Inquests Taken Into Suspicious Or Unexplained Deaths
For the County of Devon
Articles taken from North Devon Journal
Coroner's Inquests were usually held within the space of 48 hours following a death that appeared to be of a suspicious or unexplained nature. They were usually held in a local public-house, ale house, municipal building, or parish workhouse, but sometimes in the building where the death occurred. The Coroner usually came from a legal or medical background and more often than not, appointed for life by the respective County. The Coroner and a Jury of between 12 and 24 persons, usually men of substantial standing, were empanelled to examine the body, hear witnesses, and the Jury then to come to a Verdict as to Cause of Death. The account of the Inquest appearing in local newspapers, included the name of the deceased, where they died, and how they died. Sometimes, age, occupation, parish or address, and other relatives' names can be found. In later years when Hospitals appear, people can be dying away from their parish after having been admitted to that institution, and the Inquest is therefore conducted where the death occurred, rather than where the person was living.
[No's in brackets indicate the number of times that name occurs]
Names Included: Abbott; Ackland(3); Acland; Adams; Allan; Ashelford; Ashford; Auld; Avery; Badcock; Baker; Bale; Ballman; Balson(2); Barrow; Bath; Beard; Bartlett; Beckford; Beer; Benbow; Bennett(2); Blackler; Blake; Blight; Bodley; Bolt(2); Bond(2); Borrough; Bowditch(2); Boyles; Bradley; Bragg; Brailey; Brayley(2); Brewer; Bricknell; Bright; Brittain; Broadbeer; Broadmead; Brook; Brooks(2); Broom; Brown(2); Bruton; Burberry; Burnett; Burton(2); Bury; Cabe; Cable; Cale; Carlin; Carridge; Carswell; Carter; Cawley; Cawsey; Challacombe; Chapel; Champman; Charlton; Ching; Chudleigh; Chugg; Clarke(2); Clattery; Clogg; Coates; Coggen; Coham; Cole; Collard; Collins(2); Colly; Colwell; Conebier; Conibear; Connett; Cooke; Cooper; Copp; Corduroy; Corney; Cornish(3); Cosway; Cothay; Cousins; Cowley; Cox(2); Crapp; Crawford; Crews; Cudmore(2); Cummings; Cunnibear; Curry; Curtis; Dadds; Dale; Darby; Davie(2); Davis; Day; Deane; Dennis; Dodd; Dovell; Downey; Downing; Drayton; Dunn; Eastaway; Eastman; Edwards; Ellis; Evans(2); Facey; Fareweather; Ferris; Finnimore; Flood; Folland; Follett; Foss; Fowell; Fowler(2); Franklyn; French; Frost; Furze; Gallop; Garnsey; Geen; Gibbs; Giles; Glass; Godfrey; Golman; Gorden; Gordon; Gould(2); Granville; Green; Greenwood; Gregory; Gribble(2); Griffey; Griffin; Guard; Hambling; Hammett; Hammond(2); Hancock(2); Hannaford; Hannam; Harcombe; Harding; Hare; Harris(7); Harvey; Hawkins; Hayman; Hayne; Haynes; Heal; Heale; Heard; Hearson; Heathcote; Heddon; Hendy; Hennis; Hepple; Herapath; Hewett; Heysett; Heyward; Hill(3); Hitt; Hoare; Hobbs; Hodge(3); Holland; Holman(2); Holwell; Honey(2); Hookway; Hooper; Hopkins; Hosegood; Hosgood; Hosking; How; Howard; Howe; Hoyles; Humphreys; Hunt(2); Hussell; Hutchinson; Huxtable(3); Incledon; Ireland(2);Irwin(2); Isaac; Isaacs(2); Jeffery; Jenkins(2); Joce; Jocelyn; Johns; Johnson; Jones(2); Keen; Kelly; Kemp; Kendall; Kibbel; Kittlewell; Knapman; Knill; Lake; Lamprey; Langmead; Layman; Leat; Leaworthy; Lethbridge; Lewis(3); Leyworthy; Ley; Lilly; Lindsay; Lipscombe; Lloyd; Lock(4); Lockyer; Long; Lord; Lovering; Mabey; Macsheen; Madge; Maiden; Malvan; Manley; Margery; Marsh; Marshall(3); Maunder(2); Maybe; Mayn; Mayne; McDonald; McGineas; Merefield; Mildon; Mildrum; Miles; Millman; Mitchell; Mogford; Molland; Morris; Mules; Mutter; Muxworthy; Neal; Newland; Nicholls; Norcombe; Oatway; Odam; Osmond; Palmer(2); Park; Parker(2); Parkhouse; Parkman; Parminter; Parsley; Parsons(2); Passmore; Peake; Pearce; Pearse; Perkins; Pethybridge; Philips; Phillips; Philp; Pickard; Pierce; Pile; Pim; Pincombe(2); Pitts; Pollard; Ponsford; Pope; Potter; Preston; Price(2); Priddis; Puddicombe(2); Pugsley(2); Pyke; Raddon; Reardon; Redfern; Reed(2); Rendall; Reynolds; Richards(3); Roach; Rottenbury; Rowden; Rowe; Rowland; Rowler; Russel; Ryan; Salter; Saltern; Sanders(2); Saunders; Savery; Scamp; Sclater; Scoines; Scott; Seage; Seedsman; Seldon; Selley; Seymour; Shaddick; Shannon; Shapland(3); Sheldon; Shepherd; Short(2); Simmonds; Skinner(2); Slocombe(2); Sloman; Smale(2); Smith(4); Snell(4); Snow; Sparks; Spry; Squire; Stanton; Starke; Stone; Stoneman(2); Stowell; Stracey; Street; Strong; Stroud; Sweetland; Sydenham; Symons; Tallin; Tamlyn; Tanner(2); Taverner; Taylor(5); Thomas; Thorn; Thorne(2); Thornton; Tillour; Treble; Trent; Trist; Tucker(8); Turner(2); Ulph; Upham; Vanstone; Veale(2); Veales; Vicary(3); Vickery; Vinnicombe; Walter; Walters(2); Ward(2); Watts; Way; Webber(3); Weeks; Welch; Wellen; Wellington; Westacott; Westcombe; Westcott; White; Whitefield(2); Wilcocks; Williams; Willis; Wills; Wilson; Winn; Winsley; Withycombe; Wonnacott; Wood; Worth; Yeo;
Friday 9 July 1824 An Inquest was yesterday held by Thomas Copner, Esq. Coroner, at the house of MR PUDDICOMBE, at Horseacott, in the Parish of Fremington, on the body of JOHN, the eldest son of the said MR PUDDICOMBE, aged about 18 years; whose death was occasioned by his having eaten some bread and cream, which had been prepared with a mixture of arsenic, for the purpose of destroying the rats, by which the premises were infested. Verdict Accidental Death. - By this melancholy occurrence a most respectable family are plunged into the deepest affliction.
Friday 16 July 1824 An Inquest was held on Saturday last, by Thomas Copner, Esq. Coroner, at Chittlehampton, on the body of MR W. SHAPLAND, of Swimbridge, aged upwards of 65 years, whose death was occasioned by a fistic contest with R. Milford, by whom he was struck to the ground, which occasioned a concussion on the brain. - Verdict, Manslaughter. This adds one to the numerous proofs of the demoralizing influence of those annual revels so common to almost every parish in the county. MR SHAPLAND, a very respectable farmer, was induced to go to the revel in the adjoining parish of Chittlehampton, and whilst sitting in a Public House, the above named Milford came in, between whom a dispute arose, which terminated in the aforesaid fatal manner. We hear Milford has decamped.
Friday 27 August 1824 On Wednesday last, an Inquest was held by Thomas Copner, Esq. Coroner, at Marwood Hill, on the body of JAMES TAYLOR, who dropped down dead while working in the harvest field. Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
A Coroner's Inquest was held on Friday last, at the Dolphin Inn, Exmouth, by I. Cox, Esq. on the body of RICHARD GODFREY, of Exmouth, who died suddenly, on Tuesday last, in a boat belonging to a sloop employed in bringing limestone from Berry Head, while in the act of rowing at the oar. Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
Friday 24 September 1824 Barnstaple - An Inquest was held on Friday last, before Charles Roberts, Esq. Coroner for this Borough, on the body of SUSANNA WHITEFIELD, an elderly female, who was found dead in the Garden of Mr Francis Berry, in this Town, where she had been employed weeding. It appeared, by the evidence of a Medical Gentleman, that she had burst a blood vessel internally, which had occasioned immediate suffocation and death. Verdict, Died by the Visitation of God.
Friday 29 October 1824 Exeter - A young woman, of the name of JESSE SNELL, servant to Mr Wm. Wills, a respectable builder, of this city, drowned herself, it is supposed in a fit of insanity, below the Cotton Factory, on Wednesday last. Her body was discovered on Thursday, nearly opposite the place where she threw herself in. A Coroner's Inquest was held on Friday, when a verdict of "Found Drowned" was returned.
Friday 19 November 1824 Exeter - A man, named BRAILEY, in the employ of Mr Durant, of Northtawton, fell from a waggon, on returning from Exeter last Friday se'nnight, by which he broke both his legs; he was conveyed to the Devon and Exeter Hospital, where he has since died. An Inquest was held on the body on Thursday last; but, for want of evidence, it was adjourned to Saturday, when a verdict was returned of Accidental Death. He drove the waggon for the long period of thirty years, and bore an excellent character for honesty and sobriety. We are happy at having it in our power to contradict a report which had obtained circulation, prejudicial to the conduct of his master, it being entirely without foundation, it having been proved, on the Inquest, that he had expressed the most humane concern for the unfortunate man.
Friday 10 December 1824 Exeter - A poor man named COX, aged between fifty and sixty years, in the employ of the Rev. N. Cole, of Whitstone, in returning, on Thursday last, with a waggon heavily laden with dung, by some accident fell under the wheels when descending a hill, and was so dreadfully crushed, that he died in a few minutes. A surgeon was immediately sent for, who attended with the utmost promptitude; but the poor fellow had breathed his last. An Inquest was held on the body, and verdict returned of Accidental Death. The waggon is forfeited.
Plymouth - On Monday last an Inquest was held before Joseph Whiteford, Esq. Coroner, on the body of SAMUEL DAVIS, a seaman belonging to the Windsor Castle, who cut his throat the same morning, in the privy of a house in Windmill-street Ope. Verdict - Lunacy.
Friday 17 December 1824 Barnstaple - On Monday last, the 10th instant, a most calamitous fire occurred at Middle Marwood, about four miles from this Town. The wife of a labouring man, of the name of TALLIN, went out to a field to winnow some barley, leaving three children, the eldest of whom being about seven years old in the house, where she locked them in till her return, leaving no fire in for fear of accident. During her absence, the eldest child lit a match, in doing which she set her cloaths on fire, and in her alarm ran into a back house, where was a quantity of straw, to which the fire communicating, the whole was soon in a blaze, and the house, with an adjoining cottage, was quickly reduced to a heap of ruins. The Beds and Furniture, with the whole of the little property of this poor industrious family, was destroyed, and they are hereby left destitute of every thing save the cloaths they had on; but the most agonizing part of the business is, that the child who was the fatal cause of this calamity, perished in the flames; the head and limbs being entirely consumed and the trunk alone remaining; the two younger children were saved from the raging element. Whilst the narration awakens the most sympathetic feelings, it presents an inviting occasion for the exercise of public philanthropy and benevolence. An Inquest was held over the remains of the child on the following day, when from the evidence collected by the Coroner of the industrious habits, the honest deportment, and the affectionate disposition towards their children, of these poor sufferers, he was humanely induced to furnish them with sundry articles of clothing, an example which we sincerely hope will be followed by many of the children of affluence.
Friday 21 January 1825 Exeter - JOHN THOMAS, a young man who served his apprenticeship with Mr Marshall, baker, of this city, in company with two sailors, went on Saturday night on board a vessel at our quay; and being in a state of intoxication, fell over the side of the vessel, in attempting to get on shore. One of his companions endeavoured to save him, and narrowly escaped sharing the same fate. The body was found on Monday morning, and conveyed to the Nelson public-house, where an Inquest was held, and the following verdict returned. - Found Drowned by Suffocation.
Friday 11 February 1825 An Inquest was held last week at Pawlett, near Bridgewater, on the body of H. GIBBS, of Chulmleigh, who fell or jumped off the Traveller Coach, in a state of intoxication, and was instantly killed. Verdict, accordingly. He was on his way to London, to take possession of a considerable property, which had devolved to him by the death of a distant relative.
Friday 1 April 1825 An Inquest was held on Saturday last on the body of HANNAH SLOCOMBE, servant to Mr Fisher, of Long Stone, in the Parish of Pilton, who died in consequence of taking a quantity of arsenic. It appeared on evidence before the Jury that she had been subject to an aberration of mind: and was also found to have been in a state of pregnancy. Verdict, Died by poison taken in a state of Temporary Insanity.
Friday 15 April 1825 Plymouth - Suicide. On Sunday last, an Inquest was held by R. J. Squire, Esq. Coroner for the Borough of Plymouth, on the body of JOHN BURBERRY, a commercial traveller, who was found dead on Saturday evening at the bottom of a precipice on the eastern side of the Hoe, near the spot where the Baths are about to be erected. William Vean, a hostler in the employ of Mr Murch, of the Globe Inn, in the Borough of Plymouth, being examined, said that the deceased is a gentleman called JOHN BURBERRY, a traveller, whom he has known for four years past, as frequenting his (deponent's) master's house. The deceased came to the inn stables in his gig on Friday night last, at about a quarter past nine from Modbury. Deponent cleaned the horse, and the deceased came out to see it fed; and during the time deponent was feeding the horse, the deceased was talking to himself and appeared very thoughtful. and certainly different from what he had seen him before. At about half past twelve the next day, the deceased ordered deponent to get the gig and horse ready, as he would drive over to Devonport, from whence he returned at about ten minutes before eight in the evening. The deceased drove round to the stable door, and ordered water to be given to the horse, which was then in a state of perspiration. The deponent never knew deceased make such an order before. On deponent returning with the water, he found the deceased leaning against the window, talking to himself loudly; but he did not distinguish the words: he appeared to be perfectly sober. On going away, deceased said, "If I am not in by nine, you are to feed my horse." Francis Woods residing in Exeter-street, being sworn, said that he was walking down the road from the Hoe-Park-gate towards the sea, at eight o'clock on Sunday evening, when he saw a person leaning over the railing, by the boundary stone, facing the sea and Lower Fort of the Citadel. Deponent passed by him, but did not observe that he looked round. On his return to the same spot, the deponent passed the deceased again, he was then outside the railing, standing with his bank towards the precipice and sea: at the top of the hill he looked round, and saw the deceased shaking the rails: he heard a cry, and deceased immediately disappeared. He raised an alarm and ran to the spot, when deponent saw the deceased lying on the rocks below, motionless and apparently dead. Mr John Hicks confirmed last witness's statement. He did not see the deceased standing by the rails; but a short time before the alarm was given by Woods, witness saw a gentleman staggering up the hill above the boundary stone. He appeared either tipsey or in an agony of despair - he took no notice of any one. When witness lost sight of him, he ran to the precipice with Woods - they saw him below on the rocks. Witness immediately went for a surgeon, when Mr J. H. Fuge hastened to the spot, and pronounced him dead. Samuel Stockwell hearing of the circumstance, got a lantern and went to the spot under the Hoe, where he found Mr Fuge, surgeon, Mr Hicks, and others, examining the body. Deponent found in his pockets a variety of articles which were now produced, among which were several letters containing his name and address. The body was afterwards removed to the Workhouse. Verdict - that the deceased committed self-destruction, while in a state of delirium and lunacy. The above melancholy case has excited general interest in this town, the unfortunate gentleman being very well known to many respectable tradesmen, with whom he has been in the habit of transacting business. Crowds attended the Jury to the spot, where, in a moment of frenzy, he committed the act of self-destruction, and a more dreadful death could not be conceived. The edge of the precipice is removed a few yards from the path, and is guarded by rails, over which the deceased must have climbed with a desperate resolution, the height is full 56 feet perpendicular, and nothing projected to break the force of the fall. His head was literally dashed to atoms against the rocks below, which presented a horrid spectacle to the beholder, being covered with blood and brains. After the Inquest, the Coroner, accompanied by three commercial gentlemen, examined his property at the Inn, where they found, in addition to his horse, gig, boxes, &c. £67 in cash, and £119 in bills - his desk, with his cash-books duly and carefully posted. Being but a commission agent, the want of success in this and former journies, is supposed to have been the cause of that alienation of mind which tempted him to commit self-destruction, and perhaps his failure at Devonport, on Saturday, confirmed it. He does not appear to have taken either breakfast, dinner, or tea on Saturday. The Coroner read the letters found on his person, according to their dates, two most interesting epistles from his wife, and two from his employers, dated March 30, and April 1, another to his wife, dated Modbury, Friday afternoon, which he evidently had no resolution to send. This letter (which we think it right to withold from publication) is couched in the most affectionate language, and represents his distracted state of mind in the strongest colours. He intimated his determination to put an end to his existence, though he would rather live to make atonement for all his errors. The sixth is a most incoherent production, blending his wife with his horse, and attributing his diseased mind to blood and nerves, dated 3rd April, and supposed to have been written just before he committed the desperate act, as a new pen was found in his pocket having the appearance of recent use. The date of the letter being the day after he destroyed himself, is another proof of the deranged state of his intellect. A subscription is on foot to aid the widow and one child, who arrived here on Monday afternoon in consequence of a mysterious letter which the deceased had sent her on the day of his death. He appears to have been a kind affectionate husband, and married about 7 years.
On Friday last, WILLIAM BAKER, of Lympstone, aged 67, was committed to the Devon County Gaol, on the warrant of Isaac Cox, Esq. Coroner, charged with killing and slaying ELIZABETH BAKER, his wife. The prisoner, who is by trade a sawyer, having quarrelled with his wife about money mattes, and being rather in liquor, he struck her a violent blow, of which she fell to the ground senseless, and expired twelve hours after. Since his commitment he has expressed the utmost sorrow for the unfortunate occurrence.
Friday 6 May 1825 EXETER - MR W. HUNTER HUTCHINSON, aged 22, son of THOMAS HUTCHINSON, Esq. Barrister, put a period to his existence on Wednesday night last, or early on Thursday morning. He returned from London about a fortnight since; he has frequently complained of violent pains in his head, accompanied with depression of spirits, and on the day previous to his death exhibited strong symptoms of deranged intellect. He committed the fatal act by dividing the right carotid artery with a razor. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body, and returned a verdict - That the deceased destroyed himself in a fit of Insanity.
Friday 27 May 1825 EXETER - The body of WALTER BECKFORD, shoemaker, of Cockwood and Starcross, a man about fifty years of age, was found on Monday evening last, in the canal near Countess Wear Bridge. He was observed by the ferrymen at the Quay to be in a state of intoxication; after which he again drank at the Double Lock public-house; and within half an hour from that time his body was seen floating on a roll of leather which he had purchased at the fair. He was still warm when taken up; and was conveyed to the nearest reception-house of the Humane Society, but all signs of life had by this time fled. The Coroner's Jury returned a verdict of Found Drowned.
Friday 12 January 1827 PLYMOUTH - Inquests:- An Inquest was held on Saturday last at the workhouse of the parish of Stoke Damerel, by A. B. Bone, Esq. Coroner, on the body of ANN DALE, who was found dead in her bed. Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
On the same day, at Stoke Damarel, on the body of JAMES CARTER, who died on the Tuesday night, in a fit of epilepsy.
Friday 2 February 1827 EXETER - Melancholy Suicide. - On Saturday last an Inquest was held at the Dolphin Inn, in this City, before S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, on the body of MR THOMAS BURY, sen. who was found suspended by a rope from an iron staple, in one of his lofts, situated in Second Back Lane. The deceased had been missing ever since the preceding morning, is supposed to have committed the rash act sixteen hours before the discovery took place; and it is remarkable that his hands were in his breeches pockets, a habit he was in the frequent practice of when living. Mr Berry, builder, deposed, that the deceased had, for several years, been labouring under embarrassed circumstances, having twice failed in trade; and that, at the moment previous to his decease, he was under an arrest from Messrs. Fox, of Wellington. He also declared that from having known the deceased thirty years, he could speak as to the state of his mind, which, for three years past, had been particularly clear; that he had of late drank freely; and that on Friday morning as early as eight o'clock, he went to the Mermaid public-house, and drank half-a-pint of cider, which he was observed by the landlord to do in great agitation of mind; and from whence, it is conjectured, he immediately went to the place where he was found a corpse. Mrs Edwards (his sister) deposed, that she found the deceased hanging, and went and made it known to his family. Mr May, assisted by another man, cut the deceased down - he was hanging through a trap door between two spacious lofts. This closed the evidence; and the Jury, after a short consultation, returned the following verdict - That the deceased hung himself while labouring under Temporary Insanity.
EXETER - Melancholy Accident. Death of MR AULD, the celebrated Harlequin. By some unfortunate accident, about half past four o'clock on Monday after, MR AULD was precipitated from the top to the bottom of the stone steps (14 in number) leading from the street to the pit and interior of the Theatre. Immediately on the accident being discovered medical assistance was sought for the unfortunate sufferer, and Messrs. Tucker, De la Garde, and Harris, promptly attended, but the injury he had sustained was beyond the reach of all human skill; under their direction he was removed in a chaise to his lodgings, Mr Wm. Street's, in Longbrook-street; poor AULD never exhibited the least sign of consciousness (except in one instance,) after he was taken up; his body was much convulsed till about 4 a.m. on Tuesday morning, from which he lay quieter, and at 5 min. to 2 p.m. on that day life became extinct. A Jury, under direction of S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, assembled at 6 in the evening, at the Black Horse public-house, Longbrook-street, - the body on inspection exhibited no external marks of injury whatever, and the Coroner informed the Jury that after calling the evidence, he should endeavour to explain to them anatomically the construction of the human frame, as far as appeared necessary in this case, and then advert to the probably causes of the unfortunate man's death. The Coroner said, that in this case no one had seen the unfortunate man fall, but he thought after the testimony they had heard there could be no doubt on that subject, they (the Jury) had seen the body, but in this there is little to guide them there being no external marks, it therefore became his duty to explain the nature of the probable severe internal injury, which was fully sufficient to account for and had been the cause of this man's death. The Jury declared themselves satisfied that his death was entirely accidental, and returned a verdict accordingly. MR AULD was a native of London, and attained his 35th year on the 18th instant; he was married but had no children, his wife is at present in infirm health in London, having ruptured a blood vessel of the head, and it is rather remarkable that his father died suddenly three days before the party left London. The remains of the unfortunate man were interred on Saturday last, in St. Sidwell's burial ground; and were followed to the grave by the whole of the theatrical company, with every possible mark of respect. Some apprehension having been entertained that an attempt would be made to disinter the body, great precaution was taken, by placing over the coffin alternate layers of reed and earth, with a substantial plank above the whole, secured by strong stakes, so that it would require upwards of ten hours labour to effect the purpose. We understand, also, that a person armed, has nightly watched over the grave, in order to prevent the least intrusion.
Friday 9 February 1827 PLYMOUTH - Inquests. - An Inquest was held on Monday last by R. J. Squire, Esq. Coroner on the body of BENJAMIN BENBOW, a dairyman, who was found dead in one of the slips at Catdown on Sunday morning. There was a cut on his forehead, and another severe one on his hand. He had been seen drinking with two other men the night before, at the George and Dragon public-house, in Exeter-street, and subsequently he passed through Fanning's Gate, on the Exeter New Road, in a state of intoxication. Verdict - Found Dead.
On the same day an Inquest was held by the same Coroner, on the body of ROBERT PHILP, a youth of 15 years of age (apprentice to a bricklayer), who died about two o'clock on Monday morning, in consequence of excessive drinking. It appeared that the deceased was in company with four other lads (the eldest of whom was under 18, and the youngest about 14), on the evening before, at a public-house called the Curriers Arms, and that they drank amongst them, in the course of the evening, two quarts of ale, two noggins of whiskey, half a pint of rum, half a pint of rum and shrub mixed, and lastly, several quarts of ale. The deceased had some time before, by falling from a scaffold, received an injury in his head, which caused the drink to affect him more particularly. He had been, we understand, in the habit of drinking to excess, with his companions, in the same house for the last six months and it is stated that he was encouraged in that vicious practice by the landlord, who gave him credit, notwithstanding repeated cautions from the unfortunate boy's brother. If this be true, the conduct of the landlord cannot be too severely reprobated, and we should think it cannot escape being noticed in the proper manner by the Magistrates. Even if such had been the case, only on the one occasion, which was attended with such fatal consequences, the conduct of the landlord, in permitting mere boys to drink such an enormous quantity at one sitting, deserves the severest censure. Verdict - Died of apoplexy, occasioned by excessive drinking.
Inquests held by Mr Partridge - On Monday at Washfield, on ELIZABETH PARKER, wife of a dairyman, whose clothes caught fire unperceived while she was plucking poultry by the fire-side - no persons being in the house, she was so much injured as not to live more than a week. Verdict - Accidental Death.
On Wednesday 31st Jan., at Witheridge, on GRACE MARSHALL, an infant aged 3 years, who was on Sunday left with a younger child by the fire-side by their mother, while she went about a quarter of a mile to fetch milk. On her return she found the deceased sitting in a child's chair unable to speak, her clothes burnt to ashes, and the cradle partly on fire. Verdict - Accidental Death. The Coroner noticed in strong terms the extreme carelessness of the mother, in leaving children of such tender years alone in the house.
On Friday 24 February, at Tiverton, on CHARLES WHITE PEARSE, a boy about twelve years old, whose apron caught in an upwright iron shaft in the Lace-factory, of Mr Heathcoat, and was crushed between the shaft and a work bench. Verdict - Accidental Death. The Jury observed that had the shaft been cased with wood the accident would not have happened.
Friday 16 February 1827 A Coroner's Inquest was held by T. Copner, esquire, on Thursday last, at Morthoe, on WILLIAM LEWIS, a child three years old; whose clothes accidentally taking fire, was burnt in so dreadful a manner as to cause his death almost immediately. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Friday 2 March 1827 EXETER - A pauper from the City Workhouse, named WILLIAM STONEMAN, was killed on Friday last, by the fall of a cob wall, he, with four others, was sent to take down on David's hill. The Jury, on the Inquest returned a verdict of Accidental Death.
Inquests held by I. Cox, Esq. - On Wednesday the 14th at Bradfield Hills, Uffculm, on the body of AUGUSTA CONNETT, daughter of WILLIAM CONNETT, who was burnt to death by her clothes catching fire. - Accidental Death.
On Tuesday last, at Otterton, on the body of ROBERT HITT, Shoemaker, aged 22, whose death was occasioned by a blow received in falling on his head whilst running to pick up his hat which had been blown off by the wind. - Accidental Death.
Friday 23 March 1827 EXETER - An Inquest was held on Thursday, before S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, on the body of ELIZABETH CABLE, wife of a man who is gardener to a gentleman of this city. Having occasion to seek her husband about 10 o'clock on Wednesday night, she went to the hot house for that purpose, where she dropped down in an apoplectic fit, and immediately expired. - Verdict, Died by the Visitation of God.
Inquests lately held by Isaac Cox, Esq. - At Branscombe, on the body of THOMAS ABBOTT, lime-burner, aged 42. The deceased was discovered by Mr Ford, his master, sitting in the ring of the lime kiln, in a stooping position, as if asleep; the lime and culm was up to within two feet of the edge of the kiln; deceased's left foot was much burnt. He was conveyed to a house near, & a vein opened, the fumes of the lime and culm having caused suffocation. - Verdict - Accidental Death.
At Mohuns Ottery, in Luppitt, on the body of JAMES EVANS, aged 11 years, parish apprentice to Mr John Bishop, a most respectable farmer. The deceased was discovered by his master hanging in a cow-house, which he had been directed to clean out; no cause could be assigned for the rash act; deceased had always been treated with the greatest kindness by his master and family, and the boy appeared to have conducted himself with propriety, and had dined with the family as usual. His master having occasion to go through the court-yard, observed the deceased as if asleep, leaning against the partition in the cow-house; he went there and found him hanging, untied the rope and called for assistance, but life was extinct: deceased had cleaned out about two-thirds of the house. - Verdict - Found hung, but how or by what means no evidence appeared to the Jurors.
At Rockbeare on the body of SARAH, the wife of MR W. FINNIMORE, of Woodhayes Farm, aged 71. The deceased had just taken up a basin of broth and was carrying it from the kitchen to the dairy, when she fell down in a fit in the passage and died within two minutes. Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
At Widworthy, on the body of JOHN HARRIS, labourer, aged 77. The deceased had been in an infirm state for some years, and was left by his wife about one o'clock as well as usual. On her return about five she found him lying on the floor quite dead. She alarmed her neighbours; there was no marks of violence on the body, and it was proved they lived comfortably together. Verdict, Died by the Visitation of God.
A Shocking Accident occurred last night at Southill, in the parish of Shirwell, to a young man called BROOK, servant to Sir A. Chichester, who had been spending the evening at a neighbouring farmer's house, and together with a fellow servant, was returning home between eleven and Twelve o'clock; when passing by the cottage of one of the game-keepers, BROOK, by way of sport, made a noise to arouse his attention, and pretended to be stealing his dog; the keeper suddenly came out of his house, with a lanthorn and candle, and a loaded gun, and called out to BROOK, to speak, or he was a dead man; the poor fellow little supposing he would put his threat into execution, did not answer his challenge, and the keeper discharged his piece at him, the contents of which passed through his head, and he fell a corpse. The young man was very much respected by his fellow servants, and his untimely fate sincerely lamented. Mr Copner, the Coroner, is just gone to hold an Inquest on the body.
HORRID MURDER. - It is with regret we lay before our readers the following particulars of a most horrid murder, committed on Monday evening last, in a part of Devon hitherto rarely marked by the commission of atrocious crime. Jealousy appears to have provoked the bloody deed. The perpetrator is said to be in tolerable circumstances, and has fled from justice, but we trust the efforts using for his apprehension will prove effectual. An Inquest was yesterday held in the parish of Ashbury, in this County, by Francis Kingdon, Esq. one of the Coroners, on view of the bodies of MISS SARAH GLASS, 34, and THOMAS GLASS, 14, who were found lying that morning on Wadland Down, two yards distant from each other, with their throats cut. It appeared by the evidence, that the deceased left their home about half past seven o'clock on Monday evening, for the purpose of meeting the mother of the deceased SARAH GLASS, on her return from her son's,. who lived at Northlew, and that in going to Northlew they had to pass over Wadland Down, where the murder was committed. The mother, who was on horseback, returned over Wadland Down about half-past nine, and on her entering the Down her horse started, which it had not been accustomed to do. On the following morning about half-past seven, Mr Tucker and his servant had to pass over the Down, when they discovered the dead bodies on the ground; there was a lanthorn and hat near where the bodies lay, and a butcher's knife near the body of SARAH GLASS; an handkerchief lay over the body of EDWARD GLASS which had been cut in two pieces, and it is presumed that it had been stuffed into the mouth of the deceased, and that while the boy was pulling it out, the murderer cut his throat, and in doing it cut the handkerchief also. The bodies were found at the place where MRS GLASS' horse started, and there, no doubt the murder had been previously committed. The knife and handkerchief before alluded to were identified as being the property of T. Friend who has absconded. The Jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against T. Friend, and the Coroner immediately issued a warrant for his apprehension. Friend had lived for 11 years in the service of the mother of the deceased SARAH GLASS, and during that period had saved several hundred pounds. It appeared that he had repeatedly solicited the affections of the deceased, which she had refused. Friend is supposed to be gone towards Plymouth - he is about 39 years of age, dark hair and whiskers, about 5 feet 9 inches high, black eyes, a bruise on the fore finger of his right hand, and the nail almost off, has a cut across the left hand occasioned by a reap-hook - wore away a white fustain jacket, which had not been washed, dark striped swansdown waistcoat, plush breeches, partly covered with corduroy, long gaiters, nailed shoes, and common shag hat.
Friday 30 March 1827 Inquests held by James Partridge, Esq. - On Wednesday last, an Inquest was holden at the Guildhall, in Tiverton, on the body of ISET LETHBRIDGE, spinster, when the following appalling circumstances were given in evidence: - J. E. Coward, surgeon, proved that on Friday, 24th November last, he was called on to attend the deceased, he found her lying on a bed, the face much swollen, foaming at the mouth, the eyes protruding with a sensation of thirst; to questions put to the deceased, no answers were returned, a person in the room stated that the deceased had taken a quantity of oil of vitriol, emetics were administered which returned a portion o the poison from the stomach, which burnt the skin as it trickled from the sides of the mouth - the mouth and throat exhibited one continued ulceration, a quantity of blood was vomited on that day, on the next day, symptoms of acute inflammation of the stomach were evident, on the 3rd day the deceased was delivered without the usual labour pains, of a fine boy (who lived only four hours) occasioned by the shock received by taking the poison, from that time to Tuesday last, the 20th March, the mother died, no food would remain in the stomach, being always returned by vomiting - that he had opened the body and examined the stomach, and found the lower part of it (the pylorum) constricted by stricture, so as to prevent the food passing, it being the consequence of inflammation, that the deceased repeatedly stated that she had taken an ounce of vitriol, that her reason was, that she was ashamed of the scorn of the world, being then pregnant, that the quantity of oil of vitriol taken destroyed the powers of the stomach, and was with the subsequent action of inflammation the cause of her death, that from her first taking the poison to her death, she betrayed no symptom of idiotcy or lunacy, but was perfectly sane and rational. Ann Bryant, widow, with whom the deceased lodged, Mary Turner, and Elizabeth Patey, her nearest neighbours, continually visited the deceased during her illness, corroborated the sound state of mind of the deceased, who stated to them that she had had the oil of vitriol by her eight days, and had concealed the phial under the bed-tye. The Jury returned a verdict of self murder; in which the Coroner issued his warrant to the churchwarden, to inter the body between nine and twelve o'clock at night.
At the same time another Inquest was held on the body of JAMES TAYLOR, ten years of age, son of MR TAYLOR, a farmer, when several witness proved, that on Tuesday last, at one o'clock in the afternoon, the boy was crossing the street nearly opposite the house of Mr Radford, cabinet maker, the Traveller Coach from Exeter to Bristol, coming up at the time, the near leader pushed down the lad, trampled on him, as did the near wheel horse, and both near wheels of the coach passed over his head, that there were very many persons then in the street, the horses were going between a trot and a gallop, the coachman was looking to the right, back over his shoulder, when the lad was knocked down, and after the coach had passed over the boy, did not appear to know it. Verdi ct - Accident - value of the two horses, and two wheels of the coach, 12l.
Friday 27 April 1827 Accidental Death - An unfortunate occurrence took place on Saturday last at Okehampton, an old man who has been sometime deranged, of the name of WILLIAM LANGMEAD, being intoxicated, entered a public house among some farmers, assembled on the market day. Being very abusive and quarrelsome, a respectable farmer of the parish of South Tawton, pushed him out of the room into the passage, where he fell against the opposite wall, and almost instantaneously died. The Coroner's Inquest has sat on the body, and returned a verdict of "Found Dead, but by what means does not appear." No blame attaches to the unfortunate individual through whom the accident happened, who, added to his general good character, is in his manners gentle and humane.
Friday 4 May 1827 On Saturday last, an Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on the body of JOHN CHALLACOMBE, of Morthoe, who hung himself the day preceding; the deceased, who was a single man, lived with a relative in that parish, and being possessed of some property, he abandoned himself to indolence and intemperance, spending the major part of his time in public-houses; in consequence of which, when not under the excitement of drink, he was in a state of great debility, which had latterly much increased upon him. The night previous to his commission of the fatal act, he passed in a very perturbed state, and early in the morning he arose and went directly to the stable, where he was afterwards found suspended by a halter. Verdict, - Lunacy.
Friday 11 May 1827 EXETER - An Inquest was held at the Dolphin Inn, in this city on Friday last, on the body of MARY ANNE POLLARD, From the evidence it appeared that the deceased, who resided at Poltimore, was in a state of pregnancy, and on Thursday morning came to this city for the purpose of procuring a maintenance for the child. On the evening of that day, she was taken suddenly ill, and about 3 o'clock the following morning expired. A surgeon was sent for, who examined the body, and found that she had taken arsenic. After two adjournments, the Jury returned the following verdict. - Died by poison, taken whilst in a state of Temporary Derangement.
Friday 18 May 1827 The following Inquests have lately been held by I. Cox, Esq. - On the 2nd instant at Branscombe, on the body of ROBERT TULWELL TUCKER, labourer, aged 60 years. By the evidence it appeared that the deceased was in the employ of Mr Brown, a miller of Branscombe. That on the 1st inst. he was going round the parish with a horse and cart delivering the grists ground at the mill, when he got intoxicated, and in driving through the village at a furious rate, the cart came in contact with a large stone, the concussion threw the deceased out, and he fell under the wheel, and instantly expired. The Jury returned a special verdict accordingly.
On the 10th instant at Buckerell, on the body of SARAH MUTTER, wife of JOSEPH MUTTER, labourer. The evidence stated that the deceased had gone to a well for water, and whilst drawing up the same, she fell down and instantly expired. Verdict, "Died by the Visitation of God. It was stated at this inquest that the uncle of the deceased many years ago in going to the same well to draw water, was so overcome with the nauseous smell emitted from it, that he sickened and never recovered. However, on the present occasion it appeared that there was no offensive effluvia, although it was said that in summer it was very offensive.
Friday 1 June 1827 Fatal Pugilistic Encounter. A Father Killed by a Son. An Inquest was held on Wednesday, the 23rd instant, at Culmstock, before Isaac Cox, Esq. on the body of PHILIP STARK, of Uffculm, shoemaker, aged 68 years. It appeared from the witnesses, that the deceased had attended Culmstock fair, which took place on Monday last, and as was his custom, had become in some measure intoxicated. That between 3 and 4 on Tuesday morning, he was in company with a woman, rather a notorious character, called Droll Nod; that his son (a very powerful young man,) who was at that time drinking in an inn at Culmstock, on hearing this, went in search of his father, and succeeded in getting him away from the woman. In consequence of this interference, the father attacked the son, some blows passed between them, during which, according to the testimony of some of the witnesses, the deceased was several times struck down - according to others he fell on the ground; the last of these falls was over the edge of a place called the Strand, on some large stones, and the deceased gave a groan as if the breath was out of his body. Some one was present desired JOHN STARKE, the son to go down and take up the deceased, but he said "damme, let the old rogue lie, it's just what he deserves." It appeared, however, that the son did go and drag his father out in the road, and he with a person named Marshall, attempted to get him on his legs, but the old man could not stand. It was then stated by several of the witnesses, that the deceased was let down upon the ground and kicked by his son violently in his side - he was then dragged by the son and Marshall over Culmstock bridge, and into a path towards Uffculm, where the deceased was laid by the road side. It seems as if the son was not at this time aware that any serious injury had been done, and thought that the inanimate state in which his father lay, was the effects of intoxication; he was also probably himself intoxicated. About an hour after this, some people who passed, descried the deceased, and pointed out to the son the necessity of raising him, and he was taken to the house of a Mr Wood, near the bridge, where in about 2 hours he died. while he was being carried into the house, he stated to one of the witnesses, he had been dragged and ill used, but did not say by whom. On inspecting the body, there appeared the mark of a violent blow on one of the sides of the deceased, and other marks of external injury. The fact of the deceased having fallen out over the bridge was sworn to, by a person called Fry, who was present from the beginning of the affray; he described it thus:- When the deceased fell out over the road he fell on his face or side; JOHN STARKE was standing nearest to the edge, of the road where the stones are, and the deceased near to the hedge, JOHN STARKE holding the deceased by the collar: the deceased then made a blow at JOHN STARKE and missed him and at the same moment JOHN STARKE twisted the deceased by the collar, and pulled him forward, and the deceased fell out on the stones over the road on his face or side; the force of the blow which was missed and the pull that JOHN STARKE gave the deceased caused the deceased to fall over the edge of the road and then it was that JOHN STARKE said "Damme let the old rogue lie, its just what he deserves." Marshall who was also present a great part of the time, swore that the deceased fell over the stones and that he was not kicked by his son, but this witness was contradicted by Mr Hellings, who swore that immediately after the deceased was carried into Wood's, Marshall said to him "Jack has used his Father d-----d bad - he kicked him enough to kill him." Three witnesses swore positively to the kick having been given and two others to their belief that the son struck the father over the stones. Several witnesses who were present, did not see the kick, but would not swear it was not given. Mr Ashford, of Culmstock, Mr Knott of Uffculm, and Mr Tucker of Exeter, opened and inspected the body; they stated that they found the stomach in a very diseased state, and had no doubt but that was the immediate cause of death; they stated that in their opinion, external violence would produce the diseased state of the stomach which they saw, but they could not undertake to say that external violence had been the cause in the present case; they also stated that the same appearances might be produced by other caused than external violence. The Inquest commenced on Wednesday morning, and was closed at about 11 o'clock on Thursday night when the Jury found a verdict of manslaughter against JOHN STARKE, who was committed to the county gaol. The Rev. Mr Clarke, of Clayhidon attended and assisted the Coroner nearly the whole of the investigation. Mr Poole of Collumpton, attended as solicitor on the behalf of the son of the deceased.
Friday 8 June 1827 On Thursday last, an Inquest was taken at Kingsbridge, before J. Gribble, Esq. one of the Coroners for Devon, on view of the body of NATHANIEL PRESTON, blacksmith, one of that town. It appeared that PRESTON having come home the preceding evening between nine and ten o'clock, in a state of intoxication, threatened to murder his wife and children, and conducted himself so violently as to render the interference of a constable necessary, by whom he was locked up in the black hole or town prison; in a short time those who stood without, suspecting from the peculiarity of the noise that all was not right, sent again for the constable, who, on opening the door, found the wretched inmate had cut his throat with a clasp knife; medical aid was immediately procured, but of no avail. Verdict, Destroyed himself, while in a fit of Temporary Derangement.
Friday 15 June 1827 An Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on Wednesday last, in the parish of Holdsworthy, on the body of WILLIAM DAVIE, a young man, aged 17, servant to Farmer Gilbert, of Rude, in the said parish, whose death was occasioned by his accidentally falling before the wheel of a cart, which, passing over his head, crushed in his skull. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Friday 22 June 1827 BARNSTAPLE - Suicide. On Sunday last, JOHN BROWN, Esq. a retired Lieutenant of the 60th Regiment of Foot, who has for several years resided in this town, and has occasionally laboured under a high degree of mental excitement, committed this fatal act, the particulars of which were detailed in the Coroner's Inquest, which was composed of twelve respectable gentlemen and tradesmen, who assembled in the Guildhall at 12 o'clock, on Monday, from whence they adjourned to view the dead body in the lodgings which he occupied, and on their return the following evidence was adduced. And Smalldon, servant to Mr Petters, had been in attendance on the deceased for the last seven months. On Sunday morning last, about half-past Ten o'clock, she went to his room, which she found covered with blood, and heard the deceased groan; she instantly ran and informed her master; had never discovered any irrationality in him until Thursday last, when he told her that he was dying; and the conduct he then manifested, of which she gave an explanation, betrayed great aberration of mind, particularly his suspicion that she had mixed poison with his food; that on her reporting this circumstance to her master he sent for Mr Patch, a medical practitioner who attended the deceased, who gave her orders to remove his razors, which she did. He continued in the same state the following day; but on Saturday he appeared much more composed, and in the evening inquired for his razors, and manifested much displeasure at her having displaced them. He retired to bed a quarter before Eleven on Saturday night, and she saw no more of him till she found him in the state above described on Sunday morning. Mr G. Petters, stated that the deceased had been unwell for a week past; that on Wednesday last he sent for him and said he wished to have his things packed up, and that he wanted to have his coffin made; that he sent for Mr Patch, who procured a person to be with him; saw him on Saturday afternoon reading a newspaper. On Sunday morning, about half-past Ten o'[clock, inquired of the servant for him, who, after visiting his room instantly returned in great agitation, and told him the discovery she had made; he immediately went to his room, where he was on the bed, and saw him move, and instantly ran to summon medical assistance. The evidence produced the razor with which the fatal act had been committed, which was stained with blood. Mr Patch was sent for to the deceased on Tuesday last, whom he found in bed, and in a state of intoxication. He said that he wished to have the contents of his stomach extracted, and requested that a stomach pump might e employed, as he suspected that poison had been infused in the water which had been given him; he administered the remedies which he judged most proper; and as the deceased exhibited many incoherent acts, he proposed to get a person to sit up with him, which he at length consented to, though it was much against his will; saw him on Saturday evening, when he was reading the newspaper, and appeared very rational, and desired to be excused from having any one placed with him, alleging that it prevented his repose. Mr T. Copner inquired if he had not been in the habit of drinking immoderately? Mr Patch replied he generally found him with a decanter before him. Mr Copner, (surgeon) when called in deceased was on the bed, the room was covered with blood, and his throat was cut almost from ear to ear; it was an immense gaping wound, which had divided the windpipe, but not separated the principal arteries of the neck, and his death was occasioned by the loss of blood; that the deceased was conscious of his attendance, and spoke to him by name, but expired soon after the medical operation had been performed. The Jury expressed themselves perfectly satisfied with the evidence, and immediately returned their verdict "That he had destroyed himself whilst in a Temporary State of Insanity."
Caution to Carters, &c. - The sad effects of the wilful and careless conduct of this class of men on the public highways, were particularly exemplified to the public on Monday last at Crediton, before the Coroner's Jury. WILLIAM CRISPIN, a servant of Mr George Snell, of Zeal Monachorum, on Friday last returning from Exeter, with his master's cart and two horses, and three people whom he had bargained to carry from Exeter to Bow, stopt about an hour at the Oat Sheaf Inn in Crediton; and about 6 o'clock in the evening proceeded on their journey; at the end of the town, with his company and CRISPIN himself riding in the cart without reins, the horses went off at full speed. The noise of the cart attracted the notice of a gentleman walking in his field adjoining the road, who hastened to the road to discover the driver, with the intention of prosecuting him for his outrageous conduct. On coming to the hedge, he saw the cart and horses in the highway, near Thrusher's Causeway, about fifty paces from him, going at full speed, before they passed the turn in the road. He pursued the cart, and when he came up to the turn of the road, the cart became again in sight going at the same pace; but, most distressing to relate, a woman, over whom the cart and horses had passed, lay almost lifeless in the highway just before him; leaving the poor woman to the care of others, he still followed the cart, and after a close pursuit of a quarter of a mile, and repeatedly calling to the carter to stop, he succeeded in overtaking the party, and having obtained their names, any further resistance became unnecessary. The carter, Crispin, and another returned to ascertain the extent of the injury they had done. The woman crossing the road was seen by Crispin and the party in the cart, one of whom exclaimed "see the woman whatever will become of her;" but being unable to restrain the horses, the fore one forced her to the ground, trampled on her, and the near wheel of the cart passed over her left shoulder and breast, the bones of which it crushed and wounded the lungs; she continued in excruciating agony, about 24 hours and then expired. A very respectable Jury sat eight hours examining the witnesses as well for as against Crispin, and returned a verdict charging him with killing the woman, but not intentionally; on which Crispin was committed on the Coroner's warrant to the County Gaol to be tried for the manslaughter at the next Assizes.
On Wednesday an Inquest was holden at Boobier Hill, in the parish of Bampton, on the body of WILLIAM HUNT, who while employed in washing sheep was led after a strayed sheep in the deeper part of the pool, sunk into ten feet of water, and was drowned.
Friday 29 June 1827 Last week the body of the unfortunate young man, named RICHARD CREWS, who was drowned near Cross Park, in Bideford River, as stated in our paper the week before last, was found on the sands near Westleigh; it was conveyed to Bideford, and an Inquest held by T. Hawke, Esq. Coroner, for the borough of Bideford.
