1866 - 1870
Elsworth & Knapwell Chronicle
Elsworth 6th January Concert.
On Tuesday evening, Jan. 2nd, a concert was given in the National School-room by the united choirs of Papworth Everard, Elsworth, and Caxton, under the management of Mr. John Ding, the organist of Papworth Everard. The spacious rooms were crowded by a most respectable audience. The performance consisted of two parts, sacred and secular, and was exceedingly well received, and reflected great credit on the able management of the conductor, Mr. Ding, by whom the choirs have been trained.
Elsworth 13th January Choir Supper.
On Friday evening, January 5th, the church choir with the ringers partook of an excellent supper provided for them in the school-room by the Rev. J. R. Dobson, rector. After doing justice to the good things set before them, the cloth was drawn and the rev. gentleman delivered a few remarks on the subject of church music. The health of the Queen was then proposed and responded to and the choir sang a few songs, when their rector distributed the annual acknowledgement in money for past services. The rest of the evening was spent in conviviality.
Elsworth 10th February Cattle Plague.
It is with profound regret that we have to record two or three decided cases of the long dreaded rinderpest on the farm of Mr. Dear. One is already dead and buried, and others are not expected to live.
Distribution of coal.
During the past few weeks the poor have been supplied with coal, the gift of the Rector, and the principal land-owners and farmers. The widows and widowers received four cwts. each, and some of the largest from eight to nine cwts. each. Coupled with the above the farmers were kind enough to send their teams which conveyed the coals to the various houses.
Elsworth 17th February Cattle Plague.
During the past week there have been four more beasts taken away by the rinderpest on the farm of Mr. Dear, making, with the one last week, five buried. One more is not likely to live. We are thankful to say that this dreadful disease has not made its appearance anywhere else in the village.
Elsworth 10th March Day of Humiliation.
Wednesday last, in compliance with the wishes of the Bishop of Ely, was set apart as a day of humiliation and prayer, when three services were held in the parish church. Prayers with Commination Service in the morning; Litany with Communion Service in the afternoon, and a service by the Rev. J. R. Dobson, rector; at the evening service the sermon was preached by the Rev. H. Brown, curate of Knapwell. Collections were made after each sermon in aid of the sufferers from the cattle plague, amounting to the sum of £3 5s.
Elsworth 10th March Cattle Plague.
During the last nine or ten days ten beasts have been buried on Mr. Parsons’ Candle End farm, having fallen prey to the above dreadful complaint. Two have been slaughtered that were well. There are at present no more cases in the village.
Elsworth 24th March Vestry meeting.
On Thursday last a meeting was held in the Rectory house, the Rev. J. R. Dobson, rector, in the chair, for the purpose of choosing parish officers for the year ensuing. Those chosen were Mr. William Cotterell, Guardian; Mr. Richard Parsons and Mr. Samuel Papworth, Overseers; Mr. James Parsons and Mr. George Kimpton, Surveyors; and Mr. William Prior, Constable.
Elsworth 7th April Vestry meeting.
On Thursday afternoon last, a vestry meeting was held in the Rectory house, the Rev. J. R. Dobson, rector, taking the chair; when the churchwardens’ accounts of the past year were examined and passed, and Mr. James Witherow and Mr. Stephen Witherow were re-elected as fit and proper persons to act as church-wardens during the years ensuing.
Knapwell 5th May Anniversary of the Consecration of All Saints Church.
On Tuesday May 1st, being the anniversary of the re-opening, a full choral service was held in this church. The choir of St. Andrew’s, Swavesey, under the direction of the Rev. H. I. Sharp, sustained the singing. The prayers were read by the Rev. I. W. Brown, Curate of All Saints. The sermon was preached by the Rev. H. I Sharp, Vicar of Swavesey. Considering the very unfavourable state of the weather a good congregation attended. Mr. Samuel Whitehead of Knapwell very hospitably entertained the Swavesey choir during their short stay in Knapwell.
Elsworth 4th August School Treat.
