Dishonesty;  exploding casks and love for landlord

1832 – Rapturous Welcome Home for Sir Edwyn and Lady Scudamore Stanhope

In July 1832, Sir Edwyn and Lady Scudamore Stanhope returned to the county after being away for four years,  to be greeted by a massively enthusiastic welcome, which began at Hoarwithy and culminated at Caldicot turnpike near to their home.

At the turnpike the astounded pair were greeted by hundreds of their tenants on horseback, as well as gentlemen and tradesmen from all around – they wore laurel in their hats and knotted blue ribbons.  Many more were on foot, and every one of them began cheering as the couple drove up.

Sir Edwyn managed to find a space to jump down from his phaeton, and began shaking hands with anyone within reach;  eventually he got back on his carriage and they moved on to the park gate where there were flags and banners, and a band playing superb music.

The approach to the house

Somehow, the cavalcade managed to order themselves, with the horsemen in front riding two abreast, followed by those on foot six abreast – the estimated numbers were between two and three thousand.

At the house a whole ox and six sheep had been roasted, and there was a wagon load of bread and many casks of cider and ale for the assembled multitude to enjoy during the evening.

Sir Edwyn Gives a Speech

To deafening cheers, Sir Edwyn and his party entered the house and appeared on the balcony above the front door where he made a rousing speech of thanks for his welcome, and gave assurances that he would always take care of their welfare and comforts.

He ended his speech by saying that he would not keep them any longer from the festivities that waited for them, and retired with more cheers ringing in his ears.

A “saucy whore” is thrashed

The night’s celebrations went well outside, except for one small incident of a “saucy whore” who became drunk on cider and proposition the Mayor;  she was thoroughly beaten for her troubles by a servant of the Mayor much to the delight of onlookers.

1850 – Inquest on Wagon Accident

Benjamin Morris, married to Susan, was hauling bricks and tiles for William Partridge of Ballingham, and during the afternoon went home to collect another horse to help pull the wagon up Bower pitch.

Later in the evening, he arrived back home with blood pouring from his mouth and nose, and called for help – several men carried him into the house where he related that his horse “Smiler” had knocked him over and the wheel of the wagon had passed over him.

Susan sent for the surgeon Mr. Mailes, who said that Benjamin had lost  a great deal of blood, and he didn’t hold much hope of a recovery.  He gave Benjamin some brandy and water, but he died early in the morning.


1856 – Dishonesty on the Train

Mr. Timothy Smith, a well respected farmer from Holme Lacy attempted to get away with travelling in a second class carriage on the Hereford, Ross and Gloucester Railway without buying a ticket.

The Bench informed Mr. Smith at the hearing that he should really be given three months in prison for his “silly conduct”, but they had decided that a fine including costs of £1 18s 8d would teach him a lesson.


1862 – Christmas Cheer at Holme Lacy

Sir Edwyn Scudamore Stanhope, Bart. of Holme Lacy, in another example of his generosity, gave 1100lbs of top quality beef to the poor of the parishes of Holme Lacy, Ballingham and Bolstone.

In addition, any poor householder in Holme Lacy who could give twopence, received five hundred weight of coal.

1863 – Died by the Visitation of God or Sudden Death from Natural Causes?

Ann Pocknell, a spinster aged 58 of Holme Lacy,  had been unwell for some time and was being treated by Dr. Bull at the Dispensary.  She had suffered a paralytic stroke, and was severely disabled.

She went to bed one Friday night and died in the early hours of the next morning.

The verdict was “Died by the Visitation of God”

In the same year, Thomas Dallow the baby son of a farmer of Holme Lacy contracted a cold, and died.

The verdict was “Sudden Death from natural causes”.

I am wondering what distinction was made when coming to these conclusions.

1899 – Spirit Cask Explodes

Mr. Henry Hodgkiss of Upper and Lower Bogmarsh, Holme Lacy, had bought several empty spirit casks in Hereford Produce Market, for storing cider.

Harvey William, Mr. Hodgkiss’ third son, helped to unload the casks from the wagon, and decided to remove the bung from a hundred gallon cask – on detecting strong spirit fumes, he lit a match to see if there was any liquor remaining…….there was a great fizzing noise and then there was a huge bang “as loud as a canon”.

The cask shattered into smithereens although the staves remained intact, and Harvey was struck by an end piece of very thick wood which broke his arm, whilst the lit fumes burnt one side of his face.

The noise of the explosion carried for some distance and a horse in a stable was so badly frightened by it that it knocked over its groom.

The cask must have held a very large amount of gas.