Friday 6 July 1827 An Inquisition was taken by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on Monday last, in the parish of Romansley, on the body of JOHN MOGFORD, son of a respectable farmer, of the parish of Knowstone. The deceased in company with several acquaintances, was galloping his horse on the high road, on Sunday last, when the animal coming in contact with a bullock, threw the rider to the ground, and falling on him, occasioned instant death. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Friday 13 July 1827 PLYMOUTH - Adjourned Inquest on the Infant CHAS. GREENWOOD. On Tuesday evening, after nearly 20 hours investigation, the Jury returned a verdict - "That the infant CHARLES GREENWOOD, died by the Visitation of God." Consequently the boy Taylor, who was detained in custody, was liberated. The Surgeons, we understand, deposed that internal disease and abscess on the lungs was the immediate cause of the child's death, and that no mark of violence was visible.
EXETER - On Thursday morning, whilst one of the porters at our quay named JAMES DOWNING, was employed in attaching a horse to a piece of timber, he fell down and died immediately; he was previous in good health. An Inquest has been held on the body; and a verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
Friday 27 July 1827 An Inquest was held on Wednesday last, before F. Kingdon, esquire, Coroner, on the body of WILLIAM SAVERY, of Chawley, who fell down dead, as he was going up Chawley Hill, aged 72. Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
A melancholy event shewing the dreadful effects of unrestrained passion, occurred on Monday, at Luppitt, in this county, to which a fine youth, between 16 and 17 years of age, the eldest son of MR BRADLEY, a respectable farmer of that parish, fell a sacrifice. The deceased was assisting in a hay field of Mr Rowsell, a neighbouring farmer, and was on the rick with a man named Board, receiving hay, for the purpose of making the stark, from two men named Joseph Rowland and John Davey. These persons continuing to throw up the hay faster than the others could spread it on the rick, the latter threw it down again, upon which Rowland flung his pitchfork at the deceased and Board, but missing them, he endeavoured to get possession of Davey's, to make another attempt; Board and Davey called out to prevent him; but Rowland wrested the pitchfork from Davey, saying "I'll be damn'd if I don't," and threw it with such force, that one of the prongs penetrated his body to the depth of between 6 and 7 inches, piercing the lungs, and entering the left ventricle of the heart. On receiving the pick, the deceased cried out to Board, "Oh! Robin, Robin, I shall die, I shall die," he then pulled out the pick from his breast and instantly expired. It was thrown with such violence, that as it struck in the breast of the deceased, the handle of it swung round and struck Board a violent blow on his arm. on Board exclaiming to Rowland, "you have stuck the pick in him, his reply was, "It's a d--d lie, I han't to be sure." The pick, which was a most terrific instrument, the handle being 13 feet long was produced, at the Inquest held the next day before Isaac Cox, Esq. when a verdict of Wilful Murder was returned by the Jury, and Rowland was immediately committed to the county gaol on the Coroner's warrant. The deceased and Rowland had previously been upon good terms.
Friday 24 August 1827 PLYMOUTH - Sudden Death. On Sunday morning last, MRS ANN BLACKLER, dress maker, of Modbury, whilst attending divine service in the Methodist Chapel, in that town, was taken suddenly ill, and within a few minutes after being removed to her residence was a corpse. An Inquest was held on the body, the following day, by A. B. Bone, Esq. Coroner, when a verdict was returned - "Died by the Visitation of God, in a fit of apoplexy."
BARNSTAPLE - On Sunday last a party of young men and women, chiefly servants of this town, regardless of the divine command which consecrates that holy day, agreed to make it a day of pleasure, and in pursuance of their plan, proceeded in a car to Ilfracombe, where, having dined, (and it will not be presuming too much to suppose that they indulged in "a glass or two" after dinner,) they walked to the Quay and embarked, ten in number, in a boat, for a cruise; having crossed the basin, they landed, and walked for awhile in the fields, when two of them, preferring to return on terra firma, the others four of each sex, re-embarked, and in their passage went on board a brig, and drank grog; at length they put off for the quay, and making the pier, as they were about to land, rushing all at once to the side of the boat, it turned over, and engulphed the whole in the liquid waves. The most prompt assistance was rendered by a number of persons who witnessed the transaction from the Quay, particularly by a young man of the name of Marshall, to whose benevolent and praiseworthy exertions, two of the individuals who had sunk were brought up in a state of extreme exhaustion, but ultimately restored; one unfortunate female called MARY COLLINS, who sunk and eluded all the endeavours of the divers to discover her, after being in the water half an hour, was dragged up by the grappling irons, but all the efforts of the faculty were inefficient to restore animation; this was the only life lost. An Inquest sat on the body, the following day, when the Coroner very justly censured the practice of pursuing those pleasurable excursions on the sabbath day, and particularly in the hours of divine service, and directed their reflections to the awful consideration of an immortal soul launched into eternity under such circumstances. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Friday 31 August 1827 An Inquest was lately held at Axminster, by Mr Cox, on the body of an illegitimate child, of which a young woman, named MAYBE, aged 19, had delivered herself. The Jury after hearing the evidence, delivered the following verdict. That the said MARY MAYBE, with the knowledge of her mother, delivered herself of a bastard child which she, with the knowledge of her mother, kept concealed until the 10th of August, on which day it was discovered in so great a state of putrefaction, that it became impossible to ascertain its sex, whether it was born dead or alive, and if alive, whether its death was caused by violence or natural means. That the conduct of the said MARY and her mother is highly censurable.
BARNSTAPLE - Sudden Death. A melancholy instance of this awful visitation of providence occurred here on Friday morning last, to a man of the name of JOHN TANNER, a servant to James Copner, Esq. Surgeon, of this town. A little after seven o'clock in the morning he went in the ordinary course of his duty to bring home a supply of fodder for his horses; and about two hours after, he was discovered stretched on the ground in the field: medical assistance was instantly rendered, but the vital spark was extinct. Verdict of the Coroner's Inquest, Died by the Visitation of God. He was much respected by his master, in whose service he had lived 27 years. His death appears to have been occasioned by the rupture of a blood vessel in the head.
Determined Suicide - On Tuesday last an Inquest was held at Swimbridge, on the body of an aged man called JOHN SHAPLAND, who terminated his existence in the following manner:- Three weeks ago we reported the case of this deluded individual, who, as we then stated, attempted the fatal act by first lacerating his arm with a design to bleed himself to death, and afterwards stabbing himself in the side with a shoemaker's knife. Contrary to all human expectation, by the application of medical aid those wounds were nearly healed, when in the absence of his attendants he inhumanly stripped off the plaister, and laid them open afresh; failing herein to accomplish his purpose, he contrived to get a hammer, with which he violently beat and bruised his forehead, from the veins of which the blood flowed so copiously as to exhaust his little remaining strength, and terminated his life on Monday last. From the time he first attempted this act of self destruction, his mind appeared to have been occupied wholly on his money, the sight of which afforded him the only gratification he was capable of receiving. Verdict - Lunacy.
On Tuesday evening last, as ARTHUR COHAM Esq. Surgeon of Holsworthy, was returning from Bovecott House, the residence of Lewis Risdon Heysett Esq. to his own, he unfortunately fell off his horse, and was killed on the spot. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body the next day, before Francis Kingdon, Esq. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Fatal Accident at Thornbury - On Friday last, as a child named JOHN CORNISH, three years old, was standing by the fire, its clothes caught the flames; in about six hours after the little innocent expired. A Coroner's Inquest was held on Saturday. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Friday 7 September 1827 On Friday last an Inquest was held at Sherwill on the body of RICHARD CONIBEAR, aged 90; who while sitting in his chair by the fire side with some of the family, fell down and expired immediately. Verdict, Died by the Visitation of God.
Thursday 11 October 1827 Suicide - Another of those awful instances of self-destruction took place on Friday last, at Webbery, the seat of Anthony W. Dene, Esq. On that day a large party of guests were expected at dinner, in honor of the baptism of Mr Dene's infant son, many of whom were arrived; the bell having rang for the butler several times, and not answered, one of the servants proceeded to his room, where she was shocked with the sight of his dead body lying on the floor, with a pistol grasped in his hand, and his head literally blown to pieces; it appears that he had guided the muzzle of the instrument to his ear with one hand, and with the other committed the fatal act; for which no other cause can be assigned than his having been in a weak and debilitated state of health for some time past, and under the care of a medical gentleman of Torrington. His name was THOMAS PARSLEY, he had been in Mr Dene's employ but a few months, and has left a wife who is out in service. By this awful calamity a stop was put to the festivities of the day. A Coroner's Inquest sat on the body the same evening, who brought in a Verdict of Insanity.
EXETER - Melancholy Event. A young woman named CHARLOTTE HOWARD, put a period to her existence, it is supposed on Wednesday night, by throwing herself into the river. It appears that she left the residence of Miss Evans, milliner, of this city, to whom herself and sister were apprenticed, on the above evening, unperceived by the family, and did not return again. Her bonnet was picked up the following day by a man in the employ of Messrs. Street and Cooper, near their paper manufactory at Countess Weir. On this discovery a search was made in different parts of the river, but it was not until Monday last that her body was found between Trews' and James's Weirs, by Nosworthy, the renter of the fishery. An Inquest was held on the body the same afternoon, before S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, at the Allhallows New Inn, Lower Bartholomew street, when no evidence coming before the Jury, as to how the body came into the water, they returned a verdict of "Found Drowned."
Thursday 18 October 1827 On Tuesday last an Inquisition was held before Francis Kingdon, Esq. Coroner, on the body of SUSAN PALMER, who unfortunately fell out of a cart in returning from Oakhampton market, and instantly expired. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 1 November 1827 EXETER - Suicide. MR ROBERT PIERCE, statuary and mason, Bartholomew-place, in this city, terminated his existence on Monday morning by cutting his throat with a razor. The deceased, who was about 49 years of age, has long struggled under pecuniary difficulties, and last week an execution being put in, the sale under which was announced for Monday afternoon; unable to bear up under such accumulated bills, he, in a fit of despair, repaired to the flat roof of his house, and nearly severed his windpipe, - Verdict on the Inquest - Insanity.
An accident, fatal in its termination, lately occurred at Hookfast Flour Mills, near Ashburton; MR HANNAM, while in the act of setting the Runting, with the Mill in work, was dragged among the machinery; two persons were present, but such was the power of the water wheel, that it was with considerable difficulty he was extricated; his thighs were broken, and his body and legs were dreadfully lacerated; in this state he lived two days, when death terminated his sufferings. The Jury, on the Inquest, before Joseph Gribble Esq. returned a verdict of Accidental Death.
An Inquest was held by Isaac Cox, Esq. Coroner, at Lympstone, on the 14th inst. on the body of BENJAMIN CABE, fisherman, aged 76 years. On the preceding day deceased was on the river Exe, in a small boat, fishing, and from the testimony of a man named Cummings (who was in another boat) it appeared that the deceased was returning towards Lympstone, rowing very fast, after some time Cummings turned round, for the purpose of ascertaining the distance deceased was a head of him, when he perceived the boat, in which deceased had been rowing, drifting towards him, and deceased lying in it with his head on the gunnel; Cummings went into the boat and lifted him up, when he immediately expired. Died by the Visitation of God.
PLYMOUTH - Inquests. By A. B. Bone, Esq. Coroner for the County. On the 20th inst. at Stoke Damarel, on the body of PETER HENDY, a boy aged 9 years, whose body was found on the preceding day, floating near the West Mud, in the river Hamoaze. On the 5th inst. he fell from one of the port-holes, of H.M.S.s Britannia, by missing his hold in attempting to get from thence by a rope ladder, into a boat alongside. Prompt assistance was rendered, but he sank, and the body was not found until the 19th inst. as before stated. - Verdict accordingly.
At East Stonehouse, on the 24th inst. touching the death of a child, named HONOUR REARDON, who died from the effects of drinking boiling water. She was in the room of her mother, and whilst the latter was turning round to speak to another of her children, she ran over to the fire-place, and drank the hot water from the tea kettle. She died within a few hours afterwards. - Verdict accordingly.
Thursday 22 November 1827 EXETER - JOANNA MORRIS, a charwoman of this city, in taking a vessel with turpentine from the fire, at the house of Mr Lee, druggist, of this city, on Monday, spilled a small portion, which falling on the fire, the whole became ignited, and communicating to the woman's clothes, she was so dreadfully burnt, that though instantly removed to the Hospital, where every assistance was rendered she expired on Tuesday evening. An Inquest was held on the body on Wednesday, when a verdict of Accidental Death was returned.
Thursday 29 November 1827 Inquests Held By Isaac Cox, Esq. - On the 3rd instant, at Honiton, on the body of an infant, son of JOHN CARRIDGE, mason, aged 7 months. The child had been ill for some time of the hooping cough, and on the mother retiring in rest on the night of the 24 instant she suckled the infant, who was not then considered in a dangerous state, but on the following morning was discovered to be dead. Mr Woodward the surgeon, attended the Inquest - he stated that it was not uncommon for children having the hooping cough to die suddenly, and it was his opinion that the deceased had died in convulsions. Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
On the 9th inst. on the body of MERSH MAYN, a fine young man of about 18, who was burnt by rockets on the 5th of November, in the High street of Honiton, where after a very long enquiry, the Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death. It appeared that the deceased had gone into the street with a great number of rockets about various parts of his person, and that in discharging one, which burst, the others ignited, and though immediate assistance was rendered him on the spot, he was so much burnt, that he died on the 8th in the most excruciating torments. In the course of the enquiry the Coroner requested the Jury to direct their attention to the point whether the rockets on the person of the deceased were fired by himself, or by any other person, because if the Jury were of opinion that any other person had set fire to the rockets, even though unintentionally done, yet firing rockets in the streets being illegal and highly dangerous, such person would be guilty of manslaughter; for whenever death ensued from any illegal act whatever, the person committing such act, if the same amounted to a trespass or misdemeanour, was guilty of manslaughter, and murder if the illegal act amounted to a felony. In the present case he thought there was enough before the Jury for them to be satisfied that the deceased himself fired the rockets; but whatever might be the verdict, he hoped that it would be a warning to those who indulged in the dangerous sport, and that the public authorities would for the future interpose to prevent the recurrence of similar catastrophes.
On the 12th inst. at Honiton, on the body of HANNAH ELLIS, aged about 70. Deceased retired to rest on the preceding evening in perfect health - she resided with another woman of the name of Anne Baker, and they both slept in the same room. Anne Baker stated, that on her getting up on Sunday morning, she observed the deceased in bed, and considered her to be in a sound sleep, but finding she did not come downstairs at the usual hour, she called to her several times, and not getting an answer, went up and found her quite dead. Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
Inquests held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner. - On Sunday last at Braunton, on the body of the infant daughter of FARMER HOWE, who was found dead in the arms of her mother by two o'clock in the morning, having been in perfect health the night before. Verdict - Visitation of God.
This day (Wednesday) at Atherington, on the body of CHARLOTTE, daughter of JOHN LAKE, of that parish, who was shot though the head by her little brother whilst at play with a loaded fowlingpiece. Verdict - Accidental Death.
SOUTHMOLTON - On Monday, an Inquest was held on the body of WILLIAM SHAPLAND, aged 75, who whilst driving a cart on Friday last, with an empty cask on it, the horse fell, which threw him off the cart, and the cask falling on him injured him so severely as to cause his death. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 6 December 1827 On Wednesday last, T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, held an Inquest on the body of MARY HARDING, aged 67, a pauper in the workhouse at Stoke Rivers, who had dropped down and died suddenly, on the morning of the same day. Verdict - Visitation of God.
Thursday 13 December 1827 On Sunday last an Inquest was held at Combmartin by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on the body of MARY TUCKER, aged 76, who dropt down suddenly, and died without uttering a word. Verdict, Died by the Visitation of God.
TORRINGTON - A Coroner's Inquest was held on Thursday and Friday last, before Francis Kingdon, Esq. on the body of W. FOWLER, cooper, who died the preceding day, in consequence of a violent blow on the head with a grid-iron, which was inflicted many months ago by George Baker, mason, in return for repeated and unprovoked insult. The Jury gave a verdict of manslaughter against the offender, who is committed to Exeter gaol, to take his trial at the next assizes. Baker has a wife and family, and is considered as a general inoffensive character, and appears greatly affected at the melancholy event. The deceased has left a widow and seven children unprovided for to lament his premature death. In the above catastrophe we have an awful instance f the dire effects of intemperate drinking. One father of a numerous family became the wretched victim of his own folly, and sunk into death perhaps before half the measure of his days had been filled: and another who had a train of dependants, calling for his daily assistance, doomed to the miseries of a doleful prison, with a mind perpetually embittered by reflection, and tortured by painful contrition.
PLYMOUTH - Suicide. - A young woman, named CATHERINE MCDONALD, parish apprentice of J. Broderick, Esq. of Sutton Place, died on Sunday last, in consequence of having taken poison. An Inquest was held on the body by R. J. Squire, Esq. Coroner for the borough, on Tuesday, when it appeared that the deceased had not taken the poison with the intent of destroying herself, but merely with the view of exciting a feeling in her favour, she having quarrelled with her fellow servants and offended her mistress. The Jury found a verdict accordingly. The young woman was, we understand, very happy in her place, being a favourite with her master and mistress. The poison she took had been prepared for destroying bugs, and it is supposed that she did not think its effect would be fatal. The bottle was marked poison.
Thursday 20 December 1827 EXETER - On Wednesday last, an Inquest was held at the Hospital, before Samuel Walkey, gent. Coroner, on the body of SAMUEL COGGEN, 77 years of age, who met with his death from incautiously driving a wheel-barrow up Paris-street, in the middle of the road, on the preceding evening, at the time the Defiance coach was passing down, at 5 o'clock. The deceased had imperfect sight, and was rather deaf; which added to the dark state f the street, (which, as was proved by the witnesses, is very badly lighted) prevented him from seeing the coach approaching, in consequence of which, the deceased was knocked down, and two of the wheels passed over his left leg and fractured it; he was otherwise much injured, and died the following morning. It is with much satisfaction we state, that not the least blame can be attached to the driver of the coach, as every caution was observed; the horn was blown, and the coach was going at a moderate rate. The Jury, after hearing several witnesses, returned a verdict of Accidental Death, and a deodand of 5s. on each of the two wheels; at the same time they very strongly recommended that proper application be made to the Commissioners of Improvement, that more lamps should be immediately placed in those dark parts of Paris-street, which can be very easily pointed out. The application will be made from the Coroner at their request.
On Thursday, an Inquest was taken at Tiverton, before J. Partridge, Esq. Coroner, on the body of MRS ANN TURNER, aged 57, wife of S. TURNER, Esq. found dead in bed, by the side of her daughter, on the preceding Tuesday morning; when it appearing the deceased had long laboured under severe asthma, in a fit of which she is supposed to have expired. Verdict, "Died by the Visitation of God."
PLYMOUTH - Inquest. A Coroner's Inquest was held on Monday, by A. B. Bone, Esq. on the body of ANN GRIBBLE, wife of WM. GRIBBLE, a waterman, who resides at Shepherd's Quay, Stonehouse. The deceased was found floating in the water, close to the quay, on the previous night about ten o'clock, by a waterman. It appeared in evidence, that she had gone to bed early in the evening with her husband; and it is supposed she got out soon afterwards for the purpose of fetching a myrtle plant which stood on a post, close to the quay, and that whilst stooping to take it up, she lost her balance and fell into the water. Verdict - Found Drowned.
It seems almost incredible, that the frequency of accidents arising from the incautious handing of fire-arms, and the many warnings given in the public prints, are insufficient to put a stop to the foolish and dangerous (we had almost said guilty) practice of triffling with these agents of destruction. On Tuesday last, as Henry Squire, a servant of Mr Fulford, yeoman, of Buckland Brewer, was snapping his master's gun in his absence, it unfortunately went off, the contents of which lodged in the head of SARAH GLOVER, another servant in Mr Fulford's employ, which caused her instant death. On Wednesday an Inquest was held before Francis Kingdon, Esq. - Verdict, Chance Medley.
Thursday 27 December 1827 On Saturday last, as MR JOHN SHELDON, a farmer of Romansleigh, was returning home from Southmolton Market, on crossing Leg's Bridge, he by some accident fell over into the water and was drowned. The body was found in a wear about a quarter of a mile below the bridge, and a Coroner's Inquest sat thereon on Monday, who returned a verdict of Found Drowned. A widow and five children are hereby deprived of their chief earthly friend and support.
Thursday 3 January 1828 A few days since, MR KIBBEL, a respectable miller residing at Black Pool, near Stokefleming, in this county, put a period to his existence by hanging himself n the immediate vicinity of his residence. We understand a distress for rent had been put into his house a few days previous. A Coroner's Inquest held on the body, has returned a verdict of Insanity.
Thursday 17 January 1828 PLYMOUTH - Inquest. - Tuesday last, an Inquest was held by A. B. Bone, Esq. Coroner for the county, on the body of WILLIAM WELLINGTON, who was found dead in the road at Deadlake, near Stoke Church. The deceased was a resident in Plymouth, and had the contract for excavating the ground for the Devonport Water Company's pipes. It is supposed that when on his way home from his work on Monday night, he fell over the cliff from the field, owing to the darkness of the night, and was killed. Verdict, Found Dead.
On Monday last an Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, at Chittlehampton, on the body of WILLIAM HAMMETT, aged five years, who was so dreadfully burnt by his clothes taking fire, that he died soon afterwards. The mother was not absent from her house ten minutes, during which time the melancholy accident occurred.
Thursday 31 January 1828 On Friday last, a poor boy called CHAPEL, 15 years of age, a parish apprentice to Mr Chapel, of Coombe, in the parish of Southmolton, put a period to his existence by hanging himself in his master's barn. No reason can be assigned for his having done so. Verdict of the Coroner's Inquest, Insanity.
On Tuesday an Inquest was held by T. Copner Esq. Coroner, on the body of MICHAEL THORN, a child five years of age, who lived with his Uncle, Farmer Shapland, at Walmscott, in the parish of Northmolton, and who on the preceding Sunday fell into a bucket of boiling water, which had just been put on the floor, and was so much scalded as to cause his death the day following.
Thursday 7 February 1828 EXETER - On Monday last an Inquest was held at the Star Inn, in this city, before S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, on the body of HARRIET NEWLAND, aged 34, who died suddenly on the preceding evening. It appeared that she had laboured under very depressed spirits since the death of her husband, which happened about 12 months since. Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
EXETER - On Tuesday, a Coroner's Inquest was held at the College Kitchen public-house, in this city, before S. Walkey, Esq. and a respectable Jury, on the body of MARIA LONG, whose death was occasioned by taking arsenic; when, after a long deliberation the Jury returned their verdict, that the death of the deceased was occasioned by taking arsenic, whilst labouring under Temporary Insanity, occasioned by jealousy.
Inquests Held by Isaac Cox, Esq. Coroner. - On the 14th instant, at Uffculm, on the body of MARY BORROUGH, widow, aged 82 years, who was found dead in her dwelling house the preceding day. Verdict, "Died by the Visitation of God."
On the 18th inst. at Honiton, on the body of JOHN FILDEW SEEDSMAN, aged 52 years; on the morning of the 17th, deceased complained of having a pain in his side, an emetic was administered to him in the evening, and his feet put in warm water. His wife retired to bed, and in the morning when she awoke she discovered that her husband was dead. Verdict, "Died by the Visitation of God."
Thursday 14 February 1828 An Inquest was held by Isaac Cox, Esq. Coroner, on the 29th ult. at Clevehayes Farm, in Churchtaunton, on the body of ROBERT HARRIS, a fine youth aged 15 years, who was found that morning suspended to an apple tree, in an Orchard belonging to the Farm. Deceased was an apprentice bound by the parish of Churchtaunton, to Mr Richard Blackmore, a respectable farmer and maltster, with whom he had lived six years, during which time he had conducted himself with great propriety, and his master was much pleased with him. On the morning of the 28th Mr Blackmore went from home, but previously to starting gave directions to the deceased to rack a hogshead of cider and look after some malt. He racked the cider, and attended to the malt, and left his master's house about twelve o'clock: at two in the afternoon he was seen in a meadow belonging to the farm setting want snaps. He did not return in the evening, and the family became alarmed, and went in different directions endeavouring to find him, but without effect. He was discovered on the following morning as above described, in a Pit Orchard called West Wood, some distance from the farm, quite dead. When found he had a want snap, with a want in it, in his hand. the Jury returned a verdict of Felo de se, and the Coroner ordered him to be privately buried in the Church-yard of Hemiock, within 24 hours of the finding of the Inquest, and between nine and twelve o'clock at night. No cause for this rash act could be traced, except a slight rebuke he received from a young girl in the house, and who was on that morning in the malt house with him, and for whom it seemed he had formed some attachment.
Thursday 21 February 1828 An Inquest was held on Sunday last, at Sticklepath, near Oakhampton, before Francis Kingdon, Esq. Coroner, on the body of JAMES BOND. It appeared in evidence on the Inquest that the deceased (a cripple) and his wife had a quarrel in the afternoon of Saturday the 9th inst. when the deceased's son put him out of the house and barred the door; his wife desired him to go to the poor house, and the son offered to accompany him there, which the deceased did not like, but said he would go by himself, and went off that evening but was not seen till the Monday evening following, when he returned to his house insensible and speechless, and died the Friday following of an apoplectic fit. The Jury after a patient investigation returned a verdict of "Died by the Visitation of God, in a natural way." The Coroner notwithstanding, most severely reprimanded the wife and son for the unkind, inhuman, and unnatural treatment and conduct, and said, they had had a narrow escape of being tried for manslaughter at the ensuing Assizes; but he passed the highest encomiums on Mr Pearse, jun. of that place, for his most humane and indefatigable exertions and attention throughout this affair.
Thursday 28 February 1828 PLYMOUTH - Suicide. - An Inquest was on Saturday last, held by R. J. Squire, Esq. Coroner for the Borough, on the body of SUSAN COLE, wife of a superannuated serjeant, who resided in Richmond street. It appeared that the deceased had been much afflicted with an asthmatic complaint which had long confined her to the house; in consequence of which, her temper had undergone a complete change, and symptoms of mental distraction had on many particular occasions, as well as in general conduct, become apparent. On the 12th, taking advantage of the momentary absence of her daughter, she cut her throat with a razor, and was immediately afterwards discovered leaning over a bucket, into which the blood was pouring profusely. Mr J. H. Fuge, surgeon, was immediately called in, but the wound was so effectual as to render surgical aid unavailing; and, although she had every possible assistance, all efforts to save her life proved in vain, and she died on the 16th. After committing the fatal act, she took an affectionate leave of her family, and immediately afterwards lost her sight and speech. From thence she exhibited no other sign of life than gentle respiration. Verdict - Insanity.
PLYMOUTH - On Thursday evening a labouring man, named WM. KITTLEWELL, was found dead at the foot of the cliff, at the old Gunwharf Field, near Devonport. He was employed with others to cleanse the back premises of a house in Richmond-walk, and one of his companions having broken his shovel, the deceased was despatched to Devonport for another. His way was through the Gunwharf Field, and it is supposed that owing to the darkness, he missed his path, which runs near the edge of the precipice, and fell over. An Inquest was held on the body, and a verdict of Accidental Death returned.
Thursday 6 March 1828 On Tuesday last an Inquest was held on the body of HENRY SQUIRE, before F. Kingdon, Esq. at Buckland Brewer, who hung himself the day before in a barn belonging to Mr Fulford, with whom he lived as servant. Verdict - Insanity. The deceased is the man who shot Sarah Glover, his fellow servant, on the 12th of December last, when the verdict was - Chance Medley.
Thursday 27 March 1828 On Sunday last, an Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on the body of MARY RICHARDS, aged 49 years, who died suddenly in the preceding night, at the Laundry Cottage, near Yeotown. It appeared that on Saturday evening she brought up her washing of the week as usual to Yeotown, in apparently perfect health, and returned to the cottage, where she was busily employed about her own domestic work, till between nine and ten o'clock, when her husband, who is Mr Incledon's shepherd, and William Cole who is helper in the stables, went to bed, and she never appeared in better health and spirits. The men were suddenly alarmed by the noise of something falling heavily on the floor, and a slight moaning noise; they immediately ran down, and found her almost lifeless; she was carried up to her room, and every assistance procured from Yeotown, and a messenger immediately dispatched for Mr Hiern, surgeon and apothecary, who directly attended her, but long before he came she was dead. Her death was occasioned by a ruptured blood vessel in her head. Verdict, Died by the Visitation of God. MARY RICHARDS had been for a long series of years in Mr Incledon's employ, and was a most honest, industrious and faithful servant.
TORRINGTON - On Sunday se'nnight, an Inquest was held by F. Kingdom, Esq. Coroner, on the body of JOHN SAUNDERS, labourer of Winkleigh, who hung himself to an apple tree the preceding day with a willow. - Insanity.
Thursday 3 April 1828 An Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq. on Thursday last, at Bishop's Tawton, on the body of ANN LOCK, aged four years, whose cloaths caught fire while playing with her brother, about two years old; the mother had left the kitchen but a short time before, and on her return, observed the poor girl (through the window) in flames; she was so much burnt as to cause her death the following morning. Verdict - Accidental Death.
An Inquest was held on Sunday last at Holsworthy, on the body of URBANUS PEARCE, husbandman, aged about 55, before Francis Kingdon, Esq. Coroner. It appeared that the deceased had for some time been insane, and on Saturday last cut his throat with a knife. Verdict. - Cut his Throat in a fit of Insanity.
Thursday 17 April 1828 Inquests held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner. - On Saturday last on the body of ---- KEMP, the unfortunate man who was so dreadfully mutilated by the falling in of a quarry in the parish of Swimbridge, where he was at work, as was reported in our paper of the 3rd instant. Verdict - Accidental Death.
On Sunday last, on the body of JOHN VICKERY, who was for many years Parish Clerk of Chulmleigh; on Thursday evening he walked out to Ringsash, where at a public house he drank some beer, and was afterwards taken so ill as to be obliged to be put to bed, and on the next evening he expired. It having been currently reported that his death had been accelerated by some improper means, the body was opened, but the appearances not justifying such a conclusion, the Jury returned a verdict of - Died by the Visitation of God.
PLYMOUTH - Fatal Accident. - We have this day to notice an occurrence which should be a warning to all young people who are inclined to the dangerous amusement of boating. On Sunday afternoon, a party of ten, five boys and five girls, the eldest not being twenty years of age, the children of respectable parents in this town, took a boat, and went towards the Breakwater. When they had passed the Red Buoy, they began to play tricks, and one of the boys climbed the mast, as he said to frighten the girls. he had scarcely said so, when in consequence of his weight at the mast-head, the boat capsized , and the whole party, after one simultaneous shriek of terror and despair sank. Fortunately, however, the accident being noticed by those on board the Briton frigate, lying in the Sound, a boat was instantly dispatched from that vessel, and all except one were picked up alive. Nine having been rescued, the boat was departing with them, when it was discovered that one was missing. The capsized boat was then turned up, and one of the girls was found entangled in the sail and rigging quite dead. This girl was the daughter of a respectable couple residing at Lambhay-hill, and was but sixteen years of age. She was a fine girl, remarkable for exuberant spirits. One of the girls had her fingers broken or chopped off at the first joint, and all the survivors are more or less injured. They were landed at Stonehouse, and carried to the Kings' Arms, in Fore-street, from whence they were removed to the Workhouse, where every exertion was used to restore them. For a considerable time the lives of some of them were in a very doubtful state, but they are now, owing to the excellent care which has been taken of them, much recovered. The body of the deceased, whose name was ELIZABETH JOHNS, having been carried to the Workhouse, an Inquest was held upon it on Tuesday, by A. B. Bone, Esq. the county Coroner, when after a long investigation, the Jury brought in a verdict of - Accidental Death.
Thursday 24 April 1828 Inquests Held by T. Copner Esq. Coroner. - On Monday last, at North Petherwin, on the body of MARY FOSS, who was found by her husband hanging to the woodwork of the roof in her lodging room. She had been for some time in a state of temporary derangement.
On Tuesday last, at Chittlehampton, on the body of CHRISTOPHER LEWIS, servant to farmer Luxon; he had been drinking in the evening at a public house; and on his arrival home, finding the door locked, he went to the cow house, where on the following morning he was found dead.
Thursday 8 May 1828 EXETER - An Inquest was held at the Swan Tavern, in this city on Wednesday afternoon, on the body of a lady, named WILLIAM STROUD, who was unfortunately drowned the preceding day, whilst bathing at Sandy Point. The poor fellow, it appeared, was endeavouring to beat the stream, as it is termed, that is, to swim against the current, which by the late heavy rains which have fallen, was rendered unusually strong, and his strength being exhausted, he sunk before he could reach the bank. His body was picked up about 3 hours afterwards. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 22 May 1828 Suicide - By one of those events so appalling to human nature, but which it is greatly to be lamented are of so frequent recurrence, the respectable family of Lee House, Marwood, are involved in the deepest distress; GEORGE LEY, Esq. the proprietor of the Mansion, has for some time past betrayed considerable aberrations of mind, and it is rumoured that he has more than once before attempted self destruction; but it does not appear that he has latterly exhibited any increased degree of indisposition, or that he had experienced any unusual excitement; but between the hours of eight and nine o'clock on Tuesday morning he retired into the drawing room, from whence a report was soon after heard of the discharge of fire arms; his son, in the utmost alarm, instantly ran into the room, where a most horrid spectacle presented itself to his view, his father lay extended on the floor a breathless corpse, with the upper part of his head completely blown off. The instrument he employed was a double barrelled fowling piece, the stock of which he had rested on the sofa, and the muzzle he had applied to his mouth. Thomas Copner, Esq. Coroner, held an Inquest on the body at one o'clock the same day, who found no hesitation in returning a Verdict of Insanity.
Thursday 29 May 1828 TORRINGTON - On Sunday last a Coroner's Inquest was held before F. Kingdon, Esq. on the body of WM. PHILLIPS, of Black Torrington, a servant of the late Mr Leach of that place, who was found drowned in the river Lue, in the parish of Hatherleigh: it appeared that the deceased was returning home from Okehampton Market the night before, and unfortunately fell in. - Verdict, Found Drowned.
Thursday 5 June 1828 On Saturday last, an Inquest was held at the house of John Peard, Esq. of Lobb, in the parish of Braunton, on the body of GEORGE WEEKS, a man servant, whose death was occasioned by taking a quantity of arsenic. It is supposed he purchased the deleterious drug on the Friday preceding at Barnstaple, where he was sent by his master with a load of wheat. On his return home, being taken very ill, he was put to bed, and died about twelve o'clock at night. He had shown symptoms of depression of spirits for two months previous to the commission of the fatal act.
EXETER - From the too frequent and careless practice of rocking, a boat containing two boys and three girls, was capsized on Sunday last, by which a girl, named MARY WILLS, 16 years of age, daughter of a widow woman residing in Goldsmith street, was thrown into the water. Every exertion was made to recover the body, and when taken to the reception-house, Mr J. C. Williams, residing near the spot and others of his family, promptly attended, and assisted the persons of the house in the use of the means directed by the Humane Society, but without effect. At the Inquest on Monday, a verdict of Accidental Death was returned, and the boat forfeited.
Thursday 26 June 1828 PLYMOUTH - The body of WILLIS the quarryman, whose death we noticed last week, was found floating in Catwater, on Sunday last, near the spot where he was drowned. An Inquest was held on the body by Richard J. Squire, Esq. Coroner for the borough, on Monday last, when a verdict was returned of "Accidental Death."
Thursday 3 July 1828 On Thursday, an Inquest was held before A. B. Bone, Esq. at the Bedford Hotel, Tavistock, on the body of SUSAN HUXTABLE, a child of two years of age drowned in the canal. Verdict - Found Drowned.
On Monday last, an Inquest was held at Bishop's Tawton, by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on the body of GEORGE TUCKER, 22 years old, who was drowned in the Taw the day before. It appeared, that in company with several other young men, he went t bathe, and swam across to the opposite side, and in attempting to return he was unable to contend with the strength of the current, and sunk in very deep water. It was nearly an hour before the body was picked up.
Thursday 17 July 1828 EXETER - Melancholy Event. - On Monday the body of a poor woman named JANE LINDSAY, was found in the river near Trew's weir; and from the evidence produced on the Inquest subsequently held, it appeared that the deceased was the wife of a journeyman paper-maker, working at Countess Weir Mills, 42 years of age, married between 19 and 20 years, had had several children, of whom three are living. The marriage has been an unhappy one, and for 6 or 7 years the parties have been separated, the husband during that time having been absent from this city, and cohabiting with other females, one of whom bore him a son. About 7 or 8 months since the husband returned; and the connection with his wife was resumed, and from that time to Wednesday last, they lived together at Weir, but not it is conjectured happily; the thoughts of her husband's inconstancy, preying constantly on her spirits, and producing repeated altercations. After some quarrel of this kind on the day before named, she quitted her home, and under great distress of mind came to a sister's in Mary-Arches-street, in this city, stating her determination not again to live with her husband; she subsequently procured lodgings on St. David's hill, where her conduct was so strange and incoherent, accompanied with hysterical affections that a medical gentleman was sent for, who directed that she should be narrowly watched, and every thing whereby injury could be inflicted should be kept out of her way. She afterwards appeared more rational, and employed herself with sewing. On Sunday evening she informed the person with whom she resided, that she had an engagement to work the next day at the house of Mr J. C. Williams, near the Lime Kilns, on the banks of the Exe, and that for the purpose of being in proper time, should go that evening and sleep in the house; - her sister was present, and as she knew her to have worked for Mr William's family, no suspicion was excited, particularly as it was proposed that the woman with whom she lodged and the sister should accompany her to Mr William's door. This was agreed to; but in their way they called at the sister's house in Mary-Arches-street, where after remaining some time, the woman who lived on St. David's-hill took her departure; the sister of the unhappy creature expressing her intention to see her safely to her destination; but unfortunately leaving the room a few minutes after for something she wanted, the maniac took the opportunity to escape; and on her sister's return, judge her surprise and consternation when she found her wanting. The idea suggested itself that she had hid herself on the premises, and it was not until after a fruitless search the horrid reality of suicide struck on the mind of the distressed relative, it being now near 11 o'clock, hastened with rapid steps her way to Mr William's, and dreadful to relate the first thing which presented itself on her arrival was a bonnet and shawl lying on the bank near the house. Alarm being given, search was immediately made, but without effect; it was resumed at day break, and continued till 10 o'clock on Monday forenoon, when the body was found. It appeared that the unfortunate woman was seen just before 11 o'clock, sitting on the ground within a few yards of the water, in front of the large door of Mr W's premises, by Harriet Tout and William Attwood, who went up to, and several times spoke to her, but finding her not disposed to answer, pursued their way. The Jury returned a verdict, "Destroyed herself while labouring under Temporary Derangement."
BIDEFORD - Caution against Boys throwing Stones. - On the 1st instant, as several boys were playing on the beach, opposite the Custom-house, one of them, named Wm. Allen, threw a stone, which struck a boy named JOSIAH LOCK, son of a poor widow, of New Street, on the head; the wound did not appear to be dangerous at the time, and his mother applied an adhesive plaister to it; but the next morning the blood began to flow again, and he was taken to the surgery of Messrs. Ackland and Mill, when all endeavours to staunch it proved ineffectual, and he expired on the 7th instant. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body, and a verdict of manslaughter returned against the lad Allen, who has been taken into custody. LOCK was about eight years and half old, and Allen half a year younger.
Thursday 31 July 1828 TORRINGTON - On Thursday last an Inquest was held at Woolley Lodge in the parish of St. Giles, before Francis Kingdon, Esq. Coroner, on the body of WILLIAM FOLLAND, a child of about the age of two years and a quarter, who in endeavouring to cross a bridge over the stream there, in the absence of his parents, fell into the water and was drowned. Verdict, Accidental Death.
Thursday 21 August 1828 Coroner's Inquest. - An Inquest was held by Isaac Cox, Esq. Coroner, on the 2nd inst. at Kilmington, on the body of MARY FRENCH, aged 60 years whose death it was rumoured had been occasioned by violence; as the body when first discovered appeared to be bathed in blood, and a wound was perceived in her breast. The deceased and her husband it appeared had not lived together for many years, in consequence of their continually disagreeing, but that he frequently called to see her. The husband latterly was not in a sound state of mind, occasioned by the ill-behaviour of the deceased, and the unkind treatment he received from her, and has more than once been placed at an Asylum for Lunatics. In consequence of his getting better he was discharged from the Asylum, but having no fixed residence, he was in the habit of sleeping in stables and hay-lofts, generally resting during the day, and wandering by night. About four o'clock in the afternoon of the 1st instant he was at the house of his son, who lived nearly opposite the residence of the deceased, and he afterwards went over to her for the purpose of frying a fish. A dispute arose about a table which the husband claimed - the table was upstairs, and deceased was very violent, and threatened to stab her husband if he attempted to fetch it, and then went to the front door and called "Murder." The husband did not attempt to strike her. She threw herself into a violent passion, and became consequently faint. One of her neighbours endeavoured to restore her, but it was a long time before she perfectly recovered; during this time the husband left the house with his fish partly dressed, and returned to his son's, stating that deceased "was up in a fit again"; the son requested his father to go to a farm house for him, about a mile distant, which he did. Soon after this the deceased was seen sitting at a door vomiting violently. Elizabeth Spiller, a person who regularly slept with the deceased, stated that she left her about seven o'clock, to go to a neighbouring farmer for some wood, and did not return till a little before nine; and on her return she found the door fastened inside, and after calling in vain to the deceased for admittance, and not getting an answer, she fetched deceased's son and requested him to draw the staple f the door; this was done, and on going up stairs they discovered the deceased with her head (which was covered with blood) leaning on the edge of the bedside, and partly resting on a chair near: a pan was under her mouth, in which was a quantity of phlegm and blood, and blood was flowing from her mouth and nose. On lifting her up she was quite dead. In the sheet, and just at the back of the deceased, was found a sharp-topped clasped knife, which she had been accustomed to use about the house, the handle and top of the blade of which were bloody; her right hand was also stained with blood. A wound was discovered on the left side of the collar bone, and her neck was very black and swollen, and its appearance was such as would have led persons to believe she had been strangled. From the evidence called it appeared, the deceased had been many years subject to an internal complaint, which sometimes nearly choked her, and upon those occasions she vomited much, and that she was a woman of a violent and irritable temper. A surgeon was called in, who examined the body; he stated that he found the cavity of the chest full of blood, which arose from the rupture of a large blood-vessel in the chest, occasioned (he thought) by violent vomiting, and the agitated state of mind in which the deceased appeared to have been in; that the wound in the collar bone was superficial, and not possible to occasion death: and, that his opinion was, the rupture of the blood vessel had caused her death. The Jury, after consulting a short time, returned their verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
Thursday 28 August 1828 On Friday last an Inquest was held on view of the body of JOHN WALTERS, of Thornbury, before F. Kingdon, Esq. Coroner. Verdict - Died of an Apoplectic Fit.
Thursday 4 September 1828 Death By Fighting. - An Enquiry into an unfortunate case of this kind took place before Isaac Cox, Esq. Coroner, and a respectable Jury, on Saturday last, at Sidmouth. On the preceding evening the deceased, RICHARD BOWDITCH, a labourer, about 30 years of age, quarrelled on the Beach with George Elliott, a carpenter, but both latterly employed in the Mackerel Fishery, about his (deceased's) share of a small quantity of fish just taken; it being contended that as he had lain asleep on the Beach while the sean was shut he was not entitled. After considerable abuse, Elliott, in a moment of irritation struck him, they however afterwards shook hands and parted, deceased saying on separating "good night, this shall be ended tomorrow." About an hour after this, BOWDITCH was seen in search of Elliott, with the avowed intent of provoking him to renew the fight; at a Mrs Barnes' where he called and Elliott was, the latter shrunk back in his chair so as not to be observed by his antagonist, and Mrs B. denied him. Notwithstanding this precaution, the deceased lingered near Elliott's door, and occasionally using violent expressions towards him, it will scarcely be wondered that they at length came again in contact, when BOWDITCH set on and struck Elliott, who did not return the blow, but saying, in reply to the offensive expressions deceased was using, "nonsense, nonsense," endeavoured to avoid him: the by standers also interfered and held BOWDITCH, who exclaiming "Elliott, it shall be your life or mine," burst from them and struck him a severe blow on the face; still the other endeavoured to avoid him, but being again struck, appeared much irritated, and ordering those interposing to stand out of the way, the combatants closed, and several blows passed: the rally ended in favour of Elliott, the deceased falling upon his hands and knees, - he recovered his legs without assistance, and the spectators again interposed, upon which Elliott threatened to serve one of them in a similar way if he did not keep back: BOWDITCH coming instantly on, and planting the first hit - he essayed to repeat the blow, but mistaking his distance, missed and staggered forward; - while in this position Elliott's blow took effect, and the deceased went down on his face. As he lay Elliott repeatedly called on him by the most opprobrious names to rise; the unfortunate man was, however, insensible to these and all other earthly calls, and in this state the bystanders removed him to his own house. It was at first supposed to be merely stupor produced by intoxication, combined with the blow and fall, but after a time appearances too plainly told the fatal truth, - that life was extinct. Medical aid was now sought and promptly rendered, it need not be said - in vain. Messrs. Cock, Underdown, and Hodge, jun. inspected the body, there were no external marks of violence, and they were of opinion that the nervous system, had, by the fall, received so great a shock as to cause death. The examinations were most patiently conducted, and at considerable length. The Jury putting many questions, and Elliott and his friends, with the friends of the deceased being present, and informed that they were also at liberty to put such questions as they chose to the witnesses, that every publicity might be given, and the truth elicited; the Coroner directed that the doors of the room in which the proceedings were going on, should be thrown open to the public. The examinations being gone through, the Coroner explained to the Jury, the distinction in law between Murder, Manslaughter and Justifiable Homicide, and told them if they considered under the circumstances Elliott had used all the forbearance that could possibly be expected from a man in his situation, and that the blows he had struck had been merely in self defence, he would be entitled to a verdict of Justifiable Homicide. No words could justify blows, and had death followed the first quarrel on the Beach, Elliott certainly would have been guilty of Manslaughter. The intervening time and mode of commencing the second attack however gave a very different feature to the case, and he (the Coroner) was scarcely prepared to say, that however reprehensible the whole transaction might be, Elliott had done no more than any other man would have been driven to under similar circumstances; still he had no wish to lead them, - it was their verdict, and not his that must be returned, nor in their consideration should they lose sight of the fact that the blows given on the Beach were the primary cause of all that followed. After some time spent in deliberation, 15 of the Jury returned a verdict of Justifiable Homicide: at the same time stating that 6 of their brother Jurors were of opinion the verdict should be Manslaughter. The Coroner directed that of the majority to be recorded. During the whole of the Enquiry, which lasted six hours, the most intense anxiety was manifested by a large concourse of people who attended the hearing.
Thursday 18 September 1828 EXETER - Accidents. - On Monday last, a Coroner's Inquest was held at the Duke of York public-house, in this city, before S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, on the body of JOSEPH HAYNE, whose death was occasioned by a violent fall on some stones, in a field in St. Sidwell's, when a verdict of Accidental Death was returned.
An Inquest was held on Saturday, at Thorverton, on the body of MR HOSEGOOD, quarryman and stone-cutter, whose death was occasioned by his falling from a height of 20 feet, and breaking his back. Verdict - Accidental Death.
