Furtho Newpaper Reports 1840 - 1859

These newspaper articles come from public domain sources and have been compiled for easy reference in date order. They are by no means a comprehensive collection.
The Northampton Mercury the UK’s oldest newspaper with a proven record of continuous publication, was first published in 1720, and printed articles of Northamptonshire and national interest, whereas the Wolverton Express specialised in detailed local “human interest” stories from Stony Stratford, Wolverton and nearby villages. We use these two sources to verify each other.
Articles between 1960 and 1980 are from a private collection by Mrs Dorothy Warren, whose family donated the album in which she pasted them each week, and they are her personal selection. For instance, she didn’t like sport! We believe she used mainly the Wolverton Express, but did not specify whether the articles were from there or from the Northampton Mercury and Herald, which she also read.
We have relied on microfiche transcription for the Wolverton Express early 20th century period, completed to 1925. The completion of this work between 1926 and 1956 continues.
Where photographs are included, these are taken from contemporaneous newsprint images and are therefore of poorer quality than we would like. However, they give an impression of the period that cannot be had otherwise.We have omitted several “crime” articles where the parties were acquitted or where the subject material may distress living descendants.
We have also not included every “hatches, matches and dispatches” report but may have transcriptions available if you contact us via the website.

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 22 August 1840

TO THE HOUSE OF CORRECTION – Thomas Pittam, for one month, for misbehaving himself whilst in the service of his master, Robert Pittam, of Furtho.

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 16 January 1841


THE undermentioned SHORT-HORNED BULLS will serve Cows, the property of Members of the Northamptonshire Farming and Grazing Society, till the next Brampton Show, at the places stated below, at ss. each Cow.
At Mr. John Beasley's Farm, at Overstone, a Roan Bull, called CLIPPER, bred by Earl Spencer, got by William, d. No. 25, by Richard, gr. dam by Jupiter, gr. grandam by Charles, gr. gr. grandam Windsor, gr. gr. gr. grandam by Chilton, gr. gr. gr. grandam by Colonel. Clipper own brother to Lord Spencer's Bull Wiseton.
At Mr. Robert Pittam's, Furtho, near Stony Stratford, a Red Bull called RULER, got by Rufus, dam by Boughton, by Merlin, gr. grandam by Attraction, gr. gr. grandam by Cripple, gr. gr. gr. grandam by Henry, gr. gr. gr. gr. grandam by a grandson of Favorite.

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 22 May 1841


In the Parish of FURTHO, in the County of Northampton



At the Cock Hotel, Stony Stratford, Thursday, the 3d of June, 1811, at Five o'clock the Afternoon, subject to conditions to be produced at the time of sale ;

CONSISTING of a FARM HOMESTEAD, possessing every convenience, and 35a 1r. 8p. of LAND (more or less), about two acres of which are pasture and the remainder arable, and known by the name Notwood Farm, the occupation of Mr. Joseph Day.

The Estate most desirably situate, having extensive frontage to the London and Holyhead Turnpike-road, and lies very compactly. The Land is first-rate quality, and in excellent state of cultivation. The parochial rates are merely nominal. The whole presents an opportunity for investment a small capital rarely to be met with.

For further particulars, apply Messrs. Markham, Solicitors, Northampton; or to Mr. Durham, Land and Timber Surveyor &c Stony Stratford, at whose office a plan of the Estate may be seen; and to view the property, apply to the Tenant.

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 09 March 1844

Sheep Stealing.

