Research has been underway for years in an attempt to uncover the Chute branch which produced the famous Macready Chute line. Based on the writings of his contemporaries (some of which are quoted below), he seems to started out in the theatre profession at quite a young age, beginning his career as a "light comedian", marrying into the Macready family and moving from there into assembly room and theater management, the profession for which he was best remembered.
Census records show he was born in Hampshire; it may be that church records may need to be researched for the names of his parents. There is record of a "James Chute" from the area (Saint Marys, Portsea, Hampshire, England -- Portsea being part of Portsmouth, to which Francis Blennerhasset Chute would flee, a century later), who married Margaret Speilley in 1783 as a possible candidate. James Henry Chute, who was born in 1810, may have been one of his younger sons, or, if not, may have known or been related to those Hampshire Chutes in some fashion.
An un-sourced IGI record has him more specifically born in Alverstoke, Hampshire, although it is not known where that birth record originated. Alverstoke is just to the south of the city limits of Bristol, so for all intents and purposes, he may just as well have been born in Bristol. But the possibility that he was born in Alverstoke does narrow down the parish records that may need to be searched.
Obituary Article, James Henry Chute
"The good old provincial school of actors and managers appears to be dying out. But amongst them all none deserves more respect or regret than Mr James Henry Chute, of the Bath and Bristol Circuit, who died last week at the age of sixty-nine. Mr Chute, whom we had the pleasure of knowing personally, was one of the few experienced, competent, liberal, and judicious directors who make themselves and their art respected. He began his career early, and was the comrade of the late Mr Compton in York. He was for a long while in Scotland and Ireland, and in 1841 joined the Bristol Company and met his future wife, Miss Macready, the sister of the great tragedian. They ran away together, but Mrs Macready seeing what a good fellow, handsome fellow, and clever actor Mr Chute was, freely forgave them. Mr Chute helped Mrs Macready in managing the theatre, and at her death became sole manager of the old, and afterwards of the new, theatre. In Bristol and Bath he was invariably liked and admired both as actor and gentleman, and his fine old face will be sorely missed by many London stars."
"The Musical World", Volume 56, August 3, 1878. Page 505
Memoir of Henry Compton
"It was in the Lincoln circuit that my father made the acquaintance of Mr JH Chute then a renowned light comedian afterwards the highly popular and respected lessee of the Theatres Royal at Bristol and they were again together in his next engagement the York circuit. This acquaintance was soon ripened into a deep friendship which time only served to strengthen and death alone was able to dissolve. Many a long season did they rough it together many a long walk sometimes as much as thirty miles did they take in the daytime that they might open in some village on the same evening and strange though not always devoid of fun were some of their experiences." (Pages 50-51)
"The George Bichoff mentioned in the foregoing was a Saxon gentleman dwelling in Leeds being a merchant in the wool trade Both Mr Chute and my father were acquainted with a great number of Germans very good fellows in the wool trade which was carried on very briskly at Leeds in those days." (Page 57)
"The life of a country actor in those days was not without its enjoyments particularly for those whose cares were neither plentiful nor weighty and of these my father was fortunate enough to be. He had always been greatly fond of walking and the journeys already mentioned will show that he could do a good day's walk along the turnpike road. During his stay in the country his days were usually spent in this manner. The morning was given up to rehearsal and study then followed a good long walk with some companion perhaps Mr Chute or Mr Binge." (Pages 62-63)
"The pièce de résistance on that evening [a benefit in Leeds thrown for him by his friends] was Much Ado about Nothing with my father as Dogberry, Mr Creswiek as Benedick, Mr Chute as Don Pedro, Mr Bingo as Claudio and Mrs Morton Brooks as Beatrice. Besides the ladies and gentlemen just mentioned the company included Messrs H Widdicomb, Tom Horton, JT Downe, Lambert, Butler, Newnam and Ryder; Miss Delcy, Miss Paget; afterwards Mrs Creswick, Miss Melville, Miss Tyrer, Mrs Edwardes and Mrs Turner. Rophino Lacy was the musical director. (Page 69)
"His old friends and amongst his fellow actors will have been noticed the name of Mr Creswick accordingly wished him God speed and not only expressed themselves as being, but really were very sorry to say Good bye to him. One of the company, Mr Binge, a charming ballad singer, never lost sight of his old companion and favourite, and like Mr Chute remained his tried and true friend till death."(Page 73)
"After leaving Liverpool my father went to play a season's engagement at Dublin. This was not the first time he had been to Ireland. During his country apprenticeship he had played at Dublin and Cork in both towns in company with Mr Chute. With his usual fortune he became a great favourite. In Dublin where he played for a season the Irish audiences rated him very highly and it was owing to his popularity that he escaped those pieces of unflattering advice which the Dublin boys are noted for bestowing. As a rule these humorous exclamations are reserved for the unpopular the Irish having a pretty accurate discernment of dramatic ability. In Cork he only played a short starring engagement in conjunction with Mr Chute. At one rehearsal they met a member of the local company who afterwards attained a high position in the profession. They were rehearsing a farce in which occurs the greeting, "Ah my Bacchante, my Euphrosyne!" This gentleman suppressed the final syllable in each case. The stars disapproved of this novel pronunciation and my father politely pointed out the error. Great was their disgust when the actor made the same mistake at night. Considering the case hopeless they left the gentleman to continue his torture of language unchecked.
While the two friends were in Ireland together they were accustomed to go out sailing and being known to the boatmen often went without any attendant. On two occasions they were nearly drifted into the open sea and as it was they had got so far out that it was some hours before they reached the harbour. The excessive hunger they felt was quite sufficient to give them an idea of the privations of shipwreck strong enough to prevent their running the risk a third time. When they returned on the second occasion Mr Chute said to my father, "It's really frightful to think of the narrow escape the world has had of losing two promising actors." "Yes," said he, "and how frightful it is to think that the world would not have known its loss." (Pages 163-4)
"My father's reading of Dickens began with the first number of Pickwick and ended with the last number of Edwin Drood When Pickwick came out he was in the country with Mr Chute. He would often recall how when their appetites had been whetted by the earlier numbers they would eagerly look for the next number. With what a zest it was read, with what frequent laughter was the reading interrupted, what discussions they had over Sam Weller and his aged parent over the simple Pickwick and the artful Jingle." (Page 193)
Memoir of Henry Compton, edited by Charles and Edward Compton. London. Tinsley Brothers, 8 Catherine Street, Strand. 1879. Printed by Charles Dickens & Evans, Crystal Palace Press.
* Henry Compton (1805-1877) was born Charles Mackenzie. Charles and Edward Compton were Henry Compton's sons.
