News Items about Gateshead 1833 to 1866

Welcome to Gateshead 1833 to 1866 which brings you news items about Gateshead during that period. The book from which these items come is stated below and at the end of this piece is a link to the whole book should you be interested in this period about Newcastle for example


1833 July 16. A most magnificent brick-built chimney having been
completed by Mr. Livingston at the alkali works of Anthony
Clapham, esq , Friars Goose, on the Tyne, a little below Newcastle,
Mr. Clapham, on the above day, entertained a party of friends
with a sumptuous repast at the bottom of the chimney, to the great
delight of his friends, who expressed their surprise and astonish-
ment at this stupendous work of art. It was then the highest
chimney in England, being 263 feet from the base, exceeding in
height that of Muspratt's famous chimney at Liverpool by 38 feet,
and St. Nicholas' steeple, Newcastle, by 69 feet. It is 27 feet in
diameter at the base, and 7 feet at the top, which is finished by a
stone coping. It contains upwards of half-a-million bricks, and is
computed to weigh nearly 2,000 tons.

1833 December 10. The large bell, bequeathed to the parish of St.
Nicholas, Newcastle, by the late Major Anderson, was hoisted up
to the belfry. The diameter of the bell across the mouth is six
feet five inches, its length inside, from top to bottom, is four feet
ten inches, its total weight is about seventy-two cwt. The bell
was cast at the Gateshead foundry of Sir Robt. Shafto Hawks, & Co., by James Harrison, of Barton-upon-Humber. On the preceding
Thursday, the bell was christened by Mr. Harrison, the founder,
previous to its removal to the church, on which occasion a party of
twenty of the workmen were comfortably seated within the bell,
where they drank three gallons of ale, after which ten others
entered it, making thirty persons within it at the same time. The
name given to the bell was " The Major." Whilst in the porch of
St. Nicholas, a shoemaker made the greater portion of a shoe in it,
on Monday afternoon.

1834 March 15. Saturday at night, between twelve and one
o'clock, a young man named Masterman, a Cooper in Newcastle,,
was assisting an acquaintance named Waddle to his residence at the South Shore, near Messrs. Hawks and Co.'s factory, he was-
accosted by three men when near Black wall paper mill, and
knocked down by one of them with what resembled a broken oar
and robbed of a sovereign, four shillings in silver, and his watch.
His hat was found next morning near Redheugh. He was so-
dreadfully disabled that he could not move, and after being
exposed to the cold several hours, was found between six and seven-
in the morning with his pockets turned inside out, and on being-
removed home was in such a precarious state that Mr. Alderman
Shadforth attended on Sunday evening with Mr. J. Brown, and
took his deposition. Waddle was also robbed, but not seriously
injured. On the Monday, three young men were taken upon sus-
picion, viz., Benjamin Bramwell and Martin Lennox, smiths, and
John Pybus, an apprentice to a builder. After undergoing an-
examination, they were remanded until Wednesday, when they
were again brought before the mayor and magistrates. Bramwell
gave a voluntary account of himself and such further information;
as implicated his companions, and warranted the magistrates in
committing them for trial, At the assizes held at Durham in the
month of August following, Lennox and Pybus were found guilty
of highway robbery, Bramwell being admitted king's evidence.

1834 August 9. A locust of extraordinary size was found alive in the
nursery of William Falla, esq , of Gateshead. It was similar to
the specimen described by Lineaus as the migratory locust. This
very singular circumstance, and its being found in that part of
the country is of very rare occurrence.

