Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
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An Alarming Incident


One day this week a gentleman, who resides in a very retired spot in the neighbourhood of Ryde, was sitting with his wife in the gloaming. The house was locked, and they were just about to retire to rest. No sound disturbed the solemn silence, save their own voices.

Suddenly they heard stealthy footsteps creeping up the stairs, and then moving about in the upper room. Burglars! The gentleman is a military man, and his eyes glistened with the prospect of making a glorious capture. Servants were posted in such positions that no one could escape from his house unseen, and then the valiant paterfamilias crept stealthily upstairs, pistol in hand, to meet the miscreant who had disturbed the peace of a quiet household.

The door was opened; he peeped in; a grey and ghostly object turned and faced him, and then with one violent rush, struck the valiant defender of his hearth in the stomach, bowled him over, leapt over his prostrate body, and rushed down the stairs! It was a goat, who having broken away from her moorings, and being filled with curiosity, had entered the house and had been investigating the contents of the upper rooms! She had eaten half a feather bed, one bolster, and had partially demolished a blanket when disturbed.- Moral: Beware of goats.

Source: Isle of Wight Observer 15 May 1886

Picture source: Oliver Twist Illustration by James Mahoney 1871 – Wikimedia Commons