The following are some interesting articles relating to the Springett Family of Essex:
The articles are made up as follows;
Theft of Oysters - 1913; John Springett (b.1844)
Licensed Victualler Summoned - 1913; Thomas Alfred Springett (b.1886)
Tragic Death - 1912; George William Springett (b.1881)
Boxing Contest - 1914; Turner Springett (b.1897)
Theft of Oysters
At the Colchester Borough Police Court on Friday march 15th John Springett, mariner, East Donyland was summoned for on Feb 21 in the River Colne between West Ness in the County of Essex and North Bridge in the borough of Colchester, stealing nine oysters from the Colne Fishery Company. David Welham, Church Street, Rowledge, mariner was similarly summoned in respect of three oysters. Defendants pleaded guilty and elected to be dealt with summarily. The Town Clerk (Mr H.C.Wanklyn) appeared to prosecute, Mr J. F. Porter defended Springett. In opening the case Mr Wanklyn said as regards Springett, he being a man approaching the age of 70, the committee did not wish to press for a heavy punishment which would essentially deprive him of that benefit to persons reaching that age; the State Old Age Pension. Welham was a younger man, 45 years of age. The oysters the subject of the charge, were taken from the Binnacker grounds at a very low tide. This was the very class of offence which was the origin of all their fishery troubles. People to whom the Colne Fishery Board had granted the privilege of going down there gathering winkles began encroaching, taking oysters; and then, when it came to a prosecution setting up a claim of right which he was sorry to say at that time that Court accepted. If that was allowed to go on they would get more troubles, more litigation and more costs to pay. He therefore asked them, while he was not pressing for a heavy penalty, to mark the cases in such a way as would help them to put a stop to it, and as would protect their Fishery, one of the finest heritages in the country. Inspector Poole deposed to seeing footmarks on the cultivated oyster ground on the morning of Feb 21, and to telling Springett who was near by, that some of them would get into trouble trespassing down there. Springett said he had not been down there. PS Rumsey deposed to finding three oysters in a skip in Springett's boat. Springett disclaimed all knowledge of them and witness spoke to Welham, who replied "I picked one up directly I landed on shore, and thought I might pick anything up above the Beacon". Witness asked Springett to let him look over the contents of his skip and on turning over the cockles and winkles, witness found nine oysters. Springett also said he thought he could pick anything up above the Beacon. Charles Barnes, Brightlingsea,, practical oyster dredger, a member of the Colne Fishery Company identified the oysters as coming from the Colne Fishery. George Lawrence Trussell, of 58 North Hill, manager of the Colne Fishery deposed that on Feb 22nd he with others gathered 1,500 oysters close to the Beacon in forty minutes. Henry Minter, oyster merchant, treasurer and clerk to the Fishery Board, produced the lease from the corporation to the Board. Mr Potter, addressing the Bench, emphasised the previous good conduct of Springett, who had been skipper to the late Mr Charrington Nichol and Mr E. J. Beard. He was not aware until Sergt. Rumsey stopped him that he was doing wrong in taking oysters lying above the Beacons. He intended taking oysters home to his wife who had been ill for some time and greatly upset by the tragic death of her son who was killed by falling down a ship's hold off Harwich. Springett gave evidence on oath and said he had been a yacht captain for over twenty years. He had never been in any trouble before. During the past winter he had been spratting but the season had been very bad and he had had nothing to do for two months. He thought he could take the oysters from where he picked those up. Welham said he had not been winkling for twenty years before Feb 21 and he too thought he was entitled to the oysters he picks up. Inspector Poole said he had never seen either of the defendants on the mud before. The defendants were fined 10/- each inclusive, or in default seven days imprisonment.
