The tale of a Clock

This story was one I came across when looking for old newspaper articles that could shed light on the activities of the Calvert families in the Great Harwood/Blackburn area.   The Ann Calvert most likely to be the plaintiff was the daughter of  John Calvert and Jane Smalley.  Ann was born in 1785, three years after her sister Jane mentioned in the case.  Ann's mother, Jane, had died in 1794 and her father re-married Alice Hindle the following year; it is unclear if the clock originally belonged to Jane or to Alice.

From Preston Chronicle & Lancashire Advertiser, Feb 14, 1852

COUNTY COURT. - Monday Last.

(Before J. Addison, Esq., judge.)

Ann Calvert v. William Green

Mr . Clough was for the plaintiff, and Mr Backhouse appeared for the defendant. The parties reside in Great Harwood. Mr Clough stated the case, and said that this was an action in trover to recover the value of a clock which had been entrusted to the defendant's keeping by the plaintiff some time ago. The value of the clock was £4. - Ann Calvert, the plaintiff, said that she was a single woman, living in Great Harwood. Nearly four years ago she removed from a house to a cellar. The clock having been given to her by her mother she did not like parting with it, and asked Green, the defendant, to let it stand in his house. He did so, and lent her a cuckoo clock in lieu of it. She had taken his clock back, but he refused to let her have her own. He came to her on Wednesday previous and wanted her to settle; if she would not settle, he said, he would break the clock to pieces and go to Lancaster. By Mr. Backhouse: Her mother gave her the clock before she died; never said that she owed the defendant anything. - Jane Calvert, sister to the plaintiff, deposed to the defendant telling her at the Lomax Arms, Harwood, two years ago, that the clock was her sister Ann's. - Mr. Backhouse, in answer to the case, stated that the clock belonged to the mother of the plaintiff, who wished defendant to take the clock and allow her 1s. 6d. per week in groceries for it while she lived. He had done so; and at the death of the old woman the sum of £4 11s. was owing. He then called the defendant, William Green, who deposed that he fetched the clock from the plaintiff's mother, who gave it to him, stating that she had too many good goods, and that if she kept them the town would not grant her any relief, which she intended to apply for. He was to let her have goods to the amount of 12 6d. per week, which he did, and she received the same until it amounted to the sum of £4 11s. It was down in his books, but he had not brought them with her (sic). He saw the old woman a little before her death, when she said that he must keep the clock for the debt. - His Honour : Is this debt down in your books ? Defendant : Yes, it is. His Honour : Then I adjourn the case until the next court, that the book may be produced.

The case resumed two weeks later when William Green produced his books to prove his case.

From Preston Chronicle & Lancashire Advertiser, Feb 28, 1852


(Before J. Addison, Esq., judge.)

This court was held on Monday Last.

Calvert v. Green.

Mr . Clough was for the plaintiff, and Mr Backhouse for the defendant. The parties reside in Great Harwood. the action was to recover £4, the value of a clock, alleged to be intrusted to the defendant by the plaintiff, Ann Calvert; the defendant stating that the mother of the plaintiff had let him have the clock, and that he had let her have groceries at 1s. 6d. per week for it. The case was adjourned from last court, in order that the defendant might produce his book, which was done this day. On the books being inspected by his Honour, he gave a verdict for the defendant.

Bob Calvert
November 2011