PLYMOUTH - Fatal Accident. - On Tuesday evening, an Inquest was held at the Stonehouse workhouse, by A. B. Bone, Esq. Coroner, on the body of MR JOHN BOLT, (a clerk in the employment of Messrs. Fox and Sons, of Plymouth), who was found dead early that morning, on the road leading from Stonehouse bridge to Devonport. The following is the substance of the evidence laid before the Jury. Wm. Tucker, apprentice to Mr Moore, ship-builder, stated that about 20 minutes before 5 o'clock, on Tuesday morning, as he was going to his work at Plymouth, along with James Davis and John Haddy, two more of Mr Moore's apprentices, he saw a man lying dead on the left hand side of the hill going down from Devonport. He called James Davis, and went to the spot where the man lay. It was at the bottom of the bank, which is about 15 feet high. The feet were near the bank, inclined towards the upper part of the hill, and the head was inclined towards the lower part. There was a track of blood on the road from the deceased's temple to about 15 inches towards the edge of the road, but no where else, and witness thought from appearances, that deceased had lain where he fell. There was a very black mark on the temple, and deceased was lying on the left side on the part which was injured; his hat was lying about 18 or 20 feet from him; his clothes did not appear torn. There was a wound on one side of the forehead, but from its appearance, witness considered to be an old wound. Witness did not see any other marks of violence. Witness and his companions carried the body to the guard house, where it was laid outside on a bench. Mr Little was then sent for and came and examined the body. Before witness and his companions left it, they examined the pockets, and found in them silver and copper, 6s. 6 ½d. , a white handkerchief, pen knife, pencil case, silver watch, key, and piece of cord, and a yellow silk handkerchief. None of the pockets were turned out. Did not see a slate or stone near the deceased. Witness gave the things to Mr Little, who also took a pocket book from the deceased's pocket. John Hill, a private in the 2nd bat. Rifle Brigade stated, that he was sentry at the main guard-house from one to three o'clock that morning. About half past two he saw two persons pass towards Stonehouse. One of them looked like the deceased. They were not quarrelling, and appeared to be quite in friendship. After some consultation the Coroner and Jury being of opinion from the whole of the evidence that no suspicion attached to Mr Birdwood, it was determined that his testimony should be taken. John Traverse Birdwood, of Plymouth, stated in substance as follows: - That he was particularly acquainted with deceased, having known him several years. Was in company with him, as stated by the witnesses, the night before. Passed the main guard with him about 2 o'clock. Deceased lived in Cobourg-place, and was in the habit of crossing the fields [which was the shortest way from Devonport to his residence]. Witness lives in Catherine street, near the Hoe, which lies in quite a different direction. Deceased said he would go across the fields, and wanted witness to go with him, but witness would not. Deceased then went through the gate into the field, and witness wished him good night, and parted with him there. Did not see him again until he heard he was dead. The Jury brought in a verdict of Found Dead, but how he met his death did not appear in evidence. It is supposed that after parting with Mr Birdwood, deceased changed his mind, and wished to accompany him to Plymouth; and that in endeavouring to get from the field to the road for that purpose, fell from the top of the bank and was killed. The body was removed from the workhouse to the residence of his afflicted family in Cobourg-street, immediately after the Inquest. He was about thirty years of age, and has left a widow and two children.
Thursday 2 October 1828 Horrid Murder - Devonport, Sept. 26. - Yesterday afternoon, between two and three o'clock the body of a young woman, about 18 years of age, named ANNE SNELL, the daughter of a mechanic in the dock yard, was seen by some boys lying at low-water mark, off the northern boundary line of the gun wharf. She was a servant in the employ of Mr Mackrell, a druggist of this town, and had on Thursday evening obtained leave to spend the evening with her mother, for which purpose she left her master's house at 8 o'clock, but did not again return. Inquiries were set on foot, but without success. No suspicion was however entertained that the young woman had come to an untimely end; nor was it known at the time that she was in a state of pregnancy. The body of the unfortunate girl, on being examined by a surgeon, was found to be in a dreadful mutilated state; a deep gash extending several inches, was discovered near the abdomen, her mouth was very much swollen, and her cap was stuffed into her throat. There were also two black marks on her forehead. A Coroner's Inquest will be held on the body today.
A melancholy event, which has plunged a highly respectable family in the most poignant grief, occurred on yesterday se'nnight in the parish of Drewsteignton. A son and daughter of MR KNAPMAN, of Drascombe, were on their return from school, mounted on two donkies, and when nearly arrived home, MISS KNAPMAN, who is about 14 years of age, incautiously fastened the halter round her waist, and alighting, the animal suddenly sprung forward, and kicking at the same time, felled her to the ground. In this manner she was dragged a considerable distance until her cries together with her brother brought MR KNAPMAN, who was in an adjoining field, to her assistance, but unfortunately his aid arrived too late, for on being released, she almost immediately expired. An Inquest was taken on Sunday before J. Gribble, Esq. Coroner, when a verdict of Accidental Death was returned, with a deodand of 1s. on the donkey.
PLYMOUTH - An Inquest was held on Tuesday last, at the Three Tuns, Catherine Street, Devonport, by A. Bone, Esq. Coroner for the county, on the body of JOHN DODD, who dropped down dead in a lane near Princess-street. Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
Thursday 9 October 1828 PLYMOUTH - Mysterious Case. - We have this week to record the untimely end of a young woman named MARY ANN SNELL, who was found dead on Friday afternoon on the beach near the moor stones, under the north west bastion of the Gunwharf, at Devonport. The deceased was a servant in the employment of Mr Mackerell, druggist, in Fore-street, Devonport, and was a remarkably fine young woman. She left her master's house about a quarter before 9 o'clock on Thursday night, and was not again heard of until found as above mentioned. On Saturday evening a Jury was empanelled by A. B. Bone, Esq., Coroner for the County, at the Ordnance Arms, Devonport, to hold an Inquest on the body, when the evidence of which the following in the substance, was adduced. Wm. Martyn, a boy of 14 years of age, deposed that on Friday afternoon, about half-past one o'clock as he was in company with another boy walking on the beach, near the Gunwharf he discovered the body of the deceased lying at the water's edge, and immediately called a waterman to take her up. She was lying on her face, her head being in the water and her feet out. There were several small crabs crawling about her head. Her cap was partly in her mouth and her bonnet was thrown back on her shoulders the strings being tied round her neck. John Gilbert, a waterman, deposed to taking up the body, and giving information of the circumstance to proper persons. He corroborated the evidence of Martyn, adding that there was no derangement in her dress, but that after he had turned her up, some watery blood poured from her eyes. A considerable quantity of her cap was in her mouth and he pulled it out, but it did not seem to have been stuffed in, and might, he thought, have been washed in by the water. Frederick Pearce Webb, gunner of his Majesty's ship Lyra, which is moored directly opposite the north west bastion of the Gunwharf, and about 100 yards from the place where the body was found, deposed that he kept the watch on board that vessel from 12 till 4 o'clock on Friday morning. That he could distinctly have heard any noise on the beach - even that of a sentry on the Gunwharf spitting; and that the night being moonlight he could have seen any body passing on the shore. He did not see any body nor hear any alarming noise, except as follows:- At two o'clock light rain came on, and he went from the deck under the forecastle for shelter. He had scarcely been seated there when he suddenly heard a splash of oars which excited his surprise and running upon deck, he saw a boat coming as if from the trench at the Gunwharf, near the moorstones: he hailed her, and was answered by a man, who said in a surly tone No! The boat then passed under the stern of the Lyra towards Southdown. He saw only one man in her. She must have come from the trench near the moorstones because had she been coming from any other quarter he must, owing to the night and stillness of the night, have seen her or heard her before he went under the forecastle as he looked round particularly. In the trench a boat might have remained without his notice, as the bastion caused a whorle at that place. There was not a common landing place at the trench except for the King's boats, but other boats occasionally landed there, there being now no prohibition. He thought it an uncommon thing to see a boat pass at that time, though boats did some times pass up and down during the night. This was the only boat that passed for the four hours he was on the watch. He did not hear any splash in the water, as if any thing had been thrown in. The tide had been flowing about an hour and half and the boat was pulling against it. Margaret Swan, servant to Mrs Capt. Hallet, who occupies apartments in Mr Mackrell's house, deposed that she saw the deceased in the kitchen, about a quarter before 9 o'clock on Thursday night. She was sitting on a chair, from which she suddenly rose, and went out of the kitchen. Almost instantly she returned, and taking up her bonnet and shawl, said she was going home, and left the house. She had during the morning told witness she was in the family way. Witness asked her if it was by Hannaford, and she said yes. Witness imagined that deceased meant Hannaford in the shop. Deceased said she did not intend to say who was the father of the child, but that she intended giving notice, and leaving Mr Mackrell's service. Witness had never seen the deceased depressed in spirits until Thursday. During the whole of which day she seemed in a desponding way. Hannaford was in the house during the whole evening, with the exception of about 8 minutes, when he went to Mr Lancaster's house with an umbrella, to fetch part of Mr Mackrell's family. Several months ago the deceased had said she would drown herself in case she was in the family way, when in conversation with witness on the subject of something she had read in the newspaper about young women. Mr Mackrell deposed that the deceased was his servant. That Thomas Hannaford was his apprentice. He had never entertained any suspicion of any improper connection having subsisted between them. About 11 o'clock on Thursday evening Hannaford came to witness, at Mr Lancaster's house, and informed him that the deceased had not been home since nine o'clock. Witness immediately returned home, and there found the mother and aunt of the deceased. Hannaford was also present. The subject of the deceased's pregnancy was spoken of, but Hannaford did not say any thing about it. Next morning, at the request of the mother, witness questioned him particularly about it, and he then denied having any connection with deceased; but after the body was found, from what witness had heard from Margaret Swan, he spoke in strong language to Hannaford, and charged him with being the author of her pregnancy. Hannaford uttered something, but did not deny it. The girl was always in good spirits, but he did not see her after 4 o'clock on Thursday. Mr J. P. Baldy, the surgeon, who was called in to view the body deposed that on examination of the face, he found a slight excoriation of the skin under one of the eyes. Witness also described an injury of the lower part of the stomach, the particulars of which it is not necessary to give. Witness thought all the injuries were caused by crabs or small fish. There were no other marks of violence as far as external examination went. Deceased was no doubt far advanced in pregnancy. On the examination of the contents of the chest, they were found in a perfectly healthy state. the inferior parts of the stomach in junction with the first intestine had inflammatory appearance, and on examination of the external coat of the stomach, it was found inflamed, and in many parts a complete erosion of the surface of a white pulpy substance, which must evidently have been produced by poison. An opinion which witness had greater reason to entertain from a further examination of the intestines. On examination it was found that the deceased was 8 months gone with a male child. Witness then proposed that further examination should be made to ascertain the contents of the stomach. The Coroner at twelve o'clock adjourned the Inquest until ten o'clock on Monday morning.
Second Day - On Monday, at half-past 10 o'clock, the Inquest was resumed at the Workhouse, when Mr J. P. Baldy was examined in continuation. Witness had the stomach conveyed to his house on Saturday night. On Sunday, in conjunction with several medical gentlemen and a chemist, he re-examined the contents of the stomach very attentively, and used the usual tests to try if acid had been taken, such as vitriol, because in that case the throat and gullet would have been scorched. to shorten the enquiry, the Coroner asked whether any poison was discovered, to which witness answered no, but still that he felt confident poison must have been taken into the stomach, in consequence of which she must have died in a short time, perhaps in an hour or two. Witness observed that although no accurate discovery had been made of the nature of acrid taken yet it is possible that a large dose of arsenic might have been swallowed, and the stomach so emptied of its contents by vomiting, that it could not be discovered. He was of opinion the cause of death was drowning, because the lungs were found in a collapsed state, as they usually are after drowning. Thinks the poisonous substance was taken in a large quantity at one time, and that shortly before death. It is possible that the death might have been caused by the poison. He did not see any marks on the lungs that indicated death by drowning. On reconsideration cannot positively say she died from drowning. The vessels of the brain were turgid, whether owing to vomiting, which he thought she necessarily had, or from other causes he could not say. Thinks vomiting would happen in a minute after taking a large quantity of poison, and the disposition for vomiting would continue till exhaustion took place. there was no water in the stomach. Persons can be drowned without water entering the stomach, the cause of death being the want of respiration. Charles Thomas Hannaford being sworn and examined, stated that he is apprentice to Mr Mackrell, and has known deceased about two years and a half. Saw her last on Thursday evening, about half past eight. Did not know where she was in the habit of going when she left the house. She appeared depressed in spirits. never had any cause to suspect that she would do any injury to herself. She came occasionally to the shop, but never saw her help herself to any thing but a small piece of twine. Has heard her complain of a pain in her side, but nothing else. She complained to him about six months since of a circumstance of a particular nature, owing to cold. He asked her if she was pregnant, she said no, for that the circumstance proceeded from cold. He then gave her a box of pills of scammony and sulphate of iron about 2 grains in each. She complained that she could not swallow the pills, and he then gave her tincture of iron. She afterwards had another box of pills as before, she complained that the tincture was nauseous. Since then she had a cathartic pill occasionally, and a small quantity of aloes. He said that about once a month she has generally had 2 drs. of aloes at a time, three or four times. Never gave her any directions as to taking the aloes, thinking she knew the proper does; as women are much in the habit of using that medicine. Never gave her any thing else in the form of medicine, and never knew that she got medicine from any other shop. On Thursday morning he saw her in the parlour, and she said she had been discovered to be in the family way. She stated this without any question from him. She said that she should go from the house that evening. He asked her where, and she said never you mind. At tea time she again said she was going, and he again asked where, and she gave the same answer as before. Several other witnesses (including two medical gentlemen) were examined, but nothing important was elicited. Mr Baldy stated that the boxes found in deceased's room contained nothing noxious. The medical gentlemen stated that the medicine given to the deceased by Hannaford was not likely to produce abortion. About 12 o'clock at night, after a most laborious and patient investigation, the Coroner summed up, remarking that the evidence of the surgeons left it in doubt whether the deceased came to her death by poison or drowning, but that their opinion leaned to the latter cause. The Jury after a few minutes consultation, returned a verdict of "Found Dead, but how the deceased came by her death, whether by poison or drowning, no satisfactory evidence is offered to the Jury."
PLYMOUTH - Caution to Those who have the Care of Children. - On Thursday last, a child three years old, the son of MR ADAMS, draper, of this town, being left in the room with a lighted candle, set fire to his clothes, and was so dreadfully burnt, that he expired in a few hours. An Inquest was held on the body, on Friday, by Mr J. Robins, in the absence of the Borough Coroner, and a verdict was found of "Died in Consequence of severe injuries sustained from the clothes taking fire."
Thursday 16 October 1828 Melancholy Occurrence. - On Friday last, as the Plymouth coach was on its route between Barnstaple and Plymouth, and had nearly reached Hatherleigh, the guard, named JOHN ACKLAND, whilst alighting to undrag the wheel, unfortunately slipped his foot, and fell under the near hinder wheel, which passed over his chest, and caused almost instantaneous death. An Inquest was held on the body, on Saturday last, before Francis Kingdon, Esq. Coroner, and a verdict of Accidental Death was returned. The deceased has left a wife and six children to deplore his loss. No blame was imputable to the driver, but on the contrary, his conduct was highly praiseworthy.
Thursday 6 November 1828 EXETER - On Thursday last, an Inquest was held at the Valiant Soldier Inn, before Samuel Walkey, Esq. Coroner, on the body of JOSEPH LEAT, commonly known by the name of Topsham Joe. It appeared in evidence that on Saturday night, the deceased, who lived as servant at the Crown and Anchor public-house on the Quay, quarrelled with a man named John Hooper, and challenged him to fight; this was at first declined by Hooper, but the deceased having given him a blow, it was returned with such effect that the deceased was hit down; he however got up to renew the fight, but was prevented; on the following day he was seized with vomiting, and was taken to the hospital, where he died on Wednesday of an internal injury received in the fight. The Jury, after a patient investigation returned a verdict of Justifiable Homicide.
On Friday last, an Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on the body of ELIZABETH DADDS, a poor child of the parish of Saterleigh, whose death was occasioned the preceding day by her clothes catching fire, in the absence of her parents; on the occurrence of the accident she ran out of the house into the road, where she was found by a causal passenger, burnt in a shocking manner, and her death ensued within one hour after. Verdict - Accidental.
A distressing accident occurred at Honiton on Saturday last occasioned by the accidental breaking of a ladder, forming part of a mason's scaffold, on which were two men Wm. Hopping, a carpenter, and ROBERT FOWLER, a mason, and two boys, sons of FOWLER. Hopping and the two boys were precipitated to the ground, the elder of the boys was killed on the spot, the other falling on a heap of mortar was only slightly injured. Hopping was so severely hurt as to render it a matter of great doubt whether he will ever recover, and FOWLER saved himself by hanging to the window of the house to which the scaffold was affixed. An Inquest was held the same day by I. Cox, Esq. Coroner on the body of the boy, when a verdict of Accidental Death was returned.
EXETER - Melancholy Catastrophe - It is our painful duty to record a most distressing and fatal event which occurred near this city, on Monday, and by which a highly respectable family have been plunged into the most poignant grief. About noon on the above day, MR CHARLES SHEPPARD, son of MRS SHEPPARD, of Marle-field House, Mary-pole-head, being about to proceed in a gig to Bradninch, whither the family intended shortly to remove, his mother, who was coming to this city, expressed her intention to accompany him through Peater lane, to the head of St. Sidwell's. They had only just seated themselves in the gig, when the horse became restive, and set off at full speed down the hill. MRS S. immediately prepared to leap out, notwithstanding the expostulations of her son to the contrary; but whilst so doing her right leg became entangled in the step of the gig - she was dragged some distance, and then fell in the road lifeless. The son was thrown out shortly after, but sustained no serious injury, and the horse continued its career until stopped in Hoopern-lane. The unfortunate lady in falling to the ground, received a blow on the left side of the head, which caused a concussion of an extravasation of blood on the brain, and occasioned her almost instant death; it appeared also that her leg had received a severe compound fracture. The accident is attributed to the breeching bearing too much on the haunches of the horse, which was not supposed to be vicious. On Tuesday, an Inquest was held on the body, before S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner and a verdict of Accidental Death returned. On MR SHEPHERD intimating his intention to destroy the horse, no deodand was levied. The deceased was 54 years of age, and has left a numerous family to mourn their irreparable loss.
Thursday 13 November 1828 Sudden Death. - On Monday last an elderly man, of the name of HUGH NICHOLLS, of Bishopsnympton, was going to Dulverton, to see his son, who resides there; and when he came to the Cuckow Public House, about half way on the road, he went in to refresh himself with half a pint of beer; whilst sitting before the fire he complained that he was poorly, and reclining himself on the settle, he never spoke again, and before medical assistance could be obtained, he was a corpse. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body by T. Copner, Esq. on Tuesday. Verdict - Visitation of God.
Thursday 4 December 1828 On Saturday last an Inquest was holden at Topsham, before James Partridge, Esq. Coroner, on JABEZ IRELAND, who lately quitted the passage house, which he had kept upwards of 20 years, and by a persevering industry to the age of 57 years, had accumulated a moderate competence for himself and family, and had lately engaged in the coal trade. The surgeon proved that on Tuesday last he was called to attend the deceased, and found him very incoherent; he stated that his old master had sent for him, and that he must go to him, and complained of a violent pain on the crown of the head, as if something would burst through it. That the witness had known the deceased many years, and thought he possessed a sound mind, but believed deceased laboured under a low melancholy, for having, about six months ago, complained and wept on several occasions; but he had been opposed, and put upon by some legal determination at the Castle, about the amount of passage money he had received. Witness prescribed for the deceased, and saw him on Wednesday morning - he stated that the medicine had answered well, and deceased was so far relieved that witness did not advise any more medicine for the present. The deceased took his food as usual up to Friday morning, and then breakfasted with his family, and asked his son-in-law whether he had seen the lighter, and who was about the coals - he went out, and not returning to dinner, the family supposed he was attending to his lighter which was discharging coals. One of the daughters, at three in the afternoon, went into a loft very near and in front of the house, to take in some clothes placed there to dry, and was startled to see the deceased, her father-in-law, , hanging in the further and dark end of the loft; the alarm she instantly made brought a constable and others to the place, who examined the situation in which the deceased was then found suspended by a small cord to a rafter of the loft, - his feet ties ankle to ankle, and his hands tied nearly close in a running noose behind his back; about six inches from his feet was a stool, which it appears he must have used in completing his object of self destruction, and on it he had written the following lines: "My Dear Wife Children eighteen left two (to) lement (lament) mey (me) biy (by) they (the) Ingres (injuries) of Fose (foes) two (too) mucht (much) two (to) beare (bear)" The examination of the witnesses occupied more than six hours; - it was proved that the deceased lived on the best harmony with his family, and that it was known that the deceased had not sustained any loss of property or any other disappointment. The Coroner observed that the secret corner and situation of the loft, and the deliberation with which the deceased had fixed the cords, particularly the nooses on his wrists, and the lines composed on the stool, were the principal facts for the consideration of the Jury in forming their verdict - that it was no excuse that the party had acted contrary to what any other stronger mind would have done, - and if the Jury thought the deceased was not so deprived of his reason as not to know the effect of what he was doing, there was no justification or excuse, and their verdict would be that the deceased had committed self murder; but, if under all the circumstances they were satisfied of the insanity of the deceased, or that he had not the power of discerning between right and wrong, at the time of committing the act, they would say so - the effect of the former verdict would be a forfeiture of the deceased's goods and chattels, and of the latter not - which it was no part of their duty to consider, but to administer the law as they found it. The Jury consulted for a quarter of an hour, and returned a verdict that the deceased was labouring under a temporary fit of derangement when he destroyed himself.
Thursday 18 December 1828 The Late Rev MR STRACEY - So many inaccuracies have crept into the account of the death of this gentleman, together with so much of pretended and totally unnecessary concealment, that we feel bound in justice to his memory, and the feelings of his afflicted family, to declare, that they are in scarcely any particular founded in truth. His death was occasioned by brain fever which most rapidly ran its course, and was attended with paroxysms, by no means unusual in that disorder. To this effect the evidence on the Inquest went and no other whatever, and in accordance with it, the respectable Jury returned their verdict of "Died by the Visitation of God, in consequence of Phrenitis." The deceased was rector of Stokeinteignhead, to which he had been presented by the late Bishop Pelham, but to whom he did not stand in any degree of relationship. he was much respected in his neighbourhood, and has left a widow and large family of children to mourn his loss.
Thursday 25 December 1828 EXETER - Death By Fighting. - On Tuesday evening last, an Inquest was held before Samuel Walkey, Esq. Coroner, at the King's Arms Public House, at Westgate, on the body of WM. BALLMAN, 40 years of age, who resided nearly opposite. The deceased was a miller by trade, and with several of his fellow workmen on the 24th of November last, had been regaling themselves with some beer at the mill, in consequence of having a fresh hand at work, and to finish the evening they removed to the Round Tree Public House, near the Island, where an altercation took place with a man of the name of Coombes, and deceased received an injury of which he died on Monday last, three weeks after the accident. The following witnesses were called. Matthew Bremfield - "I am a miller in the employ of Mr Strong, and went with the deceased, Stone, Coombs, Hobbs and one or two others, on the 24th November last, to the Round Tree Public House to have some beer; we all had a pint each; we had some before at the Mill but we were not drunk, the deceased and George Coombs had been jarring one with the other for some time, and they left at 10 o'clock, except BALLMAN and myself: when we had another pint of beer; Coombs afterwards came back, and Stone who had been in the kitchen came in and drank with us; it was then about 11 o'clock, and the landlord said he must shut his doors; we then quitted the House, but the deceased left a pint of beer unpaid; Coombs said to him "why don't you pay your reckoning like a man." The deceased hearing this, swore he would give him a topper, and immediately struck him; and after an exchange of blows, they closed, and appeared to be wrestling or struggling for the fall, when the deceased was thrown heavily. Witness endeavoured to raise him up, but he could not sand; the blood was running over his face; and with assistance he removed him to his home. Robert Stone, a fellow workman who endeavoured to prevent the deceased from fighting, corroborated the whole of the evidence of the first witness, and swore that the deceased gave the first blow. Elizabeth Sanders, who has attended as nurse on deceased, heard him say two days after he was confined to his bed, that he should not have struck the defendant had he not first pushed him. Most of the Jury objected to this evidence as it was merely a heresay, and the former witness had proved to the contrary. G. Coombes, who is a miller, was next examined, but not on his oath; he said that after the deceased struck him several blows, there was a struggle between them, when he threw him heavily, but did not know that he had injured him; he assisted him home, and had been many times at his house to see him during his illness. The Coroner having communicated with the Surgeons, Mr W. P. Kingdon and Mr Delegarde; those gentlemen said they should be better able to give their opinion to the Jury, if they were permitted to open the deceased to ascertain whether or not he had met with any internal injury which might have caused death besides the wound on the head. The Jury coincided in their view and adjourned the Inquest to the following day to receive their opinion. They accordingly met at 7 o'clock, when Mr Delagarde stated that he had examined the body of the deceased, and found that the scalp was very extensively lacerated, the bone bared to the extent of several inches. The case, although of an alarming character from the extent of the injury went on tolerably well for a fortnight. The man was then attacked with shiverings, and the formation of an abscess was suspected. He gradually sank, without any aberration of mind; several days before his death he became completely jaundiced, and inflammation of a gangrenous character took place in one foot. The examination of the corpse exhibited the appearance of a fracture partially repaired; on opening the skull a large abscess was found on the surface of the brain (opposite the external injury,) which was certainly the cause of death. The Jury returned a verdict of Justifiable Homicide.
Thursday 15 January 1829 EXETER - An Inquest was taken on Friday last, before S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner for this city, on the body of SOLOMON BRIGHT, 50 years of age, whose death was occasioned by falling on the 22nd of December into the hold of a coal lighter, lying near the premises of Mr Ebbels. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Loss of an Appledore Passage Boat, and Five Persons Drowned. - It is our painful duty to record a most calamitous accident which occurred in our river on Monday last; on the flow of the morning tide, W. OATWAY, the owner of one of the regular passage boats from Appledore to Barnstaple, left Appledore with five passengers, and his son, a lad who assisted in managing the boat, and having passed Heanton Court and arrived at Bassett's Sands, in the midst of a strong gale, a sudden gust of wind caught the sails, and in an instant capsized the boat, and all on board perished. Besides OATWAY, who, for his civility and attention, was universally respected, and his son, there were on board, a female of the name of MARY PILE, CAPT. GREEN, master of the Swallow, of Appledore, and a lad of the name of KEEN. The bodies of poor OATWAY and the female are not yet found; the other three have been picked up, and carried to Appledore, where a Coroner's Inquest has been taken. CAPT. GREEN, it is stated, was an excellent swimmer, as was the boatman OATWAY, but through the severity of the cold, their skill became unavailable. OATWAY has left a widow and five small children in the greatest possible distress, bereaved of their only means of subsistence. We sincerely hope the sympathies of public benevolence will be attracted towards this distressed family; and any donation that may be left for them at our Office, or at either of the Banks in Barnstaple, will be most thankfully received, and duly applied. Since writing the above, we have been favoured with the following communication from C. H. Woodley, Esq. of Marshford Cottage, Northam:- To the Editor of the North Devon Journal. Sir, Having been a near eye witness of the melancholy and heart-rending catastrophe which occurred yesterday morning, half way up the Barnstaple river, by the upsetting of the passage boat, I think it my duty to give every information in my power respecting it, as there are many incorrect reports in existence. Having just parted from OATWAY'S boat, in tacking, she on one tack and we on the other, a heavy squall came on, which affected our boat very considerably, and I instantly looked to see how OATWAY'S would take it, when I saw them let fly the jib, and, melancholy to relate, they instantly upset. Of course we lost not a moment in bearing away to them, and it was not two minutes before we reached them; the first object that attracted our attention, was the unfortunate woman, whom I caught hold of, but her weight under water being so great, her cloak and gown both came off and she then sunk to rise no more. We then took hold of a boy and laid him on the seat of the boat, and then life was nearly extinct, for he died almost immediately. The intense cold, I am convinced, benumbed them all, and totally precluded all possibility of swimming; and I am also convinced that had we been fortunate enough to have taken them all into the boat, the whole six souls must have shared the same fate as the boy, having no restoratives at hand, and being too far from shore, and our boat at the time being quite unmanageable, the masts all being struck. On my return down the river again, we found CAPT. GREEN and a child near the spot where they were lost, at low water. I am Mr Editor, Yours &c. Charles Henry Woodley, Marshford Cottage, January 13th, 1829
TORRINGTON - A melancholy accident happened here on Thursday night last: as RICHARD ISAACS, grist-man, in the service of Mr Martin, miller, was returning home from his daily occupation, between the hours of seven and eight o'clock, he unfortunately fell into the canal and was drowned. In all probability, the accident was owing to the extreme darkness that prevailed. The body was not discovered until the next morning, when a Coroner's Inquest was held before Francis Kingdon, Esq. and after a minute investigation, the Jury returned a verdict of Found Drowned. The deceased was a very honest trustworthy man, and had been in the employ many years. He has left a widow and three children to lament their loss.
Thursday 22 January 1829 An Inquest was taken on Tuesday, before S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a child named JENKINS, who on the preceding day during the absence of its parents from their residence in Mary Arches street, caught its clothes on fire and was so much burnt as to occasion its death.
An Inquest was held by Isaac Cox, Esq. Coroner, at Axminster, on the 15th inst. on the body of AGNES HAYMAN, aged about 50 years. Deceased had been for some time unwell but still capable of attending to her usual employments, and on the above day as she was walking along the street in Axminster, she fell down and instantly expired. Verdict, Died by the Visitation of God.
On the 12th inst. at Newhouse in the parish of Upottery, on the body of JAMES PYKE, aged 4 years, son of ROBERT PYKE of that parish labourer. On the Friday preceding, the mother of the deceased went to a neighbouring farm-house for some milk, leaving the deceased and his brother (a child about 2 years old) by the fire; soon after she had left deceased's clothes caught fire - he ran out of the house, and went towards that of his Grandmother's, a distance of a quarter of a mile, where he arrived without any clothes on the whole of them having been burnt from his body, with the exception of his shoes; assistance was immediately procured and remedies applied but after lingering until the middle of the following day he died in great agony. The screams of the deceased were heard by several persons, at a distance, who were unable to reach him in time to render any assistance. Verdict, Accidental Death.
BARNSTAPLE - Suicide. - MR JOHN LEWORTHY, mariner, who resided at Newport, in the environs of this town, put a period to his existence on Friday last, by suspending himself by a rope to a beam in the attic of his dwelling house. The deceased was about 50 years of age, and had but recently entered the bands of Hymen. Report says that some family dissentions had produced in his mind, not naturally strong, a high degree of excitement, and in the absence of his wife he committed the fatal act. From the evidence adduced before the Coroner's Inquest, the Jury, after having received a luminous charge from T. Copner, Esq. the Coroner, gave their verdict, "That he hung himself whilst labouring under a fit of Temporary Derangement."
An Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq. at Braunton, on Saturday last, on the body of WILLIAM REED, six years old, a child of a pauper residing in the Workhouse, whose clothes caught fire in the temporary absence of his mother, and he was so dreadfully burnt as to cause his death. Verdict - "Accidental."
Thursday 29 January 1829 On Saturday last, an Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on the body of MR JOHN JOCE, of the Golden Lion Inn, Chittlehampton, who died almost suddenly, in the night of the Wednesday preceding. It having been currently reported that his death was occasioned by a blow received from a member of his own family, the Coroner was most minute in his investigation, that, if unfounded, he might be enabled to repel so foul a charge; on the evidence produced before the Jury, it appeared that the deceased retired to rest the Wednesday evening in his usual state of health, but that about two o'clock in the morning, he complained of indisposition, called up his servant, who at his desire got him a glass of gin, which he drank, and soon after expired. From the testimony of evidence, and a view of the body, the Jury were satisfied that the report before alluded to was altogether groundless, and returned a Verdict of Died by the Visitation of God.
Thursday 5 February 1829 Melancholy Catastrophe. - A most melancholy event occurred on Sunday last, in the Park at Creedy, adjoining the seat of Sir Humphry P. Davie, Bart. near Crediton, Devon. The decoy pond being frozen over, three men who travel the country with earthenware, and having a dog with them, went on it for the purpose of sliding. John Phelps, the gamekeeper, about one in the day, on his return from Church, seeing the dog on the grounds, went for his gun in order to shoot it, and on regaining the part of the Park in which the pond is situated, ordered the men off. Two of them obeyed, and immediately quitted; the third delayed and used taunting and irritating language. Phelps told him he was committing a trespass in being there; upon which the man pulled out a penny and jeeringly said, that if he was so that coin would satisfy it. The continued irritation raised the anger of Phelps, and he told him if he did not quite the grounds he would compel him to do so. The man still delaying, Phelps having his double barrel gun loaded in his hand, and fearful of mischief should he strike him with it in that situation, slipped the bolts, drew the barrels from the stock, and struck at him as he was getting over the wall. He fell with force on the other side, and was taken up senseless; - immediate medical assistance was procured from Crediton, and a messenger sent express for Mr Barnes of this city. The fracture of the skull was of an extensive description, and the unfortunate man, without an interval of sensibility, expired about 7, the same evening. Phelps is a humane and well intentioned man, not at all given to bursts of passion, and held in high esteem by his master and all who know him; and it cannot be too much regretted that he should in this instance have suffered his usual complacency and habits of forbearance to be overcome by any conduct, however irritating. The unfortunate man who has thus most unwarrantably fallen a victim, was named JOHN BURTON, - a stranger in this county, and is said to have a wife and child residing in Cornwall. An Inquest was held on the body on Tuesday, at Longbarn, in Sandford, before James Partridge, Esq. one of the Coroners for Devon, when, after an investigation of the circumstances, the Jury returned a verdict of Manslaughter against Phelps, and, on the Coroner's warrant, he has been committed to the Devon County Gaol to take his trail accordingly.
Thursday 5 March 1829 A Coroner's Inquest was taken on Monday last, at Chittlehampton, by T. Copner, Esq. on the bodies of two Boys, one of them a Parish Apprentice, and the other in the employ of Mr George Sanders, Lime Burner, named PHILIP CONEBIER and -----WARD, about 12 years old each, who were burnt to death on Sunday last. It appeared in the evidence before the Jury, these boys went to the Lime Kiln to warm themselves. About half past one o'clock, Richard Hill, was passing near the kiln on Sunday, when he saw a smoke arise, and soon after a flame, which excited suspicion in his mind, that all was not right; on coming to the Kiln, he discovered these two boys lying on the mouth of the Kiln, burnt in a dreadful manner; he immediately proceeded to take them out, when he found them quite dead. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Thursday 12 March 1829 Distressing Circumstance, Attended with Loss of Lives. - On Monday last, MR JOHN ROWDEN, bailiff on Lord Courtenay's estates, and residing at Powderham, accompanied by MR ABRAHAM WILCOCKS, and Wm. Howe, game-keepers, left their home in order to spend a few hours with Capt. Barrett, of the Dispatch, of this port, at his residence in Topsham. It would appear that they left in good season, from half past four to five o'clock, their object being to cross the passage and the Exeter canal before dark, and having done so they arrived safely at Lewis', at the extremity of the canal, it is said, before night fall. All danger was now supposed over, and they set out to cross the marsh lying between the grounds of Exwell Farm and the canal, a track well known to all of them. The cultivated country is approached by a sort of road denominated a dray way, with a dike or ditch of a few feet in depth and breadth on either side. At what point, or by what means ROWDEN and WILCOCKS separated from Howe is not at present known, but the latter got safely home; their residences being however apart on the Powderham estate, this circumstance was unknown to the friends of the two former, (who under great anxiety had waited up all night,) until the following morning, when an instant search was set on foot for the missing men, and by tracking the Marsh in the usual direction they were soon found on the respective sides of one of the dikes, MR ROWDEN quite dead, and WILCOCKS with scarcely a perception of life remaining. He was instantly removed to Exwell, every attention paid him and a surgeon sent for, but the length of time he had lain exposed, the severity of the night and the advanced age, (between 70 and 80 years,) rendered recovery doubtful. He died on Wednesday morning, about three o'clock. It is conjectured that from the rapidity and extreme darkness with which the night set in they missed their way, and becoming confused, were unable to recover the track. From the state of ROWDEN'S clothes it appears he had succeeded in getting clear of the dike, and when found he lay on his face on perfectly dry ground, stiffened with the severe frost and evidently dead many hours. He was a man much respected in his situation, a widower, the eldest son of the late MR JOHN ROWDEN, of Harcot, in Moretonhampstead, 53 years of age, and WILCOCKS is his father-in-law. An Inquest was held on the bodies on Thursday.
Thursday 19 March 1829 An Inquisition was held on Saturday last at Romansleigh by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on the body of SARAH COSWAY, aged two years, whose death was occasioned by her cloaths taking fire, on the Thursday before, when she was so dreadfully burnt, that she survived only till the day following. Verdict, Accidental Death.
On Wednesday last, MARY, the wife of WM. HOOKWAY, labourer, of Ware Gifford, put an end to her existence, by hanging herself by her apron strings. Verdict, "Hung herself in a fit of Insanity."
TORRINGTON - On Saturday se'nnight, as a boy aged five years, named WM. PALMER, in the parish of North Loo, was climbing an apple tree, he unfortunately fell off and broke his neck. Coroner's verdict "Accidental Death." It is remarkable, that the mother of the child was killed by a waggon passing over her, that very same day, and about the same hour, twelve months before.
EXETER - On Sunday forenoon last, as Mr Wm. Smallridge, of this city, was driving a gig, in which, besides himself, were his wife and child, into the town of Thorverton a couple of dogs issued from a passage way, barking and threatening an attack on the mare he drove; in order to rid the animal of the annoyance he reached forward and struck at them with his whip, which calling his attention off prevented his perceiving a child that lay in the road at play, and whose foot being caught by the wheel it was completely turned over & placed in such a position that the wheel in its next revolution passed over its neck just below the ear, and death almost instantly ensued. The child was 2 ½ years old, named SAMUEL CLATTERY, the son of a labourer. An Inquest was taken on the body, before James Partridge, Esq. one of the Coroners for Devon, on Monday, when after an investigation of the circumstances, and all the witnesses, acquitted Mr Smallridge of blame, the Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death, with a deodand of 7s. 6d. on the wheel. The proprietor of one of the dogs had it immediately destroyed, and the Coroner suggested to the parish officers the propriety of seeing that the owners of all dogs of this description, were assessed for the duty, as well as withholding relief from persons on the pauper list, who, notwithstanding the receipt of parochial relief were enabled to keep dogs.
Thursday 2 April 1829 EXETER - Fatal Accident. - A melancholy occurrence took place at Mount Radford School, in the vicinity of this city, on Thursday. The post which had been erected in the play ground, to the top of which ropes were appended to enable the pupils to recreate themselves with gymnastic exercises, broke off close to the ground; hearing the crash, the boys endeavoured to escape - unfortunately a youth, the son of a MR REED, now living at Taunton, tripped and fell, and at the same instant the top of the pole which was encased with iron, struck him upon the back part of the head, fractured his skull, and caused instant death. It is said that the boy had lately become entitled to a considerable sum of money, which will now leave the family. An Inquest was held on Friday, before J. Partridge, Esq. Coroner, and after a short investigation, the Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.
On Friday last, an Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on the body of RICHARD VICARY, a pauper of the parish of Braunton, aged 73 years, who hung himself to the roof of his dwelling house. Various symptoms of derangement were proved on the Inquest. Verdict - Lunacy.
Thursday 9 April 1829 PLYMOUTH - Sudden Death - We have deep regret in stating that MR WILLIAM HARE, of Stonehouse, who was universally esteemed, was suddenly cut off in the prime of his life by an apoplectic fit on Tuesday last. He left his house after dinner in seeming good health and had walked to Cremil Point (his usual walk) when he was seized; and before medical aid could be procured, he died. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body on Tuesday, and a verdict returned of "Died by the Visitation of God." MR W. HARE was the son of MR HARE a highly respectable brewer at Stonehouse.
Thursday 16 April 1829 An Inquest was held at Dartmouth on Friday last on the body of SAMUEL CUMMINGS, Master of a vessel of Southampton, who was drowned by an accident about two months ago. Verdict accordingly.
Thursday 23 April 1829 EXETER - Coroner's Inquest. - An Inquest was held at the Oakhampton Inn, Oakhampton-street, St. Thomas, adjoining this city, on Tuesday afternoon, on the body of a man named ODAM, whose disappearance had given rise to sundry marvellous stories, and occasioned no little anxiety. On the evening of the 14th of March, ODAM who resided near Exmouth, drank at the Oakhampton Inn, and from the time of leaving that house could not be accounted for, until this week, when his body was discovered in the canal, just below the double lock, and about two miles from this city. No marks of violence were discoverable on his person, the hat was gone, but his clothing otherwise unmolested, and under these circumstances, the Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death. The presumption is that by accident he had fallen into the river, and during the passage of the vessels been thus far carried down the canal.
Thursday 30 April 1829 EXETER - Coroner's Inquest. - On Monday Inquests were held before S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, at the Devon and Exeter Hospital, on the bodies of WM. WEBBER, aged 9, and MARGARET SCOINES, aged 4 years, the first of whom had been dreadfully burnt, on Good Friday, and since died in the Hospital. MRS WEBBER, the mother of the child, has another child besides the deceased, and left both in the care of the little boy, while she attended a sectarian meeting in North-street. Mr Serle, a builder, heard the shrieks of the little boy from adjoining premises, and leaping over a wall found means to extinguish the flames; the child was immediately taken to the Hospital, and lingered till the following day. The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death. The other child SCOINES, whose parents reside near Exe-lane, had experienced a similar fate only whilst its mother had gone a short distance to the well for water. There was only an old man 90 years of age near the spot, till the mother's return, when seeing the dreadful situation of her offspring she fell to the earth in a fit, repetitions of which had taken place up to the time of the Inquest. Verdict, Accidental Death.
A third Inquest was held on Thursday evening, at the Star Inn, by S. Walkey, Esq. on the body of JAMES BRICKNELL, a respectable young man in the employ of Messrs. Tuckers, Cornfactors and Grocers, residing on Fore-street-hill. The deceased was found with his throat cut, in his bed room on Wednesday evening. W. P. Kingdon, Esq. surgeon, deposed that on Monday evening last, he visited the deceased, who was suffering from the attack of fever; he bled him and supplied him with proper medicines. On Tuesday, he was much better, but on Wednesday complained of his chest. Witness did not see him again till half past 10 on the evening of his decease. It was Mr K's opinion that he had committed the act under a violent and sudden attack of delirium, which had flown from the chest to the brain. Mr Wm. Tucker, stated that the deceased had been in his employ 7 years, and was always a sober, honest, and industrious young man; he had complained of illness on Sunday. Witness had visited him twice a day since; he generally appeared a little delirious towards the evening. On Wednesday night before the family retired to rest, he took the deceased some tea, when he found the deceased was gone from his bed, and discovered that he was on the floor weltering in his blood, he thought it might have proceeded from his arm, and immediately called for assistance. There was an open razor on the bed: and he died just after he was discovered. The Jury without hesitation returned a verdict that the deceased committed the act in a fit of Mental Derangement.
Thursday 7 May 1829 BARNSTAPLE - An Inquest was held this evening, on the body of MARY SYMONS, a young woman, seventeen years of age, who died on Saturday last, after an illness of but a few hours. Since her death, a report has been circulated that it had been occasioned by poison; on which account a Jury was impannelled, and the body opened, by Mr Cutcliffe, surgeon, who fully satisfied the Jury that there was not the slightest grounds to warrant a supposition that she had taken any thing improper, but it was very evident that an inflammation of the bowels, succeeded by mortification, was the cause of her death. Verdict, "Died by the Visitation of God.
Thursday 14 May 1829 Inquest. - On Monday last, a Coroner's Inquest was held by Thomas Copner, Esq. on the body of RICHARD GREGORY, of Bishop's Tawton, aged 80 years, who, whilst walking across the church yard, suddenly fell down, and immediately expired. Verdict, Died by the Visitation of God.
EXETER - Case of Poisoning at Whipton, near this City. Inquest. - An Inquest was held yesterday, at the Half Moon Inn, in Whipton, in the parish of Heavitree, on the body of SAMUEL WESCOMBE, aged about 40, who died on Wednesday last. The deceased was a labourer in the employ of Mr R. Rowe, by whose testimony and that of his servant, Robert Broom, it appeared that up to Tuesday night the deceased was in good health and high spirits. That he was a good tempered, hard working, and an industrious man. The following witnesses were examined: - Sarah Tout, Mary Richards, Eliza and Martha Davey, and Richard Quaintance. It appeared that the deceased returned from his work between 6 and 7 o'clock on Tuesday evening and was told by his wife that having no potatoes in the house, she had prepared a basin of broth for his supper, which having been set before him she left him alone, and in company with another woman went away to the village of Heavitree a distance of about a mile. She returned in about two hours; in the meantime her husband had eaten a large portion of the broth, and she found him sitting by the fire with his hand to his head complaining of pains in his bowels and stomach. He was soon after taken with violent vomiting and purging, which continued throughout the whole night; nothing he afterwards took in remained in the stomach, either tea, cider, beer, or any other liquor. He eat nothing the whole of Wednesday, but continued in the same distressing state. No medical assistance was called to him, and at 12 o'clock on Wednesday night, his wife alarmed two of the female witnesses, by telling them "Sam" was dead. On their going to her assistance, they found the body quite cold and stiff; having been dead apparently several hours. The body could not be properly laid out without the application of considerable force. On viewing the body, there appeared an unusual discolouration just above the collar bone, on the right side of the neck, and the lower parts of the abdomen presented an appearance of great rigidity, without any swelling. Under the direction of the Coroner, Mr Pridham, of Exeter, and Mr Madden, of Heavitree, opened the body and extracted the stomach, which was found to contain between two and three quarts of fluid; its external appearance was vascular; and the internal coats presented a state of severe inflammation, and were studied over with particles of a white shining and heavy substance, in very minute particles. The stratum appeared very much softened and broke easily. The stomach was delivered to the medical gentlemen, for annalization, there being no doubt of its containing arsenic. During the investigation no clue could be obtained as to how or by whom the deleterious substance was obtained. At 2 o'clock this morning, (Saturday) the Coroner committed KESIA WESTCOMBE, the wife, for further examination, and Richard Quaintance for want of sureties and adjourned the Inquest to Wednesday next.
EXETER - On Tuesday, an Inquest was held at the Black Horse, public house, Longbrooke-street, in this city, before S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, on the body of MR WM. STREET. The deceased had been in ill health for several months past. Mrs S. the wife, deposed as to her attending him with his breakfast as usual, on that morning, which he declined partaking, being very unwell, and added it was not his intention of leaving his bed for the day. Mrs S. frequently visited him during the morning, and about eleven o'clock he considered himself better, which induced him to take a short walk, but being accustomed to giddiness in the head he again returned to his house, and shortly after went to the privy, in the garden. The length of time he was absent caused a search to be made, when he was discovered to be dead, and his body nearly cold. The Coroner summed up the evidence, when a verdict of Died by the Visitation of God, was immediately returned.
Thursday 21 May 1829 EXETER - Case of Poisoning at Whipton near this City. Adjourned Inquest, Wednesday, May 13th. The first evidence called was Mr Pridham, surgeon, of Exeter, who proved the result of his experiments upon the particles found in the stomach of the deceased, to be a conviction that death had been occasioned by swallowing arsenic: he spoke also of the chemical experiments made by Dr Collins. Dr Collins next proved the detection of arsenic by seven different chemical tests, of which he gave a very elaborate and scientific description. Mr Madden, surgeon, of Exeter, was present at the analization of the contents of deceased's stomach, and corroborated the testimony of the two former witnesses. Joseph Hodge and William Collis detailed the particulars of having gone, about three weeks ago, (but neither of them could speak to the day) with the prisoner Quaintance, to the shop of Mr Salter, druggist, where he purchased three ounces of arsenic, which he said was to destroy rats; he had remarked when he requested them to go with him, that he had applied for it before himself, but could not obtain it without witnesses. Collis said he observed it was dangerous stuff, and Quaintance ought to be cautious how he used it, lest he should destroy his master's pigs, or something else instead of the rats; the prisoner said he knew what it was, as he had used it before. Here Quaintance said he had bought it for the deceased SAMUEL WESTCOMBE, who gave him the money for it. Mr Salter, druggist, sworn, recollects the three men coming into his shop about three weeks since, but cannot speak to the day, they purchased six penny worth of arsenic - recollects that Collis was one of them, and as there were three in company, thought he was perfectly justified in supplying them. The Coroner recapitulated the evidence at considerable length and the Jury after consideration, returned a verdict, administering arsenic with intent to murder, against KAZIAH WESTCOMBE; and of being an accessory before the fact against Richard Quaintance. They were both committed to High Gaol for trial at the next Assizes. The Inquest this day lasted 12 hours.
On Monday the 11th instant, an Inquest was held before Francis Kingdon, Esq. on view of the body of HUGH JEFFERY, who was drowned at Passaford, near Hatherleigh. Verdict, Accidental Death.
