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Some Selected Reports from The Windsor and Eton Express

17th December 1842

Windsor Appeals Against The Property And Income Tax

Yesterday morning, at half past nine o'clock, the commissioners for hearing appeals against the Income and Property Tax charges for this borough (including the Castle division), sat at the Town hall for that purpose. The commissioners are the following gentlemen : - John Clode, Esq., John Banister,Esq., R.Blunt, Esq., and Messrs Snowden, Cooper, W.Jennings, and Berridge; Mr.Hyde, sen., inspector of taxes for this district, and Mr.Hyde, jun., surveyor of taxes, attended on behalf of the government. At about half past four o'clock in the afternoon they adjourned, and met again at six o'clock, and continued to sit until nearly eleven at night.
The commissioners heard the greater part of the appeals, and the remainder will be gone into on Tuesday morning next, to which time the court adjourned. The result of yesterday's meeting clearly proved that the surveyor in his charges on house property against which and whom there has been a very premature and unjust out-cry, has been guided by the law alone, and that he has by no means gone to extremes in his construction of it; as we have before observed, the out-door conclusions of the appellants were much at variance with the decisions of the commissioners within, who were and must be guided by the law and instructions they receive from the law officers. The majority of the surveyor's charges for the Income Tax too, were, we understand , also confirmed . Like nearly all our contemporaries we deprecate this abominable tax, but we have got it forced upon us - thanks to the Tories - we conceive the out cry against its officers in fulfilling their duties, unless it is proved that they have exceeded their powers for the sake of annoyance, to be highly discreditable. There is one thing, however, that is very remarkable and highly amusing, that here (in Windsor), as well as elsewhere, the greatest grumblers are the tories themselves; certainly in this and in other ways they get a very odd sort of return for placing "their friends" in power.

Literary Institution

On Wednesday evening last, Mr.W.R.Birt, of London, gave a gratuitous lecture on "The Laws of Storms and Hurricanes." The subject was a very attractive one, and we anticipated deriving much information upon so important and interesting a subject; but however much the lecturer may have endeavoured to please, and we have no doubt he did, we must say he failed to give that satisfaction to his audience which all his predecessors have this season hitherto done. The lecture was very respectably attended.

On Thursday evening, Mr.J.P.Anderson delivered a lecture on "Elocution." Mr.A. explained all the necessary requisites for becoming an orator, and illustrated his remarks by reading and reciting passages from some our great poets. The lecturer did his utmost to instruct and amuse his audience, which was not very numerous.

Pigeon Shooting

The Star and Garter Club met for a second time this season on Wednesday, the temptation being a silver snuff box, the free gift of the president, to the best shot of the day; for this twelve members contended, who were chosen in the first club match (six-a-side), at nine birds each. Mr R.Coombs, of Hampton, was the lucky competitor , cleverly killing all his birds; Messrs Henry and Croft killed eight each, and Messrs. Gough and Why seven, but the remainder scored low numbers. For the sweepstakes, at three birds each, Messrs. Hill, Gough, Croft and Howard tied in killing all, but on shooting off, the two former having been disposed of, Messrs. Croft and Howard divided. Mr. Howard also divided a second sweep with Mr. Gough. At the conclusion the members adjourned to the Star, where they were joined by a host of friends, and did ample justice to a tempting dinner, Mr.J.Bedborough presiding over the convivial board. The report of the chairman on the state of the finances was of the most gratifying character, a circumstance originating entirely from the activity and perseverance of that gentleman.

Local Prize Fighting

Those offspings of the "fancy" in this locality who are fond of a "mill," had the opportunity of witnessing a good one on Tuesday last, for 20, between Angelo, of Windsor , and Bill Hawks, of Turville. The fight took place in a field on the left hand side of the Fifield road beyond Oakley Green.
About 2,000 persons assembled to witness it, including many members of the sporting nobility of the neighbourhood. The men fought 105 rounds in one hour and 32 minutes, when Hawks, although much the heavier man, was compelled to knock under. The odds were 2 to 1 on Hawks at the commencement and during the fight frequently fluctuated to and fro to the same extent on each.