Wm. Watts, aged 40, was charged with stealing an ewe sheep, the property of Henry Weston, of Cosgrove.
Mr. Miller appeared for the prosecution.
Mr. Weston is a farmer at Yardley Gobion ; in June last he took a field of grass keeping, called Deadman's Meadow, at Furtho. On Tuesday the 19th of December last he had 40 sheep in the field ; on Friday the 22d he found that one was missing ; he and another person, named Yorke, searched the field carefully, and no trace of the sheep was to be found. The sheep was two or three crosses from a Leicester and Cheviot, and was marked with a clip on the near ear ; on the back was a blue dot which had been put on when it was dressed for the scab ; there was also ointment all down the back and the quarters. He and Yorke afterwards searched the prisoner's house, and found a sheep skin, which Weston recognized as belonging to his sheep.
On his cross-examination by Mr. Mellor, the prosecutor said he had seen a portion of a sheep in a trench in the field eight or nine days ago.
By Mr. Miller : It was not there when he searched the trench before, nor was it belonging to one of his own sheep. The ears were perfectly whole.
Arthur Yorke confirmed Mr. Weston's statement as to finding the skin at the prisoner's house. Mr. Ayres, who had also some sheep in the close in which Mr. Weston's sheep were lying, saw the skin in the trench. It was not the same breed as Mr. Weston's.
This was the case for the prosecution.
For the defence Mr. Mellor called Robert Pearson, gamekeeper to Mr Mansel, of Cosgrove. Found a sheep in the trench on the 4th of January.
Joel Cox gave the prisoner an excellent character; had employed him many years.
Thomas Whitlock, timber merchant, of Silverstone, who had also employed him, spoke to the same effect.

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 17 March 1849


is honored with instructions


In the month of September next,

THE whole of the valuable LIVE and DEAD FARMING STOCK, at FURTHOE. Northamptonshire, the property of the late Mr. Robert Pittam, including that well-known herd of short-horned COWS, HEIFERS, and BULLS, bred by the late Proprietor with great care, judgment, and experience,

Olney March 15th, 1849.

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 31 March 1849

In the Affairs of Mr. ROBERT PITTAM, late of FURTHOE, in the County of Northampton, Farmer and Grazier deceased. ALL persons having claims or demands on the estate of the above-named ROBERT PITTAM, are requested forthwith to send the particulars addressed to Mr. William Rouch, the Administrator of the effects of the said deceased, at the Manor House, at Furthoe aforesaid, in order that the same may be examined, and, if correct, discharged ; and all persons indebted to the estate, are also requested to pay such debts to the said William Rouch without further application.

CHAS. BRITTEN, Solicitor to the Administrator.

Northampton, March 29, 1849.

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 19 May 1849

On the 12th instant, at Furtho, the Rev. Stretch, rector of Potterspury, Mr. W. Warr, of Yardley Gobion, to Mary Anne, only daughter of the late Mr. Wm. Pittam, of Lillingstone Lovell, Oxfordshire.

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 04 August 1849


By THOMAS REVIS. To take place in the month of September next.

AT FURTHO, near Stony Stratford

The whole of the valuable herd of short-horned CATTLE, flock of SHEEP, Team, Hogs, and Agricultural IMPLEMENTS, the property of Mr. Robert Pittam, deceased.

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 25 August 1849

FURTHO FARM, near Stony Stratford.






On the premises , on Friday, 14th September, 1849, by order of the Executors of the late Mr. Robert Pittam ;

COMPRISING 120 superior half-bred and Down ewes, theaves, 10 fat lambs, ditto shearhogs, lambs, 31 tups, superior short-horned dairy cows, in full profit; 10 ditto down calving; 18 down-calving and springing heifers, yearlings, five weanling calves, bulls of various ages, six very useful draught horses, bay cob, promising young bay horse three years old; useful hackney, two boars, three in-pig sows, and 17 London porkets. DEAD STOCK. Three broad wheel waggons, two narrow wheel ditto, five dung carts, two small carts, water ditto, five ploughs, harrows, two scufflers, field rolls, rick cloth, poles, and pullies, harness for eight horses, oil-cake machine, Suffolk drill, chaff machine, ha) ditto, clod crusher, seven long ladders, four cow cribs, six covered sheep ditto, horse cribs, corn bins, waggon-ladders, hog troughs, forks, rakes, drags, ropes, and numerous other effects.

