Extracts from Cambridge Newspapers: 1801 - 1899
Newspapers have been published in Cambridge for over 200 years. This is some of what the 'Cambridge Chronicle' has to report :-
Valuable Estate Sale, consisting of farmhouse, barn, pigeon house and other buildings, commons, rights of common, and 127 acres of arable and pasture land and the Manor of Thetford with the fines, quit rents and other emoluments thereto belonging, extending over the whole Hamlet and in the occupation of Messrs James Green and others. N. B. The above are well worth the attention of gentlemen of the turf, being well calculated for the breeding of horses; as also of merchants and others and being bounded by a turnpike road and navigable river. May 3rd, p4.
Stock Sale, on the premises of the late John Pope. Live and dead stock, farm implements, dairying utensils also, two stacks of good fodder and a quantity of oak and ash scantling. Feb. 7th, p1.

Large trees. Sale of valuable oak, ash and elm, 11 oak trees, one of them allowed to be the largest within many miles of Ely, and upwards of 80 ash and elm now standing upon Braham Farm. The whole of the above mentioned trees are sound and many of them of large dimension. Mar.18th , p2.


Three Horseshoes Pub. Sale of old established pub with yard barn and other outbuildings, large garden well planted with fruit trees and half a common right of the extensive common in Thetford and now in the occupation of Thomas Covell. Jan.13th, p2.

Sale. A messuage or tenement with right of common, yard and outbuildings together with about 2 acres of rich garden ground, part planted with choice fruit trees now in the occupation of Hazlewood and others. Lot 2. All that half common, lying and being in Thetford with right of cutting and feed over Holt Fen, Cheer Fen and Layzure Fen in Stretham. March 3rd, p3.

Capital Waggon. Sale of premises of Thomas Granger, valuable live and dead stock a capital wagon and two tumbrels, dressing machine, corn screen, sundry ploughs and harrows, harness for five horses, horse and cow cribs and other useful farm implements, stock in very excellent condition. April 28th , p3.

Sale. Valuable live and dead stock the property of Messrs John and James Yarrow, the whole of the live stock are in excellent condition and worthy of attention and will positively be sold without any reserve whatever, as Messrs Yarrow are about to give up part of their business, and to relinquish partnership. Oct. 13th , p3.

Notice to the debtors and creditors. All persons indebted to the estate and effects of Mr. John Pope farmer deceased are desired to pay their respective debts to Thomas Granger or John Yarrow jun of Thetford, Dec. 4th, p3.


Sale of reed land. At the Three Horseshoes in two lots. Lot 1. 9 acres of valuable reed land copyhold the Manor of Ely Barton. Lot 2. Half a freehold common and right over the fertile and extensive commons at Thetford, the property of Thomas Granger. April 16th, p2.


To Let, Four rights of common, 10 acres of capital wash land in several fields of Thetford, all in the occupation of Thomas Granger, to be let for three years. March 15th, p2.

5000 Good Reed. Sale of the premises of James Greene, capital cart stallion, colts, fillies, a neat taxed cart and about 5000 good reed. March 29th, p3.

Halls Yard. Sale of estates belonging to the late Richard Pope, a messuage in occupation of the said Richard Pope. Lot 2. Ground called Halls Yard. Lot 3. 2 acres of wash land opposite Thetford Shore Mill, occupation of Thomas Covell. Lot 4. Land being part of Boat's Gang called the Rhine, adjoining Langmere Grounds. Lot 5. Reed Ground. Lot 6. Fen land lying in the Scores. Lot 7. Wash lands lying between the streams. Lot 8. land in Harrowmere. Lot 9. A moiety of a Fishery from the river to Tibbutts Court, three miles in length. Lot 10. Land in Braham Field. Lot 11. Land in Stone Bridge Field. Lot 12. Land in Middle Field. June 28th, p1.


Boat's Gang. Sale, Lot 1. Parcel of arable land containing 1 1/2 acres in Braham Field. Lot 2. Piece of land called Boat's Gang containing 12 acres. Lot 3. All those three gores of land containing 3 roods, abutting Grunty Fen now in the possession of Mr. Pope, as tenant there of a low rent of £20 per annum. March 28th, p3.

Notice. The executors of Richard pope request the attendance of all his creditors at the White Hart, Ely on the 6th August next. August 1st, p2.


Assizes. Thomas Harrison stood charged with having stolen a gun the property of Thomas Covell, a publican. The case was considered by the court a mere act of trespass, in as much as the prisoner was about to purchase the gun in question. Harrisson took it from a boat lying along side his own, near the River Ouse on the 15th day of the month and told the proprietor so on the 18th. Several respectable persons gave the prisoner a most excellent character and he was acquitted. March 1st, 1p.


