Advent Calendar – Day 4

Only 21 more sleeps to go… and what is behind door number 4?

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Front page of The Daily Telegraph on 8 May 1945 announcing ‘GERMANY CAPITULATES’ ‘Today is VE Day: “Complete and Crushing Victory”‘ – visit us to see a full copy of this and other newspapers from the day in our Local Studies collection.

Seen anything you especially like yet? Let us know if you want to nominate it for our 50 Treasures?

On this Day: ‘The Week’s Sports’

From the Alfreton and Belper Journal, 2nd December 1892:

The Week’s Sports

The football shown on Saturday by the different clubs was surprising and goes to show that football (like cricket) is a game upon which you cannot place much confidence as to the results, as the different matches lately played tend to show…

…Last Saturday Alfreton leapt out of the bucket and put another win to their credit, and this came when the least expected.  No one could have thought the Town would score two more points than their opponents last week who saw the teams previous to the commencement.  There were four of the Alphas team playing with the first, and whether it is owing to these four being included in the team that they gained their victory or no I cannot say.  Certain it is they had something to do with the result.  It was a pity the day was so unfavourable as the club are not having the best of gates, and it seems rather hard that they should receive so little support when they are proving themselves conquerors.  Many of the supporters thought there would be no match, as did also some of the first team players, in fact some were in bed while the play was on, and did not know anything of the affair until some considerable time after the match was over.  However, the Alphas were at hand and proved themselves equal to the task by their tactics and dash.  The Basford team were a tricky lot of fellows and played a fast game, but their defence is far from good, and it is chiefly owing to this defect that they were defeated on Saturday…

…Clay Cross journeyed to South Normanton and beat the home team by 4 goals to 2.  I have been in the company of the visitors lines man (Mr. Whitworth), and he tells me the language of the spectators was most disgusting I think the spectators ought to control their tongues a little…

…I am pleased to state that Chesterfield and Clay Cross have dispelled all the bitterness of rivalry that has existed between them , and Clay Cross are due at Chesterfield on Christmas Tuesday to face the “Crooked Spireites” in a friendly .  May the best team win.  Chesterfield have guaranteed Clay Cross £4 for the match.

Riddings received a severe beating at Ilkeston on Saturday.  Owing to the wet morning only nine of the team turned up, Wimbush and Brown being absent.  Starting with nine men, their misfortunes did not end there, Street straining his thigh after five minutes play and being of no further use to his side.  Partridge, the Riddings centre half-back, played a champion game, and was the best man on the field.  Burton also played a very good game.  Next Saturday Riddings visit Clay Cross, and have re-organised the team.  We shall see by the result whether it will be a success or not…

Lost again!  Belper Town three, Langley Mill four.  The best excuse to give for a losing team is they met better players.  I doubt it in this case.  Four to three leaves very little margin.  The ground at Langley Mill was in a terrible plight, pools of water and mud being plentiful.  Still I have a little excuse for Belper.  They had not the full team.  When the half-backs are absent it is like taking away the prop and down comes the whole structure.  Horrobin had promised up to Friday night to resume his place in the team.  Derby Junction got at him and he was tempted to Rotherham.  Jack Lynam could not go, and Green is on the sick list.  These three men would have won the match for Belper.  When the return is played I think there will be less croaking at Langley Mill than was the case last Saturday…

…I am reminded by a friend of a grand prize drawing Belper Town has arranged for Christmas on behalf of the funds of the club.  There are fifty prizes ranging from £3 3s. to two dozen of bitter beer.  Every little helps.  Who can tell what a stray ticket may do.  It is always the unexpected that happens.

RAMBLER        

We hold the Alfreton and Belper Journal on microfilm  – just ring to book a microfilm reader.