Fifty Years of an Actors Life by John Coleman
[During a performance in Macbeth, Coleman clasps another actor's hand in his.] "Mrs. Macready's manager and son-in-law, James Chute (an essentially modern-minded man!) interposed and raised the strongest objection to the hand-shaking, stating that it was unusual, that it imparted vulgar and commonplace realism to a great and lofty theme. He was really angry when I persisted in carrying out my views, and dubbed me "a young iconoclast." (Pages 155-156)
"Respecting the exceptionally large nose of actor James Bennett]: "When I was in Bristol years later, James Chute was wont to relate with great glee an anecdote anent poor Bennett's nasal promontory while he was enacting Titus to the Roman father of James Wallack, in Howard Payne's hotch-potch of Brutus: The Fall of Tarquin. It will be remembered that the stern parent condemns his son to death for treason to the Republic. After a last embrace, father and son part for ever. Titus is about to go forth to death. The house was still as the grave — a pin might have been heard to drop. At this supreme moment a fiend in human form arose in the box nearest to Bennett, and exclaimed in a voice tremulous with simulated emotion, "Oh, cruel Roman father! how could you have the heart to doom to death a son with such a — Roman nose?"
There is only one line to speak after the exit of Titus, "Justice is satisfied and Rome is free!" The last line spoken on this occasion by Wallack was, " D_ _n ye! Ring down!" and down came the curtain with a roar, in which, to his shame be it said, the Roman father joined, while Bennett's indignation may be better imagined than described." (Pages 272-273)
Coleman, John. Fifty Years of an Actors Life. New York: James Pott & Co., London: Hutchinson & Co., 1904. Print. Volumes I and II.
Further information in: Barker, K. The Theatre Royal, Bristol, 1766-1966: two centuries of stage history. Society for Theatre Research, 1974. A series of 102 playbills from 1868-1880.
Further information in: Barker, K. The Theatre Royal, Bristol, 1766-1966: two centuries of stage history. Society for Theatre Research, 1974. A series of 64 playbills from 1870-1880.
When the New Theatre Royal opened in Park Row on 14 October 1867, the two Theatres Royal continued side by side for a few months, with some interchange of players. However, as a consequence of overstretched resources and James Henry Chute's near bankruptcy in 1868, the old Theatre Royal had to be closed for a while, and for the next 10 years the theatre was opened only spasmodically, mainly for visits by touring companies. On 23 July 1878 James Henry Chute died quite suddenly and his sons, George and James Macready Chute, took over the management of both the Bristol theatres. When the lease ran out in 1881, it was taken on by George Melville.
Further information in: Barker, K. The Theatre Royal, Bristol, 1766-1966: two centuries of stage history. Society for Theatre Research, 1974. 1 playbill from 1843.
From Playbill #2: Cast
Ellen Terry (1847-1928) as Cupid
Henrietta Hodson (1841-1910) as Endymion
and Kate Terry as Diana
in the burlesque Endymion at the Theatre Royal, Bath, March 1863
At Bristol, where I joined Mr. J.H. Chute's stock company in 1861[several] members distinguished themselves greatly in after years Miss Henrietta Hodson (afterwards Mrs. Labouchere) was a brilliant burlesque actress, a good singer, and a capital dancer. She had great personal charm, too, and was an enormous favourite with the Bristol public. I cannot exactly call her a "rival" of my sister Kate's, for Kate was the "principal lady" or "star" and Henrietta Hodson the "soubrette," and, in burlesque, the "principal boy." Nevertheless, there were certainly rival factions of admirers, and the friendly antagonism between the Hodsonites and Terryites used to amuse us all greatly. In March 1863 Mr. Chute opened the Theatre Royal, Bath, when besides a specially written play symbolic of the event, his stock company performed "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Titania was the first Shakespeare part I had played since I left Charles Kean [in 1859], but I think even in those early days I was more at home in Shakespeare than in anything else. Mr. [Edward William] Godwin [the architect and archaeologist] designed my dress, and we made it at his house in Bristol. He showed me how to damp it and "wring" it while it was wet, tying up the material as the Orientals do in their "tie and dry" [sic] process, so that when it was dry and untied, it was all crinkles and clinging. This was the first lovely dress that I ever wore, and I learnt a great deal from it." (Edith Craig and Christopher St. John, editors, Ellen Terry's Memoirs, Victor Gollancz Ltd, London, 1933, pp.36 and 38) It was in the early sixties (1862, I think) that Ellen and her elder sister, Kate (now Mrs. Arthur Lewis), were engaged by the late James Henry Chute as members of his stock company, Kate playing the juvenile lead and the principal ladies in the classical burlesques, which were then the vogue and quite as attractive as the legitimate drama. Ellen was then a girl of about fourteen, of tall figure, with a round, dimpled, laughing, mischievous face, a pair of merry, saucy grey eyes, and an aureole of golden hair, which she wore, in the words of a modern ditty, "hanging down her back."* Although dwarfed, in a measure, as a actress, by the more experienced skill and the superior roles of her fascinating sister, Ellen soon became a great favourite in Bristol. Her popularity was largely due to her performances in two of the Brough brothers' burlesques - "Endymion" and "Perseus and Andromeda." In the former Miss Hodson played Endymion, Kate Terry was Diana, and Ellen, Cupid, and a very arch, piquant sprite, full of merriment and laughter Miss Ellen was. She wore a loose short-skirted sort of tunic with a pair of miniature wings, and of course carried the conventional bow and quiver. Some of the more prudish of the Bristol theatre-goersÉ were half inclined to be shocked at a scantiness of attire that even Mr. Chute himself was disposed to think a "little daring." But Ellen Terry's charm, her delightful and innate refinement, quite disarmed the prudes, and Cupid triumphed in front of the curtain as well as behind it, and lightly shot his darts in all directions (T. Edgar Pemberton, Ellen Terry and her Sisters, C. Arthur Pearson Ltd, London, 1906, pp.61-62).