Licensed Victualler Summoned
At the Colchester Borough Police Court on Friday October 24th Thomas Alfred Springett, licensee of the Globe, Military Road, Colchester, formerly of the Royal Oak, Rowledge and son of the late Captain Sam Springett, was summoned for permitting drunkenness on his premises on Sept. 27th. Mr A.G. Hawkins prosecuted, and Mr Gerald C. Benham ( Messrs Benham & Wilson) appeared for the defendant, who pleaded not guilty. Mr Hawkins in opening, said the case arose out of the conviction on a charge of drunkenness of Jessie Freed, who in five or six hours had eight glasses of beer known as King Cock. Last Friday the licensee of the Plough, which the woman visited previous to going to the Prince of Wales and Globe; was convicted, the Magistrates thereby finding she was drunk. The licensee of the Plough was unable to prove that he had exercised reasonable care, but the case against the licensee of the Prince of Wales was dismissed on the grounds - Mr Benham objected, stating that no ground was given for the dismissal. The Clerk ((Mr E.K. Denton) said Mr Hawkins did not know what was in the minds of the Justices when they dismissed the case. Mr Hawkins said that if the licensee could prove he took reasonable care the case should be dismissed. The case against the licensee of the Prince of Wales was dismissed, but as he was not allowed to tell them why, he would leave it at that. Jessie Freed said she was sure she was sick in the Prince of Wales. She went to the Globe, where the defendant served her with scotch, but she did not drink it. When she came outside she was again sick. One day the defendant's wife came to see her and told her she had been summoned. As a result, witness went to the Globe with Green. They went into a private room, where defendant tried to square them with a drink or two. At this stage this stage there were interruptions of dissent as a result of which all witnesses were ordered to leave the Court. Cross-examined, witness said she had nothing to drink in the Globe. Harry Green, bricklayer, Old Heath, stated that at the Globe he asked the landlord for a drop of whiskey and a glass of ale and defendant brought these drinks. Freed was under the influence of drinks and she went outside and was sick. On subsequent occasion referred to by Freed, defendant called witness a liar, told him he had been squared and said he wanted witness to say he did not go into the Globe on the date in question. Cross examined as to the date of the interview alleged, witness said it might have been on the Wednesday in the week following Freed's conviction. Re-examined witness said the interview took place after he had received a witness summoned. Mr Benham said the defence would deny that the interview took place. Mrs Bailey, PC Beavis and PD Elliston gave evidence. Mr Benham said he had a number of independent witnesses who would say that they watched this woman go from the Prince of Wales and that she never went into the Globe between the hours in question. He also urged that the evidence of the prosecution contradicted itself. At this stage the Magistrates intimated that they could not sit beyond a certain time and they suggested the case should be adjourned. Mr Benham said it would be a great hardship to his client to have the case adjourned especially if the evidence of his witness was true. It would be the third occasion that he would have had to attend court in connection with the case. The bench decided to adjourn the case for a for a fortnight.
Charge of Permitting Drunkenness
Before the Colchester Borough Police Court on Friday November 7th Thomas Alfred Springett was summoned for permitting drunkenness on his premises on September 27th. The case was part heard a fortnight ago. William Sexton, labourer, Fingringhoe, said he saw Freed outside the Globe about 10.30pm on Sept 27. She was helpless but he could not say whether she was drunk or in a fit. Mr Benham having addressed the Bench called the defendant , who said he did not see Freed on his premises on the evening in question. He had held a licence for eleven years and had never been "pulled up" in any shape or form before. With reference to the subsequent interview he denied threatening Green, but said he told him he was a liar and was not on his premises on the evening in question. Mrs Dawkins, Golden Noble Hill, said she saw Freed come up Military Road on the night of Sept 27, when near the Globe she fell down in a fit. She did not attempt to enter the public house. Mrs Lawton, Kendall Road, said she saw Freed and Green come up Military Road, Freed fell down outside the Globe, but did not attempt to enter the premises, Frederick Hawkins, Golden Noble Hill, who was in the Globe on the evening in question, said he did not see Steed or Green enter the public house. Mrs Springett, wife of the defendant, Mrs Hopwood, Wimpole Road, William Bond private of the 20th Hussars, Albert Eardley a private of the 20th Hussars and Lacey Baker, carter, Golden Noble Hill also gave evidence. After the Bench had retired for consultation the chairman said they were unanimous in coming to a conclusion that Steed entered the Globe with Green and was served and defendant would be fined £1, with £1. 17. 6. costs.
On Tuesday Jan 20th the Continuation School of the parish of Fringringhoe, which has maintained an excellent attendance throughout the winter, entertained by the kindness of Mr A.E.Lummer, their teacher, the Men's Cub of Rowledge. The bond of union was that both Clubs have been studying the art of self defence as a relaxation after the strenuous hand and brain work.
