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August NewsThe following items have been extracted from the British Newspaper Archive, also available though Findmypast. They are in publication date order.
Notes follow some items: further research, useful links etc.
Newcastle Courant 12 August 1727On Thursday a Whirlwind took up a large Cock of Barley about 300 Weight, in a Field near Brentford, and carried it upwards almost out of Sight.
Notes300 Weight is 3 hundredweight, 336 imperial pounds or a fraction over 150kg: the weight of two men. I wonder how far from Brentford one would have to travel to find a field of barley now?
London Standard - Wednesday 27 August 1828EXTENSIVE FARMS, EALING. Gunnersbury Lane, and Wormholt Wood, near Wormwood Scrubbs, Middlesex. - By Messrs. DRIVER, at the Auction Mart, on FRIDAY, Sept.26. at Twelve, in Lots, by order of the Executors of the late Richard Vachell, Esq.
ABOVE THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-FIVE ACRES OF RICH LAND, arranged into separate Farms, comprising a very valuable parcel of garden ground, containing Ninety-five Acres, called LONDON STILE FARM, in the occupation of Mr. Vaughan, most ad vantageously situate bear the six-mile stone on the Great Western road, through Brentford. A Small Farm of Twenty eight Acres, called GUNNERSBURY LANDS, in the occupa- tion of Peter Thorn; and a capital Farm of Two Hundred and Forty-one Acres, called WORMHOLT WOOD FARM, near Wormwood Scrubs, in the occupation of Messrs. Hunt, all which estates are held under a lease or leases from the Lord Bishop of London for the term of 21 years, of which 19 years will be unexpired at Christmas next, but renewable every seven years according to the usual custom of the See of London.- Further particulars are in preparation, which may be had after the 5th of September, at the inns in the neigh bourhood of the property; of Messrs. Frere and Forster,so licitors, Lincoln's Inn; at the Auction Mart; and of Messrs. Driver, surveyors and land agents 8, Richmond Terrace, Whitehall.
Access to Archives online catalogueA 'Google' for "Richard Vachell" brought up a number of interesting matches, including the following in The National Archives Access to Archives online catalogue. The original documents are all held by London Metropolitan Archives:
Morning Advertiser 31 August 1838:A freehold Estate, Brentford-butts, Middlesex, comprising Brent House, with large garden, Brent Cottage, with extensive grounds, paddock, coach-house, and stables; the nursery-ground, a most eligible spot for building, and 21 residences in the occupation of highly respectable tenants, with other property; estimated annual value £844 per annum; this and following ten lots (by order of the devisees of the late William Crighton, Esq., (sold in one lot for £14,750). A freehold estate, comprising the Pigeons Inn, Hotel, and Assembly-room, standing for seventy horses, coach-houses, ostler's dewlling, and three houses adjoining the High-street, Brentford, Middlesex - £3,950. A Range of Warehouses with lofts above, in Market-place, £440. The Market-place, with all its rights and privileges - £2,200. A Shop and Dwelling, adjoining the Market-house - £800. A Freehold Cottage - £130. Four ditto, £245. Four ditto, £300. Two Shops and Dwellings, £645. A House, Shop, and Yard with buildings, the corner of High-street - £440. A House on the West side - £600.
Notes about William Crighton EsquireThe site has references to William Crighton showing he lived in The Butts: the 1811 census, Holden's Directory of the same year, Pigot's 1826 directory - address Brent Cottage; and finally it is known he left a will for which probate was granted in 1837. Brent Cottage adjoined Brent House, which was demolished in 1909. Over a 100 years later actor Arthur Phillips lived at Brent Cottage.
Bucks Herald - Saturday 1 August 1868KILLED BY A PLEASURE VAN
At the Brentford police-court on the 25th July William Cook, the son of an extensive proprietor of pleasure vans at Kentish-town, was placed before the bench on remand, charged with feloniously slaying and killing one Robert Hackett, aged 75, whilst in the lawful pursuit of his calling. The deceased was an army pensioner and a licensed hawker. His wife said that he left home on Saturday the 18th inst., when he was in his usual health, and did not complain of any ailment. Knowing that several pleasure parties would pass through Brentford he went out with his barrow laden with articles of confectionery. William Hughes said he was high-constable of the parish, and on Saturday morning, the 18th inst., he was standing at the door of his residence in High-street, Brentford Old- town, witnessing the arrival of a great number of pleasure vans, some of which had bands of music playing. The prisoner Cook was driving the last van in the procession, and he noticed that he made two or three attempts to get in front of the other vehicles. He saw the deceased in the road, and that if Cook attempted to pass in that narrow part he would kill him. He held up his arms and told him to stop, but it was no use, and prisoner urged on his horses. Witness found the poor old fellow under the pleasure van. He was bleeding and apparently dead. He found one of the horses down and one of the leaders on the pavement. He assisted in removing the man, and then took the driver into custody. In answer to questions, the officer stated that it was highly improper for the prisoner to attempt to pass the other vans in such a narrow part of the road. Several of the passengers attempted to prove that it was the noise caused by the playing of the band that made the horses restive, and having lost all control over them they diverged from the line they had taken, and hence the mischief. This, however, was contradicted [by] other witnesses, and the prisoner was committed to the Old Bailey on the charge of manslaughter.
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913You can view the trial details for free at the Old Bailey website - see Web Links for a link.