1834 October 4. A serious accident happened at Springwell colliery,
near Eighton Banks, the property of Lord Ravensworth and
Partners, by the falling of a heavy piece of timber down the pit,
which alighted upon a scaffold or "cradle," on which were
standing William Puncheon, a brakesman, and John Smith,
wasteman, the weight of which precipitated them to the bottom,
a depth of thirty fathoms, and they were both killed upon the spot.
1835 Dec 26 Great was the excitement manifested by all parties in the borough of Gateshead for several days previous to the election of councillors, which took place on the same day, when the following gentlemen were chosen for the respective wards : West Ward James Pollock, 144 ; Thomas Cummins, 101 ; John Barras, 97 ; John Fairbairn, 93 ; Edmund Graham, 89 ; John Bell Johnson,
85. East Ward George Hawks, 143 ; James Hymers, 85 ;
John Abbott, 84 ; John Colman, 79 ; Benjamin Matchett, 78 ; J.
Greene, 73. South Ward George Sowerby, 94 ; Thomas Wilson,
93 ; William Henry Brockett, 91 ; Robert Davis, 90 ; Michael
Hall, 88 ; Robert Robson, 82. The aldermen appointed were
John Abbott, George Hawks, John Barras, James Pollock,
Michael Hall, and Thomas Wilson. George Hawks, esq., was
elected mayor, and William Kell, esq., town clerk.

1836 February 7. A new chapel, belonging to the Methodist
New Connexion, was opened at Sheriff-hill, near Gateshead, when
the liberal sum of 18. 2s. Gd. was collected.

1836 September 30. One of the most wanton, cold blooded, and
atrocious murders which perhaps has ever been recorded, was
perpetrated upon a defenceless man named Lee, in the glass house
belonging to Mr. Price, Pipewellgate, Gateshead. Lee lived in
Gallowgate, Newcastle, and belonged to the Northumberland and
Newcastle Volunteer Cavalry, and the occurrence took place during
the performance of the usual eight days duty of that corps. On
the evening of the above day the unfortunate man was intoxi-
cated, and by some means or other had found his way into the
glasshouse, where he fell asleep upon a large box. Here he was
found by three young men, who were partially acquainted with
him. After covering him with straw, they procured hot cinders
from the furnace, and ignited it. At this moment Lee awoke,
but almost immediately relapsed into deep slumber. It would
appear that the first attempt to set fire to the unconscious man
had failed ; they, however, seemed bent upon his destruction.
More straw was collected, with hot cinders from the furnace,
and tossed upon the helpless being. They then ran out, but
suddenly returning were met by Lee himself enveloped in flames,
and crying out " Fire." The poor fellow rushed along the street,
and in his bewilderment and agony rushed back again to the
glasshouse. By this time some of the neighbouring inhabitants
had been drawn to the place by his cries, who ultimately extin-
guished the flames, So awfully was he burnt that he expired in
a few days, and was buried with military honours in St.
Andrew's churchyard. At the ensuing assizes one of the perpe-
trators was sentenced to ten years' transportation, and the two
others to two years' imprisonment, a conclusion that gave general

1836 December 14. The Gateshead Poor-law Union was formed.
The union comprises the parishes and townships of Gateshead,
Heworth, Winlaton, Whickham, Ryton, Woodside, Crawcrook,
Stella, and Chopwell.

1837 January 4. At a meeting of the town council of the borough of
Gateshead, Mr. Price stated that a large number of lodging-houses
in that town were filled by disreputable characters, driven from
Newcastle by the vigilance of the police. Mr. Rowntree suggested
that it would be better to say nothing about the matter, as it would
serve as an invitation to such persons to seek lodgings there in
greater numbers. Mr. Brockett replied that, having heard of as
many as seventeen being found in one bed, it seemed as if the
lodgings were already full.

1837 April 25. A melancholy accident, by which five workmen
were instantly crushed to death, occurred near the high end of
Gateshead. A scaffolding erected over the quarry of Mr. Joseph
Price fell in with a tremendous crash, and upwards of 20 tons of
stone lying on it at the time fell upon the men, killing them on
the spot. Their names were Joseph Irwin, Matthew Welch,
Thomas Baker, George Croyle, sen., and George Croyle, jun.
(father and son).

