William E Gladstone. PM 1868-74, 1880-85, 86, 1892-94.

3rd January –
On Friday last a grand concert was held in the Free Gardeners’ Hall for the benefit of the Skelton Reading Room.

25th January –
David Hamilton of Normanby did not appear to a summons procured by Ann Clemmett, his step sister, charging him with being the father of her illegitimate child, born at Skelton on the 4th October.
The father of the two said he believed his son was the father of the child, as the two were often left together and skylarking in the house.
An order was made for the payment of 1s 6d per week.

4th February –
William Richardson, a Miner of Skelton and Henry Smith, a Miner of Brotton, were convicted for being drunk and riotous in the township of Skelton.

22nd February –
Mary Orton, apparently about 40 years of age and dressed in juvenile fashion was summoned by Elizabeth Dodson, an elderly woman, for assaulting her at Skelton on the 16th.
Elizabeth said that while she was gone to Mr Taylor’s shop, defendant entered her house to threaten her child and on her return said –
“I will clag your eyes up.” and used some filthy language.
Orton then went out and rattled her windows until she thought they were going to jump out.
After that Orton struck her upon the eyes “making fire jump out”.
As this had gone on for 3 months, she had brought it before the magistrates.
In cross examination she added that defendant “chawed baccy” and when she became excited the juice flew out of her mouth, so that she always kept a respectable distance from her.
The daughter said that she saw Orton give her mother a light blow, but she did not see any fire come out of her eyes.
When Orton was questioned she shouted and bellowed in a manner calculated to give the Bench some idea of what her conduct would be when out of the presence of the sacred majesty of the law.
Orton said that complainant had been with tales to Mr Taylor and she merely went and told her that she ought to be pulled out of the house by the hair of the head, same as she served a woman at Brotton.
She would not be put on like the woman living at No 8.
Maria Martin [not of the Red Barn variety] but very fashionably attired, testified that defendant was a victim of circumstances.
Orton assured the Bench that complainant had always been in law since she came to Skelton, whilst she had been there for 2 years without a complaint.
She was fined one penny and costs or 14 days prison.

15th March –
John Smith, Carrier’s man, was charged with stealing £24 4s 6d , made up of a £5 note and gold and silver, the property of John Dixon, Merchant of Skelton.
He swore that on the 4th March he left the money on his desk with instructions for my man to deliver it to the Carrier’s man and that he did not wrap it up.
Evidence was given that William Longstaff, Mr Dixon’s assistant, saw William Brown the apprentice put the money in a parcel and that it was given to the prisoner to deposit in the Bank.
Prisoner was the man in charge of John Wood, the Skelton Carrier’s wagon and he had instructions to deliver it to the Darlington District Bank at Guisborough.
Mr Bell, the Bank Manager, confirmed no money was given to the Bank.
It was stated that the prisoner returned that evening intoxicated.
Robert Adamson, a Miner of Skelton, said that he went into Riley’s public house, the Green Inn at Skelton.
Prisoner was there, but left shortly after.
Adamson looked about for a bit of paper to light his pipe and picked the £5 note up off the floor where the prisoner had been sitting.
He had screwed it up when he noticed the big letters on it.
He had never seen one before. [laughter in court].
Mrs Riley came and looked at it and said she would send the “bellman” round on Monday, as it could not have belonged to the prisoner.
Ann Davison said she was a Servant at the Royal George Inn, Skelton and on the night in question the prisoner had 2 glasses of ale and paid with a sovereign.
She went to her mistress to get the 19s 9d change [That makes ale three halfpence a glass], but when she came back the prisoner had gone.
PC Haw said he apprehended the prisoner at Sunderland.
Prisoner admitted the offence saying “Yes, I know. I can’t help it now. It’s no use fretting. I must have got shot of a lot of money at Skelton or Guisborough, as I only had £16 10s on Sunday morning.”
In court he claimed he was drunk before he set off from Skelton and could not remember a thing after.
He was sent for trial at York Assizes.

29th March –
John Smith was summoned by PC Haw for being drunk and riotous and also by Thomas Andrews for wilfully damaging a door to the extent of 3s 6d on Saturday the 18th.
PC Haw said he saw Smith kicking at complainant’s door after a row in the house and the company being asked to leave.
He was drunk and when about to take him to the lock-up the mob effected a rescue and threw stones, some of which struck him on the head and back.
Fined 10s and costs and 13s for second offence.