Thursday 28 May 1829 PLYMOUTH - Fatal Accident. - On Saturday last, a quarryman named JAMES DEANE, was killed at Catdown Quarry, by the fall of two large stones, which he was in the act of endeavouring to raise with a crow bar. The stones on being disturbed gave way and fell from the side of the quarry, carrying with them the unfortunate man who was so dreadfully bruised between them that he died immediately. He has left a widow and two children to deplore his untimely death. An Inquest has been held on the body, and a verdict returned of "Accidental Death."
Suicide - A private in the 85th infantry named MACSHEEN, shot himself on Saturday last, in the barrack room at George's Square in the presence of his comrades. He was sitting on the bedside as if in the act of cleaning his musket, but to the surprise and horror of his comrades he leaned over the muzzle, and touching the trigger with a broom handle discharged the piece, and in a moment was dead, the ball having passed through his heart. An Inquest was held on the body the same evening, when a verdict of "Temporary Insanity" was returned.
Thursday 4 June 1829 Inquests Held by Isaac Cox, Esq. - At Salcombe Regis on the 18th inst. on the body of JOHN WILSON, formerly of Cambridge, chief officer of the Coast Guard service stationed at Beer Regis, who was drowned in attempting to cross the mouth of the Axe. Verdict - Found Drowned, but how or by what means no evidence does appear to the Jurors.
At Ottery St. Mary, on the 22nd inst. on the body of JAMES HOARE, aged 16 years, servant in husbandry, who was found suspended in a linhay. There was no sort of evidence to shew how or by what means the deceased became hung, and a verdict was found accordingly.
At Uffculm, on the 25th inst. on the body of JANE ROWLAND, an infant daughter of JOHN ROWLAND, of that parish, labourer. The clothes of the deceased accidently caught on fire, and although assistance was at hand, the child was so much burnt as to linger on in great agony about a fortnight, when it died. Verdict, Accidental Death.
EXETER - Melancholy Accident - On Thursday morning a young man named COLLINS, a teacher in a respectable academy of this city, was drowned at the Head Weir. The deceased was about 22 years of age, and much beloved and respected. A Coroner's Inquest was held the same evening, and a verdict returned of Accidentally Drowned.
PLYMOUTH - Melancholy Occurrence. - We have seldom had occasion to give publicity to a more distressing and awful proof of the folly and danger of incautiously using fire arms, than is furnished by the event we are about to detail. On Monday night two commercial gentlemen, Mr Joseph Gilbert and MR JOHN CARLIN, who were staying at the Royal Hotel, and were on most friendly terms, went out to walk together, and after making a call or two, were on their return through Queen street, between eleven and twelve o'clock, when Mr Gilbert, putting his hand into the pocket of his travelling great coat, and finding there his pistols, which he had forgotten to put by on coming in from his journey, and which were loaded with ball, said jokingly "let us fire a salute." He accordingly took out one of the pistols and when in the act of cocking it, when the cock, which (being a detonating one), had a remarkably strong spring, slipped from his hold back upon the cap, and produced instantaneous explosion, and MR CARLIN, who stood close by him, received the charge in the left side of his abdomen. The report called the attention of the inhabitants and Mr John Pearce Beedle ran into the street, where he found MR CARLIN on his knees and Mr Gilbert endeavouring to raise him; and being requested, assisted in conveying the wounded gentleman to the Hotel. There Dr Magrath and Mr John Fuge were sent for, attended promptly, but their efforts were in vain, for the wound was mortal, and MR CARLIN, after lingering about eighteen hours, during which time he was anxiously attended by Mr Gilbert, expired in great agony at half past 5 o'clock on Tuesday afternoon. INQUEST - Tuesday an Inquest was held upon the body, at the Royal Hotel, by R. J. Squire, Esq. and a most respectable Jury. After the Jury had been sworn, and the Coroner had stated an outline of the case, and pointed out the law which was to regulate them, Mr Gilbert sent in a message, requesting to be heard before any witnesses were examined, as what he had to say would probably shorten the enquiry. The Coroner consulted the Jury, and, with their concurrence, Mr Gilbert was admitted. On his entrance he was cautioned by the Coroner not to say any thing which might criminate himself but he replied that he had only a plain tale of truth to tell, which must be borne out by all the witnesses to be examined. He then entered into a detail of circumstances, showing that the deceased and he were on the most friendly terms, and explained the accident as we have done above. Mr Gilbert having concluded his statement, the Coroner proceeded with the Inquest, the evidence was adduced. Several witnesses, who had seen the deceased and Mr Gilbert together in the course of the day, and up to a short time previous to the accident, proved that they were on the most friendly terms. Mr J. J. Lord, a commercial traveller, deposed that it is necessary for commercial men, particularly in the spirit trade (as Mr Gilbert is) to carry arms for their defence, as they have the charge of considerable sums of money. They are frequently detained at obscure houses and way laid. Witness himself has been stopped three times. The Coroner having summed up, the Jury, without a moment's hesitation, returned a verdict to the effect that the death of the deceased was purely accidental. Deodand one shilling on the pistol! The deceased was about 22 years of age, and was in the employment of Messrs. Fisher and Co. thread-lace manufacturers, to whom intimation of his untimely end has been sent. Mr Gilbert travels for Sir Robert Burnett and Sons, brandy merchants.
Thursday 11 June 1829 A boy about 11 years of age, named BROADBEAR, was found dead in the road near Woodbury, on Wednesday, by Mr Laskey. He had apparently been run over by a waggon or cart: his occupation was to look after sheep, and it is supposed owing to the intense heat of the weather, must have lain down to sleep. He was seen by some persons as late as 3 o'clock in the afternoon, shortly after which Messrs. Sloane and Cox's waggons loaded with lime from Exon Kilns, passed that way; it is supposed one of these must have passed over him. The driver of one of them, it is reported, was seen asleep in his waggon. An Inquest has been held at the Globe, Woodbury, by S. Cox, Esq. and a verdict returned of Accidental Death.
Melancholy Accident. - On Friday last an Inquest was held by Thomas Copner, Esq. Coroner, on the body of JAMES SELLEY, at Bishopsnympton, who was drowned while on a fishing excursion in Allsweare River. The deceased was a servant in the employ of Mrs Spencer of Slew Farm, and on Thursday last went with three others to fish with a net in Allsweare River, about three miles distant from Southmolton, where meeting with a pit which descends suddenly and a bad bottom, SELLEY entered it and his danger instantly became apparent; his companions in vain endeavoured to rescue him, he sunk to rise no more. One of his companions also, in his endeavours to save him, had nearly shared the same fate. The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.
An Inquest was held by Isaac Cox, Esq. Coroner, at Yarcombe, on Saturday last, on the body of ELIZ. SYDENHAM, aged 9 years, daughter of ELIZ SYDENHAM, of Clifton, widow. Deceased was living with her grandfather, MR T. HURFORD, of Yarcombe, who, it appears, always had the care of her. On Friday last, MR HURFORD was engaged in drawing dressing upon some part of his ground, and the deceased accompanied him; on returning he put her in the cart, and walked by the side of the horse, but on passing through a gateway, the cart, by some accident, upset, and the deceased was thrown out, the cart fell upon her, and she died instantly. Evidence was produced to shew, that the deceased had always been kindly treated by her grandfather, and that he was very fond of her. Verdict, Accidental Death: a deodand of 2s. 6d. was levied on the cart.
Thursday 25 June 1829 Inquests Held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner. - On Thursday last, at Bishop's Tawton, on the body of ELIZABETH DAVIE, who was found dead in her bed. Verdict, "Died by the Visitation of God."
On Friday last, at Kingsnympton, on the body of JOHN TUCKER, aged three years, who fell into a well of water and was drowned. Verdict, "Accidental Death."
Thursday 9 July 1829 EXETER - An Inquest was held on Tuesday, before S. Walkey, Esq., Coroner for Exeter, at the Black Dog public-house, North-street, on the body of JAMES BADCOCK, in his 10th year, whose parents reside in Arthur's Court, Paul-street. The unfortunate lad, it appeared, had gone on the preceding evening with other boys to the river for the purpose of bathing, and though unable to swim, incautiously got into the water between the two Weirs, at the Head Weir, where he almost immediately sunk, and no assistance being near was drowned. Verdict Accidental Death.
Sudden Death - On Sunday last, the coachman of Sir Arthur Chichester, at Youlston, went into the stables to prepare the carriage to convey his lady to church, where he was suddenly taken with a pain in his stomach; he returned to the house, and his fellow servants helped him to bed, but within an hour he became a corpse. The medical attendant of the family was immediately sent for, but death had executed its work long before the doctor arrived. A Coroner's Inquest sat on the body, verdict - Visitation of God. The coachman was called BENNETT, and has left a widow and several children.
On Tuesday last, an Inquest was held at Filleigh, by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on the body of MARGARET DUNN, who, while milking a cow, received a blow from the bullock which occasioned immediate death. Verdict, "Came to her death by the kick of a bullock."
Thursday 16 July 1829 PLYMOUTH - Death by Incautiously leaving Fire Arms Loaded. - On Friday afternoon, between the hours of 3 and 4 o'clock, a boy named Tretheway, went into the house of THOMAS CURRY, at Elm Row, near Start Place, on the Exeter Road, and asked a young girl, a daughter of CURRY'S, who was left in charge of the house, to leave some tools for a short time, which was granted. A gun, which was incautiously left loaded, and lying on a shelf opposite the door, attracted his attention, and although warned that it was loaded, he took it down and laid it on a table, cocked it and snapped it off several times: the powder being in a damp state, did not immediately ignite. During this experiment to fire off the gun, her little brother JOHN, aged two years and a half, got up on the chair at the end of the table, near the muzzle f the gun, and in a few moments afterwards it went off, and the contents were lodged in his abdomen. Mr Derry, surgeon, on being made acquainted with the incident, instantly went to the house, when he found the child in a dying state, and quite insensible; and about a quarter of an hour after his arrival it died. The father of the child, in giving his evidence before the Coroner, stated that he loaded the gun on Wednesday morning, to fire at some rocks which had pitched near his house, but they rose before he was prepared, and that he laid it aside, loaded; he had frequently done so before, without any accident having occurred; he told his wife and children it was loaded, and gave them strict orders not to touch it. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body by R. J. Squire, Esq. on Friday last, when a verdict of Manslaughter was returned against William Tretheway, and a deodand of 20s. on the gun.
BARNSTAPLE - Suicide. - On Monday last, a young man, called WILLIAM GOULD, an apprentice to Mr Hamblen, basket-maker, in this town, terminated his existence by hanging himself in his master's workshop. It appears that he had attached himself to a female at Newport, with whom he had been in the habit of spending his evenings, and remaining to a later hour than his parents approved of, and for which his father reproved him. This is the only cause assigned for his commission of this fatal act. He had taken his dinner with the family in as good health and spirits, apparently, as he ever did, and at the usual hour repaired again to his work, where his master had left him but about a quarter of an hour, when the servant going into the shop, saw him suspended by a rope from a pole that was placed across the roof; the body was immediately cut down, but life was extinct. A Coroner's Inquest sat on the body the same evening, which returned a Verdict of "Hung himself in a fit of Temporary Insanity."
On Friday last, an Inquisition was taken by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, in the parish of Northmolton, on the body of MR GEORGE WESTCOTT, yeoman, of Lanscombe, about two miles from Northmolton Town, from whence as he was returning to his house on the day preceding, about twelve o'clock, he was met in the road by a bull; a woman called Sally Gibbs, who lives in a cottage, near the spot, saw MR WESTCOTT with his legs on the horns of the bull, and his head on the ground; she got on the hedge and made a noise to drive the bull away; the deceased called out to her, "do my dear soul come to me;" he again repeated the same words, and then turned his face to the ground and was not heard to speak any more. John Smith, blacksmith, saw the deceased lying on his back in the hedge, and the bull tumbling him about: he threw a pitchfork at the bull which drove him away. They then went to the body, which they found bruised from head to foot, two of the ribs broken, and life quite extinct. The bull was two years old, the property of Farmer Parkin, of the same parish, and was shot soon after the above disastrous occurrence.
Thursday 6 August 1829 On Saturday se'nnight, an unfortunate man of the name of VINCENT OF MAIDEN, in the parish of Hartland, having been on business at Hartland Quay, and there indulged himself in drinking to excess, availed himself on his return of the help of a lime cart, which was going the same road, the driver of which was pretty much in the same state with himself; and as they were descending Phillam Hill, he dropt over the cart, the wheel of which went over his head, and fractured it to that degree as to cause his death the third day after. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body by F. Kingdon, Esq. and a verdict of Accidental Death returned.
Thursday 13 August 1829 PLYMOUTH - An Inquest was held on Tuesday, at the Workhouse, by R. J. Squire, Esq. on the body of RICHARD HOSKING, who was unfortunately drowned in the Sound on Monday last by the swamping of a boat, in tow of a barge belonging to Mr Billing, on her return from the Breakwater - verdict Accidentally Drowned, and a deodand of 20s. on the boat.
Thursday 20 August 1829 PLYMOUTH - An Inquest was held yesterday, on the body of an infant, ten weeks old, the child of persons named TAYLOR, residing in Mill-street, whose death arose from its mother having the preceding night given it a dose of laudanum, to quiet it, at the recommendation of a neighbour; shortly after taking it the babe fell into a death like stupor, the mother became alarmed and sent for the medical attendant - Dr Baldy, who on ascertaining what had been given, tried every means to restore it, but the pernicious draught had taken too strong a hold, and the little innocent shortly after expired. A verdict that its death was caused by an improper use of laudanum was recorded. The state of the mother cannot be described.
Thursday 27 August 1829 PLYMOUTH - An Inquest was held by R. J. Squire, Esq. on Sunday last on the body of SUSAN BRITTAIN, wife of MR BRITTAIN, tanner, Mill-lane, who put an end to her existence by cutting her throat on the previous day. Verdict - Insanity. The deceased has left an amiable husband and eight children to lament their loss.
PLYMOUTH - Caution to Persons Administering Laudanum to Infants. - An adjourned Inquest was held at the Richmond Inn, on Saturday last, on the body of JOHN TAYLOR, an infant nine weeks old, who died on the 13th inst. in consequence of receiving on the preceding day a dilution of laudanum and water. It appeared from the evidence, that MRS TAYLOR, the mother of the child, had spent the day with Miss Daw, who keeps a school at Plympton, and the infant being very cross, she expressed a wish to have Godfrey's Cordial; accordingly they sent out for some, which not being able to obtain, Miss Daw suggested that she should try the effect of laudanum, and a small quantity of that dangerous drug was procured from a shop in the neighbourhood, this, rather a large dilution was made, and one tea spoonful given to the infant, who died the next day in consequence. J. Robins, Esq. who acted as Coroner, in the absence of Mr Squire, dwelt most impressively on the great danger which attended the administration of that drug to infants, and stated that he should consult with the Mayor on the propriety of fining the vender, a Mrs Julian, in the penalty of 5l. for not labelling the article "poison", before she sent it out of her shop. Verdict, Died from Having received Laudanum, &c.
Thursday 10 September 1829 EXETER - Another Supposed Murder. - An Inquest was held on Wednesday, at the King's Arms Inn, St. Thomas's, before Joseph Gribble, Esq. one of the Coroners for the County of Devon, upon the body of THOMAS CRAPP, deceased, which was found floating in the river Exe, on the morning of Tuesday. James Mackuile deposed that at about a quarter past five he saw the body of a man float over the weir, near the old cotton manufactory in the parish of St. Leonard's, he immediately ran to a boat, cut the cord by which she was moored, and with the assistance of one Frederick Starks, who was near, succeeded in landing the body in a field on the bank of the river opposite the factory. He observed marks of violence about the head of the deceased, which appeared like cuts or stabs. In the pockets of the deceased were found a snuff box, a knife, some pieces of cloth and some needles. The body was taken to the Engine-house, St. Thomas. The deceased had all his dress on but his hat. The water was running very full over the weir, and in his opinion, the face could not have received scratches in passing over it. Frederick Starks corroborated this statement. Thomas Parsons, a servant at the Union Inn, St. Thomas, and Jonathan Badcock said they had seen the deceased in the skittle ground adjoining to the said Inn, on Friday the 28th ult. but he merely came in and went out again. He lodged at this house two or three months previous. Robert Snow had been acquainted with CRAPP nine years, but had not seen him since Monday week, when he parted from him at night, near the Custom-house Inn; had often heard him say he was afraid of being murdered by Thomas Wylie, a mason's labourer, with whose wife, he (deceased) cohabited. William Bennett saw Wylie on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday Wylie admitted to this witness that he had not been to bed on Saturday night. Richard Edwards had seen Wylie at the Sun, in Exeter, on Monday or Tuesday week; he then spoke of the connection of CRAPP and his wife, and said he would be d---d if he did not make a cripple of him; saw Wylie again on the next Saturday night, following his wife and a little girl up the Fore-street, with a stick in his hand, when he repeated to witness the threat he had formerly made use of. Forrester proved that CRAPP and Mrs Wylie had lodged in his house till some time in August, calling themselves Smail, and that Wylie had come and claimed his wife, who still refused to live with him. Wylie then swore that if she would have CRAPP to live with her, she should support him as a cripple, and the next morning came and broke some of witness's windows. The Coroner having dispatched his summons for the wife, Maria Wylie, she was shortly after brought in, evidently much agitated. She declared she had not seen the deceased since last Monday week. He was a tailor and worked at Mr Brunskill's shop, but she believed not very lately. When he left her, he said he was going to Mr Snow's about work, and she inquired for him there on Tuesday, when she was informed that he had left at 1 o'clock the preceding day. Saw her husband last night at her mother's house: she then asked him what he had done, and he said he had done nothing, and denied having seen CRAPP but once, for some time. Her child, a girl of about 11 years of age, was then brought in and deposed that CRAPP had left her mother's residence at about 11 o'clock on Monday week. Elizabeth Pengilly, mother of Mrs Wylie, was present at the interview between Wylie and his wife at her house, and heard him say, as he was about to drink a glass of ale, "may this be my poison if I know any thing of the man," meaning the deceased. She admitted that she had been to Wylie's mothers, where he lodged, and at the suggestion of the mother, had taken some of his clothes to the house of his sister-in-law. At the request of the Jury a constable was sent for these clothes. William Lyddon and William Woodman, surgeons, had examined the body. There were cuts on the forehead but they did not penetrate to the bone; in their opinion the body had been in the water for a week at least, but it was impossible to say how long. Death could not have been produced by the wounds in the head, and there were no marks of violence about the body. Mr Lyddon said that in falling into the water, it was possible such wounds might be inflicted by a flint, and Mr Woodman that in his opinion they were not bruises, but were produced by some cutting instrument. The clothes were then exhibited, but it appeared they were not those worn by Wylie on the night in question; and as it seems he has since absconded, it is probable were left with his sister, that he might take them with him. Another witness deposed that on Friday week he lent the deceased the knife that was found in his pocket. The Coroner, in addressing the Jury, told them that, as there was no evidence beyond the fact of threats having been used, they could not attach the crime to Wylie, ant the Jury returned the following verdict. Found Dead in the water; but how the deceased came by his death is not known to the Jury.
An Inquisition was held on Friday last, by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, at Braunton, on the body of ELIZABETH INCLEDON, aged 72, who went to bed in perfect health and was found dead in her bed the following morning. Verdict, Died by the Visitation of God.
Thursday 24 September 1829 An Inquest was held by I. Cox, Esq. at Axmouth, on Tuesday, 8th inst., on the body of JOHN HEPPLE. The evidence corroborated the melancholy statement of the unfortunate man's companion, Charles Wiltshire, who stated that he had been working at Mamhead Park, as a stonemason. The deceased was a stonemason also, and worked at the same place. Chas. Wiltshire and deceased went out together on Tuesday week, to Hill Head, they then went to Dawlish, and thence to Starcross, where they staid all night; the next morning they got into a boat, and two watermen shoved them over to Exmouth by their desire; the watermen pulled the boat up on the beach and said they were going to have something to drink, and asked witness and deceased if they would go, they said no, whilst the watermen were away the deceased said, now we'll go out and have a bathe, we shall be back again in ten minutes - deceased pushed off the boat - the wind and tide were strong, and took them a great way out before they attempted to get back again - witness pulled for about two hours to try to get on shore deceased was very sick and could not pull - it was getting on towards night, when they found they could not get in, but were still drifted out towards the ocean - witness made several signals to the boats that were out with his coat and hat on the oars, but could bring no vessel to their assistance. Deceased continued sick and very thirsty, and drank a quantity of sea water - they were drifted about and were out of sight of land till Friday. On Friday morning they saw land, and it appeared that the wind had changed and was drifting them towards the shore - witness drank about two quarts of sea water - the deceased was so sick that he was unable to sit up in the boat all the time. On Saturday morning witness took him up in his arms, and held him about half an hour, he was quite sensible, and asked him to let him lie down in the boat, which witness did, and in about a quarter of an hour he died - soon after this it blew heavy, and the waves came into the boat - it was then very rough, and witness expected to go to the bottom every minute; it continued tempestuous all the day on Saturday - the last 3 or 4 hours he stood in the middle of the boat and held by a little rope - he had to bale out the water with a broken far, the boat was frequently nearly filled, at last, about 12 o'clock at night, it was thrown on the rocks - witness then got on the rock, and crawled up the cliff - he pulled off his clothes and wrung them and put them on again, and lay in a bush till daylight and he then saw some officers of the preventive service, who had taken care of him ever since - he had picked a few berries but had had no other refreshment. The Jury returned a verdict accordingly.
Infanticide - TORRINGTON. - On Sunday the 20th September instant, an Inquest was held at Stevenstone, near Great Torrington, the seat of the Right Honorable Lord Rolle, before Francis Kingdon, Esq. Coroner for this County, on view of the body of a new-born male bastard child, of which ANN SMITH, Lord Rolle's cook, was delivered the same morning, between the hours of three and four o'clock. It appeared on the Inquest that the said ANN SMITH, who is about 25 years of age, had always been in respectable service; and having lived with Earl Howe, she, on the 4th of April last, entered on Lord Rolle's service, as cook, with an unexceptionable character, and pursued her employment with the greatest diligence up to Saturday last, without any suspicion of her being with child till the preceding day or two. Early on Sunday morning, strong suspicions were entertained that she had been delivered of a child, in consequence whereof, Mr Caddy, of Great Torrington, surgeon, was called upon to investigate the matter, and on examining her he told her she had been delivered of a child, which she admitted, but observed she had been with child only about four or five months, and that it was in the water closet, which was immediately searched, but no child could be found. Anna Plinsole, another servant in the employ of Lord Rolle, and who slept with ANN SMITH, stated that about two o'clock in the morning of Sunday the 20th inst. she awoke and found ANN SMITH out of bed; she asked her what was the matter; ANN SMITH replied "nothing;" she remained in bed till about three o'clock in the morning, when she quitted the room with a candle, and returned again at four o'clock without a candle, and came into bed apparently in great pain, holding the bedsteads with both her hands. Anna Plinsole again asked her what was the matter; she answered, "I have been dreaming." About half-past six o'clock in the morning, Anna Plinsole asked her if she had not been sick: she answered, "yes," and then desired her to tell the kitchen maid to send her up a bucket of warm water, which was not done, and the circumstances were communicated to Mrs Denslow, Lord Rolle's housekeeper; she made them known to Lord and Lady Rolle, who directed that an investigation of the matter should immediately take place. Mrs Denslow stated that she had only for a day or two suspected that ANN SMITH was in the family way. About seven o'clock on Sunday morning last, she went to ANN SMITH'S bedroom, and finding her unwell she asked her to take tea, which she refused, stating that she was going to get up. She heard a conversation which passed between Mr Caddy and ANN SMITH, about seven o'clock of this morning, and ANN SMITH say she had been delivered of a child that morning, and it was in the water closet, which she and Mr Caddy searched, but no child could be found; in consequence whereof, and by directions of Lord Rolle, a general search was made for the child, and about ten o'clock John Hooper and Grace Smale, servants in the employ of Lord Rolle, found a full grown male child remarkably stout, (wrapped in a gown belonging to ANN SMITH, and which she had worn the preceding day,) in a charcoal house near the kitchen at Stevenstone. He immediately placed the child before Mr Caddy, for examination, who accordingly examined it, and found a wound one inch in length and about two inches in depth, on the left side of the lower part of the neck, and an appearance of a ligature or cord having been tied around the neck, and a fracture of the skull. He opened the body and found on examining the wound, it had the appearance of being made with a sharp pointed instrument, which had divided the carotid artery; the lungs he found in a healthy state, and had been inflated. He was of opinion the child was born alive. On dividing the scalp there was some coagulated blood on the skull, and a fracture on the upper part of the left parietal bone about an inch in length. He thought the death of the child was occasioned by the wound in the neck. Lord Rolle and another magistrate, attended the Inquest, who gave every facility to the investigation. It appeared in evidence that ANN SMITH had received great kindness and attention as well from Lord and Lady Rolle, as from her fellow servants. ANN SMITH stated that she would not discover the putative father of the child but she made a declaration that it was not any of Lord Rolle's servants, but it was some person in London with whom she had been long acquainted and by whom she had a child about two years old. After the Coroner had summed up the evidence, the Jury retired for a few minutes' and returned a verdict of "Wilful Murder" against the said ANN SMITH.
Thursday 1 October 1829 An Inquest was held on Thursday last, by Thos. Copner, Esq. Coroner, at Instow, on the body of JOHN FURZE, aged two years and half, whose clothes accidentally caught fire, and he was so dreadfully burnt as to cause his death in about an hour after. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 8 October 1829 EXETER - An Inquest was held on Tuesday evening last, at the Anchor public-house, Castle-street, before S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, for the city, to inquire into the cause of the death of JOSEPH SMALE, an infant three months old, whose widowed mother resides in Coffin's Place, and had that morning found it dead in bed with her; when the Jury returned a verdict of Died in a Fit of the Cramp.
PLYMOUTH - Coroner's Inquest. - On Sunday last an Inquest was held at the Barbican House, before R. J. Squire, Esq. Coroner, on the body of WILLIAM HENRY HARCOMBE, the well-known "Governor" of the Barbican, who fell overboard from the deck of the Providence, Jersey trader, in which he was employed as a glut tidewaiter. He was a freeman of this borough, and has left a widow and daughter. Upon viewing the body, and an examination of evidence, the Jury brought in a verdict of "Accidental Death."
APPLEDORE - On Sunday last, a young man called WILLIAM PIM, shipped on board the brig Shepherdess, Cap. Turner, lying off the New Quay, in attempting to get on board by means of a chain cable, about ten o'clock at night unfortunately let go his hold, and dropped into the tide, and though there was not above five feet of water, he was drowned. The body was picked up about an hour after, and the usual means resorted to for restoring suspended animation, but in vain. F. Kingdon, Esq. Coroner, and a very respectable Jury, held an Inquest on the body, by whom it was ascertained that the deceased had been previously drinking to excess. The Coroner expatiated to the witnesses on the evil of drunkenness, a vice to which sailors were especially addicted: and the Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death by drowning through Drinking to Excess."
On Saturday last an Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner at the house of Mr Joce, at Hall, in the parish of Swymbridge, on the body of JAMES BRAYLEY, his servant man, whose death had occurred in the following manner. About one o'clock the preceding day, Samuel Yeo, a rat-catcher, having a gun in his hand, called at the door, and the family being at dinner, he was invited in and partook of their hospitality; when dinner was ended, the deceased JAMES BRAYLEY, and his fellow servant, W. Reed, repaired to the cider house to attend the cheese, whither Yeo accompanied them, and placed his gun on the ground near the door whilst he lent his assistance in pressing the cheese: this being done, Yeo took up his gun to depart, when it instantly went off, and lodged its whole contents in the back part of the head of JAMES BRAYLEY, causing his immediate death. The unfortunate occurrence was purely accidental, and the Jury pronounced a verdict accordingly. The Gun, which was a very bad one, was forfeited as a deodand.
Thursday 15 October 1829 On Wednesday last, a labouring man called JOHN ROTTENBURY, whilst sitting in a public-house at Martinhoe, was suddenly taken ill, and very soon after expired. An Inquest was held on the body the day following by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, who returned a Verdict of - "Died by the Visitation of God."
Thursday 29 October 1829 On Monday last, an Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, at Kentisbury, on the body of ANN BARROW, aged eighteen months, who, when at play with other children, fell into a running stream of water and was drowned. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 5 November 1829 An Inquest was held on Tuesday last, by J. Partridge, Esq. Coroner, of Tiverton, at Indylake Farm, in the parish of Knowstone, on the body of MR JOHN FOLLETT, aged 77, who was discovered by a neighbour extended on the floor of the barn where he had been threshing, a corpse. His two grandchildren had left him but a few minutes before, apparently in good health. Verdict - Visitation of God.
Atrocious Murder, at Roborough, near Torrington - On Thursday last, a man of the name of GEORGE CUDMORE, and a woman called Sarah Dunn, both of the parish of Roborough, were committed to Exeter Gaol, charged with the Wilful Murder of GRACE, the wife of the said GEORGE CUDMORE. The deceased was seized on Wednesday the 14th of October last, in a very strange manner, with a violent sickness and a burning heat in her stomach, which in a few days terminated in her death. No suspicion was excited or expressed till after her funeral, when reports were circulated that her death had been occasioned by poison. These reports reaching the ears of Henry Hole, Esq. a Magistrate, he ordered the body to be disinterred, and an examination to be taken before some medical men, by whom a quantity of arsenic was found in her stomach. An Inquest was held on the body on Wednesday last, before Francis Kingdon, Esq. Coroner, and from the evidence that was then adduced, it appeared that GEORGE CUDMORE was a labouring man, with whom Grace Dunn resided as a lodger, between whom and the said GEORGE CUDMORE, an improper intimacy subsisted. Jane, the wife of William Trigger, an evidence before the Jury, who resided under the same roof with the prisoners, deposed that disputes frequently occurred between the male prisoner and the deceased, in consequence of the jealousy of the latter in reference to the female prisoner, Dunn: that on a certain day within three weeks previous to the decease of his wife, on account of a quarrel between the parties, CUDMORE swore with a very heavy oath that within three weeks she should never see his face again. Deceased desired witness to take notice of these words, in case any thing should happen to her or her husband. On Wednesday the 14th of October, the deceased was taken ill, when her husband boiled some herbs, and gave her the infusion, on taking which she began vomiting, and nothing would afterwards remain on her stomach; an apothecary of Dolton was called in, who bled the deceased under an impression that her disorder was pleurisy. Deceased lingered, till the morning of Monday the 19th, when she expired. During her illness, she frequently reminded witness of the awful threat uttered by her husband, and even with her last breath impressed the recollection on her memory. Sarah Dunn made the following confession: that CUDMORE had had the poison in the house for several weeks, and had intended to have administered it a month previously; he had put some poison in his wife's tea, which caused her sickness; for which the Doctor sent her some powders to take: when CUDMORE asked his wife if she did not think she could take them better if they were made up into pills; she replied she thought she could; when he made some pills of the arsenic, and gave her one which caused her death. CUDMORE, on hearing of the confession of Dunn, did not deny the charge, but said she was as guilty as he was; for she had long pressed him to get some "trade" to put his wife out of the way; and after he had procured it he delivered it to Dunn, who, when any dispute arose between them, threatened to take it herself. On a day when they were digging potatoes they fell out, and he insisted on her delivering it to him, which she did. The Jury thought CUDMORE had been instigated by Dunn to the commission of the crime, and returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against both. The woman Dunn has had four illegitimate children, and report says she is now with child by the prisoner CUDMORE.
Thursday 12 November 1829 An Inquest was held on Tuesday before S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, upon the body of an infant named YHEO, whose parents reside in the Butcherow, and who met its death by going from its bed to the fire, in the absence of its mother, who had gone to fetch water for breakfast from the conduit.
Sudden Death - On Thursday morning last, ANN RENDALL, servant to Mr Goman, Builder, of Pilton, not coming down stairs at her usual time, one of the family repaired to her lodging room, to which she had retired the previous evening in perfectly good health, to enquire the cause; where she was found in her bed a corpse. She was about 28 years of age, and had lived in the family, by whom she was much respected, 17 years. The Coroner's Inquest returned a verdict of "Apoplexy."
Thursday 19 November 1829 EXETER - On Saturday last, an Inquest was taken at the Duke of York public-house, St. Sidwell, before S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, on the body of MARY TUCKER, a widow, aged 51, found dead in her bed that morning. Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
Coroner's Inquest - Guildhall, TIVERTON - After a laborious and most patient examination of witnesses, about fifty in number, continued by repeated adjournments, the Coroner, James Partridge, Esq. submitted to the Jury empannelled to enquire concerning the death of RICHARD ALLAN, late of the parish of Bickleigh, thatcher, his views of the evidence which had been adduced, when after some consideration the following verdict was returned - "That the deceased was found dead in the water of the river Exe above Exe-bridge, in the town and parish of Tiverton. That there are seventeen wounds and bruises on and about the head of the deceased, but how, and by what means the deceased came by his death, no evidence thereof appears to the Jurors."
EXETER - A fatal and melancholy occurrence took place on Saturday, at Heaville Barton, in the parish of Rew, about 15 miles from this city on the Tiverton road. This farm is occupied by a respectable family of the name of WARE, one of whom, MR ROBERT WARE, about 28 years of age, has laboured under aberration of mind to an extent at times requiring his being placed under restraint: unfortunately on Saturday he was at large and possessing himself of a loaded gun repaired to the Dairy of the farm rented by JOHN HOLMAN, and entering the house found MARY HOLMAN, the wife, stooping over a meal hutch, into whose side he discharged the contents of the piece, the slugs going through her body, causing portions of the entrails to protrude on the contrary side, and killing her on the spot. The unfortunate woman is the mother of four children. Mr Partridge, one of the Coroners for Devon and 17 of the most respectable yeomen of the neighbourhood, impannelled as a Jury, were occupied eleven hours on Monday last investigating the cause of the melancholy occurrence. A great number of witnesses were examined by the Coroner as perfectly to identify R. Ware as the agent of the death of MARY HOLMAN, and were subsequently, together with Dr Blackall, of this city, and Mr Hole, of Silverton, surgeon, examined by Mr W. Tripp, who attended on behalf of the prisoner, as to his state of mind, when it appeared that he was insane in May last, and he then was, and had been for a fortnight previously, afflicted in a similar manner; and unanimously agreed to the verdict that the deceased came by her death by the hands of R. Ware, he labouring at the time under a fit of Insanity.
Thursday 10 December 1829 On Saturday, an Inquest was held by Jams Partridge Esq. one of the Coroners of this county, on the body of FREDERICK STRONG, of Crediton, aged about eight years, whose death was occasioned by falling on some working tools in his father's work shop (whilst playing with his little brothers), by which his skull was fractured in a most shocking manner which caused his death. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 17 December 1829 An Inquest was taken on Tuesday at the Wynard's Hospital, Magdalene-street, in this city, before S. Walkey, Esq., Coroner, on view of the body of JOHN JOHNSON, 84 years of age, an inmate thereof, who on the preceding evening had been found dead, immersed in the soil of the common privy of the Institution. It appeared on Enquiry that the deceased had been subject to fits, and the probability being that in one of them he had fallen in, a verdict was returned accordingly.
Thursday 24 December 1829 On Friday last, an Inquest was held by Thomas Copner, Esq. Coroner, on the body of RICHARD HUXTABLE, at Chittlehampton; the deceased was upwards of seventy years old, and had only one leg; on leaving his room in the morning, he unfortunately fell from the top to the bottom of the stairs, which caused his death.
Thursday 31 December 1829 An Inquest was held by Isaac Cox, Esq. Coroner, at Sidford, on the 14th instant, on the body of WILLIAM HARRIS, a parish apprentice, in the service of Mr Richard Tripe, of Sidford, farmer. From the evidence, it appeared that, on the morning of the 11th inst. Mr Tripe had sent the deceased to see some bullocks that were depasturing at some distance from the farm - that on his way he called at a neighbouring farm house, and prevailed on the farmer's son to accompany him - and, on returning, went into the house, and ate some bread and cheese that he had brought in his pocket. The farmer's son (in the absence of his father and mother) fetched a wine glass full of distilled cider, drank half of it himself, and gave the remainder to the deceased, who drank the greater part of it and instantly fell senseless from his seat; he was taken to an adjoining room and laid on some straw, and covered up, he appeared as if sound asleep, and every effort to arouse him was fruitless. He was taken to his master's house about 9 o'clock in the evening, and put to bed, where he lay in the same state till towards the morning, when he began to recover a little and complained of thirst and asked for some water to drink; some tea was given him; and, on his requesting to have some water, his master gave him some chilled. He continued better and got up, and after some little time went into the barn, and remained there the greater part of the forenoon; he again complained of thirst and said he felt ill: nourishment was given him, and a surgeon sent for, but he died before the arrival of the surgeon. Two surgeons attended the investigation: they stated that they had examined the body, and were of opinion, from the contents of the stomach, that the death of the deceased had been caused by drinking ardent spirits: and the Jury returned their verdict accordingly.
At Ottery East Hill, on the 21st inst. on the body of ELIZABETH ANN ACKLAND, aged 4 years, daughter of ABRAHAM ACKLAND, labourer. On Thursday, the 17th, the mother of the deceased went into the garden adjoining the dwelling-house leaving the deceased and two other children by the fire, the eldest of whom was six years old; she had not been absent above a minute or two before the eldest child came running out screeching, and told her that the deceased was on fire. She instantly ran into the house and wrapped an apron round her, and extinguished the fire: a surgeon was also sent for, who administered to her necessities, but the deceased died on the following day. Verdict, Accidental Death.
Thursday 28 January 1830 EXETER - Dreadful Accident - We have the painful duty to record one of the most melancholy catastrophes that we ever remember to have occurred. On Friday last, MR LIPSCOMBE, proprietor of the Public Rooms at Teignmouth, with MR JOSEPH PONSFORD, his nephew, a young man about eighteen years of age, came to this city on business, in one of MR LIPSCOMBE'S chaises, and after being engaged throughout the day, left at half-past eight o'clock in the evening, on their return home. As they were not expected at any particular hour, their absence at night, or on the following morning, did not excite any uneasiness in MR L'S family; and at eleven in the forenoon of Saturday the horrid fact was ascertained of their having perished, together with the driver of the chaise, and two valuable horses, between Starcross and the Warren, in consequence of the high tide and darkness of the night. Neither of the party having escaped, to tell the sad and mournful tale, we have only conjecture on which to found it; but it is presumed that the coachman, while going the under road, across the sands, from Starcross, and when a little beyond the residence of General St. Leger, mistook the light of a ship for the turnpike light, and inadvertently got into deep water, where, as the tide was drifting strong, and the wind rather high, the vehicle was in an instant overwhelmed. What led to the discovery was the appearance of the tail of one of the horses floating above water, which being grey, was mistaken for a swan by a man out shooting. On finding what it was however, he procured the assistance of three boats, and after some difficulty the chaise was raised, and the bodies of MR LIPSCOMBE and his nephew found inside, quite dead; that of the driver had washed away, and from the tide rapidly ebbing at the time, little hope is entertained that it will be recovered. To account for the situation of the horse, it appears that the chaise lay on its back, with the pole elevated, and that, during the struggling of the animals, the grey horse, being the most powerful of the two, had got the other under, and became so entangled in the harness as to remain in that position. the bodies were removed to the Courtenay Arms, Starcross, where an Inquest was held on Sunday, before J. Gribble, Esq. of Ashburton, one of the Coroners for the county, and a verdict returned corresponding with the circumstances. The blinds of the chaise having both been closed, it cannot be said whether these unfortunate individuals died by suffocation or by drowning; but the glass behind having been broken by the grappling iron, the chaise completely filled then, if not before. On examining the watches of the deceased, it was seen that one stopped at eleven and the other at half-past; the chaise sustained not the slightest injury. MR LIPSCOMBE was about forty-two years of age, and has left a disconsolate widow, and a young family of six children, to lament his premature and awful death; his nephew was on a visit to his house, for a few days.
On Wednesday last, an Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a little girl, about three years old, daughter of FARMER HOLMAN, in the parish of Westleigh, whose death was occasioned by sipping some tea from the spout of a tea-pot, just as her mother had poured the boiling water into it. Verdict accordingly.
Thursday 25 February 1830 On Monday evening a poor man named PHILIP MADGE, labourer, of Westleigh, was drowned in a small lake that runs through Southcott Marsh; a little bridge or plank crosses the stream, and owing to the darkness of the night he slipt off. The poor man was just returned from Truro, where he had been to see his son, and he left Bideford in company with two men, but as they walked faster than he did, he desired one of them to carry his bundle for him, and to tell his wife that he should be home in half an hour. A Coroner's Inquest sat on the body this morning, who returned a Verdict accordingly.
Thursday 8 April 1830 SOUTHMOLTON - On Saturday last, a Coroner's Inquest was taken by James Pearce, Esq. Mayor, on the body of GEORGE TREBLE, gardener, of this town, who hung himself in the stairs leading to his bedroom, on the night of Thursday; his wife being absent, he was alone in the house, and his door not being opened at a late hour on Friday morning, some of his neighbours were induced to examine the cause, when they found him suspended as before stated. Verdict, "Hung himself in a fit of Insanity, caused by Intoxication."
Thursday 15 April 1830 EXETER - A melancholy accident occurred on Wednesday night, which deprived a wife of her husband, and five children of their father, by the death of WM. NEAL, a carter, in the employ of Mr Clench, of the New London Inn, who was returning with a load of hay from Whimple; the horses started in descending the hill near Summerland place, and on his running to stop them his foot slipped and the wheel passed over his body. He was taken to the Hospital where he died in about a quarter of an hour. An Inquest was held on the body on Thursday, and the Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.
EXETER - Sudden Death - At twelve o'clock on Thursday night, the neighbourhood of Westgate was alarmed by the cry of murder, proceeding from the dwelling of a labouring man named HODGE. The landlady of the house proceeded up stairs and found JOSEPH HODGE lying on the floor, and on attempting to raise him she cried out "why the man's dead," and called his wife who was sitting on a box with her infant child in her lap. The wife exclaimed, "then I have lost the best friend I ever had in the world." It appears that the mother of the deceased and his wife had been quarrelling, and it was rumoured that he received a blow in the abdomen whilst endeavouring to keep the latter from attacking his mother. The body, however, exhibited no external marks of violence, and the man who has been long ill is stated to have been subject to frequent attacks of the cramp and had an apoplectic seizure on Thursday in the Corn Market. Norton and Sanders, constables, were in the neighbourhood, and immediately apprehended the wife. Mr Lyddon, the surgeon, was called in, but the vital spark had fled. The deceased was a remarkably fine made man and aged 28. The wife is called DINAH HODGE, and is generally known by the name of Diny Clampit - the mother, husband, and wife had been drinking together, and were much intoxicated. On Friday evening an Inquest was held on the body, when the Jury returned a verdict that the deceased died by the Visitation of God.
INQUESTS HELD BY ISAAC COX, ESQ. - At the King's Arms Inn, Ottery St. Mary, on the 24th ult. on the body of SARAH PRIDDIS, aged 67, a lunatic pauper, residing in the poor-house of that parish, who died on the 14th and was buried on the 21st; but, in consequence of information received from several individuals as to the cause of the death of the deceased, the Coroner felt it necessary to have the body disinterred. On the investigation, the following facts were elicited:- Deceased, who was of a nervous irritable habit and subject to temporary nervous fevers, was riding with Eliz. Harding, one of her sisters, at Ottery, in July last, receiving from the Overseers 2s. per week; she was at this time in as good health as might be expected from the nature of her constitution and her advanced age; and was considered to be a very cleanly careful woman. She was enabled to earn a small pittance (about 1 ½d. a day) at making lace; and on the Overseers hearing of this, they reduced her pay to 1s. per week. The deceased, finding she could not subsist upon this sum, applied to the Select Vestry for her regular pay, viz. 2s. per week, which they refused to give, and referred her to a neighbouring farmer, who, they said, would give her employment in his fields; but it was shewn that she had been past this employment for some years. Upon finding the Committee would not give her pay, she ran out of the Vestry, as if in despair, into the Church, and fell away in a fit; she recovered, and was taken home to her sisters'. The deprivation she suffered in consequence of the loss of her pay and in being obliged to sell several articles of her clothing, is supposed to have preyed upon her mind, thereby increasing her naturally nervous temperament, till at length ended in insanity. Several solicitations were made to the Committee by her sister for additional relief, in consequence of the illness, but without effect; and the poor woman finding that she was unable to provide for the deceased, made an application for her admittance into the workhouse. Another sister, however, (MARY FOWLER) removed the deceased to her house, where she remained several weeks in a most deplorable state, her poor friends sitting up by her by day and night. For the first three weeks the Overseers allowed 1s. per week and afterwards 2s., but this being so small she was compelled to pawn all the things belonging to the deceased; when this source was exhausted and also her own means, the deceased was again taken home to Elizabeth Harding's where her malady increased, and after remaining there about a week, was conveyed to the workhouse; where, in a little more than 6 weeks, death put a period to her sufferings. On examining into the treatment the deceased had received at the workhouse, it appeared that she had been confined alone in a room without fire and candle, the greater part of the window boarded up, part of the glass of the window broken, and that she died alone. It also appeared, that the deceased complained of the mistress of the workhouse having beaten her, which fact was substantiated by one of the inmates who had heard the stripes and the screeches of the deceased. Persons in the neighbourhood also spoke to the screams of the deceased to be let out, for her friends, &c., and of children mocking her. It appeared that the poor in this workhouse are farmed out to the governess at the following rates:- for an able bodied person, (of which there are 9) 2s. 6d. each; 2 bed liers, 2s. 9d. each; 3 insane persons, 5s. each; for the deceased she was allowed 3s. 6d., for the last two weeks 4s., the gentlemen would not allow more. The governess was further allowed 12s. per week to find coals, soap, candles, and all other necessaries, including the wear and tear of furniture of the house, except bed and bedding, and except wine in sickness; and that for waking, 6d. per night was allowed. The master of the workhouse is a labourer in the employ of the Rev. Mr Elliott, except one day a week, which he devotes to the business of the workhouse. The body, on disinterment, exhibited a shocking spectacle, being extremely emaciated, and ashes having been substituted in the coffin for bran. the Jury occupied all the day in the investigation when the foreman returned a verdict of Natural Death. The Coroner expressed himself in terms of strong disapprobation of the conduct of the Vestry and Parish Officers, in consequence of a notice on the workhouse door prohibiting any one to enter except by order of the Select. The Coroner said he should consider it as a prison, and hold Inquests on all persons who died there.
Another Case of Pauper Lunatics. - At Ottery St. Mary, on the 27th ult., on the body of SARAH CAWLEY, widow, aged 79, a pauper of that parish and residing in the workhouse. The deceased was dropsical, and had been under the occasional care of a surgeon for some time. Thursday morning, the 25th, she was taken suddenly ill, and died in a few minutes. Verdict - Natural Death. The Coroner expressed himself satisfied that the deceased had had proper care and attention. The Coroner inspected the state of the lunatic paupers, and found 2 men and 1 woman confined by chains to their beds in the same room, with only a slight partition between them. He pointed out the illegality of this proceeding, without the sanction of the Justices, since the 9th Geo. 4th.
Thursday 29 April 1830 Inquest - On Tuesday last, an Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq., Coroner, on the body of MR JOHN HEDDON, at Braunton, who resided in a house alone, and not appearing at his usual hour in the morning, some of his friends burst open the door, when he was discovered lying on the stairs, with his head on the floor, quite dead, and it was evident that on his retiring to rest the preceding evening, he fell backward over the stairs, and received such a violent concussion in his head as to cause his death. Verdict - Accidental Death.
BIDEFORD - On Friday a girl named GRIFFEY, about 14 years of age, fell over the Quay in Mr Burnard's yard, and was drowned. She was picked up by her father nearly opposite Mr Wickham's house. An Inquest was held on the body. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Suicide - On Thursday last, MR COLLY of Hedgery, in the parish of Hartland, destroyed himself by cutting his throat with a razor: he had been considered insane some time before. The Jury returned a verdict accordingly.
Thursday 6 May 1830 Manslaughter and Attempt at Suicide at Uffculm - We stated in our last the circumstances relative to this unfortunate affair. The name of the man committed the rash deeds was CHURLEY. SWEETLAND the constable, or tything man is dead. An Inquest was taken before I. Cox, Esq. Coroner, on the body of SWEETLAND, on Saturday last, and a verdict of manslaughter was returned against Churley; but he is not expected to recover the effects of his own wounds.
