Inquests Taken Into Suspicious Or Unexplained Deaths
For the County of Devon
Articles taken from the Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette)
Printed at Tiverton, Devon
1864 and 1865
Transcribed by Lindsey Withers
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.
[Numbers in brackets indicate the number of times that name occurs.]
Names Included: Names Included:- Alford; Ashford; Bastin; Bater; Bowerman; Bragg; Bucknell; Cape; Channing; Cobley; Connett; Courtenay; Crook; Dart; Davey; Davis; Dicker; Farley; Fewings; Flew; Ford; Hamborough; Hancock(2); Harris; Hill(2); Hollett; Holley; Irish; James; Knott; Lathrope(2); Lee; Lintern; Lipscombe; Lookis; Lovell; Manning; Milton; Moore(2); Morgan; Newberry; Newton; Norrish; North; Parkhouse(2); Parminter; Petherbridge; Poole; Pyke; Rattray; Redwood; Rendell; Richard; Rickards; Rippon; Rowe; Rowlands; Sanders; Seldon; Selman; Slee; Sommerwill; Stone; Sutton; Thomas; Troop; Vooght; Webber(3); Welland; Westlake; Wood; Woodbury; Woolcott; Wotton.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 12 January 1864
TIVERTON - Shocking And Fatal Occurrence On Cruwys Morchard Hill. - On Friday night Mr Mackenzie, the Borough Coroner, instituted an investigation at the Town Hall, into the painful circumstances attending the death of WILLIAM DICKER, aged 58, a carter in the employ of his brother, a timber-hauler, and residing in West-exe south. - The Jury summoned for the occasion consisted of Messrs. John Pratt, James Ward, John Stevens, Richard G. Besley, John Williams, jun., William Rowcliffe, Henry Goss, William Cox, Benjamin Purrington, Thomas Beck, John Chapple, James Wright and Robert J. Prickman. - Cook, the summoning officer, having called over the names of twelve of the Jury said, Mr John Pratt, currier, of Bampton-street, was not present. - The Coroner having asked if he knew the reason - Cook said he told him he should not come and seemed annoyed at being summoned. - The Coroner said he should be very sorry to report him at Quarter Sessions, but as it appeared that he had not been summoned too frequently, it was only fair to the gentlemen present, that notice should be taken of his absence. They had enough Jurymen to go on with the case, and while they were viewing the body the Constable should go for him, and if he did not attend, he should feel bound to report him at Quarter Sessions, when he would be heavily fined. - Mr John Stevens was chosen Foreman of the Jury there proceeded to view the body of the deceased at his late residence. - The body presented a frightful spectacle from an extensively lacerated wound in the right loin, with the intestines protruding in a dreadful manner. A casual examination of the wound gave the impression that the unfortunate man had been stabbed, but this was not borne out by the medical evidence subsequently taken. - Upon the return of the Coroner and the Jury, Mr Pratt had not put in an appearance. - The Coroner proposed that they should take the evidence of the witnesses, and then adjourn for medical testimony, as it was undoubtedly a case requiring a post-mortem examination. - JOHN DICKER, the deceased's brother, was the first witness called, and deposed (not on oath, being the employer), that his brother was about 58 years of age, and had worked for him nearly 20 years as carter. He was employed on Thursday in driving a timber waggon drawn by two horses, which he was accustomed to. In answer to questions from the Coroner, witness hesitatingly admitted that the leader, a mare, was not quiet in the shafts, and would kick if placed there, but was quiet in the chains. Their journey was about fourteen miles down on the Witheridge road, where they went for timber for Mr Baker; they started about half-past seven in the morning, got there about ten or eleven o'clock, loaded at once and started on their return about dusk. They stopped on their way back about an hour and a half, at a public-house at No-man's-land, and had something to drink. Thomas Ball was with witness and Edward Burt with deceased. They all left the public house sober. He could not tell how much beer they drank, it might have been a quart each. When they got to Cruwys Morchard hill, Bell dragged the carriage driven by deceased, who started on ahead alone about four minutes before them. The last he saw of him was with a whip in his hand walking on the near side of the shaft horse. Witness and the others followed behind with the two other carriages. Suddenly witness stumbled against the deceased lying on his back in the road, about half-way down the hill, just at the turn of the road, quite dead. His waggon had gone on ahead. Ball ran on and stopped the horses. That was all witness knew about it. He was quite sure his brother was sober. He would ride on the shafts sometimes, but very seldom. Nobody passed or overtook them at the time; they were quite alone There was no sign of blood about any part of the harness or the carriage. When they overtook the waggon the wheels were still dragged. There was very little blood in the road where he lay. - Thomas Ball was next examined, and deposed that he was in the employ of Mr Baker, as carter. He was in company with deceased and last witness on the day of the occurrence. The name of the place they went to for the timber was Pedlay Barton. They got loaded and started on their return journey just before dark. They stopped at the public house spoken of by last witness for refreshment. the refreshment consisted of bread and cheese and a drop of ale; it might have been about a quart each, but that was not all the ale they had during the day, it was all they had on their return journey. Deceased did not appear to be at all intoxicated. He did not see deceased riding on the shafts coming home, but he rode on the shafts a little way going out. It was too dark for witness to see whether he was on the shafts or not, as they were returning home from the public house. The last time he saw deceased alive was at Cruwys Morchard wood, when he dragged his wheels himself first to go down the hill, but it was not done as witness considered right, and he adjusted the drag for him. - The Coroner thought that implied care. - Witness proceeded. - After he had put the drag right for deceased, he said "All right," and deceased then drove down the hill alone and he immediately followed holding his horse by the head. He (witness) was less than one hundred yards behind him. Witness was driving the second carriage and JOHN DICKER was walking by his side. They were talking together when he noticed JOHN DICKER stoop down, and he asked him what he had got, to which he replied, he did not know what it was and cried to him to stop. Witness did so and ran forward to stop the horses, when he came back he found deceased lying on his brother's knees quite dead. His death must have been instantaneous. It was not more than four or five minutes from the time witness spoke to the deceased to the time they found him dead. He could not give any reason for the cause of death, there was no sound in front of anybody being thereabouts but themselves. A man got a trap and took the body to his home. - In answer to a question from Mr Williams, one of the Jury, he said the road was slippery about that place. The deceased had just passed over a bed of ice, which was about three land yards (a land yard is 16 ½ feet) from where he was found dead. It was nearly across the road, with only a very narrow place in it where the horses could pass. - The Coroner here thought that the evidence adduced was all that was available that evening, and proposed an adjournment for a post-mortem examination of the body. - The Inquest was then adjourned. - At seven o'clock on Saturday evening, the Coroner and Jury re-assembled at the Town Hall to hear the medical testimony as to the cause of death. - Mr Redrop, M.R.C.S., deposed that he had made a post-mortem examination of the body. He found an extensively lacerated wound on the right loin, with a considerable portion of the intestines protruding from it; the muscular structure generally was torn to pieces and the spinal column was crushed n two. The injuries altogether were of a most extensive character, and quite sufficient to cause instant death. He believed these injuries may have been occasioned from the body having been run over by a heavy carriage, and not by the kick or a series of kicks from a horse. - The Coroner then read over the evidence taken the previous night and questioned JOHN DICKER as to the feeling existing between the deceased and himself. - JOHN DICKER said there had been no quarrel between them, nor was he aware of any ill-feeling existing between his brother and any person. They had all worked comfortably together the whole day. - The Coroner said, in summing up, that it would be for the Jury to determine whether death had been occasioned by accidental causes or by neglect or interference of any other person. He felt very glad that a post-mortem examination had been made, for the appearance of the wound the previous night gave rise to the supposition that the poor fellow might have been stabbed; but from an examination by daylight, it appeared clearly that the wound was not from a stab, and that the clothes were torn and not cut. - The Jury then retired to consider their verdict; and after a somewhat lengthened deliberation, they returned a verdict that deceased met with his death through being Accidentally Crushed by the Waggon. - The Foreman said several of the Jury wished to express their opinion that MR JOHN DICKER was in possession of a very wicked and dangerous horse. - The Coroner fully concurred in their verdict of Accidental Death, and as the opinion of the Jury with regard to the wicked character of the horse could form no part of the verdict, he suggested that this opinion would be very suitably expressed by the press, and might tend to have a desirable effect.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 2 February 1864
TIVERTON - The Distressing Suicide Of MR COBLEY. - During the past week Tiverton has been the scene of one of the most painful suicides it has ever been our lot to record. The deceased, MR GEORGE DUNN COBLEY, who has carried on business as a linen draper in this town for upwards of 30 years, appears to have been suffering from great excitement accompanied by delusions, for some days previous to the commission of the fatal act, which he accomplished about two o'clock a.m. on the morning of Wednesday last, by cutting his throat with a razor. We may mention that although MR COBLEY had more than once suffered from an affection of a similar character, his delusions had never had a suicidal tendency, indeed on the present occasion his great cause of uneasiness appeared to be a dread of persons having a design upon his life. His friends, therefore, who watched and attended upon him with the greatest and most unremitting attention, had not considered it needful to take any precautions against self-destruction, in fact so totally opposed to any idea of such a thing, had the whole of his conduct been, that he had never been restricted in the free use of his razors, and on the Tuesday morning had actually shaved himself, though with an unsteady hand, betraying nothing in the slightest degree suspicious with regard to the razor. The razors, therefore, were never removed from their usual place, whence he took the one with which the fatal act was accomplished. It appears that the delusion that persons were about to murder him increased so strongly upon him on Tuesday evening, that Mr Henry Davey, his assistant, whose assiduous care and attention to MR COBLEY when suffering in this manner, deserves the highest commendation, thought it advisable to sit up with him himself. Accordingly he did his best to soothe and humour him, carefully keeping his eye upon him and watching him closely. At length he left the room, telling Mr Davey he should return in a moment and as he had once or twice during the evening gone to the closet and returned almost immediately, the latter imagined he had gone there, and did not follow him for a moment. Hearing the door of MR COBLEY'S bedroom shut however, he instantly went after him, and found him on the floor bleeding profusely from a terrible wound in the throat. Medical aid was instantly summoned, but only arrived just before he had ceased to breathe. This melancholy event, as may naturally be supposed, cast a gloom over the town in which the deceased had so long held a prominent and responsible position. During the 30 years he has been in business, he has taken a somewhat active part in public life. For 21 years he has been a member of the Town Council, and was also one of the Improvement Commissioners. His business connection was one of the best and most aristocratic in the town, but he never allowed the interests of trade to influence him in his public capacity, where his conduct was characterised by singular independence, together with considerable intelligence, and a spirit of progress. He was generally liked for his great affability and suavity of manner, and generous disposition. thus much for his public character; into the details of his private life we are not called upon to enter. The causes which led to the hallucinations under which this sad catastrophe took place are too well and too generally known and deplored to need comment from us. - At seven o'clock on Wednesday evening, Mr Mackenzie the Borough Coroner, held an Inquest on the body of the deceased, at his residence in Fore-street. The Jury empanelled was a highly respectable one, consisting of the following tradesmen:- Messrs. T. Ford, Pratt, Ellerton, John Goodland, A. Payne, Taylor, Havill, Rundell, Frost, Hawkes, Wills, J. F. L. Pike, and E. Williams. - Mr Thomas Ford having been chosen as Foreman, the Jury proceeded to view the body, which presented a placid appearance. After which the evidence as to the cause of death was gone into, this was necessarily very brief as only two witnesses were examined. - Mr Henry Davey, who had been for many years an assistant in deceased's business was first examined, and deposed in effect that deceased had for several days been suffering from indisposition, which produced strong mental delusions. During the night of Tuesday, he continued very excitable and imagined that there were persons about his house who were anxious to kill him, and in consequence he (witness) and deceased's sister felt it necessary to watch him with great care. About two o'clock on Wednesday morning he succeeded in eluding witness for a few moments only as stated above, and went into his bedroom, into which witness followed him the instant he heard the door shut, where he found MR COBLEY on his knees with his throat cut in a dreadful manner. Witness alarmed the household and immediately sent for Mr Reed, deceased's medical adviser, and Mr Mackenzie. The former arrived before life was extinct and the latter just after. - Mr Reed deposed that he had been attending deceased for some days and gave evidence clearly showing the cause of death. - The Coroner remarked on the very melancholy nature of the case and the Jury unanimously returned a verdict that deceased Committed Self-Destruction with a razor, while in a fit of delirium - On Saturday morning the remains were removed for interment at East Worlington, near Witheridge, where his father lies buried. Many of the shops had shutters partly up and blinds down at the hour of departure, and the following gentlemen preceded the hearse to the outskirts of the town. The Rev. John Spurway, the Rev. J. P. Mayne, Messrs, Mackenzie, Reed, S. Gath, W. Partridge, T. Ford, Hawkes, Rowcliffe, Sanders, Wills, A. Paine, Gill (church-warden) Holmes, Collard, Cannon, Frost, Lane, Ellerton, Easterbrook, Mills and others.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 1 March 1864
CULMSTOCK - Melancholy Case. - An Inquest was held on Monday, at Oldbeat, before Spencer Cox, Esq., Coroner, on the body of MARY WELLAND, aged 77, the wife of RICHARD WELLAND, an agricultural labourer. The deceased has for many years been subject to epileptic fits, one of which came on suddenly on Wednesday, the 17th inst., when she fell into the fire and sustained such severe injuries from the burns and consequent shock to her system that she died on the following Friday. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 8 March 1864
BAMPTON - Strange And Fatal Occurrence. - R. R. Crosse, Esq., the Coroner, held an lengthened investigation at the White Horse Inn, on Wednesday, into the circumstances attending the strange and melancholy death of JAMES FORD, aged about 70, described as an elderly man of independent means, lodging with Mary Bailey of this town. - Mr William Crudge was the Foreman of a respectable Jury empanelled on the occasion. - The learned Coroner in opening the Inquiry remarked on the melancholy nature of the case. He said the last Inquest, but one that he held at Bampton, was upon a man literally starved to death, now here was a case in which a man, was, as he understood, found drunk, and had died apparently by falling out of bed, though marks of violence were found on his person. In consequence of those marks he had thought it necessary to have medical evidence. It appeared to him that no one was implicated in that violence, but that was for the Jury to determine. He deemed it necessary to inform the Jury that a Mr Hawkins, who appeared to be an important witness in the case, declined to attend to be examined, because he had made a declaration that he would never enter this house as long as the present landlord was in possession. If the Jury thought after hearing the evidence that would be brought before them, that the presence of Mr Hawkins was necessary, he should then order him to attend, and in the event of a refusal he should feel it his duty to convict him to prison. - The Jury having viewed the body, William Bray, landlord of the Red Lion Inn, Bampton, was the first witness called and deposed, that he had known the deceased some 12 or 15 years, as a person living on private means and receiving his allowance monthly. He was in the habit of frequenting his house two or three times a month and drinking freely. He was in the habit of getting drunk for two or three days together. Last Monday he received his money and came to his house about 10 o'clock in the morning and after drinking three or four pints of rum and ale, he left about 12 o'clock. He came again between 4 and 5 o'clock, and drank in company with Hughy Wheatford, four pints of half-and-half and about half past eight o'clock witness saw that he was so tipsy that he thought it prudent to see him home. He saw him upstairs to bed and Sarah Pring unlaced his boots and then deceased laid himself down on the bed without undressing, when he left him. He noticed while he was at witness's house that he was no so free of talking and much quieter than usual. He heard the next morning that he was dead. - Mary Bailey said she was a widow and kept a private lodging house. Deceased had lodged with her upwards of four years. He generally got his pay once a month, when he would take a drop to drink. At other times he was very steady. On Monday morning last she went to Dulverton, on returning at 9 o'clock in the evening she ascertained that deceased was in bed, and she asked Elizabeth Gallicoe to go and see that he was properly covered up. She heard her talking to him, and heard him wish her "good night" and thank her. Witness was in bed when Elizabeth Gallicoe came to her and as she stood talking by her bed-side they suddenly heard a heavy fall and witness cried out "Good God, the old gentleman has fallen out of bed." She jumped out of bed and ran to the door of his room with Gallicoe and neither of them could open the door. She then went away to Edward Hawkins a neighbour, and he came with a bar of iron and succeeded in getting through the upper portion of the doorway and found the body lying against the door. She then heard Hawkins say "He is gone." She at once ran for a doctor and upon her return found the deceased lying on the bed, dead. - The Doctor soon attended. - By the Coroner and Jury: I am quite sure the deceased received no harm in my house at the hands of any person. There was a mark of a cut under his chin and a blow on his head, which she thought he received by falling out of bed. - Elizabeth Gallicoe fully corroborated the evidence of Mrs Bailey, and added that she saw Hawkins after he had got through the door, lift the deceased up from the floor, his feet were on the bed and his head on the floor. Hawkins did nothing more before she went in than to remove him from the door sufficiently to enable her to get inside. - Mr Henry Edwards, Surgeon, deposed that he was called by Mrs Bailey, a quarter before 12 o'clock on Monday night, to attend deceased. He went immediately and in a bedroom of her house he found the deceased lying on the bed dead. He made an external examination of the body, but could find nothing to account for death. There was a recent scar under his chin and a bruise on the side of the head, but these were not sufficient to account for death. In answer to the Coroner:- He had not examined for fracture of the skull and without further examination he declined to give an opinion as to the cause of death. At the suggestion of the Coroner he went to make a further external examination of the body. Shortly afterwards he returned and said he had again seen the body, the skull was not fractured and he could not account for death from external appearances. It was impossible for him to give an opinion as to the cause of death without making a post-mortem examination. But he did not believe that the marks of violence had anything to do with the cause of death. - The Coroner said, he might have died from apoplexy and if there had been any suspicion of foul play or ill-treatment, he would order a post mortem examination of the body directly, but as there was not the least evidence of that, he did not see any necessity to order a post mortem examination. - Mr Edwards said he might have died from apoplexy, but he declined to hazard any positive opinion. - Elizabeth Gallicoe on being further examined said, she thought deceased died from falling out of bed. When they heard the fall they also heard him make a loud gurgling noise. She remarked nothing unusual in him when he came in, beyond that he was drunk, but still able to walk by himself. - The Coroner then asked the Jury if they would like to have Hawkins sent for. As for the vow he had made about not entering that house, they had nothing to do with that; and if they thought it necessary that he should attend, he would issue a warrant. - The Jury in reply did not think his attendance necessary. - The Coroner then summed up, remarking that in his opinion no one was to blame as to the cause of death. How the deceased got into the position in which he was found nobody could tell, but in his opinion the deceased had a fit and feeling it coming on tried to reach the door and fell in the attempt. He thought after hearing the evidence, that the Jury must be of opinion that he died from no act of violence from any other person. If he ordered a post mortem examination the cause might or might not be found out, but if the Jury wished for one he would give the order. - The Jury did not think it necessary and recorded a verdict that the Deceased was Found Dead with marks of violence appearing on his body, namely, a cut on his chin and a bruise on the left side of his head, but how or by what means he came by his death there was no evidence to show.