1837 December 6. A melancholy catastrophe occurred at Springwell Colliery, near Wrekenton, four miles from Newcastle, from an explosion of foul air. The cause of the accident was not dis-
covered, as out of the fifteen men and ten boys not one was saved.
A similar accident occurred in 1833, by which forty-seven
human beings were deprived of life.

1837 December 9. A boy about five years of age, named Kirkup,
slipped unperceived into Mr. Gallon's paper manufactory at
the Felling Shore, near Gateshead, and climbed upon one of the
wheels. The weight of the boy, it is supposed, set the machinery
in motion, and he unfortunately had both his legs wrenched off.

1838 November 24. The body of a woman, named Eleanor
Brownlee, 103 years old, well known at Gateshead Fell and the
surrounding districts, was found in Ravensworth woods, in a state
of advanced decomposition. She had long travelled the country
with a basket containing pots and nuts, and it was supposed she
had died on the 10th inst., on which day she applied at a farmer's
house in the neighbourhood for a lodging during a heavy rain, and
was refused.

1839 January 7. The North of England was visited by a
tempest, which, as regarded resistless fury and appaling magnitude, had not been equalled in this part of the country, and which bore a closer resemblance to a west Indian tornado than the storms which, however fierce, visit the temperate regions of our globe. Soon after midnight, the wind shifted from S. to W.S.W., and gradually increased in fury until about six o'clock in the morning, when its violence was perfectly frightful. It is impossible to describe the sensation felt during this period. Impenetrable
darkness veiled the face of nature, and when a sudden crash
awoke the inmates of a dwelling, they knew not where to look for
shelter amidst the ruin which surrounded them. At length morning
dawned on a scene of devastation, such as few have witnessed.
Bricks, slates, and tiles, in broken fragments, lay scattered over
the streets in every direction, as if the town had stood a siege.
No one ventured abroad that could possibly avoid it, and every
thoroughfare was literally deserted. In Gateshead the storm raged with even more serious effects than in Newcastle. Nearly every house upon the Fell was unroofed or otherwise injured. The beautiful chimney of the Brandling Junction Railway Company, 115 feet in height, was blown down, and a man named Henry Hawks had one of his legs broken. A chimney at Messrs. Abbot and Co.'s, 75 feet high, fell with a fearful crash, and a man named John Errick was killed, while another person narrowly escaped.

1840 February 1. A dreadful collision took place in the river
Tyne, near Friar's Goose. The London Merchant Steamer was
going down the river on her voyage to London, and the brig Good
Intent, from Lynn, laden with flour, was sailing up, towed by
the steam-tug Margaret, when they came violently in contact
with each other. The Good Intent was struck on the larboard-bow,
and in a few minutes went down. The crew had just time to save
their lives.

1840 July 8 Died, at Gateshead, aged 6O, Mr. James Charlton,
a gentleman who honourably and creditably discharged for a
great number of years, the arduous duties of master of the
Anchorage School, in Gateshead. The deceased, who had the
merit of founding the Gateshead Dispensary, was the author of
many elementary works of great ability.

1840 October 1. A very large hay stack, belonging to Mr.
Grahamsley, standing near the Sunderland Road End, Gateshead,
was almost entirely destroyed by fire. The length of the stack
was upwards of 36 yards, and it contained about 260 tons of hay.

1840 October 23. A fatal accident occurred at Farnacres Colliery,
near Ravens worth. The banksman, shortly before one o'clock in the morning, hearing a loud noise in the pit, threw a stone down the shaft, and found that it fell amongst water. He then shouted, but received no answer, and in a few seconds the shaft, which is 20 fathoms deep, was completely filled. The workmen, five in num-
ber, perished in the mine. A steam engine, capable of pumping
740 gallons in a minute, was immediately set to work, but it was
nearly a month before the first body, William Wilkinson, was
found, and the water was not got fairly under, and the other men
found, until several months after the accident. The names of the
unfortunate men were James Rankin, James Heslop, William
Wetherby, and Andrew Evans.