Thursday 13 May 1830 PLYMOUTH - We are sorry to have to announce the death of five individuals of H.M.S. Britomart. On Wednesday afternoon, between the hours of one and two, MR CHARLES FRANKLYN (son of MR THOMAS FRANKLYN, Devonport) a volunteer of the second class, was ordered to proceed in the second gig with four men to Long Room Point, to bring off the officers on share to dinner. What became of the boat and crew from that hour until 3 o'clock has not been ascertained; the last time she was seen from the ship was near Drake's Island, when making for the point. At 3 o'clock she was seen near Mount Edgecumbe, apparently in distress, by a private of the 73rd on Drake's Island; and shortly after various objects were seen by him and a fellow soldier floating on the water, which in about 20 minutes disappeared, with the exception of the object of greatest bulk. This proved to be the gig itself, which was approached by a boat with two men, belonging to the Breakwater light vessel; they found a man in her, with his feet and knees in the hollow of the boat, and his head hanging over the middle into the water. The body was taken on board the Undaunted, in Barn Pool, and every effort was tried to restore animation, without avail. A Coroner's Inquest was held at Stonehouse on Friday evening, and a verdict of - "Found Drowned, but by what means is not known" - was returned. this individual's name was W. GILES; the bodies of the four other sufferers have not yet been found. MR C. FRANKLYN was a fine spirited youth; and his melancholy end has thrown his family into the deepest distress.
Thursday 20 May 1830 On Friday last, an Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, at Pilton, on the body of ELIZABETH PARMINTER, aged 70, who previously in the possession of perfect health, complained to her husband of a sudden pain in her head, and in a few minutes afterwards expired. Verdict, Died by the Visitation of God.
Suicide - On Monday evening last, about half-past six o'clock MR JOHN HODGE, son of the late MR MATTHEW HODGE, of East Ashford, who has for some considerable time past discovered much depression of spirits, and occasional aberrations of mind, retired to his lodging room, and with a razor cut his throat from ear to ear; the servant, who kept a vigilant eye upon him, came into his room at the moment he was committing the fatal act, as he stood before a mirror, but too late to prevent the deed. To a relative who hastened to him on hearing the appalling account, and who was endeavouring to administer assistance, he said, "the tender thread is cut, let me die," and in thirty minutes after the infliction of the wound, he was a corpse. Coroner's Verdict - Insanity.
Thursday 27 May 1830 TORRINGTON - An Inquest was held on Sunday last at Merton, before Francis Kingdon, Esq. on the body of a child named JONAS MITCHELL, which lost its life the preceding day by falling into a well. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 3 June 1830 Suicide - On Monday last, MARY ACKLAND, an apprentice girl to Mr John Comer, of Smithapath, in the parish of Loxhore, committed this fatal act. Mrs Comer, the mother of the girl's master, who resided with him, had been robbed of monies, which she had deposited in a chest of drawers in her lodging room, and circumstances transpired which attached suspicion to this girl, who at length confessed that she was the thief; which in all probability, led to the awful catastrophe. On the day above named, one of the domestics turned a horse into a field nearly adjoining the house, and threw its halter down beside the gate, which the girl meeting with, repaired to the ash-house, an outbuilding, and there suspended herself in it to a beam, where she was discovered a corpse. The following day an Inquest was held on the body by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, who returned a verdict of "Destroyed herself in a fit of Temporary Insanity."
Thursday 22 July 1830 On Sunday morning last, a farmer called JOHN PINCOMBE, of the parish of Bishopsnympton, was found in the road leading from Southmolton to the former place, near the end of the road which leads to Gristone, quite dead. He had been at the Market the preceding day, and stopt there rather late, and it is concluded that on returning towards his home his horse threw him, and that his death was the unfortunate result. An Inquest was held on the body before T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, whose verdict was accordingly.
Thursday 29 July 1830 On Friday last, a woman called MARY WOOD, an inhabitant of Loxbeer, who had been on a visit to her niece at Rackenford Turnpike Gate, took leave of her relative to return home; nothing more was heard of her till the Monday evening following, when ---Sillifant, Esq., who was fishing in the brook that runs through his plantations at Cruwyshay, attended by his footman, discovered the body in the water; it was instantly removed in the Bell Inn, at Rackenford, to be submitted to a Coroner's Inquest; but no evidence can be found whether her death was the effect of accident or premeditation.
Thursday 12 August 1830 EXETER - Inquest at the Cavalry Barracks. - An Inquest was held on Thursday evening, before S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, on the body of JAMES FAREWEATHER, aged 24,who was found hanging the same morning, about 11 o'clock, in the sadler's shop. The Jury after viewing the body, and hearing the evidence, without hesitation returned a verdict that "The Deceased strangled himself when in a fit of Temporary Derangement."
Thursday 2 September 1830 Fatal Accident - About the middle of the day on Friday last, after having determined some by-matches on the race-course on Haldon, as MR JAMES CORNISH, of Bickham farm, Kenn, was, with others, on his return, but had not cleared the Common, the pony on which he was riding at a smart pace, went down with great force, and rolling over its rider, he sustained such serious injury that, though without a bone being broken, he expired the following morning at 7 o'clock, never having spoken from the time of the accident occurring. The pony is not materially injured, and it is not a little singular was the winning horse the preceding day, having been ridden in a match by Mr James Day. An Inquest was taken on the body of MR CORNISH, on Sunday, when a verdict of Accidental Death was returned. The deceased had attained his 44th year, and has left a wife and several children.
Thursday 9 September 1830 An Inquest was held by I. Cox, Esq. on the 29th ult. at Stone Farm, in Thorverton, on the body of MR W. HAWKINS, of that parish, dairyman, aged 60 years, who on the Thursday previous was found lying in the road, leading from his house to Thorverton town in an apoplectic fit. He was immediately taken home, and medical assistance procured, but he survived only a few hours. Verdict - Natural Death.
Sudden Death - On Tuesday, a man of the parish of Braunton, called PHILIP LAMPREY, about thirty years of age, in perfect health, was at work with a horse and cart; some time in the afternoon, a person passing the spot of his labour, discovered him lying in the road, a corpse. It is supposed his death was the effect of an apoplectic seizure. The Coroner is gone this day to hold an Inquest on the body.
Thursday 23 September 1830 An Inquest was held on Thursday last, by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a man named PHILIP LOCK, of Ilfracombe, who whilst going to the cupboard for a bottle of vinegar, dropped down and expired instantly. Verdict, Divine Visitation.
Thursday 30 September 1830 PLYMOUTH - An accident occurred on Friday morning last at Oreston, which although attended with the loss of one life, might have been productive of still more fatal consequences. It appears that although often cautioned to the contrary, a number of men employed in the Breakwater work at Oreston, are in the constant habit of proceeding across Catwater in small boats so deeply laden as to place their lives in imminent danger. On the morning in question 16 men (besides the waterman) proceeded across in a boat under the circumstances alluded to, and had safely reached the Quay at Oreston, when the boat striking against some projected piece of timber, immediately capsized and precipitated the whole party into the water. An alarm was instantly raised and several persons proceeded to their assistance. Mr Osborne, superintendant of the work, succeeded in saving seven himself, and all were picked up with the exception of two. Boat-hooks were then procured and the body of one, Richard Weeks, was found after 12 minutes' stay under water. Three minutes after the body of the other man, WILLIAM MILLMAN was dragged up. They were both taken into Mr Osborne's house and every effort was made to restore animation. In the space of an hour and a half Weeks recovered, but all means were ineffectual in the case of the other. Dr Roberts, of Plymouth, and Dr Jones, of Plymstock, were in attendance, and were unremitting in their attentions to the two sufferers. An Inquest was held on the same day by Mr A. B. Bone, Coroner, on view of the body of the deceased, when the Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Thursday 7 October 1830 EXETER - Death - On Saturday, at the old Cavalry Barracks, adjoining this city, aged 68, MRS ANN CRAWFORD; with her husband, the barrack sergeant, she has been resident there for many years, and with him held in respect by all the inhabitants of this city who have known them, as well as (it is believed) by the officers and non commissioned officers of the various regiments and corps that have been stationed there. For some years, they have been the lessees of the Canteen; and some circumstances connected with the contemplated removal from which is supposed to have preyed on her mind, and led, on the day already named, to self destruction, by cutting her throat with a dessert knife. An Inquest was held on Sunday morning, when a verdict of having destroyed herself while labouring under Temporary Insanity was returned.
Thursday 28 October 1830 EXETER - Frightful Accident. - A Man named COUSINS, whilst employed in painting the front of Mrs Pinhey's house, Bridge-street, in this city, on Tuesday, unfortunately fell from the scaffold and was killed on the spot. A Coroner's Inquest returned a verdict of Accidental Death, with a deodand of 10s. on the ladder.
Thursday 4 November 1830 TORRINGTON - An Inquest was held at Dolton a few days ago, before Francis Kingdon, Esq., on the body of MR JOHN HODGE, who put a period to his existence by cutting his throat with a razor. The Jury returned a verdict of "Insanity."
Thursday 11 November 1830 PLYMOUTH - Cruel and Unnatural Murder. - An Inquest was held at the Workhouse, last Monday, before Mr A. Bone, Coroner, on view of the bodies of JOHN FOWELL, aged 6, and WM. FOWELL, aged 9, who, it was strongly suspected, had been murdered by their mother, MARY FOWELL, wife of a sawyer in the Dock-yard, who resides in William-street, Morice-Town. William Morrish ( a child of the age of ten years and six months), was the first witness examined. He lived with his father in the same house with MRS FOWELL. On Friday evening last, deponent went into MRS FOWELL'S room, to play cards with the deceased. Their mother was in the room at the time; she was occupied in reading the Bible, and at intervals talked to herself. At the time they were at cards, deponent's brother and two little boys came into the room. MRS FOWELL went to a cupboard, and taking out a hatchet, threatened to chop them down if they did not go out. When he left the room to go home, MRS FOWELL desired her children to bid him "good night," or "good bye" - a circumstance which to his recollection never occurred before. Next morning he went to MRS FOWELL'S to enquire what o'clock it was; did not see his playmates. There were two beds in the apartment, one a bureau-bed, and the other a large bed. The former was down, and as soon as he asked MRS F. what the clock was, she went over to this bed, and began making it up. On the large bed he saw a white sheet hanging like a curtain, which prevented the bedding from being seen. MRS F. had often told him that JOHN and WILLIAM slept in the little bed; he never saw the white sheet over the big bed in the manner above stated. William Honeycombe is a sawyer in H.M. Dockyard, and works with the father of the deceased. One of the two children used generally to bring their father his breakfast, but on the Saturday morning MRS FOWELL, whom deponent had not seen in the yard for months, came in with it herself. After exchanging a few words. MRS F. said that both the children were dead. Her husband asked what nonsense she was talking about; she again repeated they were. If they were, MR F. said, she must have killed them. She replied that never a woman killed children. He told her to make haste home and he would follow directly. He then went to put on his clothes, and in the mean time deponent asked MRS F. whether the children had for any time been ill. She replied they had been so all night, and that it was towards morning they died: they had both died suddenly, she said, and children, he knew, often died suddenly. She wished he could prevail on her husband to remain where he was, for it was of no use for him to go out; and if he only told her where Mr Garland lived, she would go and bespeak the coffins. She also requested his assistance on the following day to bury them, for, said she, we want to put them out of the way as soon as we can. During all this time MRS FOWELL'S countenance kept altering; her lips changed from a pale to a "besom" colour - she seemed extremely agitated. On Friday night, FOWELL kept watch with deponent in the Dock Yard. Mary Willcocks lives in the same house with MRS FOWELL. Saw her on Friday morning, as well as the children, who appeared in good health. Does not think MRS F. has been in her right mind during the time she has known her. On Saturday morning MR and MRS FOWELL called at her shop. MR F. asked her whether she had seen the children; she replying in the negative, he desired her to go up stairs with him. MRS F. did not say any thing until she was asked to go up first, she then said, in a perfectly unconcerned manner: "Well, I'll go with you." On entering the room did not see the sheet (described by Wm. Morrish) on the large bed; the usual bedding was on it. When the covering of the bed was taken down, deponent saw the two children lying dead, on their backs, with their heads on different pillows. They seemed to have been dead for hours. She saw no other signs of violence upon them, but the mark of a finger-nail on JOHN FOWELL'S neck - she was, however, too much "hurried" at the sight, to take exact notice. All seemed regular in the room. She asked MRS F. why she did not call her when the children were about to die? MRS F. replied that it would have been of no use. Deponent then enquired when they died, and MRS F. answered "at four o'clock." She added that they had groaned almost all night, and at four o'clock the Almighty had taken the breath out of them. The room, she said, had been surrounded by angels all night. In her treatment of the children, MRS F. was sometimes kind, and sometimes, without any assignable cause, the contrary. Thomas Crossing, surgeon, was next sworn, and detailed, at considerable length, the external appearance of the children, and the corroborative conclusions drawn from the dissection of the bodies. The child JOHN was lying on his back; the sides of the face and neck, as well as the under-surface of the body, presented a livid appearance; there was a livid circle round the neck, and where this passed over the windpipe; there was a spot about the size of a nail, which was more discoloured than the rest. He had no doubt that JOHN FOWELL died from suffocation. He then described the symptoms presented by WILLIAM, who must have suffered a severe and cruel struggle. He had no doubt that WILLIAM FOWELL also died from suffocation by strangling. Mr Crossing subsequently stated that when he asked the mother how the children came by these marks, she replied that they were noisy and would not go to sleep, - so she took a cane and beat them. They groaned a great deal; at 3 they seemed better, but at 4 the breath went out of them. It was a good thing for poor people when their children died; her husband was very foolish to cry about it, he should have been very glad; besides, he allowed her very little for their support. Ambrose Nosworthy, constable, went to MRS F'S house; saw her on a chest talking about measuring the children for coffins; she appeared to him out of her mind. He asked her when they died, and she replied at four o'clock. Sometime afterwards she told him they died a natural death - and that people said she had murdered them. On asking her how they came by those marks round their necks, she replied they died very much convulsed and the marks proceeded from their frills. the mark on the front of the throat of JOHN must have proceeded from the button, she supposed. Richard Ellis, constable, asked her when they died and who was present? She replied at four o'clock; there was no person with her, for poor people could not afford to have persons about them. She believed they died in a fit. She also stated that when their father was at home they slept in the little bed, but when he was at watch in the yard, she put them in the large bed in which they died. Here the examination of witnesses closed; the Coroner then summed up, and the Jury, after a short deliberation, returned a verdict of "Wilful Murder against MARY FOWELL." The inquisition lasted nearly 8 hours. the unfortunate woman has been conveyed to the County Gaol.
Thursday 2 December 1830 Fatal Effects Resulting From Improper Medical Treatment. - An investigation took place at Honiton on Friday and Saturday last, before Isaac Cox, Esq. Coroner, relative to the death of a lad of the name of GALLOP, aged 17, a parish apprentice to a baker. A great number of witnesses were called, the general testimony of whom went to prove that the lad attended to his work, without making any complaint, up to Sunday, the 19th of September; that on that day he complained of having sprained his leg on returning from church; on the following Tuesday or Wednesday his mistress took him to a druggist of the name of Needs, living a few doors off, who ordered some oils to be rubbed in; a day or two after he (Needs) applied a few leeches, ordered poultices and simple dressings to the leg, and gave some powders, and went on to visit the boy at his master's house, said he was doing well, till the 18th of October, when the master requested Mr Woodward, a surgeon, residing at Honiton, to see him. Mr Woodward refused to undertake the care of the case alone, and in consequence, Mr Sweeting was desired to see the lad. These gentlemen continued to attend him daily till the 17th of Nov. when he died. On the morning of the Inquest Mr Jerrard was called on by the Coroner to examine the body, which he did in the presence of Mr Woodward, Mr Sweeting and Dr Nesbitt, the latter of whom attended on behalf of Needs, at the request of Mr Melhuish, Needs' solicitor. After the examination, Mr Sweeting deposed that when he first saw the lad there was an ulcer on the right shin 6 in. in length and two in breadth; the bone was denuded of its periosteum or proper covering to that extent, and of a black colour; that sinuses or cavities extended upwards to the knee, and downwards to the ankle, from which there was a profuse discharge of matter. There was a large abscess forming in the right arm, and a very large one surrounding the left collar-bone, which was in a state of extreme ulceration, so that the sharpened points could be felt through the skin. No application had been made or notice taken of the abscesses except that in the leg. The only treatment was as above stated, excepting a blister to the chest. Mr S. gave it as his opinion that the boy's death had been occasioned by the unchecked ravages of violent inflammation which had effected so many parts and tissues of the body, and that had proper and efficient measures been resorted to at the commencement of the disease, the lad's life might have been saved, as he had always been previously strong and healthy. These facts were substantiated by the evidence of the medical gentlemen and other witnesses. The Coroner having summed up the evidence, the Jury returned the following verdict:- "That the deceased came to his death in a natural way from extensive inflammatory disease, which appeared to have been unchecked for a considerable period by adequate medical means; and the Jury cannot too strongly express their disapprobation of unqualified persons presuming to interfere in medical and surgical cases; and they feel desirous to record their unanimous thanks to the medical gentlemen who have been instrumental in bringing this case before the public."
Thursday 9 December 1830 An Inquest was held this day, by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, at Bishop's Tawton, on the body of MRS ANN TANNER, aged 72, formerly housekeeper t Charles Chichester, Esq. of Hall, who whilst walking from Pilton to the house of her son, who resides near Hall, the fresh water being higher than it has been known for 17 years past, and the darkness of the evening preventing her from seeing her danger, she walked into the deep water and was drowned. Verdict, Found Drowned.
An Inquest was held on Saturday last, in the parish of Thelbridge, by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on the body of MR JAMES GARNSEY, yeoman, who was found dead in the road; he had been attending a survey at Witheridge, and it is supposed his horse threw him on his return home, - several sovereigns and his watch were found in his pocket. Verdict - Found Dead.
Thursday 16 December 1830 ILFRACOMBE - A poor man, named THOMAS EASTAWAY, was taken ill whilst dredging for oysters on Monday last, and died before the boat reached the shore. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body by T. Copner, Esq. Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
Thursday 30 December 1830 On Thursday last, the body of a man was washed in on Saunton Sands, which proved to be that of JOHN MANLEY, of Southmolton, one from whom providence had witheld that share of intellect which was requisite to capacitate him for the performance of the duties of social life, and who, in a mendicant excursion, had by some unknown means perished in the river. He was seen on Tuesday evening walking on the sands barefooted and the following day he was found drowned, with his stockings in his pocket, having, it is supposed, been encircled by the water on the coming up of the tide. An Inquest was held on the body by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, and a verdict returned, Found Drowned.
Thursday 6 January 1831 EXETER - An Inquest was held on Tuesday, before S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, on the body of FRANCES MARSH, a fine girl, five years of age, living with Mr Edwards, mason, St. Sidwells. It appeared by the evidence that her clothes caught fire on Sunday afternoon, when she was so severely burnt as to cause her death on the Tuesday following.
MURDER - A man of the name of William Berry was committed to the County Gaol on Wednesday, charged on the warren of J. Partridge, Esq. one of the Coroners for this county with the Wilful Murder of MICHAEL HARRIS. The facts of the case as detailed in evidence before the Coroner, are as follows:- The prisoner, who is a rat-catcher, &c., of Weir, in ferreting rats, when having drank too much in the course of the day, it was with considerable difficulty he could make his way home. In endeavouring to do so, he was met by two men of his acquaintance, who undertook to see him home. On arriving there the prisoner said, "I will give you some beer for setting me home," and the party then went to a beer house for the purpose of drinking. Within two minutes afterwards some young men, among whom was the deceased, also entered the house, and the deceased in allusion to a fire which had taken place in the prisoner's house a week before, jeeringly said, "this is the man who ran down White-street with his shirt on fire." Prisoner replied "tis a lie." The assertion was repeated and he gave the young man who made the assertion the lie the second and the third time. Prisoner then said "he would fight either one of them for five shillings." One of the young men said "he would double it, and fight him for ten." Deceased then said "leave him alone for me; I am his man." A scuffle immediately ensued between the deceased and the prisoner, in the middle of the room; and the deceased with the assistance of some others then put the prisoner out at the back door without his hat, which was left behind upon the floor. Within five minutes after the prisoner came to the back door and knocked, desiring to obtain either admittance or his hat. The woman of the house refused him admittance, but said his hat should be brought round to him at the front door, and gave it to a boy for the purpose of taking it round. A person of the name of Hooper then said "I'll take it out," when the deceased rushed past Hooper and the door, and went to the front gate where he met the prisoner, when some words momentarily passed between them, and the prisoner was heard to exclaim "D.... your eyes, MIKE, I'll shoot you!" Instantly the gun went off and the deceased fell. From the nature of the wound it seems to indicate that the gun was levelled at the head, and the muzzle held close to the eye, which was driven into the back part of the cranium, and the nose dreadfully scorched by the flash. It is somewhat singular that neither of the parties were aware that the prisoner was in possession of the dreadful weapon, not even the men who had been walking with him being aware of it. It was a short gun, made in two pieces for the purpose of concealment, the stock screwing on and off from the barrel, and occupying a very short space. the unfortunate prisoner has resided several years at Topsham, during the whole of which time he had been employed by the neighbouring farmers as a destroyer of vermin, and for his vocation was considered to be a well behaved and respectable man. The deceased is the son of a respectable tradesman, and was much esteemed.
Thursday 13 January 1831 On Friday last an Inquest was held by T. Copner Esq., Coroner, on the body of MR W. IRELAND, of Lilly, in the parish of Goodleigh, who the day before, whilst working at a hedge on his farm, fell down and expired almost on the instant; he was 62 years of age. Verdict - Divine Visitation.
Thursday 20 January 1831 EXETER - Distressing Occurrence. - An Inquest was held yesterday, on the body of MR BATH, formerly a tradesman of this city, whose remains were taken from the river on Thursday. The deceased laboured under despondency of mind, in consequence of being in reduced circumstances, for want to employment. In addition to this, he has undergone a great deal of mental anxiety for many months past, his wife having been bed-ridden since May, during the whole of which time he had watched her with unceasing attention, and deprived himself of absolute necessaries, to alleviate to the utmost these melancholy afflictions. Contending against these evils, and the want of sufficient employment, as was before stated, he yielded to despondency, and committed the rash act which terminated his earthly sufferings. There was little doubt of the unhappy man having laboured under Temporary Insanity at the time.
Thursday 10 February 1831 Appalling Accident and Miraculous Preservation of Life. - On Thursday the 27th ult. HENRY LAYMAN, aged between fifty and sixty years, JOHN LAYMAN, his son, a youth of 18 or 19, and James Martin, descended a well at Lower Northcote farm, in the parish of Sheldon, for the purpose of cleaning it out and lengthening the pipe. The depth of the well was eighty four feet, and stages were erected at different distances to facilitate the operation; the elder LAYMAN was about twenty feet down the well for the purpose of guiding the buckets; Martin was about thirty feet below him occupied in the same manner; whilst JOHN LAYMAN, the son was stationed on a stage within a few feet of the bottom, for the purpose of filling the buckets. About ten o'clock in the morning the wall of the well suddenly gave way and the three hapless men were immediately buried beneath its rubbish. The indescribable consternation caused by this awful catastrophe, paralysed for a moment the energies of those who were near, but the utmost exertions were immediately made to empty the well of the stone and earth which had filled it, and give the bodies a fitting sepulchre - for the most sanguine never imagined that either of the unfortunate men could possibly escape with life. After digging for about twelve hours the body of the elder LAYMAN was found in a shockingly mutilated state. There was little chance of finding the other two men alive, and still less hope; notwithstanding this, the men who had undertaken the task of discovering what the chances really were, still continued their exertions with a constancy and determination deserving of the highest praise. Soon after midnight on Friday they came to James Martin, who, to the great joy of all present, was absolutely found to be alive, and able to speak, though dreadfully weak and bruised, but with no bones broken. By ten o'clock on Saturday morning they came to JOHN LAYMAN, the son, having heard his voice for the space of eight feet before they came to him. He was raised to the surface, when it appeared that he was so little hurt as to be perfectly capable of walking home. The news of this appalling accident which had buried him, his unfortunate father, and Martin alive, soon flew round the neighbouring country, and at the time that young LAYMAN was brought out several hundred persons were present. The wonder and admiration of all present were most becomingly testified, and the melancholy fate of his unfortunate parent was kept from the young man till the next morning, as the shock it might occasion was justly thought to be too great to hazard in the excited state of his feelings - snatched as he had been by the hand of Providence alone from what no reasonable man could have concluded to be other than his tomb. A messenger was now sent to Honiton for the purpose of getting I. Cox, Esq. to hold an Inquest on the body of the deceased, H. LAYMAN. But the lamented illness of that gentleman caused the duty to devolve on J. Partridge, Esq. of Tiverton. On Saturday morning the Inquest was held before an intelligent Jury, of which Mr Moses Rider was Foreman, and a verdict having been returned, in accordance with the circumstances of the case, the learned Coroner directed that the Well should be filled up, agreeably, as we were informed, to a law which renders such a measure imperative where death has been caused by the falling in of a well.
Thursday 24 February 1831 Coroner's Inquest. - An Inquest was held on Tuesday by J. Gribble, Esq. at the Union Inn, in the parish of St. Thomas, on the body of JOHN PARSONS, of the said parish, cow-keeper; when, after a careful investigation, the following verdict was given:- "Found drowned in the River Exe; but how he became drowned no evidence appeared." It is supposed the unfortunate man fell over the bank in the open space opposite Okehampton-street; where, the sooner buildings are erected, or paling placed, the better, two valuable lives having been lost there within this twelvemonth.
Thursday 17 March 1831 Infanticide by a Mother - An Inquest was held a few days ago by Mr A. B. Bone, County Coroner, on view of the body of a male infant which shortly after birth was destroyed under the following circumstances: MARY ANN WELLEN lived as a servant girl in the employ of Mr John Luscombe, of Vinton, in Buckland Monachorum. For some time past her appearance had excited suspicions that she was in a state of pregnancy, but she constantly denied the charge. Of late she had complained of ill health, and much pain in her back, until it was observed that she no longer exhibited the same appearance of stoutness. This naturally led to an investigation of the case, when two apprentice girls, with whom she slept, recollected the circumstance of her having left her bed on the night of Friday week last for a considerable time, during which she was heard moaning by its side. In consequence of some conversation she also had with her master on the subject, it was finally resolved to search the privy, and there a dead male child was found with a strip of cotton counterpane twice tied tight round its neck. The rest of the counterpane was found in her room, together with other proofs which sufficiently attested that she had been delivered of a child, which she immediately strangled. The Jury brought in a verdict of "Wilful Murder," and she was committed to take her trial for the unnatural crime.
Thursday 31 March 1831 SOUTHMOLTON - The greatest excitement has prevailed here during the last week, respecting the death of JOHN MALVAN, labourer, (as noticed in our last week's paper) whose death was occasioned by blows received in the head, during an affray on Sunday evening; after which he was thrust into prison, charged with an assault on Mr John Perry, and, on the following morning, was fined five shillings for the same, and also five shillings for getting drunk; and having no money he was about to be recommitted to prison, when a young man of the town, kindly offered to pay the sum demanded. He was then taken to the house of a friend, where he died in the evening. An Inquest was held on Tuesday, when the Jury brought in a verdict, that "the deceased's death was occasioned by a compound fracture in the skull, produced by violent blows, but by whom they were given they (the Jury) could not determine. Mr William Gillard of the Fortescue Arms, was on Tuesday fined five pounds for permitting the deceased and another man to get drunk in his house, on the Sunday before mentioned.
Thursday 7 April 1831 An Inquest was held on Saturday last, by T. Copner, Esq., Coroner, at Acland, in the Parish of Landkey, on the body of MISS ALICE WESTACOTT, aged nineteen, whose death was occasioned in the following melancholy manner:- She had taken down the candlesticks and other articles which occupied the mantlepiece to be cleaned, and amongst the rest was a fowling piece, which she placed on a table near the fire place, where a little boy of the name of Warren, a relative of the deceased, was sitting, who began to play with it unobserved, and presently it went off, and the whole of its contents passed through the cheek into the head of MISS WESTACOTT, causing her instant death. The practice of leaving loaded guns within the reach of females and children cannot be too severely reprehended, as the frequent fatal results abundantly prove. the instrument which caused the death of MISS WESTACOTT had not been taken down for several months, and no idea was entertained that it was loaded. The lamentable occurrence has overwhelmed the family in unutterable grief.
Thursday 14 April 1831 Suicide. - On Wednesday last, a labourer in husbandry, of the name of JENKINS, of the Parish of Marwood, in the employ of Mr John Corney, of Lee House, in that parish, when threshing in the barn, hung himself by the rope with which he had been making up his reed; he had previously had a quarrel with a neighbouring farmer, in whose service his son was employed; whether this might have had any effect in producing the fatal catastrophe, cannot be determined, but no other cause appears to which it is imputable. the Coroner's Inquest returned a verdict of "Insanity."
Thursday 19 May 1831 BARNSTAPLE - An Inquest was held at the Guildhall in this town, on Thursday last, before N. Glass, Esq. Alderman and Coroner, and a Jury, on view of the body of MR HENRY COTHAY, found drowned in Cuney Gut, just above the Iron Foundry, on the Newport Road. The deceased was an old man, and on the day in question, according to his usual custom after dinner, he went out into his garden, at the back of which the Gut is situate, and staying away for upwards of two hours, much longer than was usual, some fears crossed his wife's mind respecting him, which she communicated to an acquaintance, Mr Hodge, of this town, watchmaker, who went up by the side of the Gut, and when he came opposite deceased's garden, found him lying on the Barnstaple side of the Gut quite dead. The Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned."
Thursday 7 July 1831 Inquests Held by Thomas Copner, Esq., Coroner. - On Monday last, at Pilton, on the body of an infant child of WILLIAM BEARD, carpenter. the mother awoke about four o'clock in the morning, having the child in her arms, which she thought felt cold and, mentioning it to her husband, they found the child was dead. Verdict, Died by the Visitation of God.
Thursday 21 July 1831 EXETER - On Monday, an Inquest was taken before S. Walkey, Esq., at the Valiant Soldier Inn, Magdalene-street, on the body of ROBERT EVANS, nearly 16 years of age, son of the late MR EVANS, of this city, coach maker, who, on the preceding morning, having gone into the river, at a place called "Penny Royal," to bathe, got out of his depth, and being unable to swim, was drowned. It is said, (we know not with what truth) that notwithstanding the water is of no depth at this place, and several persons stout and able to swim were on the banks, indeed where no personal danger to persons so circumstanced was involved, not one of them offered this unfortunate young man the slightest assistance, but coolly looked on while a fellow creature perished!! Nor was it until three hours afterwards, by the exertions of a boy named Wm. Stuckes, who arrived on the spot after EVANS had sunk, that the body was recovered from the water. As regarded the Jury, the question was one of no difficulty, and a verdict of Accidentally Drowned was returned.
Thursday 4 August 1831 An Inquest was held on Sunday last, before Thomas Copner, Esq. Coroner, in the parish of Fremington, on the body of JAMES BENNETT, a youth of ten years of age, who, on the preceding evening, in company with an elder brother, went into the water at Fremington Pill, to bathe; but incautiously venturing beyond his depth, and unable to swim, he became in imminent danger, and although his brother endeavoured to render him assistance, he could not succeed in saving him, and the poor boy unfortunately perished. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Distressing Circumstance. - An Inquisition was held on Monday last, at Collyton Mill, in the parish of Chulmleigh, before Thomas Copner, Esq. Coroner, on view of the bodies of WILLIAM BROADMEAD, WILLIAM WINSLEY, and JOHN PINCOMBE, who had been drowned on the day preceding. The facts appear to be these; WILLIAM BROADMEAD left his home on Sunday morning, without the knowledge of his family, who, finding him wanting during the forenoon, and missing him also at dinner, became alarmed, and caused an immediate search to be made for him by WILLIAM WINSLEY and JOHN PINCOMBE; after seeking him for some time, they found his clothes on the banks of the Taw, and concluded he must have gone into the water to bathe, and had been drowned. WINSLEY went in instantly to discover the body, and finding the water deeper than he expected, when about breast high, he became a little alarmed, and called his companion to his assistance, who had no sooner reached him and taken him by the arm, than both fell forward together, and were almost immediately drowned. The bodies were found the same evening, and the Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.
Thursday 25 August 1831 An Inquest was held on Sunday last, at Langtree, before Francis Kingdon, Esq. on the body of MR S. VANSTONE, who had the previous day put an end to his existence by hanging himself; the Jury returned a verdict of Insanity. The deceased was far advanced in years, possessed much worldly treasure, the true use of which he refused to himself and others.
Fatal Accident - T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, has this morning held an Inquest on the body of a little boy, ten years old, son of ROBERT KELLY of Braunton, who last evening was riding on the shafts of a cart, laden with barley from the harvest field, and falling from his seat, the wheel of the cart passed over his neck, causing almost instant death. The accident occurred within a few paces of the cottage of his distressed parents. Verdict, Accidental Death.
Thursday 15 September 1831 On Sunday last, an Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on the body of MR JAMES PUGSLEY, of Lower Loxhore, who died suddenly in his bed, aged 64; verdict, Divine Visitation.
Thursday 22 September 1831 A Coroner's Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq. at Combmartin, on Tuesday last, on the body of JOHN THORNE, aged 18, son of FARMER THORNE, of Loxhore, who was unfortunately killed, bout four o'clock the same morning, by the overturning of a cart which he was driving to the Lime Kilns, and which falling on him caused his instant death. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 6 October 1831 Fatal Accident. - On Thursday, the 22nd ult., an Inquest was held at the Countess Weir Inn, Topsham, by J. Partridge, Esq., Coroner, on the body of WM. CHAPMAN, bargeman, in the employ of Mr Davy: this unfortunate man was in the act of unloading a stone boat lying at Topsham, when a Dutch galliott, laden with bark, coming up the river with a strong leading wind, run foul the stone boat with such violence, as to carry away the boom and do other damage, and by which CHAPMAN was struck and killed on the spot. By this sad event, a widow with 5 small children are left entirely unprovided for. The accident is attributed to the carelessness of the Pilot in taking the vessel up too early on tide, by which she grounded and became unmanageable.
On Sunday last, an Inquest was held in the parish of Ringsash, in this county, before Francis Kingdon, Esq. Coroner, on the body of ELIZABETH RADDON, who died suddenly. Verdict - "Died by the Visitation of God." The deceased had had banns to seven men, was married to four of them, and died a widow, aged 76.
Thursday 13 October 1831 EXETER - Sudden Death. - On Wednesday last, MRS DAY, residing in Frog-lane, arose in perfect health; about 12 o'clock, a tenant called to pay some rent, when she asked her to take a glass of wine, which she accepted; MRS DAY handed her the glass of wine, fell back into a chair, became speechless, and awful to relate, was a corpse in less than five minutes. Mr Lyddon, surgeon, residing in St. Thomas, was immediately called in, and ineffectually attempted to bleed the deceased in the temporal artery. An Inquest was held on the body, and a verdict consistent with the above facts returned.
Thursday 3 November 1831 On Monday se'nnight, a poor boy called EDMUND SEAGE, an apprentice to Mr Samuel Ford, of Bishop's Tawton, was leading his master's horses at plough, and as he was turning the corner of the field, the ploughman, Richard Parkhouse, threw the paddle, a small iron fixed on the end of a short stick for the purpose of clearing the plough, at one of the horses, which unfortunately struck the boy in the head and fractured his skull; he lingered till Monday morning last, when he expired. A Coroner's Inquest is sitting on the body this day.
Thursday 17 November 1831 An Inquest was held yesterday before Thomas Copner, Esq., in the parish of Swymbridge, on the body of ANNE MAUNDER, aged 74, who, when in the act of blowing the fire, fell down and immediately expired. Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
Thursday 1 December 1831 Inquests held by Thomas Copner, Esq. Coroner. - On Saturday last, at Braunton, on the body of MARY WILLIAMS, a girl eight years old, who on the preceding morning caught her clothes on fire, and was so dreadfully burnt as to cause her death in the course of the day. Verdict - Accidental Death.
BARNSTAPLE - On Tuesday, on the body of WILLIAM TAYLOR, a servant to Mr Copp, of Horwood, who, on his return from this town with his master's cart and horses, when near home, on turning a corner in the road, the cart upset upon him, and killed him on the spot. Verdict, Accidental Death.
Thursday 12 January 1832 EXETER - The body of ARTHUR RYAN, the little boy who, on the 12th ult., fell from a vessel at our Quay into the river and was drowned, was picked up on Wednesday last, at Topsham; it was uninjured, and on the Inquest, a verdict in accordance with the circumstances of the case was returned.
An Inquest was held at the Poor House, at Fremington, on Tuesday last, on the body of ARTHUR WARD, aged 80, who cut his throat with a kitchen knife while lying in bed. He was occasionally insane, and a verdict accordingly was returned.
Thursday 19 January 1832 EXETER - Sudden Death. - A female servant of Mr Woodman, surgeon, St. Thomas, adjoining this city, named ANN SNELL, having, on Monday, been sent to the shop of Mr Manley, butcher, Alphington-street, had scarcely entered it when she dropped down and expired immediately. An Inquest was held on Tuesday, before Joseph Gribble, Esq. Coroner, at the King's Arms, Cowick-street, and a verdict, consistent with the circumstances stated, returned accordingly.
An Inquest was held at the King's Arms, Cowick-street, St. Thomas, before J. Gribble, Esq. Coroner, on the body of SARAH HANNAFORD, 17 years of age, which had been taken from the river Exe, on the preceding Sunday evening. The deceased is the daughter of a poor widow woman, residing in the Black Boy Road, Saint Sidwell's, in this city, and was a servant in the family of Mr Sharland, grocer, High-street. It appeared that in the afternoon of Sunday last, she as usual, left home for the purpose of attending church, but at the close of service, did not return. Imagining she might have gone to see her mother, no particular uneasiness was for some time felt, but the evening advancing, without her return home, Mr S.'s family became alarmed, and enquiry being made, it was found her mother knew nothing of her. An immediate search was set on foot, but speedily terminated by information being received that the body of a female, had been taken from the river, and which proved to be hers. From all the information that can be obtained, it would appear that she must have gone into the river, at or about the steps at the end of the coal-yard, at the entrance to the Haven-banks, from Alphington-street, as near the spot her bonnet and shawl were found. The body was taken out of the river near Salter and Owen's brewery. The investigation before the Coroner was of considerable length, but nothing further could be elicited, and, under these circumstances - a verdict was returned of "Found Drowned, but by what means did not appear to the Jury."
Thursday 26 January 1832 EXETER - Death Under a Heap of Rags. - On Tuesday last, an Inquest was taken before S. Walkey, Esq., Coroner, at the Plume of Feathers Inn, in this City, on the body of ANN FERRIS, who was about 50 years of age, and who had that morning been found dead in her room, on St. David's-hill. The deceased was a native of, and well known in this City as a gatherer of rags, and any kind of old materials from the streets and such courtlages as she could obtain entrance to; always appearing in great distress, and as if deficient of the commonest necessaries, still without ever having been known to ask alms or in any way solicit charity. On Tuesday morning it was noticed by the neighbours that she had not made her appearance, and the door of her apartment being found locked, and no answer to their inquiries returned, it was at length forced open, when a scene presented itself of the most abject poverty and distress. In one part of the room there appeared a heap of rags, of a quantity it is computed to have half filled a cart, under which the deceased was laid, quite dead, and had been so for several hours. There were no marks of any violence, but the whole appearance of the body was that of a person in an extreme state of emaciation and filth. On taking an inventory of the articles in the room, there were discovered, in a box, 15 good gowns, besides shawls and bonnets, and, wrapped in several inclosures, a Bank Book of the Savings' Bank, Interest Notes, and other securities for money to the amount of 155l., besides some loose silver and pence in a tea-caddy. the only articles of provision were about half a quartern loaf, a small quantity of butter, and a little salt. There was no appearance of any bed, except an old mattress, and no kind of bedding save the rags, already spoken of. The Jury, after some consideration, returned their verdict of "Found dead, from denying herself the common necessaries of life!" The rags were ordered by the Coroner to be removed, which was deemed absolutely necessary from the mass of foul matter adhering to them.
Thursday 26 January 1832 On Saturday last, an Inquest was held by Thomas Copner, Esq., Coroner, on the body of GEORGIANA IRWIN, of the parish of Marwood, aged 6 years, who accidentally caught her clothes on fire, on Thursday last, and was so severely burnt, as to cause her death on the following day. Verdict accordingly.
BARNSTAPLE - Also, on Tuesday last, on the body of JAMES SCOTT, aged 78; who had been at work in the garden of John Thorne, Esq., at Newport, whose lady very benevolently had him into the kitchen to give him some dinner, whilst eating of which he suddenly dropt his knife and fork and died, without the slightest premonition of so alarming an event. Verdict - Divine Visitation.
Thursday 2 February 1832 An Inquest was held at Parkham, on Saturday last, by Francis Kingdon, Esq. Coroner, on the body of HARRIETT BOND, who was accidentally burnt to death. Verdict accordingly.
Thursday 9 February 1832 BARNSTAPLE - Suicide. - On Tuesday last, an Inquest was held in the Guildhall in this town, by Robert Budd, Esq., the Coroner for the Borough, on the body of MR HUGH BRAYLEY, maltster. On Sunday last, the deceased left his lodgings with an understanding that he was going into the country. No surprise was therefore excited by his not returning in the evening, as he was in the frequent habit of visiting his friends, and remaining with them the night, but as he did not return the next day, some alarm was felt, and on examining the door of his malthouse, the key was discovered in the inside of the lock; the door was then burst open, and the unfortunate man was seen suspended by a cord from a beam of the premises, quite dead; it is supposed he had been hanging there from about the middle of the preceding day. Verdict - Temporary Derangement.
Thursday 16 February 1832 EXETER - Melancholy Suicide. - An Inquest was held at the Plume of Feathers Inn, in this city, on Monday morning last, by S. Walkey, Esq., Coroner, on the body of ELIZABETH SEYMOUR, which was picked up in the river Exe, on Sunday morning, near the Bonhay. The deceased was housemaid to Mr Luke, ironmonger, of Fore-street, and supposed to be about 21 years of age. It appeared, from the evidence, that she had lived in that service between three and four years, and from her correct behaviour, and general good disposition, had gained the favourable opinion of her mistress, and the rest of the household; but about three weeks since she was suspected by Mrs Luke of an act of dishonesty, which she acknowledged, this led to her receiving notice to leave her situation, at the expiration of a month from that period. Since then her fellow servants had observed an alteration in her manner, and several times she was in tears. On Saturday morning, Mrs Luke having missed a crape shawl, requested deceased to find it, and told her if she had taken it, she should be forgiven. She denied the theft, in the most positive manner, but no trace of the shawl has since been discovered. On this occasion she was not discharged from her situation, and her mistress assured her that if she would tell the truth she should be forgiven, and every thing that she could do for her consistently with her duty, she would. Nothing further took place during the day between deceased and her mistress; she went about her ordinary work, but with more slowness than usual. About ten o'clock in the morning, she came down stairs and said to her fellow servant, the book - "If I could get out I'd drown myself;" on which the cook replied, "for God's sake do not have such wicked thoughts in your head," and talked to her on the impropriety of such observations. Deceased made no answer, ate no breakfast, and but little dinner. About half-past five o'clock in the evening, deceased came down stairs, and brought a pair of gold ear-rings in her hands, which after great importunity she prevailed on her fellow-servant to put into her ears; on which she exclaimed, "Now there they are in my ears, and there they shall stay as long as I live, and when I die, I'll be buried with them." These expressions excited the notice of her fellow-servant, but nothing further transpired until about half-past seven in the evening, when the deceased left the house, saying she was going to her sister's, and would return again in about five minutes; she did not return, and was not seen afterwards. About seven o'clock on Sunday morning, a man was walking on the Bonhay, and observed a bonnet tied to the trunk of a small tree, near the water side. This excited his suspicion, and he gave an alarm. A search was commenced, and in about an hour and half, the body was found, and conveyed to the reception house, near the Engine Bridge. the Jury deliberated a considerable time on the subject, and returned a verdict of "Found Drowned."
Inquests held by Thomas Copner, Esq., Coroner. - On Friday last, on the body of JOHN BOYLES, of Ilfracombe, a child three years old, whose death was occasioned by the accidental falling of a basin of boiling water on his chest the previous day. Verdict - Accidental Death.
On Sunday last, on the body of SUSANNAH HONEY, aged 62, an individual well known in this town as a nurse, who being on a visit at Mr May's, a farmer in the parish of Fremington, after having taken her breakfast in the morning of the same day, retired to her lodging room, and hung herself by a cord to the post of the bed. She had long complained of indisposition. Verdict - Insanity.
Thursday 8 March 1832 EXETER - On Wednesday afternoon last, a fatal accident happened to a man named ISAAC OSMOND, who was in the employ of Messrs. S. and W. Kingdon, ironmongers, of this city. The man was attending some part of the machinery of the steam-engine, when his foot slipped, and he fell against the principal wheel, by which his head was literally scalped from the back to the front. He was immediately conveyed to the Devon and Exeter Hospital, where he breathed his last about half-past nine o'clock. An Inquest was held on the body on Thursday, at the Hospital, and a verdict of Accidental Death returned. The deceased was a single man and had been in Messrs. Kingdon's employ but a fortnight.
Inquests held by Francis Kingdon, Esq., Coroner. - On Tuesday, the 28th ultimo, at Dowland, on the body of RICHARD HAMMOND, aged 77, who was found dead in his bed. Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
On Wednesday last, at Huntshaw Cross, on the body of ALEXANDER ROWE, of Bideford, who was found dead on Clugg's Hill. Verdict - Fell from his horse, of which fall he died.
The same day at Roborough, on the body of SUSAN SIMMONDS, a child about 4 years old, who was accidently burnt to death. Verdict accordingly.
On Monday last, at Little Torrington, on the body of GEO. GRIBBLE, who was found dead the preceding day in his father's workshop. Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
Thursday 22 March 1832 BIDEFORD - On Monday last, a Coroner's Inquest was held in this town, on the body of MISS BRUTON, a maiden lady, most respectably connected, who put a period to her existence the preceding day. Having received her mistress's order to that effect, her servant went to church in the forenoon, and on her return, she repaired to the room of her mistress, whom she had left in bed, and who, to her astonishment and dismay, she then found suspended to the pillar of her bedstead, with life totally extinct. The unfortunate lady had for some time laboured under great depression of spirits. Verdict - Temporary Insanity.
Thursday 29 March 1832 EXETER - Sudden Death. - On Friday evening, the 16th inst. JANE HILL, about 30 years of age, who resided with her parents in Davye's alms-houses, in Bartholomew-street, dropped down as she was entering the court in which they are situate, and expired instantly. Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
EXETER - On Thursday last, an Inquest was held at the Plume of Feathers Inn, North-street, before S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, on the body of JOHN BREWER, aged 58, who resided in Lower North-street. It appeared by the evidence, that the deceased went home much intoxicated, on Tuesday evening, when he sent his daughter, a little girl, to call her mother, and in her absence was supposed to fall on the bed-post, which was only four feet high, and that the ends of his neckerchief being tied, caught on the wire at the top of the post, as he was found by his son within the lapse of ten minutes, suspended by the neck, resting on one knee. Verdict - Accidental Death.
EXETER - A woman named JANE HOW, 65 years of age, was found lying in the street, in St. Sidwells, on Saturday night last, in a state of insensibility from drunkenness. She was taken to the Guildhall and placed in a cell with two other women; but on the following morning, complaining of being ill, medical assistance was procured, and she was removed to the Workhouse, where she died about three o'clock in the afternoon. Verdict - Died of Apoplexy.
Coroner's Inquest - On Friday last, an Inquest was held by Francis Kingdon, Esq., Coroner, at Pitcott, in the parish of Clawton, on the body of JAMES GOLMAN, aged 34, who died of apoplexy, and a Verdict was returned accordingly.