New Theatre Royal, Bath. Since our notice of the opening of this elegant house [on 3 March 1863], the Midsummer Night's Dream has been played for three nights, concluding with Endymion. Both these pieces have been placed on the stage in the most effective manner by the spirited Lessee [J.H. Chute], scenery, costumes, &c., being entirely new. The former contains some really beautiful specimens by the young and rising artiste, Mr George Gordon, jnr. The burlesque of Endymion is capitally got up in every way, the leading characters, especially the Cupid of Miss Ellen Terry, and the Endymion of Miss Hodson, who played with great spirit their respective partsÉ was very effective. (The Era, London, Sunday, 15 March 1863, p.11a)
Playbill #3: GERRY BROOKE tells us of the dramatic story of the popular Princes Theatre in Park Row. When the doors of Bristol's biggest theatre opened in 1869 the huge crowd waiting for pantomime tickets surged forward. Within minutes, 14 of them lay dead and nearly 30 others were hurt. Yet, incredibly, the queuing system was not introduced to Bristol until nearly 20 years later. The tragedy happened at the Prince's Theatre, in Park Row, for half-a-century Bristol's unchallenged premier venue. It was designed by C J Phipps, who also built Bath¹s Theatre Royal, and cost a what was then an incredible £20,000. For that, owner James Henry Chute was given a 107-foot long stage and an extraordinary interior in which the gallery and proscenium arch formed a perfect circle. Although some seats had an imperfect view of the stage, this did not seem to matter particularly; it was a theatre to be seen in as much as to see in. The theatre which could hold 2,800 people (a thousand more than the Hippodrome, which was built in 1912) was originally called the New Theatre Royal. It changed its name in 1884 to avoid confusion with the disreputable Old Gaff in King Street, a theatre to which no gentleman could take his family. The Chute family dominated the history of the Prince's, indeed of local theatre, for James Henry was also leasee of the Theatre Royals of Bristol and Bath. He was married to the half-sister of the famed Macready and this link with he past remained until the thirties, when the last Chute family link was broken. Those who remember the Prince¹s recall the pantos most of all. They were already popular enough in 1869 to cause the never-forgotten tragedy and, by 1899, the ever-critical George Bernard Shaw was moved to comment: "I told Mr Macready Chute, the manager that he should come to London to learn from our famous stage managers here how to spend ten times as much money on a pantomime for one-tenth of the artistic return. He added, rather cynically: What a privilege it is to live in a convenient arts centre like London where the nearest pantomime is at Bristol and the nearest opera at Bayreuth." But, as always, the story of a theatre is really about people. All the stars of the Victorian and Edwardian era played there and the list is impressive. Dame Clara Butt, Henry Irving, Herbert Beerbohm Tree, Gerald du Maurier, Ellen Terry, Sarah Bernhardt, Lillie Langtry and Pavlova are probably the best known. All the famous - if not always great - plays were staged there but one backstage character, was commemorated in a very unexpected way. Designer Mark Barraud, a practical joker who sent visitors to catch trout at Fishponds, had a dog called Nipper who went everywhere with him. When Barraud, a very skilled craftsman, died at an early age, his brother painted Nipper listening to Barraud¹s voice on a wax cylinder record. That painting became the famous trademark of the His Master's Voice record company. The Prince's went through a number of alterations. By 1902, it was the best in the provinces, but with seating capacity reduced to around that of the modern Hippodrome. But in 1912, the Hippodrome started competing with good-class variety. The Coliseum, opposite the Prince¹s offered the new craze, roller-skating, and the Little, from 1923, provided straight theatre, The arrival of talking pictures, and the end of the Chute family influence, led to a sad decline. The Prince¹s was reprieved temporarily when the London theatres closed at the beginning of the Second World War and London stars were sent on tour. Marie Tempest, Robert Donat, Rob Wilton, Yvonne Arnaud, Alistair Sim, Ivor Novello, Jack Buchanan - it was a return to the golden age. Then on November 24, 1940, Bristol was hit by one of the worst blitzes of the war. It left the Prince¹s in ruins. The declining Theatre Royal was revived. Eventually, two blocks of flats were built on the land called Irving House and Terry House in memory of two of the Prince¹s stars. From The Bristol Times Issue #63 14/9/99.
The beautiful theatre, which was one of the ornaments of the city of Bath, and which since its erection in 1805 has contributed so much to the reputation of the city as a place of amusement by the excellence of the dramatic representations constantly presented, was on Good Friday totally destroyed by fire. It was built at a cost of about £25,000 and was regarded as one of the, if not the most compact and elegant of provincial theatres.
The present lessee is Mr. Chute, who is also the lessee of Bristol theatre, and the last performance was on Wednesday last, when the sensation drama, Peep O'Day, was splendidly presented. No business had been subsequently transacted, but on Thursday the chimneys were all swept, and a charwoman was in the theatre cleaning up. When she left all appeared safe, and it was not until shortly before eleven 'o' clock yesterday morning that smoke was seen by a woman living in the vicinity issuing through one of the windows, which turned out to be the window of one of the dressing rooms.
An alarm was given, and the police with the city hose, and the firemen of the West of England Insurance Office, were speedily on the spot. Five hoses were attached to the city water plugs and a copious supply of water obtained, but so rapidly had the flames spread throughout the building that in a few minutes the whole theatre was a cauldron of fire. The flames burst through the windows with terrific fury, and it seemed for a time certain that a large amount of property surrounding it must be destroyed. The contents of the house were removed, and the greatest consideration prevailed among the inhabitants, but by strenuous exertions the flames were confined to the theatre itself, the strong walls of which resisted their further progress. So rapid were the flames and intense the heat that everything within the theatre, even to the iron pillars that supported the tiers of boxes and gallery, were consumed and melted in less than two hours, and the place was a bare ruin - a well of burning embers which continued to blaze and fizz under the copious streams of water poured upon them.
Had the fire occured at night the conflagration must have been terrible, as the police and firemen could not have cut off the communications with other buildings. The building was insured in the West of England Insurance Office for about £600, but this is wholly inadequate to its value. Besides, the magnificent wardrobe and valuable library are utterly consumed. Mr. Chute, the lessee, who is not insured, loses about £500, and members of the company and the orchestra are also sufferers by the fire. The origin of the fire is a mystery.
References to one Mr. John Chute as an actor in several performances at the Theatre Royal are found in Playbills which still exist from that period. It is assumed that John Chute is directly related in some fashion to either James Henry, George Macready, or James Chute, Jr., as son or brother, but the exact correlation is not yet known.UKC/POS/BRS ROY : 0600164
"Edward Chute was, I guess born not at The Vyne (under Lady Dacre's bailiff in 1658) but at Chevening, Kent, the Lennard family home. I find records that his brother Thomas* was "of Chevening" and his sister Elizabeth (who m. Cottrell) was definitely born at Chevening. Their mother Catherine née Lennard would doubtless have wished to be among her kin when confined, and we can be sure she was scarcely on speaking terms with her mother Lady Dacre; her husband Chaloner Chute II certainly wasn't!
