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Whitley (Interesting Old News)

Published by Brian on Thursday 4th August 2022

An interesting article refers to a James Taylor who purchased the Rendcomb Park estate, in Gloucestershire, an area twice the size of Wigan borough at the time.

Whitley Hall (Photo: Pat Higginson)
Whitley Hall (Photo: Pat Higginson)

Bolton Chronicle 24 June 1843


On Sunday afternoon last, as a young man, named James Southworth, was bathing in Whitley dam, Wigan Lane, he suddenly sunk, it is supposed, through cramp. Several attempts were made to extricate him; but before that could be effected, a considerable time elapsed, and the vital spark had then fled. An inquest was held on Monday afternoon, at the house of Mr. Henry Taylor, Millstone Tavern, Wigan Lane, and a verdict of "Accidentally Drowned" was returned.

Wigan Observer and District Advertiser 09 July 1881


We learn, from the Gloucester papers, that Mr. James Taylor, of Whitley, Wigan, has become the purchaser of the Rendcomb Park estate, in Gloucestershire, which has been offered for sale by direction of the trustees of the late Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid, Bart., in consequence of the sad death of Sir Francis H. Goldsmid, Bart. The estate embraces altogether an area of 4801 acres, 2 roods, and 21 perches, or about twice the extent of the borough of Wigan. The particulars of sale describe the estate as one of the most perfect freehold residential domains in the West of England. It is situate in the parishes of Rendcomb, Chadworth, Colesborne, and North Cerney, and is distant nine miles from Cheltenham, and five miles from Cirencester. There is a noble stone-built mansion - a very substantial and modern stone structure - of Italian design, built by an eminent architect. It is beautifully situated in the Cotswold Hills on the brow of the boldly rising ground, in a magnificently timbered park and commands extensive and charming views over a heavily-wooded undulating country, including a picturesque valley through which runs the river Churn, an excellent trout stream, supplying an ornamental lake and having its source at the Severn springs in the vicinity of Cheltenham. The mansion is surrounded by beautifully laid-out Italian gardens, charming pleasure grounds, grandly timbered park which is studded with numerous plantations, the ornamental lake with cascade, excellent stabling offering accommodation for twenty-four horses, and in addition there are several farms with comfortable dwelling-houses and homesteads, numerous small occupations and model cottages, and several large enclosures of arable and pasture land, interspersed with extensive and well-grown woods and plantations, forming excellent coverts for the preservation of game. The opportunities for sporting, it is stated, are exceptionally good; the estate is well stocked with winged game, and the covers afford every facility for preserving. The Cotswold and Vale of White Horse Fox Hounds hunt the district, and the meets are most convenient. In addition, the purchaser has also the perpetual right of presentation to the Rectory of Rendcomb, the gross estimated annual income of which is £550.

Lancashire Evening Post 02 September 1890


At Wigan, this morning, James Turner, Stony-lane, Hindley, was charged with breaking two panes and smashing the woodwork in a window at Whitley Cottage, Wigan-lane. Prisoner went to the back door last night and demanded to be let in. Mrs. Jenkinson, the occupant, refused to let him in. Prisoner then made use of threats towards Mrs. Jenkinson and committed the damage mentioned. The prosecutrix was greatly frightened and went out of the house, and remained outside till a policeman came up. She told him what the prisoner had been doing and he was locked up. - He was fined 10s. and costs or 14 days.

Lancashire Evening Post 11 September 1899


Yesterday, a child about six months old, which had evidently been abandoned, was discovered under a hedge near Whitley Farm, Whitley, Wigan. The child was suffering from exposure, and it was removed to the workhouse.

