The Foxearth and District Local History Society
1778 Ipswich Journal newspaper archive

January 3rd 1778

On Friday last, four boys the eldest of whom was about 11 years and children of a farmer near Layham near Hadleigh in Suffolk being left by their parents who went visiting, they were playing at blind bob, one of them about 9 years old in account of being blinded and innocent of the consequences took up a loaded gun and told his eldest brother while he was being blinded he would shoot him and immediately discharged the gun and killed him on the spot.

January 24th 1778

A considerable seizure of contraband was seized at Thwaite by Mr Pope the excise officer of Stowmarket, there was a large quantity of goods to the value of £10,000 upwards, they were brought to Ipswich custom house by a party of dragoons. (there are too many of such cases to report) (G.H.)

January 31st 1778

Lately died in Sudbury a farm servant aged 84, he was in service of one family all his life, he went as a boy at 20s a year and until the time of his death he wages never exceeded £5 per annum, yet from his small income he acquired some money, he lived in with his master and when his last master was born he went for the midwife.
His last master died two years ago aged 71, a tomb has been erected in Newton churchyard near Sudbury by the survivors of his late master to a man of faithful domestic.

February 7th 1778

To be sold-a well known pack of harriers property of the late James Sparrow of Gosfield in Essex.

February 14th 1778

To be sold---a freehold estate in Stansfield near Clare, Suffolk, in a ring fence 226 acres with all necessary buildings.

February 21st 1778

Died on Sunday se'nnight-Mrs Mary Barnes, matron of Addenbrooke's hospital in Cambridge aged 34.

February 21st 1778

The parish of Bildeston, Suffolk, hereby gives notice that there will not be a fair on Ash Wednesday on account of small pox.

February 28th 1778

On Wednesday, Mr King and Messrs Hallat and James, excise officers of Sudbury seized 8 bags of tea at Lt Waldingfield and conveyed them to Sudbury.

March 14th 1778

One day last week were seized in a wood near Bildeston by a party of dragoons, 37 bags of tea.

March 28th 1778

Robert Lowe for attempting to rob James Horslee of Melford of his money on the King's highway was sentenced to 5 years labour on the Thames.

March 28th 1778

Henry Carpenter for stealing a rabbit of Eriswell warren, to go for a soldier.

April 4th 1778

On Thursday se'nnight , the Rev William Butts was instituted to the rectory of Glemsford worth £300 per annum on presentation of the Bishop of Ely.

April 4th 1778

On Thursday at about 11 at night, four desperate ruffians broke into the house of William Hitchin, labourer, who keeps a little shop at Cornish Hall End in the parish of Finchingfield, Essex and after some dreadful threats and cruelly beating Hitchin's wife, they stole cash-tea-sugar-stockings-handkerchiefs-hats-shoes and some Irish cloth and other goods to the amount of £30.
Two of the villains who committed this robbery are short thick set men and belonging to Knapwell in Cambridgeshire who travel the country as chimney sweeps, a tall thin man in an old livery coat turned orange comes from Kingston and travels as a sieve bottomer and rat catcher
He is of swarthy complextion and a shock of hair and by profession a razor grinder and rat catcher
It is apprehended that the above ruffians are loitering about Suffolk and Norfolk, they took the road by Clare to Bury on Saturday or Sunday the 21st or 2nd, they travel with two asses.

April 11th 1778

On Sunday evening the clothes of a child aged 1 ½ years belonging to Mr Cracknell of Halfway House of Nacton catch'd fire by which it was terribly scorched expiring in a few hours.

April 11th 1778

Thomas King who was sent for transportation for 7 years in 1776 for stealing a weather lamb from Mr Kembal at Hitcham, Suffolk, but broke out of gaol was apprehended at Layham near Hadleigh, Suffolk.

May 2nd 1778

On Monday last a farm servant was riding a horse to plough was by some accident thrown off with his foot caught in the traice, the horse being frightened ran full speed home dragging along, many people tried to stop it but in vain, the poor fellow was found dead.

