Inquests Taken Into Suspicious Or Unexplained Deaths
For the County of Devon
Taken from the Hartland and West Country Chronicle
[Printed at Hartland]
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.
Provided by Lindsey Withers
[No's in brackets indicate the number of times that name occurs]
Names included: Allin; Arquhart; Babb; Beckley; Blythe; Bradley; Broom; Buckley; Chope; Cole; Collins; Cook; Creese; Curtis; Daley; Dark; Dayman; Downing; Driscoll; Elliott; Fitchard; Frecker; Glover(2); Goodacre; Goodenough; Harris; Headon; Jeffery; Jewell(2); Johns(2); Lane; Miller; Moss; Mountjoy(2); Mugford; Oke; Pennington(2); Pillman; Pyne; Quick; Riley; Robins; Sanders(2); Shute(2); Tremeeer; Tucker; Vanstone(2); Wade; Wickett.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Monday 3 July 1899
HARTLAND - Inquest by Coroner Bromham at Rosedown Mill, on the body of WALTER VANSTONE, age 18 months. The Jury was composed of Messrs. John Allin, John Andrew, Thos. Baker, Thos. Braund (Foreman), T. C. Burrow, T. Cook (Holloford), John Cory, F. G. Griffiths, J. K. Jeffery, T. Jeffery (Anchor), W. B. Littlejohn, John Wickett and G. Williams. - JANE VANSTONE, the mother, deposed that about 8.20 on Tuesday evening, she last saw the child outside the court gate. A little later she missed him and not being able to find him, called her husband, and together they searched. He found him in a stream, just below where two planks are laid across to form a footbridge, about 18 in. wide. She took the body from him and gave it to Mrs Allin, a neighbour, to carry into the house. - CHARLES VANSTONE, the little fellow's father, corroborated, and said that the stream was about three feet wide and had very little water. - He did not know (in answer to the Foreman) whether the path over the bridge was public or not, but planks had been put there by his father, 18 years ago. Nobody was denied the use of the path. - Mary Anna Allin, widow, of Rosedown Mills, also gave evidence as to efforts to restore animation. - Dr H. Miller said he happened to be on the farm when he heard screaming. He then went into the house and saw that the child was quite dead. He carefully examined the body and found that death was caused by the child having fractured its neck in such a way as to cause instant death. - The verdict was in accordance with the medical evidence, with the words "Accidental Death". A rider was added recommending that the planks should be protected by a railing and that the stream be fenced off.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Monday 4 September 1899
HARTLAND - Inquest held at Hartland Abbey Aug. 22nd., on the body of WILLIAM ELLIOTT, by County Coroner Bromham. - John Littlejohns stated that he was one of those who attended the harvest supper. Between 2 and 3 a.m. he went out and heard groans by the bridge. He asked what was the matter, but received no reply. He then went into the Abbey and told Frederick Walter that someone had fallen over the bridge. Walter, P.C. Patt and others went to the spot and found deceased and with some difficulty got him up and carried him into the Abbey. Witness had seen deceased about five minutes previous to the accident. - P.C. Patt deposed that between fifty and sixty persons were present at the supper. Deceased was found lying in a little water; and after his head had been bound up by the nurse, he was removed into the Abbey. The distance from the top of the bridge is 10ft; the parapet each side about 2ft. high. When ELLIOTT left the Abbey, he was, to the best of witness's belief, quite sober. - Dr. J. H. Hobling stated that ELLIOTT sustained a long cut, extending from the left side of the nose to the lower eyelid, and from there nearly to the ear. the face was also smashed in on the left side and there was a cut on the top of the head about six inches long. The injuries were so severe that witness had little hope of his recovery, and the injuries to the head and face were the cause of death. - Ellen Rotherbaugh, the professional nurse, stated that ELLIOTT was unable to account for having fallen over the bridge. The Jury consisted of Messrs. F. Allin, G. Burrow, H. Cole, J. H. Curtis, W. Curtis, Edwin Fulford, Joseph Hooper (Foreman), J. H. Hooper, R. A. Hopper, J. Jeffery (Down), T. Jeffery Anchor, G. Kievill and F. J. Wilson. A verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned. The Jury on the proposition of the Foreman, unanimously left their fees with the constable to be handed to the window, who is left with five children. His age was 39.
Hartland and West County Chronicle, Monday 2 October 1899
HARTLAND - Inquest held at Fattacott, September 14th, by Coroner Bromham, on the body of SAMUEL DAYMAN. The Jury consisted of Messrs. A. Allin, John Andrew, W. Avery, T. Braund (Foreman), C. H. Cleverdon, E. George, J. A. George, W. heard, T. Jeffery (Anchor), W. B. Littlejohn, M. J. Stone, W. Stone and John Pomeroy. - LOUISA DAYMAN, daughter of the deceased, and William Souch, farm servant, deposed to finding the body face downward in a little water. There was a bruise on the centre of the forehead. Dr J. H. Hobling stated that death had evidently been immediate. - A verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned, with a rider calling upon the Lord of the Manor, Rev. W. W. Martyn to repair the bridge.
Hartland and West County Chronicle, Monday 6 November 1899
HARTLAND - Inquest held by Coroner J. F. Bromham at Hole Farm October 1st, on the body of RICHARD SHUTE, labourer, of Gawlish. The Jury consisted of Messrs. G. Burrow, Rd. Colwill, W. Cook (Harton), J. Cornish, S. Dayman, John Diamond, J. A. George, S. Harris, T. Jeffery (Anchor), T. Jeffery (Pattard), W. H. Taylor (Foreman), John Ware and W. T. Westlake. - Evidence was given by MARY SHUTE, wife of the deceased. Her husband had been in ill health for some time and unable to follow his employment. Yesterday morning he got up between 6 and 7 o'clock, dressed and went out of the house. He did not say where he was going. Before leaving, he kissed the child and said "goodbye." Soon after, I got down. My daughter, who is 14 years old, on looking out saw something in the hedge and told me. My son, age 12 years, went down to see what it was and ran back and told me it was his father. I spoke to my neighbour, Mrs Rowe and then went to Hole. (By the Foreman): I don't think I have had any parish relief since harvest. - RICHARD SHUTE, son of deceased, gave corroborative evidence. - John H. Rowe, (also living at Gawlish), labourer, deposed that he was working at Hole, which is rather more than a quarter of a mile from Gawlish cottages, when MARY SHUTE came to him and told him that her husband had hung himself. He with Mr J. A. George went immediately to the place, where they found deceased hanging to a branch of a tree in a hedge, about a hundred yards from his own home. His feet were about 18 inches above the ground. Witness cut the rope and laid the body on the ground, where it remained until the arrival of the constable. - James Drew, P.C., stationed at Hartland, stated that on receiving the information he went at once and found a piece of rope hanging to a bough, and another by the side of the body (produced). He searched him, but found nothing to throw light on the case. He understood that the doctor had been sent for, but did not stay till he came. (By the Foreman): The wife stated to witness that she had never heard deceased threaten to take his own life. - Dr Miller said he knew deceased very well. The family are very poor indeed. The man had been ill for a long time, quite unable to do general work. On arriving at the cottage yesterday, he found the body lying on the floor, fully dressed. There was a mark round the neck which might be made by the rope. The neck was not broken, but the axis of the neck was dislocated. In witness's opinion, death was instantaneous. Deceased suffered from scrotal hernia. - The Coroner, in summing up, said that no doubt poverty and sickness had unhinged the man's mind. He was 66 years of age. The verdict was Suicide whilst Temporarily Insane. The Jury expressed their sympathy with the widow and family by leaving their fees with the Constable.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Monday 1 July 1901
CLOVELLY - An Inquest was held at the Red Lion Hotel, Clovelly, by Coroner Bromham on Saturday 13th respecting the death of FRANCIS HEADON, 21 months old. FANNY HEADON, the mother, said the window was open on June 6th. She was getting some writing paper and the child was playing about. She did not see him fall, but he must have got on a chair and lent against the cord of the blind, which snapped and he fell into the street. Dr Walker, who was immediately in attendance, said he found the child unconscious and concluded he had fractured the base of his skull. He had attended the child daily since, but had little hope of recovery from the first. Dr Grose of Bideford, had met him in consultation on Tuesday, and everything possible had been done. The height of the window above the street was 12 to 14 feet. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death" and expressed sympathy with the parents on the loss of their only child.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Monday 7 October 1901
HARTLAND - Coroner Bromham held an Inquest at the New Inn, on Sep. 26th on the body of MAUD RILEY, who died from the effects of falling into a pan of hot milk which had been left to cool. The Jury were Messrs. F. Allin, T. Braund (Foreman), g. Burrow, (sen.), J. H. Curtis, W. Curtis (carpenter), W. Cook (butcher), J. Howard, G. Littlejohns (labourer), W. B. Littlejohn, T. K. Pillman, B. Redclift, J. Ware and G. Williams. A Verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Monday 6 January 1902
HARTLAND - RICHARD JEWELL, fish dealer, died suddenly at his home, West Bucks on Tuesday 7th. He had attended Bideford Market as usual and had been drinking spirits heavily for some time. The Inquest was held on Thursday by Mr Bromham. Messrs. Avery, Baglow, Cruse, Dark, W. Dark, Davey, Hamlyn, Jeffery, Kellaway, Pennington, Slee, Steer, and Warmington formed the Jury. Verdict - Death from Failure of the Heart's Action through Excessive Drinking. Over two hundred attended the funeral.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Monday 7 April 1902
WOOLFARDISWORTHY (WEST) - Woolsery. - At Venn Cottages, on Tuesday April 8th, the County Coroner (Mr J. F. Bromham) Inquired into the death of MABEL JOHNS, age 16 months. EMMA JANE JOHNS, charwoman, single, stated that up to the previous Friday, her deceased child was in fairly good health except for a slight cold. Left deceased in charge of another daughter, who was twelve years old, whilst she went out to work on Friday. She applied some camphorated oil to the deceased, but on Saturday the child became worse and in the afternoon she sent for a doctor. The child died in her arms at 7.30 p.m. Had had five children, four of whom were still living. Emma Hatch, a neighbour, gave corroborative evidence, and said deceased's mother looked after her children very well. Dr Emtage attributed death to bronchitis, probably associated with influenza and a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes" was returned.
WOOLFARDISWORTHY (WEST) - The circumstances attending the death of HERBERT WALDY BUCKLEY, the seven-weeks-old child of a labourer of Bucks Cross, were investigated by Mr J. F. Bromham, County Coroner, on Tuesday April 8th. The mother deposed that the child enjoyed good health until Sunday. About 5.40 a.m. she took the child up from its position in the bed between her and the wall to nurse it, when she saw that it was unwell. After curiously turning its eyes in various directions it fixed them and died immediately. Ellen Crews, a neighbour, gave evidence, whilst Dr M. R. Gooding expressed the opinion that the child died from Convulsions. "Death from Natural Causes" was the verdict.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Monday 4 August 1902
HARTLAND - Inquest held at the King's Arms Hotel on Wednesday, July 30th on the body of ARCHIE SANDERS, aged 2 years, 9 months, son of MR W. SANDERS, Insurance Agent. It appears that he fell over the stairs on Tuesday week and received injuries to his head from which he died on Tuesday. The Jury consisted of:- Messrs. F. Allin, W. Allin, J. Bailey, J. Bond, T. Braund, G. Burrow, g. Burrow jun., R. Colwill, W. Cook, A. Fulford, J. Howard, J. Jeffery, W. B. Littlejohn. Dr Hobling gave evidence to the effect that the parents were not to blame. Verdict - Death through Convulsions caused by the Accident.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Monday 2 March 1903
BUCKLAND BREWER - As reported in our inner pages, MR SANDERS of Orleigh Mills was severely gored on Friday. It was hoped that he would have pulled through, but blood poisoning set in and he died on Tuesday. An Inquest was held by Mr J. F. Bromham on Wednesday and a verdict of "Accidental Death" returned.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Tuesday 7 February 1905
PARKHAM, NEAR BIDEFORD - Dr Slade-King (Deputy Coroner) held an Inquest on the body of MRS BETSY JOHNS, at Courtice's Cottage, Parkham, on Jan. 18th. Dr Toye having made an examination of the body, expressed his opinion that deceased died from syncope. The Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Heart Failure."
