Tag Archives: 1855

1855 : Illegal Weights

Two stories of traders adjusting their scale in their favour. From the Croydon Chronicle and East Surrey Advertiser – Saturday 15 September 1855, via the British Newspaper Archive.

Illegal Weights.

— Mary Bateman, shopkeeper, of Mitcham, was charged by Mr. Dart, Inspector of Weights and Measures, with having an unjust balance, a quarter of an ounce against the purchaser.

Mr. Dart stated that the defendant was last April fined 5s. for the same offence, the scales then being half an ounce against the purchaser.

The defendant—I have been in business 40 years, and until this man came I never had a complaint made against me ; all the other inspectors used to allow me a turn, and the people expects it. I had a woman come in the other day, and because the scale did not go down, she said she would not have the butter; and after this man left, I asked an old gentleman who is lodging with me, and who was an ale connor, if it was not right for me to have the turn, and he said “Yes,” and that he always had it, and allowed it himself ; and I have asked my neighbours, and they all say that they are allowed a turn, and if I was not a poor lone widow, but a man that could speak for himself. I should not have been summonsed here.

Mr. Sutherland considered the defendant was quite able to speak for herself, and she must be aware that if the the scales were not allowed a turn, it was not right that the butter scales should. Mr. Dart said he had endeavoured to convince the defendant, that having scales like the butter ones, was wrong.

The Defendant : Yes ; but I am not convinced ; I have done so for forty years, and it takes some time to convince any one against that.

Mr. Sutherland : Then by that you have been cheating the public for forty years ; you must now know that the scales must be right ; you will be fined 5s., and the costs 9s.

The Defendant : Our profits are now so low that we cannot get anything out of the things, and if we are compelled to have the scales this way we shan’t be able to live ! !

The old lady, after some time, produced the money, grumbling all the while she was finding it; and as she was leaving the court reiterated her fear of not being able to get on, now this new-fangled method of weighing was come in.


W. Williams, of Mitcham, butcher, was charged with having an unjust balance.

Mr. Dart deposed, that he visited the defendant’s shop, and just as he drove up to the door Mrs. Williams went to the scale and took off the piece of fat produced ; it was on the scale in which the goods to be sold were weighed ; on testing the scales he found them exact without the fat, hence the addition of that made the weight against the purchaser.

In defence Williams said that the scales were made of wood, that his shop was an open one, and that the weather affected the scales, and the fat was put on to adjust them, without that it was in favour of the purchaser.

Mr. Sutherland considered that the defendant ought to have such scales as were not affected by the weather.

Fined 5s., and 9s. costs.

1855 : Fatal accident on Wimbledon and Croydon Railway

From page 6 of the 30th October 1855, edition of the South Eastern Gazette.


The above-named line of railway, which it was at first said would be opened on the 1st of October, then on the 15th of the same month, was opened on Monday, the 22nd. The London, Brighton, and South Coast Company issued bills, announcing that they would run 13 trains per diem. The South Western Railway Company also issued bills, stating that they intended running 5 trains per diem, by means of which passengers could be conveyed to the Waterloo terminus. These, however, were not to be what are generally termed “through trains,” but passengers wishing to go to Waterloo station would have to change trains at the Wimbledon station.

The line, which is a single one, is as near as possible upon the same route between Croydon and Mitcham, as that formerly occupied by the earliest railway in England, viz. the old tramway formed at the commencement of the present century, for the purpose of conveying stone and lime from Merstham. Those who recollect the old tramway are aware that after passing Waddon Marsh, there was a short cutting familiarly known as the “high banks,” after passing which it ran upon a level by the side of a farm now occupied by Mr. Atherfold and then across Mitcham-common.

On Wednesday afternoon the London, Brighton, and South Coast train, consisting of a small engine with tender attached, and four carriages, arrived at the Croydon West station, and proceeded on to Mitcham; at the time we learn there were not more than 8 or 10 passengers in the train. When it reached Mr. Atherfold’s farm, and was consequently between the “high banks” and the road leading from Beddington to the Windmill upon Mitcham-common, the engine got off the rails, after which it evidently continued to run for nearly a hundred yards, when the engine and tender went off at the right hand side of the line, and the carriages at the same time went off at the opposite side. The engine immediately tumbled over, and Bingham the engine driver, who it would appear was at the time working the lever, for the purpose of reversing the engine was with the exception of his head and right arm buried beneath the engine. His death must have been almost instantaneous. The stoker (Weller) jumped off and was much scalded, but not otherwise materially injured. The first carriage was completely smashed, but fortunately there were no passengers in it, and those who were in the other carriages escaped with very slight injuries, as did also the guard who was attending to the break, which fortunately was attached to the last carriage.