Windsor Police - Thursday [Before R.Tebbott, Esq. (Mayor), R.Blunt, Esq.,and W.Legh, Esq.]

Mary Anne Keeling, a girl of the town, was charged with robbing Lemul Bassett of a purse containing thirteen shillings. It appeared that Bassett on Monday night, being rather the worse for the liquor he had taken, accompanied the prisoner home to her lodgings in Clewer-lane, and about two o'clock, wanting to leave, he missed he purse. He made a noise about his loss and called in a policeman, who, on searching the room, found the purse safe, by the side of the bed on the floor. The magistrates thought it was not a case that a jury would convict upon, from the state in which the complainant was at the time, and they dismissed it.

Eton Police - Saturday, Dec. 10 [Before the Rev. Thomas Carter]

George Lamb, was charged with stealing two fowls, the property of John Timber, of Chalvey.
This case presented some singular features. It appeared that about two o'clock on the Friday morning, the complainant was awoke by hearing a noise of his fowls, as if some intruder being among them. Arming himself with a good stick, he proceeded in his shirt only to the fowl house, and began groping about, and knocking about him with his stick (it being quite dark), until he hit against something softer than the building itself. He struck at the same substance the second, and then the third time, each time increasing the weight of his blows, on receiving the latter of which a cry issued forth of "Hold, hold - you have broken my arm!" which voice he immediately recognised as the prisoner's, whom he knew very well. Then, leaving the prisoner to escape for the present, he returned to his house for a light and for his wife, and on searching the fowl house they discovered a dead fowl in a bag and another just in the act of dying lying down. The prisoner was apprehended on the following day by John Foster, chief constable of Chalvey, and he admitted the offence, he said he had gone to the roosting place in the fowl house to sleep, and feeling a chicken with his hand he thought it would do for his wife and child, and he killed it. He had caught another and was about killing that too when the complainant came in and struck him so hard with his stick that he dropped the bird. The prisoner was fully committed for trial.

Monday [before M.Swabey, Esq.]

Joseph Lovegrove, was charged with absconding from the Union Workhouse at Slough, on the 20th of April last, and taking with him a suit of clothes, the property of the Guardians of the Eton Union. The case was fully proved, and the prisoner was committed to hard labour in the House of Correction for 21 days.

[before the Rev. W.G.Cookesley].

Two men, named John Daniels and ---- Prior, were brought up in the custody of Jerome, chief constable of Eton, on the following charge.
It appeared that on Saturday evening the prisoner Daniels went to the residence of Mr.Needham, the relieving officer of the Eton Union, and said he wanted relief. Mrs.Needham told him told him that her husband was not then at home, but she expected his return in about half an hour. The fellow impudently told her he would not wait half an hour, and if he did not receive instant relief he would break the windows, and suiting the action to the word, he thrust his stick through a square of glass. The other prisoner , Prior, came up at the moment, and called out to Daniels, "Go it, go it;" and so the latter did as he was encouraged to do, for he deliberately smashed three more squares of glass with his stick. Jerome was then sent for, and the two men were given into his custody.
Prior was severely reprimanded for his bad conduct and discharged, but Daniels was fined in the amount of damage he had committed, which, with costs, made 1 6s 6d.
Daniels declared he could not pay the money, and he was committed to hard labour in the House of Correction at Aylesbury for two months.

Tuesday [Before the Rev. Thos. Carter.]

John Truby, was charged with being concerned in stealing a copper from the wash-house of John Buckland, of Hitcham.
The robbery was committed so far back as the 3rd of March last. A man named Wm. Moss, was tried at the last quarter sessions for Bucks, for being one of the thieves, and sentenced to be transported for seven years, and a bill of indictment had been preferred against the present prisoner also, who was not then in custody, but, as regarded him, the grand jury ignored the bill.
The magistrate was occupied for a considerable time in taking the circumstantial evidence of various witnesses, but the whole of the testimony falling short of that which would justify committal , the prisoner was discharged.