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Tuesday 4 April 1905
BRADWORTHY - The newly-appointed Coroner for North Devon (Mr G. Brown, of Barnstaple) conducted his first Inquest at Bradworthy on Tuesday, March 21st, on the body of EDITH BRADLEY, aged 26. The deceased was one of the servants at West Down. It appears she was taken ill on the previous Friday and on the Sunday she was found dead in her bed. It was thought at first that it was a fainting fit, but on the arrival of the doctor he pronounced life to be extinct. At the Inquest Mr T. Routcliffe was Foreman of the Jury and after a lengthy Enquiry, and a post-mortem examination, a verdict was returned of Death from Shock, due to the bursting of an ulcer in the stomach. The Coroner could not give a certificate for burial, as up to the time of the Inquest no friends could be found to identify the deceased. Later in the day, a brother came down from London.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Tuesday 6 June 1905
HARTLAND - A gloom was cast over Hartland on Monday, May 8th when it became known that MRS DORA WADE, of Hardisworthy had died in the night. She retired to rest about 11 o'clock on Sunday night and made some remark about blowing out the candle, which she did, reaching over whilst in bed to do so. Shortly afterwards she was taken with pains in the stomach. Dr Hobling was sent for but she expired just as the doctor arrived. An Inquest was held on May 10th and a post mortem examination by Dr Hobling showed that death was due to the bursting of a blood-vessel in the stomach.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Tuesday 3 October 1905
HARTLAND - Inquest held on the body of CHARLOTTE ANN JEWELL, at Highdown, Oct. 9th, before Coroner Brown. The Jury comprised Messrs. Lewis Avery, Richard Avery, Thos. Bailey (jun.), T. Braund (Foreman), G. Burrow, T. C. Burrow, W. D. Burrow, W. Cook, T. Gifford (jun.), W. Hockridge, T. K. Pillman, W. H. Taylor and W. T. Westlake. - JAMES JEWELL, husband, deposed that his wife was apparently in her usual health on Wednesday. They retired at 8, and she again spoke to him about 2. When he woke about 6 she was dead. - Dr H. Miller deposed to making the post-mortem examination as ordered by the Coroner. He found fatty degeneration of the heart. - Verdict, "Death from Natural Causes."
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Thursday 24 May 1906
CLOVELLY - An Inquest was conducted at the New Inn, Clovelly, on Wednesday 18th by Mr G. W. F. Brown, County Coroner, on the body of MARY MOSS, who for some years carried on business at the Red Lion. She and her husband had retired and were living at High Street. On Sunday afternoon MRS MOSS was proceeding from her sitting-room to the kitchen down a short flight of stone steps, when she slipped and fell to the bottom. Her sister, MRS HORTOP, picked her up, and MRS MOSS said she was all right. She had a small cut on her lip. Her sister sent for her son, who arrived and helped his mother to a sofa, where she lay down and appeared to be no worse for the mishap. - About 8 o'clock she did not appear so well and Dr Walker was sent for. He arrived at the house and came again at 11 p.m. when MRS MOSS passed away. Dr Walker was of the opinion that death was due to haemorrhage of the brain, caused by the fall and the Jury returned a verdict in accordance with this evidence.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Thursday 28 June 1906
CLOVELLY - Sudden Death. - MRS CHARLOTTE BABB, of Dyke Green Cottage, Clovelly, died suddenly on Saturday morning, June 9, at the age of 65. Deceased appeared to be in her usual health at about 5.30 when she called her son, MR THOMAS BABB, with whom she lived. About half an hour later, however, she complained of being ill and asked for a drink of brandy which was given her, but she expired about 15 minutes later. - At an Inquest held on Monday, June 11, before Mr G. W. F. Brown, and a Jury of which Mr T. Cleave was the Foreman, Dr Hobling of Hartland, stated that he had made a post mortem examination, and found that deceased's heart was very diseased and fatty; and death was due to natural causes, namely heart disease. A verdict in accordance with the medical evidence was returned.
ABBOTSHAM - Mr G. W. F. Brown, Coroner, held an Inquest on the body of FRANK GOODACRE, 41, an actor, who was missed from Braunton on Friday June 15, and whose body was on Wednesday afternoon found on the beach at Abbotsham. Rev. R. W. Sealey was chosen Foreman of the Jury. - The Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned," adding that there was no evidence to show how deceased got into the water.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Wednesday 15 August 1906
BIDEFORD - A case which had excited a good deal of interest and given rise to many rumours of a more or less unfounded character, was investigated before Mr William Pyke, Deputy Coroner, and a Jury, at the Town Hall, Bideford, on Monday, August 5, the proceedings lasting two hours and a half. The deceased woman, KATE DALEY, otherwise, CATHERINE DRISCOLL, of Pimlico, Torquay, came by her death under the somewhat peculiar circumstances narrated below. Supt. Buchanan watched the Inquest on behalf of the Police and Mr R. Butler was Foreman of the Jury. - Sarah Martin, a young woman, of Torquay, identified the body. Deceased, who was 56 years of age, was a travelling hawker and witness had known her for fifteen years. She last saw her about 18 months ago at Torquay. At Torquay deceased was known as KATE DALEY, but she had been living for years with CORNELIUS DRISCOLL as his wife. Witness did not know where DRISCOLL was now. Deceased had not been with him for some time. The pedlar's certificate found on deceased was in the name of CATHERINE DRISCOLL. By Supt. Buchanan: Do you know anything of the deceased's habits? Witness: No, sir, no more than that she was a heavy drinker and smoker. She identified deceased's shawl (produced) as well as the body. Deceased always wore a sailor hat. She was a native of Southampton. - John Andrew, of Parkham Barton, said about quarter to nine on Friday night he was opposite Holwell Cross, on the highway between Horn's Cross and Hoops. A man, who rode by on a horse, told him that there was a woman inside a field. Witness stopped and heard a conversation between two women whom he saw in the field. One woman (deceased) who was standing up, was saying to the other woman, who was lying on her back, "Get up, you drunken old ---; you are not so drunk as you make out you are." Witness told the women they had better clear off from that as the constable would be about and they would get into trouble. Deceased several times told the other woman to get up, and asked witness to assist to get her up. He did so, but she could not stand, and he put her in a better position and left them both in the field. He said "Good night," and one of them answered, "God bless you, and thank you very much." After witness had walked on some little distance, he found he had left his stick on the gate and went back for it. He only saw one of the women there then, the one lying down. Deceased had walked away. Walking away again, he had gone about four land yards when he saw the deceased on the top of a high hedge, in the act of falling over. She fell off the hedge right in front of him. He at once had courage enough to go and pick her up, lifting her on to her knees. Her head was lying every way. Witness held her as uprightly as he could. He remained for some minutes and no help coming, he placed her against the hedge and went for help. He saw two young men, Grigg and Baglow and leaving the woman with them, went on to Hoops and gave information of what had happened. - By the Foreman: Both women appeared to be very drunk - in a very bad state, but the elder woman (not deceased) was the worse. This woman was some distance away when deceased fell over the hedge. - Then she could not have pushed her over? - No. There was no one at all near. She deliberately went or fell out over the hedge. The other woman was quite four land yards away. - Was the woman breathing when you picked her up? - While I had her in my arms she tried to struggle three or four times at intervals or about half a minute. I could not tell whether she was breathing. - Henry Grigg of West Goldworthy, Parkham, was with Reuben Baglow when Mr Andrew told them a woman had fallen over the hedge, and wanted help. He found deceased lying in the water table on her left side, breathing just a little. She was helped up beside the hedge, and he went to get a Policeman. - By the Jury: She was breathing heavily, living, but apparently insensible. On coming back with P.C. Townsend he found she had been removed. There was a linhay close by and it was coming on to rain. He left Baglow and a man named Ashton with the woman. He did not see anything of the other woman all this time. The hedge was 8 or 9 feet high. - P.C. Townsend said it was six feet. - Frederick William Tyler, on a visit to Hoops Inn, spoke to Andrew coming to the Inn and stating that a woman had fallen in the road. He went with others and found her leaning against the bank. She seemed to want to stand, and people were trying to get her on her feet, but she could not keep up. - Was she conscious? - Yes, she reached up to try and put her hat straight. She was not able to stand. Then she said, "Let me lie down; I want to go to sleep." They did not think it well to leave her in the road. She was still half standing in Mr Ashton's arms, and he helped to carry her into the field and would have put her in the linhay, but it was wet and mucky. The Policeman came with a lantern and deceased's companion also arrived at this stage, and said "God bless you," and just the sort of thing they got from these women. - By the Jury: Had you any idea the woman was seriously injured? - No. The others seemed to be helping and I just lent a hand. He should think Mr Andrew told them what had happened about 9.30 and that the Policeman came a quarter of an hour later. - P.C. Joseph Townsend, wearing a St. John's Ambulance First Aid Badge, said at 9.30 Mr Henry Grigg told him that a woman had fallen off the hedge, drunk, into the road. He found the woman had been removed and seeing four young men in the field asked what they had done with the woman. They said they had carried her up beside the hedge; she said she wanted to go to sleep. They added: "She will be all right in two or three hours when she has had a sleep." He then went to the woman, finding her by the hedge near the linhay. He said "Well, what's up here?" Deceased made no answer, but her female companion (Mary Crunden) said "All right, sir, we've only come in here to get sleep." He got no answer from the other woman. Witness went to Mr Becklake close by and borrowed a lantern. Examining the woman he found she smelt very strongly of drink. He felt her pulse, which was very weak. He loosened her clothing and she breathed more easily. He asked Mr Becklake to assist him to take the woman to Bideford. Mr Becklake lent a trap into which they had to lift the women as they could not help themselves, being very drunk. Straw was put in the bottom of the trap, he said "You're both very drunk," and she replied: "Yes I am; we've both had too much to drink." On arrival at the Police Station at 11.40 p.m., when they went to take the women out of the trap, he considered the deceased was dead. P.C. Bastin went for Dr Pearson, who confirmed his opinion. Witness was on the splash board near the deceased and he distinctly heard her breathing several times on the drive in, and she moved a little. The last time he particularly noticed her breathing was just as they were entering Bideford Town. - By the Foreman: He had no idea the woman was ill, otherwise then very drunk. - What action should you have taken had you thought she was ill? - I should have at once sent for a doctor. - Is it always necessary to bring persons like this into Bideford? - It is less expense sir. - You have no means of keeping them then? - No sir. - Mr W. L. Fulford (a Juror): I suppose from the very first moment you came in contact with the deceased, you presumed or thought she was suffering from nothing but drunkenness? - That is what I thought. I got a lantern and examined her. She smelt strongly of drink and had all the symptoms of a drunken person. - And from that time to reaching the Police Station you were of the same opinion? - Yes, sir. - Mary Crunden, an elderly pedlar, wearing a brown cloak and dress and black straw sailor hat, and with a scar on her left cheek bone, said she was a stranger in these parts. Her certificate was issued at Newquay. She first met deceased in a lodging house at Stratton on Monday, July 30th. They were both walking in the same direction, and accompanied each other, leaving Stratton on Thursday morning and reached the West Country Inn, where they had some beer, and at the request of the deceased they were kindly allowed to stay there the night. Next day they walked to Clovelly and hawked through the village. Witness left first, and waited by the roadside an hour for deceased. At the next Inn, Hoops, she believed, they had four pints of beer. - The Coroner: Each? - Witness: No two pints each. - Is that true? - Yes, it's quite the truth. Deceased asked the landlady to let them stop the night, but she would not. Deceased said she expected they would at the next public house and they went on to the Coach and Horses Inn, Horn's Cross, opposite the Constable's house, where they had some more beer. She knew they had a pint each, but whether more she did not know, as she was beginning to lose control of herself. On leaving the house they went to a field and both opened the gate. Deceased said they would stop there the night. Witness fell down on the gravel inside the gate and the deceased did her utmost to drag her up, but she (witness) became unconscious and lay down and slept. She believed she must have scrambled on after waking, but the next thing she remembered was the Policeman's lantern shining in her face, and seeing the deceased beside of her. - By the Foreman: She saw and knew nothing of deceased falling over the hedge. They left the West Country Inn about nine o'clock in the morning, having half-a-pint of beer between them before starting. They had no breakfast. Witness didn't have a taste at Clovelly, but deceased told her she had had a drop of beer in a public house near the sea, and that the landlord or landlady was kind enough to give her some bread and meat, which she ate. Witness had nothing. - You had no quarrel with the woman? - No, sir, not a word. She was a very good tempered woman, rest her soul! - You were very good friends? - Yes. - A Juror: You admit you were drunk? - Yes, and sorry I am I was. - The Coroner: And you admit the other woman was in the same state as yourself? - Yes, I consider so, but she was not quite so bad as I was, as she was trying to lift me up. - Dr Pearson, Bideford, said he was called at midnight on Friday and saw deceased at the Police Station, dead. Next day, by request of the Coroner, he made a post-mortem examination. Deceased was a well-nourished woman. There was no external marks of violence. There was a clot of blood about the size of a Tangerine orange on the left side of the brain due to a rupture of a blood-vessel. She had valvular disease of the heart. The liver, kidneys, lungs, and stomach were normal. There was evidence of alcohol in the stomach, but no evidence that she was a heavy or habitual drinker. Death was caused by apoplexy which might have been brought on by the undue exertion of trying to lift up her companion. Climbing on to the hedge she might have become giddy or dizzy from the apoplexy and fallen. Death from apoplexy would in all probability have happened some time or other, most likely in the near future. Absolutely nothing could have been done to save the woman, even if a doctor had been on the spot at the time. It was quite possible for deceased to have lingered until she was brought to Bideford. He should say she had been dead from twenty minutes to half an hour when he saw her. - P.C. Townsend, recalled, said he should think the Policeman got the doctor in about a quarter of an hour. He went to Dr Grose, who was unwell; Dr Thompson refused to come and then he got Dr Pearson. - It was subsequently mentioned by Dr Pearson that there was no means of paying medical men called by the Police under these circumstances and a doctor was not bound to attend. It was no fault of the Police, but simply that the County Council had no means of paying. - A Juror: And it is open for a doctor to come or not? - Dr Pearson said that was so. He might come, get no fees and be neglecting his own patients. - The Jury, after retiring, found that deceased died from Apoplexy, hastened by exertion, as described the doctor. They were also strongly of opinion that the present system of non-payment for medical assistance in cases of accident when medical men were called by the Police is very unsatisfactory, owing to there being no paid official medical man. - Mary Crunden, who had been remanded in custody from Saturday on a charge under the Vagrancy Act, was brought before the Magistrates on Monday 6, after the Inquest and discharged.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Saturday 16 February 1907
