Bankruptcy of Dr John Denne, 1864

Dr Denne came to Winslow as partner of Dr John Cowley, not long before Cowley died in 1856. He then went into partnership with Dr Thomas Newham, but they dissolved the partnership in 1862 and continued to practise separately. Dr Denne lived at 4 High Street. In the 1861 Census he was recorded as aged 49, MRCS London, born at Wingham in Kent. His wife Mary Ann (nee Hollingworth) aged 51 was born at Newport Pagnell, and their son Frederick aged 15 was born at Buckingham. Despite the events below Denne remained in Winslow: in 1871 he was living at Alwyn House, Buckingham Road. See further below. He died at Winslow on 15 July 1877 aged 66 (read more). His widow died at Margate on 4 Sep in the same year.

Bucks Herald, 9 April

THE HANDSOME HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, Plate, Linen, China, Kitchen Requisites, 2 useful horses, gig harness, and numerous effects,
On FRIDAY, 15th APRIL, 1864, At Eleven o’Clock,
On the Premises in the occupation of Mr. Denne, Market Square, Winslow, under a Distress for Rent and a Bill of Sale.
The Lots may be Viewed on the Morning of Sale.
  Catalogues are in course of preparation, and may be had at the Inns in Winslow, and at the Offices of the Auctioneers, Winslow.

Bucks Herald, 30 April


  At the Court of Bankruptcy, London, on the 26th inst., before Mr. Registrar Roche, the first sitting for the proof of debts and choice of assignees under the bankruptcy of John Denne, of Winslow, surgeon and apothecary, took place.

  Messrs. Pattison and Wigg, of Clement’s-lane, filed the bankrupt’s petition on the 12th April, and obtained for him protection from arrest until this sitting.  The total amount of his unsecured debts due to creditors residing at Winslow, Wycombe, Newport Pagnell, Aylesbury, and Buckingham, &c., is about £500, and Mr. John King, of Winslow, “holds a bill of sale of household furniture and effects dated about February 1863, given to secure £200, under which he has entered and taken possession, and advertised the effects for sale.  I consider only about £125 to be due, but he has also paid the amount of rent which was due to the landlord and for which he is distrained.  I estimate the value of the goods seized at about £300.”

  The bankrupt states the following to be the cause of his bankruptcy:- “the seizure of his goods and effects under a distress for rent and bill of sale, and an illness with which he has been afflicted since November, 1863.”

  No creditor attended to prove at this sitting, or accept the office of assignee, and the Court fixed the 27th May next, at half-past one o’clock, for the examination sitting, and application for discharge, and granted the bankrupt renewed protection from arrest until that time.

Bucks Herald, 25 June


  In the Court of Bankruptcy, London, on Tuesday last, before Mr. Registrar Roche, there was a sitting for the proof of debts and appointment of a trade assignee under the bankruptcy of John Denne, of Winslow, Bucks, surgeon and apothecary.

  Mr. Small, solicitor, of Buckingham, appeared for a number of creditors, and Mr. Willis, solicitor, of Winslow, represented Mr. John King, auctioneer, of Winslow, who proved for £12 0s. 3d., and Mr. William Hartley, schoolmaster, of Banbury, whose debt is £23 13s. 2d.

  The circumstances of this case are of rather an unusual character.  The bankrupt petitioned the Court on the 12th of April, attributing his failure to “the seizure of his goods and effects under a distress for rent and a bill of sale, and illness, with which he had been afflicted since November 1863.”  He was granted protection from arrest, and the 26th April last was fixed for the proof of debts and choice of assignees, but, although on that occasion no less than eight proofs were tendered and admitted, no creditor offered to accept the assigneeship, and no assignee was appointed.  The 27th of May was fixed for the examination and order of discharge sitting, but the bankrupt then alleged that he was unable to file his accounts owing to the detention of his books by Mr. King, an alleged creditor, and the bankrupt’s examination was adjourned until the 14th of July next, at eleven o’clock.  In the meantime Mr. Small applied to Mr. Commissioner Fane, who directed a fresh sitting for the choice of assignees, which was now held.

