In this week in 1889

1889 newspaper imageTo celebrate entering our 125th year, throughout 2013 we are publishing details of a selection of local court cases and other items of local interest from the year we were founded, 1889.

The cases below, heard before Hastings Borough Bench and Eastbourne Bench, appeared in the local press in November 1889. To view reports from other weeks of 1889 visit our 125th year section.

Also this week in 1889... Hastings was set to receive newfangled electric lighting and a pioneering American journalist had just embarked on a momentous voyage.

Week ending 23 November

Drunken butcher

Samuel Parker, a butcher, was charged with drunkenness while in charge of a horse and cart at West Marina. PC Mallyon found the prisoner asleep in his cart the previous afternoon outside the Fountain Inn. When awakened he was found to be drunk and incapable of managing the horse and cart.

The Chief Constable proved 11 previous convictions and Mr Parker was fined 10 shillings and costs.

Harsh penalties for bad language

Frank and Emily Talbot, a boatman and his wife, were summoned for using bad language in Emmanuel Road. Mr Talbot was fined 20 shillings and costs or one month’s hard labour and his wife 5 shillings and costs or seven days’ hard labour.

George Burchett, described as ‘a boy’, was fined 10 shillings and costs for using bad language in Priory Street. The alternative was 14 days’ hard labour. The defendant said he would ‘take the 14 days’.

Girl racer

Laura Barham, described as ‘a young woman’, was summoned for driving a pony and trap in a furious and improper manner near the Hastings Memorial. PC Goldolph stated that the defendant was driving at a wild 10 miles per hour and nearly ran over two people.

Mr Lansdell, who defended, said the pony was frightened by a van in Cambridge Road and the defendant lost control. He called the defendant’s sister, a Westfield resident, in support of the claim. Ms Barham was fined 10 shillings and costs.

Drunken misconduct in Eastbourne

Ada Seaton, a ‘fashionably attired, middle-aged lady’, was charged with being drunk in Susan’s Road, Eastbourne on Saturday night. The police stated that the defendant had ‘lately given way to drink’, and on Saturday night was found in the street and had to be taken into custody. She was fined 5 shillings including costs.

Henry Cummings, a hawker, was charged with being drunk and disorderly in the streets. PC Shelley said Mr Cummings was ‘very troublesome’. Cummings, who had previously been convicted, was fined 10 shillings including costs or seven days’ hard labour.

Electric lights for Hastings

A special meeting of the Town Council was held to discuss the possibility of using premises at Rock-a-Nore to provide the means for electric lighting along the seafront, and to make an application to the Board of Trade for a provisional order for that purpose.

A Lighting Committee report showed an estimated cost of £5,828 for providing 50 arc lamps. Their estimated annual running cost was £1,000, as compared with the £1,181 annual cost of maintaining the gas lamps and electric light lamps already in use on the seafront.

It was explained that the scheme would get the whole of the front line of sea esplanade lit up by electric light, there being no lamps, at the time, at the extreme west end. In proceeding with the scheme they would dispose of all the gas lamps along the front and run electric light all night, every other lamp being turned off at midnight. It was noted that electric light was ‘the light of the future’ and provided a clearer and better light than gas.

Around the World in Eighty Days

Nellie Bly in a publicity photo for her around-the-world voyage

In world news… Nellie Bly, a groundbreaking reporter, had just embarked on a momentous journey into the record books. In a bid to emulate Phileas Fogg, the famous protagonist of Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days, on 14 November 1889 she set sail from New York on a 24,899-mile around-the-world trip.

On her journey, Bly visited England, France (where she met Jules Verne in Amiens), Brindisi, the Suez Canal, Colombo (Ceylon), the Straits Settlements of Penang and Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. Her global voyage took 72 days, six hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds and set a world record, though this was broken a few months later by the entrepreneur George Francis Train.

Posted: 18 November 2013

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