold of him by the throat making an attempt to choke him.
He would have succeeded had a man named Proud pulled him off. Witness again requested him to go away but he ran off a short distance and
took a running kick at him making his leg bleed.
Some men who tried to assist were also assaulted. With great difficulty the handcuffs were put on him and on the way to the station he bit
the witnesses fingers.
Prisoner pleaded guilty and sentenced to 1 month's hard labour.