  The bankrupt states with reference to Mr. John King as follows:- “Hold a bill of sale of household furniture and effects, dated about November 1863, to secure £200, and under which he has entered and taken possession, and advertised the effects for sale.  I consider only about £125 to be due, but he has also paid amount of rent due to landlord for which he distrained.  I estimate the value of goods seized to be about £300.”

  Mr. Small now put in proofs amounting in the aggregate to £123 10s. 9d., and proposed Mr. William Neale, innkeeper, of Winslow, and Mr. Charles Mayne, coal merchant, of the same place, to be the assignees, but owing to the latter creditor not having proved his debt, his name was withdrawn, and Mr. Neale was appointed trade assignee, and accepted the office.  The antagonistical assignee proposed was Mr. King, but he was in the minority both in number and value of creditors.

  The following inhabitants of Winslow have proved against the bankrupt’s estate, viz.:- Mr. Thomas Bonham, butcher, £20 12s.; Mr. William Neale, innkeeper, £39 7s. 3d.; Mr. Edward Fenn, grocer, £11 18s. 5d.; Mr. John Hathaway, linen draper, £39 9s. 6d.; Mr. James Hawley, grocer, £17 10s. 2d.; and Mr. Martin Bromwich, tailor and draper, of Newport Pagnell, £51 13s. 1d.

  Mr. Small was appointed solicitor to the future proceedings, and the sitting ended.
  The examination and order of discharge sitting still stands for the 14th July next, at eleven o’clock.

Bucks Herald, 5 Nov

COURT OF BANKRUPTCY, LONDON. – OCTOBER 28. (Before Assistant Commissioner Winslow.)

  This was an adjourned examination sitting and application for order of discharge under the bankruptcy of John Denne, of Winslow, surgeon, whose numerous creditors reside at Aylesbury, Wycombe, Newport Pagnell, Winslow, and other places in this county.

  A clerk from the office of Mr. Stoker, solicitor, Gray’s Inn, represented the creditors’ assignee, Mr. William Neale, of the Bell Inn, Winslow, who was also present; and Mr. Pattison, solicitor, Clement’s-lane, supported the bankrupt, who petitioned the court on the 12th of April last, and who attributed his failure to “the seizure of his goods and effects under a distress for rent and bill of sale, and an illness with which he had been afflicted since November, 1863.”

  The bankrupt’s “statement of accounts,” which have already been published in detail in the BUCKS HERALD, shows his total indebtedness to be £3,695 6s. 3d., and deficiency £1,070 1s. 4d.; his expenditure was stated to have been £330 per annum.

  On the 13th August last Mr. Commissioner Goulburn adjourned the bankrupt’s examination on the ground that further accounts ought to be furnished by the bankrupt, especially a cash and deficiency account, and particulars of his plate, &c.

  Since the last sitting the following requisitions and answers have been filed, viz.:-

  Requisition 1st – “The assignees require the bankrupt to file a full and particular cash account, commencing from a period of at least six calendar months next before the filing of his petition for adjudication, and giving a true account of the whole of his receipts and expenditure during that period.”

  To this the bankrupt filed a cash account from the 1st of October, 1863, to the 12th of April, 1864 showing totals on either side of £250 15s. 3d.

  Requisition 2 “Also a statement of the assets and property of the bankrupt at a period of twelve months prior to the said petition, or at such earlier period as the bankrupt is able to make such statement and showing and accounting for the deficiency.”

  Answer- “Statement of Affairs, 1st of April, 1863.

To creditors
£3,637  10  11
By book debts
243  15   0
Policy for £200 in Phoenix Fire Office, effected in October,
 1859, at an annual premium of £8 18s., held by executors of
 George Cross, estimated value
20    0    0
Policy for £900, in Clerical Life Office, effected in 1854, held
 By James Whitworth, estimated value
100   0    0
Policy for £100 in British Mutual Life Office, effected about
 1849, held by William Powell, estimated value
15   0    0
Estimated value of my life interest under the will of Thomas
 Sanders Hollingsworth
2,000   0   0
Household furniture, two horses, dog cart, harness &c
300   0   0
Cash in hand
0   0   0
1,008  15  11
3,687  15  11