George Lambert, formerly a groom in the service of George Ballard, Esq., of Sussex place, Slough, was charged with embezzling various sums of money belonging to his then master.
It appeared that the prisoner had been in the complainant's employ in a portion of the years 1838 and 1839. The prisoner was forbidden to have anything required in his department on his masters credit, and he was furnished with a book to enter all monies paid, which his master always repaid to him. However at length, after his master had increased his wages, a 10 bank-note was missed from Mr.Ballard's desk, shortly after which the prisoner absconded. It was not made a charge against him that he had stolen the 10, but shortly after he left several tradesmen sent in accounts for goods supplied, which Mr. Ballard had paid the prisoner money to discharge.
These accounts amounted to 5 15s. Nothing was heard or seen of the prisoner until recently when Mr. Ballard met him at Slough, and found out he had obtained employment at the Dolphin Inn at that place; on which he procured a warrant for his apprehension. The prisoner was committed for trial.


On Wednesday evening, Mr.J.P.Anderson, Professor of Elocution , delivered a lecture in this place to a highly respectable audience, and its delivery gained universal approbation. The second part of the lecture kept up a continual excitement of the risible faculties. The whole terminated with numerous anecdotes and conundrums.


Bible Society Meeting - On Monday evening the annual meeting of the Staines Auxillary Bible Society was held at the Literary Institution; the chair was taken by the Rev.R.Govett. The report having been read by the Rev. R.Porter, the chairman commenced the proceedings of the evening in a very excellent speech, followed by the Revds. F.Reyroux and Hanson. The Rev. Mr. Brown, one of the secretaries from the Parent Society, gave a most interesting detail of its proceedings; he stated what the object of the society really was - the salvation of our fellow creatures; instead of going back to the progress the society had made; he would begin by stating the proceedings of the last few days; only that day an African, who had been regularly ordained by the Bishop of Australia, had applied to the society for assistance in printing the bible in his native language, that he might return to that part of Africa to a numerous tribe, whose language being scarcely known, he was desirous that they should participate and be enlightened from that state of darkness they were now living in. Being strongly recommended, and as he had likewise letters to the Bishop of London, the society decided in rendering him the assistance he required. Letters from China had been received, urging the society to forward immediately large supplies of Bibles and Testaments, now the barrier was burst asunder; indeed, from all parts of the world the demand was rapidly increasing. The interesting detail given by the secretary was such that animated the whole evening, which was well attended.

Literary Institution

On Tuesday evening last, a lecture on "Sacred Music" was delivered by the Rev.Thomas Page,M.A., - incumbent of Christ Church, Virginia Water. After remarking that music, although made a prominent part of a polite education, is too seldom regarded in its proper light as a science calculated and intended to advance our mental refinement and our moral improvement, the rev lecturer adverted to the infinite diversity of musical sounds arising from both animate and inanimate nature, which he maintained afforded us a lesson of the proper ends and uses of our powers of musical expression and enjoyment. He then spoke of the mysterious nature of music, and its various effects upon our feelings, and stated that as all music is derived from three notes called the harmonic triad, it may be regarded as a type of infinitely higher mystery. He adduced many instances of humanising effects, not only upon civilised society, but upon heathens both of ancient and modern times, and entered into some length into the advantages likely to arise from a more general cultivation of the science, and its being made an element in national education. He expressed his satisfaction in the recent introduction of the German system of singing, inasmuch as it was likely to diffuse a taste for vocal, in preference to instrumental music, of the superiority of which latter department of the science, especially as a popular accomplishment, he gave many striking arguments and apt illustrations, together with an anatomical description of those organs which are given to us by an all wise Creator, as a means of musical utterance, and which, like all His other gifts, are doubtless bestowed upon us to be suitably employed, such as being the condition on which nature lends "the smallest scuple of her excellence." And then proceeding upon the assumption that, as in vocal music the power of words is acting upon the mind, at the same time that the power of sounds is acting upon our physical sensibilities, and that thus a double force is thereby brought to bear upon our whole constitution , so the more inspiriting and sublime the subject of the words thus clothed in the garb of musical inspiration , the more powerful the emotions awakened in our minds, and hence the superiority of sacred over secular music, to which he drew an analogy in the kindred arts of poetry and painting. He objected to the mixture of grave and trifling subjects in most public concerts, but defended with great power and cogency the public amateur performance of oratorio composition, when freed from the profanity by which our "music meetings" generally have hitherto been too much characterised. He alluded to the performance of the Messiah in Exeter Hall, and expressed a hope that the example would be followed in every principle town, at least in England, and that the time would come, when, as in Saxony, our labouring classes would be able to regale themselves after their daily toil by a chorale sung in harmony and taste. Of the soothing and tranquillizing effects of this species of music he gave many deeply interesting proofs, in the cases of Luther, Hooker, Handel, Herbert, Dr.Donne, and others. And after some stringent observation on the present state of church psalmody, he concluded by pointing out one grand difference between music and most other sciences, that whereas they would cease with the material substances and combinations to which they relate, music is both etherial in its nature, and perpetual in its duration. The lecture, of which the foregoing is but a scanty outline, was listened to throughout with the deepest attention, and received the warm plaudits of a full and respectable audience.