1841 January 29. A fire broke out this morning, in the naptha
manufactory of Mr. Thoburn, at the Felling Shore, near Gates-
head, and the building was soon almost entirely destroyed.

1841 February 8. The body of Mr. John Wingate, of Newcastle,
who had been missing for six weeks, was found in the Team,
near Dunston. An inquest was held before Mr. Michael Hall,
coroner, when, there being no evidence to show how he got into
the water, the jury returned a verdict of " Found drowned.'*
Previous to the body being found, a remarkable instance of the
sagacity of a Newfoundland dog occurred. For two or three days
before the body was found the animal had been observed running
to and from the place to the ironworks, barking and howling each
time, but no one was induced to follow it. At length it was
supposed the dog was mad, and, in consequence, it was shot ; and
in about an hour afterwards the body was discovered, when the
cause of the poor animals excitement was made apparent.

1841 May 29. A sad accident occurred at Derwent Crook Colliery,
near Gateshead, the property of Lord Ravensworth and Partners.
Between four and five o'clock in the afternoon, the men connected
with the works were sitting in the engine-house, taking their
" allowance," when they became suddenly aware that the boiler
was exploding. They had but a moment for flight. The body of
the boiler, weighing about four tons, became separated from the
bottom, and was lifted entirely over the engine-house alighting
on the opposite side. Mr. Michael Almond, engineer to the
colliery, was caught by a large detached portion of the bottom
plate, which severed his arm from his body, tore the flesh from
his side, and took off one of his legs. He expired in a few
moments. Ten of the workmen were severely scalded, three of
them afterwards died from the injuries they received.

1841 June 7 The borough of Gateshead, according to the new census, contained 19,000 inhabitants, being an increase of about 4,000 over 1831.

1841 August 19. Died, at Villa-place, Newcastle, Sarah Dick-
enson, aged 88. She was born on Gateshead Low Fell, where she
lived till within a very few years of her death. Her mother (Sarah
Fenwick) and herself were " doctr esses'* there for nearly one
hundred years ; and, during that time, they nursed upwards of one
hundred children, principally from Newcastle. Sarah Fenwick
died upwards of 90 years of age ; and her daughter, Dorothy
Wilson, also died at a very advanced age. They were all
respectable in their several situations of life, and rendered great
benefit to a poor laborious population for many miles around.

1841 November 14. An alarming fire was discovered at Friar's
Goose Colliery, near to Mr. Clapham's alkali works, South Shore,
by which an extensive range of sheds, screens, &c., and a number
of waggons were entirely consumed. The damage was estimated
at 800.

1842 January 25. The church of St. Patrick, at the Felling, near
Gateshead, was opened with the usual formula of the Catholic
ceremonial. A sermon was preached by the Rev. William
Eiddell, by whose zeal the erection of the building was principally

1843 April 5. An explosion of fire-damp took place at Stormont
Main Colliery, Wrekenton, near Gateshead, the property of
J. Grace, esq., and Partners, by which twenty-seven men and
boys lost their lives. It appeared that there had been much foul
air in the pit for some days previous, and the men had been advised to use extreme care. A subscription was entered into for the widows and children left destitute by the calamity, and a considerable sum raised for their support.

1845 January 13. Mr. Edward Wood, a person who had
performed the character of clown in the Christmas pantomime at
Newcastle Theatre, sailed from the King's Meadows to Tyne Bridge
in a washing-tub, drawn by four geese. The exhibition attracted
an immense concourse of spectators.

