Perils of childbirth etc.

1798 – Advertisement for Country Housekeeper

Wanted at Shobdon Court, a Country Housekeeper – she must have lived in a family and have had the care of a house and house linen, and understand the overlooking of the poultry and dairy.

None but those who can have an unexceptionable character from their last place, need apply.

1846 – Death After Childbirth

Charlotte Jones, aged 20, became pregnant with an illegitimate child whilst in the service of Mr. Stephens of Evenjobb, but when her condition became obvious she went home to her parents in Shobdon.

When she went into labour one Saturday, she refused to go to bed and remained in the kitchen where she eventually gave birth on the floor twenty four hours later.  Within ten minutes she was dead.

Her mother, Mary Jones, said that Charlotte was so exhausted after the birth that she could neither eat nor drink, and the verdict of the jury at the inquest was that she died because of the circumstances.

The Coroner severely reprimanded both parents of the dead girl, saying that they had exhibited gross negligence in not sending for medical help, and for allowing her to give birth on the kitchen floor instead of in bed.

1861 – Christmas Benefaction

For many years it had been the custom in Shobdon for the poor of the neighbourhood to be given an ox and some sheep at Christmas.

In 1861 “the noble Lord Leiutenant exceeded the generosity of his ancestors”, and on Christmas Eve he arranged for an ox and a quarter, plus twelve fat sheep to be distributed to 174 poor families.

1862 – Theft of Turkeys from Shobdon Court

Forty nine young turkeys were taken from Shobdon Court, the seat of Lord Bateman, then not long afterwards another twenty three disappeared.

Sergeant Dykes of the police led a thorough investigation into the matter, but were somewhat hampered by the insistence of locals that the young fowls were taken by rats, weasels and foxes.

The locals further pushed their point by telling of when a colony of rats carried off a litter of suckling pigs!

Call me a cynic, but one wonders how many locals were secretly rearing a bird for Christmas that year.