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Did You Know - Cumberland Times Ninety Years Ago

Cumberland Times Maryport snippets Ninety Years Ago Locomotive newspaper articles 1
Cumberland Times Maryport snippets Ninety Years Ago Locomotive newspaper articles 1

Maryport in 1841

Newspaper snippets of Maryport seen through “Locomotive” Eyes 
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Did you know:-

That Netherhall, which is rightly part of Ellenborough is said to have been originally called Alneburgh Hall and has been the seat of the Senhouse family since the time of Henry VIII? The Senhouses are descended from the ancient house of Seascales of Cumberland, and one of them was Bishop of Carlisle from 1624 to 1626.

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That in 1841 the death of a Senhouse was the cause of great mourning in the district? It was on the 14th July that Sir Hugh le Fleming Senhouse, a cousin of the Lord of the Manor of that day (Mr H Senhouse) passed away while engaged in naval operations in the war with China. Sir Hugh, a Commander, did not apparently die in action but was the victim of “disappointment and over exhaustion” brought on, it is inferred, though “impolitie interference which rendered all his exertions unavailing just when his courage was on the point of reaping its reward.” Sir Hugh was a valiant sea dog. In the Battle of Trafalgar (1799) he served as a midshipman and fought in all the other leading sea battles of his time with particular distinction at Delaware Bay in 1813 when he had risen to be Commander and “defended his little vessel against a whole flotilla of Americans”

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That the presence of the fair sex was very much desired by the Maryport cricketers at their matches? “Disappointed cricketer” was so grieved about the absence of the women from a particular match that he wrote to the “Locomotive” declaring that “many a nervous arm would have been double nerved” had some of the other sex been present to encourage. If “this evil” was not quickly amended he was convinced there would soon be fewer cricketers.

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That permission to perform matrimony in what is now known as St Mary’s Church, Maryport (founded as a Chapel of Ease to the mother church of Crosscanonby) was not granted till January 1843? All weddings had to be performed at Crosscanonby, and among the ceremonies in November 1841 was the union of the Rev H Anderson Baptist Minister and Miss Sarah Abegail Rae, eldest daughter of Dr G Rae, Surgeon.

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That forty cattle were killed when the Birtley, from Belfast, ran on shore near Maryport? It was low water when the vessel went aground, and when the tide flowed it was driven ashore near the Tanyard. When the cargo of cattle were removed next day, forty were dead and thirty living.

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That there was no public highway through the town at that time? This, the “Locomotive” with the support of the shopkeepers looked upon as a detriment, since people passed by the town who otherwise might have spent money in it. There were other things, however, as well as a thoroughfare that the “Locomotive” wanted. “The sides of the street must be flagged, the corners properly named and the houses numbered before we cease to agitate.” The Carlisle to Whitehaven road ran then from Bank End along the coast with fields on either side. Erosion has since made this scarcely believable, but the road continued in line with King Street to Paper Mill Green at foot of Mote Hill, where there was a bridge over the river for foot passengers and pack horses into what is now Irish Street, and a ford at low water for other vehicles.

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That Maryport became a Free Port in November 1841? This was brought about through the exertions of Mr E Horsman MP for Cockermouth, “and the limits chosen by the Surveyor General of Her Majesty’s Customs are from the beck between Flimby and St Helens to Cross Beck, better known as Dub Mill Beck.” Mr Dobinson is engaged in preparing plans and specifications for the warehouse etc which it is expected will be commenced early next year and in the meantime we trust our gentry and townspeople will evince gratitude for the service done … Maryport …Mr Horsman by inviting the gentleman to such an entertainment that will do honour to the spirit of our fast moving town as well as to the birth of the young Prince. A free port is a port at which no customs or other duties are charged on goods. Through them merchants were easier able to exchange their wares than they could have done if duties had had to be paid first.

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That the “usual dullness of the town and neighbourhood” was relieved by the vacancy of the office of County Coroner, since it had to be filled by public election, and one of the candidates was Dr Thomas Smith of Maryport. The franchise of this election was very extensive, all freeholders in the county being electors. Two candidates came into the field, Dr Smith being opposed by Mr William Lumb, “a very young man, a solicitor at Whitehaven and son o one of the Earl of Lonsdale’s stewards” The “Locomotive” gave its full support to Dr Smith – “a gentleman of many parts imbued with a keen sense of public duty” – and hoped the county would show itself not to be bound by custom, but would follow the example of the South of England and Wales where medical coroners had given every satisfaction. A medical man, it was argued, was far more likely to detect any fallacy in the evidence concerning a person’s death than was a lawyer. The “Locomotive’s” chief concern for Dr Smith was the expense he was likely to be faced with through all voters having to travel to Cockermouth to vote and the poll possibly being protracted for ten days. At the same time the “Locomotive” pointed out that Maryport’s increasing size called for the appointment of a resident coroner.

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[“Locomotive” is the alias of the writer] These are retyped from a cutting from Cumberland Times that has no date, but the title of the article is “Ninety Years Ago” and the four specific references to 1841 suggests that it was written in 1931. [PN]

Cumberland Times Maryport snippets Ninety Years Ago Locomotive newspaper articles 2