Edward Chute's children were, as you say, born at The Vyne. John the architect, his youngest, was never Sir John. He was probably born in December 1701 since he was baptised Jan 10th 1701/2.""Wife Catherine/Katherine née Keck died c. 1710. Her father Sir Anthony Keck (bap 1630 - died 1695), lawyer. Her mother Mary (d. 1702), daughter of Francis Thorne. Her first spouse: Ferdinand Tracy of Stanway, Glos. 2 Tracy children, John and another, came to the Vyne with her.
Edward, born July 14, 1687.
Chaloner (sic), born October 4, 1688.
Catherine, born May 9, 1690; m. Thomas Lennard Chute, their only child Thomas Chute (1713 - after 1774) lived at Pickenham and was unmarried.
Anthony, born March 6, 1691; died about 20th May 1754 at the Vyne.
Mary born September 24, 1693.
Thomas born September 28, 1695.
Francis was not only MP (very briefly) but a barrister, poet, wit and a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS); he probably died in London but was buried (I think) at Sherborne St. John as you say.
Margaret, born June 27, 1699.
Ann born May 7, 1700.
John (not Sir John), born December 30, 1701, baptised 10 January 1701/2.
* Regarding Chevening: We find in Oxford University entrance records that Thomas Lennard Chute, who entered Christ Church College 1705 an Middle Temple 1706, is described as "son of Thomas Chute, Esq. of Chevening, Kent." Since all our records of father Thomas relate to London and to Pickenham, Norfolk, Chevening can only mean his birthplace or place of baptism; it is how they recorded things in those days! From 1663 Chaloner Chute II could not have his children born in the Vyne as Lady Dacre was litigating to get him kicked out. His wife Catherine née Lennard went to her relatives in Chevening for, at least, her later confinements."
Source: Francis Chute, Correspondence ("Subject: Miscellanous English Chute data. Date: 4/22/2006 3:06:28 PM Eastern Daylight Time") and "Miscellaneous Addenda/Corrigenda: Family Group GP1715-0", same date. Filed under GP1715-0, Edward Chute and Catherine or Katherine Keck Chute.
From the description of the following book, much of the Chute family is discussed:SHERBORNE ST JOHN AND THE VYNE IN THE TIME OF JANE AUSTEN
The real backdrop to the novels of Jane Austen is vividly brought to life in a new book. Sherborne St John and The Vyne in the Time of Jane Austen is the latest in a series of Hampshire books by prize-winning historian Rupert Willoughby. His previous publications include A Key to Odiham Castle, Chawton: Jane Austen's Village, and Selborne: Gilbert White's Village, as well as the best-selling Life in Medieval England for Pitkin. As the author relates, the Austen family had strong connections with Sherborne St John. The novelist was born and brought up only a few miles away, at Steventon. Her eldest brother, the Rev. James Austen, was for 28 years the Vicar of Sherborne St John, and a close friend of the Chute family who lived at The Vyne.
Jane herself seems to have had a low opinion of William Chute, the eccentric lord of the manor and local M.P., though he was generally much-loved and is the subject of numerous anecdotes. Chute's arrival in the county in 1790, decidedly 'a single man in possession of a good fortune', is thought to be immortalised in the famous opening passage to Pride and Prejudice. The gossip passed on by James, a regular dinner guest at The Vyne, may occasionally resurface in his sister's books.
Chute was a great enemy of modernity and, where his own person and property were concerned, refused to admit any change. Thus he persisted in tying his hair in a pigtail, and in wearing knee-breeches, long after these had ceased to be fashionable.
Never happier than when at home in Sherborne St John, he kept the village exactly as he had found it, despite the obvious need for land reform and for the reconstruction of its crumbling estate cottages. At the time of his death in 1824, the parish had barely changed physically since the Middle Ages.
Visitors to Sherborne St John were often discouraged by the muddy tracks that passed for roads, and the extent of its poverty and neglect was, even then, considered shocking. Large families were housed in tumbledown thatched cottages. Some of them had only one bedroom. Most of the inhabitants were illiterate peasants, who worked on the land or in trades from their own homes.
'The peasants were probably as conservative as Chute himself, and no doubt held him in great affection,' says the author, 'but one senses the discomfort of other members of his family. Mrs. Chute devoted much of her time and energy to the poor and even presided over a daily soup kitchen in winter.'
It was left to William Chute's successor, William Wiggett Chute, to enclose the common fields, to found the still-thriving village school, and to embark on an extensive programme of reconstruction, almost re-founding the Sherborne St John that we know today.
Sherborne St John and The Vyne in the Time of Jane Austen describes the parish on the eve of its transformation. 'The sources for that period are particularly good,' says Mr Willoughby. 'Personalities, fashions, modes of speech, individual houses and cottages, even the experience of attending church, can all be re-created and described in extraordinary detail.
'I try to bring the past alive by focusing on minute details. For example, when William Chute sat down to dinner, his hunters were allowed to poke their heads through the dining-room windows. Then there was the orphaned niece who lived with him and used the Long Gallery as her playroom.
'It is also fascinating to discover what people had to endure in church. Attendance for the estate workers was compulsory, but they used to leave greasy marks on the wall where they had rested their heads in slumber. The building was freezing cold in the winter and often pitch dark. There were candles on the pulpit, but they were only lit for the sermon. As few of the congregation could read they can have had little idea of what was going on.'
Integrated into the narrative is a comprehensive survey of the parish history since the Middle Ages. There are descriptions, for example, of some memorable royal visits (including those of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I), and of the occasionally dramatic impact on Sherborne of the Civil War (when a majority of its population supported Parliament).
Sherborne St John and The Vyne in the Time of Jane Austen is on sale in all good bookshops and at other local outlets, priced at £9.95.RUPERT WILLOUGHBY'S BOOK
"The history of Old Alresford Church goes back to the 13th century and a Parsonage House was built on the site of Old Alresford Place before the time of the Stuarts. In the early 19th Century, Francis North, 6th Earl of Guildford, held the living in plurality with New Alresford, Medstead, St. Mary's, Southampton and St. Cross, Winchester. He lived in Old Alresford only part of his time (paying a curate a pittance to look after the parish), but did so in the Grand Style, enlarging the House and giving employment to the villagers who cheered his green carriage with its personal crest whenever he drove through.
In 1851, a young man of 27 years, George Sumner, arrived with his wife, Mary and two baby girls, Margaret and Louise, later to be joined by their brother, Heywood. They remained for 34 years and the Rectory was the hub of village activities for concerts, choir practices, a choral society, family gatherings, Temperance and other meetings (held separately!) for men and women. Mary would have no grumbling and it was a loving, joyful atmosphere she created.