Descriptive catalogues had ten days prior to Sale, the Cock Hotel, Stratford, Wolverton Station; Talbot Inn Towcester; White Hart, Buckingham; Peacock, and Mr Cordeux's Printing Office, Northampton ; Place of Sale ; and Auctioneer, Olney, Bucks. Furtho is only three miles from the Wolverton Station, on the London & North-Western Railway.
In consequence of the number of lots, the Sale will commence at half past Eleven o'clock to a minute.

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 13 October 1849

PUBLIC CHARITIES.—THE FURTHO CHARITY. To the Editor of The Northampton Mercury.

Sir, —Although the public charities of the kingdom have been the subject of several investigations by parliamentary commissioners, I cannot but think that further attention required from the parties most interested in the distribution of the funds. With this view, I beg leave, through the medium of your paper, to call the attention of the inhabitants of Stony Stratford, St. Giles, Northampton; Upper and Lower Heyford, Stowe, and Weedon, to the administration of their share of what is called the Furtho Charity. As many of the inhabitants of these parishes are not aware even of the existence such a charity, I will at once give an extract from a copy of the will, which now lies before me, containing the bequest. Mr. Thomas Arnold, London, whose will dated May 1st, 1675, left the following among other gifts, viz.:—
To the poor Nether Heyford (where he was born) £10,
To the poor of St. Giles, Northampton, £5.
To the poor of Stratford, £10.
To the poor of Furtho, £2. 10s.
And the following sums were directed to paid annually, viz :—
£10 per annum towards out poor children apprentices from the town of Nether Heyford, and towards setting them they come out of their time.
£5 per annum towards the relief of the poor of Nether Heyford, per annum towards putting out apprentices from the town of Stony Strafford, and towards setting them up.
£5 per annum towards the relief of the poor Stony Stratford.
£10 per annum towards putting out apprentices from the parish of St. Giles, Northampton, and towards setting them up.
£5 per annum towards the relief of the poor of the same parish, per annum towards putting out apprentices from the town of Upper Heyford.
£5 per annum towards putting out apprentices from the town Stowe.
£5 per annum towards putting out apprentices from the town of Weedon Beck.
£20 annum towards the support an orthodox minister read Divine Service in one the Churches or Chapels of the town of Stony Stratford; the said Minister to be elected twelve of the " substantialest " inhabitant housekeepers there, with the assistance of the Rectors or Ministers of Furtho, Cosgrove, Passenham, and Calverton.
£10 per annum to be paid the Vicar or Curate of Potterspury.
It will be once seen that this is a very important charity, and deserves more attention than seems yet received. The charity estate consists the Manor of Furtho, and farm there, containing about acres, let at the annual rent of £400.
Some doubts having been formerly expressed whether the whole of the income should be applied to the above charitable purposes, the question was settled by a decree of the Court of Chancery, wherein was declared to the testator's intent to dispose of it. The Commissioners (Report, page 830) state the income to about four times the amount it originally was; that the sums now apportioned to each town and parish ought to be something like the following, viz. :-


Lower Heyford


per annum.

Stony Stratford



St. Giles, Northampton



Upper Heyford






Weedon Beck



Minister at Stratford (not increased).



Vicar of Pury (ditto)





As the total of these falls much short the rent, it is only reasonable to suppose that a larger proportion falls the share each place. From the previous Report of the Commissioners (page 318) would appear that pretty large sums are allowed to remain the treasurer's hands. In 1824 as much £283. 19s. 0½d. lay dormant. Of this sum, £240 belonged to Upper Heyford alone.
By trust deed, dated May 4, 1833, the estates were vested in the following gentlemen as trustees, viz. :—

T. R. Thornton, Esq.
Rev. J. L. Crawley, sen.
Rev. J. L. Crawley, jun.
Rev. H. Crawley.
Rev. G. Butler.
Rev. P. Thornton.
Rev. J. H. Harrison.
Rev. W. H. Clarke.
Rev. J. H. Kerrich.