HALBERTON - the Melancholy Accident At Halberton. - An Inquest was held at the Railway Hotel, Halberton, on Tuesday, on the body of JAMES FLEW, a labourer, who met his death under very painful circumstances. R. R. Crosse, Esq., was the Coroner, and the Jury was composed of farmers of the neighbourhood. - Richard Clarke said he was a waggoner in the employ of Mr Rew, of Tiverton. He had known deceased twelve months and he was also in the employ of Mr Rew. On the day previous they went together to Sampford Peverell for gravel, he with a waggon and two horses and deceased with a waggon and three horses. On their return deceased's waggon took the lead. On the top of Rockaway hill he saw deceased stop to put on the drag. On reaching the brow of the hill deceased, who was then about 100 yards in front of him, was walking at the head of the shaft horse on the near side. Suddenly the horses started off at a gallop and when he came up to the spot where they had started deceased was lying in the road. He (FLEW) asked him to put his leg straight. A young woman then came up and assisted him on to a chair. Several other persons also came to their assistance and deceased was conveyed to the Railway Hotel. In answer to the Coroner as to how he accounted for the horses starting off witness said that from the appearance of the marks on the road the wheel of the waggon slipped out of the shoe of the drag and the sudden weight coming on the horses back made them start off. Neither he nor deceased had drunk on the road. They carried away two quarts of cider and only drank about a third of it between them. Deceased was perfectly sober at the time of the accident. - By a Juror:- There was no one near that could have frightened the horses. The shaft horse was thrown and dragged for some distance. - The Coroner asked about the safety chain but witness could not say whether it had been put on or not. - The Coroner said that the man having been perfectly sober and the fact of his having a safety chain attached to the waggon took off all blame from anyone. - A Juror said he was only surprised there were not more accidents happening about that spot in the course of a year. He knew many waggoners were in the habit of never putting on the safety chain, or drag in their descent. - Sarah Babbage said that on the previous day about twelve o'clock, she saw the horses coming at a gallop down the hill without a driver. The wheel horse was being dragged along the road. She got in front, held up her hands and shouted to the horses to stop, which they did. She then went back to look for the driver, and came up to him about the same time as witness Clarke. She called some of her neighbours who rendered assistance and Clarke went for Mr Beedell, Surgeon. They conveyed him to the Railway Hotel, and in about an hour and a half after she heard he was dead. - The Coroner commended the young woman for her courage, in so boldly stopping the horses. - The Coroner said in this case he had not summoned the Surgeon who attended the deceased and he thought it was not necessary for they knew the cause of death. He was of pinion that the only time a Surgeon or medical man was required, was to tell the Jury the cause of death. - The landlord of the house, Mr Parkhouse, said the injuries deceased had sustained, were the left thigh broken in two places and four or five broken ribs. The wheel went over the deceased's back and there was no doubt but that the back bone was also injured. - The Coroner said he was pleased to find that deceased was sober and walking by the side of his horses as he ought to have been, that the horses were quiet, and that the waggon had the proper drags. The only fault that could be suggested was that the safety chain had not been used, but they had no evidence to show that. It was a most melancholy accident and he hoped it would be a caution to waggoners never to go downhill without the drag and safety chain being put on, and to farmers to see that those appliances were always attached to the waggon. - The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." - We understand that the horse was so severely injured that doubts are entertained as to its recovery. - Mr Rew, feeling regret for the widow and six children, left entirely dependent on deceased, who was a steady, hard working man, immediately headed a subscription list, which benevolent act was heartily responded to in a small way by some of the townsmen of Tiverton and farmers of the neighbourhood, several pounds were collected.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 12 April 1864
TIVERTON - Melancholy And Fatal Occurrence At Bolham House. - F. Mackenzie, the Borough Coroner, held an Inquest at the Town Hall on Thursday evening, touching the melancholy death of WILLIAM WOOD, aged about 60, a mason, in the employ of Mr Williams, builder, St Peter-street. - Samuel Thomas, a mason's labourer, deposed that he, with deceased and others, had been employed for several days past repairing Bolham House, the residence of J. H. Amory, Esq. On the previous evening about five o'clock, as they were engaged in cementing a new chimney on the roof of the house, deceased said to him, "Sam, I shall want to go down for a minute; I shall be back again directly;" and he then descended the ladder, which was standing on the ground, and resting against the house. Shortly afterwards, as deceased was ascending the ladder, he heard him cry out "Oh, good God." Witness turned hastily round from where he was at work; he saw the ladder had slipped away and a fellow-workman named Payne, lifting the deceased up from the water of the leat, which flowed along by the house. The foot of the ladder was close to the leat. WOOD had placed the ladder a day or two before and had tied it against a shoot. - By the Coroner and Jury:- WOOD tied the ladder himself to a staple with a piece of small cord, because he could not get one of their ropes into the staple. The cord did not become untied, but broke. - The Coroner thought that this fact of the ladder being placed and tied by the deceased must be so far satisfactory to his friends. - The witness appeared to be of the opinion that as the deceased was ascending the ladder must have slipped sideways, which broke the cord and then he must have fallen on two of the large ornamental stones by the side of the leat and rolled with the stones into the water. He was quite sober at the time. - The Coroner remarked that he had never known him to be otherwise. - Thomas Payne, another mason, said he was at work with WOOD the most part of the day; at the time of the occurrence he was away from his work, and as he was returning towards where the ladder stood, heard the ladder falling and then a loud splash in the water. He ran round the leat and saw WOOD lying under the water, which was about sixteen inches deep. He was sensible when he got him out, and he said he felt great pain, and placed his hand in the neighbourhood of his ribs. He assisted in taking him home as soon as possible. He said nothing to him as to the cause of the accident and blamed no one. On the bank of the leat were some large ornamental stones, which he supposed deceased must have fallen upon and they rolled together into the leat. - By the Coroner: There was no wind at the time; it was quite a still day. I can give no reasons for the ladder falling. He tied it himself, and I asked him if he thought it was safe, and he said yes, he considered it quite safe. - By the Jury:- The ladder was 18 or 20 feet long; he fell about 16 feet. The deceased was going up when the accident occurred; he had been down and was returning. - Robert Dart, a whitesmith, said the deceased died shortly after six that morning. He was in attendance on deceased up to the time of his death. Mr Coward first attended him and subsequently brought Mr Gervis with him. He seemed to be unconscious during the time, except occasionally, when he would exclaim "Where am I," and "I have met with an accident," and such like expressions. - Mr Coward, Surgeon, deposed that he attended deceased last night in consequence of the accident. He was so far sensible to know him, to call him by name, and to put his hand to his side where he was hurt. He found he had received an extensive fracture of the ribs on the right side. His articulation was very bad, which struck witness that he had been drinking, but upon enquiry he found that he had taken nothing. A bad articulation might be attributable to the shock to the nervous system. He visited him the second time about nine o'clock that night with Mr Gervis and found the scrotum was very large. On his first visit deceased could see, but on the second visit he was perfectly blind; it was the most extraordinary case of emphysema he had ever seen. He should think the lungs were lacerated with broken bones. - The Coroner here explained the nature of emphysema as presence of air, like that in the head of a calf when blown up before taken to market. - The learned Coroner in summing up, said this was all the evidence to be brought before them and probably the Jury would think it sufficient to make their duty a very easy one. He left it for them to say whether the death was not purely an accidental one. - The Jury unanimously returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 19 April 1864
SIDMOUTH - Awful Instance Of Sudden Death. - On Saturday at noon ISAAC IRISH, for a great many years in the service of the Lousada family at Peak, dropped down a corpse. It appears that the poor man had just partaken of his dinner when he was seized with a fit, and died in ten minutes. It is a remarkable fact, that the deceased's wife also died suddenly and an Inquest was held on her body. It is expected that the Coroner will investigate the circumstances of this melancholy death this (Monday) evening.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 3 May 1864
THORVERTON - Suicide. - An Inquest was held on Wednesday at the Bell Inn, before R. R. Crosse, Esq., Coroner, on the body of JOHN LIPSCOMBE, aged about 45 years. Deceased was a boot and shoe maker; his house was at Silverton, but during the next week he had frequently wandered from Silverton to Thorverton. He had been noticed to be in a low, desponding state for some time, arising from family disagreements. On Tuesday evening the body of deceased was found suspended to the hay loft attached to the Bell Inn. The body was cut down and life was quite extinct; indeed, it was thought that the body had been suspended in the loft for fifteen or twenty hours. The Jury returned a verdict of "Suicide under Temporary Insanity."
TIVERTON - Determined Suicide. - On Friday last F. Mackenzie, Esq., the Borough Coroner, prosecuted an Inquiry into the melancholy circumstances attending the death of ANN NEWTON, aged 48, residing with her brother in the capacity of housekeeper at Hellions farm, Tidcombe. - It appears that the unfortunate deceased lent a sum of £89 to a relative a short time ago, and the fear of losing it preyed heavily upon her mind. She became excessively nervous and despondent until she had, as it would seem resolved on committing self-destruction. On Wednesday she appeared to have been disturbed in the act of arranging for the committal of the deed in a linhay near the house, but on Thursday morning immediately after the departure of her brother to his work she hung herself to a beam in the kitchen. - The Inquest was held at the house where the body of deceased lay, and the following evidence was taken:- ISAAC NEWTON deposed that the deceased was his sister, she was unmarried and had lived with him in the capacity of housekeeper about two or three months past. At first she came to live with him as a partner in the business of the farm, but soon afterwards it was agreed that she should receive a yearly salary for her services. For several weeks past she had complained of nervousness and pain across the forehead, which she could not describe. During this time she had been in very low spirits and would fall into a sort of study for half an hour at a time. When he asked her what was the matter, she could not tell him, or she would say she should never get her money back again. - By the Coroner and Jury:- She had lent some money. She was a very temperate person, hardly ever took liquor. She had a bottle of medicine from a chemist, a part of which she had taken. Witness lately feared she might commit suicide because of her studying ways and her habit of late to lie awake at night, making strange and terrible noises. And when she got up of a morning he would ask her why she made such noises and she would reply, "I can't help it, I can't really, I wish I could." But on Wednesday she told him she had slept better that night than ever she had before in her life. On Thursday morning he heard her get up and go down stairs about half-past 5 to get breakfast. She called to him not to get up, it was not 6 o'clock yet, that alarmed him and he got up directly. They had breakfast without his noticing anything unusual in her manner. She asked him if he was going after the horse he had borrowed the day before for his work, and he told her he thought he should. He left her alone in the house about 8 o'clock. On his return with the horse an hour afterwards, he ran into the house for a hook, and as soon as he opened the door he saw her hanging by the neck from a beam in the kitchen, with a chair resting against the settle apparently kicked back from under her. He immediately lifted her up in his arms and cut her down, she was quite dead. They had never quarrelled about money matters. She had been a servant to Mr Gamlen, and she left his service to keep house for witness. She left witness one night to take a situation in Tiverton because she felt lonely to live with him, but she left the situation the next day and returned. - A labourer named Warren of Tiverton, deposed that on the morning of the occurrence he came to work on the farm. He saw the deceased standing by the door and wished her good morning. There was nothing unusual in her manner. He had observed her despondency of late and heard her frequently express fears that she should never get her money back. - Evidence was given tending to show that the hapless woman had previously made preparations to destroy herself by hanging in the linhay. - The learned Coroner summed up, and the Jury, after a brief deliberation, returned a verdict that Deceased Committed Suicide by Hanging whilst in a state of Mind Unsound. - MR NEWTON stated in reply to the Foreman of the Jury, that some time since an uncle had committed suicide by throwing himself into the Exe.
NEWTON POPPLEFORD - Sudden Death. - An Inquest was held at the Cannon Inn, on Tuesday last, before Spencer M. Cox, Esq., Coroner, on the body of JOHN HILL, labourer. Deceased, who was a cripple, was at work cutting turf on Harpford-hill on Monday last. A man named Perry, who was also there at work, on returning from his dinner saw deceased still at work. Perry went about his work at a short distance from deceased and on looking around shortly after saw him lying on the ground across his mattock. Perry and two other persons at once went up to him, but found that he was dead. the Jury, after hearing the evidence of Mr Haynes, assistant to Dr Brent, found that the cause of death was disease of the heart.
EXETER HEAVITREE - A Clergyman's Son Drowned. - On Thursday an Inquest was held at the Horse and Groom Inn, Heavitree, before R. R. Crosse, Esq., Coroner for the district, and a highly respectable Jury, on the body of FREDERICK MERTON PARMINTER, a boy about seven years of age. The deceased youth is the son of the Rev. G. H. Parminter, rector of St John and St George, Exeter. From the evidence adduced it appeared that the deceased was seen at seven o'clock playing in his father's garden, and an hour after his body was found in the cesspool, near at hand. When taken out he was quite dead. It is supposed that he accidentally fell in while getting some water for the garden. The Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 17 May 1864
TIVERTON - Mysterious And Fatal Accident At Bolham. - A very melancholy and fatal accident took place at Bolham on Friday night under the following circumstances. It appears that on Friday last MR JOHN HANCOCK, farmer of Bampton parish, attended at his uncle's annual sheep-shearing at Bolham. About midnight he took his departure riding a small Exmoor pony. The friends having seen him ride off the premises with a gun in one hand, suddenly heard the pony, which had started at a brisk trot, come to a dead stop just as he was passing the chapel, and immediately after start off again. One of the party heard a fall, and this induced them to go out and see what had happened, when they found him lying on his back in the road in a state of insensibility with the saddle between his legs, the girths of which were broken, and the gun with the stock broken short off lying near him. He was removed to the house and medical aid promptly sent for. Mr Beedell, Surgeon, of Tiverton, attended the unfortunate man as quickly as possible and remained with him all night. He gradually sank and died on Saturday about midnight. An Inquest was held on view of the body at Bolham, yesterday afternoon, before F. Mackenzie, Esq., the Borough Coroner. - Mr Robert Elsworthy said he knew deceased well, he was twenty-four years of age last January and a resident of Bampton. On Friday 13th deceased and several others, were assembled at MR HANCOCK'S, Bolham, the residence of his uncle, on the occasion of a sheep-shearing party. They had shorn the sheep and after having partaken of supper sat until about a quarter after twelve when deceased left. He was riding an Exmoor pony which he had borrowed of a neighbour. Deceased was quite sober and excepting the ale he drank with his work he only had one glass of grog. He heard the pony plunging and on going out MR HANCOCK'S son exclaimed "He's off." He went to his assistance and found him lying on his back on the turnpike road near the chapel, and the pony was galloping in the direction of Bampton. He assisted in conveying him into the house. Deceased was insensible and did not recognise anyone after. Mr Beedell, Surgeon, was immediately sent for and speedily arrived and remained with him at intervals until his death. There were but slight external marks. The girth of the saddle was broken, and he considered it was the swerving of the saddle which threw him off, because the saddle was found between his legs. - JONAS HANCOCK, son of MR ROBERT HANCOCK, saw deceased leave his father's house on the night in question. He was sober. He walked the pony up and down twice, in order to steady it, because the pony would not let him come near it to hand deceased his gun. He went off at a trot and then got into a canter. He heard a fall and went down to the corner where he found deceased lying on the ground with the saddle between his legs and the gun broken by his side. The pony went off at a gallop. He had him conveyed to the house. - MRS HANCOCK said she remained with deceased from the time he was brought into the house until he died. He lived about 24 hours after the accident. He was constantly attended by Mr Beedell during that time. He did not speak after he was brought in. She saw no alteration in him. - The Coroner said that when death speedily followed an accident it was not always necessary to examine a surgeon but it was always right that the Jury should do it if they had a doubt on their minds that deceased was most assiduously attended by Mr Beedell from the time he saw him up to the time of his death. He (the Coroner) was also in consultation with Mr Beedell and on his way a third time when a messenger met him and informed him it was too late. In this case insensibility followed the accident immediately from concussion of the brain. The wound was a mere scalp wound, but injuries were internally caused by a heavy man like deceased falling to the ground. Mr Beedell was not in attendance, but if the Jury wished to hear his evidence he might be sent for. The object of the Jury was to say whether deceased came by his death through the carelessness of another or by any unfair means. If they found that death resulted from circumstances over which no one had any control, it was their duty to return a verdict of accidental death, if not they must hear such evidence as might be produced. - A similar accident happened in the town yesterday which might have resulted in death, but that was the effect of carelessness and the bad practice of furious riding. As a yeoman was turning the corner near the Lamb Inn at a furious pace in an endeavour to avoid a collision with the house, lost his equilibrium and was thrown in the road with great violence, but happily escaped serious injury.