Love and Suicide - On Monday last, a young man of the name of RICHARD TUCKER, aged 24, a cabinet maker, of Marwood, put an end to his existence by hanging himself. He had paid attention to a young woman of the village for a considerable time, and lately he had had reasons to believe that she favoured the addresses of another suitor; last Monday, according to the annual custom on Lady-day, the young people of the parish assembled to enjoy a dance in the club room of the public house; on TUCKER'S arrival, he found his faithless nymph dancing with his rival, and on approaching her, she treated him with scorn, and he left her. A few hours after, a person on entering the stable or linhay beneath the club room, discovered poor TUCKER suspended from a beam, quite dead. The Jury returned a Verdict - Temporary Insanity. The mother of the deceased died in a similar manner about three years ago.
Thursday 5 April 1832 W. KENDALL, ESQ. - We have to record this week the unfortunate death of this gentleman. He had been absent from his home from Friday last, and appears to have visited Exmouth, Dawlish, Teignmouth, and Torquay, whence he crossed the country to Ashburton, and on Sunday arrived at Moreton. This place he quitted again on the same day, and was not heard of until Monday last, when his body was found resting against a block of granite, in the River Wrey, near Knowle Bridge, in the parish of Bovey Tracey. An Inquest was taken on the following day, before J. Gribble, Esq. Coroner, at Knowle Cottage, and a verdict of Found Drowned was returned. He was a bachelor, and in his 65th year.
TORRINGTON - On Tuesday last, an Inquest was held in this town before Francis Kingdon, Esq. Coroner, on the body of THOMAS HEWETT, a fine little boy, about seven years of age, whose death was occasioned by his being thrown under the feet of a horse, which a young man, called John Friendship, rode furiously through the street the day before, with only a halter on him, and over which he consequently had no command. A verdict of Accidental Death was returned, and a deodand of one shilling laid on the horse.
Thursday 12 April 1832 GEORGE HONEYWELL WALTERS, a lad 14 years of age, who resided with Mr Rowland, painter, Plymouth, came by his death on Monday last in the following extraordinary manner:- Some days after the execution of Mary Kellaway, at the county gaol, he spoke of the unfortunate woman as having lived as a servant in his mother's house, and was very inquisitive as to the plan adopted in effecting the sentence of the law. Sometime after this he was found suspended by the neck, with the clothes line attached to a hook in the roof of the house; every means were used for his restoration, but in vain. An Inquest was held on Tuesday at the Clarence Hotel, and the Jury returned a verdict - "That the deceased while innocently trying the sensation caused by suspension or hanging, had accidentally and by mistake come by his death."
Inquests Held by T. Copner, Esq. - On Thursday last, at East Buckland, on the body of GEORGE LEWIS, servant to Mr Smith. The deceased was driving in his master's cart, when the horse taking fright suddenly ran off, and overturning the vehicle he was killed on the spot.
And on Monday last, in the parish of Eastdown, on the body of WILLIAM HERAPATH, aged 70, who on the Wednesday preceding being in the field at work in company with a female, who accidentally struck by a pike the woman was using in turning peat, which entering just below the eye, inflicted so severe an injury as to cause his death on the following Saturday.
Thursday 26 April 1832 TORRINGTON - An Inquest was held on the morning of the 19th inst., before F. Kingdon, Esq., in the parish of Yarnscombe, on the body of JAMES ASHFORD, who died suddenly on the preceding evening, in the public road, on his return home, whilst conducting his master's carriage with passengers. Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God. The deceased has many years been a good and faithful servant, as chaise driver, in the employ of Mr Wills, of the Globe Inn, in Great Torrington.
On the evening of the same day, another Inquest was held before F. Kingdon, Esq., at Little Torrington, on the body of a lady named BALSON, servant to Mr Mare, of Westford; the unfortunate youth was conducting his master's team with a cart; the horses took fright at a pig in the road, upset the vehicle on the lad, and killed him on the spot. Verdict - Accidental Death. The farmer's son was riding in the carriage, and fortunately escaped.
On the 22nd Instant, an Inquest was held by Francis Kingdon, Esq. Coroner, at Ashwater, on the body of MARTHA VEALE, which was found dead on the highway. Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
Thursday 3 May 1832 PLYMOUTH - On Tuesday last, an Inquest was held at the Royal Highlander Inn, on the body of ROBERT SPARKS, Barrack Serjeant of the Citadel. On Tuesday last, after being engaged during the earlier part of that day in the delivery of sheets to the troops in garrison, he proceeded to the apartment he occupied in the Citadel, and was shortly after found dead with his throat dreadfully lacerated from a wound inflicted by a razor. From the evidence of one of the witnesses on the Inquest, it appears that the deceased had been considerably injured by a wound in his head, and that the pain was occasionally so great as to completely disorder his whole frame. The Jury returned a verdict of Self-Destruction through Insanity.
FATAL EVENT - Among the Fairs at Broadclist, near this city, is one annually held in the month of April, and which was so n Monday, the 2nd inst. The day after is usually devoted to mirth and jollity by the people, and among the games and pastimes set on foot it is usual for a person to be placed in the situation of a Judge, before whom all such as can be laid hold on are brought, and any charge being urged against them by a sham prosecutor, they are convicted and amerced in penalties for liquor, in default of payment, they are made to "ride the pole" - which is being placed across a rather slender pole, and borne on the shoulders of the by-standers. The situation of Judge has been filled for 21 years, by Philip Bustard, now 59 years of age, and a small farmer; who was, on the present occasion, seated in a chair of large dimensions and mounted on a table. As usual all was fun and frolic, until a man named WILLIAM TUCKER, 51 years of age, was brought before him. the charge was regularly made, and the offence being proved, he was mulcted in a small sum for ale, which he resisted, and he was ordered "to the pole." This he also resisted, when John Ching, a labouring man, seized the delinquent with a view to reduce him to obedience. TUCKER was unfortunately afflicted with Hernia, and the struggle was fatal, such injury being inflicted, that after languishing until that day week, he died. An Inquest was taken before James Partridge, Esq. one of the Coroners for Devon, when, after a full investigation of the case, the Jury returned a verdict of Manslaughter against Philip Bustard (the Judge) and John Ching, and on Wednesday last, they were, on the Coroner's warrant, lodged in the county Gaol, in order to take their trials for the offence.
BIDEFORD - On Friday last, two lads of Appledore, one called THOMAS SHORT, and the other RICHARD COOPER, were coming up the river in Cox's passage boat, in the management of which they were not sufficiently skilled, when a gust of wind capsized her, near Strand houses, and immerged them in the water; they rose and got on the gunwhale of the boat, from whence another blast blew them off, and they sank to rise no more. Their bodies were soon after picked up near the spot and brought to this town, to be submitted to a Coroner's Inquest, which returned a verdict of Accidental Death. Blame has been attached to the owner of the boat, for trusting it to the care of two such youths; but it has been proved on examination to have been undeserved.
ILFRACOMBE - We lament to record the death of MRS HEARSON, for many years the respected hostess of the Exeter Inn, in this town, under circumstances of the most painful nature. She had recently retired from business, and taken up her abode with her son, who keeps the post-office in this town; since her retirement she has been subject to much depression of spirits, and has more than once manifested aberration of mind. Early on Friday morning last, the servant who slept in the room with her was awoke by an unusual noise, and on investigating the cause, she saw her mistress sitting on the side of her bed, as she supposed vomiting, and on hastening to her assistance, she found her covered with blood which was flowing from a wound which she had inflicted on her throat with a penknife; her screams instantly brought the family to the room, the door of which had been previously locked by the unfortunate victim, but which was burst open by her agonized son, who had to witness the painful spectacle of his mother sinking into the cold embrace of death. Medical aid was instantly summoned, but in vain, the fatal act having been too successfully performed. A Coroner's Inquest found a verdict of - Suicide under the influence of Temporary Insanity.
ILFRACOMBE - On Thursday last, a young woman, called ELIZA LOVERING, of this town, whilst at work at Admiral Bowen's, in Ilfracombe, was taken suddenly ill, and retired to her home, where in a few hours after she died. Her death was discovered to have been occasioned by the rupture of a blood vessel in her chest. Verdict accordingly.
Thursday 10 May 1832 SHOCKING SUICIDE - On Monday last, MR BROOM, of Weaver Mills, near Cullompton, in this county, put an end to his existence in the following awful manner: - He called one of his children to him, and asked him if he had a sharp knife; the child said his was not sharp; the father then desired the boy to go down and sharpen his knife, as he wanted to cut his corns. When the knife was brought, he told the boy to go down, and he would come down shortly; he then laid down on the bed, took the wash-hand bason, and holding it under his head, stuck the knife through the jugular vein, and he must have died very quickly. The family waited for him some time; finding he did not come down, some one went up and found him lying on the bed quite dead. An Inquest was held upon the body by James Partridge, Esq. Coroner, when a verdict of insanity was returned. The deceased has left a wife and twelve children to lament his melancholy end.
Thursday 17 May 1832 An Inquest was held on Monday last, by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, at Plastow Mills, in the parish of Shirwell, on the body of JOHN SMITH, of Martinhoe, aged 76, who whilst smoking his pipe by the fire side, was suddenly taken ill, and being removed to bed, soon after died. Verdict - Visitation of God.
TORRINGTON - An Inquest was held here on the 10th inst. before Mr T. Wills, mayor, on the body of MR WILLIAM GORDEN, carrier, who was found dead in his waggon, on its arrival from Exeter the preceding evening, the Jury returned a verdict, Died from suffocation. It appeared MR G. had gone to repose in a state of intoxication, with his face resting on a package of hemp; the team was under the care of a servant man, who was unconscious of his master's situation, the latter had drank to excess at Beaford. The deceased has left a widow and twelve surviving children, out of a family of twenty one.
Thursday 24 May 1832 EXETER - Inquests. An Inquest was held by R. H. Aberdein, Esq. at the Anchor Inn, Sidmouth, on Wednesday last, on the body of GEORGE ROACH. The deceased visited a young woman with whom he was keeping company on Monday evening, and left her very much depressed. Shortly after, Miss Halliday, a lady residing near the beach, heard groans proceeding from the water, and observing the body, which the ebbing tide was speedily taking off, she sent a large Newfoundland dog after it, which succeeded in bringing it out, but he died about six hours after. Verdict - That the deceased, labouring under delirium and depression of mind from grief, destroyed himself.
An Inquest was held by the same gentleman at Sidbury, on Thursday, on the body of SUSAN BROWN, aged 7 years, whose clothes caught fire whilst she was putting on some wood. Verdict - Accidentally burnt.
Inquests held by T. Copner, Esq., Coroner - On Friday last, at Landkey, on the body of a child, two years and half old, daughter of a man called SHADDICK, whose death was occasioned by a cart which was ascending a steep acclivity, and the horse running backward, the wheel came in contact with the child, who was behind it, threw her down, and passed over her body. Verdict - Accidental Death.
On Saturday last, at Westdown, on the body of a child, two years and half old, called JANE COATES, over whom the wheel of a cart had passed in the public road, and killed her on the spot. It appeared the horse and cart were under the care of a boy, who was riding in the latter, and who, to avoid an object on the other side of the road, kept so near to that on which the child was, that he drove over her, without perceiving her there. Verdict - Accidental Death.
On Sunday last, at Northmolton, on the body of a child five years old, daughter of MR AVERY, of the Bampfylde Arms, in that place, who whilst at play with other children caught her clothes on fire, and was so dreadfully burnt as to cause her death the next day. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 31 May 1832 On Friday last, an Inquest was held at Tawstock, by Thomas Copner, Esq. Coroner, on the body of MR SAMUEL SLOMAN, who, about six o'clock on the Wednesday evening preceding, was found lying in the road a short distance from his house, all but dead; he had been drinking at a public house in the parish at four o'clock, and left not the worse for liquor, and it is supposed was thrown from his horse in his way home; medical assistance was afforded him, but without avail, life became extinct in a very short time. It is a singular circumstance, that a little more than twelve months since, he narrowly escaped a premature death by the roof of his house falling in upon him and his family, whilst they were in bed, by which accident his wife and daughter were both killed.
TORRINGTON - On Sunday last, an Inquest was held by F. Kingdon, Esq. Coroner, on the body of ELIZABETH HARRIS, aged three years, who was found dead in the Mill leat, at Black Torrington. Verdict - Found Drowned.
Thursday 7 June 1832 EXETER - On Saturday morning, a man named TRIST, in the employ of Mr Westren, grocer, of this city, having been detected stealing some raisins was taken to the Guildhall, and placed in a room adjoining the Council Chamber. A short time after he was sent for by the Magistrates to e examined, when he was found suspended by the neck and quite dead. An Inquest was held on the body in the evening, when the Jury returned a verdict of Insanity.
Thursday 14 June 1832 On Wednesday evening last, the REV. ED. O. HOLWELL, of Plympton, arrived at the Red Lion Inn, at Newport, from Gloucester, and made arrangements for sleeping there and proceeding the next morning to Exeter. He appeared very cheerful and well, and desired to be called at half-past seven o'clock at which time the chamber-maid went to his bed-room door, and knocked for some time, but could not obtain any answer, and, on opening the door, found the rev. gentleman in bed, but quite dead, and appearing to have been so for some time. He had complained, when at Gloucester, of a pain and oppression on his chest, and had taken some simple preparation, which had much relieved him. He was Rector of Plymptree, Devonshire, and formerly Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford. An Inquest was held before W. J. Ellis, Esq. Coroner, and a verdict of Sudden Death by Visitation of God was returned.
Thursday 21 June 1832 EXETER - On Sunday morning last, a child, about 4 months old, belonging to a man named POPE, a brewer, residing in lower North-street, in this city, was found by its parents dead by their side in bed, supposed to have died from cramp, accompanied with rupture of a blood vessel of the head, and, on the Inquest a verdict was returned accordingly.
Thursday 28 June 1832 Inquest by R. H. Aberdein, Esq. Coroner. - On Thursday, at Bickleigh, near Tiverton, on the body of THOMAS PITTS, aged 35, who put an end to his existence by shooting himself. The deceased has been for a year or two past subject to violent pains in the head, which always affected his spirits, sometimes sinking them to a state of great despondency, and at others exciting him to a great degree of irritability. It was given in evidence, that the deceased had been suffering materially from the pain in his head, although on the night of Tuesday, he said he had passed rather an easier night. On the Wednesday morning, having brought his cows in to be milked, he said his stockings were wet and he wished to put on a dry pair. He went up stairs, for the purpose it was supposed, of changing them. While his household were engaged in milking, they heard the report of a gun, a servant went into the house, and called the deceased by name, but received no answer, she then went towards the garden and on looking over the garden hedge into the orchard, saws the deceased lying on his back with his legs across the trunk of a tree. She made an alarm and his brother came and they took him into the house. He was quite dead. The deceased's brother stated that upon examining the deceased, a blackened wound was found immediately at the pit of the stomach. A gun just discharged was lying close by; the butt of the gun had been fastened to an apple tree, by a piece of tape, a piece of the same tape had been fastened to the trigger, having unbuttoned his waistcoat and placed the muzzle as before stated he pulled the tape, and was dead in a moment, the whole charge of the gun penetrated his chest. The Jury returned a verdict of Insanity.
On Sunday last, an Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, at Knowle, in the parish of Braunton, on the body of FARMER JAMES CHUGG, of Westdown, who, on his return from Braunton on the preceding evening, was thrown from his horse, and falling on his head a concussion of the brain was produced; he was taken up in a state of insensibility, and died in a few hours after. He has left a widow and five children to deplore their sad bereavement, the youngest of whom was to have been baptised the day on which the Inquest was held on its father's body.
Thursday 5 July 1832 Inquests held by Thomas Copner, Esq. Coroner. - On Tuesday at the poor house in Fremington, on the body of WILLIAM HEAL, an aged pauper, who died suddenly the preceding day. Verdict - Divine Visitation.
This morning at Braunton, on the body of a boy named HANCOCK, who was found lying under the side of a vessel, from which it is supposed he fell off and was drowned. Verdict - Found Drowned.
SOUTHMOLTON - An Inquest was held on Friday last, before W. Venn, Esq. mayor, on the body of HENRY KNILL, aged 31, pensioner in the Marine Artillery, who hung himself in a linhay of his uncle's MR BIDDER, of this place, as it is said in consequence of the misconduct of his wife, who has left him, and cohabits with a serjeant of Marines, by whom she has had a child. Verdict - Insanity. The deceased was a native of Braunton.
Thursday 12 July 1832 Inquests held by Francis Kingdon, Esq. Coroner. - On Sunday the 1st instant at Buckland Brewer, on the body of THOS. BLIGHT, who hung himself on a tree the day before. Verdict - Lunacy.
On Sunday, the 8th inst., at Hartland, on the body of JOHN HOPKINS, who was found drowned in the Abbey River. Verdict - Found Drowned.
Inquests held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, at Marwood on Monday last, on the body of WM. MARSHALL, aged 72, who, on retiring to rest the preceding evening, was seized with sudden illness, and died immediately. Verdict - Apoplexy.
Thursday 2 August 1832 Inquests held by F. Kingdon, Esq. Coroner. - On the 19th inst., at Sheepwash, on the body of HONOR HEYSETT, aged 70, who was found dead in her dwelling house. Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
On the 20th instant, at Bradworthy, on the body of MARY ANN HANCOCK, aged 2 years, who was found drowned in a Mill Leat. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 23 August 1832 EXETER - On Friday last, a poor man named STONE, who had come from Honiton to this city (most unwillingly from dread of the cholera) for a cart load of laths, on returning home in the evening, just as he arrived, the horse took fright, when in endeavouring to stop him he was so dreadfully crushed between the wheels and the wall, as to occasion instant death; an Inquest was held by R. H. Aberdein, Esq. on the body. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 30 August 1832 EXETER - Important Inquest. - On Friday at two o'clock an Inquest was held at the Red Lion Inn, St. Sidwell's, by S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, and a respectable Jury, on the body of MR J. VICARY, a travelling vender of sweetmeats and nuts, who was taken ill of the Cholera at Dawlish, on Wednesday evening, at the Swan Inn, in that town, and at 10 o'clock p.m. by order of the Overseer and other Gentlemen, conveyed to Exeter, with no other apparel on but his stockings, and where on the following morning he died, at Kekewich Place. The Jury having viewed the body, Dr Pennell stated that he was called from the Guildhall about 4 o'clock on Thursday morning, to see a man whom he was told was in a cart in St. Sidwell's, ill in the Cholera. He went to the spot, opposite Kekewich-place, where he found deceased in the cart, and ordered him to be taken to a room, which being complied with, he examined him, and thought he was in a dangerous state; he considered, from the symptoms, that deceased was decidedly labouring under Cholera. He was informed that he had been conveyed from Dawlish to Exeter, and was of opinion that the removal of the man from such a distance as Dawlish particularly after night was calculated to increase the danger of the disease, and to lessen the chance of recovery. He had visited him two or three times after, and found he was sinking: on this last visit between ten and eleven o'clock, he was informed the man was dead; did not know, of his own knowledge, when the man died. William Edmonds, of Dawlish, shoemaker, deposed that he had known the deceased for three or four months, who had lodged at Mrs Tuckett's, the Swan Inn, at Dawlish; he heard on Wednesday evening, about seven o'clock, that the deceased was very ill: he went to him about half-past nine or ten o'clock, and found him in bed; witness was accompanied by a Mr White, a hatter; deceased appeared to him to be in a great deal of pain: when they came to the Inn, White told deceased that he must be removed by the gentlemen's orders; White was sent there by the gentlemen to tell deceased that he must be removed: witness then told deceased that he must e removed by the order of the gentlemen, Mr Leeson, Captain Hall, and Mr Ferris, the overseer of the poor: deceased replied that he could not be removed, but that he would go early in the morning: White told him that he must be removed by the gentlemen's orders; and deceased asked if they wished to murder him: White replied "No, I don't wish to murder you:" I don't wish to do it, but the gentlemen have ordered it. Witness then went down to Mr Leeson and Mr Ferris, who were in the bar, and told them that the deceased said he could not be removed, and Mr Leeson said, "d..n it take him up, bed and all, and take him out by force." Witness and White then told deceased that the gentlemen had ordered them to take him out by force, and deceased then requested that they would put on his stockings, which was done; they then told the gentlemen that deceased had put on his stockings, and Leeson said, "it's all right." Witness went up with another man called Dolling, and they got deceased into the cart, and drove him to Exeter. Ferris told witness and Dolling that they should be "d..d well rewarded," and had 10s. to pay their expenses, and a bottle of brandy. Witness thought deceased appeared to be very ill, as he spoke in a "hoarsey tone of voice," and seemed in a weak state, so that he did not think he was capable of putting on his stocking without assistance, deceased was given some cold water at the inn, and he believed there was brandy put in it, but he was not certain of that. Wm. James, a hawker, arrived at Dawlish on Wednesday afternoon, he met 'father VICARY' , the deceased, who appeared to be ill, he vomitted, and witness went with him and got some brandy and rhubarb; after taking the medicine, deceased vomitted again. Witness then got deceased to the Swan, where he used to lodge, and went to get a doctor. The first he applied to refused to come, because he did not attend the landlady of the Swan. 'Doctors at Dawlish do not visit patients so readily as they do here.' About an hour after he procured Mr Goss, Jun. who came and saw the deceased. As soon as he had seen him, he took his horse and went to the justice, directing witness to call at his house; Mr Goss wrote a paper, directing that the deceased should be taken care of and put into a hot bed, and his feet bathed in hot water: this paper he gave to the overseer, and the deceased had two pills and some medicine directed by Mr Goss. When he came to the house with the paper and the medicine, he had great difficulty in getting the landlady to let him have a tea-spoon full of brandy, as ordered by the doctor for the deceased. He afterwards saw Leeson at the Swan, who said "d..n your blood what do you do here," and he was afterwards refused admission to the deceased's room and ordered out of the house by Leeson in a most insulting manner. He then went t6o the Red Lion, where he lodged, and after he had been in bed some time the overseer sent to him and offered him 15s. if he would go to Exeter with the deceased. He went to the Swan to enquire into it, and was obstructed from seeing the deceased, after which he went away, and said he would have no more to do with it. About ten o'clock he heard the cart, and a great noise in the street, he asked if they were going to take the poor old man away, and the mob hooted and cried out that witness ought to be sent with him, for he had brought the disease into the town. Witness thought a "dog could not have been served worse than the deceased." - the conduct of the landlady of the Swan Inn, the gentlemen, and the rest of the people about the house, was very inhuman. Several other witnesses were called, who corroborated the above, and it was further proved that deceased was ill, and vomited several times before he came to the Swan. The Coroner then adjourned the Inquest till Saturday one o'clock. SATURDAY - The Coroner and Jury assembled at one o'clock this day, when a certificate was put in from a surgeon, that a Mr Gambridge, one of the witnesses, was unable to attend from illness. John Down attended the deceased from half-past seven on Thursday morning, until half-past twelve at night, when he expired. William White, a journeyman hatter, saw the deceased at the Swan, and assisted him, he could not stand; and when they put him to bed he was not able to undress himself. This witness corroborated the evidence of Edmonds. Dr Pennell was again called, and repeated the opinion he stated yesterday, and that the probability was, that death might have been accelerated by the mode of conveyance in which the deceased was removed. Stephen Weston Goss - Is a surgeon of Dawlish; on Wednesday evening he was called to the Swan, to see the deceased; the deceased was in the skittle-ground; he complained of pain, and of having vomited frequently. Deceased, at his request, was taken towards the house, but he was refused admittance. he then examined him in the court, and from the symptoms, concluded he was labouring under the disease so prevalent in Exeter. Witness went to Mr Parr, the magistrate, to know whether the landlady was not obliged to take deceased into the house, and the magistrate said she was. Witness, to avoid responsibility, then went to Mr Ferris, the overseer, and desired that he would procure some place where the deceased might be put into a warm bed. After the delay of an hour, he found he was put to bed. His assistant saw him, and reported to him that he was better; about half-past eight witness again saw him and thought him much better. When he called to see him again he was requested by Mr Ferris to sanction the man's removal; and when asked if he thought he could be removed, he said, with proper care, he thought he might; if he were wrapped up in blankets, and conveyed in a carriage; he did not think such a vehicle as a covered cart at all proper for such a purpose. Witness's father saw the overseer afterwards, who told him the deceased must not be removed in a covered cart. If the carriage was not thought good afterwards it must be destroyed; but they must not remove him in a covered cart by any means whatever. Had witness been aware that his certificate would have been used in that manner, he would not have given it, and if he had had any idea of the man being removed in the way he was, he should have opposed it, on the ground of great danger. He would not of course take upon himself to say, that the removal was the cause of the man's death, though witness was much hurt when he heard the manner in which he had been removed. About 7 o'clock, the Jury returned a verdict of Manslaughter against Captain Hall, Mr Leeson, and Mr Ferris, the overseer; and the Jury expressed their unanimous opinion that the death of VICARY was considerably accelerate by their conduct; warrants were then issued for their apprehension. VICARY was 65 years of age. Four Police Officers were immediately dispatched after the parties, but they were not to be found.
Thursday 13 September 1832 EXETER - Inquest. - An Inquest was taken in this city on Tuesday, 4th inst. before S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, on the body of MRS SARAH BRAGG, aged 59, widow of the late MR T. BRAGG, baker, of Gandy-street, who having that morning been left by her nurse for a short time, was found on her return, to have fallen from the bed, and was lying by the side of it quite dead. The Jury returned a verdict that having fallen from weakness in removing herself from the bed, she had died in an attack of cholera. We announced the death of her only daughter a fortnight since, and the deceased was not known to hold up her head after that event.
An Inquest was held on Thursday evening, on the body of MR GOERGE BODLEY, a respectable ironfounder of this city, who was found dead in his bed the same morning. Deceased had for a number of years been afflicted with the gout, previous to his death: he incautiously went into his garden on Wednesday, where he sat three or four hours, for the purpose of superintending some workmen employed on his premises, and in the night he complained of pain in his stomach. The evidence produced was such as to satisfy the Jury that deceased died from suppressed gout in the stomach, and they returned a verdict - Died by the Visitation of God. MR BODLEY was well known, not only in this city and county, but throughout many districts of England, as an ingenious and skilful practical mechanic, and as the inventor of the useful kitchen apparatus known as "BODLEY'S Stove."
An Inquest was held on Tuesday last, by Thomas Copner, Esq. Coroner, in the parish of Bishopsnympton, on the body of JOHN LOCKYER, servant to Mr Balment, 30 years of age, who was found drowned the day preceding. No evidence appeared how he got into the water, nor were any marks of violence found on the body. The Jury therefore returned a verdict of "Found Drowned, but how or by what means he came into the water, there was no evidence to shew." the deceased was highly respected by the family in whose service he was engaged, and who, on the Inquest gave him a most excellent character for sobriety and good conduct.
Thursday 27 September 1832 Fatal Accident - On Thursday last, JOHN SANDERS, an itinerant pedlar, who was a passenger in Seldon's waggon, when near Witheridge, fell out of the vehicle, the wheels of which passing over him, killed him on the spot. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body, by James Partridge, Esq. when a verdict of 'Accidental' was returned, with a deodand on the wheel of three shillings.
Thursday 11 October 1832 Inquests Held by R. H. Aberdein, Esq. - At Lympstone, on the 26th ult. on the body of LUCY VINNICOMBE, of that parish, aged 14 years. On the Sunday previous, deceased had been left by her parents to take care of her brothers and sisters (five in number,) during their absence from home. In the evening she sat down by the fire with a book, intending to read, when she fell asleep, and was awoke by a flame of fire emitted from her clothes. She called for assistance, and the fire was soon put out. Medical aid was also procured, but she was so severely burnt, that she died on the following morning. Verdict - Accidental Death.
At Uffculme, on the 2nd inst. on the body of ELIZABETH VEALES, wife of WM. VEALES, of that parish, carpenter, aged 26 years. Deceased, who had been low spirited for some time, on the previous day destroyed herself, by hanging herself in her bed-room. A very minute investigation took place, and it appeared that she had just recovered from the typhus fever, the effects of which had not left her, added to which some domestic troubles had preyed heavily on her mind, and she sunk under them. The Jury, after a patient deliberation, returned a verdict of Temporary Derangement.
At Exmouth, on the 3rd instant, on the bodies of JOHN HAYNES and JAMES MCGUINEAS, seamen of the revenue cutter, Nimble. HAYNES, MCGUINEAS, and two other persons were on duty on board a boat belonging to the revenue cutter, on the 30th ult, as they were coming over the bar, a heavy sea came on the starboard quarter of the boat, luff'd her up in the wind, and upset her; all the men were thrown out, and three of them were drowned. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 18 October 1832 An Inquest was held on Thursday last, by Thomas Copner, Esq. Coroner, in the parish of Filleigh, on the body of MARY CURTIS, aged 52, who, while in the act of milking a cow, rose up, fell back, and never spoke afterwards. Medical assistance was afforded her, but she died within a few hours. Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
Thursday 25 October 1832 An Inquest was held by Thomas Copner, Esq., Coroner, on Tuesday last, on the body of JOHN RICHARDS, at Linton, aged upwards of 70 years, who when walking up the hill on the road from Linton to Brendon, where he resided, suddenly dropt down, and rolling over the tremendous cliffs, he descended to an awful depth, falling from rock to rock till he reached the bottom, where he was taken up with his chest broken, and several of his ribs fractured; the vital spark had not entirely left him, but he survived only a few hours. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 22 November 1832 Inquest held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on Saturday last, in the parish of Landkey, on the body of ANN SELDON, aged 70, who left her house for the purpose of fetching a pitcher of water, and a few minutes after was discovered lying by the side of the brook, a corpse. Verdict, Died by the Visitation of God.
Thursday 3 January 1833 An Inquest was held at Shute House, the seat of Sir W. T. Pole, Bart. on the 27th ult. by R. H. Aberdein, Esq. Coroner, on the body of WILLIAM FACEY, late of the parish of Kilmington, hair-dresser. By the evidence, it appeared that the deceased was in the habit of going to Shute House to shave Sir W. t. Pole, on the above day, when he shaved that gentleman he appeared to be in excellent health and spirits. He had not left Sir William's dressing room above 5 minutes, when the butler on going into the servants' hall found him on his knees, resting against a bench, and gasping for breath. The butler spoke to him, and not obtaining an answer he called for assistance, and a surgeon was immediately sent for, but he died before the surgeon could arrive. Mr Hayman, the surgeon, examined the body externally, there were no marks by which he could ascertain the cause of death, but he stated that from the evidence of the witnesses, he was of opinion that the deceased died from some internal rupture, either of the brain or the head. The Jury after a short deliberation returned a verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
Thursday 7 February 1833 EXETER - Shocking Death. - On Friday evening an Inquest was held on the body of a poor man named BOLT, who was found dead at the Exeter lime Kilns. The deceased was about 60 years of age, and had lived in good and respectable service; lately he had been employed as a horse keeper. The body when found exhibited a miserable appearance, the back part of the head and part of the face having been dreadfully burnt. It appeared he had taken a large stone and placed it in the middle of the kiln on the top of the lime, upon which he sat down; he probably fell asleep or was overpowered by the effluvia from the kiln, and fell backwards upon the burning lime. The poor fellow must have suffered excruciating agonies, as his groanings were heard by persons in the night, who thought they were the howlings of a dog. the verdict returned was Accidental Death.
Thursday 14 March 1833 EXETER - An Inquest was held on Saturday last, by S. Walkey, Esq., Coroner, on the body of a girl 7 years of age, named BURNETT, who, in the absence of the mother, from her residence in Preston-street, in this city, the previous day, caught her clothes on fire with a lighted candle, and was so dreadfully burnt that she died a short time afterwards in the Devon and Exeter Hospital. Verdict - "Accidental Death."
Thursday 11 April 1833 Melancholy Catastrophe. - On the forenoon of Sunday, the 24thult., the town of Moretonhampstead was thrown into a state of consternation by the death of a young and unoffending female, (if report speaks true,) effected in such a cold blooded and cruel manner as can scarcely find a parallel. A person in that town, of the name of Henry Heyward, about 17 or 18 years of age, whose mother is a Widow, has a seton in his neck, for a complaint of the eyes. This was dressed and attended by a servant of his mother's, of the name of PETHYBRIDGE, a girl about 15 or 16 years of age, the lad had winced and conducted himself in so childish a manner, that the girl had laughed at him; and in the course of the forenoon, imitated him as she related the circumstance to a lad named Frost, one of his companions. For this Heyward said, in a surly tone, "if you mock me again I'm d..d if I don't shoot you." The poor girl repeated the mimickery, when he deliberately took a loaded pistol he carried about him, from his pocket and shot at her!! The ball took effect in the corner of the left eye, and passing through the brain was extracted by Mr Puddicombe from the back part of the skull. The unfortunate girl lived in agony several hours, but never spoke from the time of the injury being inflicted on her. Notwithstanding a deed so black as this was, committed in the centre of a considerable town, and in the middle of the day, it is said, not the slightest effort was made by any peace-officer or other police existing in it, to seize the offender, who is reported to have been at large until Tuesday, when an Inquest was taken on the body of the girl, before Joseph Gribble, esq., one of the Coroners for the county of Devon, and when the Jury returned a verdict of Manslaughter!!! the Coroner immediately issued his warrant, and on the following day the offender was lodged in the County Gaol; whence, however, he has since been liberated on bail!! as it is rumoured, of two sureties of 500l. each. It is said that the unhappy mother of this girl, who lives in the town, was so shocked when the news was communicated to her, that she has remained since in a state of stupor, and fears are entertained that her reasoning faculties will never return.
Thursday 25 April 1833 On Saturday last an Inquest was held by Thomas Copner, Esq., Coroner, on the body of MR RICHARD REDFERN, of the borough of Newport: this unfortunate individual had for some considerable time past been in an unsound state of mind; and on Thursday morning he got up early and went out, only partially dressed; not returning at his usual breakfast time. Persons were dispatched in quest of him, who sought for him in vain through the whole of that and the succeeding day, until the evening, when a servant man going into a hay loft at the higher end of the village, discovered him suspended by a halter from a beam which crossed the loft, quite dead, having been hanging there as it is supposed from the time he left his home. The Jury found no difficulty in returning a verdict of Insanity.
Thursday 9 May 1833 SUDDEN DEATHS. - An Inquest was held before J. Partridge, Esq., Coroner, at the Horse and Groom Inn, Heavitree, on Thursday last on the body of WM. EDWARDS, an Usher at Mr Dymond's academy who was found dead in his bed on Wednesday morning last. It was proved by several witnesses, that his mental faculties were quite perfect on the previous evening, and he was never seen to enjoy better health or to be in better spirits than on the night before his death. J. M. Madden, Esq. the surgeon, who examined the deceased, stated that he always considered by the general appearance of the deceased, that his existence would terminate by apoplexy, and had mentioned the subject to a member of his own family. After a short deliberation the Jury returned a verdict accordingly.
An Inquest was held at Lawrence Clyst, on Wednesday, before R. H. Aberdein, Esq., Coroner on the body of JOHN SNELL, jun., a young man about 24 years of age; son of widow SNELL, of Town Farm in that parish. It appeared that deceased on Monday evening had been visiting some friends at Whimple, and left them in perfect health and sobriety at 12 o'clock; the next morning he was found about three quarters of a mile from his home lying in the road quite dead. Not the slightest bruise or blemish appeared on the body, and the Jury were unanimously of opinion that he died of an apoplectic fit, and brought in a verdict of Died by the Visitation of God. He was a very promising good tempered young man, and was much and deservedly beloved by his sorrowing friends and relatives.
Thursday 16 May 1833 EXETER - Distressing Suicide. - On Monday last, MR JOHN SALTER a fine young man aged 28, son of Sergeant Major SALTER, of the East Devon Militia, committed suicide by throwing himself into the river opposite Salmon Pool Tea-house. He was observed leaning over the railings and gazing very intensely on the water for some time, and having apparently worked himself up to a firm resolve, he plunged in head foremost, but rose again immediately to the surface. He calmly turned on his back and sinking gradually, the last air-bubble speedily warned the terrified spectator that life had departed. Although an alarm was given the moment he plunged in, it was an hour before the body was found. An Inquest was held on the body, at Heavitree, by Jas. Partridge, Esq., and a Verdict of Temporary Insanity was returned.
Thursday 23 May 1833 EXETER - The Late Duel - Death of DR HENNIS. - The duel between DR HENNIS and Sir J. Jeffcott, which we noticed in our last, has terminated in the death of the former highly respected and universally lamented gentleman; after lingering eight days he expired on Saturday, the 18th instant, about 5 o'clock in the afternoon. DR HENNIS was about 30 years of age, he had practised as a physician in Exeter about 4 years, his great professional skill, truly estimable qualities of mind, and liberal conduct in dispensing freely his valuable aid to the poor had procured him a more than common share of respect and esteem; it appears from all accounts that his death is regarded as a public calamity as well as a heavy affliction to his nearest friends: he was on the eve of being united to an amiable young lady, the daughter of a clergyman who resides a few miles from Exeter. At half-past seven o'clock on Saturday evening, the Coroner for the city, S. Walkey, Esq. issued a summons for the assembling of a Jury to hold an Inquest, and a Jury of most respectable men met the same evening in the large room of the Half Moon Inn, just opposite DR HENNIS'S lodgings, and having been sworn, proceeded to view the body. Having done this they returned to their room, when they were dismissed until nine o'clock on Monday for the purpose, in the mean time, of the body undergoing a post mortem examination. POST MORTEM EXAMINATION. - The following is the substance of the post mortem examination which took place on Sunday morning, in the presence of Dr Shapter, Messrs. Barnes, Luscombe, Edye, and Madden, surgeons. On examining the body, the mark of a gun shot wound was found in the right side - it was about four fingers depth from the shoulder blade, and half a dozen from the spine - the course of the ball was traced to the spine, where it had broken the spine processions; it had dipped deeply among the muscles on the opposite side, and shattered the angle of one of the ribs; it had been traced there while alive, but from that point it was missed - from that point of the broken rib the finger could be passed into the chest; the body was then examined in front, and it was found that the left side of the chest was in the highest state of inflammation possible - the lower part of the lungs being much choked; the ball had traversed the lungs about two inches and a half - and lay in a coagulum of blood in the lungs, which caused his death. On examining if any thing was lodged near the bullet, an angular substance was discovered, which was removed, and found to be a piece of stone. It being thought it might be a piece of the fractured rib, it was examined particularly, and which, when analyzed, was found to be a piece of flint; it weighed between 2 and 3 grains. this stone was cut out from about half an inch from the lungs. It was enveloped in the substance of the lungs, and had not been there any length of time; and was supposed to have entered the lungs the same time as the ball. No wadding or clothes of any kind was found. The ball was not flattened, it was made of lead, and weighed 260 grains. The aperture of the wound in the back was rather larger than a sixpence - and the ball entered obliquely - the wound in the lung was much smaller - the wound in its total length was about 11 inches. From the state of the wound, it was considered a point blank shot from the ball having descended obliquely, as if it had struck any substance in its way, it would have ascended - the external wound was sloping downward, and if it had struck on the ground, this could not, it is supposed, have occurred. It was considered the flint entered the body with the ball. Dr Shapter on submitting the piece of stone to a chemical examination, ascertained it to be a flint similar in all its properties to that which is found on Haldon. THE INQUEST - Pursuant to adjournment from Saturday evening, the Jury re-assembled on Monday morning; among the gentlemen present were DR HENNIS'S brother and the Rev. Mr Clack. Mr Gidley, solicitor, attended as Coroner's assessor. The following gentlemen composed the Jury:- Mr J. E. Pye, foreman, Messrs. Henry Luke, James Burt, George Whipple, Elias Carter, J. H. Rowe, W. B. Hill, R. Taylor, W. Wilkes, A. Patey, T. R. Baker, Joseph Whipple, W. Veysey, C. Arden, T. Howe, W. Snell. The Coroner, before any evidence was adduced, took the opportunity of forbidding any publication of these proceedings, at least, at the present time, and adduced the case of the Brighton Herald, against which a criminal information had been laid on a similar subject. He adduced the opinion of Mr Justice Park on the case. The Coroner would not exclude persons from being present, but in the existing state of the proceedings, publicity would be highly improper - perhaps prejudicial to the cause of justice. For these reasons he should forbid the proceedings now taking place from being published until the proper time - the time of trial.
EXETER - Melancholy Accident. - On Wednesday morning last, MR WM. SKINNER, a young man about 30 years of age, who has been for many years clerk and traveller at the china warehouse of Mr Edward Eardley, in this city, mounted a horse in front of his residence in Paris-street, for the purpose of proceeding to Sidmouth, when the animal became restive, and on alighting he was thrown with such a force as to cause a severe fracture of the skull. S. C. L. Walkey, Esq., Surgeon was immediately called in, and he rendered every assistance to the unfortunate young man which professional skill could devise, but such was the nature of the injury, that in the afternoon of the same day MR SKINNER expired, leaving, we regret to add, a widow and two young children to lament their loss. He was a young man of excellent character and much respected. On Thursday morning an Inquest was held, before S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, on the body, when Mr Osment, cabinet-maker, stated that he saw deceased whilst alighting from his horse, "the horse being at the time restive," thrown on his head in Paris-street; he believed that the horse was very quiet and not vicious in general, but had been irritated by deceased's great coat, which was tied up behind. Mr S. Collyns Walkey, surgeon, stated that he was called to MR SKINNER on Wednesday morning at 7 o'clock, and on examination found a severe contusion at the posterior part of the head, but no apparent fracture. At that time he was labouring under symptoms of concussion of the brain, for which proper remedies were used, but subsequently he was attacked by convulsions; after which other symptoms of compression of the brain came on, and he expired at about 2 o'clock. Mr S. C. Walkey said he was of opinion that deceased had died from compression of the brain, arising from the rupture of a blood vessel within the head, which was caused by the blow on the head. Verdict "Accidental Death, from falling on his head to the ground." After the Inquest, at the request of the Jurymen, an examination of the head was made by Mr W. and other surgeons, when a very large quantity of blood was found on the brain on the opposite side of the head to that on which the blow was received, arising from a ruptured blood vessel, and also a fracture of the bones extending into the base of the head.
Thursday 13 June 1833 TEIGNMOUTH - Sudden Death. - On Thursday last, GEORGE UPHAM, a poor fisherman, who having left Teignmouth, with two others, apparently in good health, for the purpose of following their daily occupation of fishing, was taken violently ill while at sea, and expired immediately. Coroner's verdict, "Died by the Visitation of God."
EXETER - Sudden Death. - On Tuesday evening, about nine o'clock, MR W. HAMBLING, in the employ of Messrs. J. Brutton and Co., of this city, was found dead in the road, near Powderham. It appeared in evidence before Mr Walkey, the Coroner, that Mr Ripley, Messrs. Kingdon's traveller, overtook the deceased as he came through Starcross, and they agreed to ride home together; on their arrival at Sowton, Mr Ripley had to call on a person, when MR HAMBLYN said he would ride on slowly. Mr Ripley remained a few minutes only, and proceeded to follow the deceased; when on his arrival at the new cut, near Powderham, he found him with another person who had raised him from the ground. There was no marks of violence about him; his horse was found quietly grazing at Exminster; the Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death. There appeared to be strong reasons for concluding that his death was occasioned by apoplexy. He was about 35 years of age, and highly respected.
Thursday 20 June 1833 Suicide - A young woman in the service of J. E. Lee, Esq. of Ottery St. Mary, named MARY HEYWARD, aged 28,was, on Monday last, found drowned in a fish pond near the house. Deceased was a female of considerable personal attractions, good character, and respectably connected: it is supposed that a love affair caused her to commit the rash act. An Inquest has been held, and a verdict of "Found Drowned" returned.
Thursday 27 June 1833 SOUTHMOLTON - A Coroner's Inquest was held on Monday the 17th instant, before William Flexman, Esq., on the body of WILLIAM SHORT, who, while engaged in mowing on Cockram estate, in this parish, fell backward, and instantly expired. Verdict, - "Visitation of God."
On Wednesday last, MR JOHN MILDON, of Hallswell Farm, in the parish of Chittlehampton, attended Southmolton fair, where he indulged himself in drinking to excess, till a late hour in the evening, when he left on foot to return home, having previously sent forward his horse by his servant: not having arrived the following morning, a diligent search was made for him, and it was not till the Friday after that he was found in a linhay about one mile and a half from Southmolton, lying on the ground, with a rope about is neck, quite dead. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body, which returned a verdict, "Hung himself in a fit of Insanity."
Thursday 18 July 1833 BARNSTAPLE - Awfully Sudden Death. - On Friday last, as an elderly female of this town, called ELIZABETH DRAYTON, was taking her dinner, without the slightest premonition, she dropped back in her chair, exclaiming 'my head, my head,' and instantly expired. An Inquest was held before W. Law, Esq., and a verdict returned of "Divine Visitation."
Thursday 25 July 1833 EXETER - Inquest. - On Tuesday afternoon, an Inquest was held by J. Partridge, Esq. Coroner, at the vestry-room, St. Leonard's on the body of SAMUEL DARBY, 22 years of age, who, early on Monday forenoon was drowned while bathing in the river Exe, just below the cotton factory. The deceased was the son of MR JAMES DARBY, joiner, Goldsmith street, in this city, and had the misfortune to be dumb. He had been educated at an Institution for persons of this description in London, and having at length returned to his parents, had been brought to his father's business. On Monday, he was at work on some part of Mount Radford with his brother, whom he left for the purpose of bathing in the river which runs below, and where, no assistance being sufficiently near, he perished, his parents at the time being absent from Exeter. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 29 August 1833 Death by Poisoning. - On the 13th instant, an Inquest was taken before Joseph Gribble, Esq., one of the Coroners for Devon, at Sainthill, in the parish of Moretonhampstead, on the body of MARIA, second daughter of MR W. TAVERNER, and about 21 years of age. On the preceding day she had been taken very ill with violent vomiting, and a medical gentleman being sent for, she confessed having taken a quantity of arsenic, but assigned no cause for so doing. Every effort was tried to remove the deadly poison from the stomach, but was unavailing, and after lingering about four hours, death terminated her sufferings. The Jury returned a verdict of "Died from poison taken while labouring under Temporary Insanity."
Thursday 5 September 1833 SOUTHMOLTON - Shocking Accident. - On Friday last, as Mrs Widgery, wife of Mr John Widgery, a butcher, of this town, was returning from the harvest field in a cart, where she had been with dinner for the labourers, in company with her niece, Miss Cock; a boy, named GEORGE ASHELFORD, about 14 years of age, was driving the horse, and having given it a stroke with a stick, it went off at full speed, and drawing the cart over a bank, it overturned, and killed the boy on the spot. Mrs Widgery and Miss Cock were both so dreadfully injured as to render their recovery dubious the former had one of her ribs broken. A Coroner's Inquest was held the following day, on the body of the boy, and a verdict returned of Accidental Death, with a deodand of one shilling on the cart.
Thursday 12 September 1833 Melancholy Circumstance. - An Inquest was held on Tuesday se'nnight, before A. B. Bone, Esq. at Wembury-House, the residence of the Right Hon. Sir E. Thornton, G.C.B., on the body of DUDLEY THORNTON, eldest son of SIR EDWARD, who was drowned whilst bathing in the Yealm on the preceding day. It appeared from the evidence adduced that the deceased, who is about 17 years of age, and his two brothers, went with their father and the hind to bathe at the spot where they had been in the habit of bathing for the last two months. SIR EDWARD remained on the beach until his three sons and the hind, who always bathed with them, as a precaution against accident, were in the water, and saw his two elder sons, the deceased, and his second son, EDWARD, beginning to swim in the shallow water. He then walked down the beach, and was returning towards the spot where he left his sons, when he heard a call for aid; he ran towards the spot, and on inquiring of his younger sons where their brother DUDLEY was, he was told he had just sunk in the deep water. SIR EDWARD immediately rushed into the water towards the spot pointed out by his sons, but finding he could not swim with his clothes on, he was obliged to return to the shore, and having taken off his clothes, again went into the river. In the meantime, SIR EDWARD and his hind called loudly for assistance, and two small boats put off from the opposite shore to their aid. The boatmen stated that being unable to swim, they could not dive for the body, which they could see lying at the bottom, and it was very speedily recovered with the boat-hook, and taken on shore; blankets were procured from the preventive station, and the most strenuous efforts used, under SIR EDWARDC'S directions, to resuscitate the body; it was subsequently removed to the station-house, and here again very means was adopted by Mr Luscombe, surgeon and other persons present, to effect resuscitation, but without success. MR E. THORNTON and the hind corroborated this testimony, and the Jury returned a verdict of "Accidentally Drowned."