1846 August 7. An inquiry was instituted before Mr. William
Baker, deputy -coroner, at the Crown, High-street, Shadwell,
London, relative to the death of Mr. Isaac Tucker, aged 37, whose
death occurred from intoxication. It appeared that the deceased,
who resided at Gateshead, where he carried on the business of a
pipe maker, was the author of two dramatic works, which he was
desirous should be published by a London house. He had gone to
London for that purpose, and whilst there obtained a tasting order
for the London docks, where the deceased drank about half-a-pint
of different wines. On leaving there he went to the Old Rose,
Shadwell, and had two glasses of brandy and water. The deceased
then became insensible, and in this state he was removed to the
station, in King David-lane, where he was left. In about half-an-
hour he seemed in a dying state, when Mr. Ross, a surgeon,
was sent for. He tried to bleed him, but without effect, and
life became extinct. Verdict " Apoplexy from excessive

1851 May 19. A violent thunderstorm passed over this town and
neighbourhood. A man, named Thomas Fibb, was struck dead
on the Durham-road, near Gateshead Low Fell. He was going to
meet his father and mother and other friends, who were coming
from Chester-le-Street, and who were little more than one hundred
yards from him when he was struck by the electric fluid. They
observed a person fall, but did not suspect who it was, and it was
some time before they recognized the fallen youth to be their
relative. He was much scorched about the face and his clothes
were torn off and scattered about the road. The lightning also
struck the house of Mr. J. Atkinson, Windmill-hills, Gateshead,
but although the ornaments were knocked off the mantel-piece of
the sitting-room and the walls severely shattered, Mr. and Mrs.
Atkinson escaped unhurt. The house of Mr. Muras, Arthur's-
hill, Newcastle, was also seriously damaged by the electric fluid.
A child on the Rabbit-banks, Gateshead, was also struck by the
lightning, and several others were more or less affected during the

1856 July 12. -An outrageous and deadly attack with gun, bludgeon, and scythe, Was made by a numerous body of Ribbonmen, near the Felling, upon a small party of Orangemen, quietly marching in procession in celebration of the victory of the Boyne, in which William III., Prince of Orange, overcame the forces of James II. and secured the protestant succession in his own person to the English throne. A number of the Orangemen were much injured, and several of the Ribbonmen were afterwards apprehended and imprisoned for the offence.

1857 September 2. This morning the stackyard of Mr. Thomas
Snowden, at the Blue Quarries, near Gateshead, was discovered
to be in flames. Two fire-engines soon arrived from Newcastle,
but, owing to a want of water, it was two o'clock in the afternoon
before the fire was got under, when the contents of the stackyard
had been almost entirely consumed. These consisted of eight
stacks of new wheat, just carted from the field; 2 stacks of old
wheat ; and 3 stacks of hay. The damage was estimated at 400.
The fire was supposed to be the work of an incendiary. Mr.
Snowden was uninsured.

1858 May 27. The extensive premises known as the Friars*
Goose Chemical Works were put up for sale, this afternoon, by
Mr. Brough, auctioneer, at the Queen's Head Hotel, Pilgrim-street,
Newcastle, under the orders of the assignees of Mr. Alexander
George Gray, a bankrupt. There was a large attendance of
manufacturers and professional men. The works stand on fifteen
acres of ground, and were held under a lease of ninety years from
the Master and Brethren of St. James's Hospital, at an annual
rent of 300. One of the conditions was, that the purchaser
should take the material then in the works at a valuation. Mr.
Brown, of the Gateshead Iron Works, bid 6,000, simply to dis-
mantle the place for the sake of the material. Several other offers
were made, until the bidding reached 12,100, after which the
auctioneer announced the reserved bid was 14,000. Mr. William-
son, of Jarrow Alkali Works, immediately bid 14,050, and no
advance being offered, the works were knocked down to him at
that sum.

This item is just one example of many reports of rowing races on the Tyne

1858 June 16. A race with four-oar skiffs took place on the
Tyne this afternoon, between the four brothers Taylor and four
of the Clasper family. The race was for 50 aside, and the four-
oared championship of the Tyne. It excited immense interest among the sporting classes, and drew together avast concourse of spectators, who crowded almost every available space on both banks of the river, from Tyne Bridge to Scotswood, the distance rowed in the race. A very fair start was effected, the Taylors being slightly ahead, but, although they contested the ground manfully, the Claspers gradually gained, took the lead a little above the Skinners' burn, kept it, and won an excellent race by about two boat lengths.