Intelligence of the event was immediately conveyed to New-Cross station, and an engine, with what they term the tool box, and about a dozen men arrived at the spot at about 7 o’clock; the remains of the unfortunate engine driver however, were not extricated from beneath the engine till past 8 o’clock, when they were conveyed to the Plough public-house, Beddington, to await a coroner’s inquest.

Another report mentions that one of the passengers was from Mitcham.

From page 351 of the 31st October 1855 issue of the Watchman and Wesleyan Advertiser:

On Thursday night a serious accident occurred on the Croydon and Mitcham Railway to a passenger train in the neighbourhood of the village of Beddington. The line from Croydon to Mitcham, a distance of four miles, was only opened on the preceding Monday. It consists of a single line of rails until its junction with the Croydon and Epsom line, about half a mile from Croydon.

The train to which the accident happened started from the terminus at London-bridge at 4.15. About midway between Croydon and Mitcham, the engine ran off the rails, dragging the tender and passenger carriages after it, for between fifty and sixty yards, until, falling over on its side, its career was suspended. One of the carriages was smashed to atoms, and the driver killed on the spot. There were, fortunately, but five passengers, all second class, and, with the exception of a Mrs. Jacobs, the wife of a retired gentleman residing at Upper Mitcham, who was very much shaken, they all escaped unhurt.

From page 564 of the 7th November 1855 issue of the Watchman and Wesleyan Advertiser, the inquest recommended a speed limit of 20 m.p.h.:

On Monday, the coroner resumed the adjourned inquest on John Bingham, the engine-driver who lost his life on the 24th ult., on the newly-formed West Croydon and Mitcham Railway. Colonel Yolland gave it as his opinion that the accident was caused mainly by the speed at which the engine was travelling. The jury found, “that the deceased met his death by accident, but recommend that the maximum speed, until the lines becomes consolidated, should not be greater than twenty miles an hour.”