The witness statements give several insights into the incident and context: the narrowness of the High Street at this point, more about the pleasure vans; and also about the deceased, Robert Hackett and his work as a hawker. For example: I had known the deceased many years—he was about 75 or 76 years of age; a second witness Cross-examined. Q. I believe you had known him for several years? A. Yes; I should think for seven years show Robert had lived in the area for possibly seven years prior to his decease. However a quick check of the 1861 census does not turn up an obvious candidate, the nearest match on age being born in 1789 in Buckinghamshire, a chimney sweep, which would have made him around 79 in 1868.
Joseph Ryan NEVILLE I am a cooper, at Old Brentford, and live between twenty and thirty yards from Hughes, lower down on the same side, towards Hounslow. This is likely to be a mis-hearing of Joseph ONION Neville, of 264 High Street, the site includes details of his family and a photo of him.
Sarah MOLES I live at Old Brentford, about thirty yards from Hughes, between his house and the deceased's live between twenty and thirty yards from Hughes, lower down on the same side, towards Hounslow. Sarah Moles was living at 262 High Street in 1861 and 1871, two doors to the west of Neville. Robert Hackett lived west of Sarah, I'd guess between numbers 250 to 260. The site has details of the Mole family.
William HUGHES, the high constable, lived at 271 High Street, to the east of NEVILLE, in censsues from 1841 to 1871.
Joseph WILLIAMS I am a surgeon, at New Brentford. He lived at 181 High Street from around 1861 to 1881, so about 80 houses away from the incident.
The Tithe map, produced around 30 years before the incident, shows the house line on the south side at property ref. 22 projecting into the roadway and narrowing it.
Robert Hackett was buried at Hounslow on July 22 1868, his age was recorded as 75. The register has no column showing cause of death; this would be on the death certificate. Ann Hackett was buried in the same churchyard on August 30th 1868, less than six weeks later: was this his widow? Her age was recorded as 71. A search of military records uncovered a possible sighting of Robert in his youth: Robert Hackett enlisted at the age of 18 at Bristol on 4th May 1812 for 7 years service with the 1st Foot Soliders, 1st Battalion. He was 5' 2", had a fair complexion, grey eyes, brown hair and his birthplace was Hanworth, Middlesex, he was a labourer at the time. The records are from the 'Canda, British Regimental Registers of Service 1756-1900'. However, just when he appeared to be nailed down, I found a record from 24th August 1815 in the same record set suggesting he never joined the unit (ancestry.co.uk).
There are two baptisms or Robert Hackett at St George, Hanworth, on May 5th 1793 and 19th April 1795, both to a Robert and Sarah Hackett. Robert junior seems likely to be the man who nearly joined up; if so he had a difficult start in life, as the Hanworth St George burial register inludes the following entry in 1800: Sarah (the wife of Robert Hackett, who in a Fit of Lunacy, made away with herself on Friday 17th October, 1800. N.B. The above Robert Hackett is Coachman to Sir James Wallace, Kt.) A marginal note adds the fact that she was 39 years old; she was buried on October 23rd.
The family was hit again when Sir James Wallace died less than three years later; he is described 'Admiral of the blue, and late Governor of Newfoundland'. He died on March 6th 1803, aged 69 and was buried on March 13th. A few months later on July 29th Robert Hackett 'late coachman to Admiral Sir James Wallace' was buried in the same graveyard. Robert junior was an orphan at the age of eight; he had an older brother, John, baptised in 1791.
More searches finally uncovered Robert Hacket with wife Ann on High Street, Hounslow in 1851. He was 57, born Hanworth, 'Pensioner'; she 54, born Heston. Searching for a 'Robert' born Hanworth finally uncovered him (surname mis-transcribed Hocker)in 1861, still in Hounslow, occupation labourer, age 69, Ann being just 53; her birthplace 'Heston' suggests she is likely to be the same lady as in 1851. This still does not prove he is the person who died in 1868, but it seems likely.
Finally: William COOK was found 'Not Guilty'.
Nottingham Evening Post - Saturday 28 August 1926CHEMICAL STORE BLAZE. FIREMEN TAKE MILK TO COUNTERACT FUMES.
Early this morning an alarming fire broke out at a large two storey building in High-street Brentford, where the United Water Softeners Ltd., have their laboratories and testing sheds.
The building contained large stores of chemical of a highly inflammable character, and the fumes given off rendered the work of extinguish¬ing the outbreak extremely difficult and hazardous.
The fire was discovered at about 1.45 by the night watchmen, who sought to put it out by means of the hydrants and hose pipes with which the premises were supplied.
They soon realised the hopelessness of the task, however, and summoned the Brentford Fire Brigade, which fortunately, is only about 100 yards away. In a few minutes the brigade was on the scene, but by this time the premises were well alight, the flames, owing to the combustible nature of the contents of the building, rising to a great height, and attracting a Iarge crowd of sightseers.
Owing to the magnitude of the task with which they found themselves faced, the brigade issued a call to the Hanwell and Chiswick brigade, who arrived promptly, and measures were immediately taken to prevent the fire spreading.
The firemen were warned that they ought to be supplied with milk as a precaution against the effects of the gases. Fortunately a milk float was close at band, and from this a large quantity of milk was supplied at regular intervals to the firemen, who worked in relays.
Almost the whole of the building was destroyed, but by great good fortune the flames did not reach one corner of the premises where some particularly dangerous chemicals were stored.
Published August 2012; updated December 2016