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.