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
1875 and 1876
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:- Beedle; Bellamy; Bennett; Betty; Birch; Bishop; Blackford; Bowyer; Burt; Challacombe; Chambers; Channing; Cook; Courtenay; Dennis; Dobb; Dominy; Dunn; Elliott; Graham; Greenslade(2); Gregory; Gubb; Gully; Gunn(2); Hatcher; Hayman; Holloway; Jerrod; Kelly; Long; Madge; Manley; Manning; Marshall; Oliver; Osmond; Owen; Palfrey; Phillips; Potter; Pring; Rawe; Redwood; Reed; Richards; Rooks; Russell; Sexon; Shapland; Skinner; Squires(2); Stanbury; Stone; Sweet; Tamlyn; Thomas; Vinnicombe; Watts; Weeks; Westacott.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 5 January 1875
BARNSTAPLE - Found Drowned. - On Tuesday evening a dead body, afterwards identified as that of MR B. GREENSLADE, of Romansleigh, was found in the river Taw. Early in the day deceased attended the Barnstaple Great Market and dined at the King's Arms Hotel, which place he left at four o'clock in the afternoon. In the evening he was seen at the Braunton Inn, and from that time trace of him was lost. The deceased was a widower, about 53 years of age. The Inquest on the body was held on Wednesday. Evidence was given to the effect that deceased was in the market in the morning before he was found in the Taw. Mr Elliott, landlord of the King's Arms Hotel, said deceased was at his house on the 11th inst. About four o'clock in the afternoon he left, stating that he should return home by the next train. He then appeared in his usual health and was quite sober. Susan Brown, landlady of the Braunton Inn, deposed that deceased came to her house late in the afternoon of the 11th. He remained in her house until nearly eight o'clock and when he left he was slightly intoxicated. Richard Nott, a smith, proved discovering the body of the deceased in the Taw. P.C. Molland and Sergeant Eddy deposed to finding in the pockets of deceased's clothes - a gold watch and chain, a pocket-book, containing bills, a cheque book, gloves, knife, keys and a purse containing 5s. 7d, in small silver coins. Mr J. W. Cooke, Surgeon, said he examined the body of deceased. There was no external marks of violence. The body had apparently been in the water some considerable time. His opinion was that death was caused by drowning. The Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned" and suggested that protection should be placed upon the edge of the Little Quay.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 12 January 1875
NEWTON ABBOT - Baby Farming. Committal For Wilful Murder. - An Inquest was held at the Town Hall on Wednesday by Mr H. Michelmore, Coroner, on the body of MARGARET PHILLIPS, an infant. - Mr James Zealley, builder, had been summoned on the Jury, and as he failed to attend the Coroner fined him 10s., but subsequently remitted the fine on Mr Zealley attending and explaining the reason of his absence. - The Coroner, in opening the proceedings, said the case would most probably prove an important one and he asked the Jury to give it their particular attention. - Ann Mudge, wife of James Mudge, a labourer, residing in No. 4 Court, East-street, said she knew Betsy Binmore, who lived two doors from witness and was a widow. They were friendly as neighbours and witness was in Binmore's house on Tuesday, at dinner time (when the child died), in consequence of a message received from her. The child was lying on Mrs Binmore's lap. She said the child had been ill a week and witness knew it was ill on Tuesday week, as she went there for her brother, a soldier, who often looked in. Mrs Binmore told her she had sent for Dr Haydon, who looked in, but would not attend the child, as she did not know who would pay him and that she had seen Dr Drake, who would not come to see the child. Witness did not know how long Binmore had had the care of the child. Binmore had two girls of her own, and three babies and a little boy. Neither of the babies were six months old. - The Coroner then called Mrs Binmore, who was in Court, and asked for the register of her house. She said she had no register, nor did she know she required one. - The Coroner then told her she was liable to a fine of £5 for each child. - Witness's examination was continued: All the infants came from the Newton Union. Mrs Binmore treated the children very well, as far as witness knew, giving them boiled bread, sweetened with sugar. Witness saw the deceased baby had a cold drawn look about a week ago. The others had not the same drawn look then as they had now. She had seen the children in a "bed made up of a pillow on a couple of chairs" behind the door. Mrs Binmore had a cradle, and before the bottom of it came out the children used to sleep in it together, but witness had not seen it downstairs for six weeks. She had seen them several times in this cradle. Mrs Binmore took in nurse children and had 1s. 6d. a week from the parish, but did not go out to work. Witness had never been into the house and found she was not there since she had these children. - Mrs Binmore, or her eldest daughter, had taken the children out of doors on some occasions. Witness had no occasion to think Mrs Binmore had treated the children unkindly. - Mr Drake here arrived and the Coroner told him the statement that had been made by the witness respecting him and he said it was quite correct. He had attended so many times without being paid, that he told the women to go to someone else. - Sarah Jane Binmore, 16 years of age, eldest daughter of Mrs Binmore, who, with her sister, 12 years old, lived at home, stated that