TEIGNMOUTH - Serious Case Of Manslaughter At Tiverton. Committal Of The Prisoners. - On Sunday, the 8th instant, a man named SAMUEL SELDON, by trade a horse clipper, died very suddenly at Teignmouth, whither he had gone to get employment during the stay of the Yeomanry Cavalry in that town. It appeared that the deceased engaged a lodging with a woman named West, in that town, on the 1st of May and during the week he appeared in his usual health. On coming to West's house the woman noticed that his face was much swollen and that he had two black eyes. She naturally asked him how his face was in such a state, and he replied that he had been fighting with a sailor at Tiverton, who had got three months' imprisonment for assaulting him. During the week she frequently asked him if he felt any effects from the bruises and he replied in the negative. On the Sunday following he got up and before breakfast walked out on the beach. About 8 o'clock he returned and complained of being cold. West gave him a cup of tea and shortly after he drank it, he fell from the chair on which he was sitting as though he was in a fit. A Surgeon was sent for who ordered the usual remedies, but the poor fellow died within two hours after. - On the following day an Inquest was held before F. B. Cuming, Esq., Coroner, when evidence was adduced from which we father the above facts. It was adjourned for the purposes of identification and on the Wednesday after Mr Superintendent Crabb, From Tiverton attended, and identified the body as that of SAMUEL SELDON, of Meeth, near Hatherleigh, Devon, but who usually resided at Tiverton. - Dr Sullock, who had been ordered by the Coroner to make a post mortem examination, gave evidence to the following effect:- He found several bruises on the man's face and head and he had two black eyes. On laying bare the skull, a very large effusion of blood was found on the top of the forehead, quite as large as a man's hand, and on further exposing the skull a similar patch of blood was discovered on each side of the head just above the ears. On the top of the skull being removed, a great deal of venous blood was found; the sinews were also full of dark blood. On removing the brain from its position he found several large clots of blood and this alone was quite sufficient to cause death, but on his cutting into the brain, even more was presented, for instead of its being full of clear pure water, it was full of dark blood, and presented a most unnatural appearance. The brain itself was quite healthy, so that there was no softening or abscess as to cause so sudden a death. The effusion of blood was, in all probability, caused by blows received on the external part of the head. The appearance of the brain quite satisfied him of the cause of death. The blood appeared to have been accumulating some time, and in all probability the blows were received at least a week or ten days previously. - Mr Superintendent Crabb then gave the following evidence:- On the 27th of April he heard that SELDON had been assaulted at the Black Horse Inn, Tiverton. He went there and found two of his constables there. The deceased, who for a time was insensible, as soon as he was able to speak, said he was assaulted by John Harrin, a sailor. He noticed that SELDON'S face was much swollen, that he had a cut on his lip and had two black eyes. The deceased was intoxicated. Two Policemen was sent after Herrin and he was arrested at the Railway Station. SELDON was examined by a doctor, and afterwards removed to the Union, where he remained under medical care. The same day Herrin was examined before the Magistrates, but remanded until the 29th. SELDON not being able to attend on that day, the case was further remanded for a day, Herrin being admitted to bail. On Saturday SELDON came to the Court and told him (the witness) that he did not wish to punish the man, as they were one as bad as the other. SELDON went before the Bench and declined to prosecute for the assault. The case was settled out of Court by Herrin giving SELDON 10s., and paying all expenses. - The Coroner declined to finish the Enquiry, as he said the medical evidence led him to believe that the Jury would have to arrive at a very different verdict than was at first anticipated. He thought it right they should bring before him the party who saw the blows pass, and if it was proved that death was the result of blows, not ten shillings or ten thousand pounds would cover the case from one of manslaughter. He should therefore order the attendance of the witness who saw the assault, and adjourn the case for that purpose until Friday. - On Friday last, on the Enquiry being resumed, Mr Superintendent Crabb attended, and with him a young lad, son of Mr James Nelder, landlord of the Black Horse Inn, Tiverton. On being sworn, the lad stated that n the 27th of April, during the absence of his father, SELDON was in the tap-room drinking. John Herrin, a sailor, who had lately returned home from sea, was also there with his father and grandfather. Some conversation ensued, but what it was witness did not know. On going into the room he saw Herrin go and sit down beside SELDON, who immediately after pushed him away, saying "You are a dirty man." Herrin then caught hold of WELDON, and in a rough manner said "Explain yourself, I am not a dirty man, but a clean man." Herrin's father said "Are you coming home from sea and take such cheek from a fellow like him?" Herrin then asked SELDON to fight, but he declined, and taking off his coat he struck SELDON a blow in the face and bumped his head against the wall as hard as he could. They then fell to the ground, and Herrin kicked SELDON about the head and ribs severely. His father tried to pull him away, but he could not. Witness went into the yard and got a man named Gill, his father's ostler, who got Herrin away. SELDON lay on the ground bleeding from the nose and mouth and was quite insensible for two or three minutes, during which time Herrin was beating him. Herrin offered to fight Gill, but he refused. He said SELDON was not hurted, it was only the drink that had made his face look black. gill picked SELDON up from the floor and he was then insensible, SELDON did not strike Herrin. They were both slightly intoxicated and the night previous both of them slept at his father's house in the same room, but in different beds. The assault took place about 12 in the day time. - The Coroner having summed up the evidence and explained the law touching the case, the Jury almost at once gave as their verdict that deceased died from the effects of blows given by John Herrin, which was a verdict of Manslaughter, and the coroner made out a warrant for his apprehension. Superintendent Crabb having stated that Herrin was then at Plymouth, the warrant was put into the hands of Sergt. Mashford, who, with Superintendent Crabb, proceeded to that town, and by a clever stratagem on the part of Mr Crabb, and with the aid of the Plymouth detectives, apprehended Herrin, who is now lodged in the county gaol at Exeter awaiting his trail at the next assizes.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 24 May 1864
TIVERTON - Singular Case Of Drowning. - F. Mackenzie, Esq., Coroner, held an Inquest on Wednesday last at the old Town Hall, touching the death of WILLIAM RIPPON, an old cattle drover, residing in West Exe, who met with his death from drowning under singular circumstances. - Mr Daniels, of Bampton, stated that on the day previous he saw deceased driving some sheep out of Bampton fair. He appeared to be sober and as he (witness) was riding past the mill stream, near Cove bridge a short time afterwards he saw him lying on his face and hands in the shallow water by the side of the road, with his hands stretched out, one of them holding a stick. The water where he lay, could not have been more than nine inches deep, and covered his head though it did not completely cover the body. It appeared as if he had wandered out of the road into the stream, was tripped up by a stone, and made no attempt or was not able to get up again and so was drowned. - James Phillips, a blacksmith close by, saw deceased pass with the sheep about a quarter past twelve o'clock. As he got to the cross way a man was driving some bullocks and he called to him to turn out of the way as he wanted to drive down the lane leading to Cove bridge. Deceased passed the time of day with witness and asked a woman living near to give him something to drink, but as she had only tea to offer him he refused. - The Coroner suggested that he might have got into the stream where he was found and stopped down to drink. - Mr Superintendent Crabb said it would appear as if he might have intended to drink, but he could have done so more easily by kneeling down in the road. - From the evidence of the witnesses, it would seem that he was going across the stream without any apparent object for doing so. No one appears to have been near and there were no signs of any struggle. - The Coroner remarked that he might have been thirsty, or have received what was termed a sun-stroke; and suggested an open verdict in the absence of any evidence to show how he came into the water. - The Jury immediately returned an Open Verdict of "Found Drowned."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 31 May 1864
EXETER - Sudden Death. - ANN RICHARD, the wife of a labourer, living at Brushford, died suddenly on Tuesday morning at the house of her sister, Mrs Bidwill, in Magdalene-street, Exeter. She went to Exeter on Sunday to visit her sister and they went to Teignmouth together in the afternoon. On Monday she complained of a sick head-ache, and kept her bed. When Mrs Bidwill rose on Tuesday morning the deceased said she was better and her sister left her to go to market. The only other person in the house was deceased's child, a boy four years old. When Mrs Bidwill returned about half-past seven - having been absent about an hour - she found her sister speechless and dying. She sent for Mr Roper, Surgeon, but death took place before Mr Roper arrived. She only lived a few minutes after Mrs Bidwill returned. At the Inquest, since held, Mr Roper believed the deceased to have been asthmatical and that a rupture of one of the vessels of the heart was the cause of death. The Jury returned a verdict of "Died from Natural Causes."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 7 June 1864
CULMSTOCK - A Man Buried Alive. - An Inquest was held on Monday, before Spencer Cox, Esq., Coroner, at Bonshayne Farm, the residence of Mr John Fry, on the body of JOHN THOMAS. The deceased was a carter in the employ of Mr Fry, and was sent by him on Saturday to a sandpit at Oldbeat for the purpose of hauling sand. Thomas Gollop stated that between eleven and twelve o'clock on Saturday morning his wife called him, telling him that the sandpit (which was about two hundred yards from his door) had rused in, and that someone was buried. He went immediately, and found that a bank of sand had fallen down; he put his ear to the ground but could hear nothing. He then posted up the bank to prevent a further rusement, and with the help of two other men commenced clearing away the sand; in about twenty minutes they came to a "twobill," &c., and in about five minutes after to the deceased. His neck appeared to be broken and he was quite dead. In January last the sand pit fell in and nearly buried Charles Baker. Witness then helped him out and within half-an-hour afterwards, upwards of a hundred loads fell in. the pit was about ten feet deep and the people who fetched sand always undermined, letting the heading fall in as it might. Children by playing had frequently caused a fall of sand. The sand is used for building purposes. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death," and requested the Coroner to communicate with Mr John Drew, junior, of Powderham, the agent for the Ecclesiastical Commissioners who are Lords of the manor of Culmstock, and request them to take steps to prevent the recurrence of such accidents.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 21 June 1864
EXETER - Fatal Accident To A Tiverton Boy. - A shocking accident has occurred at the Deaf and Dumb Institution, Exeter. HENRY REDWOOD, a native of Tiverton, ascended a tree to get a bird's nest, and his foot slipping he fell from a height of 20 feet, fracturing his skull. He was removed to the invalid ward and lingered only a few hours. An Inquest was held on the body the next day before R. R. Crosse, Esq., County Coroner, and a verdict of "Accidental Death" returned. - The Jurors on the proposition of Mr R. Blackburn presented their fees, amounting to 15s. to the funds of the Institution.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 28 June 1864
PINHOE - Censure Of Railway Authorities By A Coroner's Jury. - JAMES TROOP, a carter, 25 years of age, was killed on Friday by the horses he was leading taking fright at a South-Western Railway train passing under Pinhoe Bridge, near Exeter. As a matter of precaution, TROOP was leading the horses, but they started off and he was crushed between the railings and the cart. R. R. Crosse, Esq., Coroner, and a Jury, held an Inquest on Saturday, and in returning a verdict of "Accidental Death," strongly censured the railway authorities for not having erected railings at the bridge adapted to prevent the view of the train from the road.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 5 July 1864
TORMOHAM - Suspicious Death. - An adjourned Inquest was held on Thursday at Baker's Country House Inn, Ellacombe, before F. B. Cuming, Esq., Coroner, respecting the death of THOMAS DAVIS, who was found dead in bed on the 11th ult. The Inquest was adjourned in consequence of their being a strong suspicion that the deceased was poisoned, and to allow time for the Coroner to communicate with the Secretary of State. The Coroner stated that he had received a reply from the Secretary of State to his letter of the 17th ult. The Secretary considered that the evidence was not sufficient to warrant the analysis of the contents of the stomach and to incur the necessary expenses of the same. He (the Coroner) was, however, at Exeter the previous day (Wednesday) and he then mentioned the matter to the chairman of the county magistrates at the sessions, and explained the nature of the case to them. They subsequently gave him authority to proceed with the matter in accordance with the wishes of the Jury; and what expenses were incurred, the County would defray. He then remarked that it was for the Jury to consider the matter and if they thought it was necessary that the contents of the stomach should be analysed, he would send it to Mr Herapath, the analytical chemist, of Bristol, for that purpose. The Jury, after a short consultation, expressed a wish that the analysis should take place, and the Inquest was again adjourned to the 14th instant.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 12 July 1864
BAMPTON - Rumoured Death By Violence At Bampton. - Some excitement was caused in Bampton on Friday morning, by a report that a young man named JACOB STONE, aged 28, the son of parents in a humble sphere of life, had been found dead in his bed, at about half-past 10 o'clock that morning. It was stated that there was a mark of a blow on the side of the body, and as the deceased had been out haymaking the previous day, it was thought by some people that there had been fighting or quarrelling going on between deceased and some of the persons employed in the hay field. It is satisfaction however to be able to state that this report has no foundation whatever. The young man, who had been a gentleman's servant in London, had been in St. George's Hospital there for a length of time, and had only recently left that Institution. He was delicate in health and was subject to fits. The facts of the case will be seen from the evidence given at the Inquest, which was held at the Tiverton Hotel, Bampton, on Saturday last before R. R. Crosse, Esq., Coroner for the district of Cullompton. - The Jury was composed as follows:- Messrs. Francis Hodge (Foreman), John Crudge, William Crudge, James Dart, William Escott, Walter Escott, Samuel Gibbons, Thomas Gibbons, William Hodge, John Short, and William Thorne. - The Jury having viewed the body, which was lying at Ivy Cottage, the residence of the deceased's parents. - The Coroner said that he had been given to understand, by the Police Constable who brought him the news of the death, that there was a bruise on the side of the body, and he immediately thought that there might have been some quarrelling or fighting, or that the deceased had received a blow with a pick, which might have facilitated his death. Furthermore, he was told that the Doctor refused to say what was the cause of death, and said an Inquest ought to be held. But on his arrival there that morning, he found that the young man had been an invalid for a length of time, and that he had but recently been discharged from a London Hospital. Therefore there was no real necessity for an Inquest and if the Constable had made a few enquiries as to the matter, he (the Coroner) might have been spared the trouble of coming there that day, and the Jurymen would not have had their time taken up in the manner they now had. He regretted that the Sergeant of the Police (Sergeant R. Lamacraft) was absent from the town at the time; because he knew that if such had not been the case, he would have enquired into the facts and thus the necessity of holding an Inquest would have been obviated. - It appeared that the Sergeant was obliged in the execution of his duty to be absent from the town on Friday. P.C. Woodrow, the Constable whom he left in charge, hearing of the death, immediately put himself in communication with the Coroner, before the return of the Sergeant in the evening, so that no blame was attached to Sergeant Lamacraft for the rather hasty steps taken by the Constable in his absence. - The first witness called was William Gibbons, who said he was haymaking with the deceased on Thursday. In the evening they had super together and parted about 10 o'clock. He appeared t be quite well in health then. Had known him in London and knew that he had been in a Hospital there - St George's, he thought. Would swear that there was no disturbance of any kind in the hay-field and witness believed that he died a natural death. - MRS STONE: The deceased is my son, and is about 28 years of age. He came home on Thursday night, but I did not hear him come in. He went to bed by himself, as was his usual custom. On Friday morning I went to call my grand-daughter and on looking into his room I thought he was asleep. I did not disturb him, because I knew he was not well and I thought I would let him take as much rest as he chose. A short time after I heard a groan and on going upstairs I saw that deceased had turned himself around. I thought he was faint. Spoke to him but he did not answer me, and I lifted his head on my arm and bathed it with water. Afterwards I bathed his head with vinegar and sent for Mr Edwards, the Surgeon. While I was holding his head on my arm he drew a long sigh, and did not breathe afterwards. I fully believe he died a natural death. He has had fits, but not recently, and has been ailing for twelve months. (Witness was deeply affected.) - Henry John Edwards: I am a Surgeon at present residing in this town. Have examined the body of the deceased and fully consider that he died a natural death, which might have been accelerated by heart disease. There were no marks of violence about him. Did not tell the Policeman there was any cause for an Inquest on the body. - A Juryman expressed his opinion that the Policeman who had given the Coroner the information as to the blow in deceased's side should be examined. - The Coroner said he did not think it was worthwhile. The facts of the case were very clear, and he had no doubt that the Constable considered he was doing all for the best, only in such cases as these rather more than ordinary caution ought to be exercised by the Policeman. - Another Juryman said, he had known the deceased for a long time, and had always heard that the bruise in his side was caused by a fall, which he met with in London some time ago. - The Coroner then said the Jury could have no hesitation whatever in arriving at their verdict and they accordingly returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 19 July 1864
WESTLEIGH - Fatal Accident. - On Friday the 8th an accident of a fatal nature occurred to MRS SARAH WEBER, wife of MR WEBBER, of Pugham Farm. It appears that deceased was going to bed about 11 o'clock p.m. and the stairs being very steep, nearly upright, in fact she missed her footing and fell backwards, fracturing her skull and otherwise injuring herself, and immediately afterwards expired in her husband's arms. MRS WEBBER was about 56 years of age. The Inquest was held on the body on Monday evening last by R. R. Crosse, Esq., and a Jury, consisting of Messrs. W. Scott (Foreman), R. Taylor, Esq., F. Snow, W. Roberts, S. Hitchcock; W. Morgan, T. Lane, Coleman, Benbear, Vicary, Coles and Radford. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." Singular to say this is the second wife MR WEBBER has lost in the same manner, and at the same place, his first wife being killed in 1846.
EXETER - Drowned While Bathing. - An Inquest was held at the Paper Makers' Arms, Exeter, on Tuesday, before H. W. Hooper, Esq., Coroner, on the body of SAMUEL MOORE. The boy, who was about 12 years of age, went into the water on the previous day at the old bathing place at Head Weir. He was unable to swim and having ventured beyond his depth, was drowned before assistance could be rendered. The Jury returned a verdict of "Death by Drowning."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 16 August 1864
BRISTOL - Supposed Murder of A Tivertonian - Mysterious Case. - Three weeks ago last Friday, JOHN RENDELL, aged 62, an old resident of Barrington-street, in Tiverton, left Tiverton for Bristol on a visit to his daughter and for the benefit of his health. An appointment was made by his daughter to meet him at Bristol Station, but unfortunately the train arriving ten minutes before its time, the daughter was not there, and the old man got out of the train and made enquiries for the purpose of going to her house. So far as can be at present ascertained, it appears that some vagabond mis-directed him in such a manner that he fell into bad hands, as he was subsequently found severely bruised and cut and stabbed in a most fearful manner. he was found by a clergyman lying in a lane near Bedminster, in a state of insensibility with blood issuing from cuts and stabs in his thighs. The clergyman ordered his servant to take him to a Hospital, where his wounds were dressed by the House-Surgeon. He was provided with food and then discharged, on the ground that the Hospital was too full to accommodate him; we trust it may be shown that the authorities were deceived as to the serious nature of his injuries, for, shortly after leaving the Hospital, the poor old man was again found insensible, this time in Boot Lane, by two women who managed to get him conveyed to the Police Station. The Inspector of Police immediately ordered lodgings for him and saw him put to bed. During the night he lost an immense quantity of blood from his wounds, the bed and mattresses being found completely saturated. From his incoherent statements, an impression prevailed that he was an escaped lunatic, and in consequence he was conveyed to Stapleton Asylum. Meanwhile his friends at Tiverton sent a letter to his daughter at Bristol, wishing to know if he had arrived safely and how long he was likely to stay. An answer was immediately returned to the effect that his friends there had not yet seen him. Upon the receipt of this unexpected intelligence his wife and son at once set off to Bristol in search of him. By dint of inquiry, they discovered that he was lying in a dangerous state in the above asylum. So critical indeed was his condition considered, that it was deemed advisable not to allow his friends to see him. He lingered in the asylum a fortnight and then expired from the injuries he received in this very suspicious and mysterious manner. - On Thursday an Inquest was opened by the Bristol on the body, to Enquire into the circumstances that had led to the mysterious occurrence, but it was found necessary to adjourn until next Saturday to give time for official enquiries. - The body of the unfortunate old man was brought to Tiverton on Friday, and on SAturday evening it was interred at the cemetery. - It is earnestly to be hoped that the Bristol authorities will make the most rigid investigation into this cowardly and deadly assault upon an old man in the midst of their city. - We are requested to state that the widow is left in a destitute condition and the smallest contribution from any sympathising friend for her benefit, will be thankfully received by Edwin Mead, William-street.
SIDBURY - Sudden Death. - An Inquest was held on Wednesday at the Red Lion Inn, before Mr R. Brent, M.D., Deputy Coroner, on the body of GEORGE CONNETT, labourer, abed 17. JOSEPH CONNETT, the father, deposed that his son came home from Ottery St. Mary, where he had been at work during the week, soon after twelve on Saturday night. Between three and four o'clock in the morning he was awakened by groans, which he discovered proceeded from his son, who complained of great pain in his right side. Remedies of their own were applied during the day, but they failed to produce any effect and a medical man was sent for late in the evening. The medical gentleman was from home and deceased died early on Monday evening, without having had any professional advice. Mrs Salway, a neighbour, visited him and gave him some pills, and was with him until he died. Owing to deceased's short and sudden illness, without any apparent reason for the cause of death, a post mortem examination was deemed necessary and was made by Dr Pullin. From the evidence given by that gentleman, the Coroner and Jury were satisfied that the cause of death was pulmonary apoplexy and a verdict to that effect was returned.
TIVERTON - Melancholy Suicide. - On Tuesday last MARY HAMBOROUGH, a pauper inmate of the Union Workhouse, committed suicide by throwing herself out of the hospital window. the deceased, who was about 47 years of age, was a person of weak intellect and had long suffered from a pain in the head, which, for the last four months, had become more acute. She was visited by the House Surgeon in the morning of the day of her death, and was then found to be suffering from inflamed throat. About half-past two in the afternoon of that day, she was observed by James Manley, a carpenter, who was at work in the building, to pull herself through the window by laying hold of the window sill. She fell about 16 feet and pitched on her head, causing concussion of the brain, and expired about five minutes afterwards. An Inquest was held on her body before the Borough Coroner on Wednesday, when the verdict of "Temporary Insanity" was returned.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 23 August 1864
BRISTOL - The Supposed Murder Of A Tivertonian. (From our Bristol Correspondent). - The report of the supposed murder of JOHN RENDELL, at Bristol, an old resident of Barrington-street in Tiverton, which appeared in the "Tiverton Gazette" of last week, will be remembered by our readers. Considering the serious nature of the report concerning this case, the editor of this journal thought it his duty to write to his correspondent at Bristol for the fullest particulars of the adjourned Inquest appointed to be held on Saturday last, and the following reply was received at the office of this paper yesterday, (Monday), from which it appears that the affair has assumed a very different aspect and any suspicion of foul play seems to be entirely done away with. - " I have made inquiries about the Inquest you mentioned, but the subject has dropped here altogether. I don't know from what source you derived your information. I have seen the Bedminster and Stapleton Police, and the governor and surgeon of the Stapleton Asylum, and from what they tell me your report last week was greatly exaggerated. The man on his arrival in Bristol undoubtedly got into a questionable locality, but there were no stabs or marks of violence on the body. He appeared to have wandered about Bedminster and Ashton Vale, and by some means of which there was no evidence, received a wound in the leg just under the knee. He got into Boot-lane, and there wandered about with his leg bleeding until he became exhausted. He was found by a farmer and taken to the Hospital, where he remained the night and the wound was dressed by Mr Fox, Surgeon. He was discharged the following day, the wound being so slight that it was deemed unnecessary to detain him. He then tore off the plaster and the wound again bled and from loss of blood he became so weak that his head was affected and he was taken into custody by a Policeman as a lunatic at large. A lot of boys were making fun and teasing him when apprehended. He was taken to the Stapleton Asylum, where he afterwards died undoubtedly insane. The Coroner adjourned the Inquest to ascertain where he had received the wound, if possible. From inquiries, the Police can trace him out of the Railway train up to his being conveyed to the Stapleton Asylum; and as he had crossed several fields, it is conjectured he had received a scratch from a bramble or something of the kind, in getting over a hedge, and had also left his coat there, as he was seen go into the fields with his coat on and come out about 20 minutes after without it, although nothing has been heard of his coat. On this being represented to the Coroner, he has declined to call the Jury together again, as it had been shown that he had received kindness from all he came in contact with, and the wound had not the appearance of foul play."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 20 September 1864
EXETER - A Gentleman Charged With Manslaughter. - At an adjourned Inquest on the body of JOHN SUTTON, held at the Bude Haven Hotel, Exeter, on Thursday evening, a verdict of Manslaughter was returned against Mr Thomas R. Ascott, who was shown to have struck the deceased a blow in a train on the 2nd of August. Mr Ascott stands committed, but was admitted to bail.