The contract for supplying the Staines Union with Bread and Flour for the next three months was taken by Mr.W.Westbrook, of Bedfont; Bread, the 4lb loaf, 5d; Flour, 15s per/cwt.

Mr.Levy, the contractor for most of the turnpike gates near the metropolis , being a bond holder in Staines Bridge, brought an action against the commissioners, which was tried at Croydon assizes; some technical objections were raised, and reserved for the decision of the judges, who decided yesterday in favour of Mr.Levy, who took possession of the Bridge gate on Wednesday, thus taking the management entirely out of their hands.


For some time past this town and neighbourhood have been infested by a gang of nightly depredators, who have proved a source of great annoyance to the inhabitants, as recently the robberies of dwellings and outhouses have been of frequent occurrence. During the night of Saturday last, the premises of Mr.Harris were entered at the back by some thieves, who completely ransacked the back lower apartments, taking away only some trifling articles, the more valuable property being kept securely in other parts of the house. On the same night, the premises of Mr.Blackwell were entered by the same villains, no doubt, but they were, however, disturbed in their avocation, and decamped without any booty. During Monday night, the residence of Mr.Williams was forcibly entered, but here again the parties were disturbed, and they were forced to escape without succeeding in their object. A strong suspicion rests upon certain persons in this vicinity , as composing a portion of the nefarious fellows, and, no doubt, if prompt vigilance were adopted, the whole of the gang might be either captured or dispersed. In consequence of these numerous depredations, the inhabitants generally have had a meeting to establish among themselves a nightly watch, for the purpose of protecting the property of the town, and on Wednesday several of them attended before the bench of magistrates to be sworn in as special constables. The magistrates, however, objected to swear them in unless each of them paid a fee of five shillings ! To this the applicants naturally declined to accede, seeing that their object was the protection of their own and their neighbours property, and thus the matter ends for the present.

We understand that some clue had been obtained relative to the perpetrators of the robbery at Chertsey church some time ago when the communion plate was stolen. A man named Buckland was taken into custody on Monday last, at Sunbury, and afterwards underwent examination before the magistrates. It appears Buckland offered some pieces of silver, about seven ounces in weight, at a silversmith's at that place: the shopkeeper suspecting it was not honestly come by, desired the man to call again for the money. This he did, and when he called he found a policeman (whom the silversmith had apprised of his suspicions), waiting to take him into custody. The prisoner was remanded.

Mrs.Mary Giles, who died lately in this town, left funds to give 800 4lb loaves to the poor annually on St.Thomas's Day. There are now about 400 poor, who will receive two loaves each.


