Toll Evasion, breach of promise, death and turnip thieves

1843 – The Bans Forbid!

One Sunday in Kingstone Church, the clergyman published the names of James Morgan and Jane Morgan as a couple soon to be married, and immediately a young girl by the name of Emma Cooke shouted out “I forbid the bans!”.

The congregation was agog, and gossip was rife as to the cause of the objection, however it later transpired that James had been courting Emma for some considerable time, then suddenly threw her over for Jane who he asked to be his bride.

It was debatable whether this was a valid ground for objection against the publication of the bans, or indeed whether it was a case of breach of promise.

1845 – The Inevitable Deaths by Fire of Children

Every village has many of these reports – there were actually five cases on the same page in the Hereford Journal – so sad.

Lucy Cherburne, a three year old, died at Kingstone when her clothes caught fire.

1846 – Suicide at Kingstone

William Meek of Kingstone was around 56 years of age, and was married with three children.

A near neighbour, Ann Cane, heard William’s wife crying and rushed out to see what was wrong – when she was told that William had hung himself from a beam in a barn next to his house she immediately went to see, and finding William quite dead asked a passing man to help her cut him down and take him into the house.

At the inquest it was revealed that William had tried to hang himself three months previously, and the verdict was Destroyed himself while in a state of insanity.


1853 – Cheeky Toll Evasion by Kingstone Man

Charles Adams of Kingstone was summoned by Mr. Loxton who was the lessee of tolls, for evading payment of toll when passing through Widemarsh gate.

Charles was seen to drive through Wye bridge turnpike gate, saying that he had a ticket from the Bowling Green gate, but he neglected to show this to the collector.  Soon afterwards he arrived at Widemarsh gate, and passed through that one too without paying the toll or producing a ticket;  he said that he had one from Wye bridge.

Unfortunately for Charles, Mr. Loxton happened to be at Widemarsh at the time and he hurried back to the former gate to see if what Charles had said was true…….it wasn’t!

Charles did try to pay in retrospect but Mr. Loxton was having none of it, as he was becoming increasingly cross about the growing number of toll evaders.

The fine was normally set at £5, but in this case Charles was fined 10s and expenses.


1854 – Distressing Death of Elderly Woman

71 year old Jane Wall of Kingstone had not been well for some time, and for a month had been unable to do anything around the house or even look after herself.

Her husband got up at 5 one morning, as usual, and after Jane declined anything to drink or eat went off to work.  He came back at 10 in order to help her down the stairs and make some breakfast, but was met with a very sad sight.

Jane had tried to get dressed and go downstairs, but had ended up falling and her husband found her at the bottom in a pool of blood.  He called a neighbour to help him carry her back up to bed, but she never regained consciousness and died the next morning.

1856 – Kingstone Man Wins Prize at Wormside Ploughing Match

There were some strange classes in those days at ploughing matches, and in 1856 William Jenkins of Kingstone gained first prize for the man who had reared the greatest number of children without parochial aid.

He had 10 children, and was awarded £1;  John Waters of Kingstone came second with 7 children.


1859 – Turnip Thief at Kingstone

James Philpotts and his son Joseph, both labourers of Kingstone, were taken to Abbeydore Petty Sessions by Mr. Adams of Kingstone who accused them of stealing his swede turnips.

The case was proved by P.C. Pinches, and James was sentenced to 7 days imprisonment.