the mother of the deceased child lived at Bath, and was called MARY PHILLIPS. The child was not well when it was brought to her mother's house and was taken worse on Tuesday week. The child was not so thin when brought to the house, nor were the others, as at present. The children were fed two or three times a day, and two or three times by night. Her mother bought two pennyworth of scald milk and one pennyworth of new milk a day from John Webber, which was given the babies, and the boy, who is four years old, had the same food as witness and her mother. The babies also had bread and sugar. Her mother did not go out to work, but when going an errand would sometimes leave the children with witness. Her mother washed and dressed the children every morning and also washed them every evening. The deceased child's mother said when she brought the child that she had had medicine from Mr P:onsford's, who told her to take care of it. Her mother got half-a-crown a week for each child, and eighteen pence from the parish; but neither witness nor her sister earned any money. All the other children looked ill. A boy four years old named Frederick Almond, had been there since a baby. Her mother had had four other nurse children, three of whom, girls under one year, had died. They were attended by Dr Drake. Another child, a boy six or seven years old, was taken away by his mother six months ago. Witness's mother had kept children about four years. - John Webber proved that Binmore, during the last month or five weeks, only bought one-pennyworth of scald milk mornings and half-pennyworth evenings. - Susan Bartlett, nurse at the Newton Workhouse, remembered MARY PHILLIPS, who came from St Mary Church, and was confined on the 1st August. PHILLIPS nursed the baby, which was fine and healthy. She left on the 29th September. Mary Hall kept the baby for one week after leaving the Workhouse. It was not strong. She was afraid to feed it with a spoon. - Dr Gaye said he had made a post-mortem examination. the external appearance of the body was excessively emaciated; the ribs showing through the skin. The limbs were small and shrunken. Inside there was no appearance of fat. The organs of the chest and abdomen were healthy and the intestines contracted. There was none of the contents in them usually found in those of a child of that age. The stomach contained about half-a-teacupful of thin watery fluid, with a few particles of farinaceous compound. He found no disease to account for death. His opinion was that the child must have died from want of proper nutriment. He particularly noticed one of the other little girls, who presented an appearance of suffering from want of food, and externally was much like the dead child. The milk sold by Webber was inadequate for one child, must less for three. - The Jury found that the child died from Want of Food through Binmore's neglect and the Coroner committed her for Wilful Murder. - The adjourned hearing of the charge against Betsey Binmore for the Wilful Murder of the infant child, MARGARET PHILLIPS, took place on Saturday and at the close she was committed for trial on the charge. A considerable amount of excitement was manifested with regard to the case. The mother of the child is not yet nineteen years of age and had that day been fetched from Bath, where she had been living in the service of a clergyman's family. The prisoner maintained her composure throughout with the exception of two fits. She was removed on Saturday night to the County Gaol.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 2 February 1875
CULLOMPTON - Determined Case of Suicide At Cullompton. - A most determined case of suicide occurred Thursday morning on the Bristol and Exeter Railway, near Cullompton. Thompson, the driver of the 9.45 fast express from Exeter, on nearing the Plymptree Bridge, situate less than half a mile from the Cullompton Station, saw a man suddenly step on to the permanent way and lay himself on the metals. As the train approached him the man drew himself back, apparently in hesitation, but when the train was but a few yards from him he again threw himself across the rails, and a moment afterwards the engine, followed by the carriages, had passed over his body, mutilating it in a shocking manner. His head was almost severed from his body, and one of his arms was cut off and carried some yards away. On first seeing the deceased in the position described, the engine-driver endeavoured to stop the train, but in consequence of the high rate of speed at which the train was proceeding, this was a matter of impossibility until it had gone far beyond the spot where the deceased had been first seen. The remains were immediately removed to Mullin's Railway Inn, where they were identified as those of WILLIAM CHAMBERS, aged 43, a tanner and currier at one time carrying on business in Cullompton. Some few years since the deceased was left by his father several hundred pounds, but this was squandered in dissipation, till eventually the deceased, for a livelihood was obliged to enter the service of Mr Mortimore, currier, of Cullompton. Since that time he had served under various masters, but CHAMBERS had been lately out of employment. On Wednesday last deceased's furniture was sold under a distress and the same night he applied to the Police for a lodging for the night, which was granted him. It is surmised that the deceased got on the metals through a gate, used by the gangers, near the Plymptree Bridge. CHAMBERS is said by more than one person to have been seen loitering about the same place the previous morning