Life interest under the will of Thomas Sanders Hollingsworth, deceased.
“one moiety of the annual receipts and profits of the following properties now held by Mr. Stoddart of-----, and Miss Sarah Hollingsworth, of Newport Pagnell, as trustees, viz:-

A farm in Newport Pagnell, called Tongwell Farm of eighty –
six acres, or thereabouts, let to Mr. Harris at a rental of
180    0    0
Also, a house in Silver-street, Newport Pagnell, let to Miss
S. Hollingsworth at
40    0    0
Also a small house in Silver-street, Newport Pagnell, names
Of tenants unknown, let at
16  10   0
Also, £1,900 in London and North Western Railway Debentures,
At 4 per cent
76   0   0
Also six shares in the Steam Navigation Company, producing
per annum
9   3   0
£14,700 3 per cent, Stock
142  10   0
£464   3   0
The above properties are subject to Land tax
£3  11   8
Estimated value per annum of my moiety
200   0   0
Estimated value of my life interest therein
2000  0   0

Deficiency account from 1st April, 1863 to 12th April 1864          

To deficiency, 12th April, 1864, as per statement of accounts  
£1074   1   4
To salaries and allowances as Medical Officer of Union and
professional charges (including medicines) between 1st
April, 1863, and 12th April, 1854
434  18   6
1,508   19 10
By deficiency, 1st April, 1863
1,008    5  11
Rent, rates and taxes
80    0    0
Domestic and personal expenses; self, wife and four children,
And horses, groom &c., and one domestic servant
341  19   1
Assistant’s salary
38  14   0
Interest and expenses – King
20   0   0
18   3   3
Difference in books
7   1
1,508  19  10

 Requisition 3rd- “The assignees also require the bankrupt to file a full and correct list of the plate entered in his balance sheet or accounts, as having been deposited with Miss Hollingsworth, or any other person, and the consideration upon which the said plate was deposited?  The source from which the said plate was derived, and if the whole of such plate was not deposited with Miss Hollingsworth, particulars of such articles which were not so deposited and information as to whose possession or custody such articles are now in and on what consideration, if any.

[The answer covered a full account of plate originally left to Mrs Denne’s mother, by Thomas Sanders Hollingsworth, who was Mrs Denne’s father, and how this had been dispersed through the family at the death of his wife (who had remarried by this time; she was now Mrs Cowley). Articles which had come into the hands of Mrs Denne had been pawned.]

  Mr Pattison said – I appear for the bankrupt, who was on the last occasion required to supply some further information.  That information has been furnished, and the assignees are satisfied.
  Mr. Winslow - Who is the solicitor to the assignees?
  Mr. Pattison – Mr. Stoker, who is unable to attend; but his clerk is here.
  Mr. Winslow – Is the creditors assignee personally here?
  Mr. Pattison – Yes, here he is.
  Mr. Winslow, to Mr. Neale – You have no opposition in this case to offer. You don’t oppose the bankrupt?
  Mr. Neale – No I don’t oppose him.
  Mr. Winslow to the bankrupt – What is the cause of your bankruptcy?
  Bankrupt – About ten years ago, I purchased a share of a practice for which I paid a very large sum of money.  My partner died, and then the practice became very much distributed.
  Mr. Winslow – What did you give for the practice?
  Bankrupt – Nearly £1,000
  Mr. Winslow – No Creditor opposes.  Let him be discharged.
  The bankrupt, who stated he had never failed before, gave up 15s., which having been returned to him he passed his examination, and was granted an order of discharge.
  The proceedings then terminated.

Buckingham Advertiser, 21 July 1866

  THE BANKRUPTCY OF JOHN DENNE.- Mr. Registrar Roche, on Tuesday last, held in the London Court of Bankruptcy a dividend meeting and for the proof of debts under the bankruptcy of John Denne, of Winslow, surgeon and apothecary, whose creditors reside at Aylesbury, Buckingham, Winslow, and Newport Pagnell, &c.  Mr. Stoker represented the creditors’ assignee, Mr. William Neal, of Winslow, hotel-keeper.  The adjudication was upon the bankrupt’s own petition, and he obtained his order of discharge on the 28th October, 1864, upon accounts showing total debts £3,695 6s. 3d., and assets £2,625 4s. 11.  It now appeared that the balance in hand was only £55, which the creditors resolved to divide forthwith, and the meeting ended.