In 1876, Mary, much concerned with the need to strengthen and support Christian family life, called a meeting at the Rectory, to which she invited not only all the village mothers, but those of her own social class. On this occasion, she took fright and George had to stand in for her and invite the ladies back the following week. This was the inaugural meeting of the Mother's Union - a union of all mothers, whatever their background, race or social status.
In 1908 Hill House in Old Alresford was acquired as a Rectory and Old Alresford Place passed into private ownership. In the first World War, it served as a hospital and in the second, it was the main office for an Insurance Company. Shortly after, it became a school for severely maladjusted children, which closed in 1961.
It was on the initiative of Canon Julian Rudd, then Rector of Old Alresford, that the House was re-purchased by the Diocese. Some years earlier, as a member of the Diocesan Board of Finance, he had been involved in discussions following the death of Sir Charles Chute who, in his will offered his family home, The Vyne at Sherborne St. John (near Basingstoke) as a home for retired clergymen. Archdeacon Anthony Chute, Sir Charles' brother, had suggested that it should be used as a Retreat and Conference House but at a meeting in June, 1957, it was agreed that the cost of adapting and maintaining it was beyond the resources of the Diocese and The Vyne became a property of the National Trust.
The need for a Diocesan Conference House had been affirmed in Discussions concerning The Vyne, reinforced by Canon Julian Rudd in his capacity as Chairman of the Diocesan Education Committee. He felt that if Old Alresford Place ever became available it was ideally situated for such a project, being quiet and secluded but easily accessible.
Archdeacon Anthony Chute died in 1958 and with other generous legacies from the Chute family, the money became available. On a memorable day in 1961, Canon Rudd learned from the village constable that the school was closing. Having confirmed this with the Warden, he lost no time in converting his ideas into action. By co-incidence, there was to be a meeting of Bishops, Rural Deans and Archdeacons the following day and having obtained plans of the house from the surveyor in Winchester, he put them before the assembled dignitaries. He records that they were "a little taken aback", but the idea was pursued with some strong support from the Chairman and Secretary of the Diocesan Board of Finance, Sir William Makins and Colonel Madge.
After many meetings, the deeds were signed on October 5th, 1961 and Old Alresford Place with 9 acres of land was purchased for £12,300. The price reflected the dilapidated state of the house which in Canon Rudd's words "had been shamefully neglected and was almost ruinous in parts, but it was still possible to recognise the gracious, elegant house it had once been and it had a long and fascinating history as the old Rectory of the parish and the birthplace of the Mothers' Union."
With approval of the then Bishop of Winchester, Dr. S.F. Allison, who gave every encouragement to the undertaking, Canon Rudd visited the Mother House of the Society of Sisters of Bethany in Lloyd Square, London. He asked them if the Community would undertake the staffing of the House, a request the Reverend Mother granted almost immediately and Sister Felicity became the first Sister-in-Charge. The Sisters of Bethany ran the House for 15 years and still remain in close contact. But it had become increasingly difficult for them to staff the House from their own Community and in 1979 they had to withdraw. From then until 1996, the House was run by a Warden and Assistant Warden with the Rector of Old Alresford and Bighton as Chaplain.
In 1966, further changes became necessary in adapting to the expectations of a Retreat and Conference House in the last decade of the 20th Century. The work of the House has become increasingly involved in training and education providing a venue for a wide variety of activities. It is currently staffed by a Director and Priest-in-Charge, Manager and two Assistant Managers. Recent developments include re-furbishing of bedrooms, dining-room and communal areas and additional conference facilities in tune with the historical architecture of the House.
With its interesting involvement with Church and Diocesan activities spanning more than three centuries, Old Alresford Place has had a major influence on many generations. It continues to adapt to the needs of the times, while preserving its purpose (to quote a former Bishop of Winchester) as "a place to be" - a power-house for spiritual refreshment, education, training and recuperation.
Melvin L. Chute Obituary:
"Melvin L. Chute, 73, died Sunday, June 12 at Bridgton Health Care Center. He was born in Pasadena, California, a son of Harold and Hazel Cottle Chute, and graduated from Salem (Mass.) High School.
Mr. Chute was a member of Amity Lodge of Masons in Danvers, Massachusetts.
He moved to Maine and lived in Sweden for nine years and in Bridgton for the past two years. He enjoyed photography, gardening and hunting. He is survived by his wife of 21 years, Janice Davey Chute of Bridgton; a son, Robert Walker of San Pablo, California; two daughters, Susan Brogna of Green, and Leslie Chute of Danvers, Mass; a granddaughter and a great-granddaughter.
A memorial service was held Saturday at Wood Funeral Home, Fryeburg."
Article provided from a Bridgton, Maine paper (name unknown), 2001, by Peg Chute, Ctr Conway, New Hampshire
Sylvia Chapman died in 1947 during a polio epidemic. She and Roland James Chute, Jr. were married by Emerson W. Smith, Minister of the Gospel in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Edgar Eugene Chute worked as a liveryman and a farmer. He attended country schools in Minnesota. Both he and his wife Julia Ulen Chute were Lutherans. Based on her correspondence, she apparently returned to the Ulen Family farm outside of Hanska around the time of the death of her father in 1944, although she may have returned home earlier, or they may have lived there together. She was still living at the Ulen farm in 1957, although her mother had died there in 1949. Edgar was living elsewhere in 1957, although Julia did not specify where he lived. Despite living in separate locations, they remained fairly close, as he often visited her at the Ulen farm, and she relayed questions to George M. Chute, Jr., on his behalf. In a letter dated 12 JAN 1957, she wrote: "Edgar is not here, he left home in the fall of 1944, he comes home, he was here at Christmas."
We are extremely proud of our beautiful daughters and their fine spouses.
1. Shannon Marie Skarphol, born [Private]. (She wanted her own birthday as her paternal grandfather's birthday is September 29th and 2 uncles have birthdays on October 1st).
2. Stacy Marie Skarphol, born [Private]. Yes we decided before she was born that she too needed to celebrate on her \ own day so we celebrate her 1/2 year birthday on June 24th (even with 1/2 a decorated cake etc.). When she was born santa came to visit and the nursery staff put little santa hats on the 3 babies in the nursery! Stacy was a Bicentennial year baby too!.
Notes courtesy of Geraldine Marie Chute Skarphol.
"Jene Allan Chute: Jene graduated from St. James High School in 1967. He attended three years at Mankato State University, Mankato, Minnesota. Enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as Military Police in Germany during the Vietnam conflict. Worked for Alcoa Aluminum before getting degree in Social Work from Washington State University. Employer: Cargill Elevators, Saginaw, Texas. Enjoys car shows."
Michelle is a 3rd generation railroad worker. She is employed by the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad since 1979, now an analyst at Corporate Headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. She enjoys reading, sewing. Notes courtesy of Geraldine Marie Chute Skarphol.