May 2nd 1778

Broke out of Clare Bridewell, John Byham, labourer, aged 26-27-5ft 8" tall-stout made-short black curled hair. Any person giving information to the overseers of the parish of Lawshall shall receive 2 guineas.

May 30th 1778

On Saturday a young woman was drowned in a pond at Monewdon, Suffolk and on Sunday a man went to sleep on a brick kiln at Woodford and was suffocated by the sulphur arising from the straw of the kiln.

June 6th 1778

On Monday night the 25th ult at about 12 a terrible fire broke out in the kiln of a malting at Edwardstone, Suffolk, the property of Mr Jeremiah Stannard of Boxford, it burnt with great fury and communicated itself to the malting offices and stables which were totally consumed in a few minutes together with a great quantity of Oats-Barley and Wheat
Upon moderate computation to the amount of £850 but the buildings only were insured to the sum of £300.

June 6th 1778

To be sold by hand---the household furniture and farming stuff of Joseph Stammers, farmer, late of Ardleigh, Essex.

June 13th 1778

The sale of the Hermitage farm is postponed to the 13th of July, part of the farm lies in Poslingford as well as in Cavendish and Clare.

June 13th 1778

Troops are continually marching through Chelmsford to different encampments.

June 27th 1778

There was an inquest at Leiston on Robert Debney and William Cooper who entered a cave used as a repository for smuggled goods, they were suffocated by the stench arising from it, a young man who went to their assistance was very near sharing the same fate, the cave was let down and covered over with horse manure in order to exclude excise officers.

August 1st 1778

On Monday last a game of cricket was played between the gentlemen of Lavenham and the gentlemen of Melford, when notwithstanding the former had the liberty to pick the field, the latter came off victorious.

August 1st 1778

On Wednesday last, John and William Swain, brothers from Cambridgeshire on the oath of Ann Hutchen for breaking into the house of her husband at Finchingfield, Essex on the 7th of March and beating her in a barbarous manner and did steal and carry away money and goods to the value of £30. Committed for trial.

August 8th 1778

On Tuesday last there was an inquest at Stratford, Suffolk, on the body of a child aged three years who was scalded to death by falling into a boiler of hot water,

August 8th 1778

On Saturday last, a gang of smugglers consisting it is reckoned of 140 men landed a large quantity of tea and other dry goods which they loaded into carts near Orford in Suffolk and two others carts containing 56 ½ ankers of spirits.
As they went on the road not far from Melton they were overtaken by Messrs Planer, Brock and Burdett and three other excise officers and they were beginning to seize the foremost of the carts when a smart struggle ensued but with the small number of the force the smugglers got clean away, however the carts with 56 ½ ankers fell to the officers.

August 8th 1778

Notice to cricketers---In order to deter any party from playing cricket at Colchester we think we are honour bound to inform the publick that on Tuesday we intended to play a match of cricket at Lexden Heath but the partiality of the fellow they hired as the umpire was such that though the game was greatly in out favour we were obliged to decline play, it is the many impositions they were guilty of are far too many for this advertisement but particulars can be obtained by applying to the Nayland cricketers.

August 15th 1778

On Thursday se'nnight as Mr Snell of Needham, Suffolk were returning with his two daughters in a post chaise from the camp near Bury when they were stopped by a highway man in a lane between Haughley and Woolpit Heath, he appeared a very young man upon a grey mare, after robbing them he made off towards the heath.

August 15th 1778

At Chelmsford Assizes---John Swain for horse stealing received the death sentence also Joseph Harrington, William Pollard, Thomas Bright and Henry Osborne, William Swain was respited before the Judge left the town.

August 29th 1778

Yesterday se'nnight, Joseph Harrison, William Pollard, Thomas Bright and John Swain were executed at Chelmsford.

September 19th 1778

To be sold by auction at the dwelling house named Baker's Hall, Bures Hamlet-the outdoor and indoor stuff of Lawrance Rayner-brewing equipment-4 horses etc.