ABBOTSHAM - At the New Inn, Abbotsham, on Monday, 4th, an Inquest was held by Mr G. W. F. Brown on the body of an unknown female infant which was found in a brook near Kenwith. Walter J. Barnes, solicitor of Bideford, stated that he was out shooting with Mr W. N. Bazeley in a field at the back of Kenwith House. Just after 5 p.m. he was walking along the bank of a goyle, and through a gap in the bushes he saw the naked body of a newly-born baby. It was lying on its left side in a little water, but the mouth was not under water. He could not see any footprints, nor marks of blood on the surrounding stones. He gave information to the Police. - In answer to Police Superintendent Buchanan, witness said he saw P.C. Barnicott remove the body and what appeared to be a bodice, which was a foot or two away. There was some blood on the bodice. - William Nelson Bazeley, solicitor, of Bideford, corroborated. - P.C. Barnicott spoke to accompanying Messrs. Barnes and Bazeley to where the body was and to removing it to Abbotsham mortuary. There was no mark for identification on the bodice. The place was thickly wooded and secluded. The left leg was underneath the body. He had made inquiries which he thought would lead to the identification of the person who left it there. - Dr W. R. Gooding, of Bideford, detailed the result of a post-mortem examination. The child was well developed. There was a deep depression on the left arm. Behind the left ear there was a discolouration, and over the left temple a black bruise. There were two or three small discolourations about the scalp, but the skull was not fractured. The muscles and tissues of the left leg were all missing and also the greater portion of the tissues and muscles of the left thigh, perhaps they had been eaten by a dog after the body was thrown there. The body was practically frozen. The lungs floated in water. there was no cause for death as far as disease went. In his opinion death was due to suffocation. It might have been dead a day or a week. Throwing the body among the bushes might have caused the bruises. It was improbable that the child was born on the spot. The body did not present the appearance of having had medical attendance at birth. It would only be possible for the bruise on the back to appear if caused within 24 hours after the death. He was quite certain it had breathed, but could not say whether it had had a separate existence. - At Bideford County Petty Sessions on Tuesday, February 5th, before Messrs. C. S. Carnegie, J. Paton, J. M. Metherell, R. Dymond, J. T. C. Heriz Smith, J. Innes Bathe, and Colonel Wilson Hoare, HETTIE DOWNING, alias COLE, single, about 30 years of age, from Coombe Waters, Abbotsham, and employed at the Buckleigh Laundry, Westward Ho! was brought up on a serious charge in regard to her newly-born female child. - Accused, who was arrested after the Inquest on Monday, appeared depressed and ill and was allowed to remain seated in the dock. - Mr George T. Prouse, who represented her, said he had only been instructed that morning, and the charge being a serious one - of murder - he would ask for the case to be adjourned. He had scarcely had a chance of consulting DOWNING. - Mr B. T. James (Barnstaple) for the prosecution opposed the application, as the Bench had merely to decide whether or not there was a prima facie case to send to the Assizes. - Mr Prouse contended that he was entitled at least to fight the prima facie case, but the Bench decided to proceed. - Mr James detailed the circumstances of the finding of the child's body. It was found at the opening of a culvert close to the highway. The body could easily have been placed in the position in which it was found by anybody standing upon the hedge at a gap. Accused had to pass that spot on her way to work. During last month she was home ill for a few days, and her condition before and after was commented upon. - A fellow worker, Sarah Craner, said to her "O HETTIE , how thin you've gone!" Craner felt something about prisoner's clothing, which turned out to be a piece of linen as big as a bed sheet, which was covered with blood, and prisoner put it into the wash tub in order to cleanse it. - Dr Gooding had examined prisoner, with her consent and found she had recently been confined. - Evidence of the discovery of the body was given by Mr W. J. Barnes, solicitor and P.C. Barnicott deposed to arresting prisoner the previous night. When the warrant was read to her she made no reply. - Sarah Craner, of Appledore, Nellie Bellworthy of Northam and Thomas Easton, van driver, of Abbotsham, all employed at the laundry, gave corroborative evidence. - In answer to Mr James, Dr Gooding said it was possible for a child who had not been wholly born to have breathed. - Mr James: Is it probable? - A.: Very often. - Witness attributed the death of the child to suffocation. - After a lengthy retirement the Chairman (Mr C. S. Carnegie) announced that the Bench had decided that there was evidence to support a prima facie case against the accused and they charged her with the Wilful Murder of her female child, on or about January 23rd, in the parish of Abbotsham. She was formally committed for trial at the next Assizes and they granted Mr Prouse's application for bail, fixing the amount at £10 for prisoner and two sureties of £10 each. Prisoner took the decision rather indifferently and reserved her defence. - Two of the Magistrates, Mr C. S. Carnegie and Colonel Wilson Hoare became sureties. - The Court was crowded during the hearing and the turn the case took created some sensation. - The Inquest on the child had been adjourned till four o'clock on Tuesday, but owing to the time taken at the Police Court, Coroner Brown again adjourned it until Thursday at 5 o'clock. The adjourned Inquest on Thursday examined several witnesses including those who gave evidence before the Bench. - HETTY DOWNING was not called before the Coroner but she was represented by Mr G. T. Prouse. - Dr Gooding said the lungs of the child were of a pinkish hue, slightly mottled. He was of opinion that the child carried on its being without the help of the mother's circulation. He could not say whether the child was wholly born. - Asked if the margins of the lungs pointed to there only having been partial respiration, witness said he should say the child had not breathed very much. Sometimes the lungs would float when respiration had not taken place. To constitute a live birth breathing must take place after a child was fully born. A child could breathe before it was actually born. He had examined HETTY DOWNING and was of opinion she had been confined, and the child was fully developed. The suffocation might have been accidental and might have been in course of birth. - ALICE MAUD TALLIN, a step-sister of HETTY DOWNING, said the latter lived with her and slept in an adjoining bedroom, to reach which she had to go through witness's room. She slept in the house on January 22nd. She had not noticed her step-sister's condition, although she had heard people "telling of it." HETTY had, in fact, herself denied it. She never missed a day at work and did not complain of being unwell. Witness never noticed anything in DOWNING'S bedroom. Her step-sister had a boy three years old. - The Coroner: Do you know she has been examined by Dr Gooding? - No, Sir. - She has been and he certifies she has been confined. - This is the first time I have heard of it. - On your oath? - Yes, unless I saw it in the paper. - You saw it on the paper? - Yes, and I told her of it and she said it was all lies. - Have you seen her since the trial? - They tell me she is with my brother; I don't know. - A bodice found hear the body was here produced and witness said she could not recognise it and she had never washed such a thing for her step-sister. - Witness, returning negative answers to a number of other questions relative to her step-sister's condition, the Coroner asked if witness had not taken any interest in the matter since the Police court proceedings? - Witness replied that she had not. - Further questioned, she said HETTY DOWNING had had four children, three of whom were living. One night last week she looked white and said she was cold. - The Coroner: Living in the same house and next room, you say you never noticed anything, and did not know the girl had been confined? - No, Sir. - In reply to Mr Prouse, witness said she was perfectly certain no child had been born in her home during last month and had one been born she would have noticed it for certain. - William Henry Tallin, husband of the last witness, in answer to the Coroner, as to whether he had noticed HETTY DOWNING'S condition, said he had accused her about Christmas, but she said "it was lies," and he took no more notice. He noticed nothing since Christmas to make him suspicious that she had been confined and was surprised when told of it on Monday morning. He did not know that Dr Gooding had examined her. Asked if he could account for the result of Dr Gooding's examination, witness replied that he could not. The girl had gone to her work quite as usual. Witness usually got home after DOWNING had gone to bed and left before she got up. - Sarah Craner repeated her evidence given before the Magistrates. Although DOWNING worked all the week, she appeared very ill. - Nellie Bellworthy said between Christmas and January, DOWNING had every appearance of approaching confinement. Later witness noticed a change. - This concluded the evidence and the Coroner explained that the Inquest had been adjourned on Monday, when they were informed there was a person under suspicion and it was suggested to him that that person might be the mother of the child whose death they were Enquiring into. He attended on Tuesday as did the Jury, but they were unable to proceed for want of witnesses. In the meanwhile the most extraordinary proceeding had taken place. The woman, HETTY DOWNING, was taken before the Magistrates and charged with the Wilful Murder of the child found in the brook. The Police rightly charged her if they had a suspicion that she was the mother of the child and if they had any evidence that she did away with the child n an illegal manner. But he quite understood the Magistrates, after hearing a little formal evidence, would have remanded the case until after the Inquest. He could only describe it as a most exceptional and extraordinary proceeding for the Magistrates to have heard the case fully, and dealt with it in the way they did, before the Inquest had been completed and all the evidence obtained as to who was the parent of the child, how it met its death and who placed it there. That was not done and he was sorry that the Magistrates thought fit to have proceeded in the way they did; he could only describe it as a grave error of judgment on their part to have settled that case and committed the woman until the Inquest was completed. He had never heard of any such case and he fancied there must have been some misunderstanding as to their proceeding in the matter. But he wished the Jury to absolutely wipe from their minds anything that occurred before the Bench; that had nothing whatever to do with the Jury that day. He did not want them to prejudge the case even if other people did. As to the evidence, the Coroner pointed out it used to be the rule that if the lungs of a child floated in water that was prima facie evidence that the child had lived. Science had advanced and now they knew this was not an infallible rule for deciding that a child was born alive. A gain, there was the question whether the child was fully born or not and to constitute live birth a child must have had a separate existence and have been completely born. They had no evidence to show who the mother of the child was, or how it came there. The only thing the Jury could do, in his opinion, so as not to impede the course of justice, was to say that this female infant was found at Kenwith, but that there was not sufficient evidence to show who was the mother. As to how it came by its death there was, however, very good evidence that cause of death was suffocation. - After a private consultation, the Jury found that an unknown female child, aged about one day, was found dead in a stream, that the cause of death was Suffocation, but that there was not sufficient evidence to show who was the mother, who placed the child where it was found, or how it was suffocated.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle. Friday 31 May 1907
TIVERTON - A sad fatality occurred just outside Tiverton Railway Station on Saturday, May 4th, by which MR SIDNEY TUCKER, a young fireman, who had been lodging at Exeter, but belonged to Monkleigh, lost his life. The unfortunate man, who was about 20 years of age, had been in the service of the Railway Company nearly three years. He was unmarried. The Exe Valley branch of the G.W.R. is worked on the staff of ticket system, and it was while taking the ticket at the higher cabin the department of the 1.35 p.m. train from Tiverton to Dulverton (12.56 from Exeter) that the fatality occurred. TUCKER, the fireman, who had only been at the work about a month, stood in his customary place to receive the staff, and the driver, William Weeks, of Exeter, stood by him. Weeks saw the signalman, Dadd, and remarked that he had got the ticket on the stick that day and saw, as he thought, TUCKER safely take the ticket. He turned to put on steam when he heard TUCKER cry "Woa!" and looking as he shut off steam saw TUCKER was gone. He stopped the train at once. Dadd, the signalman, having given up the ticket, turned to go to the signal box when he heard the cry and turning again, saw the ticket on the ground. At the same time he saw the unfortunate fireman being carried along at the edge of the footboard, afterwards falling between the engine and the first coach, the first wheel of which went over his chest, death being instantaneous. MR E. TUCKER, of Monkleigh, deceased's father, gave evidence at the Inquest, at which Dadd spoke to the facts detailed above. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death," and expressed their condolence with the relatives, with whom much sympathy is felt both at Monkleigh and Bideford. - The funeral took place at Monkleigh amid general signs of mourning on the Wednesday. There was a large congregation at the service in the Church, at which the Vicar (Rev. H. W. Millet) officiated. The hymn, "Now the labourer's task if o'er," was impressively sung and as the procession filed out for the last rites, the organist (Mrs Millett) placed "O Rest in the Lord." The mourners assembled at the graveside were deceased's father, (MR EDWIN TUCKER), his four daughters and three sons - MR W. TUCKER, MR C. TUCKER AND Bombadier G. TUCKER, R.F.A. Amongst the beautiful wreaths was a handsome everlasting one, as "A token of respect to SIDNEY TUCKER, with sympathy from his fellow employees at the Locomotive Department, G.W.R., Exeter." - The Department was represented at the funeral by Firemen Mitchell and Gill.