Obituary, Jene Allan ChuteJene Allan Chute
Visitation: 11am until service time, Friday, August 19, 2011 at Lake Hanska Lutheran Church near Hanska. Funeral Service: 1:00pm, Friday, August 19, 2011 at Lake Hanska Lutheran Church near Hanska. Interment: Lake Hanska Cemetery near Hanska
Jene Allan Chute, 62, of Keller, Texas passed away on August 12, 2011 in Ft. Worth, Texas. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the American Cancer Society.
Jene Allan Chute was born in Madelia, Minnesota on Feb 4, 1949. He graduated from St. James High school in St. James, Mn in 1967. Jene continued his studies at MSU in Mankato, Mn before joining the United States Army serving as an MP stationed in Germany. After serving his time in the military he then moved to Washington State and married Michelle Monear, and together they had three children before relocating to Keller, Texas. Jene was employed at Cargill flour mill in Saginaw, Texas where he retired from in January of this year. Jene enjoyed working on cars, riding motorcycles and spending time with his children. He was also a survivor of lung cancer.
He was preceded in death by his parents Marlow Chute and Irene Sletta: His memories shall always be cherished by his Sister and brother in-law Geraldine and Milan Skarphol, Brother and sister in-law Steven and Jeanna Chute, Children Joshua and Tracy V, Jerred, and Jillian Chute, newly born grandchild Jayden Chute, Children's Mother Michelle Monear, Nieces Shannon Skarphol-Kaml and Clark Kaml, Stacy Fang, and Jennifer Chute.
Born [private], Mankato, MN Baptized Lutheran: [Private] at Lake Hanska Lutheran Church Pastor: Rev. Robert Barker
Sponsors: Allen & Bonnie Skarphol (Shannon was baptized on Uncle Allen's birthday which is [private, but same day] and
married Clark Kaml whose birthday is [private - same day!] Confirmed: [private] (confirmed on her birthday) Grace Lutheran
Church, 4th & Main, Mankato, MN Pastor: Rev. Chandler F. Pauling
Kindergarten: Roosevelt Elementary School, West Mankato, MN
First-Sixth Grade: Jefferson Elementary School off James Ave., Mankato, MN
7th Grade: Lincoln Junior High School on Pleasant Street, Mankato, MN
8-12th Grade: Mankato West High School 1661 Park Lane, Mankato, MN
Graduated June 3, 1987 with Honors (active in swimming, many debate trophies, many speech awards (participated in national competition in 1987)
Graduated Magnum Cum Laude- Macalester College, St. Paul, MN May 25, 1991
Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications, Humanities Core & Classics Minor
Masters of Arts - Speech Communication University of Minnesota May 17, 1996
Masters Thesis entitled: "The Function of Parody in Sesame Street"
Offical PhD Candidate at University of Minnesota - Summer of 1996
Passes oral & written exams for PhD - Summer of 1997
Doctoral dissertation is entitled: Talking Back: The Rhetoric of Billboard Liberation
Summers: Northwest Fabrics, A & W, Hardees West
1993-1999 - SAGA Advertising - Free lance writer & Photographer
Taught speech classes at U of Minnesota as Graduate assistant until 1998
1998-1999 - Director of Forensics at St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN
1998-1999 - Taught speech classes at Macalester College, St. Paul, MN
1999-2000 - Taught weekend classes at St. Catherines College, St. Paul, MN
Fall of 2000- Professor, Metropolitan State University, Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN
Shannon has presented many of her papers all over the country, enjoys reading, avid photographer, wildflower gardener, they breed & sell Russian Blue Cats (Kamlot-Kats) all over the states, enjoy nature, hiking & canoeing in remote areas, Clark is a great woodworker, has built beautiful rock garden and ponds.Marriages:
John graduated in 1991 from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN and received a law degree from Harvard Law School, corporate attorney in New York City.March 20, 1995 Shannon married Clark Donald Kaml (Private)
Clark grew up around Middle River, MN. He attended St. John's University at Collegeville, MN and transferred to University of North Dakota at Grand Forks where he received a BA & MA in Economics. Previously employed by the state of Kansas and currently employed as a Rate Analyst for the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in St. Paul, MN. Clark has attained 2nd degree black belt. Maintain rental property close to the U of M. Currently building on their 40 acre woods property in northwestern MN. Notes courtesy of Geraldine Marie Chute Skarphol.
Education: Attended Jefferson Elementary School and graduated on June 2, 1995 from Mankato West High School with 60 college credits as Stacy attended Mankato State College classes on the post secondary option plan during her jr.and sr. high school years. Summer 1997: Worked on research project at Drexell University, Philadelphia, PA May 14, 1999: Graduated with B.S. in Materials Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York.Activities:
Stacy was an International Science & Engineering Finalist for 3 years, got numerous science & math awards including 3 1st place awards from NACE, Kodak & U.S. Airforce plus a U.S. Patents Award, Yale engineering and Math Award, active in Youth and Government, S.A.D.D., President of Science Club, MN Science Academy Student Representative (only student in Minnesota to serve on adult board), National Honor Society, earned various 4-H photo awards, art chosen to be displayed in Russia, taught 3 year olds at Sunday School, creative writing article was selected to be published for Mindworks. During her senior year at R.P.I. served as president of engineering club on campus.Employment:
Jim's parents are Jason & Lucille Fang, [Private], Hockessin, Delaware. They were engaged on the evening of April 11, 1999 after Jim called and asked Mr. Skarphol permission to marry Stacy. They met at R.P.I. during Stacy's first month of school. Jim drove with Stacy, Mike and Lisa from R.P.I. on a surprise trip to Stacy's grandparents farm for The State Hand Corn Husking Contest at rural St. James, MN.
Stacy & Jim were married during a beautiful outdoor ceremony at Hartefeld National, Avondale, PA. Shannon Skarphol-Kaml was her sister's Matron of Honor. Stacy's family felt blessed to be able to participate with Stacy and Jim at their marriage ceremony. After a honeymoon to San Francisco, California, they returned to their apartment in Mahwah, New Jersey.
Jim graduated from R.P.I. in 1998 with a Computer Science Degree and is employed In Parsippany, New Jersey as a software engineer for Dialogic (now owned by Intell.)They purchased a house in Ramsey, New Jersey in April, 2001.
Clarence Edward b. 3 March 1905 Pawtucket, Providence, Rhode Island d. 19 March 1994
Taunton Bristol, MA
He ( by family information) served in the navy (record not yet located) Had 2 children by his 1st wife: Clarence E. (Jr.) and Herman. Widowed.