Lost and Frozen. Thomas H. an occasional driver for Mr. J. Goodbody of Ely lost his way between Stretham and Ely when coming from London was found frozen to death on Thetford Common, away from the beaten track. Feb. 26th, p3.


Revolt at Little Thetford. In November notices appeared in the local press announcing the intention to apply for an Act of Parliament to enclose lands in Little Thetford, part of the formalities involved pinning notices of this to the Church doors of the village concerned and the officials duly proceeded from Ely to Thetford to carry this out.

However at Thetford they found a dozen men who opposed enclosure waiting for them, each armed with bludgeons, who prevented an official getting to the Church door. They retired, but saw an Ely magistrate who ordered 10 constables to accompany them to see the job done. By the time they got to their destination they found not twelve but one hundred and fifty protestors, all with sticks.

Eventually the police withdrew, bruised; the villagers maintained watch until midnight. The next afternoon, being Sunday, the clergyman arrived to conduct the service, the watchers resisted - 'No church today', but the rector persisted and entered the church accompanied by his warden, one of the protesting crowd. Nov.15th, p1 and the 29th, p3.


Death. Thomas Vipan, Esq. in his 59th year. Aug. 21st ,p2.


Death. Thomas Goodliff of Braham Farm aged 28 years, after severe illness of nearly two years. Jan 29th, p2.

Inquest. This was held on the body of William Salmon who on the day before accidentally fell from a drilling machine and died the next day. April 22nd ,p2.


Barn for sale. The whole of the materials of a very large barn lately taken down on the premises of J. D. Merest Esq. and in the occupation of Joseph Pope of Thetford. It consists of sound oak posts, beams and braces of large dimensions, oak and fir plates, rafters, studs, boards, large doors, etc. also about 20,000 capitol sound reeds, divided into lots and sold without any reserve. Aug. 7th , p3.

Osier Ground. Sale of 5 acres of osier ground adjoining the river Ouse on the road leading to Fordy Farm. Oct. 16th ,p3.

Fire. On Tuesday last, a fodder stack, belonging to Joseph Pope was destroyed by fire, occasioned by over heating. Nov.11th , p3.

Enclosure. Notice if intention of dividing, allotting and enclosing the open and common fields, waste, common meadows, pasture and fens and other commonable and waste land. Nov. 11th ,p1.


Railway Line. Notice of extension of railway line between Cambridge and Ely and the meeting of parties entitled to commonable or other rights over or in the common land called Hole Fen and Hall Fen will be holden at The Three Horseshoes Public House. July 27th , p4.


Sheep Stealing. On Wednesday night a sheep was slaughtered in the ground of Mr. Yarrow, the thief took away the legs and shoulders leaving the carcase. Feb.14th ,p3.


Benevolence. All the poor men and widows, to the number of 45, received two hundred weight of the best coals given to them by the feeoffes of Thetford through their treasurer Mr. James Yarrow. Dec.31st , p7.


Patriotic Fund. A collection was taken for this and in addition gifts of the more wealthy inhabitants there was no want of zeal amongst labourers, who readily contributed according to their ability. Jan. 6th, p7.

Seasonable Gift. All the widows and poor of this Parish have received 2cwt of the best coal from the Feoffees, which timely gift has been most thankfully received. Feb 17th, p7.


Baptist Treat was held in the orchard belonging Mrs. James Yarrow. July 25th, p6.


Baptist Anniversary. The friends of the Baptist Chapel held their anniversary on the 16th inst. The attendance of visitors, from the extreme heat of the weather and the press of agricultural business, was not so numerous as in some former years; but those present filled the chapel in the evening, and it is pleasing that the collections were not sensibly diminished from the circumstances enumerated. June 19th, p7.

Baptist Sunday School Treat. The children were most gratified in having their usual tea on the 23rd inst. In the orchard of Mr. James Yarrow, where they enjoyed themselves in various amusements during a greater part of the evening. July 31st, p7.


Baptism. A public baptism took place when five persons went through the ordinance, a large congregation assembled in the open air, the chapel being too small. Tea was provided, so great was the demand that all the bread in the place was brought up. The proceeds of the tea and collections were very favourable. May12th, p6.


Lateness of Letters. Because of the lateness in the delivery of letters to the village an appeal was made to the Ely Postmaster a short time ago, and through his kindness an earlier delivery has been obtain much to the satisfaction of the inhabitants. May 24th, p7.

