If we thought road rage was a modern phenomenon – then we would perhaps be mistaken. Let’s see the experience of Richard Crandall, a butcher in Leigh, when in 1838 he had the unpleasant experience of Victorian road rage.
The Records give “The information and complaint of Richard Crandall of the Parish of Leigh in the County of Kent, butcher, taken and made upon oath before me the undersigned, one of her Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the said County the 13th day of August 1838 who saith that he was peaceably driving his cart on the Penshurst Turnpike Road on Thursday the ninth day of August . . . when Feldwick, who drives the Penshurst coach, met him, that the said Feldwick then (as be believes purposely) did so press towards him the said Crandall, as to drive him off the road, on the bank which is a very sloping and dangerous, whereby he the said Crandall considers his life was put into jeopardy, further the said Crandall, complains and states that at other times, he the said Feldwick has before in like manner seised (sic) him and put him in fear of injury, whereof Edward Young of Leigh, farmer, who was present is witness”.
This evidence was “taken and sworn before me, Thomas Harvey 13 August 1838”
Richard Crandall, who had been born in 1803, was the son of William Crandall (II). He lived at 1 Church Hill and carried on his business as a butcher in the eastern extension of his house. In 1840 he was the tenant of a field and slaughterhouse on the site of the present Crandall development. The Crandall family had long been settled in Leigh; records show them here during the 18th and 19th centuries, being shopkeepers and linen drapers. The first William Crandall was initially a tenant of what is now Orchard House, but the Crandall family bought the property in 1813 from George Children. The Crandall Charitable Trust takes its name from a later Richard Crandall who died in 1932.
Parish Magazine Article: July 2013: by Joyce Field