Married 2nd - Jennie May DOROTHY b. 15 Jan 1915 N. Attleboro, Bristol, MA
d/o John S. & Ada M. (ALLEN) DOROTHY/DOHERTY.
My mother-in-law gave me some information that I am also researching as to the rest of the
children of Frederick and Emma: AnnaBell (lived in Brockton or Taunton,MA)
Ada m. Edward Shaw
William (moved to Montana)
I have much to research yet on this family. I am very interested not only the direct lineage but that also of siblings . After all a tree isn't complete without the all the leaves that fall from it.
Contact: Andrea Brown if you have further information on this Brown Family line.
"Born July 19. 1812; married Catharine McConnell, June 21, 1843; and live on the 2nd concession of Malahide, Ont. A sturdy farmer."
Source: Chute, William Edward. A Genealogy and History of the Chute Family in America: With Some Account of the Family in Great Britain and Ireland, with an Account of Forty Allied Families Gathered from the Most Authentic Sources. Salem, Massachusetts, 1894. Page 111.
Walter Chute, Richard Chute and Walter's son (Thomas) Ensley Chute were named as witnesses in a murder investigation which appeared in the memoires of detective John Wilson Murray.Chapter XXXVIII
THE lighthouse keeper on Long Point, on the north shore of Lake Erie, near Port Rowan, was sitting by the window one bitter cold morning in December 1884. The waves were pounding shoreward over a fringe of ice. The wind was howling in a gale, and not a sign of life was visible over the expanse of waters. The keeper idly swept the shoreline with his gaze, from horizon on the right to horizon on the left. He saw nothing but tumbling waters and icy rime. He poked the fire and resumed his seat. As he glanced out he saw a black object bobbing in the water it rose and fell and rolled as the waves beat in or receded it was coming shorewards. Thrice it was tossed up on the ice, and thrice it glided back and slid with a splash into the water. The fourth time the waters seemed to lift it up and toss it forward so that it lay a shapeless bundle on the shore. The keeper of the light levelled his glasses on it, and instantly laid them aside, donned his cap and coat, and hurried out. He ran down the shore to where the object lay, and knelt beside it. The figure was that of a man. The body was wound with rope, and the limbs were rope-bound. The hands were tied. Dickinson, the light keeper, picked up the icy body and carried it to the lonely lighthouse. He judged it was a sailor from some vessel of the lakes, gone to a watery grave and cast ashore long after death. He made a rough box, cut away the ropes from the body, and buried it as it was, boots and all, on Long Point. He marked the grave of the unknown dead with a board; there was no clue to the man's identity. His features were the face of a stranger; he wore no hat, his clothing was unmarked. Snow soon hid the grave, and Dickinson forgot about it, save for an occasional wondering, as he sat by the fire in the long winter nights, whether the man had come to his death by fair means or foul; whether he had died in his bunk naturally or whether in the night he had been seized and bound and buried alive in the waters that may give up their dead but tell no tales of their tragedies. A paragraph in the newspapers some days later said simply that an unknown body had been washed ashore on Long Point and had been buried by the keeper of the lighthouse.
"Three months later," says Murray, "John Piggott, of Bay City, Michigan, communicated with the Government about this body. For months John Piggott had been searching for his brother Marshall Piggott. Marshall was a young farmer, twenty-nine years old, who lived in the township of Malahyde, county of Elgin, Ontario, about forty miles from Port Rowan. His father, before he died, gave him a small farm of about fifty acres on the shore of Lake Erie. Piggott married Sarah Beacham, a neighbouring farmer's daughter, and they settled on the little farm. They had no children. In the early part of 1884 Sarah died mysteriously, and one of the features of her death was a violent attack of retching. Marshall Piggott was not a bright man, but rather slow and simple minded. At ten o'clock on the morning of November 17th, 1884, a few months after his wife died, Marshall was seen going down the road toward the lake near his house. That was the last known of him. Some of the neighbours, when he failed to appear, thought he had gone on a visit to his brother John in Michigan. When John heard of it he began a search for his brother. He read the newspapers carefully for tidings of unknown dead, and when the Long Point burial was printed he saw it, and once more communicated with the Government. This was in March 1885, and on March 10th I went to St. Thomas and met John Piggott, and conferred with Judge Hughes.
"John Piggott and I then went by train to Aylmer and thence drove to Port Rowan, and then drove on the ice to Long Point. We had the body dug up and the coffin opened. The body was decomposed, but John Piggott identified it positively as the body of his brother Marshall Piggott. He identified the boots as a pair he had worn and had given to Marshall. He identified a peculiar mark on the big toe of the right foot, and he also identified the peculiar pigeon-breast. William Dickinson, the lighthouse keeper, said that the face, when he found the body, bore a strong resemblance to the face of John Piggott. He said John and the dead man looked alike. There was little face when we saw the body; the head had been smashed in and the chin broken. Satisfied that the body was that of Marshall Piggott we had it taken to Port Rowan and buried.
On March 24th I drove the mother of Marshall Piggott from her home in Nilestown, county of Middlesex, to Port Rowan and had the body exhumed, and the mother identified the clothes and the body. "Who killed him?" The question presented itself the moment I saw the crushed skull and the lighthouse keeper told me of the way the body was bound with rope, and the way the hands and limbs were tied. It was not suicide. The rope and the wounds settled that; no man could have tied himself in such a manner. I asked the mother when she first heard of her son going away. She said that the day after Marshall disappeared in November, Havelock Smith, a young man, twenty-eight years old, who lived with his widowed mother on her farm, near the farm of Marshall Piggott, and whose family was respected highly and prominent in the country, had appeared at the house and said he wanted to see her alone. Her son, young William Piggott, was with her that day, making ready to go to Oregon to live. William stepped outside, and Havelock Smith then showed her a note for $1,300 made to him, ostensibly by Marshall Piggott. Havelock Smith told her, said the mother, that Marshall had given him the note the day before in exchange for $1,300, and Marshall had said he was going away. The note was dated the day Marshall disappeared. When asked where he got the money to lend to Marshall Havelock Smith said he borrowed it from Richard Chute.