On Friday afternoon, week, the children and teachers belonging to the Church schools, were regaled with plum-cake and tea on the lawn near the rectory, provided by the Rev. J. R. Dobson, rector. After partaking heartily of the provisions the youngsters betook themselves to several games, such as cricket, swinging, foot-ball, etc. The day being beautifully fine added greatly to the sports which lasted until the shades of evening bid them retire. A short address was given by the rector, and the National Anthem sung, when each went home much pleased with the entertainment.
Elsworth 11th August Child drowned.
On Monday last Mr. F. Grain, Deputy Coroner for the County, held an inquest on the body of George Bingley, a boy five years old, who was drowned on Saturday morning in the brook which runs through this village. The child was sent about eight o’clock by his mother to fetch some bread from the baker’s. Shortly after this a woman named Beck was coming up the brook and saw a loaf of bread floating on top of the water; she called to a neighbour, and a minute or two afterwards the body of the deceased child came to the surface, face downwards. The women got it out of the water at once, and took it to its mother’s house close by. Every means was used to restore animation, by artificial respiration and otherwise, under the direction of the Rev. J. R. Dobson, the Rector, but with no avail, although the child could only have been in the water a very short time. There appeared to be no doubt that the poor little fellow in returning from the baker’s dropped the loaf, which rolled into the brook, and in attempting to recover it he fell head foremost into the water, which is about three feet deep at the spot. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidentally drowned.” -In summing up, the Deputy Coroner pointed out to the jury in strong terms the danger which existed, from the brook, which runs close to the village street for some distance, not being in any way fenced in, and expressed a hope that the parish authorities would at once take steps to have it done. It seems that children frequently fall into this stream, and it is only to be wondered at that this is the first fatal result.
Elsworth 1st September Inquest.
On Saturday last, F. Barlow, Esq., coroner for the county, held an inquest at the George and Dragon, Elsworth, on the body of Mary Ann Raveney, aged 33, the wife of a labourer. It appeared from the evidence that the deceased had for a long time suffered from disease of the stomach; and in the opinion of Mr. Brook, Surgeon, of Caxton, death arose from perforation of the stomach, which was completely eaten up with the disease. The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.
Elsworth 22nd September Thanksgiving Sermons.
On Sunday last, two sermons were preached in the parish church, as thanksgiving sermons for the plentiful harvest, that in the afternoon by the Rev. J. Tillard, rector of Conington, from Matthew 9th Chapter, 36, 37, 38th verses, and that in the evening by the rector, the Rev. J. R. Dobson, from Psalm 2nd, verse 6th. Thank-offerings were solicited after each sermon, in aid of the Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews, and the Church Missionary Society.
Elsworth 10th November Suicide.
On Saturday last, an inquest was held at the Plough, Elsworth, before F. Barlow, Esq., touching the death of an old woman named Ann Newman. The husband, a labourer, got up on Friday morning week about five o’clock, and said to the deceased he would fetch the water, when she said “No don’t, I shall not want any.” He went to work and upon his return at seven o’clock in the evening he found the door locked, which upon being broken open, there was found in the house the pail of water and kindling, but no fire had been lit, and up stairs the deceased was hanging to a beam to which she had suspended herself by a piece of bed cord. She was quite dead. The jury returned a verdict that she destroyed herself while in a state of temporary insanity.
Elsworth 29th December Christmas Charity.
On the 22nd ult., all the widows and several others received a piece of meat for their Christmas dinners, from the Rev. J. R. Dobson, Rector. Twenty-four stones of bread was given to the poor at the Church, after a sermon in the afternoon of the above day.
Elsworth 12th January Choir supper.
On Thursday evening (se’nnight) the church choir with the ringers and several friends partook of an excellent supper, provided for them in the National School-room by the Rev. J. R. Dobson, rector, after which her Majesty’s health was drunk, and several other toasts. The rest of the time was passed by the members giving short speeches, up to a late hour, when each retired much pleased with the entertainment.
Elsworth 26th January Distribution of coals.