Anabaptists. A large company assembled to witness the immersion of a number of persons belonging to the sect called Baptists in the River Ouse. The weather in the morning was fine but in the afternoon it fell in torrents. The appearance in the afternoon of the cavalcade on their return to the village was truly deplorable. Uncles were covered in mud; Aunts' dresses drenched with water showed an utter absence of crinoline and the embroidery on petticoats was no longer visible through the thick coating of mire. May 19th, p6.


Sudden death. John Roberts a labourer aged about 60 years.

May 7th, p6.

Dispute over Chapel Rate. True statement of the case. The rate payers of this Hamlet were by 'legal notice' affixed to the chapel door on the morning of Sunday the 30th Nov., invited to assemble to make a chapel-rate on the 5th inst. Mr John Lester took the chair, not 'under the direction of the Rev. E. W. Cory, the curate', but upon being proposed by Mr. John Yarrow, and seconded by Mr. James Yarrow, jun. 'Mr, James Yarrow, jun. moved a rate of 3d in the pound', which was at once seconded by the chapel warden, Mr. John Yarrow, objection however, being made to him as him as seconder by Mr. James Yarrow, jun.

The chairman enquired, if he might, to which 'not only' the curate assented', but no dissentient voice was raised. Mr. James Markwell then moved that no rate be granted, Mr James Yarrow, sen., seconded the amendment, 'which was put to the meeting, the proposer alone holding up his hand, while the seconder turned his back upon the chairman, saying, 'I shall have nothing to do with it'.

The chairman then put the question for a rate as moved. The division was three against one, two 'ratepayers were neutral, and the chairman declared the rate carried'. Mr Yarrow, sen., did not demand a poll of the parish. Mr. James Markwell said 'I will demand a poll of the parish', but as, when asked, who shall pay for it? He gave no answer. Neither said I do demand a poll, nor mentioned either time or place. 'No notice was taken of this'. (so much of the above as lies within inverted commas, is copied from the Cambridge Independent Press, Dec 13th.- Correspondent). Dec.20th, p6.

Vestry Meeting. The purpose of this meeting is make a rate for the repair of the church which is in a most deplorable condition. A rate of four pence was proposed and seconded. The misses Baber of Stretham, the rectors daughters, intent to subscribe £200 towards the restoration, hopefully this will make the building worthy of being called a 'House of God' in lieu of a building with none but barn like pretensions. June 27th , p7.

The Church. The architect has been authorised to take down the decayed church walls and stone work and reseat the church and chancel. A number of workmen are now at work and we hope by Christmas the work will be advanced. Sept.19th, p7.


Restoration. The restoration is completed and the reseating, and it will be opened in a few days. The cost will be defrayed entirely by the family and friends of the rector, the Rev. H.H. Baber of Stretham. April 30th ,p7.

Opening of the church. The building is an ornament to the hamlet, finely proportioned and excellently fitted with open benches. By the alterations that the building has undergone, it will afford increased accommodation which was greatly required. May 14th , p6.

New Road, It seems that the inhabitants of this village are beginning to awake us to the prudence of making good roads. The bit of road adjoining this village, with the new road joining Grunty Fen to Haddenham, has at last been made up. Shortly, no doubt, the inhabitants will see the advantage of including the Railway Company to let some trains stop at Thetford. Dec. 24th , p6.


A Concert was held in the parochial schoolroom of vocal music, the principal performers were, Messrs Markwell, A. Markwell, Hazell and Yarrow who sang a choice selection of standing glees. Jan 21st, p7.


The Alma Mater Steamer v Pedestrianism. One day this week a young man named Wright, of this village, backed himself to run at a quicker speed than the Cambridge Alma Mater taking her voyage to Ely from Cambridge, at three hours; so fifteen miles were marked out and this distance he accomplished in one hour forty minutes thereby winning his wager. Oct. 5th, p6.

New Harmonium. A concert in aid of the new harmonium recently placed in the church is to be held. May 22nd, p7.

Harvest Thanksgiving. A choral service was held, the musical portion under the able management of the choirmaster, Mr. O. Yarrow and Miss Lister ably presided at the harmonium, the offertories were devoted to fund of Addenbrooke's Hospital. Nov 11th ,p6.

Entertainment. An entertainment was given in the schoolroom and passed off with usual éclat. Those taking part were, A. Yarrow, M. Creake, Mr. A.W. Best, Miss Clara Lister, Mr. W. Bootham, Mr. J. Yarrow, Thomas Parish, O. Yarrow, Mr. Bickley and Mr J. Wright. Jan 13th, p6.

Recital. An entertainment was held in the Baptist Chapel consisting of recitals and sacred songs. The proceeding will be devoted to the restoration of the chapel which take place in the spring. Feb.3rd, p6.