Mrs. Piggott said she would have to find her son, Marshall, before she could do anything about the note. She called her son young William, and told him to go to Marshall's place and look after it. I saw William. He told me he had driven back from Nilestown to Marshall's with Havelock Smith, and on the way Havelock asked William to help him get the money. The story about borrowing the money from Richard Chute I found untrue. "I went to Marshall's place, and I looked Havelock Smith over. Then I visited the neighbours one by one. I learned from Walter Chute and from Mrs. John Hankenson that on the day Marshall disappeared Havelock Smith went to Piggott's house about half-past nine o'clock in the morning. Smith and Piggott were seen later walking away in a south-easterly direction, toward Smith's farm. That was the last seen of Piggott alive. I learned that about four o'clock that afternoon Smith was seen by Walter Chute and his son, Ensley Chute. Smith had been seen first going toward a gully about half a mile from Piggott's house, and he was seen later coming back from the gully. This gully led to the lake, and was secluded. Walter Chute spoke to Smith on his way back; Smith's trousers were wet, as if he had been in the water. A shot had been fired while Smith was in the gully. Smith told Chute he had shot at a grey fox and missed it.
"I learned that on the Sunday before Piggott disappeared Smith went to Port Royal, six miles away, and hired a row boat, and took it to his own gully and left it there the day Piggott disappeared. "I began a search for the weapon. I learned that some years before part of an old steamer had drifted ashore, and in the wreckage were some iron grate bars, each weighing about one hundred pounds. Walter Chute had found these bars. He had a maple sugar bush near the gully, and for arches in his sugar-boiling furnaces he used some of these grate bars. Shortly after Piggott disappeared Chute was in his maple grove and he missed one of these bars. "The theory of the prosecution was that Piggott had been inveigled to the gully to help launch the boat, that while launching the boat he was struck with a heavy, blunt instrument, which smashed his skull and drove his head down so that the chin was broken on the gunwale of the boat, that the iron bar was taken out in the boat, and tied to the body which was dropped in deep water. After the body was in the water some time it wanted to rise. The motion of the water, washing the body to and fro, cut the rope, the body rose and drifted forty miles to Long Point, near Port Rowan, where the lighthouse keeper found and buried it. This theory was upheld by the wounds on the head, the skull being smashed and the chin fractured. The shot heard by the Chutes was believed by the prosecution to be a blind to account for Smith's presence in that vicinity, as if hunting for a grey fox. The rope was not a new rope. I searched the country for miles around, but could get no trace of where it was obtained. It was not an uncommon kind of rope.
"We got a tug and dragged the lake in the vicinity. We found the bar, and a piece of rope, and Piggott's hat. The hat was anchored to a stone. I learned also that after Piggott disappeared, Smith went to Buffalo, and on his return he said he had heard from Piggott while in Buffalo. "Havelock Smith was arrested on Tuesday, March 24th. Arthur Belford, a friend of Smith, also was arrested, but later was discharged. The preliminary investigation was quite lengthy. Smith was remanded for trial. Young William Piggott had gone to Oregon to live, and I went out to Portland, and brought him back on April 28th, and he gave evidence against Smith.
"The trial of Havelock Smith began on Tuesday, November 24th, 1885, at St. Thomas. Chief Justice Armour presided. It became a famous case. John Idington, of Stratford, prosecuted for the Crown, assisted by Donald Guthrie, of Guelph, and County Attorney James Coyne, now registrar of the county of Elgin. Colin McDougal, James Robertson, and Edward Meredith defended Smith. The prosecution swore 108 witnesses. The defence swore a large number. The defence maintained that the body found by Dickinson, the lighthouse keeper, was not the body of Piggott. A Dr. McLay had obtained an order from the coroner, and had exhumed the body, and said that no one could tell whether it was the body of a white person or black person, man or woman. Aaron Dolby testified that Dr. McLay told Mrs. Dolby there was no doubt it was Piggott's body. The defence also put in an alibi with Smith's mother as the chief witness. An excerpt from the report of the charge of Chief Justice Armour to the jury will give a good idea of the trend of the testimony. The Chief justice said, in part: "'The prisoner (Smith) had a motive and interest in removing Marshall Piggott. Had any other person an interest or motive? if you believe that the body is that of Marshall Piggot and the note is a forgery, which could not be realised on except by the removal of the maker, then does not the evidence point conclusively to the prisoner as the perpetrator of the crimes? Why did the prisoner make so many untrue statements? What was the object of prisoner's visit to Buffalo? He told several people he had received a letter from Marshall at Buffalo. Why wasn't the letter produced? Wasn't the whole thing a blind to throw suspicion off himself? Who was it had the opportunity to kill Marshall, who had the motive, and who had the object? If you have reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the prisoner, then it is your duty to acquit him. But this doubt must be a reasonable one, gentlemen. If, after sifting the evidence thoroughly, and eliminating all that you believe to be false, you think that the evidence is equally divided as to the guilt or the innocence of the prisoner, then it is your duty to acquit him. But, if on the other hand, the facts and circumstances advanced by the Crown and the deductions to be drawn therefrom are, in your opinion, sufficiently strong to prove to you that Marshall Piggott met his death at the hands of an assassin, and that the prisoner was an active or passive participant in encompassing his death, then it is equally your duty to fearlessly and manfully record your verdict of guilty. You may now retire.'
"The jury deadlocked. It stood five for conviction and seven for acquittal, and could not agree. "The second trial was set for May 1886. The defence was not ready, and the trial went over until September 1886, before Judge O'Connor, at St. Thomas. The case was fought out again. In selecting the jury for this second trial I objected strongly to certain jurors, but the Crown attorneys overruled me. They said they were satisfied the jurors were all right. They thought the defence would object to some of them. I said the defence would not object, and it then would be too late for the Crown. The panel was almost exhausted, and, against my urgent advice, they accepted two of these jurors. The result showed the jurors I objected to were the mainstay in holding out for a disagreement. The jury at this second trial stood seven for conviction and five for acquittal. The prisoner was released on $8,000 bonds. I advised a third trial, as there was no question in my mind as to who did it. Smith had a number of influential friends. His brothers, Harvey and William, were highly esteemed. William was a member of the County Council. At both trials there was great sympathy for Havelock Smith's family and relatives. "In this case the Chief justice said to the jury: 'The only certainty that human affairs permits of is a high degree of probability. You are not expected to have direct evidence of a crime. If such were the law, ninety-nine out of one hundred guilty men would go unpunished. Criminals seek secrecy for their crimes. If a witness comes forward and says he saw a man kill another by a blow, or in any other way, there is always the possibility that he may be telling an untruth, and there must always be corroborative evidence of a circumstantial character.' The Chief Justice's charge, in the report, also contains the sentence: 'Circumstantial evidence is the best kind of evidence!' "I read a lot of praise of the circumstantial case of the Crown against Havelock Smith. My mind is undimmed by a doubt on this case. Smith, the last I heard, still was around in that vicinity, and Marshall Piggott lies buried not far away."Source: http://gaslight.mtroyal.ab.ca/gaslight/murray38.htm