During the late inclement weather all the poor people have been supplied with coal, the widows receiving 4 cwts. each, and the largest families as much as six and seven cwts. each; the coals were the gift of the rector, the principal land owners and farmers, the latter sending their teams and men which conveyed the coals to their destination.
Elsworth 23rd March Caution to horsekeepers.
On Saturday evening last a valuable mare, the property of Mr. Jas. Witherow, farmer, was observed to be unwell, and was supposed to be suffering from Cholic. The usual remedies were given, and the animal not being any better on Sunday morning the horsekeeper was ordered to lead the mare to Godmanchester, to the surgery of Mr. Fordham, who at once accused the man of giving the animal wheat which he admitted. A dose of medecine was at once given but without effect, as the horse died in the evening. Mr. Fordham said a pint was sufficient to kill a horse in some cases.
Elsworth 30th March Vestry meeting.
On Thursday afternoon se’nnight a meeting of ratepayers was held in the rectory house, the Rev. J. R. Dobson, rector, in the chair, for the purpose of examining the officers’ accounts for the past year, which were passed, and also for choosing fresh ones for the year ensuing. The following were selected as fit and proper persons to serve, viz: Mr. William Cotterell, guardian; Mr. Philip Kirby and Mr. Richard Papworth Parsons, overseers; Mr. James Parsons and Mr. George Kimpton, surveyors; and Mr. William Prior, constable.
Elsworth 20th April Fire in barn.
On Monday morning last, about eleven o’clock, a fire was observed in a small barn behind a labourer’s cottage, named Holmes. The wind was blowing strongly from the S.W. at the time, so that the building was quickly consumed. Had the fire been in the night, the farm of Mr. Deer and all the stock-in-trade of Mr. H. Robins, carpenter, must have been burned. The men worked well in putting out the flames. The poor man Holmes has all his working tools consumed, and neither he nor Robins is insured. The origin of the fire still remains a mystery.
Elsworth 22nd June Concert.
On Tuesday evening last a concert of sacred and secular music was given in the National School-room, by permission of the Rev. J. R. Dobson, by the members of the Papworth St. Everard church choir, assisted by their friends. The spacious rooms were well filled with a most respectable audience, and upon the whole the singing was well received. Great praise is due to Mr. J. Ding, organist and choir master for the able manner in which the singing was conducted.
Elsworth 10th August Accident.
On Thursday morning last an accident happened to a young man named William Neal, blacksmith. He was helping to gather pears, and fell from the tree, twenty feet; his thigh was broken and otherwise severely injured. The poor fellow was at once put into a suitable conveyance and taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
Elsworth 7th September Storm.
On Tuesday morning last, a storm of a severe nature passed over this village, the lightning and thunder were very grand, and for the space of two hours the rain fell in torrents. We are happy to say that no harm was done here by the storm, although in the adjoining village of Knapwell, a cow was struck dead by the electric fluid, the property of Mr. William Whitehead, farmer, of that place.
Elsworth 14th September Burglary.
On Saturday morning last, a poor woman named Lyon, had her house broken open, at the time she was out gleaning, and the sum of £1 12s. stolen therefrom; the policeman Samwell was acquainted with the robbery, and in the course of the day suspicion fell upon her next door neighbour, and on Sunday evening she was taken to the Caxton police station, where she remains to appear before the magistrates on Tuesday next.
Elsworth 28th December Christmas Charity.
During the past week all the poor widows and most of the oldest people have been supplied with a piece of mutton each for their Christmas dinners, from the Rev. J. R. Dobson, rector. Twenty-two stones and a half of bread were given away to the poor, after a sermon preached by the rector on the above day. The farmers either gave their men a dinner or paid them in money, so as to enable them to enjoy themselves with their wives and families at this joyous season.
Elsworth 4th January Choir supper.
The Church choir with the ringers were on Wednesday evening regaled with an excellent supper, provided for them in the National School-room, by the rector, the Rev. J. R. Dobson, after which the evening was passed by humorous speeches and songs up to a seasonable hour, when each retired to their respective homes, much pleased with their entertainment.