Wigan Observer and District Advertiser 30 March 1909


John Sumner, residing in Spencer-road, Wigan, and carrying on business as a pot merchant in Market-street, was summoned at the Wigan Borough Police Court, on Monday, for maliciously doing damage to growing rhubarb to the amount of 1s., on March 25th. He did not appear.
Ex-Police-constable Wilkinson stated that on Thursday he was in Whitley Hall gardens and he saw Sumner digging for roots. Witness told him the roots did not belong to him, and Sumner replied that he would not have come if he had known the witness was there.
The Chief Constable: If we get a man of his position stealing, it is coming to something.
Mr. Dawson (on the bench) suggested that the defendant thought the garden was waste.
The Chief Constable: If you have a house untenanted for a couple of days, they will come and strip it for you. A man in his position - it is a scandal. He suggested that the magistrates should insist upon the attendance of Sumner, and have him show his respect for the Bench.
Mr. C. E. Beazer said he had brought the case simply as a warning to others.
The bench adjourned the case until Thursday for the attendance of Sumner.

Wigan Observer and District Advertiser 30 January 1912


On Sunday afternoon a party of girls from Hope street Sunday School had a narrow escape from drowning in a large pond of water near to the disused pits at Whitley. They were sliding on ice which they thought was firm when one girl fell, the ice broke, and four of them were plunged into four feet six inches of water. Mr. Fletcher, of 64, Kenyon-road, who happened to be passing heard the screams of the girls, and at once proceeded to the place, and taking off his coat and using his stick got on the ice. As he was assisting one of the girls, she pulled him in. He endeavoured to life the girls on to the ice, but as he did so the ice broke on each occasion. By now he was joined in the water by Mr. T. L. Lace, jun., of 5, Kenyon-road, and the new comer after considerable efforts succeeded in getting the girls on to firm ice, and to the bank. A large crowd had assembled, but with the exception of that of some small boys, and another man there was no assistance proffered. The girls were naturally very cold and exhausted and had to be taken to the homes of friends who lived in the neighbourhood.

Wigan Observer and District Advertiser 17 February 1917

The Tom Wright Bequest.

The Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, Wigan, has benefitted to the extent of £11,041 12s. 0d. under the terms of the will of the late Mr. Thos. Wright, of Wigan, whose death took place at his residence, 20, St. Malo-road, Whitley, Wigan, on 31st October, 1913, at the age of 57 years. Mr Charles Fryer and Mr. William Ball, the executors of the deceased gentleman paid to the treasurer of the Infirmary the sum of £10,000 in July, 1915, on account of the residue left by the will of Mr. Wright, to endow three cots in the institution, in the names of Margaret Wright, the deceased's sister, Dr. Charles Holding Wright, the deceased's brother, and Thomas Wright himself, the remainder of the money to be added to, and to form part of, the Endowment Fund of the Infirmary, in the testator's name. The estate has now been finally wound up, and we understand that a further sum of £1,041 12s. 0d., representing the balance of the estate, has been paid this week through Messrs. Rowbottom and Milligan, to the treasurer of the Infirmary, to form part of the Endowment Fund. The Board of Management of the Infirmary have decided to commemorate the handsome gift, and at the same time perpetuate the memory of Mr. Wright by placing at the entrance to the Nurses' home at the institution a brass tablet inscribed as follows: - "The Tom Wright Nurses' Home." Mr. Tom Wright, the donor of this splendid legacy, was the son of the late Mr. Thomas Wright, wheelwright, of Wallgate, Wigan, and practically throughout his career he was associated with the Pearson and Knowles' Coal and Iron Company. He was a bachelor, and had no immediate relatives, his brother, Dr. C. H. Wright, and his sister, Miss Maggie Wright, having predeceased him. His last will and testament fitly and effectively expressed his well-known sympathies with all efforts for the alleviation of suffering and distress.

Lancaster Guardian 27 August 1937


Mr. Arthur Foyles, a former Lancaster water polo player, and Rugby Union footballer for Rochdale Hornets, now of Wigan, was burned on the arm in a fire which broke out at Whitley Hall Farm, Wigan on Tuesday. A Dutch barn containing 30 tons of hay was involved, and Mr. Foyles was injured when he saved some farm implements from the flames. He received first-aid from members of the Wigan Fire Brigade.

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