EXETER - Fatal Accident At Exeter. - An Inquest was held at the Bishop Blaze Inn, Exeter, on Friday, before H. W. Hooper, Esq., Coroner, on the body of ANN CROOK, 76 years of age, who lived in Commercial-road. She was found at the foot of the stairs, early on Tuesday morning, with the mark of a severe blow on the head. It is conjectured that she was attacked by a fainting fit and fell downstairs. She lingered for 40 hours and died, Mr Farrant, Surgeon, stated, from pressure on the brain. - The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with this testimony.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 27 September 1864
TOTNES - Distressing Suicide At Totnes. - An Inquest was opened at the Dart Hotel, on Thursday, by Mr Cuming, to Inquire into the death of SARAH ANN MORGAN, the wife of MR J. A. MORGAN, temporary excise officer, who committed suicide by drowning herself in the River Dart between twelve and one o'clock on Wednesday morning. - Elizabeth Heath, who deposed: I am a single woman residing in Totnes. SARAH ANN MORGAN was the wife of JOSEPH AUSTIN MORGAN, an excise officer. She lodged in our house about three weeks with her husband, and she was about 25 years of age. I last saw her alive on Tuesday night about twelve o'clock at our house. She had been to bed, but was then downstairs in the parlour. She had on her nightdress and petticoat. She told me she was very unhappy. I asked her way. She said "Because after I had gone to bed my husband went out again." She seemed to be greatly excited and told me she should put an end to herself. I talked with her and said I would make her a cup of tea She told me she would have one. I went towards the fireplace and she rose up and rushed out of doors. I followed her fist to the water closet and not finding her I followed her down the street. I ran on and saw her turn the corner at the National Provincial Bank. When I came to the bank I saw deceased near the Wesleyan Chapel. I continued to follow and called to her. I did not pass anyone in the street. On my calling she turned round and asked me "to be a mother to her child," and still ran on. When just opposite the Dart Hotel I heard a splash in the water, apparently from the direction of the Town Quay. I called for help, and whilst running on I fell. On rising I again called for assistance, but none came. I did not go to the quay, and do not know whether she rose in the water. For several days before she had been very dull, but did not complain of her husband's ill-treating her. She had a child about seven months old. The only thing I heard her complain of was of her husband staying out late. I stayed some minutes at the Dart Hotel calling for help, but being frightened I returned homewards and at the corner of the bank met her husband. I had left him in our house in the same room deceased had left. He was not present when she complained of being unhappy, as that was said in the closet, but was there sitting on a chair when she and I left the room. He had been drinking and was the worse for it. He was in the parlour when she made the remarks about him. I had been out and he had returned home before I came back. When I came home I found he and she at the front door. She was then dressed the same as when she ran out of the house. They were not quarrelling, but talking quietly together. I did not hear what they were talking about. He went into the house and she went with me to the closet, and it was there that she told me what I have stated. She appeared to be in a frantic state, but it was not from drink, as she had not taken more than a glass of beer to her supper. She and her husband appeared to be living on good terms: They had no quarrel during that day, that I am aware of. When I met the husband, I went with him to the quay. This was about a quarter of an hour after I heard the splash in the water. - Henry Pottery, lighterman, proved finding the body on Wednesday afternoon outside the Bowling Green Quay. - Mr T. Owen, Surgeon, who had for about a month attended deceased's child professionally, said deceased was very anxious about it and had told him that if she lot it she would lose all she had in the world. She and her husband appeared to be living on good terms; the husband also seemed anxious about the child. She did not show any symptoms of insanity, but displayed considerable anxiety, bordering on frenzy. He had examined her body, but there were no marks of violence; her death evidently was from drowning. Her mind appeared to be such that excitement consequent on her husband's staying out late might have brought on temporary insanity. He had no doubt but that she must have been temporarily insane at the time she committed the rash act. - Some of the Jury wanted the husband to be examined, with a view of giving him a severe reprimand for his drunkenness, but the Coroner did not think it necessary. The room was then cleared and the Jury were locked up for half-an-hour and then brought in a verdict of "Temporary Insanity," but appended to the verdict that "The Jury are of opinion that the temporary insanity of the deceased was caused by the drunkenness of her husband, and that those with whom she lodged did not exercise proper watchfulness over the deceased after she had threatened to destroy herself. The Inquiry lasted three hours and a half.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 4 October 1864
EXETER - Fatal Accident To A Tiverton Youth At Mount Radford School, Exeter. - An accident occurred on Friday night to a son of MAJOR RATTRAY, of Tiverton, which, we regret to say, resulted in his death five hours afterwards. The deceased was in his sixteenth year, was one of the most promising pupils in the school, and preparing for an appointment in India. - On Friday night, about ten o'clock, the whole of the boys had retired to their dormitories, and the doors were all locked. The deceased and another lad named Robinson had made up their minds for a "lark" to go into Exeter. Their plan for getting out of the house was to creep quietly from their room on the second floor to the staircase window on the first floor; out of this they could get on to the verandah above the door, at the side of the house looking towards Larkbear, and drop to the ground. They were fortunate (as they thought, but really unfortunate) enough to get out of the staircase window without being detected; but moving hurriedly under the apprehension of being caught, they slid so rapidly down the slop of the verandah as to come with considerable violence to the ground - a distance of eight or ten feet. RATTRAY lost a shoe and sprained his ankle. Robinson was much shaken. The lads, however, persisted in going into Exeter, Robinson assisting his companion. Presently RATTRAY was obliged to get the help of a man they passed, but they still refused to turn back. Just by the Valiant Soldier Inn the three were met by a Miss Roper, who had been to see her brother (Mr Roper, Surgeon, who is confined to the house in consequence of his recent accident) in Magdalen-street. The boys confessed what had occurred and Miss Roper took them into Mr Hatswell's and he got a fly ready. Mrs Ingle, who happened to be opposite, was fetched; and as RATTRAY complained of his head, it was considered advisable to have Mr Kempe, Surgeon, Southernhay, sent for. That gentleman ordered lotions and other remedies to be applied and the boys were taken back to Mount Radford House, nobody having any idea that RATTRAY had sustained any serious injury. When, however, the Rev. Mr Roper went into his room to see him he was somewhat alarmed and sent off directly for Mr Marchant, Surgeon, Magdalen-street. That gentleman arrived without loss of time and applied leeches, cataplasms, and other remedies, for concussion of the brain. Mr Roper and his family also rendered every assistance. The deceased, however, expired just after three o'clock on Saturday morning. - MAJOR RATTRAY and the Rev. John Ingle (who was in the North of Devon) were at once telegraphed for and they got to Mount Radford House in the course of Saturday. It need hardly be said that the sad occurrence has been deeply felt by Mr Roper's household and all the deceased's school-fellows. - An Inquest was held today (Monday) by R. R. Crosse, Esq., County Coroner, on the body of the deceased young gentleman.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 11 October 1864
EXETER - Suicide. - H. W. Hooper, Esq., the Exeter Coroner, held an Inquest on Friday on the body of a labouring man, named THOMAS HARRIS, a native of Cornwall, who committed suicide at his lodgings in Smythen-street, Exeter, on the previous night, by hanging himself to a bed post. The deceased had lately given away to habits of intemperance and had stated to an acquaintance that he had several times been tempted to commit suicide. Verdict: Temporary Insanity.
EXETER - Fatal Accident At Exeter. - An Inquest was held at the Cowley Bridge Inn, on Saturday before H. W. Hooper, Esq., Coroner, on the body of JOHN FARLEY, a labourer in the employ of Mr Battin, Newton St. Cyres. The deceased was discovered, near the same spot, lying under a waggon he was driving, one of the fore wheels of which had passed over his body. It is supposed that the deceased in attempting to jump off the shafts caught his foot and was flung under the wheels. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
TIVERTON - Melancholy Death From Drowning In Collipriest. - On Saturday afternoon an Inquest was held before F. Mackenzie Esq., the Borough Coroner, on view of the body of JAMES DAVEY, aged 9 years, son of MR DAVEY, the sawyer, of St Andrew-street, who was drowned on Friday, by falling accidentally into the water called Rock Pit, Collipriest in the river Exe. - John Brooks, a little boy too young to be sworn, stated that on the previous afternoon, he and the deceased were down by the river catching tittlebats, when they saw a little boat. Deceased reached forward to get it and he fell into the river. He raised an alarm, there being no person near, except two little boys a short distance away. - William Chilcott, a labourer, of Tiverton, deposed that about half-past 4 the previous afternoon, as he was passing, he saw some women running and asked what was the matter. One of them told him there was a little boy in the river and he ran down. He got a pole with a crook to it and felt about the pit for 20 minutes, when he fished up the boy's body, he appeared to be quite dead. The it was about seven feet deep and about 20 feet across. - P.C. Hagley identified the body. - One of the Jurymen explained the locality, as that of a pool at the junction of the river's Exe and Lowman. - The case was perfectly clear and the Jury, without deliberation recorded a verdict of Accidental Drowning in the river Exe.
TIVERTON - Body of MR WOTTON Found In A Field At Farleigh. - The Borough Coroner held an Inquiry at the Townhall on Saturday evening, into the painful circumstances attending the death of MR ROBERT WOTTON, an old and well-known solicitor of Westexe, Tiverton, whose body was discovered in a field, adjoining Mr Were's house at Farleigh on Saturday morning last. - Elizabeth Ley was the first witness sworn, and deposed that she had been in the service of the deceased for the past 40 years. He was about 70 years of age. For some months he had been attended by his medical man, Mr Coward. He was not in the habit of leaving the house for the night without telling her. He went out the previous night about half-past six o'clock; he did not then say where he was going, but told her in the afternoon that he was going to Mr Were's, at Farleigh, to get some straw for the horse. She had not seen him since he left at the above hour. Finding that he did not come home at his usual time she became alarmed and sat up pretty well all night waiting for him. - By the Coroner: I did not send to inquire about him because I thought he would be angry. He went up into the town in the morning. He appeared to be the same as usual when he let home. He was in the habit of taking wine or liquor to excess at any time. I am not aware that he drank anything during the day, or that anything had occurred to vex him in any way. Mr Were came and told me this morning at 8 o'clock that he was found and I asked him if he was dead. - Elias Goran, carter to Mr Were, deposed that he did not know the deceased. he went to the field opposite Mr Were's house that morning about half-past 6 o'clock as usual to fetch the horses, when he saw the deceased lying in the field, on his right side with a stick and one arm under him. His sleeves were drawn up, but there were no signs of a scuffle. He went to take him by the arm to lift him up and finding him dead, he helped to remove him to the house. - Supt. Crabb was next sworn, and said from information he had received, he went to Mr Were's that morning and in a field opposite the house, he found the dead body of a man, which he at once recognised as that of MR WOTTON. Witness found him lying on his right side, with his right hand and a stick under his body; his hat was off his head and broken in, apparently from the fall. Seeing a set of teeth partly out of his mouth and resting on the ground, it at first occurred to him, that the deceased had met with foul play, but on putting his hand to the mouth, he discovered that it was a set of false teeth worn by the deceased gentleman, which had probably got displaced from the fall. He closely examined his clothes and upon searching him found 17s. 11d. in silver and copper and a diamond ring on his finger. He found no marks of violence and then concluded that he had died from a fit. - Mr Coward stated that he had known the deceased for a great many years. He was of very temperate habits indeed. He had been suffering from the heart disease for the last 10 years, and especially during two years past when he had occasionally come to him. He had a fall from his horse some 2 years ago and it seemed that he had not been well since. Witness saw him on Sunday last, but not professionally. He was medically treated on the 24th of last month. From his knowledge of the deceased's health, he was not at all surprised to hear of his sudden death. He should think there was quite sufficient evidence of the cause of death, from the nature of his disease without making a post mortem examination. - The Coroner summed up by telling the Jury that it would be for them to determine whether the evidence was sufficient to satisfy their minds as to the cause of death, or whether they thought it necessary to order a post-mortem examination. He was ready to adjourn the Inquiry if they desired it. There was no reason to suppose that the deceased gentleman had died from other than natural causes, still they could not swear it and therefore he suggested an open verdict. - The Jury expressed themselves quite satisfied and at once returned an Open Verdict to the effect that deceased was Found Dead in a certain field, that there were no marks of violence upon his person, but that how, or by what means he came to his death there was no evidence to show.
OTTERY ST. MARY - Death Of A Child. - An Inquest was held on Monday, before Spencer M. Cox, Esq., Coroner, on the body of a child named LATHROPE, which was found by its mother in bed on the previous day, life being all but extinct. It died before medical assistance could be called in. Dr Warder made a post-mortem examination of the body, at the request of the Coroner, who stated that the child died from Natural Causes, and the Jury returned a verdict accordingly.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 15 November 1864
HOLCOMBE ROGUS - Fatal Accident. - On Wednesday last an accident, which we regret to say terminated fatally, occurred to a little boy, 7 years of age named SAMUEL BOWERMAN, son of MR E. BOWERMAN, sawyer, of this place. It appears that a waggon laden with straw was passing, belonging to Mrs Warren, chair maker, of Holcombe, when the boy went to pull some of the straw from the waggon and fell under the wheels, both of them passing over his body. The unfortunate little sufferer lingered until the next morning when death put an end to his sufferings. An Inquest was held on view of the body at the New Inn, before R. R. Crosse, Esq., Coroner, on Friday last. Mr Mark White was Foreman of the Jury - Verdict of Accidental Death.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 22 November 1864
UFFCULME - Fatal Accident. - Mon Monday, the 14th, an Inquest was held at the George Inn, on the body of ALFRED WOOLCOTT, mason's labourer, aged 16, who died on the previous Friday. On Wednesday the deceased was seen in the street taking off the blind halter from a horse in a cart belonging to Mr Clarke, of Bridwell, when the horse plunged away. The deceased caught hold of the chain of the night halter, which pulled the horse to the other side of the road, and the wheel of the cart went up over the guard stone. Deceased stumbled over the stone and fell to the ground and the wheel went from the stone over him. The poor fellow was attended by Mr Bryden, Surgeon, who found him suffering from fracture of several ribs and he died on Friday. The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 6 December 1864
EXETER - Distressing Death. - An Inquest was held at the Rising Sun Inn, Russell-street, Exeter, on Tuesday, before Mr H. W. Hooper, Coroner, on the body of JAMES LEE, landlord of that Inn. MR LEE appeared in his usual health the previous evening when his wife retired to bed about eleven o'clock, but when she awoke about two finding her husband not there, she lighted a candle and went downstairs and beheld him sitting in a chair dead. Mr Webb, Surgeon, had known the deceased some years. About twelve months since he had a fall from a window which severely shook him and he had not been well since. In his opinion the deceased died from spasms of the heart. The Jury returned a verdict accordingly.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 13 December 1864
EXETER - The Fatal Accident To An Artilleryman. - An Inquest was held on Tuesday afternoon at the Fountain Inn, before H. W. Hooper, Esq., on the body of ABRAHAM LOOKIS, a private of the Royal Artillery on furlough, who accidentally walked over the Exeter Quay into the water on Saturday night, about nine o'clock. It appears that it was his intention to have undertaken the maintenance of his poor mother, who is a native of Crediton. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." The funeral took place on Wednesday. As is usual in such cases, the whole of the recruiting parties in the City, and men on furlough from various regiments, assembled to pay their last respects to the deceased. The firing party was composed of members of the Exeter Volunteer Artillery. Having paraded in the Lower Market, they proceeded to Colleton Crescent to receive the body of their late comrade in arms. The cortege marched to the cemetery, where an impressive address was delivered by the chaplain of the volunteers. Three volleys were then fired over the grave. it is reported that owing to the inefficiency of the artillery band, in consequence of its members resigning, the "Dead March in Saul" could not be played.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 27 December 1864
EXETER - Sudden Death. - On Thursday an Inquest was held at the new Market Inn, Goldsmith-street, Exeter, before H. W. Hooper, Esq., Coroner, on the body of ROBERT C. BRAGG, aged 29 years. The deceased was a smith in the employ of Mr Godbeer. On Wednesday he complained of a pain in the shoulder. Some turpentine was rubbed into the part affected, after which deceased went to bed. About six o'clock the same evening he said the pain had shifted. In the morning about five o'clock his mother went into the bedroom and was shocked to find her son a corpse. Mr Perkins, Surgeon, who was called in, was of opinion that death resulted from spasms of the heart. The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with that opinion.
ZEAL MONACHORUM - Distressing Suicide. - On Wednesday last, R. R. Crosse, Esq., the County Coroner, held an Enquiry into the circumstances that led to the death of RICHARD SLEE, a resident of the parish of Zeal, 8 miles from Crediton. It appeared from the evidence that deceased, who was a retired schoolmaster and a clerk formerly of the parish of Lapford, had fallen into a low desponding state for some time past and on Monday last he committed suicide by hanging himself in a cow shed. Verdict, Temporary Insanity.