September 26th 1778

On Saturday last there was an inquest at Thorpe Morieux, Suffolk, on Samuel Snell aged 4 years who slipt into a pond and drowned. Also inquest at Rattlesden on Robert Silver who was thrown from an ass in Woolpit and killed when the creature fell on him.

September 26th 1778

To be sold on the premises on October 1st-the household furniture and farming stock of the late Thomas Goodall of Gifford's Hall, Shimpling, Suffolk-bedsteads-feather beds-blankets etc. catalogues from Hartest Crown.

October 31st 1778

Advise is received from America that two persons, a man and a woman who lived as servants with General Washing ton, have been executed in the presence of the army for conspiring to poison their master.

November 21st 1778

The burden of soldiery in Essex is found unsupporting particulary in Colchester where principal Inns have upwards of 150 men in each, a petition has been sent to the War Office praying relief.

November 28th 1778

Tuesday Jones, otherwise William Thorogood, labourer of Wickham St Pauls, Essex was committed to Chelmsford gaol charged with obtaining a dark dun mare valued at £10 belonging to James Rayner.

November 28th 1778

Deserted from the Light Troop of the Queens Regiment quartered at Long Melford in Suffolk---George Welford-21 years-5ft 7"-from County Durham-by trade a gardener and barber. 20s reward.

December 26th 1778

Inquest at Snape on Ashford Read of Saxmundham who on Monday afternoon the 14th inst was going with two soldiers of the Warwickshire Regiment to shoot coot by the riverside.
One of the soldiers was walking two yards behind with the lock of the gun under his arm to prevent the priming from getting wet when it went off and lodged the whole contents in the small of his back, he languished till the 16th then died.

1779 Ipswich Journal newspaper archive

January 2nd 1779

On Tuesday, died at his home at Boxted Hall, Suffolk in his 69th year-George Weller Poley.

January 9th 1779

At Weston near Stanton in Suffolk a miller and his man were trying to keep the mill against the wind were killed by the mill falling on them through the violence of the storm.

January 9th 1779

Last Monday some men going to work at Lakenheath observed a man and woman burying something in the land.
Suspecting that it was smuggled goods they watched them away and searched the area when to their great surprise they found a new born baby, a surgeon was called who declared it was murdered, the man has escaped but the woman is in custody, they are travelling people and are well known in the district.

January 16th 1779

Inquest at Lakenheath on a child found buried in a field---still born.

January 30th 1779

On Wednesday the 7th, several detachments of Liverpool Blues passed through Chelmsford in the route to Plymouth from whence to America, they are part of the regiment quartered at Coggeshall.

February 20th 1779

There were Illuminations and fireworks at Newmarket, Cambridge, Chelmsford and Sudbury on the news of Admiral Keppel's acquittal.( Keppel had been charged with cowardice)

February 20th 1779

The landlord of the Bull Inn in Sudbury having at sundry times missed money out of his bureau to the amount of 7 guineas, he was at loss to explain it when last Saturday two women servants thinking they heard something they opened the door where the bureau was and found one of the men belonging to the 7th Regiment of Dragoons quartered there and was at that moment putting his hand into it.
He ran down the stairs and made his escape, the commanding officer immediately sent a search party for him but he has not been found yet.

February 20th 1779

Mr Campbell takes this opportunity to acquaint farmers and graziers in Norfolk and Suffolk that he will be at Hatcheston with a capital drove by the latter end of March, he hopes people will pay no regards to reports that he is not coming.

February 20th 1779

All household goods belonging to John Rand of Cavendish Five Bell in Suffolk, to be sold consisting of beds-blankets etc on February 23rd.

February 20th 1779

To be sold at the Bell Inn, Ketton, Suffolk --Two small farms in Ketton and Hundon, occupied by Samuel Smith, lying a small distance from each other-three cottages at Ketton in occupation of Benjamin Brett, Thomas Littlefield and Widow Katling at a rent of 25s a year-a cottage at Ketton occupied by Thomas Mison at 23s per year-cottage at Sturmer with one acre in occupation of John Simons at £3 10s a year.