29th March –
William Myers, John Driver and Robert Mays were summoned for assaulting George Jackson at Skelton on the 12th. All 3 denied it.
Complainant said that when he returned home about 11 p.m. he found Mays with his back to the door of the house where he lodged.
He would not move away and he was then put out of the yard gate.
Mays pulled him down and called his comrades, who kicked him and inflicted such injuries, as caused him to be absent from work for a week.
John Dack said on the night in question Mays came to his door and called him out of bed.
He refused to admit him and told him to go away.
A few minutes the lodger came and Mays told him he was at the wrong house and must go away.
He did not see who took hold of the other first.
When he came out complainant was smothered in blood.
Another lodger, Matthew Jones said that on looking out of the window, Jackson was down and Mays was shouting “Kick his bloody ribs in” and all 3 were doing so.
Mays said that 2 hats were blown off and they went to the house to borrow a candle and lantern to look for them.
Each was fined 14s including costs or 14 days prison.

3rd April –
Details collected included:
Address, Name, Relationship to the head of the family, Marital status, Age at last birthday, Gender, Occupation, and Place of birth.
As with earlier censuses, the form asked whether any “lunatics”, “imbeciles” or “idiots” lived in the household, causing the Registrar General to observe that:
“It is against human nature to expect a mother to admit her young child to be an idiot, however much she may fear this to be true. To acknowledge the fact is to abandon all hope.” The Census produced the following figures for Skelton, including Lingdale, Boosbeck and N Skelton.
Inhabited houses 439, 10 uninhabited and a further 4 being built.
Population – 2561, comprising 1490 males and 1071 females.
In ten years the number of houses had doubled, the number of females had doubled and the number of males had trebled.
The “Ironstone Rush” brought people from E Anglia, the Midlands and as far away as Cornwall.
Guisborough Workhouse had only 5 individuals registered from Skelton.
Herbert Campion age 10, James Day age 10, John Day, age 12, Mary Lowe, age 11 and William Day age 9.
The total population of England and Wales was just short of 26 million.

A Roll produced in this year for the North Riding of Yorkshire gave the name and address of the owner, the extent of land owned and the rental value’ but not the location of the holding.
The amount of land owned is given in Acres, roods and perches.
[1 Acre = about 70 yds by 70 yds or 640 in a square mile – 4 roods in one acre – 40 perches [5.5 yds by 5.5 yds] in one acre].
John Thomas Wharton of Skelton Castle owned 8257 acres, 3 roods and 12 perches with a Rental value of £7,043 5s. Rev John Gardner held 52 acres, 2 roods and 5 perches with a value of £71 11s.
Stephen Emmerson of Hollybush Farm held 62 acres, 1 rood and 5 perches.
W Dixon Petch held 24 acres, worth 18s.
The rest had less than one acre.

Agricultural labourer £41 per year, Skilled worker £82, Teacher £97, Clergyman £293.
Average wages for domestic staff were butler £50 per year, Cook £30, Maids £12 to £20 depending on job.

156 houses were built in North Skelton.
These houses were of the two up, two down variety with a midden in the back yard.
A cold water tap would come later.
A coal fire place, with a cast iron range that usually had to be black leaded and the hearth white washed by the hard working wife.
A coal fired boiler outside to heat water to fill both the tub to poss the clothes and the tin bath to wash the miner when he came home, if he came home.
With large families and sometimes lodgers, the two bedrooms must have seen some strange sleeping arrangements.
But jobs at the Mines were vied for just to get one of these dwellings, which, compared with living conditions in previous ages, were comparative luxury.
And later in some houses no one was allowed to go in the ‘front’ room which was kept for showing the Victorian ornaments, the aspidistra and the piano.
Large areas of Skelton were set aside for allotments and they were more vital and more widely used than today.
Many people fattened a pig, which was shared out amongst neighbours when it was slaughtered.
The average working class family had 6 children and one in six families had ten or more.

6 Vaughan St, North Skelton

3rd May –
George Mills was brought up by PC Haw for being drunk and riotous in the streets of Skelton and for making a “tremendous and fearful” disturbance at midnight.
Having been locked up, the prisoner made his escape and was again apprehended next morning. Fined 14s including costs.

6th May –
William Jones, a Skelton Labourer and Richard Johnson, a Skelton Bricklayer, were convicted for assaulting Joseph Winter, a Skelton Bricklayer and Henry Simpson of Skelton, a Police Constable in the execution of his duty.

8th May –
William Bell and Thomas Mitchinson, both Skelton Miners, were convicted of trespassing in the daytime in search or pursuit of game on land belonging to and occupied by John Thomas Wharton esquire.