Thursday 3 October 1833 EXETER - Sudden Death. - An Inquest was held on Wednesday last, by S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, at Mrs Harding's Anchor Inn, Castle-street, on the body of ROBERT REYNOLDS, a young man about 18 years of age, a native of Truro, who had, for some time previously, been employed as assistant and traveller, to Mr Abraham, optician, High-street, and who died suddenly at his master's house, on the morning of the same day. After a post mortem examination to ascertain the cause of the young man's death, the Jury returned a verdict - "Died by the Visitation of God, from an attack of apoplexy."
A Coroner's Inquest was held at Crediton, on Monday, on the body of a poor man named JOHN FLOOD, who had long been in a very emaciated condition and died on Sunday morning, in consequence of having swallowed three parts of an ounce of laudanum on the preceding evening. - Verdict, "That his Death was occasioned by his having taken laudanum to ease him of his pains."
BARNSTAPLE - An Inquest was held on Tuesday last, before William Law, Esq., Coroner, on the body of GRACE CORDUROY, aged 77, who resided in Sion Place, in this town; the deceased had been in a declining state of health for some time, and had recently betrayed an aberration of intellect. On the morning of the day above stated, an inmate of the house went to her room, and saw her lying in her bed in her usual position; within a short period the same individual again visited her, and discovered blood issuing from an incision made in her thorax by a pair of scissors, and in a state of great alarm she went and called the sister of the deceased, who accompanied her to the room, where they found the deceased in a state of great exhaustion, and she soon after breathed her last. Mr Blackmore, surgeon, was called in, who examined the body, and pronounced that her death was not occasioned by the wound in her throat, but that the high degree of excitement which had induced the perpetration of such a desperate attempt, had ruptured a blood vessel in her head, which had produced apoplexy, and caused her death. The Jury, in accordance with the judgement of the medical gentleman, returned a verdict of "Died by Apoplexy."
Thursday 17 October 1833 NORTHMOLTON - On Friday evening last, two men, one called THOMAS POTTER, and the other __ Vicary, both woolcombers, had a dispute, and some blows passed; the next morning POTTER sent a challenge to Vicary to fight him; whereupon Vicary came in from Heaseley mill, where he worked, and the parties met at the Somerset Inn, and a fight ensued, in which POTTER received a violent blow in the side of his head, which nearly deprived him of sensation: he was taken home, and the next morning surgical aid was procured, but in vain: he languished till the following morning, when he died. Mr Copner, the Coroner, is this day gone to hold an Inquest on the body. He has left a widow and three children, and the fourth daily expected.
Thursday 24 October 1833 TIVERTON - On Friday last, a Coroner's Inquest was held by J. Partridge, Esq., on the body of JOHN LEAWORTHY, the driver of a cart belonging to West Worlington, who was found lying in the Southmolton-road, about a mile from Tiverton, and who expired in a few minutes after he was discovered. He appeared to have fallen (as is supposed, from the shaft,) and dislocated his neck. The horse, with the cart, was found two miles further on, going steadily along the road without any driver. Verdict - "Accidental Death."
Thursday 7 November 1833 EXETER - A poor woman named NORCOMBE, while drawing water at the Conduit on Wednesday, dropped suddenly down and expired. She exhibited no previous symptoms of ill health. A Coroner's Inquest was held on Thursday, and a verdict - Died by the Visitation of God, returned.
EXETER - A fish woman named BARTLETT was found dead in her bed on Wednesday morning, in her house in the Excise Passage, a verdict to the same effect was also returned as in the former case.
Thursday 21 November 1833 EXETER - Death Occasioned by Drunkenness. - On Monday morning, an Inquest was held by S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, at the Kings Arms public house in this city, to inquire into the death of BENJAMIN CARSWELL, who was found dead in a court in Rocks Lane. Mrs S. Manley of the Duke of York public house stated, that the deceased came to her house about half past 8 o'clock on Saturday evening the 9th November, and remained there about two hours, when he was taken home by her son and a married woman named Jane Masters. Jane Masters lives next door to the Duke of York; on Saturday evening whilst standing at her door she heard the deceased and Thomas Cross quarrelling, shortly after witness and Mr Manley, son of the last witness, took him home. The deceased shook hands with her, and said, "God bless you," she then shut the door and deceased locked it inside. On Sunday morning she was called to MRS CARSWELL'S assistance: she found the deceased quite dead; the body was removed into the house. MARGARET CARSWELL wife of the deceased, stated that she went to bed shortly after 9 o'clock, her husband used to come home late, never locks the door, or keeps any candle lit in the room; has known him go out of bed several times at night, and lift up the window, he was troubled with an asthmatical complaint; never knew him to go into the sitting room before. About 4 o'clock the next morning she awoke and found him wanting, it was dark; she struck a light, and went down stairs, but did not go into the sitting room, found the outer door locked; she was induced to go down stairs again, when she observed the sitting room window open, and a square of glass broken; she opened the street door, and found her husband lying on the ground. Ann Browning a nurse was in attendance at the next house to the deceased, about 11 o'clock they were disturbed by hearing some glass break, but none of the neighbours knew where it came from. About 4 o'clock on Sunday morning, MRS CARSWELL knocked at the door and desired her to come down, that her husband was lying dead in the court. The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death occasioned by a fall from a window when in a state of intoxication. The height of the window was about 11 feet.
Thursday 12 December 1833 Inquests held by Thomas Copner, Esq., Coroner. - On Monday last, at Instow, on the body of JOHN PEAKE, one of the hapless crew of the life boat, which were drowned on the Sunday fortnight preceding, in their humane attempt to afford assistance to the sufferers on the wreck of the brig Mary Ann, of Exeter, the particulars of which were recorded in our Journal of the 28th ult. Verdict - Found Drowned.
Thursday 19 December 1833 EXETER - On Wednesday last, an Inquest was taken before J. Gribble, Esq., one of the Coroners for Devon, at Adams' King's Arms Inn, St. Thomas on the body of JACOB ISAACS, otherwise PARK, a Jew, which had been found in the river Exe, on the preceding afternoon. The deceased has been missing more than a month, and, after hearing a variety of evidence, but which threw no light on the matter, the Jury returned a verdict of Found Drowned, but by what means is unknown to the said Jurors.
Thursday 26 December 1833 INQUEST ON MR COX. - The body of this person, an engineer, the report of whose death was mentioned in our last, was found on Wednesday afternoon, in the river below Topsham; on Thursday, an Inquest was held by Mr Gribble, at the Haven Banks Inn, near the basin. It appeared in evidence, that COX left his house opposite the Ferry House, on Thursday about 12 o'clock, that he went to the Royal George, near the Quay-Gate, where he paid the labourers their wages. He left the Royal George about 12 o'clock at night, being intoxicated. He proceeded towards his home, by crossing the Shilhay-road, and over the Bridge: he must have turned into the Haven Banks, near the brewery; inside the first gate some rubbish has been thrown up, over which it appears probable he must have scrambled, and that from the darkness of the night, and the state he was in, being unable to see the river he there fell in; some marks of a sort of a struggle being visible in the gravel of which the rubbish is composed. From the late rains, the river is swollen, and his body must have been carried by the stream as far as where it meets the tide, where it was found, a distance of five or six miles. The body exhibited a mark of a severe blow in the face, and some suspicion was at first excited that he had met with foul play. There were, however, no circumstances to support such an impression, and the Jury returned a verdict of found Drowned. He was a most excellent mechanical engineer, and thoroughly understood his business, but his habits unfortunately led him into great excess, by which he has thus prematurely perished. He was about 36 years of age.
On Tuesday last, JOHN HOYLES, son of THOMAS HOYLES, of Martinhoe, a boy about twelve years of age, accompanied by his two sisters, younger than himself, left their father's house, which is near the coast, and rambled on the beach; the boy bade his sisters wait whilst he went on nearer the water's edge to pick up some bits of wood which the tide had left on the shore; the children saw him proceed towards a point of land which projects into the sea, when on a sudden a tremendous wave, impelled by a powerful wind, overwhelmed him, and bore him away to a watery grave. His body was discovered soon after floating on the waves, which eventually bore it to the shore. An Inquest was held on the body on Thursday, by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, and a verdict of "Accidentally Drowned" was returned.
Accident - On Monday last, ANN CALE, a girl about twelve years of age, whilst riding through a stream of water, about 20 yards from the mill, in the parish of Brendon, was, by the violence of the wind, blown off the horse, and drowned in the sight of several persons, who had no means of rendering her assistance. Mr Copner, the Coroner, is gone this day to hold an Inquest on the body.
Thursday 13 February 1834 Inquests held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner - On Friday last at Swymbridge, on the body of a child, called MARY CLARKE, aged four years whose clothes caught fire on the morning of the same day, whereby she was so dreadfully burnt, as to occasion almost immediate death. Verdict, "Accidental Death."
On Tuesday, on the body of a child called ANN ACLAND, of Goodleigh, aged 3 years, who in the absence of her mother on Sunday, caught her clothes on fire, and was shockingly burnt. Her sufferings were but short, as death soon released her. Verdict as in the former case.
Thursday 20 February 1834 Inquests held by Thomas Copner, Esq., Coroner. - On Saturday last, at Ilfracombe, on the body of JOHN GEEN, aged 70, who whilst employed in a boat with two other men, dredging for oysters, as he was pulling the rope of the dredge, was drawn overboard into the water; one of his companions caught him by the leg, and drew him back into the boat, but the shock was too great for him, and he died soon after. Verdict Accidental.
Thursday 27 February 1834 An Inquest was held this day by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a little boy, about two years old, son of a labourer, called WILLIAM BALE, of Atherington, whose death was occasioned by his clothes taking fire. Verdict - Accidental.
Thursday 6 March 1834 On Saturday last, an Inquest was taken before Joseph Gribble, Esq., one of the Coroners for Devon, at the London Hotel, Newton, on the body of an infant male child, found in the soil in a pit in the garden of Mr W. Forord, of that place. There was little doubt but that ELIZABETH WHITE, a cook, in the service of Mr Forord, had delivered herself of this child and placed it there, and after a long investigation into the circumstances, the Jury returned a verdict that, - The child found dead on the premises of Mr Forord, they believed to be the child of ELIZABETH WHITE; that she had been guilty of concealing her pregnancy and the birth of the child, but however by what means it came to its death no sufficient evidence had been presented to the Jurors.
Suicide - On Sunday last, an unfortunate man, 65 years of age, called ROBERT CORNEY, of Kings Heanton, in the parish of Marwood, who had long been the slave of intemperance, was found hanging by a rope in a hay-loft; his absence from his dwelling house had not exceeded two hours, but when discovered he was quite dead. He had been in the army, and served under the Duke of York in Holland, and subsequently in the 17th regiment of foot, in the East Indies, and was in the receipt of a pension. An Inquest was held on the body the day following, by T. Copner, Esq., Coroner, which returned a verdict of 'Temporary Derangement.'
Thursday 13 March 1834 An Inquest was held at Exmouth on Monday last on the body of a child, belonging to MR TURNER, aged 6 years, who died on the preceding Thursday, by being so dreadfully burnt by her clothes catching on fire in taking a tea kettle of boiling water off the fire. Accidental Death.
Thursday 20 March 1834 BARNSTAPLE - On Saturday last, a melancholy accident occurred in this town, to a little girl about two years and half old, daughter of MR SHANNON, tea dealer, who was returning from school in the middle of the day, in company with her little brother, when turning round the corner from Boutport into Joy street, they were met by a heavily laden timber waggon, which was cutting round the corner so closely as not to leave sufficient space for the children, who unconscious of their danger, pursued their way unnoticed by the driver of the waggon, when the outside one was knocked down, and the wheel of the waggon passing over her, she was killed on the spot. the unwarrantable practice of driving such unwieldy machines through such narrow thoroughfares as Joy street and Holland street, cannot be too severely reprobated. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body, which returned a verdict of 'Accidental Death', with a deodand of 5s. on the waggon.
Thursday 27 March 1834 A Coroner's Inquest was held by Thomas Copner, Esq., on Monday last, in the parish of West Anstey, on the body of a man called WILLIAM HILL, 86 years of age, who on the preceding Saturday was found sitting in his chair, about three o'clock in the afternoon, quite dead. Verdict - Visitation of God.
Thursday 17 April 1834 SOUTHMOLTON - A Coroner's Inquest was held at the Guildhall in this town on Monday the 14th instant, to investigate the cause of death of MARY VICARY, who had lately returned from the service of a Mr Melhuish, near Exeter. In consequence of some statements made by her to her sister and medical attendant, suspicions arose that some deleterious drug had been administered for the purpose of producing abortion. On the Jury receiving the evidence of Mr Southcombe, surgeon, it was deemed necessary that a post mortem examination of the body should take place, which was carefully and minutely done by Mr Southcombe accompanied by Dr Newbolt, whose combined evidence shewed that the deceased died from the effect of severe and general inflammation, but the proximate cause of which they could not take upon themselves to determine. The sister of the deceased gave a plain and clear statement of conversations which passed between them relative to the means used to produce abortion; but not being given on oath, or under the impression that she was dying, it could not be admitted as evidence. The Jury after a long and patient investigation returned a verdict of 'died from the effects of inflammation, but by what cause cannot be adduced.' The case has caused considerable excitement in this place, and there is no doubt that improper means were used by some person to produce abortion, which led to the fatal result; and it is to be lamented that there was not sufficient evidence to criminate the suspected person.
Thursday 1 May 1834 EXETER - About 5 o'clock on Sunday morning last the appearance of a man's jacket and hat, near Spring Gardens, on the Haven Banks, gave rise to apprehension that some one was in the Canal. Means were accordingly resorted to and presently the body of a young man, evidently not long there, was drawn from it. As quickly as circumstances would admit, it was taken across to a House of Reception belonging to the Humane Society, on the eastern bank of the Exe, in St. Leonard's, but where, from some misunderstanding, it was not lodged. Hence it was taken up the river a considerable distance, to Galpin's, another Reception House of the Society, in Okehampton-street, but by which time all means for recovery were useless. The deceased was a servant to Mr Lear, a farmer and butcher, at Exminster, and had been attending our market on Saturday. Unfortunately for him he did not return home, but remained in the city during the night, and got intoxicated. Becoming sensible, however, of the impropriety of his conduct, at the early hour we have named on Sunday morning, he was taking the shortest road to his home, by the way of the Haven Banks, when it is supposed with a view to freshen himself, he took off his jacket and hat, in order to wash his face in the canal, at all times a dangerous experiment, but in the state in which he probably was, rendered still more so, and it is thought in stooping to the surface of the water, he overbalanced himself and tumbled in. His name was WM. BALSON, 23 years of age, and it is understood is a native of Cheriton Fitzpaine. An Inquest was taken on the body, on Monday, before Joseph Gribble, Esq., one of the Coroners for Devon, at Friend's Seven Stars Inn, St. Thomas, and a verdict returned accordingly.
BARNSTAPLE - An Inquest was held in the Guildhall, on Tuesday last, before Charles Roberts, Esq., Coroner for the Borough, on the body of a man called WILLIAM MABEY, a mariner, which had been discovered early in the morning lying about five feet off the quay with his face and head under water. From the evidence of several witnesses it appeared, that the deceased had received his pay the evening before, and had indulged himself in drinking ardent spirits to a great excess; he quitted a public house at about a quarter past nine o'clock, and it is conjectured endeavoured to get on board the vessel to which he belonged by a chain cable which reached from the stern to the quay, but from the state of intoxication he was in, he missed his hold and fell into the water, at that time about seven feet and half deep. From the testimony of Mr Torr, surgeon, who had examined the body, it appeared that there were no marks of injury on it to which death could be attributed. The Jury returned a verdict of 'Found Drowned.' This unfortunate victim to intemperance has left a widow and three children residing at Ilfracombe.
An Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on Monday last, at Bishop's Tawton, on the body of a boy about 11 years of age, called JAMES GUARD, whose death was occasioned by his falling off a horse, which produced a concussion of the brain, and he expired the day following. Verdict, Accidental Death. It seemed as though mischance had marked this poor boy for its victim. Some time ago he caught his clothes on fire, and was so much burnt that his death was the expected, and though his life was preserved, he was thereby crippled in both arms. More than once he has fallen into water and been likely to be drowned. And only on Thursday last, as a raft of timber was passing up the river, he got on it, standing with one foot on one piece, and the other on another, which separating he fell between them into the water, where he must have been drowned but for the timely assistance of a man, who dragged him out by the hair of his head. And on Saturday, seeing Mr Richards's pony passing up the village, he begged him to let him ride; and as he had ridden the same pony before, Mr Richards to gratify him put him on it, when the pony going faster than he could sit it, he fell off on his head, the melancholy result we have before stated.
GREAT TORRINGTON - An Inquest was held in the Town Hall, on Monday last, before Charles Johnstone, Esq., mayor, to investigate the cause of the death of a man named WILLIAM CLARKE, who died the Saturday previous; suspicions having been excited in the minds of his friends, that he had received improper treatment from the medical gentlemen who attended hi, but after four hours minute examination, the Jury retired, and returned a verdict, that the said WILLIAM CLARKE "Died by the Visitation of God.
Thursday 15 May 1834 Fatal Accident. - On Monday last, two men, the one called WILLIAM JOCELYN, and the other John Slocombe, who were brothers-in-law by marriage, and partners in contracting for the repairs of the turnpike roads, were at work in Piewell Quarry near Hummacott Barn, in the parish of Fremington, when unhappily, the ground above being undermined, fell in upon them and buried them. Farmer Huxtable, who resides near the spot happening to pass that way, heard their groans, and hastened, with others whom he called to his assistance, to their relief Slocombe was soon released, but so dreadfully bruised that his life is despaired of; JOCELYN being inside his companion, received the full pressure of the overwhelming mass, and was literally crushed to death. The poor fellow has left a widow, to whom he was married only on the preceding Tuesday. A Coroner's Inquest sat on the body yesterday, which returned a verdict of 'Accidental Death.'
On the farm contiguous to where the above accident occurred subsequent to the sitting of the Jury yesterday afternoon, a little boy, son of FARMER HUXTABLE, in the inconsiderateness of childhood, tied the end of an halter which he had attached round his body to the tail of one of his father's cows; when the animal, terrified at such an unusual appendage, set off, and dragged and kicked the poor boy to death. T. Copner, Esq. is gone this day to hold an Inquest on his mutilated remains.
Thursday 22 May 1834 Inquests held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner. - On Saturday last, on the body of a man called WILLILAM RUSSEL, of High Bray, who hung himself in a linhay on his farm the day before, and his wife, who knew the state of excitement in which he had been for some time, missing him from the house, went to seek for him, and found him suspended by a rope, quite dead. Verdict - Temporary Insanity.
On Monday last, at Morthoe, on the body of ELIZABETH PRICE, who was on a visit at Farmer Dunicombe's, a relative, at Morthoe, and whilst in the act of carving the dinner, fell backward and died instantly. Verdict - Visitation of God.
Thursday 29 May 1834 Inquest held by T. Copner, Esq., Coroner. - On Tuesday last, at Horwood, on the body of JOHN SLOCOMBE, the unfortunate man on whom, in company with William Jocelyn, the quarry fell in on the 12th instant, as was reported in our following Journal, and the latter was killed on the spot: this poor man has since lingered in a most pitiable condition, till Monday last, when death released him from his sufferings.
Thursday 5 June 1834 On Friday last, a man of the parish of Washford Pyne, called George Selly, was committed to the County Jail, charged, on the Coroner's warrant, with manslaughter; the particulars of the case are these: on the Monday preceding, the prisoner, GEO. CUNNIBEAR the deceased, and others, were drinking together for several hours at a cyder shop by the road side, near the Black Dog, when a dispute arose between CUNNIBEAR and Selly relative to a wager that had been made between some of the party; about ten o'clock CUNNIBEAR left the house to go to his home, when Selly overtook him and tripped up his heels: CUNNIBEAR said, 'you sha'nt serve me so again you blackguard:' whereupon Selly put one hand to his breast and with a violent kick threw him off his legs, levelling him with the ground on his back. He was taken up and carried to his house, where he had only power to say to his wife "he hath done it," and never spoke after, but died the next morning about ten o'clock, from the injury he received in the fall in the back part of his head; he has left a widow and seven children to bemoan their unexpected bereavement. James Partridge, Esq., the Coroner for that division, held an Inquest on the body on the following day, when a verdict of 'manslaughter' was returned against Selly; and the day following he was conveyed to the County Jail, but it is said he is to be liberated on bail; he is about 30 years of age, and the deceased was 41.
Thursday 12 June 1834 An Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on Monday last, in the Parish of Burrington, on the body of SAMUEL ISAAC, who the preceding day, while bathing in the river Taw, got into deep water and was drowned. Verdict - 'Accidental Death.'
EXETER - The body of a man named HOOPER, employed in towing vessels on our Canal, was found on Sunday morning in the New Basin. It is supposed that in attempting to pass from one coal-yard to another his feet slipped, and he fell into the water: and on the Inquest a verdict was returned accordingly.
An Inquisition for the purpose of enquiring into the circumstances of the death of MR JOHN CHARLTON, bleacher, Okehampton-street, St. Thomas, adjoining this city, took place on Tuesday, at Friend's Seven Stars Inn, before Joseph Gribble, Esq. one of the Coroners of Devon. On Monday under the influence of great excitement, he had cut his throat with a razor and a verdict of his being labouring under insanity was returned.
EXETER - Melancholy Occurrence. - An Inquest was held on Thursday, by S. Walkey, Esq., Coroner of this city, at Taylor's Barnstaple Inn, North-street, on the body of a young woman named MARY ANN TILLOUR, which was found in the river Exe, just above the Head Weir, on Wednesday. She had been missing since Sunday night, and the body was first discovered by a young gentleman who was fishing near the spot, who, on observing something very unusual in the river, most properly applied to the House of Reception, and, by the assistance of the drags, his suspicions were confirmed, the body having been found with the head downward. The Jury, after the Coroner had summed up the evidence in the usual explanatory manner, having consulted a short time, returned a verdict of "Found Drowned, but by what means the body of the deceased came into the water, we have not sufficient evidence to determine." The Coroner, at the conclusion of the Inquest, expressed his great gratification at the prompt attendance of so many respectable Jurors, there being eighteen present.
Thursday 19 June 1834 BARNSTAPLE - Suicide. - An instance of self destruction, as distressing in its effects as unaccountable in its cause, occurred in this town on the evening of Friday last. The ill-fated subject was MASTER GEORGE STANTON, a young gentleman whose name appeared in our paper but a few weeks since, in our report of a case submitted to the adjudication of the magistrates, when the unfortunate deceased was convicted of having shot a dog of Mr Martin's with a pistol. He is said to have been heir to a baronetcy, and was the only child of a widowed mother, who has resided in this town for several years, watching over her son with the tenderest anxiety. the details of the catastrophe will be found in the following evidence adduced before the Inquest, which was immediately summoned, and met at the Guildhall, at 9 o'clock; Mr Mackrell, foreman. At the direction of the Coroner, R. W. Grace, Esq., the Jury retired to examine the body, which was lying in the bed room of the deceased, in the position in which it was first discovered. The ball had entered about an inch above the right ear and had lodged in the head. The pistol appeared to have fallen from his hand and was lying at his side. Search was made for a bottle of phosphorus which he had exhibited to Mr Wildman in the afternoon, but without success. He appeared to have been making gunpowder; the ingredients, brimstone, charcoal, and salt, were lying on his dressing table. In a dressing room adjoining, which the deceased was wont to term his armoury, was a dirk, a sabre, a fowling piece, a helmet, and several other articles, with which he used to amuse himself. Having returned to the Guildhall, the Jury proceeded to hear the evidence. The first witness was Mary Ann Tucker, a servant in Mr Hellyer's family, who stated:- I saw MR STANTON in the kitchen at six o'clock: he asked me if I knew where the cat was, a cat of which he was very fond; and I never saw him afterwards; he appeared rather low; I had before observed him to be flighty at times; never saw him do any thing at all unreasonable; by his look this evening I thought he was not right; MRS STANTON had lodged at Mr Hellyer's twelve months last September; during this time I have seen MASTER STANTON every day; thought him not always right; never heard him at all incoherent; but his looks were very wild; I was ordered to run for Mr Winter this evening, but did not know what had occurred. Mr Richard Hellyer examined:- Between five and seven I heard the report of a pistol; did not notice it particularly, until I heard some one screeching, when I requested my sister to go see what was the matter; she went up stairs, and I followed her; MRS STANTON desired me to open the door of MASTER STANTON'S dressing room; with some difficulty I broke it open; the door was fastened inside; found MASTER STANTON in his bedroom quite dead, with a quantity of blood under his head; I used to see him often; he had been down in the workshop about twenty minutes before; I live in the house with my father; do not know whether MASTER STANTON was in the habit of firing pistols in the house; never heard the report of a pistol in the house; have known him about five months; never perceived anything extra ordinary in his manner any more than with youngsters generally; always thought his mind correct; he was sensible in his conversation; there was a little wildness about him; had heard it said he had fired a pistol out of his bedroom window. Mary Ann Tucker recalled:- MASTER STANTON would sometimes fire off pistols for amusement; do not know if he shot anything; do not think he did it to alarm, but only for his own amusement: he sometimes carried a dirk about him; never attempted to use it upon me; he used to say he carried it for protection. A Juror, Mr G. K. Cotton, stated, that between two and three o'clock, the deceased called at his shop and enquired for phosphorus; it being a dangerous article, I refused to supply it; he stated that he knew its use, that there was no danger with it if kept in water; he supposed I had it but would not spare it him; there was something remarkable in his appearance, so much so that if I had been in the habit of vending the article I certainly would not have sold it to him then. Mr Winter, the surgeon, examined: - I have attended MRS STANTON'S family professionally for the last four years: the deceased has been liable to a conside3rable determination of blood to the head: have often feared that insanity would ensue; have said so to several of his friends; I gathered this opinion as much from his history, which I had received from his mother, as from the excitement he frequently evinced; he was fond of very violent exercises; have mentioned my apprehensions to his mother, who cautioned the deceased to avoid whatever had a tendency to much excitement; there was a good deal of wildness in his manner, he would often get up in the middle of the night and jump over the bed, and exhibit other strange indications; he certainly was rather predisposed to an affection of the head; his cousin told me he complained this morning of being unwell; he was very fond of experiments, making gunpowder, &c., and when thus employed he used to lock his door to prevent interruption; and a little time ago, as he was going upstairs with a loaded gun in his hand, he fell and the gun went off, its contents lodged in the wall; the deceased had been very exhilarated during the week, and I anticipated a corresponding depression. Mr Wildman, a Juror, stated that the deceased had taken a lesson in dancing in the course of the same day; he was with one for nearly an hour in the afternoon; he complained of the dullness of Barnstaple; and said there was nothing to amuse him; shewed me a bottle which he said contained phosphorus, and told me he was going home to try experiments; I cautioned him to beware of accidents; he was very fond of his cousin. Mr Mackrell said the deceased had called on him in the afternoon, and enquired for cowitch, which Mr M. refused to supply. Mr Winter - I have examined the wound which caused the death of the deceased; it is about an inch from the ear on its right side; I used my probe (about five inches in length) to endeavour to find the ball, but I could not; there was no counter opening; the pistol lay by his right hand; a small bone was splintered; the wound was round, half an inch in diameter; there was a small portion of the brain about the hair; he was fond of amusing himself in casting bullets. A Juror enquired if any altercation had transpired between the deceased and any member of the family? to which the servant answered, no, she had heard nothing of the kind. The Coroner stated that there was no further evidence to e submitted to the Jury, and the Foreman almost instantly stated that the Jury was unanimous in the opinion "That the deceased shot himself in a state of Insanity." It was said that the unfortunate young gentleman ( who had just attained his 16th year) was of a noble disposition and possessed of high intellectual abilities.
Thursday 3 July 1834 EXETER - An Inquest was held on Saturday at the Valiant Soldier by S. Walkey, Esq. Coroner, on the body of THOMAS BURTON, who died in the Hospital on Saturday night last. It appeared in evidence that the deceased was riding on Friday afternoon on the top of a hawker's van belonging to his brother, when, a short distance beyond Broadclist, on their way to this city, one of the hind wheels came off, by which accident he was thrown to the ground and in the fall fractured his neck: he was immediately conveyed to the Hospital, where he lingered until Saturday. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death with a deodand of one shilling on the wheel."
Thursday 10 July 1834 EXETER - Melancholy Suicide. - An Inquest was held on Friday last, before J. Partridge, Esq. Coroner, at the Royal Oak, Crediton, upon the bodies of a young man and young woman; the young man's name was MARGERY, and he lived a short time since at Heavitree near this city. By the evidence it appeared that the parties took up their abidance at the above inn, in Crediton, about a fortnight since. On Thursday morning they did not appear at breakfast, and were called by some persons in the house, they replied they were coming soon. Some time elapsed, and as they did not appear a person went to the bed room door where all was still; a call was made but no reply, the door was then bursted open, and they were both discovered, their hands clasped together, lifeless!! A pint bottle that had contained laudanum, was on the side of the bed. A verdict of felo de se was returned.
Thursday 17 July 1834 Awfully Sudden Death. - On Monday last, a woman called ELIZABETH TAMLYN, of Braunton, aged 72, went to the house of her next door neighbour, Mrs Dommett, and asked permission to broil a piece of meat; and whilst in the act of doing so, she suddenly exclaimed, "O my stomach!" Mrs Dommett instantly went to her, and enquired what was the matter? when she found her neighbour a lifeless corpse. An Inquest was held on the body by Thomas Copner, Esq. Coroner, and a verdict returned of "Died by the Visitation of God."
Thursday 24 July 1834 EXETER - On Wednesday week an Inquest was taken before John Gidley, Esq., one of the Coroners for Exeter, at the Ring of Bells, West-street, on the body of NICHOLAS GRIFFIN, the younger, who, on the preceding day, had fallen from a coal lighter lying at the Quay, into the river, and was drowned. Verdict - Accidental Death.
On Saturday last, an Inquest was held in the parish of Merton, before Francis Kingdom, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of WILLIAM GORDON. The deceased had fallen from a haystack and was found dead: but as there was no appearance of injury upon him, nor any thing to induce an opinion that the fall had caused his death, it was supposed that he had been seized by apoplexy, and had expired before his fall. Verdict - "Died by the Visitation of God."
BARNSTAPLE - On Thursday last, about six o'clock in the evening, SUSAN SCAMP, wife of JOHN SCAMP, shoemaker, of Instow, left her home, professedly to go to a neighbouring farm house to get a little cream for the purpose of anointing her breast, on which she had had a blister, but not returning at a late hour, her husband accompanied by a neighbour, went in quest of her; on their arrival at Farmer Moule's, they found she had not been there, and they pursued their search during the night, and at an early hour in the morning they came into this town, to make inquiry of some relatives residing here; but all in vain, as no information could be obtained of her, until Monday morning, when a boy observed a bonnet floating in the quarry pit adjoining the road at Muddlebridge: and on communicating this to his master, it instantly occurred to him that it might be that of the lost woman, which on further examination proved to be correct, and the body was found very near the brink of the pit, the head foremost, and the feet but just covered with water. Subsequent to the discovery of the body, reports were circulated very prejudicial to the character of the husband; in justice to whom we feel bound to state, that there exists not the shadow of ground for such injurious surmises. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body, at the Hotel in Fremington, the following day, before Thomas Copner, Esq. at which a number of witnesses were examined; and Mr Torr, surgeon, deposed that he had taken a post mortem examination of the body, which bore not the least mark of any violence that could have caused her death; he had minutely examined the brain, which appeared to be in a very confused state; and that she had been for some time suffering from disease, for which he had professionally attended her. The Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned, but by what means the deceased came into the water does not appear." She was 37 years of age, and has left 5 children by a former husband.
Thursday 21 August 1834 An Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq., Coroner, on Friday last, on the body of MR JOHN RICHARDS, of Upcott, in the parish of Sherwell; who accidentally fell over the side of a cart in which he was riding from Sherwell Cross towards his own house, between seven and eight o'clock on Wednesday evening, and was so much injured thereby as to cause his death the following evening. The Jury returned a verdict of 'Accidental Death', with a deodand on the cart of one shilling.
Thursday 28 August 1834 EXETER - Melancholy Death. - We regret to have to record the death of MISS ELIZABETH BOWDITCH, who has for many years kept the Butcher's Arms in this city. It is stated that she left her house this morning (Saturday) about 7 o'clock, and walked down by the river, through the factory fields; in a few hours afterwards her bonnet and shawl were found on the edge of the clift nearly opposite Salmon Pool Gardens. This lead to an examination, and in a short time her body was found in the water, and at 2 o'clock was conveyed to her own house. A Coroner's Inquest was held on Monday, and the Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned."
Thursday 4 September 1834 BARNSTAPLE - Coroner's Inquest. - An Inquest was held on Friday last, in the Guildhall of this town, by R. W. Grace, Esq. Coroner, to enquire into the circumstances attending the death of a man named WILLIAM WATTS, which occurred on the morning of that day; suspicions having been entertained that his decease was occasioned by a blow inflicted with a poker, by his sister-in-law, CATHERINE NORWILL. Elizabeth Jones, examined - Lives in Bear Street: was at the house of her sister Catherine Norwill, on a Friday morning about nineteen weeks ago: WILLIAM WATTS, who occupied a room of the house, came down stairs. His wife asked him where he was going, he replied - "It is no odds to you, mind your own business, and I'll mind mine;" Witness remarked, it would be better if he would mind his business more than he had done; WATTS supposing it to have been his wife who spoke to him, ran back and seized her by the arm; Catherine Norwill, in endeavouring to rescue his wife from his grasp, took up a piece of iron used as a poker, and followed him out into the court, when witness hard the sound of a blow; on going to the door, she perceived a wound over the left eye of the deceased, and saw him run after Catherine Norwill and pin her against the wall, and heard him say he would murder her; does not know when the deceased went into the Infirmary, or when he was discharged from it; heard it said that he went there on account of the blow he had received; never heard him complain of pains in the head, except after he had been drinking; has been informed that he was wounded in the head and leg in a naval action. Ann Chapple examined: - Is sister to the deceased; recollects going to the house of her brother about nineteen weeks ago, between four and five in the afternoon; saw several women pulling him about: observed a wound over his eye, said to have been inflicted by Catherine Norwill with a poker; took him to her house and dressed the wound; WATTS went to the Infirmary on that account; heard him frequently afterward complain of a pain in his head, which he said was occasioned by the blow he had received; never heard him complain previous to the assault. Dr Bignell stated, that the deceased had applied at the Dispensary, after he had been discharged from the Infirmary; there was a slight wound over the eye, which he said was occasioned by his falling on a piece of timber; could not say his death was the consequence of the blow; and thought it impossible to arrive at any conclusion on which the Jury could ground their verdict, without a post mortem examination of the body. The court was consequently adjourned to the following morning at 9 o'clock; and in the mean time Dr Bignell was requested to engage the assistance of Mr Hiern, one of the surgeons of the Barnstaple and North Devon Dispensary, who attended the deceased, to examine the body. On Saturday morning, the deposition of the two witnesses Elizabeth Jones and Ann Chapple having been read, Mr Cutcliffe, surgeon, said that at the request of Dr Bignell (Mr Hiern being from home at the time) he had opened the head of the deceased, WILLIAM WATTS, to ascertain if his death was the result of a blow, or natural causes, and was of opinion that the deceased died of water on the brain. Dr Bignell corroborated the statement of Mr Cutcliffe. Mr Curry was also present at the examination of the body of WILLIAM WATTS, and was decidedly of opinion that his death was the consequence of the cause assigned by Mr Cutcliffe. - The deceased had applied at the Infirmary, when he, Mr C. attended him for a wound over the eye; the wound was very trifling, and at the end of six days he was discharged cured. The Jury after a short consultation returned a verdict of - "Died by the Visitation of God."
Thursday 11 September 1834 Coroner's Inquest. - On Monday last, an Inquest was held by Thomas Copner, Esq., at Ilfracombe, on the body of ELIZABETH PHILIPS, seven years old, whose clothes, as she sat by the fire on Saturday last, accidentally caught the flame, and she was so much burnt, as to cause her death the day following. On the occurrence of the accident, in the temporary absence of her mother, the child ran out into the street, and passed over a stream of water, but her extreme agitation prevented her from availing herself of its assistance to extinguish the destructive element. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 25 September 1834 Coroner's Inquest. - On Thursday last, an Inquest was held at Tawstock, by T. Copner, Esq., on the body of THOMAS COLWELL, aged 74, who went to bed the preceding evening in good health, and at an early hour in the morning his wife found him by her side a breathless corpse. Verdict, The Visitation of God.
Thursday 2 October 1834 BARNSTAPLE - Coroner's Inquest. - On Tuesday last, an Inquest was held before R. W. Grace, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a little boy, two years and half old, called ALFRED COPP, who resided with his parents at Derby, in this parish. Ann Selly, a witness, stated, that on Friday last, between the hours of ten and eleven in the morning, she was coming from a neighbour's house to that of her mistress, Mrs Darke, with a saucepan of boiling water in her hand, and as she was about to enter the door, the little boy suddenly ran against her, and the scalding element fell over his face and bosom; she instantly took up the child in her arms and wiped him with her apron, till his mother coming in received him out of her arms. This witness was greatly agitated whilst giving her evidence, which was corroborated by two other females who witnessed the accident. Mr Curry, surgeon, was called in on Saturday to visit the child, whom he found in a sad state, the lower part of his face and two thirds of his chest being severely scalded, the bladder was broken, and the part beneath beginning to mortify; the injury was very extensive, quite sufficient to occasion the death of any child, much more of one so young. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 30 October 1834 Charge of Child Murder. - On Wednesday last, GRACE MEREFIELD, of Wear Gifford, single woman, was committed to the County Gaol, by Francis Kingdon, Esq. Coroner, charged under the Coroner's Inquest with the wilful murder of her female bastard child, on the 6th inst. The child was found on Monday last in a heap of ashes in the prisoner's home.
Thursday 6 November 1834 PLYMOUTH - Death of MR GEORGE HARVEY, F.R.S. - It becomes our painful duty to record the death of MR GEORGE HARVEY, of this town, a gentleman well known for his high mathematical attainments. It appears evident that MR HARVEY had been labouring under insanity for several months past, and on Wednesday morning, notwithstanding the vigilance of every member of the family, the unhappy man put an end to his existence by hanging himself in the cellar of his own house. The shock which this melancholy circumstance inflicted on his family, and on a very large circle of friends, is beyond the power of description. An Inquest was held on his body in the afternoon of the same day, before Mr C. Whiteford, the Deputy Town Clerk, who officiated as Coroner in the absence of Mr R. J. Squire, and the Jury, consisting of respectable men, having inspected the body, heard the evidence in one of the apartments of the deceased's residence, in Portland square. Mr Whiteford recapitulated the evidence, and the Jury, after a short consultation, returned the following verdict:- "The Jury are of opinion that the deceased committed the act which caused his death when in a state of Mental Derangement, under which he had been labouring for some months previous."
Coroner's Inquest and Death of the Coroner:- On Tuesday, last, the child of JOHN HARRIS, of Ashreigney, accidentally caught its clothes on fire, and was so dreadfully burnt as to occasion its death the day following. And on Thursday, the Coroner F. Kingdon, Esq. held an Inquest on the body, which returned a verdict of 'Accidental Death'. After the Inquest, the Coroner, who was suffering under an attack of gout, was assisted into his gig, in which his horse had been baited at the door, having his bridle off, and on the moment Mr Kingdon was seated in his carriage, the horse set off at full gallop, and passing through a wood, the gig was upset and torn to pieces, and Mr Kingdon was taken up in a senseless state, his head dreadfully fractured, and his body otherwise much contused. A medical gentleman was promptly procured, who bled his patient, and recommended his immediate removal to his home, where he lingered until Saturday morning, when he expired. The offices of Coroner for that division of the county, town clerk for the borough, clerk to the county magistrates, and clerk to the trustees of the Torrington turnpike, are, by the untimely decease of Mr Kingdon, become vacant.
BARNSTAPLE - Inquests held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner. - On Sunday last, at the lime-kiln, near Cooney Bridge, adjacent to this town, on the body of RICHARD PARKHOUSE, an unfortunate lighterman, in the employ of John Pyke, Esq., who, on Saturday evening, when passing in his barge under the arch of the bridge on his passage to Bishop's Tawton, was thrown over the side of the boat by the oar coming in contact with the pier of the bridge, and all attempts to save him were fruitless; he rose once, and then sank in the eddy which surrounds the bridge. His body was not found till past noon the following day, when it was discovered in the gut near the Black Rock, which is without the limits of the borough, and in the parish of Bishop's Tawton. Verdict- 'Accidental Death.' The deceased was a sober and industrious man, in the prime of life, and had been married but a few months.
And on Monday, at Tetcott, near Launceston, on the body of a young man called RICHARD SPRY, who in consequence of affliction went to the house of the overseer to procure parochial assistance; and on leaving the house, just as he reached the door, he was seized with a fit of coughing, which produced the rupture of a blood vessel, and a violent haemorrhage ensued; he was taken back to the overseer's house, where he received the utmost attention, but he died within a very short period. - Verdict 'Visitation of god.'
Thursday 13 November 1834 Inquests held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, - On Monday last, in the parish of Langtree, on the body of a man called WILLIAM HOBBS, who, whilst driving his mistress, Mrs Brent, in a covered cart, the preceding day, the horse took fright, and in his endeavours to hold him, he fell and the wheel passing over him, killed him on the spot. the Jury found a verdict of "Accidental Death," with a deodand of two shillings on the wheel.
Thursday 27 November 1834 BARNSTAPLE - Awful Instance of Sudden Death. - On Saturday last, a woman of this town, called ANN ULPH, the wife of a mason, and mother of three children, who had been about her usual domestic employment, and was seen in the street conversing with a neighbour, in the morning, by twelve o'clock was found reclining on her bed, a corpse. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body, before which the daughter of the deceased gave evidence, that her mother was gone up stairs a little before ten o'clock, when witness called to her and told her that she was going out; she returned home about twelve, when she went up stairs and spoke to her mother, who was lying on her side on the bed, and on receiving no answer, she was alarmed, and ran and called in a neighbour, who discovered that her mother was dead. In consequence of rumours that had arisen relative to the suddenness of her death, Mr March, surgeon, had opened the body, and his evidence before the Jury was to the effect that the stomach of the deceased was entirely empty, and in a high state of inflammation, and that her death was occasioned by the excessive use of ardent spirits, and the absence of nutritive food. It appears that the unhappy woman had addicted herself for several years to this destructive vice, to which she sacrificed all the earnings of her husband, and all the comforts of her family. The Jury returned a verdict of "Died by the Visitation of God."
Thursday 4 December 1834 EXETER - On the morning of Wednesday last in the absence of the mother, who had gone with her husband's dinner, a little boy, between six and seven years of age, son of JAMES WEBBER, jun., a journeyman mason, residing in a courtlage in Bartholomew Yard, caught his clothes on fire by coming in contact with the grate, and was so dreadfully burnt that although removed to the Devon and Exeter Hospital, where every attention was paid him, he died the following day. An Inquest was taken on the body at Wilcock's Valiant Soldier Inn. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Inquests held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner. - On Thursday last, in the parish of Huntshaw, on the body of MR WILLIAM DENNIS, a highly respectable farmer of that place, very much beloved and deeply regretted by all his neighbours: who attended the market at Bideford on the preceding Tuesday, and was returning home in the evening, accompanied by two of his neighbours, when near his home, he started on before them; and they had proceeded but a little way, when they found their unfortunate companion lying insensible in the road, and the blood issuing from his temple; his horse having thrown him, and proceeded homeward alone: they instantly lifted him up, and carried him into a neighbouring cottage, whence, after having recovered his consciousness, he was removed to his own house, and a medical attendant was sent for, who gave his testimony to the Jury, that the violent concussion which the deceased had received, had produced the rupture of a blood vessel, which caused his death the following Thursday. Verdict - "Accidental Death."
And this day, in Swymbridge Newland, in the parish of Swymbridge, on the body of JAMES BLAKE, a little boy, son of WILLIAM BLAKE, a labourer of that village, whose clothes accidental caught fire a few days ago, and the injury he sustained thereby resulted in his death. Verdict - "Accidental Death."
Thursday 11 December 1834 BARNSTAPLE - Coroner's Inquest. - On Friday last, an Inquest was held, by T. Copner, Esq., on the body of a child, twenty months old, son of MR JONES, cabinet maker, in Boutport Street; which in the temporary absence of the servant, on the preceding day, who had left the child sitting in his arm chair, had drawn the candle off the table on himself, and set his clothes on fire, whereby he received the injury which caused his death. Verdict - Accidental.
Thursday 18 December 1834 BARNSTAPLE - On Monday last, an Inquest was held in the Guildhall, before the Coroner of the Borough, on the body of a child, two years and half old, the son of MR WORTH, shoemaker, of this town, whose death was occasioned by his clothes catching fire on the Saturday evening, and under the injury he thereby received, he lingered till the following morning, when death put a period to his sufferings and his existence. A fatality seemed to have attended this poor child, who narrowly escaped a watery death about twelve months ago, when an elder brother fell into the river Yeo, and was drowned, and in her endeavour to save him, the nurse maid, with this child in her arms, fell into the stream, from whence they were rescued by some persons who accidentally witnessed the occurrence. The verdict of the Jury was Accidental Death.
Inquests held by T. Copner, Esq., Coroner. - On Saturday last, at Kentisbury, on the body of WILLIAM HUSSELL, aged 54, who went to bed on the preceding evening in his usual state of health; his wife, who followed him soon after, had been in bed but a few minutes, when she heard him draw a deep sigh, which was succeeded by a rattle in his throat; she instantly called to the servant to get a light, but before it could be procured, the light of vitality was extinguished in the poor man. Verdict - Visitation of God.
On Monday last, in the parish of Fremington, on the body of MR WILLIAM PUDDICOMBE, a respectable farmer, aged 64, who retired to rest on Saturday evening in perfect health, and on awaking in the morning, he asked his wife what time it was? who answered, about four o'clock; soon after she heard a noise proceeding from his throat, and on endeavouring to awake him, she found he was a corpse. Verdict - Divine Visitation.
On Tuesday last, at Pilton, on the body of ELIZABETH MAYNE, aged 46, the wife of a mason, who on the previous evening complained of acute pain in her head, and retired to bed; her daughter who attended her, finding her grow worse, went for a doctor, but before his arrival, she had expired. Verdict - Visitation of God.
On Wednesday last, in the parish of Goodleigh, on the body of a child, called JOHN, the son of WILLIAM LOCK, aged 6 years, who in the absence of his mother, who was gone to Barnstaple, accidentally caught his pinafore on fire, whilst putting over the tea kettle, and was so much burnt as to cause his death at 8 o'clock the same evening. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 25 December 1834 An Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq., Coroner, on Monday last at Highbray, on the body of ELIZABETH THORNE, aged six years, who whilst standing by the fire on the previous Saturday evening, in the absence of her mother, who was gone to Southmolton market, set her clothes on fire, and she was so dreadfully burnt as to cause her death the following morning. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 22 January 1835 APPLEDORE - A serious and fatal accident occurred at Appledore on Thursday last. At about four o'clock in the afternoon the new Bideford steamer, which had just arrived from Hayle was about to sail up the river to Bideford quay, when a party of seven individuals from Appledore went out in a boat for the purpose of getting on board. The boat got alongside the steamer, but in consequence of the motion of the paddles, it was found necessary to veer her to the stern. Unfortunately, she became entangled in the rope of the pilot boat, and was upset. Mr Clibbett, who was one of the party, laid hold of the rope, and was picked up by a boat let down from the steamer. The others were plunged into the water, but in a very few minutes several boats arrived from the shore (a distance of half a mile) and happily rescued them all. One of them, however, a young man named HENRY JASPER BROOKS, the son of a farmer of Abbotsham, about 18 years of age, was so affected, partly by the water and partly by fright, that he shortly afterwards expired. The rest have recovered. A Coroner's Inquest was held on Friday, and a Jury of more than ordinary respectability, after a lengthened examination of evidence, and an impartial summing up by H. A. Vallack, Esq., the Coroner, unanimously found a verdict of "Accidental Death," and were of opinion that no blame was attributable to any party.