Elsworth 4th January Evening service.
On Tuesday evening last, being New Year’s Eve, Divine Service was held in the parish church, and a suitable and appropriate sermon preached by the Rev. J.R. Dobson, rector, to an attentive congregation. Afterwards carols were sung at the Rectory House, and at midnight the church bells welcomed in the new year.
Elsworth 18th January Distribution of coals.
During the last few days the poor have been supplied with coals, the gifts of the rector, principal landowners and farmers. All the widows and widowers received four cwts. each, and some of the largest families received as much as five and six cwts., the farmers having kindly sent their teams to convey them to the homes of the recipients.
Elsworth 14th March Confirmation.
On Wednesday last, a confirmation was held in the parish church by the Lord Bishop of Ely for the above and neighbouring parishes. There were a great many persons present, and great attention was paid to an earnest and affectionate address, delivered by his lordship to the catechumens.
Elsworth 4th April Accident.
On Tuesday evening last, an accident happened to a boy named Frederic Ding. It appears he was climbing a tree for the purpose of getting a crow’s nest, and upon reaching the summit, and reaching out his hand to get the prize, the bough on which he was standing suddenly gave way, and he was precipitated the distance of 20 feet to the ground. The poor boy was picked up by some men coming home from work and conveyed home. A medical man was as quickly as possible in attendance, and upon examination it was found that his collar bone was broken, and that he was otherwise seriously injured.
Elsworth 25th April Easter vestry meeting.
A meeting was held in the Rectory, on Easter Thursday, the Rev. J. R. Dobson, rector, in the chair, when the accounts of the Churchwardens for the past year were examined and passed. It was then proposed and seconded that Mr. James Witherow be re-elected as parish warden for the ensuing year; carried unanimously. Mr. Stephen Witherow was re-elected by the Rector as his Churchwarden for the next year.
Elsworth 9th January New Year’s Eve Service.
On the eve of the New Year divine service was held in the parish church, and a suitable and impressive sermon preached by the Rev. J. R. Dobson, rector, which was very well attended. At midnight the bells welcomed the New Year; after which a carol was sung at the Rectory House by some of the choir.
Elsworth 16th January Choir Supper.
On Friday evening week, the Church choir, with the ringers and some friends, were invited to an excellent supper, provided for them by the Rev. J. R. Dobson (rector), in the national school-room. Ample justice was done to the substantial fare and grace having been said, and the cloth drawn, tobacco and ale in abundance were supplied to the elders; and oranges, nuts etc., to the younger members. After the usual exhortation by the rector, several songs were sung by the choir. The rest of the evening was spent in music and dancing up to a reasonable hour, when each retired to their respective homes, much pleased with their entertainment.
Elsworth 30th January Tradesmens supper.
On Wednesday evening last, all the men and boys in the employ of Mr. James Wilderspin, agricultural implement manufacturer, together with some friends, were invited to an excellent supper, which was served up in a first-rate style by Host Parish, of the Three Horse Shoes Inn. The cloth being drawn several songs were sung, and humorous speeches were given during the evening, and at a good hour the party broke up much pleased with their treat.
Elsworth 30th January Singers supper.
On Monday evening last, the singers and Sunday school teachers in connection with the Baptist Chapel, were entertained in the schoolroom by the friends and supporters of the above place of worship with a supper. After which grace being said, several sacred tunes were sung, and during the evening two or three very interesting pieces were read which gave great satisfaction. At a reasonable hour the party all joined heartily in singing the National Anthem, which ended a very pleasant evening’s enjoyment.
Elsworth 27th February Distribution of coals.
During the past few weeks nineteen tons of coal have been given away to the poor; the donors being the rector, landowners and farmers, the latter sending their men and teams, as is their yearly custom, to convey them to the houses of the recipients. There is certainly a debt of gratitude due to those gentlemen who so much consider the comfort of their poorer neighbours.
Elsworth 20th March Sudden death.