1855 Trade Directory

Addington Paul, varnish manufacturer, Phip’s Bridge
Adkins David, shopkeeper, Merton lane
Allen John, beer retailer, Lower Mitcham
Allen Thomas, market gardener, Mitcham common
Allwork Charles, butcher, Upper Mitcham green
Amey & Co. patent gelatine maker, Mitcham common
Arthur James, farmer & herb grower, Upper Mitcham
Arthur Richard, farmer,herb grower & beer rtlr. Mitcham com
Ashby Brothers, millers, Lower Mitcham, & at Brixton
Attwood Alfred, wholesale druggist, Lower Mitcham
Bailey William, saddler, High street, Upper Mitcham
Baker John, carrier & shopkeeper, London rd. Upp.Mitcham
Banks Robert, chemist, Lower Mitcham
Barber Isaac, farmer, Upper Mitcham
Barr Lucas, beer retailer, London road, Upper Mitcham
Barter Joseph, grocer, High street, Upper Mitcham
Bass James, builder & shopkeeper, Merton road
Bateman Mary (Mrs.), grocer,Church street, Lower Mitcham
Bateman Samuel, grocer & carrier, Field gate, Upper Mitcham
Bayley Benjamin, tailor, Church street, Lower Mitcham
Beard James, dyer, London road, Upper Mitcham
Bennett Elizabeth (Miss), straw bonnet maker, High street, Upper Mitcham
Biggs John, coaldealer, Merton road
Bowdery William, gardener, Upper Mitcham
Bowler William, coal & wood dealer, Lower Mitcham green
Bowyer John, block cutter, Widford lane
Bridger James, farmer & medical herb grower, Up.Mitcham
Byrne Elizth. (Mrs.), beer retailer, Causeway, L. Mitcham
Carr Caroline (Mrs.), straw bonnet maker, Lower Mitcham
Chandler Thomas, fishmonger, Upper Mitcham
Chart Edwin, architect, surveyor, house & estate agent, vestry & parish clerk, Upper Mitcham
Chart John, undertaker. Upper Mitcham
Church Samuel, bookseller, Lower Mitcham
Clement George, baker, Merton road
Clowser Edw. Harry, ‘Ravensbury Arms’ Mitcham common
Coleman George Fowler, saddler & harness maker, London road, Upper Mitcham
Collbran Henry, butcher, Upper Mitcham
Collins Richard, tin & zinc worker, Field gate
Cox Edward Homershaw, farmer, Upper Mitcham
Cresswell William, beer retailer, London road, Up.Mitcham
Crowcher Thomas, ‘Prince of Wales,’ Merton lane
Daliy Robert, hoot & shoe maker. Lower Mitcham
Dean Sarah (Miss), shopkeeper, Upper Mitcham
Deave William, shopkeeper, Causeway, Lower Mitcham
Dempsey & Heard, shawl printers, Ravensburv print works,Lower Mitcham
Dodd Arthur, builder & undertaker, Upper Mitcham
Dodd George, tailor & clothier, Lower Mitcham
Dodd Henry, shopkeeper, Merton road
Downing John, calico & silk printer, Mitcham common
Farmer Mary (Mrs.) & Son, corndealers, Upper Mitcham green
Farquharson Colin, engineer, smith & ironmonger, Mitcham common
Forster Francis, ‘Swan’, London Road, Upper Mitcham
Foster Thomas, india rubber works, Lonesome
Foster William, carpenter & shopkeeper, Church street, Lower Mitcham
Francombe Richard, tailor, Merton road
Gilliam Thomas, ‘White Hart’ inn, Lower Mitcham green
Glover John, miller, Lower Mitcham
Goodman Edmund, carrier, Lower Mitcham
Green John, shoemaker, Church street, Lower Mitcham
Gurl Charles, marine store dealer, Lower Mitcham
Hale Matthew, blacksmith, Causeway, Lower Mitcham
Hankins James, market gardener & herb grower, Upper Mitcham
Harland William & Son, japan & varnish manufacturers, Phipp’s bridge
Harris James, marine store dealer, Upper Mitcham green
Harrison William, baker & shopkeeper, Widford lane
Hart Henry, ‘King’s Head’ Lower Mitcham
Harwood John, baker & coal merchant, Up. Mitcham green
Haydon Henry, plumber & c. High street, Upper Mitcham
Hellier James, plumber &c. High street, Upper Mitcham
Hex William, shoemaker, Merton road
Hillier William, hairdresser, Lower Mitcham
Hills Robert, tailor, Upper Mitcham green
Hills William, bricklayer, Church street, Lower Mitcham
Hoath William, cowkeeper, Mitcham common
Holden & Co., brewers & maltsters, Lower Mitcham
Holden Samuel, coal merchants corn dealer, Low. Mitcham
Holl Joseph & Co. coal merchants (William Beaton, agent), Lower Mitcham
Holt Henry, ‘Victory’ Merton road
Hone James, wheelwright, High street, Upper Mitcham
Hookins James, farmer, herb grower & shopkeeper, Mitcham common
Hooper & Fry, india rubber manufacturers, Mitcham common, & 16 Walbrook, City
Hudson Alfred, tailor, Merton road
Hunt Frederick, fanner, Mitcham common
Hunt John, ‘Goat,’ Mitcham common
Inkpen Samuel, fruiterer & fishmonger, Merton road
Jennings Thomas, veterinary surgeon, Upper Mitcham
Johnson Abigail (Mrs.), shopkeeper, Merton road
Jones Richard, felt manufacturer, Lower Mitcham
Kenward William, coach maker & wheelwright, High street,Upper Mitcham
Killick Samuel, builder, Lower Mitcham
Lack Joseph, linendraper, High street, Upper Mitcham
Lardner James, ‘Britannia,’ Lower Mitcham green
Latham William, varnish manufacturer, Merton lane
Lawrence Thomas, carpenter, Merton lane
Lloyd Emanuel, baker, Merton road
Lockett Elizabeth (Mrs.), house & estate agent, & agent to the Sun fire & life office, Church street, Lower Mitcham