Buckingham County Court

Buckingham Advertiser, 15 Sep 1866
  THE DOCTOR AND HIS TAILOR’S BILLS.- Francis Arthur Denne, of Winslow, was sued by Mrs. Sarah Ladd for £6 4s. for clothes supplied to him.  Mr. John Denne, the father, appeared, and said his son of that name was dead, but that he had another son named Frederick Augustus, and that he no doubt had the goods.  Plaintiff was therefore non-suited, owing to having the wrong name in the summons.

Frederick A. Denne was aged 15 and living with his parents in 1861. He died at Winslow in 1869 aged 23. Another son, Thomas Saunders Hollingworth Denne died in 1871 aged 29. A third son, Albert Hollingworth Denne was born in 1844 and survived his parents (d.1882). He was a medical assistant at Sandywell Park, Andoversford, Gloucs, in Nov 1877. A fourth son Charles Edward (1851-1889) was an ironmonger's assistant in Wimbledon. No trace has been found of the Dennes having a son called Francis Arthur but there was one called Henry Francis, born at Buckingham in 1849 (d.1855).

Bucks Herald, 18 Dec 1869

At an inquest on Charles Ward of North Marston, aged 74, it was stated that Mr Ward was entitled to attendance from the Union medical officer and his family sent for Dr Denne. He was away and his son apparently did not know about Mr Ward's entitlement. Dr Denne stated:

I was at Brighton a fortnight since, and I was not aware that there had been any application for attendance on the part of the deceased.  My son had charge of my practice while I was absent.  I returned from Brighton on the 26th Nov. Last.  I received a written application on the 3rd December from the first witness [William Ward] stating that his father was in a precarious state.  I sent some medicine by the boy.  I did not see the deceased after this ...

The jury brought in a verdict that they consider great blame attached to Mr. Denne for not having personally attended the deceased, or in the event of his being unable to do so on account of illness for not having procured the deceased the attendance of a duly qualified medical man.

Buckingham Advertiser, 24 March 1877


An inquest was held at Park Hill Farm, before R. De’Ath, Esq., coroner, on Friday, March 16, on view of the body of Sarah Ann Dickens, aged 33 years, wife of Mr. Frederick Dickens, farmer, whose death occurred on the morning of Wednesday, March 14.

[evidence of other witnesses not transcribed here]

  John Denne deposed - I am a surgeon practising at Winslow. On Wednesday morning last Mr. Dickens came to my house at about seven o’clock, and asked me to come and see his wife, who was in labour.  I said “Surely, not so soon again.” I told him I would go and he asked me if I had been spoken to about it.  I said I had not.  Deceased had on all previous occasions spoken to me at attend her about two months before she was confined.  I asked Mr. Dickens to go to my stable-yard to see my groom, and Mr. Dickens came back and said my man was not there.  I told Mr. Dickens he always came at seven o’clock, and he would be there directly; and then I would come to his wife. 

After Mr. Dickens left I called my housemaid, and told her to go and see for Jackman, my groom [Henry Jackman of Horn Street and his son William are listed as grooms in the 1871 Census]. She said he had been and done his work, and had gone away again.  I told the servant if she saw Jackman to tell him to put the harness on the mare as I wanted it directly. I have no regular groom; Jackman comes morning, noon, and night. In consequence of Jackman being gone I went to my son’s bedroom, who generally gets the horse in the night, and drives me but, unfortunately, when I went in my son’s bedroom I found that he had not been home all night.  I then immediately sent my errand boy into the town, where I thought my son might have taken a bed, but the boy did not find my son, and I told him if he could not find my son anywhere to go to Mr. Phipps [Edwin Phipps of the Crooked Billet], and ask him to let me have his pony and carriage to go to Great Horwood, and his boy to drive me. 