February 20th 1779

Deserted from the 7th Queens Regiment of Dragoons commanded by General Sir George Howard at Sudbury-John Jones aged 25 years also Thomas Crisp aged 23 years and John Camm aged 19 years-who gives information shall receive 20s each man.

February 27th 1779

On Tuesday last, fire broke out in the wheelwright's shop at Belchamp St Pauls in Essex, five miles from Sudbury
It consumed the same with the dwelling house, barn, a cottage adjoining also working tools and stock in trade, 7 coombs of wheat.
So rapid were the flames it was with difficulty they saved the part of the household Furniture, the fire is said to be malicious but nothing has transpired to lead to a discovery.

March 13th 1779

At Chelmsford Assizes-Augustus Despar a Lieutenant and Quarter Master of the Liverpool Blues surrendered himself for killing Ensign Rochford in a duel last summer.

March 20th 1779

On Wednesday last, George Cadge the elder of Melford in Suffolk was found drowned in a pond at the back of the George Inn, Melford, it is supposed to be in a fit of lunacy.
He had on him £80 in bank notes and £10 in his pocket.

March 27th 1779

Mr Campbell once more wishes to inform farmers and graziers that he has on the road the finest and largest drove of Galloways he has ever brought to Norfolk. The beasts will rest for two days at Downham on the 28th and 29th this month then proceed to Harleston for three days to be sold, then onto Hoxne for three days and finish the rest off at Harleston, they are excellent stock and of a fine size.

May 15th 1779

At Court Orders held on May 13th at Sudbury, Arthur Murphy of Lincoln's Inn was chosen recorder of the Borough of Sudbury in the room of George Weller Poley, late of Boxted Hall.

May 15th 1779

On Tuesday last, Mr King, excise officer of Sudbury made a seizure of four bags and a half of tea which was concealed in a hole covered with earth in a yard of a little cottage in Middleton near Sudbury.

May 22nd 1779

On Sunday last at St Peter's church, Sudbury, while the curate was reading the confession, the Rev Mr Alcham dropped dead in his pew to the grief and surprise of the congregation, he has minister at St Peter's and St Gregory's upwards of forty years.

June 5th 1779

A few days since as Mr Bowers, farmer of Lawshall, was driving his wagon laden with wheat to Sudbury.
He, being tired, got upon the shafts to ride and not observing the horses going out of the track the ground gave way and they went in the river and they were all drowned and the wagon dashed to pieces.

June 26th 1779

One day last week, Thomas Ambrose, carpenter of Melford who was disordered in the mind, cut his throat in a terrible manner and died next day. 
Tis very remarkable that if he left a pint of beer unpaid for when disordered that when he came to recollect himself he would go even if several miles to pay for it.

July 3rd 1779

The press gangs have been successful at Portsmouth, they have taken upwards of 500 men and discharged not more than 10, the ships are now well manned.

July 31st 1779

At Bury Assizes, Robert Capon was condemned for horse stealing but later reprieved. 
William Snell and John Carter for sodomical practices to stand on the pillory at Bury. 
On Wednesday William Snell and John Carter stood on the pillory at Bury previous to which Snell took several doses of arsenic which he said he had kept for several years, it had no effect on him till he was being carried back to the gaol when it began to operate and he expired about 7 in the evening. 
The coroner's verdict was self murder in consequence of which he was to be buried in the King's highway and a stake driven through his body, 
Snell was severely pelted by the populace but Carter came through unhurt nothing being thrown at him the fury of the people having subsided.

July 31st 1779

A terrific fire broke out at the house of Widow Firmen's of Lt Maplestead, Essex, in which in a short time consumed the same with outhouses.
There was no persons nearby but the old woman and her maid, all household furniture was burnt and some livestock, no person can tell what occasioned it except there was a slaw in the back chimney, a thatched roof nearby was where it was discovered first.

August 7th 1779

Yesterday se'nnight in the morning during a violent storm, a ball of fire fell down the chimney of Mr Cooper of Letheringham, Suffolk, which caused great damage, several of the family were for some time speechless and two maid servants continue to be very ill, being much burnt with their clothes catching fire, about the same time five young horses standing under a tree by the side of a rivulet were killed by lightning, they were the property of Mr Man whose misfortune is great having but three horses on his farm which are very old.