F. Barlow Esq., held an inquest at the Three Horse Shoes, Elsworth, on Thurs day afternoon last, touching the death of Mary Holben, a widow, aged 72. The evidence of Elizabeth Parnell, who resided in the same yard as the deceased, went to shew that the deceased (who lived alone) was suffering from pain in the chest on Monday, when she took several draughts of ginger and water; subsequently, however, the deceased asked the witness to give her some of her “stuff’, meaning opium (which witness took, although not under medical advice, for the rheumatics). Witness gave her a “pill” of opium and on going in a few hours after found deceased asleep; that was at two o’clock. Witness went in several times after that hour, but deceased was always asleep, and appeared to breathe very hard; she tried to rouse her by shaking her, but did not succeed; and she died about seven o’clock in the evening. She had given opium to the deceased several times previous, but not within the past twelve months. - Another witness, named Mary Picken, gave corroborative evidence, and also stated that she had heard that opium was used to a considerable extent in the parish, but by whom she could not say. Also, with regard to deceased sleeping after the opium pill, that when they found they could not rouse her by shaking, they threw some water on her, but to no effect. -Mr. T. G. Brook, surgeon, Caxton, who made a post-mortem examination of deceased, said she was suffering from diseased heart; and was of opinion from the symptoms described by the witnesses and from what he himself knew, that death was caused by fatty degeneration of the heart, accelerated by the overdose of opium. Verdict accordingly.
Elsworth 24th July Inquest on child.
On the 19th instant an inquest was held at the Fox and Hounds, in this parish, before F. Barlow, Esq., coroner, touching the death of Harry Harden, the child of Thomas Harden, aged 10 months. Up to Tuesday in the previous week the child had been apparently a healthy one, when it sickened, grew worse, and died. From the medical testimony it appeared that death was caused by inflammation of the lungs, and a verdict to that effect was returned.
Elsworth 28th August Restoration of Church Tower.
The parishioners have been invited to meet in vestry at the Rectory House, to accept and acknowledge the proposal of the family of the late Mr. Jeremiah Lodge, son of the late Rev. Oliver Lodge, for some time rector of this parish, to present and to erect a new and handsome clock in the tower of Elsworth Church, and to consider also the repairs and restoration required to make the tower fit for the reception of the same. We understand that the parishioners, rector, and others have promised upwards of one hundred pounds towards the restoration fund.
Elsworth 11th September Accident.
On Monday last, an accident of a serious nature happened to a girl ten years of age, named Catherine Brand. It appears the mother was out gleaning, leaving her at home to take care of some younger children, when, finding her father’s powder horn, she child-like, put a little in the fire, when the whole exploded, shattering the horn to atoms. Some of the pieces nearly severed her nose from her face. Mr. Brook, surgeon, of Caxton, was quickly summoned and she was sewn and strapped up. We understand the poor girl is going on as well as can be expected.
Knapwell 11th December Sale of Land.
On Saturday last, Mr. C. M. Bidwell of Ely, Sold by Auction the valuable estate comprising the Manor, and the entire parish of Knapwell, with the exception of the small rectory farm and the poor allotments, containing upwards of 1043 acres together with 332 acres in the parish of Boxworth. The whole estate realised the sum of £46,000 and we understand was purchased for Richard Young Esq., of Wisbech.
Knapwell 18th December Erratum re purchase of Manor.
We are requested to contradict a statement in last Saturday’s chronicle to the effect that the Knapwell Manor Estate was purchased for Richard Young, Esq., of Wisbech. The estate was bought by H. H. English, Esq., of Westwood House, Peterborough, for himself.
Elsworth 1st January Christmas Charity.
On the day preceding Christmas day all the poor widows, together with some of the poorest families in the parish, were each presented with a piece of meat and also some tea and sugar, by the Rev. J. R. Dobson, rector. We believe the farmers gave the men in their employ either a piece of meat or paid them for the day. Thirty-three stones of bread were given away to the poor after a sermon preached in the parish church in the afternoon of the same day by the Rector.
Knapwell 1st January Charity.