30th May –
George Bridger, a Skelton labourer, was convicted of assaulting Joseph Bently, a Guisborough Miner.

7th June –
Considerable alarm respecting the dangers of hydrophobia exists in all parts of Cleveland.
At Skelton on Friday morning a dog bit a man, 2 lads and several other dogs. It was finally shot on Hob Hill.
It behoves every man to see that his dog does not run at large and we are glad to find that the authorities purpose dealing stringently with all owners of animals found at large.

10th June –
Frank Hodgson, a Skelton Labourer, was convicted for being drunk in the street.

17th June –
Richard Smith, a Skelton labourer, was convicted for maliciously damaging a door, the property of Noah House, Innkeeper of Skelton.

24th June. –
In the County Court of Durham, holden at Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesborough. In the Matter of Proceedings for Liquidation by Arrangement or Composition with Creditors, instituted by Thomas Andrew, of Skelton-in-Cleveland, in the North Riding of the county of York, Innkeeper and Brewer.
The creditors of the above-named Thomas Andrew who have not already proved their debts are required, on or before the 15th day of July, 1871, to send their names and addresses, and the particulars of their debts or claims, to me, the undersigned, Thomas William Pybus, of Zetland-road, Middlesborough etc….

4th July –
John Edwards and John Rogers, both Skelton Labourers and Robert Ford, Bricklayer, were convicted for being drunk and riotous in the streets.

11th July –
The licence of this public house in Skelton was transferred from Thomas Andrew to Richardson Dixon.
[All other references found call this public house by its present name, the Duke William. Probably named after King William IV, 1830 to 1837.]

24 July –
Richard Dixon, a Skelton Innkeeper, was convicted for allowing Charles Dunning and others to be drunk and disorderly on his licensed premises.

In this year Bank Holidays were introduced by Government Act and Trade Unions legalised. In addition to the traditional Good Friday and Christmas Day, there were originally 4, Easter Monday, Whit Monday, August Bank Holiday Monday and Boxing Day.

A ‘PUB’ LICENSING ACT introduced licensing of premises selling beer and spirits.
It limited the number of such places. Opening hours only between 6 a.m and 11 p.m. No sale of intoxicating liquor to any person “apparently under the age of 16 years”. Gambling prohibited on licensed premises

Police Constable Robert Haw [later Sergeant] of the North Riding Constabulary was a Policeman in Skelton for 17 years.
He is shown here standing between Supt J. R. Hutchinson and Sgt Pickering.

9th August –
Noah House, the landlord of the Old Royal George, Skelton, accused Christopher Charlton and Robert Avery of being drunk and refusing to quit his house on the 5th.
The assistance of PC Haw became necessary and they were taken into custody. The prisoners protested their sobriety and described the conduct of the police as “bruteful”. Fined 5s with 18s costs or 14 days hard labour.

22nd August –
Mark Martin, a knowing individual, was summoned for unlawfully assaulting Alice Sanctuary at Skelton on the 14th and pleaded Not Guilty.
Alice went to a woman’s house on an errand in Back Lane, Skelton.
She was knocking at the door when the defendant came round the corner, pushed her into the house and tried to lay her down upon the sofa, but did not succeed in his purpose.
He did not live in the house and had no business there. A warrant was issued.

5th September –
John Williams, a Skelton Miner, was convicted for maliciously damaging the front door of a house of Richardson Dixon, Innkeeper. Defendant was drunk and as he could not obtain a supply of drink smashed the panel of the door in. Fined 21s or 1 months hard labour.

26th September –
William Moore and Cuthbert Taylor, both Skelton Miners, were convicted for being drunk and riotous in the street. Offence committed at the township of Skelton on 16 September 1871.

3rd October –
Joseph Richardson, a Sinker of Skelton, was convicted for being quarrelsome on the licensed premises of Noah House, Royal George, and refusing to leave when asked. Then assaulting the said Noah House.

10th October –
John Harnby, a Police Constable of Skelton and Noah House, Innkeeper at the Royal George, were given notice to appear at the next Quarter Sessions to prefer a bill of indictment against James Morne and Thomas Burke for knowingly tendering a counterfeit coin resembling a half sovereign. Outcome not presently known.