Hartland and West County Chronicle, Wednesday 15 January 1908
BIDEFORD - At the Town Hall, Bideford this afternoon, Mr Coroner Brown held an Inquest on the body of DR MILLER. - The Coroner explained that the deceased had been for some years living at Hartland, and was a man, as far as they had been able to judge, about 67 years of age. - Emily Alice Cook, housekeeper to the deceased for the last seven years, said he left Hartland for Bideford about 9 o'clock. She identified the body, the deceased being about 67 years of age. He had complained of pains in his chest which he thought was brought on by tobacco smoking. He went to Bideford by the carrier. - Frederick J. B. Langridge, manager of Messrs. Tattersill's Stores, said deceased, whom he had known for years, came to the shop about 5.15 to wait for the carrier. to Mr Sanders, an assistant, deceased said he had a pain in the chest, which he had had for some time, and he thought it was through smoking too much tobacco. He asked for a peppermint drop as he thought that would relieve it, but before the assistant had time to get back with the sweet, the deceased fell from the chair on which he was seated. Witness ran to his assistance and with others, they picked him up and carried him to the rear of the shop. Deceased had been waiting in the shop about 20 minutes when he fell over. Witness telephoned for Dr Grose, who arrived within a few minutes. Deceased did not speak. - Dr J. S. Grose, of Bideford, said he was called to see the deceased just after 5.30. He was then expiring. He had made a post-mortem examination and found that death was due to fatty degeneration of the heart, which predisposed to a rupture of the heart. - Witness knew DR MILLER and thought his pain in the chest was an old trouble. He was a stout man. - The Foreman (Mr E. Grimes) inquired whether death was due to smoking. - Dr Grose: Smoking would not cause a rupture of the heart, but would interfere with the regular working of the heart. He had been cautioned about smoking many times. - The Coroner: He was a very heavy smoker? - The Doctor: Yes, he was. I daresay you know he had lost the sight of one eye. - P.C. Bastin said the deceased had no pipe or tobacco in his pocket. - The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.
PARKHAM - Mr G. W. F. Brown, on Tuesday, 24th, held an Inquest at Parkham on GEORGE BROOM, 46 years of age, a butcher well known in Bideford Market. The deceased, a bachelor, living alone at Parkham, had for some time complained of severe pains in the head, but had not had medical advice, although a short time ago, when at Bideford Market, he was taken ill and fainted. On Saturday he intended going to Bideford Christmas market and in the morning had a cup of tea with his sister, Mrs Martin, who advised him to see a doctor. In the afternoon Mrs Martin missed a chicken, which she thought had been carried away by a cat, and going to her brother's lumber=room in search found deceased sitting on an iron axle, his head against the window-sill, quite dead. - Dr Emtage, of Bradworthy and Dr M. R. Gooding of Bideford, who made a post-mortem examination, found the heart enlarged, weighing 15 ½ oz., whilst 10 oz., to 12 oz. was the normal size. There was also evidence of kidney complaint. The disease of the heart was of some standing, and death was due to heart failure. The Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes."
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Saturday 20 June 1908
CLOVELLY - Mr G. W. F. Brown on Thursday, May 28th conducted an Inquest at Providence Chapel, on the body of JAMES HENRY, infant son of MRS BLYTHE, whose husband recently took his departure for America. On Tuesday, MRS BLYTHE left the baby home with four year old FLORENCE, whilst she went to Clovelly to post a letter to her husband. The children were left in the kitchen by themselves, and a small fire was burning in the grate. It is conjectured that the little boy was meddling with the fire and caught his underclothing, which was mainly of flannelette, on fire, and FLORENCE was too young to render any aid. When the mother returned, the child, to her amazement, was lying in the middle of the kitchen, badly burnt about the body. Medical aid was at once called, but the child in the meantime had expired. The Rev. G. E.Welch was chosen Foreman of the Jury. MRS E. BLYTHE (the mother) said her husband was in America. She left her home at 4 o'clock in the afternoon and returned about 5.30 p.m. She had never left her children so long before. The door was not locked. - Dr Walker, of Clovelly, said he reached the house about 7 p.m. and found the child much charred about the body and the cause of death was shock and burns. The Coroner spoke strongly against the use of flannelette. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death," and handed their fees to the mother. Inspector Francis, N.S.P.C.C. watched the case on behalf of the Society.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Tuesday 20 October 1908
HARTLAND - Painful disclosures were made at an Inquest which the Barnstaple Division County Coroner (Mr G. W. F. Brown) conducted at Tosberry on Thursday evening, concerning the death of JOSEPH PILLMAN, yeoman, of that place. - The Coroner said the deceased was aged about 66. He understood that he attended a fair at the West Country Inn on Monday and arrived home at about 10 p.m., somewhat the worse for liquor. The next day he sent a messenger to the West Country Inn for a bottle of gin. He remained about the house the whole day, and, it seemed, consumed most of the contents of the bottle, rendering himself unconscious with the drink. In the evening he was asleep in the kitchen, and when his wife, who had been away, returned from a visit, she found him lying unconscious on the floor and he was left there. No one saw him afterwards until seven o'clock the next morning, when his wife came downstairs and found him in the same place. He was dead. Dr Martyn was sent for, but he could not do anything beyond confirming the fact that the man was dead. It was a most unfortunate affair. There was no doubt about it that the man had been drinking very heavily lately and for some time past, and from what they would hear from the doctor he thought they would find that there was no doubt that such drinking was the cause of his death. - The Jury comprised Messrs. J. Andrew (Foreman), J. Bragg, T. Bragg, T. C. Burrow, J. H. Cloke, J. S. Haynes, T. J. Jeffery, B. Pennington (sen), J. E. Prust, E. Pyne, W. T. Pyne, C. Walter, and W. H. Walter. - LOUISA PILLMAN, daughter of the deceased, who was much affected in giving her evidence, said that her father went to West Country Inn, at a quarter past ten on Monday morning, and returned home just before eleven in the evening, when he was under the influence of drink. - Coroner: Did he go to bed? - Witness: He laid down here (the front parlour) until between one and two, in the chair. Then he went up to bed. The next day he came down between seven and eight o'clock and asked the man to fetch some gin from the West Country Inn. He had a basin of broth first and then he drank all the gin except that remaining in the bottle. - The bottle was produced. Its capacity was 1 ½ pints and it was nearly empty. - Coroner: He was practically under the influence of drink the whole of that day? - Witness (sobbing): Yes, sir. He was in bed and out again. In the evening he was in the kitchen. Mother had been away and she came home that night. When she arrived home, father was lying on the mat between the fire and the table. - Coroner: What had he under his head? - Witness: Nothing, sir. - Coroner: He was simply lying on the floor? - Witness: Yes, sir. - Coroner: Did your mother wake him ? - Witness: No, sir. she thought it wouldn't be wise to wake him. Answering more questions, witness stated that her mother and herself went to bed, leaving her father in an unconscious condition on the floor. No one went down in the night. - Coroner: Has he ever done this before? - Witness: Oh! yes. We have left him there, and he has come to bed. I was asleep all the night. When I woke I was surprised that I hadn't heard him and I said so to mother. - MRS LOUISA PILLMAN said her husband was 66. She had been away for a week and returned on Tuesday. Her daughter met her and told her about him, saying: "Don't wake him, mother. He'll come to bed directly." The two of them went to bed, leaving her husband. She occupied a separate room when he was drinking. He has been in this condition many times before. - Coroner: And that was the reason you didn't come down? - Witness: I have done it scores of times, I might say, sir, but I didn't do it then. When witness came down in the morning her husband was in the same place. She sent for Dr Martyn. - Dr Martyn said the opinion he formed, as the result of the post-mortem examination ordered by the Coroner, was that the deceased fell into a state of coma, and died from paralysis of the respiratory centre, which produced heart failure. He was called at 7.45 a.m., but being informed the man was dead, did not see the body until 10.15. It was then stiff but warm and death had probably taken place 7 or 8 hours previous. The pupils were extremely dilated. - Summing up, the Coroner said he was afraid there was no doubt that drink was the primary cause of the man's death. They had heard of the state he was in on Monday, when he daresay some of them saw him at the West Country Inn. He appeared to have arrived home very much the worse for drink. He seemed to have lain about in the room until two o'clock in the morning, when he went up to bed. The next day he was in a fearful condition, and craving for drink, and the next thing he did was to send for some more. Of course it was a pity that there was no one in the house who would have had any control over the deceased and prevented him taking more drink, for it seemed he had got hold of a bottle of drink and rendered himself frightfully drunk. It was a very terrible thing for the wife to come home and find her husband in this filthy condition on the floor - just like an animal. In conclusion, the Coroner defended the action of the wife and daughter in not rousing the man, who was stated to be very quarrelsome when in such a condition. - A Juror: The quantity of gin he consumed would not be enough to keep the man unconscious all day. - Coroner: But I think he was soaked with drink. - Another Juror: I saw him at the West Country Inn and he was better than I've seen him lots of times. A verdict of "Death from Natural Causes" in accordance with the medical evidence was returned by the Jury, who expressed sympathy with the deceased's wife and daughter and exonerated them from all blame.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Tuesday 15 December 1908
WOOLFARDISWORTHY (WEST) - MR JAMES VANSTONE, 74, yeoman, of Woolfardisworthy, ruptured a blood vessel of the brain while preparing to attend the funeral of a relative. The Coroner's Jury returned a verdict of "Died by the Visitation of God."
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Wednesday 17 February 1909
BRADWORTHY - At the Temperance Hotel, Bradworthy, Mr G. W. F. Brown, the North Devon Coroner, held an Inquest on Monday afternoon, Feb 15, on the body of WILLIAM SILLIFANT OKE, aged 72, retired blacksmith. - ARTHUR OKE, a grandson, said his grandfather went to bed on Friday night about 10 o'clock in his usual health, and he did not hear anything of him during the night. When he went to take him a cup of tea at 8.30 in the morning he found him dead. - Dr Betts, who made a post mortem examination, said death was due to heart disease. - A verdict of Death from Natural Causes was returned.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Wednesday 19 May 1909
HARTLAND - Doctor's Refusal To Attend A Family. - Mr G. W. F. Brown (County Coroner) conducted an Inquest at Philham, Hartland, on the body of MR W. ARQUHART, gentleman, who died suddenly on Sunday morning. - The REV. C. F. ARQUHART identified the body as that of his brother, who was 46 years of age and of no profession. - Roberta Hurley, who acted as companion to deceased and his invalid wife, said that MR ARQUHART had been ill for about a week, and had been in bed, but refused to have a doctor. About 4.30 on Sunday morning MR ARQUHART called to her and said he was going to die. He seemed very ill. Witness sent a message by Mr Beer to Dr Martyn about seven o'clock and MR ARQUHART died at eight. - Dr Martyn, of Hartland, said he received Mr Beer's message from his servant at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning. He did not go to Philham, as he had previously written to the family to say that he refused to attend any one of them, for private reasons, which were well known to the family. The message did not state that there was anything urgent. Later, he was informed that MR ARQUHART was dead. Witness made a post-mortem examination and stated that death was due to heart failure. - The Jury asked the Coroner if a doctor was bound to attend a patient when sent for. - The Coroner informed them that a doctor had absolute discretion in refusing to attend any patient. there was no law to compel him. In this case, Dr Martyn, as long ago as January, had informed the family that he would not attend any of them, for private reasons well-known to the family. He had been sent for twice since January, and had refused to attend. - The Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes."