BAMPTON - Extraordinary Suicide At Bampton. - A very remarkable case of self-destruction was committed in one of the public streets of Bampton, on the night of Wednesday or early on Thursday morning last. MR RICHARD SELMAN an old and eccentric farmer rending "Dipford," at Shillingford, about 2 miles from Bampton, well known in the neighbourhood for his litigious and quarrelsome disposition, had been suffering for some months from a depressed and deranged state of mind, said to arise from an action at law pending between himself and a neighbouring farmer. - Shortly after 11 o'clock on Wednesday night, this unfortunate old man secretly left his house apparently for the purpose of destroying himself by drowning, but instead of taking the advantage which a deep and secluded river within gun-shot of his house afforded, he preferred to walk to Bampton, and there in the much frequented public thoroughfare of Little Silver Street with inhabited houses on both sides, he appears to have deliberately lifted a small grating just large enough to admit his body and descend into a shallow but somewhat swift stream called the "Shutern" only 11 inches deep, to gather stones enough from the bottom to fill two capacious coat pockets, one on each side as if to keep his body stationery, and having taken off his hat and put it into one of his pockets he carefully laid on his back and thus drowned himself directly under the grating, apparently that his body might be discovered by some passer-by at daylight. Some persons, however, are of opinion that the hapless man might have entered or thrown himself into the stream at the opening a short distance above and so drifted by the force of the current, or else waded to where he was found; but when it is considered that the coat was carefully arranged under the body, which lay stretched out as if for the coffin directly under the grating when found, the inference must be that he got access to the water by lifting the grating. The manner in which the body was discovered, and further particulars will be found in the subjoined report of the Inquest. - On Saturday at noon R. R. Crosse, Esq., County Coroner, held an Inquest on view of the body, (which lay in a shell in an empty cottage belonging to Mr Catford) at the White Horse Hotel, Bampton. - MRS HESTER SELMAN, the widow of the deceased, was the first witness examined and deposed that he was about 66, and resided at Dipford Farm, Shillingford, in the parish of Bampton. They had been married between 30 and 40 years. He had been very peculiar in his manner for a long time past. He left home on the night of his death without any money or valuables of any kind, and, said she:- "I do not think he has been either robbed or murdered. He has been in a very depressed and strange state of mind for the last four or five months, which I consider is owing to his having received an injury to his head from some blows which passed between him and a neighbouring farmer named Bowden of Gumland Farm. There was a little misunderstanding between my husband and Bowden and he struck my husband several blows about the head which seemed to have such a bad effect that we never considered him right since. An action arose out of it and the deceased employed Mr Loosemore of Tiverton, and we went to trial. But at the time of the trial was coming on at Exeter he was ill in bed and I got Mr Loosemore to have it postponed till Assizes in March, but now the poor man is gone before the time. It was his full intention to carry on the action." - The Coroner: Was there not something strange in his manner before the time that he received these blows you speak of? - Witness: Never sir, he never was strange until after he received the blows from Bowden, and he has not been the same man from that time. Since then he has frequently been out until two or three o'clock in the morning in the woods sitting and wandering about. My daughters have been roaming about the woods in search of him all night long on several occasions. I am sure that since then he has not been accountable for his own actions. The last time I saw him alive was on Wednesday the 21st, about 11 o'clock at night in his room at Dipford. Lately he has not got out of his bed till four or five o'clock in the evening, when he would sit in his room. We have had to keep a strict watch over him, knowing he was not right in his mind. Shortly after 11 o'clock on Wednesday night I entered his room with some cider and tobacco for him and I found he was gone. Search was made but he could not be found until he was discovered dead. I know nothing as to how he met with his death. - RICHARD SELMAN, son of the deceased, said I have heard all the testimony of my mother and I believe that it is perfectly correct. He has certainly not been right in his head for the last four or five months. I did not go in search of him until the next morning. - Mr Cleeve, landlord of the Shillingford Inn, said he had known the deceased about six years. He had been in the habit of visiting his house until last June when he ceased coming owing to illness. Witness knew nothing as to his state of mind or whether he was eccentric. He never thought he was out of his mind, but always found him a very noisy and quarrelsome character. He had heard of his having received blows, but witness knew nothing about it. - A Juryman said he saw the blows alluded to struck, it was in April last. - Amelia Dunn, deposed that she was living as a servant to Mr Catford, harness maker, Bampton. On Thursday morning last, shortly after 10 o'clock, as she was going to the pump to fetch a bucket of water she glanced down the grating as she passed on her way and thought she saw a man's hand. She looked further and saw a man's hand and legs and part of his body as he lay in the water. She hurried away and told Mrs Catford. Several came to the spot, she saw the deceased taken out quite dead and removed to a neighbouring cottage. She only knew the deceased personally. - Mr Oaten, the landlord of the White Horse, here described the spot. It was a fast running stream but a few inches deep called the Shutern, passing through the town under the road, over which was a grating in Little Silver Street, at the back of Mr Catford's premises, just large enough for a man's body, constructed for the purpose of taking away waste water close to the pump. - Mr Catford deposed that he helped out the body and they found a quantity of stones, similar to those lying at the bottom of the stream, filling each of his coat pockets, and in the right hand pocket was his jim crow hat. - Mr Oaten said he weighed the stone directly after it was taken out of his pockets and the weight was 18 ¼ lbs. - The learned Coroner then summed up the evidence adduced, by expressing his opinion that everybody must be perfectly satisfied that the deceased committed suicide while in an unsound state of mind. With regard to the blows, which it was said he had received some months ago, if they were received in April they did not appear to have taken any effect, for it had been shown in evidence that up to the end of June he was about the same as usual. Therefore, he did not think much importance could be attached to them, as they could hardly bring in a verdict of manslaughter against Bowden under the circumstances. - Several of the Jury concurred in this opinion and two of them said they went with him to Tiverton market the next day after he had received the blows. - The Jury briefly deliberated and returned for their verdict, That Deceased Drowned Himself while in an Unsound State of Mind.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 3 January 1865
BOW - An Inquest was held at the Ebrington Arms, near Bow, by R. R. Crosse, Esq., County Coroner, on Wednesday last, on the body of a railway labourer, JOSEPH ROWLANDS, aged 33, who in the darkness of one of the past Christmas nights accidentally fell from the high and dangerous causeway in the village of Bow into the turnpike road, and so fractured his skull. It is to be hoped that the recommendation of the Crooner, that some protection be given to the public against a similar fall from this dangerous footpath, will be effected, such as railing, and lights at night. Verdict - Accidental Death.
COLEBROOK - An Inquest was held on Wednesday last by R. R. Crosse, Esq., Coroner at Haddens, in the parish of Colebrook, on WILLIAM HILL, aged 74 years, who was found on the kitchen floor of a small farm house, occupied by Mrs Cheriton, speechless and who died within an hour afterward. The medical gentleman, who examined the body, stated in his evidence that it was a disgusting spectacle, covered with lice and itch, that he had known the deceased for years, and the vagabond life he had led; he owned a little farm, and need not have been in poverty and gave it as his opinion that deceased died from exhaustion, produced by cold, want and filth.
CULMSTOCK - Fatal Accident. - MR ROBERT LOVELL, the village schoolmaster, while proceeding home on Monday evening, it is supposed, missed his footing, on walking by the side of the river and fell in. The water being only a few inches deep, it is conjectured that the deceased must have been stunned by the fall, for when discovered he was lifeless. He was highly respected by those who knew him, and a gloom has been cast on the village by his melancholy death. An Inquest was held on Wednesday and a verdict returned of "Accidental Death."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 10 January 1865
TIVERTON - Singular Death From Hartshorn And Oil. - On Thursday evening F. Mackenzie, Esq., the Borough Coroner, held an Inquest at the Town Hall, touching the death of HARRY NORTH, aged one year and seven months, who died in Passmore's Court under somewhat singular circumstances on Tuesday last. - MARY NORTH, the wife of a labourer in the employ of Mr Carpenter, coal-merchant, deposed that the deceased was the son of THOMAS NORTH, her brother-in-law. He was placed under her care by the widow when six weeks old. He was a healthy child up t Saturday at 2 o'clock p.m., when she left the house and the child in care of her daughter, JANE, aged 15, now present. After an absence of a quarter of an hour she returned and found the deceased crying and having smelt a liniment which she had for the purpose of applying to an outward swelling on the child's neck, she asked what was the matter. She took the baby in her arms and believing it had swallowed some of the liniment she gave him some hot water and castor oil, both of which took effect. Deceased then fell asleep and shortly afterwards woke up and was very restless. She became alarmed and sent to Dr Ashford to know if there was any harm in the liniment and he sent an emetic which made him sick. She then sent for the mother who sent for Dr Smith. Mr Reed came first and then Dr Smith. The child was in Dr Smith's care and early on Tuesday morning he died. - JANE NORTH said her little brother took the bottle down from a shelf. - Mr Sellick, the Foreman of the Jury, asked if there was any label on the bottle? - Dr Smith said there was and produced it. - Witness said she did not see her little brother give the deceased the bottle, but shortly after he took it down she saw deceased rubbing his nose and crying and her brother putting the bottle back again on the shelf. - Dr Smith was then sworn, and deposed that he was the ordinary medical attendant of the deceased; he had generally good health. Witness was called to see him on Saturday last. He was informed of the illness of the deceased on Saturday by Mr Reed, who had previously attended him on his behalf. They afterwards visited the child together, it being an urgent case, the same night. The next day he found him gradually getting worse and exhibiting symptoms of inflammation of the windpipe. MRS NORTH said in reply to the Coroner that the mouth was not burnt but there was a tiny piece of skin gone from the lip. - Dr Smith said from information he received, he judged that the child was suffering from the consequences of having inhaled a few drops of the liniment. The cause of death was from inflammation of the windpipe. The liniment consisted of hartshorn and oil; it was an ordinary liniment, not to be considered a poison, but it would act as an irritant to the throat. - The Coroner explained that hartshorn and oil mischievious as it appeared to have been in this case, was not to be considered as a poison when properly administered, but now it had got into the windpipe and acted as an irritant poison. - The Jury briefly deliberated and unanimously returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased died from inflammation of the windpipe caused by inhaling a liniment composed of hartshorn and oil accidentally and by misfortune. - The Coroner fully concurred in the verdict and was glad to find that they exonerated the aunt from any blame in the matter, as she appeared to have taken all necessary precautions. - The poor woman was deeply affected during the proceedings and while in the act of leaving the Court-room, she fell down in a fainting fit, but thanks to the prompt assistance of Dr Smith she speedily recovered.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 24 January 1865
KENTON - An Inquest was held by R. R. Crosse, Esq., Coroner for the district on the 30th ult., on ELIZA HANCOCK, aged 81 years, the widow of WILLIAM HANCOCK of Devonport, Esq., and Justice of the Peace. This lady was on a visit to Mr Benjamin Teague, of Kenton, with four of her grandchildren. Mr Teague drove them all in his waggonette to Haldon, but in turning the carriage to return to Kenton it was accidentally over-set, and the aged lady killed on the spot.
CULLOMPTON - An Inquest was held on the 31st ult. by R. R. Crosse, Esq., Coroner for the district on a poor little boy, aged three years - JOHN GIDEON POOLE, son of JOHN POOLE, a shoemaker - who accidentally fell into a pan of almost boiling water. He was attended by Mr Gribble, Surgeon, of Cullompton, but convulsions ensued, resulting in death.
KENN - On the 11th inst., Mr R. R. Crosse, Esq., Coroner for the district, held an Inquest where the Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death; a tree having fallen on a labourer named JAMES PYKE, killing him on the spot. Deceased was at work with other men in felling the tree and no blame appeared to be attributable to anyone.
DAWLISH - On the 13th inst., Mr R. R. Crosse, Esq., Coroner for the district held an Inquest where the verdict of the Jury was Wilful Murder against HARRIET VOOGHT, the mother, of her illegitimate child. The infant was found in a box with a piece of tape tied twice round its neck. This wretched woman was committed under the Coroner's warrant to take her trial at the next Devon Assizes.
CHRISTOW - On the 16th, an Inquest was held by Mr R. R. Crosse, Esq., Coroner for the district where the Inquiry was as to the cause of the death of THOMAS DART, aged 32 years, a miner, working in "Frank Mills" lead mine. Deceased was engaged in clearing a pass and fell through it from one level to another, the "work" falling on him, causing death by suffocation. This was clearly an Accidental Death, and such was the verdict of the Jury. It was satisfactorily shown that the miners were provided with lashings, lights, &c.
SILVERTON - On the 17th Mr R. R. Crosse, Esq., Coroner, held an Inquest on the body of MARY ALFORD, an illegitimate child of one month old. It appeared that ANN ALFORD, to whom the child was entrusted, was seized with a fit and falling with the child in her arms caused her death. Mr E. M. Puddicombe, Surgeon, of Silverton was in attendance soon after the woman and child was found and gave evidence at the Enquiry. -
BROADCLYST - On the 18th an Inquest was held by Mr R. R. Crosse, Esq., Coroner, at Broadclist Railway Station, on the London and South Western Line. It appeared that JOSEPH JAMES, a packer on the line, was struck by a locomotive engine, one of his legs severed from his body, which was dreadfully mutilated and presented an awful spectacle. Mr Charles Norris, of Motion Farm and a man named Robert Bissent, saw the unfortunate deceased on the line and saw also the 5 p.m. up train approaching; they called to him and he apparently heard them. The engine driver also observed the man on the line and violently blew his whistle, but to no effect; the engine caught him and carried him about 100 yards. Several witnesses were examined, amongst whom were George Hill, the driver of the engine and Charles Jeffery, the Station Master at Broadclist, and it was satisfactorily proved that the train left Exeter at its usual and proper time 5 p.m., and arrived at the Broadclist Station within one minute of its being due there, that the steam had been shut off previous to the accident, for the purpose of slackening pace to stop at the Broadclist Station. It is supposed the deceased had been drinking and was unconsciously walking on the up instead of the down line. Verdict, Accidental Death.
CHULMLEIGH - On the 19th, Mr R. R. Crosse, Esq., Coroner held an Inquiry at Little Burridge into the cause of the death of ELLEN PARKHOUSE, aged 23, who died on the 16th inst., having given birth to an illegitimate child about 10 days previous. By a statement made by the deceased in her dying moments, and which was received by the Coroner as evidence, she accused a man named William Webber, of having given her "stuff" to procure abortion, which had proved fatal to herself, but Mr J. C. Davy, of Chulmleigh, Surgeon, who had attended the deceased and who was examined on oath, was confident in his own opinion that decease died from natural causes, and that no medicine given for the purpose mentioned could have produced the symptoms of which deceased was suffering when he saw her and which caused her death. This case created much sensation in the neighbourhood and was attended by the Rev. William P. Roberts, the clergyman of the parish. The verdict was Death from Natural Causes.
EXETER - Fatal Accident. - An Inquest was held at the Turk's Head Inn, Exeter, on Thursday, before H. W. Hooper, Esq., Coroner, on the body of ELLEN LINTERN, the wife of a mason living in Pancras-place. The deceased while in an intoxicated state on Tuesday, fell down a pair of steps in a neighbour's house, and fractured her skull. She was taken to her house by some of the neighbours, who were not aware that she had sustained severe injuries, and place d on the stairs. There she was allowed to remain for two or three hours in an insensible state and then was carried to her own room, where she was found by her husband some time afterwards. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death;" and the Coroner blamed the neighbours for not having paid proper attention to the deceased.
TIVERTON - Extraordinary Suicide Of A Boy In Tiverton Cemetery. - On Sunday evening the neighbourhood of our cemetery and the upper part of the town was thrown into a state of unusual excitement, from a rumour current that a little boy aged 13, the son of MR FEWINGS, the grave digger, had hung himself in one of the chapels of the cemetery, in a fit of passion caused by a dispute between himself and a young brother during a game of marbles. Upon making enquiries as to the truth of this rumour, our reporter ascertained that on Saturday last the deceased, who is but 13 years of age, (as above stated) left his brother, with whom he had been at play, in anger, and had gone nobody knew whither. His father and mother having noticed his absence a short time afterwards instituted a search of their premises, which are situated within the cemetery, but could not find him. His father finding that he had not returned up to a late hour, made further search in the town and communicated with the Police, at 11 o'clock in the night, but no tidings could be obtained of the missing boy, whose absence through being subject to fits caused the parents great anxiety. All day Sunday the father with several friends and the Police carried their search into adjacent towns and villages. On returning from their fruitless mission shortly after dark on Sunday evening, P.C. Cavill met MR FEWINGS at his house in the cemetery and suggested that a search should be made amongst the graves and in both chapels. The distracted father replied that every place had been searched but the Dissenters' Chapel and it was no use to go there as the door was locked and there was the key on the dresser, where it had been since Friday night. However, at the request of the Constable, FEWINGS caught up the key and went to the chapel and before Cavill could obtain a light he heard a loud cry from that direction, and on hurrying to the chapel a sickening spectacle presented itself:- The boy was suspended by the neck by a sash line fastened from the top staple bolt behind the chapel door, quite dead and cold, with a stool lying on the floor, evidently kicked from under him. Cavill immediately cut down the body and carried it to the house to await a Coroner's Inquest. - The most remarkable part of the story is the singularly ingenious and deliberate manner in which the unhappy boy must have committed the rash act. It would appear that after parting from his little brother in anger, he must have gone into the house to possess himself of the key, and having unlocked the chapel door to replace it where it was usually kept to avoid suspicion. He must then have procured a ladder from an open grave, and, having taken a sash line from one of the chapel windows, returned the ladder to the grave and then to have come back and completed the deed. - The Inquest. - At 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon, F. Mackenzie, Esq., the Borough Coroner, held an Inquiry into the circumstances that led to the extraordinary death of the deceased, whose name was JOHN FEWINGS, 13 years of age. - JOHN FEWINGS was the first witness sworn and deposed as follows:- I am sexton of the cemetery; the deceased was my son and lived here with me. He formerly worked for Mr Sharland, silversmith, of Gold-street, as an errand boy. He was taken ill in Mr Sharland's shop in the month of June last, while at work. He was seized with a violent fit and it took as much as four or five men to hold him. He has had fits more or less ever since and has been during the whole time under medical treatment at the Dispensary. Some days he would be without a fit, but during these intervals he generally looked wild and at times seemed so out of his mind that I was afraid to look at him. The last time I saw him alive was about 20 minutes past twelve on Saturday. I cannot say the exact time, but it was in the middle of the day He was then at play in front of the door with a younger brother. On Friday I had occasion to go into the Dissenters' Chapel for a pall cloth; I locked the door and brought the key into the house and put it in the usual place on the dresser. - By the Coroner: I have not missed that key since. I went last night to the Dissenters' Chapel and on reaching the door I found it unlocked and on opening the door I saw the sleeve of his coat. P.C. Cavill was not with me, but it was at his suggestion that I went to the Chapel. The door was not easy to unfasten, and I said to deceased on Friday night, "JOHNNY we must get a penny'th of sweet oil to oil the door tomorrow." He was 13 years of age last month. - P.C. Cavill was then sworn and said:- Yesterday evening I saw the body of the deceased hanging by a sash line tied in two or three knots at the back of the head, and suspended from a head bolt staple of the door of the Dissenters' Chapel. He was quite dead, stiff and cold, one of his toes rested on a stool with the leg slightly bent and the other leg [?]. MR FEWINGS held the body while I cut it down. I then brought the body into the house. - Mr J. W. S[?] (Foreman of the Jury):- You are of opinion Cavill that the deceased could only have got in by the door? - Cavill:- Certainly I am. there was no other way of his getting into the chapel. - MARY FEWINGS, the mother of the deceased, was then examined and appeared to be in a very distressing state of mind. She deposed as follows:- the last time I saw my poor boy - about 1 o'clock on Saturday; he was having a few words with his younger brother. I called to him and he went away, in the direction of the Cemetery. I saw no blows struck. - The Coroner: The information that came to me MRS FEWINGS was to the effect that you saw the boys fighting? - Witness: I certainly went out and parted them, but I saw no blows struck. There was a dispute about something; I daresay it was about a marble. - Coroner: Have you told anyone that they were fighting and you parted them? - Witness: I did sir; but I saw no blows struck. I went and brought deceased into the house, but I never touched or threatened him. I never had occasion, he was such a good boy. He has been ill from fits for seven months and has had several in a day. He had fits every day last week. Sometimes these fits would last for a good while; he would not foam at the mouth, but he would kick and struggle violently. After these attacks he became very stupid, and often appeared to be out of his reason. He was not so sharp to do anything as he was before he first had fits, which was in June last. - The witness here became so distressed in mind that she almost fainted. After a while she proceeded and said that the deceased had never at any time threatened to make away with his life, nor appeared to have thought of such a thing. - The younger brother to the deceased was then called in, and stated (not on oath) my brother asked me to play marbles on Saturday. We played, and I told him that he played unfair, and I would not give him the marble. He then got out of temper and kicked me and I hollared out, "Mother!" because he kicked me. He went away and I saw no more of him. - One of the Jurymen here said that he had been in the habit of seeing the deceased in Mr Sharland's shop previous to June last and he noticed that he had never been right since he had had the fits. - The learned Coroner remarked on the exhibition of good sense manifested by the deceased's ingenuity, and thought it a serious question to determine on the state of his mind at the time of his committing the act. If the Jury had any doubt as to his state of mind, the best way to guide them would be by examining the medical attendants. If they desired to have Dr Scott's opinion, the Inquest could be easily adjourned for a couple of days. He then read over the evidence adduced and pointed out the simple story of the boy about the dispute, it was a game of marbles about which it appeared that they had no fight. He dwelt upon the extreme ingenuity with which the act was committed and then left the Jury to consider their verdict. - The father here stated, in answer to the Jury, that he was not aware that any threat of punishment had been made to the boy and that he had always treated him with the greatest kindness. - MRS FEWINGS was also recalled and in reply to the Coroner as to whether she ever threatened him, she replied "That she had not threatened him with any punishment." The Jury then consulted alone and after a brief deliberation they unanimously returned a verdict that deceased Committed Suicide while in a state of Mind Unsound, caused from Epilepsy; with an addendum to the effect that they fully exonerated the parents from any blame whatever. The Coroner concurred in their verdict.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 31 January 1865
