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Amendments and Corrections to Book 1

All the earlier entries not prefaced by 'Book 2' in this list were printed (with some amendments) in a book entitled Ringstead People.

I have found some extra information and also some errors in the book since publication and will put these amendments and additions 

David Ball

Herbert Abington

On page 257 of Book 1 I wrote that Herbert put in his diary on June 4th 1868 about the death of "little Leonard" who was three years old. Lyn Watson has pointed out to me that I wrote that Leonard was the son of Leonard and Selina and this is very unlikely and it s much more likely that he was the son of Edwin and Elizabeth Abington although we have not yet conclusively found the birth.

Lyn has also alerted me to the story of Mary Ann Jenkinson whose parents were Edward and Avis Jenkinson (nee Farey).Lyn believes that Albert Abington Jenkinson, may be the illegitimate son of Mary Ann Jenkinson and Leonard Joseph Abington (born 1838). Mary Ann married John Plummer in 1860 and Albert became Albert Jenkinson Plummer. When later Albert had a son he named him John Leonard Jenkinson Plummer.

It is a little complicated but does anyone have any information to add? 

For more information see the post on Avis Fairey and Mary Ann Jenkinson

The Post Office Greens

Lynn Derriman has pointed out that where I have Thomas Green (who was born in 1759), it should have been John Green. My thanks to Lynn

William Roberts (1767 - 1836) TRAGIC DEATH

Robin Stewart Bolton has alerted me to an error in this story. The baptisms of William's children are a little confusing and it seems that an unbaptised (as far as I can tell) daughter, Mary, was buried on 10th August 1804. William (born in 1805) survived and married Ann Maria Knight in Raunds in 1828. He did not die on 10th August 1806 as I have put in the book. (As this information came before I started this section it is also corrected on the website)

William Weekley Ball (1818 - 1896) Butcher of Ringstead

I have found two articles in the Northampton Mercury (British Newspaper Archive) which add to the story of the disappearance of Lydia Attley. The 2nd and 9th April 1859 issues of the newspaper report that on March 24th a skeleton, with the head placed between the legs, had been found by some men when ploughing Mr Passmore's field in Little Addington. It reports that the spot where it was discovered was about a mile from Ringstead and it was shallowly buried in a field that had not been ploughed for some years. The link to the disappearance of Lydia Hetley [sic] and William Wheatley[sic] Ball is made and it reports that , 'The discovery has caused quite an excitement in the locality'. We see why there was some scepticism in 1864 when another body was found. We also see the belief in Ringstead that Lydia was buried somewhere in the area.

The other article is in the Saturday 6 September 1851 issue and throws some light on William's leaving of Ringstead for Ramsey. It tells of the 29 August Petty Sessions where Thomas Dunmore, a tailor from Ringstead, complained of an assault by William Peacock on 22nd July. It reports:

. . .  Mr Ball, a butcher of Ringstead, was removing his household goods and furniture from thence; that a large concourse of persons followed the waggon to a considerable distance, insisting on Ball giving some account of the girl who was so mysteriously missing, before he left town. Whereupon the complainant, fearing the ropes of the waggon would be cut and the furniture injured, went up as a friend of Balls to protect him andhis goods, when the defendant immediately struck him on the head with his fist. Fined 5s and costs £1. 8s. 6d.

We see that William had to face the angry crowds as he left but we also see that he had some friends who stood by him. It was almost exactly a year after the disappearance of Lydia that William, too, left Ringstead

Korah Dicks (c1813 - 1873) WIFEBEATER

Brenda Hazel has found, through the Genes Re-united website some further brushes with the law of Korah Dicks and some of his sons.

In the Northampton Mercury for 12 July 1856 we learn that Korah Dicks was sentenced to six months hard labour for assaulting his wife again. It seems that this must have occurred soon after he was released from six months gaol for a similar offence. Korah's character did not improve with age for, on 20th February 1871, now an 'aged man', (although probably less than sixty years old), he was charged with assaulting a little girl called Catherine Phillips, six days earlier. Catherine alleged that:

. . . she was running past the defendant with a shoe in her hand when he raised a stick and struck her on the head as she passed him. - P.C. Baldersonsaid that he was attracted to a crowd assembled round the parties just after the assault took place. The little girl was crying. Defendant said he would serve her ten times worse afterwards.

Catherine may not have been entirely innocent because, it was alleged that she had first spat at Korah. The report states that he had paid the £1 fine, but it seems not, for five days later he was committed to three weeks imprisonment, (the default sentence).

On 20th May 1871 he was again charged with stealing two handkerchiefs from Alice Brown but because of his 'great age', and his having been in prison for several days, he was discharged.