8th November –
Julia Ann Dyson, wife of Thomas Dyson, a Skelton Engineman, a woman who evidently was over burdened with language, summoned Timothy Wilkinson for assaulting her at Skelton on the 4th.
It was said she lived “half in the street, half in an out-house and half in somebody else’s house”.
She told a long story about some one breaking a pane of glass in her house which so annoyed her she accused the defendant.
He threw a piece of wood at her and she threw it back. Defendant said he was agitated and had no thought of hitting complainant. Fined 8s 6d.

13th November –
Summary conviction of Thomas Wilkinson of Skelton Labourer for being drunk and riotous in the street. Offence committed at the township of Skelton.14th November –
Consent, dated 12 October 1871, of John Thomas Wharton of Skelton Castle esquire as owner of land through which Foggo Road runs, leading from the public highway from Brotton to Skelton, to East Pastures Farm House in the township of Skelton.

Printed notice dated 13 October 1871 given by the Clerk to Skelton in Cleveland Local Board that an application will be made at the next Sessions for an order for the stopping-up of Foggo Road in the township of Skelton.

Consent dated 12 October 1871 of Thomas Vaughan of Gunnergate Hall esquire and David Thomas Petch of Hobdale in the township of Skelton gentleman, owners of land through which the public footpath runs, leading from part of a public highway leading from Skelton and Boosbeck to Stanghow to the point in a private road leading to a farm called Priestcrofts Farm.

At this time the area which is now North Skelton was just Foggo Farm, bottom Right on this Ordnance Survey Map of 1856.

John Vaughan, who had discovered the East Cleveland iron ore in the Eston Hills knew from subsequent shaft sinkings that the main seam dipped under the Skelton area, but had no idea of the exact depth.
In 1865 he and his business partner, Henry Bolckow, had leased a large area of land for exploration from John Thomas Wharton of Skelton Castle at a rent of £2,986, per annum, whether or not iron ore was traced.
If the seam was found 134,370 tons could be extracted per annum and any surplus would incur 5 pence per ton more paid to Wharton.
The first shafts were sunk to the North of Skelton near present day Rigwood and close to Skelton Beck.
They filled so fast with water that they were abandoned and operations transferred East of Skelton to Foggo Farm around 1869.
The name North Skelton for some reason stuck.
The manual labour involved in those days must have been enormous as the number of convictions of “Shaft sinkers” identified on this webpage suggests.
Where all these workers lived at that time is not known.
Taking in lodgers, became the norm and continued throughout much of the Victorian age as the censuses show.
Even some families of 10+ in 2 bedroom terraced houses made room for a paying Miner.
This was the time when Groundhill Cottages near Groundhills Farm were built for housing incomers to an area that had only ever been agricultural.
This terrace was initially called ‘Elwon cottages’, after a previous mining Company of that name, but soon became just ‘Groundhills’ to locals.
They existed until being demolished in the 1960s.
North Skelton Mine should actually have been called East Skelton Mine and the eventual North Skelton village should have been East Skelton.
The main seam of ore was eventually found on the 12th December 1873 at the great depth of 720 feet, to great celebrations by the Bolckow and Vaughan Company.
The shaft had had to be lined to prevent the ingress of water, but at this depth was thankfully found to be dry.
In the next few years the terraced houses of North Skelton would be built, people would arrive from all areas of Britain.
This Ironstone mine would be the last one in East Cleveland to close in 1964 and was often called after its beginnings – ‘Foggo Pit’.

15th November –
John Dack of Skelton was charged with being drunk and riotous in the streets of Guisborough on the 8th. He was making a great noise in the Buck Hotel.
On being turned out he cursed and swore tremendously in the street. Defendant said it was the hirings, he was not drunk and accused the Officer of malice. Fined 14s 6d.

27 November. –
The Third Annual exhibition of canaries and British song birds in connection with the above Society was held in the Free Gardeners Hall, Skelton on Saturday last.
The show was very successful with a large selection of birds on display from some miles around.

5th December –
William Haw was charged with stealing five pounds, the moneys of Mr John Wright, Labourer, Skelton.
Wright left 5 sovereigns in his box at his lodgings in Skelton.
Prisoner was fellow lodger and had absconded. PC Moore went in search of prisoner and apprehended him at Stockton.
He had 5s 4d in his possession and said “It was the drink that made me do it.”
Sentenced to two months hard labour.

Victorian Gold Sovereign.

8th December –
William Gomm and William Hart, both Skelton Labourers, were convicted of being drunk at Saltburn by the Sea.

26 December –
Peter Floyd, a Sinker of Skelton, was convicted of being drunk and riotous in the streets to Skelton

Navvies, reputed to be among those excavating North Skelton Mine Shaft.

Next Page – 1872.
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