TIVERTON - Shocking Accident In Barrington Street. - A very sad accident occurred on Saturday morning about 12 o'clock in Barrington-street. A little girl named SARAH PETHERBRIDGE, who, during the momentary absence of her mother, appears to have got on a stool in front of the fire, and by that means set her pinafore on fire and she was immediately enveloped in flames. The mother ran to the assistance of her poor child, but before the flames could be extinguished she was dreadfully burnt about the arms, neck and body. Medical aid was promptly sent for and Mr Reed, sen., Mr Reed jun., and Dr Ashford were in immediate attendance and did all that was possible to alleviate the child's sufferings, which lasted until Sunday morning when death took place. - The Inquest (Last Night): - At eight o'clock last evening, F. Mackenzie, Esq., the Borough Coroner, held an Inquest on view of the body of SARAH PETHERBRIDGE, aged 4 years, at the Town Hall. - The Jury, of which Mr Adams of the Fountain, was Foreman, having viewed the body, which lay at the cottage of her father, who is a carpenter, in Barrington-street. - John Hewett, maltster, was the first witness examined and deposed that on Saturday last in the forenoon, he was in his own house, a few yards from the cottage of GEORGE PETHERBRIDGE. Suddenly he heard a scream and his sister went to the door. Immediately afterwards he heard a second scream, and he went out and saw the deceased child outside the door of her father's cottage, burnt all over and presenting the appearance of a mass of burning tinder. He ran to her and rubbed the burning tinder off her shoulders as well as he could and wrapped his apron round the lower part of her to extinguish her burning clothes. He had scarcely put out the fire before her mother came and swept off the remainder of the burning clothes and took the child into the cottage. The mother came up the court to his assistance. He had understood that in the absence of the mother the child had set her clothes on fire in an attempt to reach something off the mantlepiece. A Surgeon was sent for and Mr Reed jun., promptly attended and then Mr Reed, sen., accompanied by the Rev. Mr Soley, and afterwards Dr Ashford came and took charge of the case. He knew nothing of his own knowledge as to how the accident occurred. His sister, a young woman named Pearce, and other females were present. - By the Jury: The child gave no account of the occurrence; she seemed too badly burnt for that. Her sister who told him of the accident, said, when she first caught fire she was in a mass of flame. - A Juryman asked if the child wore crinoline, for numerous accidents by fire from that cause were continually reported in the papers. - Witness said she wore nothing of that sort; she died on Sunday morning - The Coroner said the evidence they had heard was all that he had to put before them. A simple statement made by the poor mother was very satisfactory, and as she was not present when it occurred she could throw no further light upon the accident, and it now only remained for the Jury to find their verdict. - The Jury at once returned a verdict of "Accidental Death," and fully exonerated the parents from any blame whatever.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 7 February 1865
RACKENFORD - On Tuesday an Inquest was held on the body of JAMES THOMAS GRINHAM, the travelling newsman, before R. R. Crosse, Esq., Coroner and a respectable Jury, of whom C. A. Bryan, Esq., was foreman. Evidence was then given, showing that the deceased had passed through the Rackenford gate at about one o'clock on the Saturday morning. The toll-collector Thomas Flew bought some newspapers of him; and he appeared then to be in his usual health. He was perfectly sober. Flew asked how it was he was travelling so late and he said that all the people in Rackenford were gone to bed and he must go on. It was about seven o'clock when he was discovered, so that he must have been lying in the road between five and six hours. It was a bitter cold night - snowy and frosty; and it is supposed that the roads being slippery, he fell and striking his head on a stone he stunned himself and was thus frozen to death. Mr S. J. Burrows, Surgeon of Witheridge, who viewed the body, said he found a slight bruise on the left side of the forehead. This was the only mark. The blow might have caused contusion; but his opinion was that deceased fell and died from the cold. The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony. The vicar of the parish, the Rev. G. Porter, and several of the inhabitants exhibited much kindness and generosity to the widow at the funeral. Deceased was a steady, well-educated and sober man, between fifty and sixty years of age.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 28 February 1865
WOODBURY - Alleged Murder. - Our quiet village was on Thursday thrown into a state of commotion by a rumour that a murder had been committed. Unfortunately the rumour turned out to be a truthful though painful fact - a man named Tucker, having in a moment of anger inflicted fatal blows on a man named MOORE. It appears that William Tucker, who resides in the village and earns his livelihood by keeping a coal store, quarrelled with HENRY MOORE, who lives at East Budleigh, and who earns a livelihood by drawing timber with his horse and truck. Both are said to have been industrious and, generally speaking, quiet and inoffensive men, about the age of 40. The circumstances which led to the quarrel arose out of some transactions which it appeared had taken place between Tucker and the son of the deceased. The boy is apprenticed to Mr Hutchings, a carpenter, residing in premises adjoining those of tucker. Mr Hutchings had reasons for suspecting that the boy disposed of his clothes to Tucker and he communicated his suspicions to the deceased. On Thursday the deceased was passing through Woodbury with his timber waggon, and he called on Mr Hutchings. he went out into the yard for the purpose of speaking to him. A low wall divides the yard of Tucker from the yard of Mr Hutchings, so that a person can easily look from one yard into the other. At the time deceased entered Mr Hutchings's yard, Tucker was in his yard employed about some coal. On catching sight of the latter, the deceased went over to the wall and began accusing him of having had dishonest dealings with his (MOORE'S) son. The deceased also told Tucker that he had better nor harbour his son in his house, to which Tucker replied that he should if he liked. Angry words passed, and both men became excited. At last the deceased got on the top of the wall dividing the yards, for the purpose, it is conjectured, of going in, to fight with Tucker, but before he could get off the wall Tucker came forward and struck him a heavy blow on the head with a shovel which he had been using about the coals. This blow, alone, would doubtless have been fatal, but Tucker, who seemed to be mad with rage, again struck the deceased two cruel blows on the head with the same weapon. At the time the second blow was given the deceased was lying insensible on the ground. Two or three persons witnessed the savage act, but their intervention came too late. They, however, conveyed the deceased to his father's house in the village. Medical aid was sent for and Dr Brent was quickly in attendance, and dressed the wounds. From the first it was, however, feared that poor MOORE was beyond all human aid. After lingering in an unconscious state for about three hours he expired. One of the wounds is said to have been terribly severe and calculated to cause instant death. The shovel with which the blows were struck is such a one as is generally used by scavengers and in coal yards. One edge of it is broken, so that a sharp point projects and the wound the deceased first received corresponds exactly with the point of the shovel. Tucker was apprehended on a charge of murder by P.C. Watts, stationed at Woodbury, as soon as MOORE was dead. The shovel was afterwards secured by Sergeant Ryall. Both the prisoner and the deceased are married men, and the fathers of families. On Friday the prisoner was taken before W. C. Coles, Esq., at Exmouth. The examination was merely a formal one, and he was remanded. - Inquest On The Body. - S. M. Cox, Esq., the Coroner held an Enquiry on Saturday, at the Globe Hotel, on the body of the murdered man. The Jury viewed the body of the deceased and the place where the unfortunate occurrence took place. - Mr Floud attended to watch the proceedings on behalf of the prisoner, who was present during the whole of the Enquiry. The evidence adduced was mainly corroboration of the above statement. - The room was then cleared so that the Jury might hold a consultation. At the expiration of half an hour it was announced that they had agreed upon their verdict, and on the Court re-assembling the Foreman said the Jury had come to an unanimous decision to return a verdict of "Manslaughter". - The Coroner said the Jury had taken a very merciful view of the case. - The Coroner's warrant for the committal of the prisoner was then made out and he was removed in custody. During the Enquiry the prisoner did not seem to at all realise the awfulness of his position and during the whole of the proceedings retained a look of almost indifference.
TIVERTON - Suicide By Drowning In The Wesleyan Chapel Cistern. - On Friday last, Wm. Partridge, Esq., Deputy Coroner for the Borough of Tiverton, held an Inquest at the Town Hall touching the suicide of ANN BATER, a widow, aged 72 years, residing in Copp's Court, contiguous to the Wesleyan Chapel, St Peter-street. - It appears that the unfortunate woman has been in a very desponding state of mind for some time past, mainly attributable to a continual dread of being compelled to become an inmate of the Workhouse and on Thursday last she terminated her misery, by throwing herself from the window of her bedroom into a cistern adjoining the Wesleyan Chapel. - Ann Beck deposed that she was a widow, residing in the same house with deceased, who was also a widow, in Copp's Court, St Peter-street. Deceased came to lodge with her about a week before Christmas and had remained with her ever since. She depended on parochial relief for her living. On Thursday morning about 9 o'clock, witness saw her lying in bed. She then went away to work, and saw nothing more of her till she returned at noon, after she had been found drowned. - By the Deputy Coroner:- Deceased had been troubling very much since Christmas because she was afraid her son would not have the few things she had before she died. She had complained of being unwell before she came to lodge with witness and had been regularly attended by the parish medical officer ever since. Her mind had for some time appeared to give way, and shortly after she came to lodge with witness she went all the way to Bolham for the purpose of drowning herself and when witness charged her with it she positively denied it and from her manner there seemed no reason to think that she would repeat the attempt. She was always very quiet, but much distressed in mind, and since last Saturday fortnight she kept in bed most of the day as well as night, not from bodily illness, but entirely from distress of mind. - By the Jury:- She told witness that she was distressed in mind, because she feared the parish authorities would take her into the Union, lay her on a bed of straw and take her things, so that her son would not get them. She would say daily, "Oh! they are coming to take me into the Union, and my son won't get me things." She had only a bed, trunk &c., of very little value but witness had always assured her that her son should have the things after her death and that she had no reason to trouble about that. She seemed to have been in great distress of mind ever since the death of her daughter a year ago. - Mary Thomas, an elderly woman residing next door, said she had known deceased only since she had lodged there; had no intimate acquaintance with her beyond saying "how do you do." She was such a melancholy person that she seldom spoke to her, but to ask her why she troubled so much. It was the custom of Mrs Beck when she went out to work to leave the house key with witness and she did so that morning as usual. At noon when the little girls came home from their work they fetched the key. Directly afterwards the eldest girl came to enquire if she had seen anything of deceased, and in consequence she went to the house and asked the eldest girl to go upstairs with her and she was afraid to do so; whereupon a younger girl went up with her and finding deceased was not in the room she looked in the tank because she had often heard the neighbours say that deceased would drown herself, and there sure enough she found her lying on her back in the tank. She exclaimed "Good God she is there." She touched her and found she was quite dead and cold, and she then went immediately to Mr Trude, and begged him to come and take the "poor old woman out of the tank." - Robert Trude was then called and stated that just after one o'clock that day he was fetched by the last witness. He went direct to the tank and lifted the body up. He then sung out to Mr Grant, another neighbour and he came to witness' assistance, and they got the body back through the little window into her room and laid her on the floor. Witness then went at once for Mr Gervis, and as he was not at home he fetched Mr Coward, who said she had been dead some hours. Witness knew that she was dead, but thought it proper to go for a medical man. The depth of water in the cistern at that time might have been 7 or 8 inches, but when full it would be 18 inches. - Mrs Beck said in answer to the Jury that she could not have first stepped into the cistern as her stockings, which she had on when found, were quite dry. She had no reason to go to the cistern for water; witness' children occasionally went there for soft water for washing. - The Deputy Coroner, in lucidly summing up, said the simple question for the Jury, so far as he could see, was to the state of deceased's mind at the time she committed the act. - The Jury briefly deliberated and returned a verdict that Deceased Destroyed Herself By Drowning whilst in a State of Mind Unsound, with a recommendation that the window should be protected by an iron bar. - The Deputy Coroner fully concurred in the verdict, and promised that the recommendation of the Jury should be forwarded to the owner of the property.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 25 April 1865
UFFCULME - On Wednesday last an Inquest was held at Nelder's Commercial Inn, before S. Cox, Esq., coroner, and a respectable Jury, of whom Mr Thomas Welland was Foreman, on the body of WILLIAM WOODBURY, smith and sexton of the parish, whose melancholy death was briefly noticed in our last week's issue. The evidence adduced went to show that WOODBURY on hearing of the accident to Mr Marker's horse, went as fast as he could to assist in the stables and when he got there found the horse dead. Mr Jones the veterinary surgeon was there and they were going to examine the wound, &c., in order to get at it properly, the horse had to be moved on one side, WOODBURY assisted, taking hold of the tail and doing all he could to get it in the right position and in doing so he by some means slipped and fell backwards, doubling his leg under him and breaking it. Jones enquired what had happened as he fancied WOODBURY looked strange, but after a little while discovered he had broken his leg. It was set as speedily as possible, but on Sunday he became decidedly worse; he got delirious and continued so at intervals until Monday afternoon, when he died. It is generally thought that he knocked his head in his fall, which seems probable from his looking so strange at Jones when he spoke to him. Mr C. Williams was thanked by several of the Jury for the lucid manner in which he explained the nature of the disease which caused the poor man's death, attributing it to apoplexy. Deceased leaves behind him a wife and two children to mourn his loss. He was a strong, robust, hard working man, often working 16 and 18 hours per day, he was a good husband and a man generally beloved.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 9 May 1865
STOODLEIGH - Suspected Poisoning. The Death Of The Brothers CHANNING. - R. R. Crosse, Esq., the Coroner for this district, held an Inquest here on Thursday, on the body of JAMES CHANNING aged 36, lately residing at Rackenford. - It was alleged that the deceased and his brother, JOHN, who were the sons of the late MR CHANNING of Refton Barton, had been living together at Rackenford for the past six weeks; that the family often quarrelled and that both of the brothers led a somewhat free life. On Saturday the 29th ult., JOHN, whose age was 34, died suddenly and under circumstances which excited much suspicion amongst the neighbours. Mr Beedell of Tiverton, his medical man, however, considered that he came by his death from exhaustion, produced from excessive drinking, and gave a certificate accordingly. On Wednesday last the deceased, JAMES CHANNING, who was the subject of the present Inquiry, also suddenly died, and Mr Beedell being unable clearly to determine the cause of death and knowing the circumstances of the family, refused to give a certificate of death until a post mortem examination was made. Much excitement was occasioned in the neighbourhood, and it was now rumoured abroad and very generally credited that JAMES had administered poison to his brother JOHN and fearing discovery had caused his own death by the same means. - A respectable Jury of which Mr Wm. Cockram was Foreman having been empanelled, ROBERT CHANNING was the first witness called and deposed that he was a butcher of Thelbridge and that the deceased was his brother. He said:- I was informed of his death and have heard rumours that he came by it by some foul way. I do not believe it. I have often heard him complain of being ill. I believe that JAMES and his wife with whom he has been living the last six weeks were very kind to him. - Tryphena Blackford deposed:- I am the wife of Thomas Blackford, labourer. I live in a cottage under the same roof as the CHANNINGS. JOHN has been living there about six weeks. I have often heard rows between JAMES and his wife when he was tipsy, which was very frequent. I never went in or interfered. I never heard any rows between JAMES and JOHN, or JAMES' wife and JOHN. I have not the least suspicion that there were any foul means used. - Thomas Blackford confirmed the evidence of the last witness. - Mr John Beedell, Surgeon of Tiverton, said; I have attended the deceased JOHN CHANNING during the last month and he was confined to his bed suffering from abscess in his side which I opened. I left attending him on the 12th ult. Mr Reddrop attended him between the 12th and the 19th on my behalf for the same complaint. The last time I saw him alive was the 21st, he was then much better. I heard that he was dead on Saturday evening last. I was surprised and declined to give a certificate. I gave information to the Police this day by order of the Coroner. I have made a post-mortem examination and found that he died from disease of the heart. As to JAMES, I am quite satisfied that he died from exhaustion produced by natural causes. The Jury at once returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony, of Death from Natural Causes.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 6 June 1865
UFFCULME - Suspicious Case. - JANE MILTON, a widow, daughter of CHARLOTTE APLIN, of Kitwell-street, Uffculme, was confined, on Friday, May 26th, of an illegitimate child at the house of Mr Lawrence White, of Mount Stephen, at whose house MILTON has been living as servant. It appears that she was unattended by any midwife and when a person went to her on the same evening the child was found dead. MILTON was then removed to her mother's house and the case being of a most suspicious character, much gossip was occasioned in the neighbourhood, and the Police Constable instituted enquiries, and at once communicated with Mr Crosse, the Coroner, who held an Inquest at the Commercial Inn, on Wednesday last, when the Jury returned a verdict that the child died of haemorrhage. No proceedings have been taken against the woman.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 13 June 1865
SIDMOUTH - A Strange Affair. - Spencer Cox, Esq., the Coroner for the district, held an Inquest at the London Hotel on Tuesday last, on the body of SAMUEL RICKARDS, aged only 14, a remarkably fine boy, measuring no less than 5 feet 9 inches, who was alleged to have committed suicide by hanging himself with a leathern belt he was in the habit of wearing, from his bedpost on Sunday evening week. The Jury empanelled for the occasion consisted of Mr W. G. Harris, who was unanimously chosen Foreman, Messrs. C. Hicks, E. Venman, W. F. Sellek, R. Lethaby, Geo. Beard, E. Barratt, H. Ellis, Wm. Newman, W. Bray, James Newman, W. Prettejohn, and J. Webber. It appeared from the evidence of James Horn, that the deceased was living with his brother-in-law, Mr Horn, a baker, near the Gas House. The last time he was seen alive was between two and three o'clock. About half-past six o'clock, on passing he saw his brother's door open, and thinking all was not right went in and proceeded upstairs, where he found deceased hanging. He immediately raised an alarm, when John Ferneaux and David Cotterell came and cut him down. Medical attendance was sent for, but he was found to be quite dead. Several witnesses who had known him from a child, stated they had considered him to be of weak intellect. Ann Ferneaux saw him at half-past two at the back door. He told her he was going to Sidbury that afternoon but he could not go because the key of the front door was locked in the shop. He then said he must go and clean himself and went into the house. He did not appear annoyed through being prevented from going to Sidbury. - John Ferneaux, who corroborated James Horn's evidence, stated that he found a razor partly opened near the body. - Dr Pullin stated that on leaving Church on Sunday evening he was called by the Police Constable to see the deceased, and found that he had been dead several hours. From the position of the buckle of the leather strap round his neck pressing on the windpipe he must have died instantly. In answer to the Coroner and Jury, he thought it quite possible the unfortunate lad had done it in a "lark." - John Horn, the master, deposed that he left deceased in the morning, after giving him a bottle of ginger beer, in his usual health and spirits. He was generally a good boy, but remarkably passionate. - P.C. Chown produced the buckle and cloth which had been carefully wrapped round it as if to prevent his neck from being galled by the strap. This fact, together with his being a mere boy, and from a rumour current that he was in the habit of experimenting with a rope round his neck, and that on one occasion he hung himself to a door on Land, induced the Jury to believe that "The deceased came to his death Accidentally" and a verdict to that effect was recorded. - [We have since heard, on what we consider the best authority, that the rumour of the boy having hung himself to a door and being addicted to the habit of experimenting in that way, is utterly without foundation in fact. - ED. T.G.]
