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Norfolk, Loddon & Clavering District, Seething, Parish Information, 1857

Document Reference: Arson at farm of Mr BROUGHTON in Seething, John WHITTUP arrested

Transcribed by: Janelle Penney
Date Added: September 22, 2001

Beccles Weekly News
4 August 1857 Page 4, column 3
From microfilm supplied by the British Library Newspaper Library

......A fire occurred in the village of SEETHING, which from its extent and devastating effects, has attracted a large share of public attention.

>From the statement of eye-witnesses we learn that Mr BROUGHTON, who occupies a farm in the parish, was alarmed by a cry of fire about half-past twelve o'clock on Friday night, the 24th July, and on looking out of his window saw a straw stack, which was standing near to his dwelling-house, and in close proximity to two hay stacks and his farm premises, in flames. The wind was high, and the fire soon extended to the farm buildings, which were almost immediately in a blaze.

The stables and out-houses were consumed, and five pigs, a sow, and all the farming implements were destroyed. The out-buildings of Mr Edward BRANCH, and Mr Robert CRICKMER, the immediate neighbours of Mr BROUGHTON, on either side, were also on fire within half-an-hour, and little remained but the dwelling-houses of those gentlemen, which were only saved by the greatest possible exertions of the people who had hastened to the spot. The superintendent of the district, and four of the county police were soon on the premises, and the fire engine from Loddon was sent for, but the flames had almost done their utmost before it arrived. A barn, out-house, and stable, on the premises of Mr BRANCH were completely destroyed, as were also a barn, containing about seventy-five coombs of wheat, on the premises of Mr CRICKMER, besides the out-houses ,etc.

We understand that Mr BRANCH and Mr CRICKMER are sufficiently insured to cover the loss, but that Mr BROUGHTON is only partially so. A labourer, named John WHITTUP, of Seething, has been apprehended on suspicion of causing the fire. He is a half-witted sort of man, who is in the habit of frequenting public-houses, and frequently sleeps in the open air at night. Little doubt is felt in the neighbourhood that he caused the fire, but it is doubtful whether any direct motive actuated him in doing so.

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