I got a message from Mr. Phipps to say the pony was engaged.  I then sent into the “Swan”- Mr. Stevens’ [Gaius Stevens kept The Swan, very near Dr Denne's house] - to ask him to get my mare ready for me, as I wanted to go to Park Farm directly.  The answer was he was not at home.  I sent my errand boy a second time to Mr Stevens’ to ask where he was gone to and what time he would be at home.  Whilst my boy was there Mr. Stevens came home, and got my mare ready and I started off at once.  I am so crippled I cannot get my own horse ready.  I cannot say what time I arrived at Park Hill Farm.  Two hours may have elapsed from the time Mr. Dickens came to my house to the time I got to his house. 

When I arrived at Mr. Dickens’ house, the nurse met me and said “Well Mr. Denne you have come but she’s dead,” and I said “Impossible.”  I went upstairs and found her dead.  She had been delivered of a live child, which was still attached.  I have attended some thousands of cases. Deceased has had previously lingering labours.  The second time deceased was continually fainting both before and after her confinement, but before principally.  Knowing her to have a feeble heart and a weak circulation I have guarded against her fainting by giving her stimulants.  I have no doubt she died of a syncope caused by loss of blood, and a weak heart.

  The Coroner (addressing the jury) said - Gentlemen, you can have no doubt in your minds as to how the deceased came to her death.  You have heard Mr. Denne’s statement, from which it appears to me, that when he promised Mr. Dickens he would come to his wife he really intended coming.  You have also heard his reason for not getting to Mr. Dickens’ house earlier than he did.  Mr. Denne stated the symptoms had not been so bad as he had seen in many cases in which patients recovered.  There is but little doubt, I think, that deceased had a feeble heart.  I think so from her having gone off so soon after the child was born.  Cases of this kind cause medical men the greatest anxiety; no surgical operation requires so much nerve and promptness as they do.  We all feel this is a most lamentable case.  Had Mr. Denne been present the result possibly might have been the same; but it would have been a great consolation to the friends of the deceased, and you would have been spared this painful enquiry. You will now please consider your verdict.

  After a short consultation, the Jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence, and added that there was great neglect on Mr. Denne’s part in not attending much more promptly than he did when sent for, and they considered that owing to Mr. Denne’s nervous affliction, he ought, if he undertakes to attend cases in the country, to have requisite assistance as to man and horse.

Leighton Observer, 31 July 1877

  THE LATE MR. DENNE.- This town lost one of its most widely respected inhabitants on Sunday, July 15th, when Mr. John. Denne, surgeon, was removed by death, having attained his sixty-fifth year.  He had been from home some little time to try if change of air would be of any benefit to his health, and had only been back a very few days when the end came.  For twenty-three years he had held the appointment of medical officer for the Winslow union workhouse district, and for twenty-one years he was medical officer for the workhouse establishment, and in both these appointments was highly respected by both patients and their friends.  He was also what is known as club doctor to a Court of Foresters in Winslow, and also to several village clubs in the vicinity, all of whom will sincerely regret his decease.  His remains were committed to their last resting place in the parish churchyard on Friday the 20th inst., shortly after mid-day.  A considerable number of resident Foresters assembled near the residence of the deceased, and as a token of their respect for him fell in behind the mourners, Mr. C. Denne and Mr. A. H. Denne; Mr. Sharpe, assistant to Dr. Newham, and Mr. J. G. Defriez (who has lately taken charge of the deceased’s practice) also followed to show their respect for deceased.  A number of the inmates of the union workhouse also followed deceased, the boys and girls carrying small bunches of flowers, and Mr. and Mrs. Minton [=Minter], the master and mistress, with the governess, also carried flowers, in addition to placing some beautiful wreaths on the pall previous to starting for the churchyard.  A large number of persons assembled to witness the procession to the churchyard, and while the Rev. A. Preston read the solemn burial service there was a numerous congregation of attentive and mourning listeners.  After the service the children from the union all cast their nosegays on the coffin-lid, and a wreath was left to place on the grave when filled in.  The coffin was of oak, black nailed, and was made by Mr. Matthews; Mr. A. French, draper, conducted the funeral arrangements most satisfactorily.

Will (proved at the Principal Probate Registry, London, 9 Aug 1877)

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Copyright 1 September, 2020