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Saturday 24 July 1909
STRATTON, CORNWALL. - MRS TITUS WICKETT, of Hartland, who was found considerably injured at the bottom of the cliffs at Bude some days before, died on Monday, July 5th, at the Stratton Cottage Hospital. The deceased lady, who was said to have been despondent of late, had been staying with Mr and Mrs Parnacott of Stratton. On the previous Thursday morning, shortly after twelve o'clock it was discovered she had gone out and a neighbour said she had seen her proceeding towards Bude. - On a search being made, she was found under the Maer Cliffs, near Crookletts, seriously injured. - At the Inquest, which was held at the Stratton Cottage Hospital, on Tuesday, July 6, before Mr Arthur Budd, Deputy Coroner, evidence was given by TITUS WICKETT, deceased's husband, who said he last saw her on Thursday morning. They had been living at Hartland and came to Stratton, thinking a change would do her good. On the morning of July 1st, deceased arose at the usual hour, but a little before he did and there was nothing unusual in her manner. She went out, as Mrs Parnacott thought, to look at the shops. Witness followed to bear her company, and thought he caught sight of her at the bottom of the town. He supposed she had gone to see Mrs Ford, but, not finding her there, he went on to Bude, and made enquiries, but got no news. He returned to Stratton and there he heard his wife was gone to Bude. He made further enquiries without result, and when he got back was told deceased had been taken to the Hospital, having injured herself by falling over a cliff. - Continuing, witness said his wife had never threatened to take her life, but expressed a desire "to be taken home to die and be at rest." He had previously consulted a specialist, who thought she might come round. She had been much depressed of late. There were no family worries and she had said her married life was a very happy one indeed. - Dr T. A. King, said he was called to deceased at 9.30 a.m. on July 1st. She was supported on a rock in a semi-conscious condition and was bleeding from the mouth and nose. The nose and lower jaw were also broken and she was generally bruised all over the body. He attended her to the time of her death, which resulted from the injuries received in falling over the cliff. - Frederick May said he was on the tennis ground at Bude on the morning of July 1st, when he saw a lady walking towards the cliff alone. She walked to the first point and looked over and then looked about her. He considered she was looking for someone. She then went to another point. She then came inland a little way and walked to and fro. He thought she was acting peculiarly and so watched her. She went to the point and sat on the extreme edge with her legs dangling over. All at once she threw up her hands and slid down. He rushed up and found her at the foot of the cliff much injured and sent for the doctor, who arrived in ten minutes. The cliff at this spot was perpendicular with a drop of sixty feet. - Mathew Parnacott, at whose house MR and MRS WICKETT stayed, said he saw MRS WICKETT on Wednesday night and she seemed in her usual state of health. He was not aware of any trouble to affect her. He saw her just after she fell from the cliff. She was very much injured, crying and semi-conscious. She said "O Mr Parnacott, I don't know why I did it." - The Jury returned a verdict that deceased died from injuries received by falling over a cliff whilst of Unsound Mind. - The Coroner was asked to convey an expression of sympathy from the Jury to MR WICKETT.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Tuesday 31 August 1909
HARTLAND - Inquest held at the Council Schoolroom, Hartland, on Saturday, August 28th by Coroner G. W. F. Brown, on the body of WILLIAM THOMAS PYNE, of the New Inn. The Jury comprised Messrs. T. Braund (Foreman), James Andrew, Thomas Beer, R. Colwill, J. H. Curtis, W. Curtis, S. Dayman, T. Gifford, W. J. Jeffery, r. Pawley, John H. Pillman, T. K. Pillman, J. E. Prust. - ELLEN PYNE, the widow, gave evidence of identification. Her husband had not been ill at all. - William Henry Westlake, labourer, deposed he was with deceased on Friday morning at the grindstone. They had ground a scythe, and had just begun grinding a book, when MR PYNE suddenly dropped. Witness asked what was the matter, but found his master was dead. - Alfred Lea Martyn, Surgeon, made a post-mortem examination and stated that death was due to the rupture of a blood vessel. - The Jury returned a verdict of "Natural Causes" in accordance with the medical evidence.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Tuesday 12 October 1909
WELCOMBE - The County Coroner (Mr G. F. W. Brown) held an Inquest on the body of ELIZABETH ANN GOODENOUGH, at Hennaford, Welcombe, on Saturday, September 11th. The Jury comprised Messrs. William Dennis, Lewis Grills, William Hawkin, Frederick Heddon, William Heddon, Jesse Westlick Howard, Louis William Howard, John Oke, Samuel Oke, Caleb Wakely, Frederick Ward, John Ward, Silas Ward. - Mr John Ward was sworn Foreman. - The last Inquest held at Welcombe was 34 years ago on the body of Bude captain who was wrecked of this shore. - JAMES GOODENOUGH, husband, identified deceased who was 45 years of age. She seemed to have a cold on Friday, but appeared better until Tuesday, when she took to her bed. She did not complain of any pain until Thursday morning and was not willing that he should go for the doctor when he did. - MARY GOODENOUGH, daughter, said her mother had a headache and slight cough, as is usual when anyone has a cold. She put up a mustard poultice on Thursday morning when deceased complained of a pain in her side. There was no difference to be seen till 5.30 when she died. She suggested the doctor on Tuesday, but MRS GOODENOUGH would not consent. - Durie Avery Chamberlain, Surgeon, of Stratton, said MRS GOODENOUGH had been waiting an hour or so for him on Thursday, when he returned from his round. He left Stratton at 7.30 p.m. and arrived at Hennaford at 10.30, when she had been dead some time. He had made a post mortem examination this morning and found death was due to pneumonia of from 5 to 9 days standing. Possibly if proper treatment had been given in time her life might have been saved, but he was bound to say her heart was weak. - Summing up, the Coroner said while no doubt the friends did what they thought necessary, the head of the house ought in such cases to use his authority to send for a medical man, and not be guided by the wishes of the sick person who was apt to dislike being worried thinking they can do without a doctor. - A verdict of "Death from Natural Causes" was returned by the Jury without consultation. - The interment took place at Woolfardisworthy Churchyard on Monday, September 13th. The breastplate bore the inscription:- "ELIZABETH ANN GOODENOUGH, died September 9th, 1909; aged 45 years." Many wreaths were sent by relatives and friends. Mourners who followed were MR JAMES GOODENOUGH (husband), MARY, MABEL and EMILY (daughters), WILLIAM, JOHN, ROBERT and THOMAS (sons), Mr and Mrs James Stevens (father and mother), Messrs. William, John and James Stevens (brothers), Miss Mary Stevens (sister) and many other relatives and friends.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Saturday 6 November 1909
CLOVELLY - Abbotsham Postmistress Dies Suddenly From Heart Failure. - MRS JANE GLOVER, the venerable post-mistress of Abbotsham, near Bideford, who was in her 79th year, and who had been a widow for some years, died suddenly about two o'clock on Saturday. Deceased had discharged the duties of post-mistress for the past 14 years, assisted by her two daughters, and she was much respected in the parish. - She had been out in the village during the dinner time and on returning home called to her daughter, MISS MARY JANE GLOVER, saying, "Come! Quick!" MISS GLOVER seeing that something was strangely amiss, went immediately to her mother, asking her what was the matter. MRS GLOVER complained of violent pain in the stomach. MISS GLOVER did what she could, but her mother suddenly expired in her arms. Dr Toye, from Bideford, was sent for and he arrived about three, only to find there was no use for his services. - At the Inquest on Monday which was held at the New Inn in the afternoon, before Mr W. Pyke, Deputy Coroner, the daughter gave evidence and Dr Toye, who made a post-mortem examination, arrived at the conclusion that death was due to syncope, owing to the pressure of a dilated stomach upon the heart, affected by fatty degeneration. - The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony. - MRS GLOVER has six sons and two daughters, three of the former being now at Abbotsham. About two years ago she had a son in Wales who died suddenly.
PARKHAM - Tragic Death Of WILLIAM CREESE. - Mr Brown held the Inquest at Swan Farm, Horns Cross, on Monday afternoon, Oct. 18th. - Mr Turner was chosen Foreman of the Jury. - SIDNEY CREESE, brother of deceased, said WILLIAM was thirty-four years of age and he lived at 6 Castle Street, Torrington, with his wife and two small children. - W. Stapleton, a partner in the firm of Messrs. Stapleton and Co., traction engine proprietors, of Torrington, said on Friday evening his engine was drawing two trucks to Hartland. The deceased's duties were to manage the brakes and look after things in general. On the top of the hill, near Hoops, deceased, who had been riding on the engine, got off and applied the brakes. When nearing the bottom he (witness) called to the deceased to release the brakes, but got no answer, neither were the brakes taken off. - There was a platform in front of the rear waggon where the brakesman could ride. To get on this platform it would be necessary for him to get slightly between the two waggons, but he generally rode with them on the engine. The brakes were at the rear of the front waggon, and at the front of the rear waggon. - In answer to the Foreman of the Jury as to whether it was customary to stop the engine while the man was getting off to attend to the brakes, witness replied it was not. - Michael Passmore, of Torrington, the engine driver referred to, said the last time he saw deceased was at the top of the hill. Deceased got off the engine to apply the brakes and it was his duty to do so. When nearing the bottom of the hill, witness told Mr Stapleton that the brakes were not off. Mr Stapleton then called to CREESE to release them, and getting no reply, looked around and saw deceased in the middle of the road. Witness ran up the hill to the deceased, but before he reached him he saw him raise his right hand. When he reached him witness said, "What's the matter, BILL," and deceased turned and said, "I am a dying man." Witness then said to him, "How did you do it?" and deceased said he fell off the hinder truck, the wheels passing over him. He at once sent for P.C. Townsend, who immediately came and did all that could be done for the poor fellow. - P.C. Townsend described the terrible injuries which he found CREESE suffering from as he lay in the road. The right thigh was nearly torn away and there was a bad wound in the left leg. He arrested the bleeding and used a tourniquet. Deceased told him that both wheels went over him. CREESE was perfectly sober. He had him removed to Swan Farm and wired for Dr Toye of Bideford. - E. J. Toye, Surgeon, said deceased was in an awful condition when he saw him lying at the farm. His right thigh was completely crushed, whilst he had sustained a fracture of the right leg and skull. The man died about half an hour after his arrival. - He could do nothing except administer a little chloroform to ease the pain and make the man comfortable. Death was due to haemorrhage and shock. - In summing up, the Coroner stated no blame could be attached to anyone. - The Jury, in returning a verdict of "Accidental Death," exonerated the driver of the engine from all blame, and wished to express their deep sympathy with the widow and family in their sad loss and gave their fees to the widow. They expressed the opinion that if a seat could be fixed at the back of the truck it would be an improvement, as it would make it more convenient for the person in attendance to get up and down. He would be able to command a view of the traffic at the back and communicate with the driver. - Mr G. W. F. Brown, on behalf of the Jury expressed their appreciation of the efficient way in which P.C. Townsend rendered first aid to the deceased.
