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
COURT. - Monday Last.
J. Addison, Esq.,
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
J. Addison, Esq., judge.)
was held on Monday Last.
- 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.