During the past few days all the poor families in Knapwell have been provided with a pair of blankets each, the gift of the Rev. F. Cheere, of Papworth Hall, and the curate in charge of the parish. We hope the recipients will be thankful for such a gift at this inclement season of the year.
Elsworth 29th January Fowl stealing.
Late on Saturday night or early on Sunday morning last, some persons entered an outhouse in the occupation of Mrs Roman, at the Manor House, and stole therefrom a quantity of fowls. The police were communicated with, and an energetic search was made through the village. We understand no clue has at present been obtained, although it is likely to be wished the delinquents will ultimately be brought to justice.
Elsworth 12th March Church Tower.
A few weeks back, a subscription was set on foot by the Rev. J. R. Dobson, rector, in aid of the restoration of the Church tower, and we understand that upwards of £200 has been promised towards making the same fit for the reception of a new and handsome clock, the gift of the Lodge family, in memory of their late brother, Jeremiah Lodge, Esq. It is proposed by the Committee appointed to erect new pinnacles and restore the parapet, to erect a new door and steps leading up to the bell chamber, a new west door and window, and to otherwise restore the tower. The contract has been taken by Mr. Hodson, of Elsworth, and Mr. Saint, stonemason, of St. Ives.
Elsworth 12th March Longevity.
In our obituary is recorded the death of Mrs Mary Underwood, widow, at the advanced age of 97. She was in the enjoyment of good health and almost unimpaired faculties up to a short time of her death. During her life she was blessed with ten children, and one hundred and fifty-six grand and great grand children.
Elsworth 26th March Vestry meeting.
On Friday, the 18th day of March, a meeting was held in the Rectory House, the Rev. J. R. Dobson, in the chair, for the purpose of looking over the overseers accounts for the past year, which were proved correct and passed.
Elsworth 25th June John Ding’s Concert choir.
The members of the above choir gave an evening concert here, under the patronage of the Rev. J. R. Dobson, the rector, in the schoolrooms, on the 16th inst. The performance consisted of songs, glees, part-songs, and instrumental music. The solo singers were Miss E. Mager, Miss Lily Ding, Mr. F. Phillips, Mr. Frank Cooper, Mr. John Ding, and Master A. Chesterfield. Mr. Harry Collins and Mr. Flinders sang two comic songs at the end of each part, which seemed to please the audience much; both were encored. Mr. Frank Cooper possesses a fine voice and gained an encore in “Nil Desperandum.” Considering the dreadful thunderstorm which commenced shortly after the concert began, the performance passed off in an almost miraculous manner. It is true that some confusion was manifest amongst the performers (and also the audience) more than once during the evening, but owing chiefly to the perseverance and presence of mind of their able conductor, Mr. John Ding, the music was really enjoyable, even amidst vivid flashes of lightning, followed by crashing claps of thunder. Mr. George Papworth entertained the whole choir (thirty-five) and also a few friends at supper after the concert. This liberal and hospitable gentleman seemed perfectly pleased that all were weather-bound at his house till 3.30 next morning.
Elsworth 17th September Sick and wounded.
On Sunday last, two sermons were preached in the parish church by the Rev. J. R. Dobson, rector, which were listened to by attentive congregations. The rev. gentleman chose for his text in the afternoon the 10th chapter of St. Luke, and part of the 37th verse: “Then said Jesus unto him, go and do thou likewise.” In the evening the sermon was preached from Acts, 10th chapter, part of the 38th verse: “who went about doing good.” Collections were made after each service, in aid of the fund for the relief of the sick and wounded soldiers of the French and Prussian armies, amounting to £5 l0s.
Elsworth 31st December Christmas charity.
On the day preceding Christmas Day, all the poor widows and most of the largest families received a piece of meat each from the Rev. 3. R. Dobson, Rector. The farmers gave the men in their employ either a piece of meat or money, so that they might enjoy themselves with their families on the above day. Twenty-eight stone of bread was also given away to the poor at the parish church, after a sermon preached by the Rector, on the afternoon of Christmas Day.