1858 July 31. This afternoon a lunatic, named John Hewitson,
came to his death by leaping from the High Level Bridge. The
poor man was a single person, aged 25, and was formerly clerk to
Mr. Blagburn, tallow chandler, Gateshead. It appeared that he
had been sent out in charge of Rankin Duff, one of the attendants
at Bensham Lunatic Asylum. They had delivered a message in
High-street, Gateshead, and were crossing near the railway station
in order to go up West-street, when Hewitson suddenly gave Duff
a blow on the chest which knocked him down, and then ran
towards the High Level Bridge. Duff gave chase and called upon
the people to stop him, but Hewitson kept ahead, and, on reaching
the bridge, leapt over the railing and fell within the gateway
in Pipewellgate, leading into Pringle's yard and was killed on
the spot.

This item is but just one example of a drowning incident. The Tyne and the North Sea were very busy with boats, large and small and many North Easterners died by drowning

1858 August 7. The foreman of the tinners at Messrs. Abbot
and Co's. Iron Works, Gateshead, Mr. William Hailes, and four
of his friends, named John Ryles, Thomas Warner, William Pitt,
and William Ramshaw, set out in a little boat for a day's ramble
at Tynemouth. All went on well until they arrived at Walker,
when all of a sudden, and without any perceptible cause, the boat
capsized, and the five men were precipitated into the water. Three
of them proved good swimmers and reached the bank in safety,
the other was picked up, but poor Hailes sank to rise no more.
His body was found shortly after with his hands firmly clenched
round one of the mooring chains.

1858 September 7. A most distressing gun accident occurred in
Gateshead. A blacksmith, named Samuel Fearney, resident in
the upper part of that borough, irritated by bis apprentice having
stayed out too long shooting, threatened to break the gun, and he
was suiting the action to the word by taking it by the muzzle and
Striking it against the anvil, when the gun went off and shot him
in the groin, from the effects of which he died in a few hours.

1860 August 29 The presentation to Mr. Clephan, late of the
" Gateshead Observer," took place at the Mechanics' Institute,
Gateshead, this evening. The testimonial consisted of 250 in
money, and a silver inkstand, manufactured by Messrs. Reid and
Sons, and valued at thirteen guineas. The Mayor of Gateshead
(Mr. Crawshay) took the chair, and the presentation was made by
the Mayor of Newcastle (Mr. Alderman Blackvvell). Addresses
were delivered by these gentlemen, Mr. Alderman Smith, Mr.
Glynn, and others ; and votes of thanks were given to the ladies
for presiding at the tea tables, to Mr. Shields, Northumberland-
street, for the loan of a piano, to Mr. Topliff and other vocalists
for their gratuitous services, and to the Mayor for presiding.

1860 November 6. This morning a man, named John Baty, was
found brutally murdered near Winlaton. The deceased lived in
Cuthbert-street, Blaydon, and was a slater, and well known as a
clever workman and a quiet, respectable man. He had been at a
shooting match on the previous day at Blaydon Burn, and was
seen late at night in the company of a man, named Thomas Smith,
a pitman, who immediately disappeared. On the 16th Smith was
recognised at Port Mulgrave, near Whitby, by a man, named
Irving, with whom he had worked at Haltwhistle. Smith was
dressed in the clothes which he had stripped off Baty. Irving
brought him to Gateshead, and, on the way, Smith said he had a
tussel with Baty, but did not expect he had killed him. He was
brought up at the ensuing Durham Assizes convicted of the murder, and was executed on the 27th December