Explore Your Archive – A Derbyshire Spirit Story

From the Derby Mercury, 26 September 1860:

A Derbyshire Spirit Story

The following singular story is given in Owen’s “Footfalls on the Boundary of Another World,” as being told to the writer by William Howitt and given in Mr Howitt’s own words:-

The circumstance you desire to obtain from me is one which I have many times heard related by my mother.  It was an event familiar to our family and the neighbourhood, and is connected with my earliest memories; having occurred, about the time of my birth, at my father’s house at Heanor, in Derbyshire, where I myself was born.  My mother’s family name, Tantum, is an uncommon one, which I do not recollect to have met with except in a story of Miss Leslie’s.  My mother had two brothers, Francis and Richard.  The younger, Richard, I knew well, for he lived to an old age.  The elder, Francis, was, at the time of the occurrence I am about to report, a gay young man, about twenty, unmarried; handsome, frank, affectionate, and extremely beloved by all classes throughout that part of the country.  He is described, in that age of powder and pigtails, as wearing his auburn hair flowing in ringlets on his shoulders, like another Absalom, and was much admired, as well for his personal grace as for the life and gaiety of his manners. 

One fine calm afternoon, my mother, shortly after a confinement, but perfectly convalescent, was lying in bed, enjoying from her window the sense of summer beauty and repose; a bright sky above, and the quiet village before her.  In this state she was gladdened by hearing footsteps which she took to be those of her brother Frank, as he was familiarly called, approaching the chamber-door.  The visitor knocked and entered.  The foot of the bed was towards the door; and the curtains at the foot, not withstanding the season, were drawn, to prevent any draught.  Her brother parted them, and looked in upon her.  His gaze was earnest, and destitute of its usual cheerfulness, and he spoke not a word.  “My dear Frank,” said my mother, “how glad I am to see you!  Come round to the bedside: I wish to have some talk with you.”  He closed the curtains, as complying; but instead of doing so, my mother, to her astonishment, heard him leave the room, close the door behind him, and begin to descend the stairs.  Greatly amazed she hastily rang, and when her maid appeared she bade her call her brother back.  The girl replied she had not seen him enter the house.  But my mother insisted, saying, “He was here but this instant.  Run! quick!  Call him back; I must see him!”  The girl hurried away, but after a time returned, saying that she could learn nothing of him anywhere, nor had any one in or about the house seen him either enter or depart. 

Now my father’s house stood at the bottom of the village, and close to the high road, which was quite straight; so that any one passing along it must have been seen for a much longer period than had elapsed.  The girl said she had looked up and down the road, then searched the garden – a large, old-fashioned one, with shady walks.  But neither in the garden nor on the road was he to be seen.  She had inquired at the nearest cottages in the village, but no one had noticed him pass.  My mother, though a very pious woman, was far from superstitious; yet the strangeness of this circumstance struck her forcibly. 

While she lay pondering upon it, there was heard a sudden running and excited talking in the village street.  My mother listened: it increased, though up to that time the village had been profoundly still; and she became convinced that something very unusual had occurred.  Again she rung the bell, to inquire the cause of the disturbance.  This time it was the monthly nurse who answered it.  She sought to tranquilise my mother, as a nurse usually does a patient.  “Oh, it is nothing particular, ma’am,” she said, “some trifling affair,” – which she pretended to relate, passing lightly over the particulars.  But her ill-suppressed agitation did not escape my mother’s eye.  “Tell me the truth,” she said, “at once.  I am certain something very sad has happened.”  The woman still equivocated, greatly fearing the effect upon my mother in her then situation.  And at first the family joined in the attempt at concealment.  Finally, however, my mother’s alarm and earnest entreaties drew from them the terrible truth that her brother had just been stabbed at the top of the village, and killed on the spot. 

The melancholy event had thus occurred.  My uncle, Francis Tantum, had been dining at Shipley Hall, with Mr. Edward Miller Mundy, member of Parliament for the county.  Shipley Hall lay off to the left of the village as you looked up the main street from my father’s house, and about a mile distant from it; the road from the one country-seat to the other crossing, nearly at right angles, the upper portion of the village street at a point where stood one of the two village inns, the Admiral Rodney, respectably kept by the widow H–ks.  I remember her well – a tall, fine-looking woman, who must have been handsome in her youth, and who retained, even past middle age, an air superior to her condition.  She had one only child, a son, then scarcely twenty.  He was a good-looking, brisk young fellow, and bore a very fair character.  He must, however, as the event showed, have been of a very hasty temper. 