Longhurst Thomas, baker & grocer, Lower Mitcham
Lunt William, confectioner & market gardener, Upper Mitcham green
Marchant Benjamin, ‘Horse & Groom,’ Mitcham common
Marshall Edward, surgeon, Church street, Lower Mitcham
Meears Job William, farmer & herbgrower, Upper Mitcham
Meears William, brickmaker, Merton lane
Mersh John, beer retailer, Lower Mitcham
Mersh William, boot & shoe maker, Lower Mitcham
Mickle Joseph, chemist, Upper Mitcham green
Mighell Jacob, butcher, Lower Mitcham
Miller Sophia (Mrs.), ‘Six Bells’, & corn & coal dealer, Merton road
Molyneux Henry, plumber & house decorator, Lower Mitcham
Mouland James, watchmaker. Upper Mitcham green
Mould Thomas, shoemaker, Upper Mitcham green
Napier George, draper & grocer, Loudon rad
Newman Ann (Mrs,), staymaker, Upper Mitcham green
Newman Francis, buck’s Head inn, High st. Up,Mitcham
Newman William John, farmer & herb grower, Upper Mitcham green
Newton Sophia (Mrs.), baker & shopkeeper, Church street, Lower Mitcham
Nichols Henry, shopkeeper, Causeway, Lower Mitcham
Nightingale William, table cover maker, beer retailer & shopkeeper, Merton lane
Northwood John, gardener, Upper Mitcham
Pannell Thomas, baker, Lower Mitcham
Phillip Thomas, cabinet maker & upholsterer, Upper Mitcham green
Pitman Mark, boot & shoe maker, Upper Mitcham green
Pitt George, linendraper & clothier, Widford lane
Plank John, coal & coke dealer, Lower Mitcham
Plank William, corn & coal dealer, High st. Up. Mitcham
Pratt Henry, shopkeeper, Upper Mitcham green
Quinby John, tailor, Upper Mitcham green
Rhoades Joseph, grocer & cheesemonger, & agent to the
Legal & Commercial fire & life office, Up. Mitcham green
Rice Robert, clothier & draper, Upper Mitcham green
Roberts Daniel, d.c.l. boarding academy, Eagle house, Upper Mitcham
Rosehone John, grocer & cheesemonger, Up. Mitcham green
Rosier James, ‘Three Kings,’ Mitcham common
Russell Thomas, carpenter & builder, Church street, Lower Mitcham
Rust Samuel, farmer, Biggin’s farm
Rutter John Isaac Campbell & James, snuff & tobacco
manufacturers, Ravensbury, Lower Mitcham
Sampson Philip, omnibus proprietor, Lower Mitcham
Sams William, boot & shoe maker, Fieldgate
Saunders John, shoemaker, Mitcham common
Saunders William, baker, Merton road
Saward Thomas, shoemaker, Lower Mitcham green
Sayers John, marine store dealer, Fieldgate, Up. Mitcham
Searle George Charles, registrar, Lower Mitcham
Shelley William, farrier, Lower Mitcham
Sherman Susannah (Mrs.), shoe warehouse & berlin repository, High street, Upper Mitcham
Simmonds Richard, ‘Old Nag’s Head,’ Fieldgate, Upper Mitcham
Simmons William, farmer, Upper Mitcham
Sinnock John, shopkeeper, Merton road
Smith Richard, china dealer, Lower Mitcham
Smith William, boarding school, High st. Upper Mitcham
Spencer John, boarding academy, Poplars, Upper Mitcham
Sprules James, drug & wood mills, Mitcham common
Stovell James, shopkeeper, Lower Mitcham
Stringer Thomas, ironmonger, Upper Mitcham green
Sugar Henry, baker, Lower Mitcham
Summerfield Mary (Mrs.) &. Son, tailors, Lower Mitcham
Thomas George, saddler & harness maker, Lower Mitcham
Thompson Ebenezer, dairyman, Causeway, Lower Mitcham
Tipple Frederick Albert, surgeon, Lower Mitcham
Townsend James, ‘Red Lion’ Merton road
Townsend Thomas, butcher, High street, Upper Mitcham
Tribe Edwin, ‘Bull,’ Church street, Lower Mitcham
Turner John Moseley, print cutter,Church st. Lwr. Mitcham
Vidler Major, plumber &c. Lower Mitcham
Wade John, bookseller,stationer,printer, circulating library,
house & estate agent, & agent, to the British tire & life office, Lower Mitcham
Walker Ann (Miss), milliner & dressmaker, Upper Mitcham
Wallis Wm. marine store dealer, Fieldgate, Upper Mitcham
Walters Henry, leather cutter & currier, Upper Mitcham gr
Watts George, ‘Cricketers’ Lower Mitcham
Weight George, news agent, Upper Mitcham green
Welch & Margetson, silk printers, Phipps’ bridge
Welch James & George, bakers, Upper Mitcham green
Welch Thomas, calico printer, Phipps’ bridge
Weller William, baker, Causeway, Lower Mitcham
West Clarissa (Mrs.), china & glass dealer, Upper Mitcham
Westall Joseph, grocer & cheesemonger, & post office receiving house, Lower Mitcham
Westall Thomas, grocer & cheesemonger, Lower Mitcham
White John George, inland revenue officer, Upper Mitcham
Whitfield Catherine (Mrs.), shopkeeper, London Upper Mitcham
Whyatt Henry, boot & shoe maker, Merton road
Wicks Frances (Miss), shopkeeper, Upper Mitcham gr
Wilkes Charles Henry, bricklayer, Fieldgate
Wilkes James, blacksmith, Fieldgate
Willett John, undertaker, Merton road
Williams William, butcher, Church street, Lower Mitcham
Winder John, linendraper, Lower Mitcham
Winders John, butcher & fly proprietor, Lower Mitcham
Wise John, stationer, Upper Mitcham green
Woodroffe James, tailor, Widford lane
Woolsey Mary (Mrs.), milliner & dressmaker, Upper Mitcham green