1861 April 10. The marriage of Colonel Sir David Wood, bart.,
K.C.B., with the Hon. Miss Liddell, eldest daughter of the Right
Hon. Lord Ravensworth, of Ravensworth Castle, Durham, and
Eslington, Northumberland, took place at Lamesley Parish Church,
near Gateshead. On the party leaving the church, the scene that
presented itself was one of the liveliest description. The sun
shone with unclouded brilliancy, bells rang merry peals, the band
played, the cannons were fired, and the spectators cheered
vociferously. The children, many of them dressed in white,
attending the Lamesley and Lady Park Schools, strewed flowers
in the path of the bride, as she was led by Sir David to the
carriage, and the cortege drove off, on its return to Ravensworth
Castle, amidst the most lively manifestations of rejoicings.

1861 May 9. The ancient ceremony of traversing the boundary
of the river Tyne took place to day. The Mayor (Henry Ingledew,
esq.) and the Corporation of Newcastle, the River Tyne Commis-
sioners, the Stewards of the Incorporated Companies of the
Freemen of the Borough, the Master and Brethren of the
Trinity House, the Mayor and Corporation of Gateshead, &c.,
were present. The "perambulation" was of the most imposing
and enthusiastic character, and the occasion was observed, by the
majority of the inhabitants, as a partial holiday. The weather
throughout the day was fine, though a cold wind blew briskly from
the north. Early in the morning the merry bells of St. Nicholas*
were rung, and of St. Mary's Church at Gateshead, guns were fired,
instruments of music were played, flags and banners were displayed
from windows, and from the rigging of every vessel in the Tyne,
and every thing wore a holiday appearance. The river was
literally covered with steamers, boats, skiffs, gigs, &c., many of
which accompanied the party in their perambulations. The fol-
lowing is a copy of the proclamation made at various places
during the survey, viz :


"Proclamation is hereby made that the Soil of the River Tyne, wherever
covered Avith water, between Hedwin Streams and Sparhawk, is within the
Borough of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and belongs to, and is within the Juris-
diction of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses, of the said Borough."

1862 June 30. This evening, about half-past nine o'clock, Mr.
Crawshay, of the firm of Hawks, Crawshay, and Co., Gates-
head, hooked a trout, with fly, opposite Haughton Castle, in
the North Tyne, and landed him on the following morning, about
half -past three, after a struggle of six hours' duration. He was
upwards of 41bs. in weight, and a true burn trout. Mr. Anthony
and Mr. Thomas Armstrong, of Chipchase Mill, spent the night
with Mr. Crawshay, and contributed to his success, carrying a
lantern and landing the fish. His strength was prodigious, and he
fought hard to the very last.

1863 March 15. Mr. Peter Forsyth, one of the foremen of the
Felling Chemical Works, and who also held the rank of sergeant
of the Felling Volunteer Rifle Corps, had five of his children
christened at Windy Nook Church, by the Rev. E. M. Adamson,
and named respectively Elizabeth, Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel.

1864 December 17. A horrible murder was committed at the
village of Spen, near Winlaton. A pitman, named Atkinson, who
had been at a shooting match, returned home in a state of
drunkenness. When he arrived at the threshold he found that his
wife had retired to rest, but on being summoned she got up and let
him in. Thinking that she was in the same inebriated condition
as himself, the brute seized the fire irons, and beat her in a frightful
manner. Becoming exhausted he went out to refresh himself,
and on regaining his strength re-entered the house, resumed the
attack on his wife, and beat her until she was dead. The neigh-
bours, it seemed, had been too familiar with the unhappy couple
quarreling to pay any attention to the cries of the poor woman,
who was most horribly mutilated. He was shortly afterwards
taken into custody. He was tried at the next Durham Assizes
before Mr. Justice Mellor, was convicted of the murder and sen-
tenced to be hung, and was executed on the 16th March following.

If this has whetted your appetite for lots more news items of Newcastle, and the North East generally, click the link
Remarkable Events