[Korah died two years later and we gather from these reports that his drinking and, perhaps, the treadmill, which ruined the health of many prisoners, had taken their toll.]

Perhaps inevitably, some of Korah's sons also had trouble with the law.

In September 1865 Odd Dicks was charged with stealing a mangold wurtzel, the property of Joseph Dearlove, who stated that he had taken him to court for him to be admonished, as thefts had been increasing. The Mercury also reports on:

Police Constable Packer, who caught the boy in the turnip field sitting underneath the hedge with the wurtzel beneath him.

Some two years later Odd was charged with assaulting Thomas Baker on the 10th June and had to pay a fine and costs amounting to £2 in all.

The Northampton Mercury of the 16th January 1969 reported that Hod [or Odd] Dicks, a lad of sixteen or seventeen, was charged with 'feloniously breaking into the house of William Major of Ringstead on 28th November'. William's son, Daniel had seen Hod escaping out of his father's window and found inside that the rooms in confusion and two watches taken out of the box in which they were kept, but still lying there. At the Quarter Sessions in March Hod was sentenced to three calendar months on gaol (he had already been in custody for two months). Hod had pleaded with the court:

'I hope you won't do much to me; I'll never do any more,' and then wept.

In the 19th November 1881 issue of the Northampton Mercury it reports that:

Lod Dicks and Hod Dicks, brothers, Ringstead, were summoned for being drunk at Irthlingborough on the 1st inst: - Neither Hod nor Lod appeared but the mother appeared for Hod but not for Lod. . . P.C. Brown gave evidence of seeing the brothers, Hod and Lod, on the evening of the 1st lying cheek by jowl on the road between Irthlingborough and Ringstead helplessly drunk and tried to put them on the right road home.

Their mother also paid Hod's fine but she left Lod to sort his own affairs out.

We should recognize that some of these were petty offences that many country boys and young men might have committed. I can certainly remember, when a small boy in a west Northamptonshire village, that the local children stole mangold wurtzels from the fields to make lanterns for Halloween.

John Ball ( 1882 - 1953) CLICKER

My father had told me that John (Jack) Ball had been summoned for playing football and there is confirmation in the Mercury on Friday 27th February, 1901. Under the heading, The Football Nuisance, it reports that:

John Ball, shoe hand, Raunds, was charged by Mr. Corby, Clerk to the Urban Council, withplaying football in the Pleasure Ground, at Raunds. - The Bench decided not to convict and the case was dismissed on payment of 6s. costs.

[In my father's version it was for playing football there on a Sunday. I am not sure if this is a detail that has been missed out.]

 Elisha Ball, Thomas Ball, Daniel, John and Sarah Ball

A number of the life stories deal with the children of Daniel and Phoebe Ball. Most of their large family left Ringstead to become emigrants to the New World or soldiers. Phoebe is, as many women of the time, rather hidden from public view by the records.  The style of this report is of the Music Hall variety, that one Mercury reporter seemed to delight in for his court reports. This one from 11th August 1849 does show something of her feisty nature, an essential survival tool in such a large household in those tough times:

Elizabeth Jacques, who failed to appear to a summons, was brought up under a warrant charged with assaulting Phoebe Ball. Both of these amiable ladies are natives of Ringstead, and appear to have a knowledge of the stronger terms of the English language. After a few preparatory shots, the war of words thickened something after the manner of the Railway Overture. You're a fussick, said Phoebe calmly. You're a liar retorted Bess, sharply. You, a blowed up strollegar! said Phoebe sharper still. After a few more puffs, both of the human engines were fairly off, and all that could be distinguished was - Oh you nasty - don't say so - dirty drab - fat cat - penny-bustle - splay-foot - red-nose - beer-gin - brandy - Oh! oh! oh! oh! oh! oh! and then they softened down as though they had reached a station, to Oh Phoebe, for shame! Oh Bess, you may say so! - did you ever? - no never! - well, I declare! and then they stood and gazed at each other like exhausted first-class engines. After this process the case was heard, and Elizabeth fined 5s. and costs, which were increased on account of her refusing to appear to the summons, and in default she was committed for three weeks.

Unfortunately, although we know that Bess was summoned for assault we have not idea why, how or where the asault took place. The reporter is too pleased with himself to bother with such questions.

Note: I could not find fussick in books on local dialect words but the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary states that it was used in Australia from the 1850s to mean picking about for gold or gemstones in abandoned mining excavations but came from the United Kingdom meaning 'to ferret about'. Originally fussick meant to bustle about and fossack or fussock meant a troublesome person. Obviously the meanings seem linked but it is the latter meaning that is being used here.

I think that strollegar simply astrologer?

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