PEOPLE – FERRIES. Rev. A. H. A Local Scandal.

Accreditation the Middlesbro and Stockton Gazette 24/04/1868



Charged with forgery

            Much interest and excitement have existed in this district during the past few days in consequence of the sudden departure from Coatham of the Rev. A. H. Ferries, who was being acting as curate there, though, we believe, he was not formally licensed. The precipitate departure, coupled with the circumstances of banns Mr Ferries marriage to a young lady connected with a family much esteemed in the neighbourhood, having been published for the first time on this Sunday previous, and their non-publication on the Sunday following, afforded ample materials for the most absurd rumours to be set in circulation. With a view of placing the matter in a proper light, and for the information of our readers, we have made enquiries and give the results.

At the Coventry City Police Court, on Saturday, April 11th, before J. Mariette and W. Lynes, Esq., Alfred Henry Ferries, Clark in holy orders, late of Coatham, and formally curate to the reverend. Mr Hazlewood, vicar of St Michael’s, Coventry, was brought up and charged with forgery. The offence, it was alleged, was committed on 16 May, 1865, and consisted in forging a bill of exchange in the name of Mr Hazlewood, whereby the prisoner sought to defraud Mr Joseph Mountford, manager of the Coventry and Warwickshire banking company, and the sum of £40, he knowing the same to be forged. It will be in the remembrance of some that a sensational photograph, from a mysterious source, appeared in many newspapers about two years ago, intimating that the “Rev. Alfred Henry Ferries, formerly of commentary, had been found lying dead at the foot of the Great Ormes Head, Llandudno, North Wales, and that it was supposed that rev. gentleman had been walking to leave the edge of the cliff, and had fallen over.” Subsequently this forgery came to light, and, as the “rev. Gentleman” had been seen some time after his “untimely end” it was supposed that the report about the falling of the cliff, and the consequent death, was a ruse to divert attention and enable the delinquent to quietly open, and “move off.” Beavis says it may, the prisoner set sail for Canada, and remained there until last year, when he returned to England, and has since assisted in ministering to the spiritual wants of the Coatham parishioners. By some unknown agency as soon as the intended marriage was made public, a letter from the police said Coventry and a photograph of the rev. Gentleman reached the sergeant and police at Redcar, and, stranger still, the rev. Gentleman once more suddenly disappeared. It turned out that he had been driven from Coatham, in the comments of a friend, between three and four o’clock one morning, information having seemingly reached him that he was “wanted.” He had gone “to Coventry.” and given himself up to the authorities. When the case came on at the police court Mr Kirby appeared for the prosecution and said that as so long a time had elapsed since the commission of the offence, and as there would be some difficulty in bringing home the charge, he did not intend to offer any evidence, and the prisoner was therefore discharged we hear that his luggage is being forwarded to Oxford.

Considerable indignation is expressed among the parishioners that one lying under such a serious charge should have been permitted so long to minister to them, and are feeling exists that some explanation is required

We believe it is urgent by Mr Ferries’ friends, and injustice to them we mention the rumour, that the money represented by the draft on the bank was not applied to his is all private use, but to meet expenses in connection with alterations of the church of which he was curate.


Accreditation the Middlesbro and Stockton Gazette 29/5/1868


            The Rev. A. H. Ferries has this week sent to the children in the National School, or rather Christ Church School, a series of presents, asking for a letter from each, and this letter is actually been penned by one who tells the children that the charges against the Rev. A. H. Ferries were all fabrications, and invites him to come back again, saying that never did anyone preach or read as he did. We think the Coatham schoolchildren had better be taught to forget one was brought the parish of Coatham to such notoriety.


Lol Hansom March 9, 2013 Law & Order