New Wesleyan Chapel;  drowning in well and more

1847 – Death of William Rowl Scudamore

Late September 1847, William Rowl Scudamore, aged around 38,  was found dead in the road.

At the inquest, William Henry Powell related how Mr. Scudamore called at his house somewhat the worse for wear, and drank cider and gin for a while before leaving on his pony.

The following morning, William Scudamore was found by the parish constable – he had been looking at his land in the parish, when he saw that someone had been very sick;  a little further on he found William by the side of the road stone dead.

His pony was found at the gates of his home, and it was presumed that he had fallen off and broken his neck;  indeed, the surgeon who was called said that there was a great deal of blood under the skin around the neck and shoulders and that in his opinion he died instantly from dislocation of the neck and rupture of large blood vessels therein.

The surgeon also remarked that he had known William for 20 years, and knew that he was not exactly temperate.

1858 – Child Dies of Burns at Upton Bishop

A small child named William Thackway of Upton Bishop was left in the house with an older sibling whilst their mother went outside to fetch water from the well.

Five minutes later, William ran out of the house screaming with his clothes flaming around him.  His mother managed to extinguish the flames and applied what remedies she had to hand before sending for the doctor, but the child died early the following morning

1860 – Opening of New Baptist Chapel at Upton Bishop

A new Baptist place of worship, with a capacity for 140 people was opened at Crow Hill in the parish of Upton Bishop.

The money for building was raised by the congregation of the Rev. John Hall, minister of Gorsley chapel which was one of the biggest Baptist chapels in the county.

Mr. Hall had been tireless in his quest, and as well as this chapel at Upton Bishop, many more were built in the surrounding area.

In the following year, children George Evans and Francis Evans of Much Marcle were charged with throwing fireworks in the Crow Hill chapel on 31st April 1861.

Apparently, one lady had to be carried out of the chapel after she fainted.  The children could have been facing imprisonment or a hefty fine, but managed to get away with 7s 6d each plus expenses.

1855 – New Wesleyan Chapel at Upton Bishop

The foundation stone for a new Wesleyan chapel was laid at Upton Bishop with great ceremony by J. Hadley of Gloucester;  the Revs. W. Fox (Ledbury);  F. Hart (Newent) and J. Eland (Gloucester).

The chapel was to be built to accommodate 250 Worshipers.

1863 – Infant drowns in Well at Upton Bishop

Emily Ibell was the mother of three children, and one day when she needed to go to Ross on Wye, she took them to her friend Mary Chamberlain to be looked after until her return.

She was away for about two hours, and when she came back, only two children were with Mary Chamberlain, the third, James Ibell who was not yet two, was missing.

Emily rushed outside, and after frantic searching eventually found James in the well which had just over two feet of water in the bottom.  He was quite dead.

Despite her grief, Emily never blamed Mary Chamberlain for the accident, and said at the inquest that she was a dear friend.

1866 – Upton Bishop Man Charged  with Refusing to Pay for his Child

George Wilks of Upton Bishop was brought up in custody, charged with refusing to comply “with an order in bastardy”.

He was supposed to be contributing 1s 6d per week to support Maria Phillips’ child, but had never paid a penny and arrears had added up to £3 12s 6d.

One of George’s friends attending the court hearing, and paid £2 out of his own pocket, and the magistrates deferred a prison sentence of three months with hard labour for a week, to give George a chance to pay the rest.

1879 – Case of Children Missing School at Upton Bishop

John Smith, a shoemaker of Upton Bishop was hauled before the court for not sending his four children to school in December 1878.

The school attendance officer for the area, Mr. J. Parsons,  proved the case, and although John Smith did not appear his wife did, and she said that she could not afford to send her children to school.

The Chairman told her that she could apply to the Board of Guardians for the remission of the fees, but no matter what, she must send her children to school.

If the children did not attend regularly in future, then fines would be imposed to the value of 5s in each case.  (This seems pointless – if the Smiths couldn’t afford the fees of the school, then they could hardly afford the fines!)

1879 – When he was Sober he was Good!

Henry Johnson, a labourer from Upton Bishop was brought before the court charged with beating his wife Emily.

Emily said that on 1st July, Henry came home rather drunk, asking for his supper, but when she gave it to him he complained that he didn’t want fried bacon, he wanted it boiled.  She went to do as he asked, but he was impatient and overturned the kitchen table, at which point she decided to get out of the house.

Henry followed her, and started to kick her, then he pulled her hair when she tried to get away.

Despite all this, and the fact that he had done it before when drunk, she defended him and said that in six years of marriage he was always lovely when sober.  She said that she didn’t want to quarrel with him, nor to have the court come down heavily on him;  indeed, she would not have seen him in court, had it not been for the fact that the assault was witnessed by the parish constable.

The Bench decided to make an example of Henry, but given that Emily had pleaded for leniency, they only gave him two weeks in Hereford gaol, followed by being bound over to keep the peace for six months.