Drunkenness, new school room and the Shrewsbury & Hereford Railway Company

1842 – Sad End for Deaf and Dumb Man

In February 1842, John Beniams, a deaf and dumb pauper, had been living with Sarah Haynes in Orleton.

One day he was found lying, quite dead, in a ditch a mile and a half away, and it seemed that there was little interest in the case, with a verdict of Died by the Visitation of God being returned.

1844 – Drowning in Orleton Brook

John Leake had for some time been unwell and by the time of his death was in a very weak debilitated state;  he was about 46 years old and had been staying at his brother’s house.

He left the house on a Monday evening, saying that he was too restless to stay in bed, and was later found drowned in Orleton Brook.  There were no marks of violence, and no real evidence to say that he had committed suicide.

The verdict at the inquest was the imaginative “found drowned”.

1853 – Orleton v. The Shrewsbury & Hereford Railway Company

A complaint was made against the Shrewsbury and Hereford Railway Company by the surveyor of the parish of Orleton, for non repair of the roads in Orleton following their use by the company when constructing their railway.

The roads were left in a very bad state (not the first time that the railway companies had been hauled over the coals for this), and an order was made they they should return the highways to the same state as they were before the beginning of railway work.

A time limit was put on the remedial work of just over a month, and if this was not met then a fine of £1 a day would be imposed until the work was completed.

1854 – First Stone of the New School House at Orleton is Laid

On Thursday 15th June 1854 a peal of church bells declared a special event, and on that day the first stone of a new school room was laid by the Rev. Sir John Page Wood, Bart, Rector of St. Peter’s Cornhill.

People raided their gardens to decorate the church and make floral arches over the drive and entrance to the new school house.  After a church service, a procession went to the site, where a stone was duly laid.

Many of the dignitaries and villagers went to the Vicarage for lunch, whilst the children were given buns!

The school house was to be built in 14th century style, with a master’s house attached, in the centre of the village close to the church.

1855 – New School at Orleton Opens

Despite a delay caused by a very harsh winter, the building work on the new school went well and it was finally opened on 12th April 1855.

It was described as a “handsome and commodious erection”, with a schoolroom for 86 children, and an excellent master’s house.


1859 – Drunk at Orleton

Thomas Harris of Middleton on the Hill, a labourer, had been having a wonderful time dancing with a young lady at Orleton fair, but afterwards imbibed rather too much and was hauled before the court.

Thomas admitted the offence, and was very sorry – he blamed the combined influence of cupid and Bacchus!!

He was set free on payment of 5s fine and 7s 6d costs.

1862 – Pub Allows Drunkenness

William Teague owned the Maidenhead Inn at Orleton, and on 4th September 1862 John Lewis, sergeant of police, paid a call on the house.

He first went during the afternoon at around 4, when he found two men who were drunk and were still drinking spirits.  John returned an hour or so later, and found another man named Davenport completely drunk – William Teague hastily turfed the drunkard out, but the other two men were still there, one being asleep – or perhaps unconscious!

William was fined £3 plus costs.