As nothing known in two or three of these parishes, whatever there may be in the others, respecting the distribution of these large sums, I submit the particulars of the whole charity, hoping they may induce the parishioners to investigate the matter.

I am, yours, &c.
October 3, 1849. INVESTIGATOR.

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 14 May 1853

Stony Stratford Petty Sessions May 6

Caution to Farm Servants. —A young man named Webb, was charged by Mr. Warr, of Furtho, tanner, with absenting himself from his service. It seemed this was not the first occasion Mr. Warr had complain of the lad's conduct; but the promise of reformation on the part of the latter, and the kind intercession of his master, the defendant was on the understanding that he was to return to his service, and that the expenses were to be deducted from wages.

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 11 June 1853


Charles Webb, for two months, for leaving his service without his masters consent, Furtho

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 22 April 1854


John Roberts, charged with setting fire to a stack of straw, at Furtho.

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 15 July 1854



The learned Judge took his seat upon the Bench shortly after nine o'clock, when the business of the court was immediately proceeded with.
JOHN ROBERTS, 20, labourer, charged with wilfully setting fire to a stack of straw, the property William Warr, at Furtho, on the 10th April last. Mr. Roberts for the prosecution and Mr. O'Brien for the defence.
Prosecutor occupies a farm at Furtho, and the 10th April had a straw stack on a place called "Hillyer's ground," between Cosgrove and Furtho.
The prisoner was the employ of prosecutor two years ago, and had again applied for work about a month before the occurrence. Prosecutor refused him in a rather peremptory manner. Afterwards heard his stack was burnt, lives about 200 yards from it.
Henry Lambert, was at plough in a field near Hillyer's ground. Saw the prisoner coming in direction from Cosgrove to Potterspury, along a footpath which runs within yard or two of the stack. About 10 or 12 minutes after observed smoke issuing from the stack. Prisoner was about hundred yards from the stack when witness saw him.
Thomas Sharp, went to pasture near to Hillyer's ground, saw prisoner within 50 yards of the stack. About five minutes after observed smoke issuing from the stack, which was ultimately consumed.
William Sergeant, policeman, saw the prisoner about half a mile from Potterspury. Had not then heard there was a fire. Subsequently apprehended prisoner, who denied having gone down field towards the straw stack, but along the top hedge towards Shrob Walk, where his father was.
Mr. Richard Scrivener. Shrob Walk is part of Whittlebury, where 7 or 8 men were engaged cutting 30 acres of underwood was there all day, sure prisoner was not at that place between two and half-past three. It is possible he might have been there, while witness was at dinner. The 30 acres is about two miles from the stack.
Mr. O'Brien for the defence, contended that the prisoner would hardly have chosen two o'clock the day for his purpose, or spoken freely persons the spot at the very time of committing the offence. The fact of the hollow dell behind the stack was extremely favourable to prisoner, was by that way no doubt that the person who really committed the crime retreated, whereas prisoner was seen going along the footpath.
The jury after some consultation expressed a wish to retire and a fresh jury was impanelled. The former jury having returned gave a verdict of Guilty, with recommendation mercy. The Court sentenced him to Five Years' Penal Servitude.

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 17 May 1856


John Mayo and Richard Green, charged with stealing a quantity of lead from the parish church at Furtho.

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 07 June 1856


Edward Meakins, charged with housebreaking, Furtho

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 05 July 1856


John Mayo and Richard Green were indicted for stealing 8 cwt of lead, value £6, from the parish church at Furtho in 5th May last. There was a second indictment for feloniously receiving. Mrs Roberts was for the prosecution.

William Warr lives at Furtho, where occupies a large farm, and is churchwarden. On Sunday 4th May he was at church and there was nothing the matter with the roof. On the 6th he was shown the roof, and found that half one side of the body of the church been stripped of its lead. Has seen the lead since, and it corresponds exactly with the roof of the church.