Francis Tantum, riding home from Shipley Hall after the early country dinner, that day, somewhat elate, it may be, with wine, stopped at the widow’s inn and bade the son bring him a glass of ale.  As the latter turned to obey, my uncle, giving the youth a smart switch across the back with his riding-whip, cried out, in his lively, joking way, “Now be quick, Dick; be quick!”  The young man, instead of receiving the playful stroke as a jest, took it as an insult.  He rushed into the house, snatched up a carving-knife, and, darting back into the street, stabbed my uncle to the heart, as he sat on his horse, so that he fell dead, on the instant, in the road. 

The sensation throughout the quiet village may be imagined.  The inhabitants, who idolised the murdered man, were prevented from taking summary vengeance on the homicide only by the constable’s carrying him off to the office of the nearest magistrate.  Young H–ks was tried at the next Derby Assizes; but (justly, no doubt, taken into view the sudden irritation caused by the blow) he was convicted of manslaughter only, and, after a few months’ imprisonment, returned to the village; where, notwithstanding the strong popular feeling against him, he continued to keep the inn, even after his mother’s death.  He is still present to my recollection, a quiet, retiring man, never guilty of any other irregularity of conduct, and seeming to bear about with him the constant memory of his rash deed – a silent blight upon his life.  So great was the respect entertained for my uncle, and such the deep impression of his tragic end, that so long of the generation lived the church-bells of the village were regularly tolled on the anniversary of his death.  On comparing the circumstances and the exact time at which each occurred, the fact was subtantiated, that the apparition presented itself to my mother almost instantly after her brother had received the fatal stroke.

Heanor church burial, 4 February 1795, M465 vol 4

Heanor church burial, 4 February 1795, M465 vol 4

Derby Mercury, 5 February 1795

Derby Mercury, 5 February 1795

D4734/1/10/11 Account of murder of Francis Tantum in 1795

D4734/1/10/11 Account of murder of Francis Tantum in 1795

Derby Mercury, 19 March 1795

Derby Mercury, 19 March 1795

D4734/16/20/3 Elegy on death of Francis Tantum by F. Skerrett for newspaper, 1795 (pt1)

D4734/16/20/3 Elegy on death of Francis Tantum by F. Skerrett for newspaper, 1795 (pt1)

D4734/16/20/3 Elegy on death of Francis Tantum by F. Skerrett for newspaper, 1795 (pt2)

D4734/16/20/3 Elegy on death of Francis Tantum by F. Skerrett for newspaper, 1795 (pt2)

D4734/16/20/3 Elegy on death of Francis Tantum by F. Skerrett for newspaper, 1795 (pt3)

D4734/16/20/3 Elegy on death of Francis Tantum by F. Skerrett for newspaper, 1795 (pt3)

Q/RA 1/3 Register of licensed victuallers, 1795

Q/RA 1/3 Register of licensed victuallers, 1795

Excerpt from Pigot's Directory, 1821-1822

Excerpt from Pigot’s Directory, 1821-1822

Heanor church burial entry, 16th February 1848, DVD 83

Heanor church burial entry, 16th February 1848, DVD 83

EYA-poster-poetry-workshop

Explore Your Archive – Get the Ball Rolling

As we await kick-off of the first Explore Your Archive week, here is a vigorous selection of images for sporting ladies and gentlemen.

D5459/2/23/9 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1799

D5459/2/23/9 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1799

D5459/4/32/5 A Cricket Match Extraordinary, Thomas Rowlandson, [1811]

D5459/4/32/5 A Cricket Match Extraordinary, Thomas Rowlandson, [1811]

D5459/3/11 A Mistake at New-Market, or Sport and Piety, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, [1807]

D5459/3/11 A Mistake at New-Market, or Sport and Piety, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, [1807]

The Derby Races advert, Derby Mercury, 29 July 1813

The Derby Races advert, Derby Mercury, 29 July 1813

D5459/2/23/14 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 21, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

D5459/2/23/14 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 21, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

Boxing report, Derby Mercury, 13 May 1829

Boxing report, Derby Mercury, 13 May 1829

D5459/2/23/12 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 18, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

D5459/2/23/12 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 18, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

The Football, Derby Mercury, 28 February 1827

The Football, Derby Mercury, 28 February 1827

EYA-poster-story-boxes

Explore Your Archive – On This Day: French Prisoners of War

From the Derby Mercury, 14th November 1811:

On Wednesday the 6th inst. Dominique Ducasse, Captain and Aid-de-Camp to Gen. Dufour, Tugdual Antoine Kerenor, Lieutenant, and Julien Deslories, Ensign, three French prisoners of war at Chesterfield, were conducted from the house of correction there, by a military escort, on their way to Norman Cross Prison, for having broken their parole of honor.  The two former were apprehended at the Peacock Inn, (along with George Lawton, of Sheffield, cutler,) about 10 o’clock on Saturday night, the 26th ult. by the vigilance of Mr. Hopkinson, the landlord, who much to his credit, refused to furnish a post-chaise to carry them to Derby, and dispatched a messenger to the Commissary at Chesterfield, detaining them until the return of the messenger; the next day they were conveyed back to Chesterfield, and Lawton is now in our county gaol to take his trial for assisting in the escape. 

D5459/1/5 French Prisoners, George M. Woodward, 1783

D5459/1/5 French Prisoners, George M. Woodward, 1783

The same escort took another prisoner (Monsieur Bernier, an Ensign) from Newark, where he was recaptured, on the information of the Waiter, at the Saracen’s Head Inn, having also escaped from Chesterfield; and the Transport Board have ordered 15 guineas to be paid for the recapture of these three prisoners. 

In short, that Board have since, in consequence of the great number of escapes of French prisoners of war on parole in this kingdom, ordered that in future, the following rewards shall be paid, for recaptures, viz., 10 guineas for every commissioned officer, 5 guineas for every non-commissioned officer, and 20 guineas for every British subject convicted of assisting such prisoners to escape. 

And we are sorry to find, that this Government have lately been under the necessity of ordering the French aspirants and midshipmen on parole in this country, into close confinement in consequence of the French Government having sent the English midshipmen on parole in France, to prison, and their not releasing them though remonstrated with, by our Government; this conduct of the French Ruler, in the present situation of affairs, is too obvious to need comment.

There will be more about Napoleonic prisoners of war on the blog next Thursday.

explore-flyer (cropped)

Explore Your Archive – Breeches, Bonnets & the Brutus Crop

Miss Ellis respectfully takes the liberty of informing the public, that she has selected a fashionable and elegant assortment of images from the Derbyshire Record Office collection, which are now ready for inspection.

D5459/2/26 Fashion, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1801

D5459/2/26 Fashion, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1801

Female Fashions for November, Derby Mercury, 7 November 1811

Female Fashions for November, Derby Mercury, 7 November 1811

D5459/2/33/1 A Man of Fashion's Journal, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1802

D5459/2/33/1 A Man of Fashion’s Journal, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1802

D258/50/103 Personal letter from William Gell to Madame Polier de Vernand nee Mary Nicholas, 1814

D258/50/103 Personal letter from William Gell to Madame Polier de Vernand nee Mary Nicholas, 1814

D3580/C/128 Letter from Elizabeth Longsdon to her son John Longsdon, 21 October 1810

D3580/C/128 Letter from Elizabeth Longsdon to her son John Longsdon, 21 October 1810

D5459/1/86/5 [Two women, one in a ball gown], George M. Woodward, [1800]

D5459/1/86/5 [Two women, one in a ball gown], George M. Woodward, [1800]

Advertisements, Derby Mercury, 23 May 1811

Advertisements, Derby Mercury, 23 May 1811

explore-flyer (cropped)

D307/G/1 How To Wash Printed Dresses, [early 19th cent]

D307/G/1 How To Wash Printed Dresses, [early 19th cent]

Explore Your Archive – On This Day: Wirksworth Balloon Ascent

From the Derby Mercury, 12th November 1823:

On Friday evening last a very numerous and respectable assemblage of the inhabitants of Wirksworth were highly amused by the ascent of a fire balloon of extraordinary dimensions, the property of Mr. James.  It ascended from the bottom of the hill called Oakcliffe, and took a southerly direction over Ireton and Kedleston, and is supposed to have travelled at least 12 or 14 miles.  The inflation commenced about a quarter past 8 o’clock, and at nine the balloon was deemed sufficiently distended; the light was then attached to the bottom, and it ascended very majestically amidst the reiterated shouts of the assembled multitude.  From its amazing magnitude (being about 6 yards in height) it was visible for the space of nearly 20 minutes.  The crowd of spectators was immense, and the company retired highly delighted.  We are happy to add that no accident occurred on the occasion.