WOOLFARDISWORTHY (WEST) - MRS CHARLOTTE ROBINS, wife of MR HENRY ROBINS, farmer, Woolsery, was driving with her husband when she learnt of an accident to her son. She was at once taken ill and expired just after reaching home. At the Inquest on Tuesday a verdict of "Death from Heart Failure" was returned.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Wednesday 16 March 1910
BIDEFORD - The North Devon Coroner (Mr G. W. F. Brown) and a Jury of which Mr J. Adams was chosen Foreman, held an Inquest at the Bideford and District Hospital, at Bideford, on Monday afternoon, March 7th, on the body of WILLIAM SHUTE, aged 21, of Hartland, an indoor farm hand in the service of Mr W. Metherell, of Stoke, Hartland. - It appeared from the evidence of Mr Metherell's son, Richard, and the deceased's mother, MARY SHUTE, that on February 22nd, deceased was using a root slicer on the farm when he cut the top of the thumb of his left hand. When Mr Metherell saw him he had tied the thumb up, but said he was afraid he should have to go home for a day or two as he kept on knocking it. Mr Metherell took him into the farm and got some warm water for him to wash the cut and also tied it up for him as well as he was able. He expressed a wish to go home and Mr Metherell advised him to see a doctor. He did not, however, see a doctor until the 25th, refusing in the meantime to let his mother untie the bandage, saying it would get better. - Dr Martyn, of Hartland, said when deceased saw him on the 26th, the wound was in a neglected and dirty state. He treated him and saw him again on the 28th and again on the 2nd of March. On the latter date the wound was not looking so well as previously, but there was nothing in the man's condition indicative of trouble. When he saw him two days later, at night, he was suffering from lock-jaw. Witness wired to Exeter for some anti-toxin serum and next morning drove deceased in to the Hospital at Bideford, where after consultation with Dr Pearson, the serum was injected, but it was an acute case and the man died later in the day. Left to nature, these cases were almost invariably fatal, 99 per cent dying, but there were records of something like one in three recovering if taken in time and the serum injected. - The Foreman: Is your opinion that if he had gone to a doctor earlier his life would have been saved? - Witness: I do not say that; I do not suggest that. - Dr Pearson, who injected the serum, in reply to a question as to whether he had ever had anything to do with a successful case of injection for tetanus, said "Yes, they had a case at that Hospital in 1907." The case was a woman from Westleigh, who Dr Thompson sent in. But the present was a very sudden and acute case with very severe spasms, whereas the other was a sub-acute and somewhat chronic case. Those cases sometimes did recover, but acute cases were generally fatal. It was impossible to inject more anti-toxin than they did. If they had been able to they might have had a better result. - The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death. The deceased was the chief support of a widowed mother who lost her husband under sad circumstances and recently lost another son in consumption.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Friday 22 April 1910
PARKHAM - The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death" at the Inquest which was held by Mr G. W. F. Brown, at Parkham on Tuesday, April 12th, on the body of an elderly man, named THOMAS LANE, who was killed on Saturday, April 16th, through being thrown from his pony butt. - Harry Dack, son-in-law of deceased, having identified the body, Leslie Glover, who was working with LANE, said they had been to Kennerland, Clovelly, on Saturday, April 16th, at work and were returning. At Hoardland Cross, about a landyard before they came to the turning, the pony bolted - he should say having heard a motor-car, although he did not hear it. Deceased was driving and he tried to pull the pony up, but the trap struck the hedge and both of them were thrown out. Witness then caught sight of Mr Paton's motor-car, which had come up the cross road, and was then broadside on to them. He did not hear the horn sounded, although he understood that it had been sounded. Replying to a Juryman, as to whether the pony was accustomed to start at anything, witness said it had occasionally. - James Paton, J.P., said he was driving the car himself. He sounded his horn several times, beginning to do so 150 yards before approaching the cross. It was a very penetrating horn. He just saw the upset. He stopped directly and went back with his man, afterwards proceeding to Parkham to find a doctor. The cart had quite overturned. Had he (witness) been three yards further back, the pony and trap would have been on top of the car. - William Judd, employed by Mr Paton, corroborated. - A Juryman said he was three fields away at the time of the accident, but yet heard the motor horn. - Dr Betts said a post-mortem revealed that deceased's heart was ruptured. That was very unusual, although well known. He thought death was due to excitement and the pulling at the reins. He had not attended deceased, but he understood that he had a weak heart. The man possibly died before he reached the ground. No bones were broken and as there were no bruises on the chest, he should say that the fall did not cause the rupture. - The Coroner said it was a case quite out of the ordinary. Evidently the pony heard the motor, and - as horses did - started to gallop. He was glad to say there was absolutely no blame attaching to anyone. Mr Paton was, he was sure, a careful driver and he did as every driver should, sounded his horn before approaching the cross and as soon as he saw the accident, which was not caused by himself in any way, he at once turned back to assist. - A verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned. Mr Paton being absolved from all blame. Sympathy was expressed with deceased's relatives.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Monday 27 June 1910
WEST PUTFORD - The North Devon Coroner, Mr G. W. F. Brown, and a Jury held an Inquiry at West Putford on Monday, June 13th into the unusual circumstances attending the death of JAMES JEFFERY, a single farm labourer, 23 years of age. - P.S. Dymond, stationed at Bucks Cross, stated that on Thursday last he attended the Woolsery Club Walk and saw deceased have a fit there. A man named Woolway promised to see him home. - Charles Glidden said he was also at the Club Walk and saw deceased just after he had recovered from the fit. As he was going home the same way he promised to see JEFFERY home. They started off together and had walked about two miles when they were overtaken by Richard Hellier, carrier, of Holsworthy. Mr Hellier gave deceased a lift and that was the last he saw of him. - Richard Hellier deposed that he had a stall at Woolsery on the Club Walk day, and was returning when he saw JEFFERY on the road. He knew he had had a fit and offered him a lift and took him as far as the bottom of Ash hill, a very steep hill, in the parish of West Putford, where they got off. Deceased seemed quite well then and went on his way alone. - Charles Lamphrey, of Bideford, but who was working at West Putford, stated that on Friday last, after his work, he went in the evening for a walk near Cory Mill, where by the river he saw the body of the deceased lying face downwards, with both hands in his pockets. He got help and on turning the man over found that he was quite dead and had evidently been dead some hours. - Dr Betts, who had made a post-mortem examination, said all the organs were healthy. In his opinion death was due to suffocation, the result of deceased having a fit and falling on his face. - The Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes, viz., suffocation," and gave their fees to the deceased's mother.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Wednesday 20 July 1910
HARTLAND - Coroner Brown held an Inquest at the Church Room, Hartland, on July 7th on the body of MRS MARY CHOPE. The Jury comprised Messrs. J. Andrew, J. Barter, T. Beer, T. Braund (Foreman), T. C. Burrow, J. H. Curtis, R. Evans, A. Hayward, W. Hopgood, John H. Pillman, Wm. J. Pillman, J. E. Prust, E. W. Pyne. - MARY ELIZABETH CROSCOMBE, daughter of the deceased, said yesterday morning she heard her mother go into another room and shortly afterwards she heard a bell ring and going to deceased, found her breathing heavily. This continued for some time and then she died. The doctor was sent for. The bell was rung by her sister who was very ill. MRS CHOPE had complained a little of pain in her chest, but had only the evening before done some sewing. - Thomas Rolston, locum tenens for Dr Martyn, said he visited deceased about 8 a.m. She was in extremis and died in a few minutes. He had made a post mortem examination and found the heart, bowels and right lung diseased. Verdict - Death from Natural Causes.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Saturday 13 August 1910
HARTLAND - A body was found under Elmscott cliffs about noon on Monday, August 8th, by Ambrose Newton and Walter, two schoolboys. On reporting it to P.C. Cole, he at once took out the new stretcher in a pony trap. - An Inquest was held on Tuesday August 9, in the house of Mr Fred Pennington, at Stoke, on the body found under Elmscott cliffs the previous day. - The Jury comprised Messrs. W. A. Bond, B. E. Bond, T. C. Burrow, T. Braund, J. H. Curtis, W. Curtis, J. Goaman, W. Goff, J. K. Jeffery, A. Moore, A. W. Middle, F. Pennington and T. K. Pillman. - The Coroner (Mr G. W. F. Brown) first called Ambrose Newton (13), who stated he went to the cliffs from Elsmcott school with Frederick Walter (12) yesterday and found the body, which had no head. - MARY SUSANNA MUGFORD, of Welcombe, said her brother, JOSEPH RICHARD MUGFORD, disappeared on the 6th of May last. He took out the cows as usual at 10 in the morning, and took no bag nor left any message. He was 44 years of age, and 5 feet 7 ½ inches or 8 inches in height. He had been attended by Dr Chamberlain for slight rupture. This and a doubled up toe which he had had for several years and which Dr Braun proposed to operate on if he would lie up for three weeks, would agree with the body in the mortuary being his. There were high ties and a "ground sea" at the time her brother disappeared, the water coming in close to the foot of the cliff. - P.C. Cole said the body was that of man about the height and build of MUGFORD. One foot was missing. - Durie Avery Chamberlain, duly qualified medical practitioner of Stratton, said he had examined the body at the mortuary and could not swear it was or was not that of JOSEPH MUGFORD. He had seen MUGFORD about a rupture on January 7th and 14th, last and again when visiting MRS MUGFORD, the mother, on January 21st. The rupture on the body was more pronounced than when he saw MUGFORD but it was quite possible this was the same man. He could not state how long this body had been in the water but quite possibly three months. - The Jury retired for a few minutes to consider and Mr T. Braund (Foreman), returned with a verdict that the body was that of JOSEPH MUGFORD, late of Mead (Welcombe), who was found under Elmscott Cliffs. - The interment took place at Welcombe, on Thursday. - The two boys Newton and Walter left the Court with £5 each which MISS M. S. MUGFORD had brought for the purpose of paying the offered £10 reward for the recovery of her brother's body, in addition to the 5/- to which they were entitled from the County.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Thursday 15 September 1910
PARKHAM - Inquest held by Mr Brown, on Aug. 31, on the body of ALBERT COLLINS, aged 2 ½ years, son of ALBERT COLLINS, labourer of Newhaven Cottages. - ROSE COLLINS, the mother, said that, preparing her washing on Monday, August 29, she poured some boiling water into a tub on the floor. She turned to place the kettle on the fire, when deceased screamed, having fallen into the tub. She at once pulled the child out and sent for the district nurse, (Nurse Thomas) who dressed the scalds. - Dr Betts, of Bradworthy, said he attended the little one at three o'clock on Monday, but it died about three the next morning. Deceased had sustained extensive scalds all over the back and legs, death being due to shock. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Tuesday 15 November 1910
HARTLAND - At Wargery Farm, on Monday afternoon, October 31st, Mr G. W.F. Brown and a Jury consisting of Messrs. T. A. Bond, T. C. Burrow, Wm. Colwill(carrier), W. J. Jeffery, A. Pennington, L. Pennington, John H. Pillman, (Foreman), T. K. Pillman, T. H. Pomeroy, E. W. Pyne, T. Stone, B. Wade, and J. G. Ware, Enquired into the death of MARY MOUNTJOY, who lived with her brother, HUGH, and sister, MARIA. The sister gave evidence that deceased appeared to be in her usual health on Friday. She was 67 in January last. In the evening she complained of a pain in her shoulder. About 10 they went to bed. Later she heard deceased get out of bed, take some gin from a bottle they kept on the chest of drawers and return to bed. She then looked at her and seeing a change, called her brother, and MARY expired in his arms. Deceased had not had any medical advice. Witness had recommended her to, but she was reluctant. - Dr Archibald Francis Wright said he had a calla bout 2.30 on Saturday morning and reached Wargery about 20 minutes later. There were no marks of violence. The post mortem showed the heart diseased very considerably and of old standing with the lungs, liver and spleen consequently affected. The cause of death was heart failure. - The Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes" without retiring. - The Coroner remarked that this was the first time he had met Dr Wright and he wished him success, that he would be able to avoid Inquests by keeping the people alive.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Thursday 15 December 1910
PARKHAM - On Wednesday, Nov. 24th, Mr Brown held an Inquest on the body of JOHN DARK, 21, farm labourer, of Parkham. - Sidney Burrow, of Ash Farm, Parkham, said deceased had been in his employ 3 years and was a very steady young man. On Tuesday deceased took a wagon load of chaff to Bideford drawn by a pair of horses, one a three year old and the other a six year old. DARK had been to Bideford several times with the same horses which were quiet in every way and had worked the young one ever since witness had it. - Thomas Slee said he was driving Mr Fry's steam lorry to Bideford on the New Road just before 11 o'clock. When about to pass, the front horse jumped. Deceased was on the left side of the wagon leading the horses. Witness immediately stopped the lorry and had just started again, when he saw deceased lying in the road. It appeared the wagon had gone over him. - Frederick James Scoins said he was assisting the last witness on the lorry, steering. Deceased was walking beside the wagon with his hand on the shaft horse and holding the reins of the front horse which jumped just as they were level with it. Deceased called out "stop," and the spreader which keeps the chains apart fell on the heels of the front horse and the animal bolted away. When they bolted he steered clear of one end, and then he lost the reins and the animals went right into the wall. then he noticed deceased under the wagon, lying on his face and hands. - P.C. Bastin said deceased was alive when he (witness) extricated him, but expired shortly after. It looked as if deceased had been jammed against the wall. - Dr J. S. Grose said he was on the scene of the accident soon after it occurred, but DARK was then dead. Witness had made a post mortem and found several ribs broken, with extensive rupture of the left lung. The internal haemorrhage was caused by a rupture of the left lung. - The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death" and no blame was attached to anyone.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Saturday 25 February 1911
HARTLAND - Inquest held by Coroner G. W. F. Brown at Etson, on Friday, Feb. 17th at 5.15 p.m. on the body of BENJAMIN PENNINGTON, aged 56. - JANE PENNINGTON, the widow, said she had not noticed anything unusual with deceased recently, nor did not know any cause for depression. He seemed somewhat low-spirited lately, but had attended to his business just as formerly. He had been in and out yesterday, as at ordinary times. About 5.30 he came indoors and she asked him to have tea. He would not sit down but standing took a cup in his hand and drank, then went into the back kitchen, for a minute. She again asked him to sit down to tea with Mr Haynes, but he made no remark whatever, and passed back through the kitchen into the front hall. Hearing a strange sound, MRS PENNINGTON went there and found him standing up with his hands to his neck. She spoke to him and he did not reply. Putting her hand to his, she saw blood on them. She called Mr Haynes and deceased fell down without speaking. Her husband had nothing to worry him and had never threatened to take his life. There were two or three guns in the house which he could have used for the purpose if he had contemplated suicide. - The Coroner enquired for Mr Haynes and the Constable explained that he was not at home and could not be called in time. - BENJAMIN PENNINGTON (jun), only son, deposed he knew no cause why his father should have done this. He was away yesterday at Kilkhampton when the sad affair occurred. He noticed no difference when he was leaving home on the Thursday morning. His father asked him what time he would be back. He replied that he could not say to half an hour. The Foreman: "It is a fact that there is insanity in the family?" Witness: "Yes." - Dr Wright spoke to finding deceased lying, face downward, in the hall, with his throat cut, apparently with great force, for the neck was half severed. He was quite dead through loss of blood. A large butcher's knife (produced) was lying on the tile floor covered with blood. - The wound was evidently self inflicted. He last professionally attended MR PENNINGTON about six weeks ago, but that had no connection with the present case. He formed the opinion that deceased was a man who would worry unduly over trifles. - P.C. Cole said he made an exhaustive search, but had found nothing on deceased to throw any light on the tragedy. He was unable to call Mrs Cann, who took tea with MRS PENNINGTON yesterday, because she had gone to Bideford some hours before the Coroner fixed the time of Inquest. - The Coroner, in summing up, said it was one of these occurrences which were becoming all too common where men took away their own lives on the slightest pretext. If a man's finger ached, he would commit suicide, leaving his family to struggle on as best they could. He thought such a tendency should not go unchecked and as far as it was possible it behoved all to take such steps as would be likely to dis-countenance it. He suggested that in this case an open verdict be returned, simply recording the fact that deceased died by his own hand. - The Jury comprised Messrs. J. Bragg. J. A. Harris, A. Hayward (Foreman), A. Jeffery, G. Kievill (sen.), R. Pawley, John H. Pillman, W. J. Pillman, J. E. Prust, W. H. Taylor, Benjamin Walter, William Pillman Walter, W. T. Westlake. They returned a verdict of "Suicide whilst Temporarily Insane," and expressed the sympathy with the bereaved family.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Thursday 20 April 1911
PARKHAM - Bucks Mills. The North Devon Coroner (Mr G. W. F. Brown) held an Inquest at Bucks Mills on Easter Monday, into the circumstances attending the death of MARY ANN HARRIS, a widow, aged 67 years. - JOHN HARRIS, deceased's son, said that his wife and himself lived in the same house as his mother, and they all shared the same bedroom. Deceased rose at about five o'clock on Saturday morning and spoke to him. She returned to bed and witness went to sleep. Soon after six he was called by a man named Jno. Braund, who told him that deceased was lying in a shallow well at the back of the house. He at once went out and found her lying in a doubled up position in about twenty inches of water. She was quite dead. - Jno. Braund stated that he saw "something white" in the well as he was passing MRS HARRIS'S house on his way to his garden. He found MRS HARRIS lying there in her ordinary night clothing as described by last witness. After he had called JOHN HARRIS, they pulled the body out of the well. - The Jury returned a verdict of "Suicide by Drowning whilst Temporarily Insane."