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 27 June 1865
TIVERTON - Shocking And Fatal Accident. - On Wednesday morning, between three and four o'clock, a fatal accident happened to RICHARD KNOTT, a dairyman, occupying Mr Chapple's dairy at Gornhay. It appears that on Tuesday the deceased attended the fair to sell a horse. Between seven and eight in the evening he went to the New Bampton Inn, Townsend put his horse into the stable, and drank, it is said, but a pint of ale. After remaining there a short time he went away. About midnight he returned the worse for drink, and then he had two glasses of grog. Shortly afterwards he ordered his horse out, saying he was going home, Warren, the ostler, took it out for him, and the deceased got on the back of it, but immediately fell off. Mr Bullworthy, the landlord, desired him to stay all night, but deceased would not, saying that he would not sleep out of his house for £5. He again got on his horse and proceeded on his way home. When opposite Belmont Terrace, but a few yards distant, he was seen to fall heavily off. Some person assisted him up and took him back to the Inn, and desired the Landlord to keep him there all night, as he was so drunk as to be unable to sit his horse. The Landlord persuaded him to stay until about half-past three in the morning, when deceased again had his horse out to go home. Just as he was remounting in the yard his wife and some of his children arrived in search of him, and stood outside the public house waiting. She then called to him to come home, and as soon as he came outside the yard gates, his wife spoke to him about remaining out so late, when he struck his spurs into his horse's flanks and rode fast round the corner, his wife and children following close behind. He had scarcely proceeded 150 yards from the Inn, and within a couple of yards from where he first fell off, when he again fell on the near side. His distracted wife alarmed the neighbourhood with shrieks of "Murder, murder, will n one come to assist me." - P.C. Manning was there immediately and found him lying on his face and hands insensible. He promptly fetched Messrs. Mackenzie and Ashford, whilst Mr J. Wright held deceased's head on his knees. The medical attendants examined him and pronounced life to be extinct; the cries of the wife and children were pitiful to hear. The hapless deceased was removed to the New Bampton Inn on a stretcher, where Mr Ashford carefully examined the body, and found an abrasion on the back of his head and a fracture over the right eye. Mr Ashford rode deceased's horse to his home and had a cart taken in to convey the poor widow and children back. - Deceased is described as a hard-working, quiet and steady man. He has left a wife and six children to deplore his untimely death. - The Inquest. - An Inquest was held on the body of deceased before F. Mackenzie, Esq., Coroner, and a Jury consisting of Mr E. Williams, Foreman; Messrs. G. Fare, T. Mead, J. Crease, J. Chubb, J. Sharland, F. Pratt, E. Beck, J. Clapp, P. Nix, J. Trickey and W. Davey. - William Bullworthy was the first witness examined and deposed that he was the Landlord of the New Bampton Inn. He identified the body as that of RICHARD KNOTT. Deceased came into his house the previous evening, between seven and eight o'clock, alone and quite sober. He drank one pint of ale and then left, leaving his horse there. He returned about midnight with Mr Greenslade, butcher. He did not seem drunk. He then drank only two glasses of gin and water. He got up to go away between one and two. He mounted his horse and fell off, but did not fall to the ground, as witness caught him in his arms. He asked deceased to stay all night, he answered he could go home all right. Finding he was unable to stay on his horse, he persuaded him to go into the house again. The reason witness asked him to stay was that he might recover himself, he drank no more after that. He did not see him start, when he left his house the last time it was between three and four o'clock. - By Mr Crease: Deceased only had two three-penny glasses of gin, that makes only one ordinary glass of grog. - Harriett Tucker said she was the daughter of Harriett Bullworthy, wife of the last witness. She saw deceased go away the first time between twelve and one, and the last time between three and four. He drank nothing after he first attempted to go home. It was between three and four the last time he left to go home, he did not seem very tipsy. She saw him go out and advised him not to go on his horse. His wife called to him and spoke very cross, when he spurred his horse and rode off fast, within five minutes he was brought back again dead. - GEORGE POMEROY KNOTT said he was 13 years of age and was the son of deceased. He saw his father start away from the New Bampton Inn that morning between three and four o'clock. The horse he was riding was a grey gelding, four years old, he was accustomed to riding the horse which was a quiet one. When his father left the New Bampton Inn he trotted his horse off in the direction of home. He saw his father fall off on the near side. There was no one near at the time to occasion his fall, he was the nearest to him being about fifty yards behind. - By the Jury: His father rode the horse lately to Teignmouth, he was in the yeomanry cavalry, he was scarcely ever drunk. - Henry Warren said he was ostler at the New Bampton Inn, just after one o'clock last night, deceased RICHARD KNOTT asked him to ring his horse out for him. Witness helped him on and he fell off, but Mr Bullworthy caught him before he came to the ground. Deceased then got on his horse again and rode homeward. About ten minutes after he came back leading his horse and said he had fallen off. He wished witness to put the horse in the stable again. - Mr E. C. Ashford said he was called to see deceased about four o'clock, and attended within three minutes; on his arrival he was quite dead. He examined deceased carefully and found an abrasion at the back of his head, and a fracture over the right eye, death was caused by concussion and it must have been instantaneous. - The Coroner thought there was no need of further evidence, as the cause of death must be conclusive to the Jury, and he thought they would have no difficulty in arriving at a verdict. If they should be of opinion that blame rested on any individual in this matter, that would be for them to determine. - The Jury immediately returned a verdict of Accidental Death. - On Sunday the funeral took place at half-past two, at Chevithorne. Deceased was borne to the grave by eight of his comrades of the Volunteer Yeomanry Cavalry, as follows:- Sergeant Webb, Privates, John Goodland, Walter Goodland, Warren, Venn, Newton, Dunsford and Westlake. Sergeant-Major Lee was also present. Afterwards the mourners attended divine service. The poor widow was greatly distressed and was conveyed home in a fainting condition. The Church was crowded by persons during the service and all seemed to be impressed with the deplorable event.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 4 July 1865
RACKENFORD - Melancholy And Fatal Accident. - An Inquest was held by R. R. Crosse, Esq., County Coroner, on the body of MR WILLIAM BUCKNELL, of Knowstone, farmer, who fell from his horse on Tuesday night last, on his road home from the Tiverton Market. He was carrying a large and heavy basket and the stirrup-leather broke, which was the cause of the accident. Mr Wm. Christopher Venner, a farmer living at Rickham, in the Parish of Oakford, one of the witnesses who was examined at the Inquest, was driving a trap behind deceased and saw him fall. His evidence satisfied the Jury that it was a pure accident, and they returned a verdict accordingly. The deceased was sixty-three years of age; he was respected by all who knew him and has left a wife and six children to lament his untimely death.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 11 July 1865
SIDMOUTH - Melancholy Sudden Death. - An Inquest was held on Tuesday evening last at the York Hotel, by S. M. Cox, Esq., Coroner on the body of HENRY LATHROPE. A respectable Jury was convened, of which Mr Wm. Bray was foreman, consisting of Messrs. W. G. Harris, E. Barratt, J. Avery, J. Turner, R. Lethaby, F. W. Hook, A. W. Beer, J. Bennet, G. Beard, T. Paul, and S. Pile. - The Jury first proceeded to view the body after which the first witness examined was Eliza Hooke, who stated that the deceased had lived with her three years as a lodger. Up to the previous Sunday he was in his usual health, but on that day at dinner time he complained of a tingling in his left hand and arm. In consequence of this she gave him some gin and water before he went to bed. About 1 a.m. she was greatly alarmed by her husband informing her that he was dead. - Henry Hooke, the husband of the last witness said that on the Monday morning about 1 a.m. he heard a noise in deceased's room. On going to ascertain what was the cause he found deceased lying on the floor with his great coat on quite dead. The body was still warm and he sent at once for Dr Pullin who was in attendance in a few minutes, and pronounced life to be extinct. - Dr Pullin deposed that he had been called in to deceased at the hour mentioned and found him quite dead. He had made a post mortem examination of the body that afternoon and found that death had resulted from serious apoplexy. The Jury at once recorded a verdict to this effect.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 1 August 1865
TIVERTON - Melancholy Sudden Death. - MRS BETTY NORRISH, wife of MR NORRISH, of Belle Vue Cottage, of this town, died suddenly on Tuesday afternoon last. It appears in the afternoon of that day the deceased had been in the kitchen making some preserve and feeling very warm she left the room and went into the court to wash her hands, whilst in the act of doing so she fell and knocked her head against the window sill. Mr Mackenzie, Surgeon, was immediately sent for, but before he arrived she had ceased to exist. An Inquest was held on Wednesday afternoon last, before F. Mackenzie, Esq., Coroner, when the Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 15 August 1865
UFFCULME - On Wednesday last, an adjourned Inquest was held at the Lamb Inn, by R. R. Crosse, Esq., County Coroner, concerning the death of a little boy by the name of HOLLEY. It appeared from the evidence adduced, that on Wednesday week the deceased was with other boys amusing himself in a field near his home, when some rough play took place, and at the opening Enquiry which was held on Monday the 7th inst., it was feared that this was the cause of death. On making a post mortem examination, however, enlargement of the heart and extensive disease of the liver and kidneys were discovered by Dr Williams which he considered quite sufficient to account for death. The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 22 August 1865
EXETER - A Railway Porter Crushed To Death. - On Thursday Mr Hooper, Coroner, held an Inquest at the Race Horse Inn on the body of THOMAS COURTENAY, a labourer engaged in the timber loading at the South Western Railway Station. The deceased had lived in Waterloo-place. He was 23 years of age and bore a good character for sobriety. He was recently an inmate of the Hospital, where he had been under treatment for the loss of two fingers, cut off in a railway accident. He was only lately discharged from the Hospital, and had just resumed his work on the line when he met with another accident, which proved fatal. The accident is described by John Brice, one of the porters at the Station, who witnessed it. He said, that on Tuesday afternoon, at half-past six, he saw the deceased on the North platform of the Queen-street Station. A luggage train had just come up from St. David's and was standing. It had an engine in front and one at the rear. The one behind parted from the train and came up a side line next the main line. The deceased stepped from the platform to the brake van, and jumped from the van to the side line just before the detached engine came abreast of the train. Deceased was looking up the line, had he been looking down the line he could have seen the coming engine. He did not, however, see it, and jumped down just in front of it. Witness heard the stoker, who was driving the detached engine, shout and witness went over and found deceased crushed and quite dead by the train going over him. One of his legs was cut off, his arm was broken and his head was injured. He was placed on boards and his body lodged in a shed. - John Baker, a porter, said that he was following the deceased in crossing the brake van. They were crossing the line in order to alter the points on the other side. Instantly that deceased jumped off the brake van, the engine knocked him down and crushed him. The driver pulled up immediately. Thomas Hicks, the driver of the engine in question, said that he saw deceased jump off the brake van about six feet ahead of the engine, deceased was looking up the line. Witness shouted to him but he did not turn his head, but got on the line in front of the engine, and was knocked down and run over. The engine was going between two and three miles an hour. The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.
OAKFORD - Alleged Fatal Pugilistic Encounter. Inquest Yesterday. - Yesterday (Monday) an Inquest was held before R. R. Crosse, Esq., County Coroner, at Foxford's Inn, Oakford Bridge, on the body of WILLIAM HENRY PARKHOUSE, son of the landlord of the above Inn, aged 12 years. It was alleged that he met with his death from injuries received in a fight with a fellow-scholar named George Harding and hence some public interest was attached to the proceedings. - The Coroner stated to the Jury that it appeared that two boys had a fight, deceased and a boy named George Harding. Harding got the best of the fight, threw the deceased down and knelt upon his bowels. They had a melancholy duty to perform, if they had to find a verdict of manslaughter; they must ascertain from the evidence if the boy was really culpable. There appeared to be strong grounds to suppose that the deceased died from injuries he had received, but if they had the least doubt upon the matter they were bound to give Harding the benefit of it. - William Turner, a fellow-scholar, son of Henry Turner of Oakford, aged 12, said he saw the fight between George Harding and deceased, both went to the same school. Deceased struck Harding across the head with a stick and Harding then caught hold of him and threw him down and knelt upon his abdomen. Deceased said let me get up, and he did so. Harding then caught him by the hair of the head and struck him on the eye and on the nose, they fought about two minutes. Harding was victorious. Deceased then went away and washed himself. - By the Foreman: Harding knelt on deceased three or four minutes, he struggled to get up but could not. - James Kingdom deposed that he saw the whole of the fight, Harding did not kneel on deceased he must have seen it if he had; they did not fight more than four or five minutes, Harding stood across deceased who cried out "let me up and I'll fight thee." There were twenty boys there. - The Coroner said it was a pity that they had no other witnesses there, as there was a sad contradiction between the evidence of the two boys. The Jury expressed their opinion that another boy ought to have been had there. - ELIZABETH PARKHOUSE, stepmother of the deceased, said she remembered when the boy came home on the 7th inst; he went early to bed. Next day he complained of a pain in his bowels. He got up a little for three or four mornings afterwards; she asked him several times if he thought that Harding was the cause of his injuries he said no. She nursed him from the 7th, the day of the fight until Friday last, when he died. - Wm. Trevor, Surgeon, of Dulverton, deposed that he was called to see the boy on Tuesday, the 15th, he found him suffering from great pain in the abdomen upon the right side. He felt a hard doughy substance, which he thought was a stoppage of the bowels. He was told that he had been ill ever since he fought with Harding. there was no external sign of bruises. He said he had not been kicked, and was not sore; he laid no complaint whatever against the boy; it was a fair fight. He attended on Thursday, and found that the medicine had failed in removing the obstruction and he knew the boy was in imminent danger; he came next day, when the boy died. He was not satisfied of the cause of the boy's death and refused to give a certificate to the Registrar, by order of the Coroner. He had that day made a post mortem examination in the presence of Mr Edwards, and found the whole of the covering membrane of the bowels in a state of inflammation and the fatty covering of the bowels, bordering on a state of mortification. What produced the inflammation he could not tell, as there were no evidences of any mechanical injury. The disease arose sometimes spontaneously, or possibly from external injury. - Mr Edwards, Surgeon, of Bampton, corroborated Mr Trevor in every particular. - The Jury, acting on the advice of the Coroner, found a verdict of Death from Natural Causes.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 29 August 1865
SIDMOUTH - Suicide. - On Saturday morning an old man named LEWIS SOMMERWILL committed suicide by hanging himself. The deceased who was seventy-one years of age, formerly, and for many years kept a small hucksters shop in Old Fore-street, which he has of late given up to his son and daughter-in-law, with whom he lived near the Anchor Inn. The alarm was given by a lad named William Spencer, who saw the old man hanging out of a side window with a rope round his neck, the other end of which was found to be made fast to the bed post. He had on his trousers and stockings and had managed to get his whole body out of the window. he was of course cut down as soon as discovered and Dr Pullin was sent for, who arrived immediately and pronounced life to be extinct, but at the same time stated that he had not been dead above four or five minutes before he was cut down. The old man was a widower. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body yesterday morning at the London Hotel, at 10.30 a.m., but the verdict has not yet reached us.
TEMPLETON - The Storm Of Thursday. A Boy Drowned. - On Saturday last, R. R. Crosse, Esq., County Coroner, held an Inquest in a cottage at Legge village, in this parish, on view of the body of a boy aged six years named ROWE, residing in the village. Mr William Blake of North Coombe was the Foreman of the Jury. It appears that on Thursday when the storm was at its height the deceased was observed by another little boy crossing a sort of bridge constructed by a couple of poles, which spans a small lake usually only an inch or two deep but which had risen from the heavy rain to about four feet, and suddenly to fall off into the water. The child raised an alarm and several of the villagers went in search of deceased but could not find him. The search was continued all night along the river, into which the lake referred to empties itself, until four o'clock the next morning, when the body of the hapless little fellow was found a quarter of a mile down the river where it had drifted. The small bridge is insecurely constructed for the convenience of the cottagers to fetch wood, by Mr Maisland to whom the property belongs. The Jury found a verdict of Accidental Drowning and ordered that a proper bridge should be placed there.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 5 September 1865
TIVERTON - Melancholy Death Of The Town Sergeant. - F. Mackenzie, Esq., the Borough Coroner, held an Enquiry at the Guildhall on Wednesday evening, into the melancholy circumstances that led to the death of HENRY COOK aged 40 years, well-known as the Town Sergeant and Hall-keeper of Tiverton. It appears that the poor man retired to bed shortly before 11 o'clock the previous night; just before 12 MRS COOK was suddenly awoke by his making a loud gurgling noise; supposing him to be suffering from nightmare she shook him, but he did not speak and before she could procure assistance and a light he was dead. - Mr John Hill was chosen Foreman of the Jury. Previous to viewing the body, which lay at deceased's residence, in St Andrew-street, the Coroner remarked that they were met together with feelings of regret, to Enquire into the circumstances which led to the sudden death of a fellow-townsman that all of them had known so well. - JOHN COOK, son of deceased, was the first witness examined and deposed that he was absent from the house when his father expired. He was fetched about a quarter to 12 last night and found that he had just died. He identified the deceased as his father. He was Town Sergeant and Hall-keeper, aged 40 last March. He last saw him alive about 2 o'clock that day, he was then in his usual health. He was not aware nor did he believe that anything had disturbed the previous day to affect his health. - Mr Gervis, Surgeon, of St Peter-street, stated that he had known deceased a great many years. The last serious illness he had for which he (Mr Gervis) attended him must have been eighteen years ago, when he had inflammation of the lungs and a narrow escape of his life. He was not aware that the deceased was subject to any organic disease. He was called last night about a quarter to 12, in great haste; when witness reached the house he found him lying in bed on his right side quite dead. There was no escape of frothy mucus from the nose or mouth, nor blood; no discolouration of the skin, nor any distortion of the features whatever. He could perceive no smell of any kind near the body. the eyelids were closed, the expression of countenance perfectly natural and the hands quite free, so that there was no appearance of convulsive movement. Witness made some enquiries of the wife, and ascertained that he had that night made a very hearty meal of bread and cheese and beer, and had complained of no indisposition the previous day. She also informed him that he once before made a similar hearty supper of bread and cheese and beer and suffered severely from indigestion during the night; and that since the attack upon the lungs he had never been able to lie on his left side. He was of opinion that death might have occurred from apoplexy, through partaking a hearty meal just before retiring to bed. He (Mr Gervis) learnt that deceased had not taken any medicine. His wife also stated to him that he was frequently taken with cold perspiration in the day time. He did not take any drink with his bread and cheese, but had taken the beer during the evening at an adjoining public-house, but how much he could not learn. - The Jury and the Coroner considered he was always a very abstemious man. One of the Jury said he seldom or ever drank more than a pint of beer at a time. The Foreman (Mr Hill) had known deceased for a great number of years, and knew him to be a most sober man. - Mr Gervis said in answer to the Foreman, that he had no doubt whatever that death was occasioned purely from natural causes. - The Coroner briefly summed up, pointing out that if the Jury were not perfectly satisfied of the cause of death from the evidence adduced, they might order a post-mortem examination of the body. - The Foreman, in returning an unanimous verdict of Death From Natural Causes, humanely suggested a subscription amongst the Jury for the temporary benefit of the bereaved wife, who was left in very indigent circumstances and as a mark of respect for the memory of an old and respectable fellow-townsman. The Coroner generously responded with a guinea, which was immediately increased to £2 11s. 6d. by the Jury and a few others present. - Subscription For The Widow And Family. - The circumstances attending the death of poor COOK were so melancholy, as to cause much sympathy to be felt for his bereaved wife and seven children who are left almost entirely destitute by his death. The deceased was a quiet, sober and industrious man and consequently two respectable tradesmen - Mr John Goodland, Fore-street and Mr John Hill, maltster, have been active in endeavouring to raise a subscription for the family, but though their appeal has been responded to with alacrity, the sum does not yet reach the amount they desire. The subscriptions up to yesterday (Monday) morning amounted to £13 10s. 0d., inclusive of £2 11s. 6d. raised at the Inquest. Five pounds of this sum have been handed to the widow for suitable mourning and the remainder it is to be hoped, will be increased sufficiently to enable these gentlemen to place her in a position to earn a livelihood for herself and young children. Any person who has not yet subscribed and wishes to do so, should forward his subscription either to Mr Goodland or Mr Hill without delay. The smallest sum will be gladly received.
SIDMOUTH - The Shocking Suicide Of An Old Man. Inquest And Verdict. - On Monday last week, S. Cox, Esq., Coroner for the district, held an Inquest at Witt's London Hotel, on view of the body of LEWIS SOMMERWILL, who committed suicide by hanging. As reported in the Tiverton Gazette of last week. - CHARLES LEWIS SOMMERWILL, the son, deposed that deceased was more than 70 years of age and that he kept a huckster's shop. He (witness) considered that deceased was not in his right mind and had been eccentric for the past two or three months. He and his family went to live with deceased in February last. Witness noticed that he was particularly affected when he took anything to drink; he was abusive to his wife and wanted the sole control of the house and business after he (witness) had paid off his debts. For the past two or three weeks deceased had been in receipt of 1s. 6d. a week from the parish. On Friday lat he had been out drinking, and returned home and went to bed. Between seven and eight o'clock he took him up some supper and after eating it he wished witness good night. That was the last time he saw him alive. He (witness) went to bed about half-past ten and heard no noise during the night. Witness got up at six o'clock the following morning and went to work as usual and a young man called Morey, came to Mr Searle's Brewery, and told him that deceased had hung himself. He immediately went home and found deceased had been cut down and the body lying in the kitchen. There was the mark of a rope round his neck. Dr Pullin was there. - Wm. Spencer said that on the Saturday morning at about twenty minutes to seven, as he went to Mr Stoyle's pump for a bucket of water, he saw deceased hanging from his bedroom window; he went down to see who it was and then he called Richard Morey, the ostler, who cut him down. He was quite dead, but the arms were not cold. He had his shirt, stockings and trousers on. Witness fetched Dr Pullin. - Dr Pullin deposed that he was sent for on Saturday, the 28th august, to go and see deceased. He went and found the body lying in the kitchen, partly dressed with a part of the rope around his neck. He was quite dead and he should judge he had been dead about twenty minutes. The neck was not broken, but death was evidently caused by hanging,; there was a deep indentation on the side of the neck, corresponding with a knot. The lungs answered for a short time to artificial respiration. Death was from Asphyxia. He had attended deceased for years. - About six months ago he was very ill from general weakness. He was demented, and of weak intellect and about three months since he ordered that deceased should not be allowed to shave himself. He was constantly complaining without cause. - Verdict, that deceased Committed Suicide by Hanging, while in a state of "Temporary Insanity."
