Theft, death and hairless horses

1789 – Theft from Parish Church

The parish church of Hope under Dinmore was broken into by way of one of the windows, and the communion plate was stolen.

This was the second theft from a church in the area within a week.

1792 – Death of Anne Cave at Hope Under Dinmore

Mrs Anne Cave, wife of Edward Cave, late of Buckland, died at Hope Under Dinmore “after a long and painful illness which she bore with the greatest fortitude and resignation”.

1842 – Smallpox at Hope Under Dinmore

In October at Hope Under Dinmore, Sarah Watkins aged 72 died of Smallpox.

In the same week, Charles, son of John and Martha Lane died aged just 5, and Mrs. Ann Meredith aged 76 died after suffering a long and painful illness.

1845 – Wilful Damage of Apple Trees Earns a Whipping

Late at night, Robert Lane aged 16 entered an orchard belonging to John Arkwright at Hope Under Dinmore, and broke down some trees.

He was caught in the act and was found guilty at court, where he was sentenced to six months imprisonment an an immediate whipping.

1849 – Horses have their Manes and Tails Cut Off

Some nasty ne’er do well went into the stables of Mr. Carpenter of Hope Under Dinmore and cut off the manes and tails of four of his horses.

It was stressed that one of the horses was a grey, although why this should make a difference I don’t know.

P.C. Ball was on the case, and he searched the bag of a travelling man in Hereford, but had no luck in finding anything.

1851 – Fatal Accident at Railway Works on Dinmore Hill

In May 1851 a number of men were working in the cuttings when there was a sudden landslide of rock and earth which completely engulfed three men. Rescue attempts were immediate, but when the debris had been cleared away it was discovered that two of the men were dead.  The third had a miraculous escape due to the fact that he was next to a wheelbarrow, which shielded him and gave him enough air to survive, although he did have serious injuries.

Mr. Fieldhouse who was in charge of the workings, was severely reprimanded by the Coroner for not taking any precautions, such as shoring up the sides of the cutting, in order to protect the men.

The two unfortunate dead men were William Allen and Joseph Chance and the jury at the inquest returned a verdict of accidental death, but also said that great blame was attributable to Francis Fieldhouse the contractor for not protecting his workmen from danger.

1859 – Best Cottagers’ Gardens

In early October, the Leominster Agricultural Association held their annual meeting, which encompassed livestock;  labourers with the greatest number of children;  servants who had served the longest etc. etc.

The category for the best Cottagers’ Gardens was won by William Norman of Dinmore Hill in Hope Under Dinmore

1860 – Did Lovers’ Tiff leads to Suicide?

William Fletcher was a 21 year old man who  worked as a brakesman on the Shrewsbury and Hereford Railway line,  and who lived with his mother Sophia Jenkins (she had remarried) at Hope Under Dinmore.

Shortly before Christmas one night in 1860, William was down by the line, and a witness tried to talk to him but couldn’t hear his reply because of the noise of moving trucks.  The next thing she saw was William taking his cap off then kneeling down and putting his head on the rails just before the goods train ran over him.  Her screams alerted railway workers and the train was halted but it was too late and William was dead.

William was said to have normally been an even tempered and happy chap, but he had begun to seem a little miserable, and rumours were rife about an argument he had had  with his girlfriend, Eliza Rogers,  who worked at the Grapes Tavern in Hereford as a domestic servant.  However, she flatly denied at the inquest that there had been any row.

In the absence of any reason for William’s unhappiness, and by the statements made that he had deliberately placed his head on the rails and not just fallen over, the jury had no choice but to return a verdict of suicide whilst in a state of temporary insanity.

1867 – Heavy Snow and rain Causes Flooding

Melting snow and torrential rain caused devastating floods in Herefordshire in March 1867, and in Hope Under Dinmore water poured off the Dinmore and Winsley hills.

The village was flooded and Mr. Poulton’s grocery shop was under water so that he and his wife were forced to retreat upstairs where they stayed for some time until the water subsided.

The force of the water was such that a huge hole was opened up in the road, and it took seven cart loads of brick bats to fill it in.

1867 – Woman steals Bread and Bacon

Rebecca Folley aged 54 broke into the house of William Barber at Hope Under Dinmore on 19th February 1867 and stole a piece of bacon and two loaves of bread.

In court she said that she was so poor that she had to do it;  she had been caught stealing some eleven years previously, but the court was lenient in that they “only” gave her 12 months imprisonment with hard labour.  They said that she had one more chance to reform her conduct……presumably next time she would face deportation.