The evening commenced with a little gentle play by the proficients in the punch ball (top & bottom), and then two of the guests, Hanley Hempstead and Turner Springett, led off with gloves. Springett was slightly more nippy on his toes, but was disconcerted by Hempstead's superior reach. His dial shortly showed sign of wear and tear, and when the three rounds had been played, there was a suspicion, although it was a strictly teetotal evening, that the claret had been tapped. This was an excellent and amicable spar throughout. Then two of the Fingringhoe middleweights came on. W. Gear and F. Hawes. In this fight again there was the quickness with Hawes and height and reach with Gear. Hawes shewed more of the Charpentier attack, but Gear had no intention of losing the rounds to follow and at the end of three rounds both were merry and fresh. Harry Clements, Fingringhoe, took on Lenard Nicholls, Rowhedge, and both remained undefeated and undismayed. Arthur Mason, Fingringhoe, and Cliff Mather, Fingringhoe, put up a very pretty fight for two featherweights and both shewed great promise. Zeb King, as the Fingringhoe heavyweight, found a worthy opponent in Sidney James, No.3 of the celebrated Eric and second racing boat of Rowhedge. In this encounter, Sid was very quick on his toes and cleared very well, so that Zeb's superiority of length and reach made little difference. Other encounters were these - Cliff Hillsmore, Rowhedge and Gus Gear, Fingringhoe; Josh. Fookes, The Village blacksmith of Fingringhoe, or at any rate his assistant and son, and Jess Spinks, son of the celebrated French polisher, who naturally shewed more "finish" if less power in dumping them home. The athletes were brought over by Charles Dann, their trainer (of Rowhedge) and Alf Cranfield, the Secretary. Mr. Ennew and Mr. Humphreys accompanied them. The vicar of Fingringhoe refereed the more important encounters. The evening ended with thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Summers and the ladies who had kindly helped with refreshments. An invitation was tendered by Mr. Sidney Ennew on behalf of the Rowhedge Men's Club to the lads of Fingringhoe to "come over there" which was heartily accepted.
A gloom was cast over Rowledge on Saturday, Jan 13th, by the receipt of the news, that on the same day the steamship Seagull called at Harwich pier, and there deposited the body of George William Springett, able seaman, aged 30, of Chapel Street, Rowledge, who had died from the result of an accidental fall. The body was received by P.C. Ball & P .C. Aldous, and was taken to the mortuary.
Deceased was employed on the Seagull, which was on a voyage from London to Goole. About 11pm on Friday, Jan 12th when the vessel was between the Gunfleet Lighthouse and the Gat Buoy, the deceased was engaged in putting the hatches on, when he slipped and fell into the ship's hold - a distance of 14ft. There is little doubt that he struck his head. The ship being well out at sea, no doctor could be summoned, and the deceased expired in his brother's arms some two hours later. His brother is also an able seaman on the same steamship. Everything possible was done for the deceased by the captain and members of the crew.
The inquest was held at the Town Hall at Harwich on Tuesday, Jan 16th, by Dr Harrison, the coroner. Oliver Springett, brother of the deceased also an able seaman on the Seagull, said on Friday evening Jan 12th when the vessel was between the Gunfleet Lighthouse and the Gat Buoy, he called on deck and found that his brother had met with an accident. He stayed with him until death took place, two hours later. He was quite satisfied that it was a pure accident, and that no one was to blame.
John Finnis first mate of the Seagull, of Dover, said he was working on the hatches. He had taken the hatches off the middle section to see if there was any water in the hold, a distance of 14ft, he struck his head against the ceiling. Witness at once called out for help, and went into the hold. Deceased was lying on his right side, and was bleeding from the ear. Witness tried to save him but failed. He could not say what caused the fall. The deck was not greasy and the sea was calm.
P.C. Aldous deposed to removing the body to the mortuary with P.S. Ball. Dr Tyress said he made a post mortem examination and found death due to a fractured skull, which caused haemorrhage, compression of the brain and death.
A verdict of accidental death was returned.
The Funeral. The body was conveyed to Rowledge for the internment, which took place in the parish churchyard on Friday, Jan 19th. The coffin was covered with a Union Jack. Deceased, who was the youngest son of Captain and Mrs John Springett, was a steady, genial young man much liked by his mates. He leaves a young widow and one boy of two years, with whom much sympathy is felt.