Curtis Healey lives at Potterspury and is special constable. On 5th May he went to Cuttle Mill, a place on the London and West Chester road, where he concealed himself under a hedge in a field. On the road he saw a horse and cart going towards Potterspury. Mayo, Thomas Sutton (who is not here) and another man he did not know, were in the cart. Mayo and Sutton live at Potterspury, Witness went to Potterspury and found the cart in Mayo's yard. The men were in the house. He lay down under a hedge  and saw Mayo, Sutton, John Tapp and the man he did not know come out of Mayo’s house. They went into a field in the occupation of Mr Scrivener, and he saw no more of them until half past three in the morning, when he saw John Tapp and the man he did not know come and take the horse and cart. Thei unknown men went towards the turnpike. Witness followed, and when he reached the turnpike he saw two carts going in the direction of Stony Stratford. It was quite light then. Tapp was driving Mayo’s cart. When witness got within about 50 yards, Tapp ran into the wood, leaving witness the cart, of which he took possession. The cart contained 8 cwt. of lead, covered with sacks. He took it over to Old Stratford, and locked it up at the Falcon. The name was on the cart. Mayo, Green, and the other men were meanwhile gone on. Witness hired a horse and proceeded to Shenley where he found the cart standing against the Fountain. Witness was tying his horse to the rails when he saw Mayo, Sutton and Green come out of the house. Sutton ran in one direction and Mayo in another. Mayo ran straight across the field. Witness followed, and collared him. Telling him he should apprehend him for stealing lead. Green was stooping down by a barn for a particular purpose. Witness called to him to aid and assist. Mayo was struggling to escape when Green came up and persuaded him to go. Witness put Mayo in the cart, and Green drove him back again to Stratford. Green comes from Woburn. The cart was Green’s. Sutton has not turned up since, nor Tapp. When he had got Mayo all safe he went to Potterspury church and found it all right. He then went to Furtho, and found the lead gone. Between Furtho churcb and the turnpike road he saw the tracks of four persons. It would take four men two journeys to carry the lead from the church to the road. There were 11 pieces of lead in the cart. There was a good deal of trampling about the church-yard.

By Mr. Cockle.—Did not apprehend Green at that time. Took no steps himself forhbis apprehension. Did not sec Green have hold of Mayo's collar, but will not say that he had not.

Edward Lines lives at Old Stratford, and keeps the turnpike there on the road from London to Towcester. Knows Mayo and Green. Saw Green through the turnpike, on the 6th of May, towards Stony Stratford, between half-past three and quarter to four. It was Green's cart. Mayo’s cart followed. Heard Mayo say before the magistrates that he was in Green's cart asleep. Hall hour elapsed between the passing of Green's and Mayo's carts.—Joseph Kemp keeps the toll bar at Old Stratford Bridge. Knows Mayo and Green, and on Tuesday the 6th of May, between half-past three and four, he saw Green. Did not see Mayo. A was walking on the footpath, and Green said to him, "Now I can give you a lift," and the man got into the cart. This was between half-past three and four a.m. The gate is half a mile from Lines's.

Thomas Letts keeps the Fountain at Shenley. Mayo and Green were at his house on the 6th May. A stranger was with them. That was about five o'clock a.m. They had two pints of beer, and while they were drinking it Healey came up on horseback. Witness asked Green whether he was one of his mates, upon which Green and Mayo both went out. Immediately after he heard a row, and going out saw having hold of one side of Mayo's collar, and Green holding the other.

James Warren, plumber, at Potterspury, compared the lead found in the cart with that on Furtho church, and ascertained that they corresponded exactly.

lnspector J. Terry Evans apprehended Green on the Wednesday night at Potterspury. Told him the charge, upon which he said he knew nothing about the robbery. He was not out that night. The Talbot Inn is in Potterspury.