SIDMOUTH - Fatal Accident By Drowning. - On Wednesday evening JOHN BASTIN, a boy about fourteen, was accidentally drowned. Deceased put off by himself in a boat for the purpose of cleaning it out, but on sculling ashore it is thought (for no one witnessed the accident) that the oar slipped out of its place and the boy fell overboard. It is stated that he was not found missing until an hour afterwards, when his hat was seen floating on the water. A number of boats then put off in search of the poor lad, and the body was afterwards brought ashore in a net cast out to find it. - The Inquest. - An Inquest was held at Cawsey's Bedford Hotel, on Friday last, before S. S. Cox, Esq., Coroner, touching the death of the unfortunate boy. The Following gentlemen were on the Jury:- Messrs. Edwin George Howard (Foreman); Richard Searle, Samuel Newton, Henry Wood, John Clapp, Thomas Russell, John Turner, Stephen Hayman, James Godfrey, Alexander Channing, William Sanders, Richard Letheby, and George Pottinger. - Robert Sheppard deposed that he saw the boy on Wednesday night out in a little boat belonging to Mr James Harris. It was tied to another boat, belonging to Stevens and others, of Branscombe. The boy was washing the little boat, in which he was, with a mop. About half-past seven he untied the little boat from the other and rowed towards the shore. He saw him rowing till within 70 or 80 yards of the shore and he watched him no further. A short time after he saw the boat a little nearer the shore than where he had previously seen it without the boy in it. He said to deceased's brother that perhaps he was laid down in the bottom of the boat. Becoming alarmed at seeing the oars floating he went to the beach and took a boat with William Radford and William Sellick and rowed to the oars and there found deceased's cap. They then returned to shore and some of them went for a seine, and after twice shooting it the body was found. No accident happened while he was mopping out the boat. Deceased had been with Mr Harris about six years. The boat was a safe one. He could not tell how the accident occurred. - James Harris deposed that the last time he saw deceased alive was about a quarter to seven. Deceased was in his employ and he rowed him and his brother and John Stevens ashore from the boat Matilda. He then took back the little boat to the Matilda to mop it out. Deceased had been with him about six years. He could not swim; not half of the Sidmouth fishermen could swim. - The Coroner said that if he had his will no one should go to sea without first learning to swim. He saw the body recovered by the seine. The boy was quite dead. Dr Mackenzie was present as soon as the body was got ashore. - John Ingleby Mackenzie, physician and surgeon, stated that he was walking on the beach about quarter past eight on Wednesday, when a gentleman told him that a boy was drowned and he went to see if he was of any service. The body was carried off to Harris's house. He went there and found the boy was quite dead. He had been in the water about three-quarters of an hour and presented the usual appearance of persons drowned, viz: a frothy mucus coming from the mouth, the hands clenched and the body rigid. It was hopeless to attempt to resuscitate him. He had since made a post-mortem examination, but found no bruises on the body. There were a few abrasions on the legs, which might have been caused by dragging the body over the shingles. On opening the brain he found it congested and the heart on the right side distended with blood and deep seated disease in both lungs, showing deceased was of a consumptive constitution. He should say that death was occasioned by suffocation from drowning. - The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death from Drowning. - Some of the neighbours of deceased were rather indignant because the body was removed from the house of Harris, with whom he was living. - The Coroner stated to the Jury, had he been aware that the relatives had objected to the removal of the body he would not have ordered it; he was not aware of the body being in a relative's house.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 12 September 1865
CULLOMPTON - Extraordinary Suicidal Mania. - On Wednesday afternoon last, about 2.30, HENRY MANNING, a mason, aged 54, committed suicide by hanging himself with his neckerchief to the bedpost. He went upstairs under pretence of going to rest and when discovered he was quite dead and cold, having apparently been dead two or three hours. Deceased was always considered insane, and once or twice he had been in a lunatic asylum. Latterly he has drank to excess and it is stated that he lived unhappily with his family. - On Thursday an Inquest was held on the body of the hapless man, at the Admiral Hawk Inn, before R. R. Crosse, Esq., Coroner, and a respectable Jury, of which Mr Murch was Foreman. - George Hornsey deposed that he had known deceased for the past twenty years and during that time he had been once or twice to the Asylum. He was in the habit of drinking freely and latterly had lived unhappily with his wife and daughter. Deceased had lately frequently expressed his determination to destroy himself. About half-past two on the previous day the wife of deceased raised an alarm, and he (witness) ran into deceased's house, went upstairs, and found him suspended by a silk neckerchief to the bed-post. The neckerchief was just long enough to allow deceased to touch the side of the bed. His head had fallen on one side, to all appearance he had been dead two or three hours. He assisted to cut him down and immediately sent for Dr Gabriel, who attended and found life extinct. - The Coroner stated to the Jury that as it was known to them that deceased was a lunatic and had before been to an Asylum, that it was unnecessary to call any other witness. The Jury returned a verdict that deceased Hung Himself while in a State of Mind Unsound.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 19 September 1865
BRADNINCH - Frightful Suicide On The Railway. - An Inquest was held before R. R. Crosse, Esq., at the Bradninch Arms Inn, on Saturday last, on the body of ISAAC HOLLETT, labourer, aged 32 years, who met a horrible death from being dashed to pieces by jumping in front of a train on the Bristol and Exeter Railway, near Hele, on Friday last. - The following evidence was elicited. - H. Frost, stoker, deposed - I was stoker of the up express on Friday, which left Exeter at 1.15 instead of 12.53. I do not know the cause of its being late. We were running at the usual speed, about the rate of fifty miles per hour, when, just after passing Hele Station, I saw, about a quarter of a mile off, a man in a field on the near side of the railroad, about a yard from the gate leading to the line, where there is a foot crossing. He looked at me and I at him, he opened the gate and deliberately jumped in front of the engine. The buffer plank struck him and I told my mate we had killed a man. We sounded the brake whistle; the brakes were immediately applied and the train brought to a standstill in about three-quarters of a mile, and a packer sent back who was working near. Deceased appeared to be standing waiting for the train. I did not know him. - George Nobson, driver, corroborated last witness's statement. - JOHN HOLLETT, residing at Bradninch, uncle to deceased, deposed - I was working with deceased on Friday in a barn belonging to Mr S. Templeman. We stopped in the forenoon about half-past ten. In the course of some conversation we had, he said he had not much clothes and very little money and got up to leave us, saying "I shall drink once more and that will be the last." We did not take any notice of his leaving us because he had done so once before in the week without any cause. I believe from his manner and conduct that he was not in his right mind. - THOMAS HOLLETT, brother to deceased, believed his brother was not accountable for his actions, as he had behaved very strangely in his work for some time, forgetting directions given him &c. He believed him to be of unsound mind. - Jonathan Smith, mason on the B and E Railway, said I was working on the line repairing Waterstave-bridge, I heard the brake whistle, ran back and found a man lying on the up rail with his head cut in two. I picked up his brains and put them in one of his boots which was knocked off. All his limbs appeared to be broken. I did not know him before. Some packers coming up at the time, I helped to carry deceased to the Bradninch Arms. - After hearing the evidence the Jury, without the least hesitation, returned a verdict of Suicide under Temporary Insanity. - Deceased was afflicted with fits.
NEWTON ABBOT - Distressing Case Of Love And Suicide Of a Tiverton Girl. - On Saturday F. B. Cuming, Esq., Coroner, held an Inquest at the Jolly Sailor Inn, Newton Abbot, on the body of SARAH CAPE, a native of Tiverton, who had poisoned herself on the previous day. The deceased, who was about thirty years of age, was a domestic servant in the employ of Mr Lawe, manure manufacturer of East-street. On Thursday morning, shortly after eleven o'clock, Miss Lawe left her alone in the house to prepare the dinner and on her return home about one, the deceased was missing. Mr Lawe, jun., returned home about a quarter of an hour afterwards and went with Mr Wotton up to the deceased's bedroom. They found her in bed and dead. Dr Jane was then called in. He considered she had been dead about an hour, having died from the effects of some irritant poison. On the kitchen table was found a cup containing a small quantity of oxalic acid. It was therefore considered that the deceased took a quantity of this poison very soon after Miss Lawe left the house and then went to bed and died immediately afterwards. Her dress, found at the foot of the bed, was stained as though she had been sick after taking the poison. that she had previously intended to destroy herself there is no doubt, as she purchased the oxalic acid of Mr Poulton, chemist, on Thursday, saying that she required it for cleaning brass. She had been in the service of Mr Lawe about eighteen months and was considered a very eccentric character. Mr Lawe said that he had been informed that she had been promised marriage by a young man, and that he had since deceived her. She had attempted to destroy herself a few years ago. The Jury returned a verdict that the deceased Poisoned Herself while in a State of Temporary Insanity.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 26 September 1865
CRUWYS MORCHARD - The Fatal Gun Accident. - On Wednesday last R. R. Crosse, Esq., County Coroner, held an Inquest at this place, on view of the body of MR GEORGE WEBBER, of Ringsland farm, who met with his death under melancholy circumstances as reported in our last. The poor man went out rabbit shooting on Monday, and on his return home upon his pony, he carried the barrel of his gun in one side pocket of his coat and the stock in the other. Unfortunately the barrel was loaded and on dismounting from his pony in the farm yard, the barrel fell out of his pocket and discharged its contents into his thigh, dividing the main artery, and thereby causing him to bleed to death before assistance could be obtained. From the evidence of several witnesses it appeared that deceased was much and deservedly respected as an honest and sober man. Verdict "Accidental Death."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 3 October 1865
WILLAND - Alleged Case of Child Murder. - An Inquest was held yesterday (Monday) before R. R. Crosse, Esq., County Coroner, at Brown's Half Way House Inn, Willand, on the body of a new-born female child, whose death is supposed to have been caused by wilful means. The following gentlemen were empanelled on the Jury:- Mr John Quant (Foreman); Messrs. William Rowe, William Domett, Thomas Bodley, James Chick, Benjamin F. Coles, Sydney A. Doble, Henry Doble, John Back, John Godfrey, Francis R. Cook, John Gale, and Humphrey M. Shiles. - The Coroner informed the Jury that they had met together to investigate a case that bore semblance to what was now a common crime in this country, namely, infanticide. If it was necessary for them to have the mother of the child before them, they must adjourn the Inquest for the production of the young woman, whose name was SANDERS. She was now in custody at Cullompton, and unable at present to be brought before them. - Mrs Southey was the first witness called. She said she lived at Selgars Mills, in the parish of Halberton, the girl SANDERS was in her service for about a year and a half. She was not quite 17 years of age, she had suspicion a month or two ago that she was in the family-way and told her so, but she attributed her appearance to her dress, and witness afterwards believed her suspicions were unfounded and she then said no more about it. On Thursday last 28th ult. she saw traces of blood in the yard which again roused her suspicions. She asked accused if she could account for it. She partly did so, but not to the satisfaction of witness; she said nothing about having been confined. She did her work on that day and she first complained on Wednesday of being ill and she gave the girl some medicine which caused her to vomit. She then said she had been eating a pear and a part of a raw turnip which caused her illness. She went to bed about ten o'clock and heard no more from her until the next morning and it was then that she saw the spots of blood in the courtyard. On Friday she thought that as accused was so unwell, she would have someone to assist her in her work, on that day she sent to the girl's mother, who lives at Bradninch, and she came the next morning (Saturday). The girl did not confess anything to her (witness) but told her mother that she had been confined in the yard and had let the child outside the yard gates all night. As Mrs Southey could not state whether the girl had made any provision for the child, the Coroner sent to have her box examined. Witness said she had seen no preparation made by the girl. The body of the child was brought to the house by the mother and witness immediately sent for Mr Collins, Supt. of Police and the body was given in his charge, who had it removed to his house. Accused at first denied having been confined, but afterwards in a private interview with her mother, she admitted it. - JANE SANDERS, wife of RICHARD SANDERS, of Bradninch, said she was the mother of the girl. She deposed that she was sent for by the last witness, to go to Selgars Mills, the residence of Mrs Southey. She questioned her daughter as to having given birth to a child. She at first denied it, but afterwards confessed that she had been picking apples on the Wednesday and coming out of a tree fell into a gutter, which produced a great pain, that continued until the evening, and between 8 and 9 o'clock she went into the courtyard and was there delivered of the deceased. She said she was then called by Mrs Southey, and did some work, (cleaned a knife, &c.) and then returned and took the body of the child outside the yard. She (witness) went out with her daughter, and she shewed her the body of a new born child. She at once took off her daughter's apron and put the body in it, and carried it into Mrs Southey's house. Mrs Southey immediately sent for the Police. She (witness) had now just searched her daughter's box, but found no baby linen. She asked her daughter the reason she denied having been with child. To this her daughter replied that she did not believe she was until her confinement. - Richard Bryden, Surgeon, deposed that he was called to Selgars Mills on Saturday evening, he went and saw the body of the deceased child there. He externally examined the body but found no marks of violence whatever. The child was fully matured, and he was quite sure that it had attained that age and activity which would have enabled it to maintain a separate existence. By order of the coroner he had since made a post-mortem examination, which convinced him that the child had breathed fully, the lungs were inflated, they floated buoyantly and crepitated when pressed; the umbilical cord had not been separated. He had heard the statement made by the girl to her mother, as stated in her testimony. It might so have happened that the delivery was unexpected and sudden on the part of the mother, but it was a matured child and the mother must have known she was pregnant. Nothing in the appearance of the child could show how it came by its death, but he thought it most likely to have been caused by exposure to cold. - The Coroner lucidly summed up. After a short consultation the Jury returned an Open Verdict of "Found Dead" there being no evidence to show how the child came by its death. - The Coroner informed the Jury that the girl SANDERS was in custody and would, no doubt, be charge before the Magistrates with the crime of Infanticide.
HONITON - Impalement. - A few days age MR FRANCIS NEWBERRY, of Crokham Farm, fell off a wheat rick he was assisting to make on to a pick which was stuck in the ground, and the stem entering his body, death quickly ensued. The Coroner's Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 14 November 1865
CLYST HONITON - Alleged Murder By Poisoning At Honiton Clyst. - At the quiet little village of Honiton Clyst, situated about six miles from Exeter, WILLIAM ASHFORD, a sober, industrious man, about sixty years of age, a master boot and shoe maker, died on Saturday evening week under circumstances which afford grave suspicions that he had been poisoned by his wife. For some time past the deceased had lived unhappily with his wife, owing to jealousy. A man named Pratt, who had worked for him as a journeyman for many years, was the cause of the unfortunate strife. Pratt, about two years since, left the deceased and went to reside at Dawlish, but afterwards returned through the influence of MRS ASHFORD and from that time to the present was believed to be on far too intimate terms with his mistress. They had been frequently seen together and this so excited the deceased that a quarrel took place. The deceased was, up to the last fortnight, in the enjoyment of good health, but was taken ill on the 29th ult., after having partaken of tea at a friend's house in the village where he repeatedly expressed his disgust at the conduct of his wife. From the evidence of Mrs Butt, the wife of a Police-Constable stationed in the village, and residing two doors from the deceased, the case appears to bear very strongly against MRS ASHFORD, and on Saturday P.C. Butt considered, from the knowledge he possessed of the case, he was justified in apprehending her. Shortly after the deceased died on Saturday night he took the wife into custody. While being searched, she took from her pocket a packet, which she threw into the fire, and it was destroyed before it could be rescued. Peculiarities were observed in its ignition and it is to have contained chemicals. An Inquest was opened on Monday, before Mr Deputy Coroner Brent, Mr Friend of Exeter, appearing for the prisoner, and Mr Deputy Superintendent Maxell for the Police. The only evidence was that of Mr Butt, who said that on the 3rd instant she was in the bedroom of the deceased for some time and saw him frequently during his illness. Her evidence was sufficient to throw strong suspicion on MRS ASHFORD. the Inquiry was then adjourned to the next evening, and a post-mortem examination ordered. The latter was made by Dr Roberts and Mr Warren, of Exeter and the result given to the Jury on Tuesday evening, when a good deal of additional evidence was given. It was, however, considered advisable to send the contents of the stomach, &c. to Dr Herepath, for analysis, for the result of which, the Inquiry was adjourned to November 20th. The prisoner was brought up before the Magistrates at Exmouth and on the application of the Deputy Chief Constable, was remanded to Woodbury Sessions held yesterday (Monday.)
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 28 November 1865
CLYST HONITON - The adjourned Inquest on the alleged poisoning case at Clyst Honiton came to a conclusion on Monday last, the Jury returning a verdict of Wilful Murder against MARY ANN ASHFORD, the wife of the deceased man, WILLIAM ASHFORD. It will be remembered that the first Inquiry was adjourned after hearing evidence showing deceased's death to have been attended with suspicious circumstances, in order to have a post mortem examination of the body made, and next to give time for the contents of the stomach &c., and some packets of powders, sediments in drinking vessels, &c., found in the house, to be analysed by Professor Herepath, of Bristol. The accused was supposed to have had a too intimate connection with a workman in her husband's employ, and letters were read, which had passed between them, tending to prove this. The young man Pratt was also examined, but his evidence was simply corroborative of that of the other witnesses. The most important of these was Professor Herepath, who swore to having found arsenic and strychnia in the stomach, the system and the liver. He also found arsenic in the sediment taken from a wine-glass used by deceased, and traces of one or the other poison in several other articles submitted to him. He could not undertake to say positively if sufficient poison had been given to destroy life. P.C. Butt and Sergt. Ryall were also examined and their evidence corroborated that formerly given. The Jury only deliberated 10 minutes upon their verdict. The prisoner was brought up the next day at Exmouth on remand before the magistrates and such additional evidence was taken as was deemed necessary for her committal. Mr Roberts, Surgeon, who attended deceased and Mr Warren who assisted at the post mortem examination were both examined and the latter did not hesitate to say that he could come to no other conclusion than that deceased died from the effects of irritant poison. Mr Herepath's evidence was also heard and the Court was adjourned to the next day, when after some of the former witnesses had been again examined, the Bench committed the wretched woman to take her trial for Wilful Murder at the Spring Assizes. The case has created great sensation in the neighbourhood, the prisoner evinced much excitement during the Inquiry.
ROCKBEARE - Horrible Suicide. - The inhabitants of this quiet little village were in a state of great excitement on Friday in consequence of a determined act of self-destruction committed by the wife of a labourer named WESTLAKE. On Friday morning, the 17th, during the absence of her husband, she cut her throat with his razor in such a horrible manner as almost to separate the head from the body. She was found lying dead in the kitchen and covered with blood by a neighbour's little girl, about twelve o'clock. On Saturday an Inquest was held by Dr Brent, Deputy Coroner for the district, when the Jury unanimously returned a verdict of Suicide under Temporary Insanity. The only reason assigned for the committal of the deed, was that she had been in a delicate state of health for some time past, that she had been discharged from the Hospital and had desired to be again admitted, but had been refused.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 12 December 1865
CULLOMPTON - A fatal accident occurred on Monday last week, to an old man, named JOHN WEBBER, who had reached the great age of 76 years. It appears that the poor man (who has resided in Cullompton all his life, and was much respected) fell over the stairs and received injuries to his head which terminated fatally. At an Inquest held on Wednesday, before R. R. Crosse, Esq., Coroner, the Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."