We have received from a correspondent a short account of the annual Recitations of the Cave House School, Uxbridge, the establishment of Mr.R.Wilkinson, which were delivered in the Public Rooms in this town on Tuesday last; together with an account of the gold and silver medals awarded on the occasion, by five adjudicators among the audience, which consisted of nearly 600 persons.
The room had been prepared with a platform and proscenium, fitted up with lamps, and the words "Vox Populi" displayed in large characters. A pianoforte, by a professor, enlivened the short intervals that necessarily took place between the miscellany and the debate; the latter was a lengthened representation of the debate on the Poor Law Amendment Bill, as delivered in the House of Commons on the 25th of June last, and was personified by 28 young gentlemen of the boarding establishment, and was certainly a youthful masterpiece, astonishing to all who heard it.
One young gentleman, Master Heath, a youth of 10 years of age, had a length of 240 lines in the debate, which, besides taking the prologue, and a piece of the miscellaneous recitations, he went through with correctness, and without the least hesitation or mishap. The first part of the miscellaneous pieces was recited by 18 of the pupils, and occupied three quarters of an hour; the second part was the debate, and lasted without intermission until nine o'clock; the third part was also 18 other miscellaneous recitations, and was highly deserving great credit both to master and pupils. The prizes were awarded as follows: - 1st prize, to Master Richard Heath, of Uxbridge, a gold medal, value five guineas; 2nd, Master Stuchbery, of High Wycombe, ditto, value three guineas; 3rd, Master Jolly, of Aylesbury, ditto,ditto; 4th, Master James Gurney, of Aylesbury, ditto, ditto; 5th, Master Haynes, of Brentford, ditto, ditto; 6th, Master Yonge, of Brentford, ditto, ditto. The silver medals were awarded to - 1st, Master John Morgan, of Winslow; 2nd, Master Fryer, of Wycombe; 3rd, Master Phillips, of Wendover; 4th, Master Jones, of Maidenhead; 5th, Master Thompson, of Eastchurch, Isle of Sheppy, Kent; 6th, Master Waters, of London; 7th, Master Norton , of London; 8th, Master Stacey, of Uxbridge.

Coroners Inquest

An inquest was held yesterday at the Chequers Inn, in this town, before T.Wakey, Esq., M.P., coroner, to enquire how and by what means Eliza Baker, who was a widow of about 40 years of age, came by her death, when it was ascertained by the evidence of Mrs.Griffin, with whom the deceased had lived as a lodger for some weeks, that the deceased of late appeared and expressed herself very wretched as regarded her circumstances, saying to her at different times that she was a very destitute and ruined woman. She had been for some months living in the family of Mrs.T.Clarke, of Swakeley's House, Ickenham, as a lady's maid, but had been discharged from thence between two and three months, and had spent all her little savings and become much depressed in spirits; she left her lodgings about seven o'clock on the evening of Tuesday last, and was found about eight o'clock the next morning, under the bridge of the river leading to Uxbridge Moor, dead. After hearing the evidence of a miller, who had seen her going towards the bottom of the town as he was leaving his work, late in the evening, and that of a boy who pulled her out of the water, the jury returned a verdict that the deceased had destroyed herself whilst labouring under temporary insanity.

Commission of Lunacy

Yesterday week a commission de lunatico inquirendo was opened before Mr. Commissioner Winslow, at the George Inn, in this town, to inquire into the state of mind, and the capacity to manage and conduct her own affairs, of Miss Mary Jones, a maiden lady, aged 42 years, who, it was stated, was possessed of property of not less value than 20,000. Mr.Montagu Smith, the barrister, appeared in support of the commission, which was unopposed on the part of the unfortunate subject of the inquiry - The Learned Commissioner, in opening the proceedings, desired that Miss Jones should be introduced. The unfortunate lady was accordingly conducted into the room. She presented a very lady like appearance, and manifested great self possession. On taking her seat, near the learned commissioner, she was addressed by him as "Miss Jones," to which she immediately replied, "No,no, not Miss Jones, but Mrs Althorp;" thus exhibiting the delusion under which she laboured - namely, that of imagining she was a married woman. In answer to questions put to her by the learned commissioner, she replied that she had been married in the heavenly bower; that the house she had lived in was her own, but that the Almighty had taken it away, and that Miss Jones had departed in the year 1824, and that she was now Mrs.Althorp.
When told of the nature of the inquiry, and asked if she had any objections to make, she replied, "Oh, no; all or none; all or none."
Mr.W.Smith, in opening the case to the jury, detailed various acts which exhibited the existence of the manifest delusion in the mind of the unfortunate lady, especially that which had been shown to the jury by the examination of Miss Jones herself, viz, the delusion that she was a married woman. The jury, after a very brief consultation, returned a verdict to the effect that Miss Jones was of unsound mind and incapable of managing her own affairs, and they further found, that she had laboured under that unsoundness of mind and incapacity since the month of March 1841.