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Wednesday 21 June 1911
HARTLAND - Inquest held by Coroner Brown at Wargery Farm, on Saturday afternoon, June 3rd, on the body of HUGH MOUNTJOY, aged 65 years. The Jury comprised Messrs. J. Andrew, J. H. Curtis, W. Curtis, W. P. Fulford, John Gifford, Thos. Gifford, Wm. Hancock, T. Harris, W. J. Jeffery, L. Pennington, John H. Pillman (Foreman), T. H. Pomeroy, T. Stone. - MARIA MOUNTJOY, sister, said deceased went down to a field on Thursday forenoon to fetch a gatepost. It was very hot weather. He left the horse while he fastened the gate. The animal bolted up the road towards Wargery. Deceased ran after it and then came into the house complaining that he felt unwell. He was very sick and she gave him a drop of brandy. He then lay down on the sofa and in a few minutes died without a struggle. - Dr Walker said he had made a post mortem examination with Dr Wright. The heart was fatty and deceased must have been suffering severely from inflammation of the lungs. Exertion of running up the hill caused heart failure. - The Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes," in accordance with the medical evidence.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Wednesday 21 June 1911
ALWINGTON - We regret to announce the death under tragic circumstances, of MR WILLIAM PENNINGTON, retired farmer of Woodtown, Alwington and formerly of Yeo Vale. MR PENNINGTON, who was 73 years of age, went to see his daughter, MRS SARGEANT, at Rolestone Farm, Alwington, on Monday morning, June 12th. Whilst there he went into the bedroom of a sick grandchild and remarked "My dear, are you better?" adding "I see you are better," when he was taken suddenly ill himself and caught hold of the bottom of the bed for support. He died within a minute. MR PENNINGTON, who leaves a widow, herself ill in bed, and a grown-up family, complained recently of pains in the chest, but was not thought to be seriously ill. Dr Gooding was sent for from Bideford, but of course he was only able to pronounce life to be extinct. MR PENNINGTON was well-known in the district and was held in highest esteem. Mr Coroner Brown held an Inquest at Rolestone Farm. Dr Gooding who was called, attributed death to syncope and a verdict accordingly was returned.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Tuesday 22 August 1911
BRADWORTHY - Great sympathy is felt for MRS BECKLEY and family of Bradworthy. On Tuesday evening, Aug. 8th MR BECKLEY was cycling to Parkham to pay his wife's club. Near Kilvenstool he met the Bradworthy carrier and his luggage cart. These were passed safely, but on meeting another vehicle, Mr R. Moore's carriage, MR BECKLEY as thrown from his machine and the horse fell upon him. The bicycle was completely wrecked and fears were entertained that MR BECKLEY could not survive. A willing band of helpers did what they could and a message sent for Dr Betts to meet him on arrival home. - We regret to report that on Sunday, 13 he succumbed to the injures. He leaves a wife and young family. - An Inquest was held by Coroner G. W. F. Brown at West Ash Farm, Bradworthy on Tuesday, August 15th on the body of ALBERT JAMES BECKLEY, aged 32 years, a farm labourer, who had lived at Ash Cottage. - BARBARA BECKLEY, stated that her husband set out on his bicycle, explaining that he was going to Parkham. Later in the evening he was brought back very much injured and he said that Mr Moore, a farmer, who was driving too fast, had run into him with his trap. - Richard Moore, farmer, of Moor, Parkham, said he was driving from Bideford to his home, and he called on Mr Arnold at the Bell Inn, Parkham. He had two whiskies and remained about half an hour. He had had three or four glasses of beer at Bideford, but he was quite sober. He was driving his horse home around Kilvenstool Corner, travelling at about seven miles per hour, in the middle of the road, and rounding the corner he met the deceased whose bicycle ran between the legs of his pony. The pony fell on deceased and witness was thrown out of the trap. The horse was cut on the off knee. He was going down-hill slightly where the accident happened and deceased was coming up. He denied being on the wrong side of the road. - P.C. Townsend said he saw Mr Moore returning from Bideford in the New Road; he was driving about seven miles an hour and appeared quite sober. - Alfred Elliott, carrier between Bradworthy and Bideford, said he passed Kilvington corner at five minutes to eight in the evening. The deceased was riding his bicycle about four miles an hour on his proper side. After passing a cart witness heard a noise and looking round he saw a cyclist in the road, with a horse on top of him. He believed that the wheel of the vehicle passed over him. With assistance he took the man away on a gate. Deceased then said to Mr Moore, "You were driving too fast, Mr Moore, and on the wrong side of the road." Witness agreed that Moore was sober, although he had been drinking. Deceased told him he was in as close to the hedge as he could possibly get. - Thomas Henry Folland, who fetched a gate to remove BECKLEY to his house, stated that the deceased said to Moore, who was walking by his side; "You were driving too fast, Mr Moore, and on the wrong side of the road." Mr Moore appeared to be quite sober, although he had been drinking. - Dr Betts said no bones were broken but deceased was suffering from shock and had a bruise on the lower part of his chest. A post mortem examination revealed that the abdomen was full of blood and the liver torn, being probably caused by a heavy weight passing over the man, such as a cart wheel, or the horse stepping upon him. Death was due to the accident and peritonitis supervening. - The Coroner said it was a particularly sad case, as deceased left a widow and six young children absolutely unprovided for. - The Jury, who gave their fees to the widow, returned a verdict of "Accidental Death from Injuries caused by the Collision between deceased's bicycle and Mr Moore's trap." The expressed the opinion that Mr Moore was driving too fast round a dangerous corner, but that there was no criminal negligence on his part.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Monday 25 September 1911
HARTLAND - Inquest held at Mr Thorne's, Rosedown, on Friday evening, September 1st, at 6 o'clock by Coroner Brown on the body of JOHN TREMEER, a cripple for many years. The Jury included Rev. E. A. Luff, Messrs. Thomas Braun, George Burrow, Archibald James Cann, Richard Cloke, John Henry Curtis, William Curtis, John Kellaway Jeffery, Isaac Newton (Foreman), Thomas King Pillman, James Edwin Prust, Thomas Rowe (Rosedown), and Francis James Wilton. - The Coroner, in opening the Inquiry, said, as the Jury knew, there had been a great deal of talk of cerebro-spinal meningitis or spotted fever about and that polio-myelitis, another disease had been rather prevalent in some districts, including Holsworthy and Bradworthy. He had come across cases surrounding Barnstaple, Swymbridge and Southmolton, and it was not known where it was going to crop up next. - Dr A. F. Wright thought he would like to make a post-mortem of this case, and send the result to Dr Reece, the Local Government Board Inspector, and the Dr Was then in consultation with Dr Ellis Pearson of Bideford, about the case. - A Juror asked if there was any proof of a case of spotted fever having occurred and the Coroner replied that he believed there were known to have been cases of polio-myelitis. - The Foreman demurred to viewing the body if it was an infectious disease, as he had a family of young children and he did not want to take the disease home. Viewing the body was a farce. - The Coroner quite agreed, but it was the law. A casual inspection through a window would satisfy him. - MARY ANN TREMEER, the widow, said deceased was 70 years of age last June. He had been a bit unwell yesterday morning, but nothing unusual. She went blackberry picking and returned about 4.30 p.m. when Mrs Cloke told her deceased had been taken ill and they had put him to bed. She then went upstairs and found him dead. - Emma Cloke, a neighbour's wife, said about one o'clock deceased complained of pains in his stomach. She got him indoors and gave him some ginger tea. he said he'd go up to bed. she helped him and gave him a little broth which seemed to do him good. Then she went into her own house for a few minutes. Coming back, she spoke up the stairs, but received no reply, and when she went up found he had died. She last saw him alive at 4 o'clock. - Archibald Francis Wright, Surgeon, deposed that he made a post-mortem examination in conjunction with Dr Betts. The organs were in a surprisingly healthy state for a man of that age. There was slight evidence of recent inflammation at the base of the brain and some turbid fluid came from the interior of the cord, which, under normal conditions should be clear. - The Coroner: What was the cause of death? - Dr Wright said the only thing that could cause death was first of all the condition of the vessels of the heart, which may have caused syncope, or the signs of old disease of the brain on the top might have caused death. - Were there any signs of the disease known as cerebro-spinal meningitis? - Dr Wright said he could not get the post-mortem examination over quick enough for a specimen. There was a slight inflammatory condition of the base of the brain, but hardly enough to cause death. - What would you say was the cause of death? - The immediate cause was syncope. - Questioned by the Jury as to the fluid found in the spinal cord, Dr Wright said the symptoms were not sufficient to cause such a sudden death. How far it influenced it was impossible for him to say. - A Juryman said there was a scare. - The Doctor said it was rather a wrong term to use. There certainly were several cases of poliomyelitis about and in that neighbourhood. - The Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes -Syncope."