Vestry Meeting. Mr Owen Yarrow was elected churchwarden at the recent vestry meeting. April 26th, p6.


Concert. A concert was given in the schoolroom, which was well filled and the songs selected were of a very entertaining character, those given by Mr. Owen Yarrow, Miss K. Kempton, Mr. James Yarrow, and Mr. W. Lister were deservedly encored, while the clever rendering of comic songs by Mr. J. Wilkinson gained for him a very hearty reception. March 31st, p6.


Tea party. The first tea party in connection with the church took place yesterday week when nearly 100 persons sat down to a tea in the schoolroom, which had been beautifully decorated by the villagers for the occasion. The profits arising from the tea party will be devoted to the fund now being raised for building a vestry to the church and which will be commenced shortly. June 5th , p6.

Fire. On Friday morning a fire broke out on the premises occupied by Mr. Thomas Roberts of the Wheat Sheaf Public House by which some straw, potatoes and firewood were destroyed. The flames extended to a barn belonging to James Yarrow and it was burnt down. It is suspected that this fire was occasioned by a boy playing with Lucifer matches. There was plenty of assistance at hand and compliment is due to the females of the village who rendered all the aid possible in subduing the flames. June 19th, p6.

New Vestry. The first stone of the new vestry was laid on Wednesday by Miss Cockshott, daughter of the rector of Stretham. The ceremony was attended by 300 persons as many as the whole population, also the annual school treat was held, the rector provided a tea and an abundance of good things. After tea, games were held in the field. At the tea for adults, twelve ladies of the village furnished trays, which the recipients paid for, and the sum collected was £3/10/- which goes to the building fund. In the evening addresses were delivered. The cost of the building is £170. Towards the fund, Miss Maria Baber gave £100, Cannon Cockshott £25, Archdeacon Amery £5/5/-. The subscription list is still open. The churchwardens and friends erected a splendid and commodious tent in the field near the church for the tea etc. July 17th, p6.

Presentation. On Wednesday last Miss Dennis mistress of the school for nine years was presented with silver tea and dessert spoons on her resigning the charge of the school. Refreshment was provided by Miss Yarrow and Mrs. Bultitaft. May 24th, p6.

Jubilee Celebrations. The village was tastefully decorated with flags and garlands, after a short service in the church in which were nearly all the parishioners, a good English dinner of beef and beer to which about 160 sat down, closely followed by 200 children. The inhabitants then adjourned to Mr. James Yarrow's field where a pleasant evening was spent in athletic sports. A bonfire terminated the festivities and the singing of the National Anthem. The village band was in attendance. June 24th , p7.

Over 60's Dinner. 100 old people from Stretham and Lt. Thetford were treated to dinner in Stretham schoolroom at the expense of Carbery Evans. Mrs. Bultitaft of the Red Lion did the catering, Cannon Cockshott made a speech. Jan 22nd, p6.

Athletic Sports. On Tuesday evening some excellent sports took place in Mr. Yarrow's field. Aug. 5th, p6.


Technical Education. A series of talks on the care of the body and the home has begun in the schoolroom. April 14th, p6.

Fatal Accident. A platelayer in the employ of the railway named James Simpkin, whilst gathering fruit fell from a ladder and severely injured his head, death ensuing the following day. Sept. 29th , p6.

Inquest. An inquest was held at the Three Horseshoes on the body of Mary Howard a widow aged 86 years. Jan 26th, p6.

Parish Council. A meeting was held in the schoolroom, the temporary chairman for the meeting was Mr. B. Pope. Cannon Cockshott was elected chairman for the year. The population being under 300, a Parish Council is not wanted. Mr. B. Pope was elected District Councillor for the parish. Dec.7th , p7.


Fatal Accident. A body of a young man named Francis B. Smith a carpenter's apprentice was found by a platelayer in the four foot. The body was cold, the deceased was trespassing on the line at the time of the accident, about 110 yards from Thetford gatehouse. March 8th, p6.


Presentation. The Rev. Morgan Williams was presented with some silver spoons and china on the occasion of him leaving the curacy. Miss Yarrow presented the gifts and a few suitable words alluded to the good work done in the three years he had been among them. July 29th , p6.

Annual Vestry Meeting. At this meeting Miss Lois Yarrow and Mr. Walter Dring were re-elected as churchwardens. A church council was elected for the coming year consisting of five members. July 29th, p6.


These notes were compiled 28 years ago and since then much more information has become accessible. None of this has been included in this reissue of the original pamphlet.

See my website www.cambridgeshirehistory.com/MikePetty for advice and guidance

Mike Petty, June 2009.