Thursday 19 February 1835 BARNSTAPLE - Death by Burning. - On Monday last, a girl called MARY STONEMAN, 16 years of age, in the service of Miss Paget, of Derby in this town, whilst sitting before the fire, occupied in dressing a little child, which she was nursing for an afflicted neighbour, and during the absence of her mistress, who was from home on a visit; her clothes caught fire, and before she was aware of it, she was enveloped in flame; throwing the child on the floor, she ran screaming into the court, but unfortunately, no-one but herself being in the house, it was not till a neighbour, who heard her shrieks, ran to her assistance, that the flames were subdued; during the interval the whole of her clothes were entirely consumed, and her body was burnt almost from head to foot. She was carried to bed, and every means which medical skill and the sympathies of humanity could devise were afforded her, but in vain; for after lingering in extreme agony till the afternoon of the following day, death released her from her sufferings. An Inquest was held on the body before Thomas Copner, Esq., Coroner, and a verdict of 'Accidental Death' returned.
An Inquest was held on Tuesday last, by H. A. Vallack, Esq., at the house of Mrs Elizabeth Ashton, in the parish of Merton, on the body of MR JOHN HUMPHREYS, who died in bed on Monday night last, whilst in a violent fit. Verdict accordingly. The deceased was an exciseman residing at Sheepwash, of more than ordinary respectability. His friends unfortunately all reside in Wales, but it must be satisfactory to them to know that MR HUMPHREYS died at the house of a person where the whole family shewed him every possible attention and kindness.
Thursday 5 March 1835 BARNSTAPLE - On Thursday an Inquest was held in the Guildhall, in this town, on the body of a child of GEORGE BEER, residing at Barbican, which came by its death by its clothes taking fire a day or two before. Verdict - Accidental.
On Friday last, an Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq., Coroner, on the body of ANN PICKARD, aged 4 years, the daughter of a husbandman at Kingsnympton, whose death was occasioned by her clothes accidentally taking fire the Wednesday before, whereby her person was dreadfully scorched all over, and death ensued the day following. Verdict - Accidental.
Thursday 12 March 1835 Inquests held by T. Copner, Esq., Coroner. - On Friday last, at Braunton, on the body of JOHN HAMMOND, an inmate of the poor house, who falling backward in a fit, to which disease he had long been subject, his head came in contact with the edge of a stone step, and immediate death ensued.
And on Monday last, at Bishopsnympton, on the body of GEORGE SMITH, who died in a fit of apoplexy. Verdict in both cases, Divine Visitation.
Thursday 26 March 1835 Another of those unfortunate instances of child burning which have so frequently occurred in this neighbourhood during the winter, transpired in the village of Landkey, on Wednesday morning last. A little girl, about twelve months old, the daughter of a labourer of the name of MUXWORTHY, having been left by its mother in the care of an elder sister, incautiously approached too near the fire, and ignited its clothes, and on the return of the parent after an absence of about three minutes, the little sufferer was so dreadfully burnt, that she died in about twelve hours afterwards. An Inquest was held on the body on the following day, before Thomas Copner, Esq., Coroner, and a verdict of Accidental Death returned.
Supposed Case of Poisoning and Self Destruction. - An Inquest was held at Rings Ash, Devon, on Monday the 9th inst. before H. A. Vallack, Esq., Coroner, on the body of JOHN SMITH CUDMORE, illegitimate son of GRACE CUDMORE. It appeared in evidence that the boy had eaten his supper and gone to bed as usual, on Wednesday the 4th instant; the next morning at three o'clock he asked for water, and died at nine o'clock on Thursday morning the 5th. The Rev. Mr Hunt, the minister, was requested to inter the body on Saturday, but in consequence of reports that were prevalent, he declined doing so without an Inquest. Mr Roger Kingdon, surgeon of Great Torrington, deposed that he had carefully examined the body of the deceased, and that there were no marks of violence on the body externally; he examined the abdomen and the viscera generally appeared in a natural state; but on opening the stomach there were appearances that made him suppose that some irritant had been administered. Mr W. Luxton, surgeon, of Chulmleigh, and Mr J. Cock, surgeon of Highbickington, corroborated the testimony of Mr Kingdon. The surgeons each took a portion of the contents of the stomach to analyze and the Inquest was adjourned to Thursday the 12th. There was nothing in the evidence to lay suspicion on any particular person; but on Wednesday, GRACE CUDMORE, the mother, was found drowned very near her own house. At the adjourned Inquest Mr Kingdon, the parish surgeon, stated that he had carefully analysed the contents of the stomach, and that he had been unable to detect arsenic or any other mineral poison; a vegetable poison might exist, but in his opinion any test for such, after so long a time had elapsed since the deceased's death, were uncertain. Mr Luxton and Mr Cock had also carefully analysed the contents of the stomach, and agreed with Mr Kingdon. No decided evidence appearing that the boy was poisoned, the Jury returned a verdict of "Found Dead." On Tuesday, an Inquest was held on GRACE CUDMORE, the mother, and after an examination of witnesses, the Jury being locked up for five hours, a verdict of "Found Drowned" was returned.
Thursday 2 April 1835 On Sunday morning the lifeless body of a man called WILLIAM PUGSLEY, a lighterman of Bishop's Tawton, was discovered lying on the lime-kiln at the Square, in this town. It appears that the barge in which the deceased had been employed the preceding day, had gone aground when coming up the river, and in consequence whereof arrived very late on tide; when the unfortunate deceased, who was very wet and fatigued, went and lady himself down to sleep on the limekiln, where inhaling the noxious effluvia, he died by suffocation. He has left a widow and eight children. A Coroner's Inquest was held before Alderman Law, and a verdict accordingly returned.
On Saturday last an Inquest was held before T. Copner, Esq., Coroner, on the body of GEORGE WALTER, aged 18, who was found dead in the road between Barnstaple and his father's house at Newton Tracey. He had previously on two occasions been attacked with apoplexy. Verdict - "Divine Visitation."
On the same day, an Inquest was held at Ilfracombe, before T. Copner, Esq. on the body of MARY PARKER, aged 9 years, daughter of a labouring man, who, whilst hanging a kettle on the fire, her clothes unfortunately caught the flames, and she was so dreadfully burnt as to cause her death. Verdict - "Accidental Death."
Thursday 9 April 1835 On Monday last an Inquest was held at Chittlehampton, by T. Copner, Esq., Coroner, on the body of an aged man, named JAMES EASTMAN, an inmate of the poor house, who had died suddenly the preceding day. Verdict accordingly.
An Inquest was held at Taddiport, Great Torrington, on Thursday last, by H. A. Vallack, Esq., Coroner, on the body of JOHN WELCH, two years old, who in the momentary absence of his mother, set his clothes on fire, and was so dreadfully burnt as to cause his death. Verdict - Burnt to Death.
Thursday 23 April 1835 An Inquest was held at the Fortescue Arms Inn, in this town, on Monday last, by Alderman Copner, Coroner for the Borough, on the body of MR J. D. FROST, a mercantile traveller, who arrived at the above inn, the preceding evening, from Launceston, by the 'Nimrod,' Plymouth coach, in a state of great exhaustion, where he was almost immediately put to bed, and medical aid was called in to his assistance, but in vain, for in about an hour after he died. By the direction of the Coroner the body was opened, when it was discovered that the liver was wholly consumed by disease, and which was the cause of his death. The verdict of the Jury was of course 'Divine Visitation.' It is a melancholy circumstance, that the elder brother of this young gentleman, who preceded him as the representative of his father, MR FROST, a very respectable factor of Birmingham, died when on his western journey at Bideford, about three years ago. The remains of the above were interred this day by the side of those of his late brother, at Bideford.
EXETER - Suicide. - A young woman named SARAH SMITH, who lived a servant in the family of Mr Bucknole, Paris street, put an end to herself by taking arsenic on Tuesday last. She obtained the poison from a small packet in her mistresses cupboard, which had been procured for the purpose of destroying rats. A Coroner's Inquest was held upon the body on Wednesday, and the Jury returned a verdict - 'That the deceased, SARAH SMITH, came by her death by taking a deadly poison called arsenic, while labouring under Temporary Insanity.' A post mortem examination of the body was afterwards performed by Dr Shapter and Mr Land, in the presence of other medical gentlemen, but we understand nothing of importance to the public was developed in the course of the examination.
Thursday 30 April 1835 EXETER - On Monday last, an Inquest was taken before Samuel Walkey, Esq., Coroner, at Wilcock's Valiant Soldier Inn, Magdalene Street, in this city, on the body of MR SAMUEL SMALE, of Newton Abbot, a carrier from this city, by way of Newton, to Dartmouth, who had come to his death under the following unfortunate circumstance:- On Saturday morning MR SMALE was on his way to this city, he himself being riding on the front of his cart, and having as passengers in it, two females, (one of them young,) and a boy. In crossing Haldon, the horse tripped and fell, SMALE pulled the reins home in order that the animal might recover its legs, but this being done with a sudden jerk, and the horse not having power sufficient instantly to answer it, poor SMALE himself became the victim of the act, being by the reaction drawn from his seat, and becoming entangled in the breeching, he was at length thrown with considerable force into the road, pitching heavily on his head. He lay for some minutes insensible, those with him being incompetent to afford assistance, which, through the medium of some travellers, was at length obtained from Kennford. Being placed in his cart, a young man of Kennford drove it to Exeter, where it arrived at his quarters at the Mermaid yard, Preston-street, about 11 o'clock. He had by this time so far recovered himself, that he assisted in taking the packages out of the cart, and for a period declined the advice of those about him, to go to the Hospital, in order that any injury he had sustained might be examined into. At length, however, he became but too sensible that this was the proper course, but even then he was able to walk to the Hospital. From this time, however, the approach of the final catastrophe was rapid, he became senseless, and expired about 7 o'clock in the evening. On the post mortem examination an extensive fracture of the skull was found; the brain had sustained considerable injury, and an extravasation of blood taken place, and the Jury having heard the evidence, returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." MR SMALE was 42 years of age, son of the late MR SAMUEL SMALE, of Newton Abbot, a family for many years engaged as carriers between this city, Newton, Totnes, Torquay, Paignton, Brixham, and Dartmouth; he was unmarried, and in his situation in life, much respected. His remains were removed from this city to Newton, on Monday afternoon, and interred on Tuesday.
BARNSTAPLE - An accident, as afflictive in its consequences, as fatal in its results, occurred at Derby, in the environs of this town, on Thursday last. A young woman, called GRACE STOWELL, nineteen years of age, in preparing a solution of beeswax and turpentine, to polish her furniture, unfortunately overturned the vessel which contained it into the fire, and the flame occasioned thereby communicating to her apparel, set it on a blaze, in which state she ran into the yard, and from thence to a neighbour's house, where assistance was rendered her to extinguish the flames, but not until she was so much burnt as to occasion her death on the Saturday following. This unfortunate girl was highly esteemed for her modesty and piety, and was shortly to have been married to a young man who is mate on board a trading vessel, which arrived in this port from a voyage a day or two before the occurrence of the accident. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body, which returned a verdict of Accidental Death. The remains of the deceased were buried at Marwood, of which parish she was a native, on Tuesday; the corpse was borne by eight sailors, dressed in blue jackets with white trousers and gloves, and followed by a train of several hundred sympathizing individuals.
On Monday last, an Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq., Coroner, on the body of GEORGE COOKE, who when riding in his cart from Southmolton market, on Saturday evening, drove so near the hedge as to upset the cart, and he was thrown with such violence to the ground, that his skull was fractured, and death immediately ensued. The unfortunate deceased has left a widow and three children. Verdict - 'Accidental Death.'
Thursday 14 May 1835 An Inquest was held on the 24th ult., at Hartland, by H. A. Vallack, Esq. Coroner, on the body of RICHARD CHING, a respectable farmer of Clovelly, who was found dead in the turnpike road - Verdict Found Dead. The deceased had been to Hartland fair, and it is supposed he fell from his horse on his return home, as he had drank very freely at Hartland.
Thursday 21 May 1835 BARNSTAPLE - Sudden Death. - On Saturday last, a female inhabitant of this town called SARAH WHITEFIELD, 29 years of age, residing in Green Lane, complained of being unwell, but not so much so as to prevent her pursuing her usual avocations; and in the evening she proposed going to the market to purchase some meat for her Sunday's dinner; with this intent she went up stairs to put on her bonnet; and she had been in her room but a few minutes, when her family heard her fall and groan heavily; they immediately hastened to her assistance, when they found her lying in a state of insensibility; medical aid was instantly called in, but in vain, as her dissolution very speedily ensued. The medical gentleman imputed her death to the bursting of a blood vessel in her head. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body the day following, when a verdict of "Divine Visitation" was returned.
BARNSTAPLE - Suicide. - On Monday last, a poor dejected man of this town called THOMAS LILLY, about 45 years of age, a cabinet maker by trade, terminated his existence by hanging himself in his own dwelling house. Of industrious habits, but very unfortunate in his speculations, he had long suffered great depression of spirits, and since the death of his only son, which occurred a few years ago, he has occasionally manifested much aberration of mind; in the morning of the day above named, he arose at his usual hour, and walked out till about six o'clock, when he returned and went into the room where his wife was sleeping, when, as she supposed, he repaired to his work; in about half an hour after she came down stairs, and found the door of the room closed and fastened on the inside; instantly she procured assistance, and on forcing open the door, she discovered her husband suspended by a rope to a crook in the ceiling; he was immediately cut down, and the assistance of a doctor procured, but though the body was still warm, the vital spark was extinct. Verdict - "Insanity."
TORRINGTON - An Inquest was held on Saturday last, in the Guildhall, before Capt. Coleby, mayor, on the body of a little girl, named GRACE CAWSEY, whose death was supposed to have been occasioned by a blow she received from a female, for some trifling offence; after a minute investigation, however, the Jury returned a verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.
An Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq. Coroner, on Friday last, at Molland, on the body of MARY ANN SNOW, aged three years, who had been left by her mother in bed the preceding morning, at seven o'clock, whilst she went out but for a few minutes, and during her absence the child quitted the chamber, went down stairs, and got to the fire, which catching her night dress, set it on fire, whereby she was dreadfully burnt, as to occasion her death the same day. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 28 May 1835 SOUTHMOLTON - An Inquest was held on Friday last, at Chittlehampton, by T. Copner, Esq., Coroner, on the body of GRACE HEALE, 70 years of age, who suddenly dropt down and died the day before. Verdict - 'Apoplexy.'
JOHN AVERY, alias TAVERNER, has been committed to our County Gaol, on the Coroner's warrant, charged with manslaughter, in shooting MARY MAUNDER. the prisoner and the deceased were fellow servants in the farm-house of Mr Ellis, at Sainthill, in the parish of Chagford. At this town a fair was held on the 7th inst. and the prisoner pressed the deceased to accompany him to it, which she declined, upon which he took down a gun, which it does not appear he knew was loaded, and presenting it in the direction in which she stood, said, jestingly, that if she did not he would shoot her, he accordingly snapped the piece, the unfortunate girl receiving the whole charge, and dropped dead on the spot.
Thursday 4 June 1835 An Inquest was held on Thursday last, by T. Copner, Esq., Coroner, in the parish of Chittlehampton, on the body of HENRY WONNACOTT, a servant to Mr Mortimer, of Warkleigh, who, when on his return from Barnstaple the preceding evening, with his master's waggon and horses, on the descent of the hill near Chittlehampton, in attempting to stop another horse which had ran away with the loaded cart to which it was attached, was knocked down, and his head coming in contact with a stone, he received so severe a fracture, as to occasion instant death. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 11 June 1835 BARNSTAPLE - A melancholy incident occurred here on Tuesday morning, about five o'clock; a young gentleman, 27 years of age, eldest son of THOMAS HEATHCOTE, Esq., proprietor of the Rawleigh Lace Factory, went to bathe in the river near the Black Rock, on the Tawstock bank, and when in the water he swam down the river, but as he approached the bridge he was noticed by some persons on the lime kiln to be in distress, and they heard him call aloud for assistance, but no help could possibly be afforded him, and they saw him sink in the middle of the river. When the tide receded the body was found near the place where it was seen to go down, but any attempt to procure resuscitation must have been utterly useless, as the body had been in the water nearly two hours. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body soon after it was taken out of the water, and a verdict returned of "Accidental Death."
BARNSTAPLE - On Monday last, an Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq., Coroner, on the body of a child, called WILLIAM COWLEY, aged 5 years, who accidentally fell into a well of water, five feet deep, the preceding day, and was drowned. Verdict, - "Found Drowned."
Thursday 18 June 1835 BARNSTAPLE - An appalling accident occurred to day about noon, to one of the aged inmates of Litchdon almshouse; ELIZABETH HEARD, upwards of 80 years old, who had enjoyed the benefit of that charity for nearly twenty years, being alone in her apartment, accidentally set her clothes on fire, and the suffocation produced by the smoke, with the action of the fire, occasioned her death before any assistance could be rendered her. A Coroner's Inquest sat on the body, which returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Coroner's Inquest. - On Monday last, an Inquest was held at Kingsnympton, by T. Copner, Esq., on the body of GEORGE SKINNER, servant to Mr Tanner, of New Place, in that parish, who whilst mowing grass with several other persons, suddenly fell down and immediately expired. Verdict - Visitation of God.
Thursday 25 June 1835 EXETER - On Monday evening JOHN TAYLOR, a youth about 16 years of age, son of MR JOHN TAYLOR, one of the Serjeants at Mace in this city, and an apprentice to Messrs. Hayman, Coach-makers, went with others to bathe, at Sandy Point, a part of the river Exe, above the city, and nearly parallel with the suburbs on the Crediton road. Though it appears but an indifferent swimmer, he reached the opposite bank of the river, and with a youthful companion on either side, was on his return, when unfortunately he struck into a part where from the inequality of the bottom the water is of far more than the ordinary depth. He appeared instantly to become sensible of this, and not improbably lost his self confidence, as the effect was visible to those who were near him, and who in the buoyancy of youth endeavoured to cheer him by each taking him by the hand, and saying, "don't be afraid." Whether from some sudden affection of the system, however, or the effect of terror merely, which can now never be known, he appeared bereft of all power of muscular exertion, and his young friends not being possessed of strength sufficient to support him, he sank. Unfortunately among those on the banks, no one who was able to swim, was of an age to give them assistance to bring him out, consequently all their generous and hazardous efforts to this end failed of success, and he lay until Wm. Stukes, the eldest son of Mr John Stukes, builder, David's-hill, a powerful young man, who heard of the accident in the city, and has before most meritoriously distinguished himself in this way, with all the speed he was capable of using, arrived at the spot. He instantly dived and brought the poor boy out, he had however, been 37 minutes in the water, and was to all appearance dead; still, not deterred he continued to lend the most active assistance in conveying the body to Tarrant's Red Cow Inn, where every attention was given to it, while Howard, the brother officer of poor Taylor's father, ran into the city for medical aid. This was promptly afforded by Mr Webb, (Johnson and Webb, surgeons,) but whose efforts, from the length of time the body had lain in the water, were of no avail. On Tuesday an Inquest was taken on the body, at Tarrant's, by S. Walkey, Esq., Coroner, and a verdict of Accidental Death returned.
Thursday 9 July 1835 PLYMOUTH - Murder of a Wife by her Husband, and Attempted Suicide of the Murderer. - A most atrocious murder was perpetrated here on Sunday last by a young man named HONEY, a musician residing in Old Town. It seems the assassin had been married about three years to a daughter of MRS KING, landlady of the Rose and Crown, then not more than 19 years old. They had lived unhappily, in consequence of HONEY'S dissolute and abandoned life. The latter part of last week he spent in some house of ill fame, and on Sunday morning he returned home, and found his wife preparing to go out to dine with her mother. What conversation transpired between them is not known, as they were alone in the house, but the poor woman was observed shortly afterwards with her throat cut running towards the street, pursued by her inhuman husband, who overtook her at the door, dragged her backward, and closed the door after him. It was instantly burst open, and the victim was found lying in the passage quite dead, and weltering in her blood, and the monstrous murderer was found in the act of throwing from his hand a phial, which was proved to have contained poison, by which he intended to have destroyed his own existence. A surgeon was presently on the spot, who applied the stomach pump with effect, and the wretched man was carried off to confinement. The body of the woman was conveyed to her mother's, where a Jury sat upon it in the afternoon; which, after a prolonged sitting, was adjourned to the following day. It was attempted to be shewn that HONEY was labouring under the influence of temporary derangement when he committed the fatal act. The Inquest was again adjourned to the next day (Tuesday) when a verdict of "Wilful Murder" was returned against HONEY, who was committed to the county gaol, to take his trial at the next Assizes.
On Sunday last, an Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq., Coroner, on the body of MR GEORGE WINN, assessor of taxes, a resident of Tiverton, who was found dead in the road the previous evening in the parish of Knowstone. It appeared in evidence that he had dined with the Rv. Mr Froud, the clergyman of that parish, whose house he left about four o'clock. No mark or bruise appeared on the body, and his purse, containing many sovereigns, his gold watch, and other property, were found on his person. The medical gentlemen giving it as their opinion that the deceased died of apoplexy, a verdict was returned accordingly.
Thursday 16 July 1835 Coroner's Inquest. - On Saturday last, an Inquest was taken before James Partridge, Esq., one of the Coroners for Devon, at the Horse and groom public-house, Upton Pyne, on the body of WILLIAM HOSGOOD, who had been found dead in that parish on the preceding Thursday evening. The deceased was 31 years of age, and eldest son of MR HOSGOOD of the Thorverton Stone Quarry. He left home on Thursday afternoon, with intention of visiting some friends near Pynes, taking with him as was generally his custom, his double-barrel gun. He has always taken a great delight in field exercises, and was a keen sportsman. In passing through Upton Pyne, he stopped at the Horse and Groom, and paid Mrs Pitts, the landlady, £6 for a tun of cider, and during the time he remained, drank two glasses of gin and water. He then proceeded on his way, and not long after, some persons near, observed a smoke to arise from a field on the Oakford estate, and a rick of hay having recently been put together, it was imagined some accident had occurred to that. On coming to the spot, however, they found it to proceed from some part of the clothing of MR HOSGOOD, which was on fire. He was lying dead in a field tilled to barley, of about 4 acres, through which was a path leading from Upton Pyne to Exeter; his gun was by him, and it is said, a hare was in his pocket. It is imagined he came by his death in the following manner, that on his attention being roused by appearance of game, he cocked both barrels, in order to be ready if the first shot missed. The first, however, probably was successful, when, as is a too common but very dangerous custom, he leaned on the gun looking out for a second shot. While in this position with the gun perpendicular before him, it would seem that some part of the cock caught in his clothing, and caused an immediate explosion, as the charge entered about the mouth and came out at the back part of the head, and his death must have been instantaneous. The fire from the pan ignited the clothing, and hence the prompt discovery of his body already stated. The Jury, after obtaining all the evidence that was possible in the case, returned a verdict of Accidental Death.
Thursday 23 July 1835 Inquests held by T. Copner, Esq.; On Friday last at Martinhoe, on the body of ELIZABETH LORD, a child five years of age, whose clothes accidentally caught fire the previous Tuesday, by which she was so much burnt, as to cause her death the following Thursday. Verdict 'Accidental Death'.
And on Tuesday last, at Ilfracombe, on the body of JOHN IRWIN, aged 83, who after having eaten a hearty dinner the day before, walked out into the court, where he suddenly dropt down, and instantly expired. - Verdict 'Visitation of God.'
An Inquest was held on Tuesday, the 21st instant, by H. Vallack, Esq., at Ashwater, on the body of MR JOHN VEALE, jun., who was killed by a colt rearing and falling back upon him. d He lingered only a few hours after the accident. Verdict "Accidental Death."
Thursday 30 July 1835 Forgery and Suicide at Newton. - On Wednesday last an Inquest was held before J. Gribble, Esq., Coroner, Newton, on the body of WM. LLOYD, who came by his death under the following circumstances. The deceased who had called himself WM. MILES, had been taken up on suspicion of having sent a forged bill to Mr Beazley, of the Globe, Newton, purporting to have been signed by Lord Southampton, the amount of the bill was 19l. 8s., and the letter which accompanied the draft stated that his Lordship was on his way to Newton upon a fishing excursion, requesting Mr Beazley to cash the bill, and give the money to his butler; MILES called, suspicion was excised, and he was taken into custody. Capt. Reed having identified the man as a servant in his employ, MILES complained of an internal affection, he was allowed to go into the court, when he put a pistol to his head and killed himself upon the spot. The Jury returned a verdict of Insanity.
BARNSTAPLE - Death by Drowning. - We lament the accident we have this week to record, of the death of WILLIAM, only son of MR WM. HUNT, auctioneer, of this town. Oppressed by the heat of the weather, about eleven o'clock on Tuesday morning, he sought the refreshment which a bathe affords, and for this purpose went into the river near Chaddiford Pill, something more than a mile from the town, on the north side of the river; he was accompanied by his relative, James Dennis, neither of whom were able to swim, and going beyond his depth, on perceiving his danger he called to his companion for help, who was unable to render him any assistance, and he unfortunately sunk in his presence; on an alarm being given, a number of persons hastened to the spot, many of whom crossed and re-crossed the river to find the body, which was picked up about three o'clock, very near the spot where it is understood he sunk. A Jury was immediately impannelled, at the Pottingdon Limekilns, who returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." - The deceased was about 19 years of age, of very sober and industrious habits, and, by his exertions very essentially contributed to the support and comfort of his family.
SOUTHMOLTON - Fire and Loss of Life. - A most alarming fire broke out on Sunday morning last, about half past one o'clock, at the house of Mr S. T. Gilbert, draper, of "The Beehive," in the Market Place: which threatened destruction to several of the adjoining houses. The flames were discovered issuing from a parlour window facing Duke Street. An alarm was immediately given, and Mr and Mrs Gilbert, with the rest of the family were rescued from the devouring element, with the exception of a little girl, MARY ANN WEBBER MOLLAND, aged about seven years, daughter in law of Mr Gilbert. It appears that the female assistant with whom the deceased slept, on being alarmed by the servant girl, ran directly to Mr Gilbert's room, and informed him of the catastrophe. Their feelings may be better conceived than described, when they found that the shop below was in flames. Mrs Gilbert became quite frantic, and it was with difficulty that Mr Gilbert and a young man (an assistant) could get her from the room. The female assistant snatched up the infant which Mrs Gilbert had left behind, and all, except the deceased, in a state of nudity, succeeded in reaching the street. A report was immediately spread that all the family were out of the house; but shortly after the child was missing! It was announced by the town crier, but alas! it was too late to rescue the little sufferer, who perished in the flames. The fire engines (three in number) were on the spot as soon as possible, but notwithstanding the utmost exertions were used, the fire could not be got under until the house with nearly all the furniture and stock, was entirely consumed. Great apprehensions were entertained by the bystanders for the safety of the whole range of houses from Mr Gilbert's to the Church walk, as the wind was very high and blowing in that direction. Their fears were not without foundation, for presently the house of Mr Huxtable, draper, was discovered to be on fire, occasioned by the sparks which were blown from Mr Gilbert's premises; one of the engines was immediately conveyed to the spot, and by the application of a few buckets of water it was speedily extinguished. The house of Mr George Cole, of the Unicorn Inn, in Barnstaple street, also ignited, but the flames were providentially subdued. The devouring element also communicated to the premises adjoining Mr Gilbert's belonging to Mr Samuel Tanner, druggist, but by directing the engines thereto, after some time it was got under, but not until the house had sustained a serious injury. So intense was the heat that the house opposite, occupied by Mr Richard Dunn, printer, was scorched so much, that had not one of the engines been applied, it would in all probability have been reduced to a heap of ruins. About five o'clock a search was made for the body of the unfortunate little girl, which was found just below where the bed stood, reduced completely to a cinder, - both hands and feet being burnt off. The remains were conveyed to W. Flexman's, Esq., surgeon, and in the evening an Inquest was held in the Guildhall, before William Hole, Esq., Coroner, when the verdict, "Died from Suffocation" was returned. By the humane exertions of Messrs. Smith and Hitchcock, a very liberal subscription, amounting to upwards of 30l. has been entered into, for Mr Gilbert's male and female assistants and servant girl, nearly the whole of whose wearing apparel was destroyed. We understand that Mr Gilbert's stock was partially insured, as was also the house, the property of Mr Hugh Trix, of Tiverton. How the fire originated is involved in a mystery.
An Inquest was held by T. Copner, Esq., Coroner, on Friday last, at Georgeham, on the body of GRACE TUCKER, aged six months, who, in the night preceding, was found dead in the arms of her mother. Verdict - Died of Convulsion fits.
THOMAS GRANVILLE, a boy aged about 12 years, son of MR ROBERT GRANVILLE, keeper of a beer shop in James street, Devonport, was found on Friday last suspended by a rope fastened to the garret door. When cut down, it was found that he was dead; and from the evidence adduced at the Coroner's Inquest, it was presumed that the deceased, who had been in the habit of playing with a rope by putting his neck in a loop of it, must have practised the same this day; and from being unable to extricate himself, remained till life ceased, and a verdict to that effect was returned.
Reported Murder at Dolton - Further Particulars and Verdict of the Jury, respecting the death of JAMES HILL of Shebbear. We have obtained the following facts, in addition to the report inserted in our last. The deceased was travelling with a horse named 'Young Forester,' the property of Mr Knapman, of Okehampton, the man and horse were both missing on the 10th of July; various rumours were afloat respecting the cause of their absence, but nothing was heard to lead to their discovery till the 18th instant, when the Rev. Mr Karslake, of Dolton was applied to for a couple of hounds, and the unfortunate deceased and his horse were discovered by the huntsman, in Eastcott Coppice, Dowland, in a ditch which forty years ago was used as a sawpit. The Coroner, H. A. Vallack, Esq., was immediately sent for, and hastened to the spot, and with the kind assistance of the Rev. Mr Karslake, empanelled a most respectable Jury the same evening. When the head of the deceased was examined, it was apparent that three severe wounds had been inflicted, one on the crown, and one on either side; one of the side wounds being of a triangular shape and the scalp turned upwards; but the surgeons Messrs Owen and Cooke, of Dolton, and Mr Roger Kingdon, of Torrington, agreed in the opinion that the blows the deceased had received were not sufficient to have caused death, but would suspend animation, which could not have been restored had the deceased been immediately thrown into the pit, in which he was discovered. It was understood that the deceased had a considerable sum of money about his person when he left Winkleigh on the morning of the 10th instant, but this was not clearly proved to be more than 20l.; he had paid several bills on the road, and 15l. were found on his person. The deceased was accounted a sober man but was considered to be a little intoxicated at four o'clock in the afternoon of the 10th, and continued so up to half past nine; this was proved by five or six individuals who met the deceased leading his horse at different times in the course of the evening. To one person he stated that he was going direct to Dolton, but when the last two witnesses met him he was evidently out of the Dolton road; and from that time it does not appear that he was seen by any one until his body was discovered in the saw pit. the horse was found in such a position in the pit that it appeared impossible for the animal to kick the deceased; the horse was up to his belly in mud, his gambrels against two strong withy bushes which grew across the pit and proved a barrier between the hind part of the horse and the head of the deceased; in this position the poor creature was literally wedged in, with his hind legs under his belly and the man lying on his face at the horse's tail. It is most generally supposed that the animal was backed into the pit, although by some it is conjectured that he might have been pulled into it by the deceased, and that both horse and leader fell at the same time, the pit being thickly overgrown with underwood, in an unfrequented spot, and for many years entirely unknown to almost everyone in the parish. The deceased was found with his sleeve waistcoat turned inside out and buttoned, which he was in the habit of doing for the purpose of keeping it clean; his purse was in his breeches pocket tied up, and all his pockets were buttoned. The Inquest was adjourned from the 18th to the 20th, when a very strict investigation took place, and it was then further adjourned to Monday last. Upwards of twenty witnesses were examined, and at six o'clock on Monday evening, no further evidence being adduced, the Coroner solemnly and impartially charged the Jury in an address of nearly two hours. The Jury retired for three quarters of an hour, when they were unanimous in the verdict - "That the deceased was found dead in the coppice, having three marks of violence on his head, but how or by what means he received the said blows no evidence appeared to the Jurors."
Thursday 20 August 1835 EXETER - On Tuesday morning, as a man named PETER WAY in the employ of Mr Charles Smith, bricklayer in this city, was at work on the Friars, engaged in loading a cart with sand, he burst a blood vessel, and expired in about ten minutes. The deceased was 50 years of age and, at the Inquest, held at Badcock's Custom House Inn, near the Quay, the same evening, a verdict of Died by the Visitation of God was returned.
EXETER - A very sad and distressing accident occurred on Tuesday evening at the gardens of CHARLES SCLATER, Summerlands, on the Heavitree-road, in this city. JULIA, one of his daughters, a little girl about 5 years old, while playing in the garden, unfortunately fell into a well 40 feet deep. The accident was seen, but no proper means being at hand for her rescue, about half an hour elapsed before she was got out, when life had become extinct. On Wednesday an Inquest was taken on the body at Hillier's Axminster Inn, Paris Street, and a verdict returned accordingly.
An Inquest was held on Friday last, at Irishcombe, in the parish of Lapford, before J. Partridge, Esq., Coroner, of Tiverton, on the body of MR JAMES DOWNEY, yeoman, who, on Wednesday last was found in his barn suspended by a rope from a beam. It appeared that the deceased had laboured under great depression of spirits since the death of his wife which took place about six months ago. On Wednesday morning, after giving directions to his men respecting their work, he was found missing, and after some time, was discovered in the place and state above described. The Jury, after much deliberation, returned a verdict of Felo-de-se, and the remains of the unfortunate deceased were interred in a remote corner of the churchyard of Rose Ash, on Saturday night about ten o'clock.
Thursday 27 August 1835 An Inquest was held on Saturday last, at Heanton Punchardon, before Thomas Copner, Esq., Coroner, on the body of JOS. COLLARD, who was drowned while bathing in the river a little below Heanton Court, on the preceding Thursday. Verdict - Found Drowned.
Suicide - JOHN HARRIS, a shoemaker, about 50 years of age, having a wife and four children, at Atherington, where he was well esteemed for his uprightness and sobriety, put an end to his existence on Thursday last, by hanging himself to the bough of a tree in Fisherton Wood, about a mile from his residence. Though the most diligent search was instituted, the body was not discovered till the Sunday following. Pecuniary embarrassment is supposed to have led to this fatal result. A Coroner's Jury sat on the body, which returned a verdict of "Temporary Insanity."
Thursday 3 September 1835 EXETER - Coroner's Inquest. - On Monday last an Inquest was taken at the Devon and Exeter Hospital, before John Gidley, Esq., one of the Coroners for Exeter, on the body of RICHARD SANDERS, who had been brought to that institution on the proceeding Saturday, from Powderham, with severe injury of the right arm, and died the same evening. Ezekiel Phillips is in the employ of Mr Wm. Beal, of Powderham Mills. I knew the deceased RICHARD SANDERS; he was employed in Mr Beal's mill as an assistant under me, on Saturday morning last, the 22nd inst. I told him to soap the cogs of the mill that was still; that mill had not been at work for the morning. I was busy grinding grists about ten minutes after, and heard a jerk between the jear or stones of the mill that was at work; I went to the ladder that was two or three steps from the mill trough where I was standing, and cast my eye upon the mill-bed, but saw nothing there. I then looked between the ladder which commanded a view of the two pit-wheels, and there saw the deceased in the act of rising he came out before I had power to go to him, and he said to me, oh! Ezekiel I'm afraid I've broke my arm. I replied poor fellow, you have broke your arm sure enough. I then held him across the upper part of his right arm which remained sound, and led him across the mill, and called for assistance. I remained with him until Mr Bastain, a surgeon, came; then I left him in the care of the people of the house; he bled a great deal in coming across the mill. I believe the accident happened as follows:- The deceased was applying the grey-soap to the fly-wheel and the stone nut of the fly-wheel caught his fingers and broke his arm, by drawing it between the fly-wheel and the stone. Edward John Parker Pridam, Pupil of Samuel Barnes, Esq. of Exeter, Surgeon, was at the Devon and Exeter Hospital when the deceased was brought in, between 12 and 1 o'clock in the day, on Saturday last. I was present when he was examined, and assisted in the examination: his right arm was very much torn, and the arm bone and elbow joint were fractured. There was a tourniquet on, and the deceased was very faint. Mr Barnes saw him about 2 o'clock and about ½ past 3 amputated the arm. In the mean time the deceased had ammonia, laudanum, and wine administered to him for the purpose of re-action, and we also applied bottles of warm water to his feet, but he did not revive at all, and died about six o'clock. I think his death was caused by the loss of blood occasioned by the injury which he sustained. Mr Gidley summed up the evidence, and the Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.
Thursday 10 September 1835 SOUTHMOLTON - Coroner's Inquest. - An Inquisition was held on Friday evening last, at the Guildhall, in this town, before Wm. Hole, Esq., mayor and Coroner, on the body of MRS MARY ANN MILDRUM, wife of MR GEORGE MILDRUM, schoolmaster, of this town, who was found dead in her bed on the morning of that day. It appeared from the evidence of MR MILDRUM, that the deceased and himself had not slept together for several years, and that the room in which deceased usually slept was divided from his (MR M'S) room, by a passage. She retired in her usual health on Thursday night, and he to his. On Friday morning, MR MILDRUM arose at his usual hour, about half past five o'clock, and took a walk till eight; on his return home he went to the stairs which led to MRS MILDRUM'S room, and called to her, but received no answer; he then went up stairs and discovered MRS MILDRUM lying on a bed, in a room adjoining that in which she usually slept, nearly on her face, apparently dead. He immediately called a neighbour to his assistance, and desired her to fetch a medical man; she called Mr Flexman, surgeon, who, on his arrival, found that she had been dead for several hours, as she was quite cold and stiff. In the course of the examination of the witnesses, it appeared that MR MILDRUM and deceased, had, on the preceding evening, drank some beer and a noggin of brandy without water, with their supper. MR M. divided it into two equal parts, and put treacle into his, and sugar into deceased's brandy; this excited suspicion in the minds of the Jurors, and led to a post mortem examination of the body. The deposition of William Flexman, Esq., was then taken, - I attended the post mortem examination of the body of MARY ANN MILDRUM; on examining the exterior of the body, found both arms were much bruised; the bruises did not appear to have been recently made; the blood vessels of the brain were uncommonly full; on cutting into the substance of the brain, nothing unusual appeared; but on opening the lateral ventricles of the brain, an unusual quantity of fluid was found; there were no marks of violence on the head; there was a contusion on the exterior of the chest; on cutting the integuments, extravasation of blood was found to exist; there was a quantity of blood between the pectoral muscles of the right side; the ribs were not fractured; on raising the sternum, a slight extravasation of blood was found under the contusion: on opening the membrane covering the heart, about 4 oz of fluid was found: the stomach was nearly empty, and the body much emaciated. In answer to a question from one of the Jurors, - whether the blow which deceased had received was sufficient to cause death? Mr Flexman replied in the affirmative. Dr Newbold was then sworn - I was present at the post mortem examination of MARY ANN MILDRUM; found many livid marks, as well as bruises, which appeared to have been inflicted some time previous to her death; remarked to Mr Flexman that it was not all fair play. The doctor corroborated Mr Flexman's statement, and thought the blow which deceased had received on the right side of the chest, was the cause of her death. It was now nearly twelve o'clock, and, at the request of the Jurors, the Coroner adjourned the Inquest on Saturday morning at nine o'clock. Saturday - This day several witnesses were examined, one of whom was Mary Gill, who stated to the Jury on her cross-examination, that she had observed some scratches on MILDRUM'S hand: he was immediately sent for and exhibited several scratches on his left hand, which he said he had received when picking some nuts on his coming from Bideford; but it left a very unfavourable impression on the Juror's minds. The investigation was very strict and continued till nearly three o'clock: but notwithstanding, no evidence was adduced to warrant the apprehension of any party. The Jury retired, and after about half an hour's deliberation, returned the following verdict - "That the deceased died from the effect of a blow on the right side of the breast, but how, or in what manner, and by what means the contusion was caused, no evidence doth appear to the Jurors."
Thursday 17 September 1835 ILFRACOMBE - An Inquest was held on Saturday last, by Thomas Copner, Esq., Coroner, on the body of a little boy, scarcely two years of age, son of a labourer named BROOKS, who had come to his death under the following melancholy circumstances; his mother had gone out on an errand to a neighbour's house, and had left the child alone; on her return, after about two minutes absence, she was shocked to find her infant son enveloped in flames; having approached too near the fire the devouring element had communicated to his clothes; the little sufferer expired soon after. Verdict - "Accidental Death."
Thursday 1 October 1835 Inquest by T. Copner, Esq., Coroner. - The body of a female called MARY WITHYCOMBE, of Fremington, 70 years of age, who had died a few days before, was about to be interred on Friday last, when in consequence of a report being circulated that the death of the deceased had been occasioned by poison, an Inquest was held, and a post mortem examination was taken of the body, the result of which was a contradiction of the slanderous report, and a conviction that her death was by the Visitation of God.
A messenger arrived this morning from Maryansleigh, to summon the attendance of Mr Copner, to hold an Inquest on the body of a little boy, two years and half old, son of a widow woman, called MARY ROWLER, who was engaged out at a day's work, leaving the deceased in the care of a sister about eight years old, in the temporary absence of whom the child caught its clothes on fire, and was so much burnt as to occasion its death in about sixteen hours after.
Thursday 15 October 1835 SOUTHMOLTON - An Inquest was held on Monday last in the Guildhall, before William Hole, Esq., Mayor, on the body of MR JOHN MARSHALL, hatter, who retired to rest on the preceding Saturday night at 9 o'clock, in his usual health, and about 11 was found a corpse. Verdict, - Divine Visitation.
Thursday 5 November 1835 Inquest held by T. Copner, Esq., Coroner. - On Monday last at Ilfracombe, on the body of ALICE DOVELL, aged 70, who retired to rest on Saturday night, as well in health as she had been for years before, and on Sunday morning was found in her bed a corpse. Verdict - Visitation of God.
An Inquest was held by H. A. Vallack, Esq., at Little Torrington, on Monday last, on the body of JOHN PASSMORE, aged 15, who was killed on the spot the day before, by a kick of a young colt. It appeared in evidence, that the youth had caught the colt by the tail in sport, and that the animal had retaliated by the fatal blow. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 12 November 1835 An Inquest was held on Monday last, at Huntshaw, before H. A. Vallack, Esq., on the body of Joannah Gould, who was on that day killed by the overturning of a cart in the turnpike road. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 26 November 1835 BARNSTAPLE - Child Burnt. - Another of these accidents, by which human life is so frequently sacrificed, and which in many cases are mainly imputable to the thoughtlessness or negligence of their natural protectors, occurred on Saturday morning last, to a little boy, two years and eight months old, son of a sawyer, called GEORGE PARKMAN, residing at Summerland, in this town; the father being gone to his labour, and the mother still in bed, having just before been confined, the child went down stairs, and seating himself before the fire, in his loose night dress, a spark flew out and set him on a blaze; the mother hearing the shrieks of the child ran down stairs, and wrapping a cloak around him, extinguished the flames, but not until the little sufferer was so much burnt as to cause his death at twelve o'clock at night of the same day. An Inquest sat on the body, before Robert Budd, Esq., Coroner for the Borough, on Monday morning, which returned a verdict of - Accidental Death.
Thursday 3 December 1835 ILFRACOMBE - An Inquest was held on Tuesday last, before Thomas Copner, Esq. Coroner, on the body of JAMES CLOGG, aged 86, who, while going upstairs on the evening before, fell backward, and died almost immediately. He had had two seizures in the course of the preceding week. Verdict, "Divine Visitation."
Thursday 17 December 1835 EXETER - Case of Starvation. - An Inquest was held on Friday, at Cattle's Black Dog Inn, North street, before S. Walkey, Esq., Coroner, on the body of a male child, six weeks old, named JOHN PERKINS, which from its shrivelled and wretched appearance, died, as was supposed, from absolute want. From the evidence of the mother, who resides in a miserable room in North-street, it appeared that her husband left her seven years since, and that the child was illegitimate; her earnings had been only about a shilling a week, which she got for assisting in the market as a vendor of clome. During her confinement she was destitute of necessaries, and had been so since. The evidence of a female named Clapp, who lived with the mother, was, that she had frequently been in the habit of giving the child food, because it had not sufficient; she did not think the child had, including what she gave it, sufficient nourishment. The mother, in her opinion, was stupid, or defective in intellect, and a very dull woman; she had advised her to apply for relief, but she refused to do so because she would not go into the workhouse. The woman was certainly in great distress, and she believed, on her oath, that the child died of want. The mother lived chiefly upon a little bread and tea. After the child died, application was made for relief, and a supply of nourishment was ordered. The mother applied, through another person, before the death of the child, for relief, to the proper officer of the City, but it was refused, as she believed, on the ground of the mother's refusal to go to her parish, or into the workhouse, as she was advised to do. The mother was addressed by the Coroner, in very appropriate terms, as to the necessity of her submitting to go, with her living child, a girl nine years of age, to the workhouse, after which she would be removed to the place of her settlement; if she refused to do this, and the girl became weak, through want of nourishment, and died from that cause, she would be responsible for the death of this child also. The mother then consented to be placed under the direction of Mr Tozer, and to be taken to the Workhouse. The opinion of the Jury was, that the woman was a person of weak intellect, and ought not to be entrusted with the care of a child still living. From the whole state of the evidence, the destitution of the woman appears to have been caused through her own obstinacy. It is unaccountable the reluctance of such persons to go to the Workhouse, when it is well known that a most sufficient supply of wholesome food is allowed. The girl was presented to the Jury, and appeared also to be half starved. The Coroner and Jury liberally subscribed for the immediate relief of the woman and child. The Inquest was continued on Saturday night, when a verdict of Accidental Death was returned.
Sudden Deaths. - An Inquest was held on Tuesday by H. A. Vallack, Esq., Coroner, on the body of RACHEL SALTERN, who was found dead in her bed, at Highbickington, on Monday morning.
And on the same day at Northtawton, on the body of JOHN WEBBER, who got up on Monday morning quite well, and after he had lighted his fire, as usual, sat down to put on his boots, when he fell off the stool and instantly expired. Verdict in both cases, "Died by the Visitation of God."
ILFRACOMBE - An Inquest was held on Monday last, in this town, on the body of THOMAS PRICE, aged three years, who on the Saturday preceding, in the absence of his mother who was gone into the garden to hung out some clothes, set himself on fire, and was so dreadfully burnt, as to cause his death the day following. Verdict - Accidental Death.
Thursday 31 December 1835 BARNSTAPLE - Lamentable and Fatal Effects of Intoxication. - On Thursday evening last, a man of this town named WILLIAM JONES, young in years, but having a wife now enciente, left his home to spend Christmas with his friends at Ilfracombe; and on his way thither he called at the public house at Prixford, where he drank rather freely; from thence he proceeded to Guineaford-pool, and at the public-house in that village he drank still more, till he became intoxicated, and quarrelling with a man he there met with, they fought for some time; from thence he pursued his way towards Ilfracombe, and at day-light the following morning he was seen a little below Twopotts Turnpike Gate, reclining on the bank by the roadside; a person passing by spoke to him, to whom he said, as well as he was capable of articulating, "take me to Ilfracombe;" thither he was accordingly conveyed, and in the course of the forenoon expired - the wretched victim of dissipation and intemperance. A Coroner's Jury sat on the body, who returned a verdict of "Died by the Inclemency of the Weather."
Inquests by T. Copner, Esq. - On Saturday last, at Morthoe, on the body of MARY TRENT, aged three years, whose clothes accidentally caught fire on Thursday last, by which she was so dreadfully burnt as to cause her death the following day. Verdict, "Accidental Death."
And on Monday last, at Chittlehampton, on the body of FRANCES HOLLAND, aged three years and a half. While she was standing by the fire, in the temporary absence of her mother, her clothes took fire and she was so burnt that she died soon after. Verdict, 'Accidental Death.'