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Monday 18 December 1911
MONKLEIGH - At an Inquest held at Monkleigh on Tuesday, Dec. 12th, relative to the death of SARAH QUICK, infant daughter of CHARLES QUICK, farm labourer. CHARLES QUICK, the father, stated that deceased child was born on Dec. 1st. on which day he had nine children living. One of them, a girl 2 ½ years old died of diphtheria in the room in which his wife was lying and the body remained there for 20 hours afterwards. He went to the Sanitary Inspector, Mr Pennington, at Parkham, the next day, but he did not come until the 4th. Then the Inspector left a bottle of disinfectant but did not do anything to the house himself. Witness's cottage comprised a kitchen and two bedrooms. His wife, himself and two children slept in one room and seven children slept in two beds in the other. He earned 12s. a week, and had 20 yards of potato ground and a quart of scald milk a day. When he entered the cottage the landlord promised to increase the accommodation by knocking a doorway into the adjoining premises, where there were three good bedrooms. He had been there three years; the house was not whitewashed when he went in and nothing had been done since. It was in a very dilapidated condition. The child died on Monday. - Jane Blake, the district nurse, who attended MRS QUICK, said she was not supposed to attend infectious cases, but when she arrived she found one child had just died of diphtheria, and there was the poor woman left with no one to look after her, so, she asked, what could she do. She attended to her and the dead body remained in the room all the time and until next day. The seven children who slept in the adjoining room had to pass through this room to go to bed and when they got up in the morning and the husband was compelled to sleep in the same bed with his wife the next night with another child. The baby was healthy and would have lived had it not caught diphtheria. - Dr Ellis Pearson (Bideford) said the cause of death was diphtheria, otherwise the child was quite healthy. The condition of the home in his opinion was most insanitary and the room in which the seven children slept was only large enough for one child. In his opinion the disease had been contracted in the house. The cottage at present was not fit for human habitation, especially for such a large family. - P.C. Cox, who had inspected the rooms in company with the Coroner, gave the dimensions of the rooms. The bedrooms were 14ft. by 14ft. and 7ft. high and 15ft. by 10ft. and 7ft. high. One room had the fire-place boarded up and the windows in each of the rooms were 9 inches by 15 inches. The children's room contained two large beds, which completely filled it. Four children had been sleeping in each of these beds - boys, 12, 8, 5, and 4 years; and girls, 11, 10, 7 and 1 year. The room or the house had not been disinfected up to Monday last. The walls of the kitchen were dirty and the plaster broken off in many places, the ceiling being black. - James Pennington, sanitary inspector to the Bideford Rural Council, said, in July last, one of the girls of this family had diphtheric throat, and was sent home from school and attended by the school medical officer of health. He (witness) visited the house; but did not go upstairs to see what accommodation there was. He did not disinfect the house or fumigate it, but left a bottle of carbolic. - On December 2nd, he was informed by QUICK that a child had died of diphtheria, but he did not go there until the 4th. Then he did not go upstairs but left a bottle of disinfectant to be thrown about. He had taken no steps to disinfect or fumigate, because he did not know what to do with the family. Asked if he was aware whether the disinfectants had been used, witness replied that he did not know. - When asked by the Coroner if he had made any attempt to get another place to put the people in for a few hours, he said he had not, and did not think of putting them in the spare rooms in the next house. The District Council had no isolation hospital in their district and no cottage where infected children could be taken. Now he had heard what the accommodation was, witness did not consider it sufficient, or that the premises were fit for habitation. The water had been analyzed some time ago, but not since the outbreak of Diphtheria in July. - Asked what was the good of disinfecting two or three rooms and not completely fumigating a whole house previously, when he had received instructions to disinfect some other house in the village, witness said he could not say. - The Coroner: Do you know if the disinfectant you left was used? - I do not know. - Do you care? - No reply. - The Coroner, summing up, referred in strong terms to the condition revealed by the evidence, and said little interest seemed to have been taken in the matter by the sanitary inspector. The conditions seemed more like one of the worst slums in London. - The Jury, of whom the Vicar (Rev. L. H. Lermit) was Foreman, found that the child died from Diphtheria, and added a rider that they did not think proper precautions had been taken by the Sanitary Authority, nor were they satisfied that proper precautions were taken in the previous cases which had occurred in the village. They did not consider the house a fit habitation for a man, his wife and family, nor did they consider the house had been kept in a proper condition by the landlord. They also considered the Sanitary Inspector showed considerable carelessness in dealing with this case. - The Jury thanked the coroner for the great interest he had shown in the matter and the Coroner said their thanks were due to the nurse for her plucky conduct. He thanked the vicar for allowing the use of his coach-house for the post-mortem. The Inquiry was held in the Parish Room.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Thursday 21 March 1912
EAST PUTFORD - At East Putford on Wed. Mar. 6th, Mr G. W. F. Brown, North Devon Coroner, held an Inquest on the body of MR WILLIAM ALLIN, 76, farmer, of Venn Mills, who was thrown from his horse on Monday and died as a result of the injuries received, on Tuesday. From the evidence of Mr Hookway of Buckland Brewer, it appeared that deceased was riding a young horse and its unsuitability for a man of deceased's age struck Mr Hookway so much that he tried to dissuade him from riding it back, but MR ALLIN seemed pretty confident and said he had ridden it before. - MR THOMAS ALLIN, son, said his father told him before he died that the horse tried to go too fast for him and when he pulled it in it buck jumped. - He tried to get off, but was thrown and hurt his chest. - Dr Betts (Bradworthy) said he thought a rib was broken and had pierced the chest, death resulting from heart failure and asphyxia. - A verdict of Accidental Death was returned.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Thursday 18 April 1912
STRATTON, CORNWALL - Death in Hospital. - The County Coroner (Mr W. F. Thompson) held an Inquest at Stratton on March 23, touching the death of ALBERT COOK, the infant son of JOHN COOK, labourer, of Upcott, Welcombe, who died in the Cottage Hospital, Stratton on Thursday. - From the evidence given by the mother, SUSAN HAMBLY COOK, it appeared that she left the child in the kitchen for a few minutes whilst she went to let out a cow from an outhouse close by. On her return she found the child's clothing had been on fire, and was still smouldering. The fire was on the hearth and unprotected. Dr A. Braund who happened to be in the parish, was immediately sent for and he attended the child. - Dr Chamberlain said the child was brought to Stratton Cottage Hospital on the eighth day after the accident. He could not be admitted before, as the Hospital was already over full. The child was severely burnt about the lower part of the trunk and died from exhaustion caused by the burns. - The Jury, of whom Mr J. H. Treleven, J.P., was the Foreman, returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence and endorsed the views of the Coroner that the provisions of the Act for the Protection of Children should be more generally known and observed.
ALWINGTON - A portion of MISS FITCHARD'S skirt was found on Tuesday evening, March 26th on the beach at Welcombe Mouth. The finder was Mr Walter Thomas Fella, an engineer of Rugby, the only relative yet traced; and he has not carried on any correspondence with her for 14 years. His father was a brother to the late MRS ANNIE MARIA FITCHARD, who died at Mead Cottage, Dec. 30th, 1907, aged 71 years. - Mr Fella is staying with Mr James Cook of Mead Farm. - It must have been high water on a spring tide at the time MISS FITCHARD went out, according to the tide table. [By the way this table is in use at the local Coastguard Stations]. - The Council School was closed as the County was unable to get a supply head-teacher to undertake the duties. - We are informed that MISS FITCHARD never returned to London since she was appointed over 20 years ago to Welcombe School. - On Thursday April 4th, Mr Jesse Howard found one of MISS FITCHARD'S mittens on the shore. - The Inquest On MISS FITCHARD. - At Cockington Farm, Alwington on April 10th Mr G. W. F. Brown, Coroner for North Devon, conducted an Inquest on the body of a woman, who was found on the beach at Cockington on Monday. - The Coroner, in opening, said a ring had been found and he thought they would be able to connect the discovery with the disappearance of MISS LETITIA A. FITCHARD, of Welcombe, on March 18th. - Mr Dennis Nixon, of Northam, deposed that whilst walking on the beach on Monday at Cockington with his brother, he discovered a body, and also a piece of the skull further on. On the right hand was a gold ring, which he took off. As quickly as possible he communicated with his father. - P.C. Wild stated that the body must have been on the beach for some time, as the tide had not been so high lately. He spoke to receiving a ring from one of the finders. - P.C. Cole, of Hartland, stated that on March 19th, he was informed that MISS FITCHARD, schoolmistress at Welcombe was missing. On making investigations, he found a note at her house, which ran:- "Gone to Welcombe Mouth; Shall not be long." There was not much importance to be attached to that, as she was in the habit of leaving such notes whenever she went out and many such notes were found in the house. On the donkey path at the Mouth there was a mark as of a stone slipping, and beneath some pebbles in a cave below there was a hat identified as MISS FITCHARD'S . Everything about the cottage was left as if the occupant was returning. A fire had been laid in, etc. At the time the sea was rough, and the tide high. MISS FITCHARD was in the habit of picking up firewood on the beach. - Mr Wm. John Oke, of Welcombe, said he saw MISS FITCHARD going towards the cliffs on March 18th, wearing the hat that had been found. The lady had lived alone for three or four years. - Miss Bessie Oke, assistant mistress at Welcombe, said MISS FITCHARD carried out her duties up to March 18th, on which day she left home at 4.30 p.m. Witness positively identified the ring produced as belonging to MISS FITCHARD. She knew of nothing to worry MISS FITCHARD, who appeared to be quite as usual when she saw her last. - Miss Mary Grace Cottle identified portions of clothing found on the beach near Welcombe as belonging to MISS FITCHARD. - Mr Walter Thomas Fella, of Rugby, a relative of deceased, said he corresponded with her for some time, but for a good many years he had lost touch with her. - The Coroner said the finding of the ring by Mr Nixton and its identification as the one belonging to MISS FITCHARD, was a valuable piece of evidence that the body found was that of the lady who disappeared on March 18th. There was, however, nothing to show how she came by her death. - The Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned." They were satisfied that the body was that of MISS FITCHARD, but there was nothing to show how she came into the water. - Mr C. Hedden assisted Miss Oke to organize a procession of the schoolchildren at MISS FITCHARD'S funeral.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Friday 31 May 1912
HARTLAND - On Friday May 5th, an Inquest was held in Church Room, by Mr Brown, on the body of WILLIAM CURTIS, 69, carpenter. JOHN HENRY CURTIS, son, identified the body. Mrs J. Westlake also gave evidence, showing that on Wednesday deceased seemed much as usual and retired to bed at about 10.20 p.m. As he did not come down in the morning, Mrs Westlake, who has been staying with MR CURTIS on account of MRS CURTIS' illness, went to his room to see if there was anything the matter, when she found him dead in bed. Deceased had worked the previous day. - Dr Wright said a post mortem examination revealed a very fatty heart and a rupture in the posterior wall, which caused death. - A verdict of "Death from Natural Causes" was returned by the Jury, which comprised Messrs. Jas. Andrew (Foreman), J. Barter, Thomas Beer, Thomas Bond, W. Colwill (Carrier), Samuel Dayman, Richard Evans, William Hopgood, William John Jeffery, Rev. E. A. Luff, Thos. K. Pillman, James Edwin Prust, John G. Ware. - A large number of parishioners attended the funeral on Saturday. The bearers were Messrs. A. W. J. Middle, G. Littlejohn, S. Dayman, R. Dayman, F. Pennington, and R. Colwill. the floral tributes were as follows:- "In loving Memory of dear Father" from his sorrowing wife and children, S., A. M., J. H. and E. CURTIS; "Dear Grandpa" from Minnie; Mrs Spicer; M. and G. Littlejohn and Family; A. Pillman and family; A. and R. Cann; J., G., T. Burrow and S. Kelly; Fanny and Emma Elliott; R. Colwill and Family.
Hartland and West Country Chronicle, Tuesday 16 July 1912
ABBOTSHAM - On Thursday evening, July 4th, MR CHARLES GLOVER, 61, landlord of the New Inn, Abbotsham, after playing a game of bagatelle with Mr Fuller, was seen to fall to the floor, and on being picked up was found dead. At the Inquest on Friday evening Drs. Gooding and Toye, who had made a post-mortem, said that death was due to an enlarged heart, which was not known during life. The Jury of which Mr C. R. Hibbert was Foreman, returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes," and passed a vote of sympathy with the widow and family. Dr Ellis Pearson, Deputy Coroner, conducted the Inquest.
MONKLEIGH - The sad death of a visitor to Monkleigh was investigated by the North Devon Coroner, (Mr G. W. F. Brown) and a Jury of which Mr Clarke was Foreman, on July 8th. The deceased, MRS LOUISA FRECKER, wife of a commercial traveller of Swansea, had been suffering from consumption and came to Barnstaple recently and then on to Annery Cottage, where on Friday night she knocked to Emily Jennings, with whom she was stopping and died suddenly from the rupture of a blood-vessel. Dr Ellis Pearson, of Bideford, who had made a post-mortem examination, gave evidence to this effect in regard to the cause of death, the rupture being probably brought on by a fit of coughing. The lungs were the seat of advanced consumption. The Jury returned a verdict of Death from Natural Causes and expressed sympathy with the husband. Deceased, who will be buried at Swansea, was only 28 years of age.