August 14th 1779

A farm to be lett and entered upon Michaelmas next, late in occupation of Jonathan Montagu, deceased.
Situated in Foxearth and Liston, Essex-good arable land with pasture and meadows-lying contiguous round a new commodious farm house with a malting office-barn-stables-dove house and all necessary buildings-about three miles from Sudbury. 
Enquire of Mr Finley of Long Melford or Samuel Webb of Liston Gardens. (perhaps Western Hall GH).

August 14th 1779

Yesterday se'nnight died greatly lamented-Mrs Steward relic of Giles Steward of Melford.

August 21st 1779

The excise man of Long Melford with pistol and cutlass attacked one evening this week four smugglers who were going through Melford street, two of which and the whole cargo were taken. 
He fired at them and the ball lodged in the horse, he staved in a cask of liquor by beating it from a man's shoulders with a cutlass.

August 28th 1779

A match of 50 guineas will be run on Tannington Green, Suffolk, on Tuesday 2nd of September between Mr Gooch's brown mare Teazle and Mr Barber's bay mare Bandy.

August 28th 1779

Inquest on Sunday last at Stowmarket on John Poole, labourer, who on the evening before had been entertained at the house of Mr Richard Rout and by excessive drinking and eating was incapable of returning home although properly taken care of and was taken home he was found in the morning suffocated,
It is hoped that the unhappy circumstances will suppress the previous custom of immoderate drinking as too much is practiced.

August 28th 1779

On Monday morning as John Clark, master of the Eight Bells in Saffron Walden was driving a wagon laden with corn to Harlow Mills. 
His horses took fright and in endeavouring to stop them he was thrown under the wheels and killed on the spot.

September 4th 1779

On Thursday evening the camp at Cavenham, Suffolk broke up and the troops marched through Bury on their way to Lexden Heath, the Right Honourable the Earl of Bristol met them at Bradfield Manger and ordered a quart of beer and a roll for every man and 6d in money.

September 4th 1779

Inquest at Gt Bealings on Nathaniel Hudson aged three who was left alone in a brewhouse where a keeler of beer was cooling, he by some means fell in and received severe scalding, he languished then died.

September 11th 1779

George Lawrence, servant to Mr Riches of Buxhall, Suffolk, for driving his horses and wagon furiously through Gt Finborough to the terror of the inhabitants and damaging several posts on the roadside to pay 10s .

September 25th 1779

On Sunday last there was an inquest at Gt Cornard on Joseph Burroughs who was accidently killed in a chalk pit by a large quantity of chalk falling on him.

October 16th 1779

America-Congress resolved unanimously that the thanks of Congress should be given to his Excellency General Washington for the vigilance, wisdom and magnamanity which he has conducted the military operations in these States magnified by signal? instance for very successful attacks on the enemy on the banks of the Hudson river.

November 6th 1779

Mark Lane corn prices----Wheat to 31s-Rye to 18s-Barley to 16s per quarter.

November 20th 1779

Compact farm for sale in Glemsford, consisting of a farm house-barns-stables-110 acres now in occupation of William Beales whose lease expires in 1787. Mr Beales will show you round.

December 4th 1779

Married on Tuesday-John Gainsborough of Sudbury to Miss Reymes of Norfolk.

December 4th 1779

Inquest at Alpheton on Edward Nebill who was found drowned in a ditch.

December 18th 1779

To be let at Triplow, Cambridgeshire-capital farm now in occupation of Mary Tinworth, widow, consisting of farm house-dove house-barns and other buildings-334 acres in large pieces-140 acres of heathland-pastures-lammas ground-sheep walks for unlimited number of sheep-large cow common and dowlages.

December 24th 1779

Last Saturday villains attempted to be break into the dwelling house of Simon Johnson at Ballingdon, Suffolk, but the sound of breaking glass alarmed the family and they decamped. 
Mr Tiffen of Acton was robbed of a quantity of geese.