D5459/1/28/11 [A Balloon], George M. Woodward, [1783-1786]

D5459/1/28/11 [A Balloon], George M. Woodward, [1783-1786]

explore-flyer (cropped)

On This Day: ‘Cloud-Burst at Rowsley – Remarkable Floods’

From the Ashbourne Telegraph, 2nd August 1912, Derbyshire weather not unlike early July 2012:

CLOUD-BURST AT ROWSLEY – REMARKABLE FLOODS

On Saturday there was a cloudburst at the Haddon Hall tunnel, about a mile and a half from Bakewell on the Midland line.  Debris from the hills above the railway was quickly washed down and a large part of an embankment slipped, and the earth completely blocked the line from Manchester to Derby.

Water streamed into the Haddon tunnel until it was about two feet deep, and traffic was completely dislocated, and for over half an hour several expresses were held up in the vicinity.

It was found that some damage had been done to the railway, and it was necessary for the trains to proceed with caution.  A party of Bakewell golfers, who were proceeding to Matlock to play a match found that their train was unable to proceed, and they walked home again.  Expresses between Manchester and London were diverted via the Dore and Chinley line, but the local traffic was stopped on both sides of the Haddon tunnel.

The whole of the sidings were flooded – that is 36 miles of rails.

Mr. A. Hawes, Clerk to the Bakewell Guardians, said the roadway by Haddon Hall was under water as well as Rowsley.  He added: “I think the worst of the fall was beyond FillifordBridge, where the water was so high on the roads that it forced holes through the boundary walls one could crawl through.  The amount of damage done must be enormous.”

On the moors above Sydnope, over the 1,000 feet level, Mr. Edwards a dog fancier, resides with his family.  His experience was alarming.  Lightning first struck his house in the roof, ran along the gutters, and down the spouts to earth.  A second flash struck the chimney, and ran down into the house, where it swept the fire out, and burnt the hearth rug.  Mr. Edwards says the house was full of strong smelling sulphur and smoke for some minutes, and he took his wife and child out of the house for safety.

Lightning also struck a house in Vineyard Terrace, belonging to the Stancliffe Estates Co., and there it went through the roof and two ceilings, and finally visited the front room, smashing the fire-grate.  At Hackney three trees – an oak, a pear, and an apple – in a row were struck.  Cows are also reported to have been killed in the fields.

Much damage was also done to the well-known cottage which stands close to the Haddon Hall, and the flood from the hills was so great that the occupants only just managed to get out of the building in time.  All round this historic spot the meadows were under water.  

The County Local Studies Library holds the Ashbourne Telegraph, 1903-1957 – just ring to book a microfilm reader.

On This Day: ‘A Swindler at Matlock’

From the Derbyshire Times, 18th July 1885:

 A SWINDLER AT MATLOCK

During the past few days a man giving the name of Thomas Fletcher, having also a number of aliases has been busily engaged imposing on the charitably disposed, in the neighbourhood of Matlock.  The fellow who wore clerical attire, visited Mr. Slack butcher, and represented himself to be a “local preacher in distress” and he attributed his poverty to the fact that he was suffering from a failing in the eyes, for which he had tried almost every kind of remedy without any benefit.  He also said that he had spent £180 in obtaining treatment and he succeeded in obtaining a gift of money.  He also said that Mr. Marsh of Wirksworth had generously assisted him, but fortunately it happens that Mr. Marsh and Mr. Slack are related and the fraud was discovered.  The police apprehended the man and found two hymn books and a number of religious pamphlets on him and it was discovered that he has been practising his imposition in the neighbourhood of Ilkeston and Langley Mill.  He is a stout tolerably good looking man about 50 years of age and is most plausible.  He has been accompanied by a woman of low repute who has been “fire eating” at public houses, and the pair were recently turned out of a lodging house at Matlock in consequence of their conduct.  When in the lock-up the man admitted that he had been in trouble at Chesterfield for selling a useless preparation supposed to be “vermin killer”, and was committed for trial.  On Monday morning he was brought before Dr. Harrison at Matlock and was sentenced to 14 days hard labour as a rogue and a vagabond.

The County Local Studies Library holds the Derbyshire Times (Chesterfield Edition) from 1854 – just ring to book a microfilm reader.