Green's statement before the magistrates was then read. He said Mayo came to him at the Talbot on Thursday night, and asked him if he could ride with him as far Fenny Stratford next morning. Green said he could if he would be with him by four o'clock next morning. He came half-past three, when he was having his breakfast. They went away, and on the road met a man named Sutton, who asked him to let baa ride far as Fenny Stratford. He said he should if he would walk the hills. There was not room for three to sit in front, and Mayo lay down in the cart. When they got to Shenley they had a pint or two of beer. He went out for a particular purpose, and directly after heard a scuffle, and saw the constable collaring Mayo. The constable charged him to aid and assist, and he did. He afterwards conveyed Mayo back in his cart to the lock-up. Mayo said he did not know his own cart was out. Mayo's statement was also read. He said he was not out that night.—This was the case.

Mr. Mundell then addressed the jury for Mayo, urging that although the lead was found in his cart, the vehicle it was to be remembered was not under his control at the time. There was no doubt that the lead was stolen from Furtho church, nor that was found in Mayo's cart, hut the cart was driven not by Mayo, but Tapp, and it was quite possible that the men who had contrived to escape had taken it without the consent or knowledge of Mayo. The learned gentleman called in conclusion a witness named Jonas Bliss, who stated that he was a slater, at Potterspury, and had known Mayo for three years, and never heard of his doing anything against the law.

Mr. Cockle said the argument of his learned friend for Mayo applied with still greater force in favour of Green. There was no evidence whatever of his connexion with the lead, excepting that he was found driving his cart 50 yards according to one witness, and half an-hour according to another, ahead of the cart in which the stolen property was found. His statement before the magistrates was evidently the truth. He had allowed, as a mere matter of kindness, Mayo and Sutton to ride, and as soon as he found Mayo charged by the constable with being in possession of stolen lead he lent his assistance in securing him and conveying him to the lock-up. The constable Healey had evidently regarded him, not as a criminal, but as assistant and a witness, and in that latter capacity he ought to be Court to-day.

Mr. Wetherall summed the case with great clearness and ability, expressing his opinion that the case against Green was extremely slight. The jury, after a brief consultation, found Mayo Guilty, and Acquitted Green. Mr. Mundell moved in arrest of judgment on the ground that the indictment charged the prisoner with stealing 8 cwt. of lead, but did not go on to say the property of the churchwardens of the parish. That description he contended was necessary, and, wanting it, the indictment he contended was bad upon the face of it. He trusted the rev. Chairman would reserve the point for the Court of Appeal.

Mr. Wetherall was not sure that the church was the property of the churchwardens.

Mr. Mundell contended that it was so.

Mr. Roberts - Can a church be private property ?

Mr. Wetherall : Certainly not. He did not think the objection tenable, and the Bench coincided with him. would give it bis serious consideration, however, and if be changed his mind be would of course grant the application. The point is whether it is essential to the validity of an indictment that owner's name should be inserted the indictment. He would consider the question, and they should have the decision at the assizes. At present, however, his own opinion and the opinion of the Court was against it.

The prisoner was then sentenced to One Year's Imprisonment, subject of course to the decision on the point reserved.


Furtho.— Edward Meakins was charged with breaking and entering the dwelling house of Henry Billing, at Furtho, and stealing a gun, his property. There was a second count for receiving a gun, knowing it have been stolen. Mr. Roberts was for the prosecution, and Mr. Palmer for the defence. It appeared that on the 22d of May prosecutor's window was broken so as to admit of the gun being abstracted, and that four days after it was found at the house of the prisoner, hanging against the wall, not any way concealed. His account was that received it from his brother, which the latter confirmed, saying he found it in a ditch was going along the Stratford-road on the 24th.

The jury found the prisoner Not Guilty.

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 18 October 1856

A verdict, Guilty was returned against Sutton and Tapp, and they were each sentenced to Twelve Months' Hard Labour. The jury found Reeve Not Guilty.

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 08 October 1859


John Meakins, three calendar months' hard labour, "for being found in yard for an unlawful purpose, at Furtho.”