just before the express passed. He had on two different occasions endeavoured to hang himself, but on each occasion he had been cut down before life was extinct. Deceased, who is a widower, leaves five children, two of whom are at present in a reformatory. - The Inquest was held on Friday at the Railway Inn, Cullompton, before R. R. Crosse, Esq., Coroner. - Mr Superintendent Green appeared to watch the case on behalf of the Railway Company. - Before the commencement of the proceedings, P.S. Bright complained that a pocket-book, which fell out of deceased's pocket at the time of the accident was picked up by a person who was on the spot soon after, and who refused to give it to the Police, saying he would give it at the proper time. The book had just been sent in by one of the Jury, but as the Police were the parties who were held responsible in such cases, it ought to have been given up when demanded. - The Coroner replied that the book should have been given up, but that he had nothing to do with the matter, and the Constable must take what further steps he thought proper. He then proceeded to open the case and told the Jury that there could be no doubt as to the act of the deceased being intentional, and that therefore the question for their consideration was whether, at the time, the man was in his right senses. - Mr Robert Salter said on the morning in question, about a quarter-to-ten, he was proceeding to Cullompton, and when about a hundred yards from the Plymptree-bridge passed the deceased. The deceased was looking down and although he knew witness well did not speak. He did not notice deceased particularly, but fancied there was something strange about him. - John Webber said he was a stoker, and was on the engine of the 9.45 train from Exeter on the day in question. As the engine passed under the bridge he saw a man standing in the gutter by the side of the line. The man made a step forward as though he was about to run across the line. He, however, stepped back again and waited until the train came close to him, when he dropped on his knees and threw his body on the line directly in front of the engine, which immediately passed over him. There was a curve in the line and he (witness) therefore could not see the deceased where he was standing until the train was within about a hundred or a hundred and fifty yards, so that if the deceased had thrown himself down on the first attempt the train could not have pulled up in time. He told the driver Thompson, what had occurred, and pulled up as soon as he could. When he and the driver got down they took the deceased's collar and scarf from off the guard rail of the engine. Information was given at the Cullompton Station and assistance was sent to the spot where the accident occurred. - Cuthbert Thompson, the driver, said he was not aware of the accident until told by the stoker, and corroborated the latter part of the last witness's evidence. The speed at which they were going was between 35 and 40 miles an hour. - Charles Davis, a packer, working at Cullompton, on the day in question, said he was going down the line, and when near the spot where the accident occurred, saw the deceased lying on his back between the hedge and the rails. One of his arms was cut off, and the head and body wee also very much cut. He got a trolley, and the body was placed on it and taken to the Station, whence it was afterwards removed to the Inn. - Dr Potter, of Cullompton, said he was one of the first on the scene of the accident and found the deceased lying on his back. Nearly all his clothes were torn off and the left arm was some 20 yards from his body. The back part of the head was completely smashed and his neck broken. Witness detailed the injuries inflicted on the body and said it seemed as if the deceased had been carried about 40 feet by the engine. he had known deceased for fifteen years. At one time deceased was in a good position, but latterly had become very reduced in circumstances, and depressed in spirits. - This concluded the evidence. Several of the Jury stated that for some time past the deceased had been very strange and different in his manner to what he was formerly, and it was also stated that upon one occasion, some time ago, he wrote a letter to a person in the place threatening to destroy himself. In the pocket-book were found some accounts, and two notices intimating that he would be proceeded against if he did not pay his rent and contribute towards the support of a child in the Reformatory. - The Jury returned a verdict to the effect that deceased Committed Suicide whilst in a State of Temporary Insanity.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 16 February 1875
CULLOMPTON - Fatal Accident. - On Tuesday an Inquest was held by Mr Coroner Crosse, At Cathills, on the body of MR W. MANLEY, late occupier of the farm. On Saturday afternoon whilst the thrashing machine was at work, deceased pressed between the wall and a portion of the machine, known as the whipping tree, by which he was so injured internally that he died shortly after on Monday noon. The poor man shortly after the accident went to bed and got up again the next day, but growing worse, Dr Gribble was sent for. It was of no avail as the injuries internally were so great as to baffle all medical skill. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 16 March 1875
TIVERTON - The Case Of Determined Suicide. - An Inquest was held at the Town Hall on Wednesday, before the Borough Coroner, F. Mackenzie, Esq., on the body of MR ROBERT GUNN, who committed suicide on the previous Monday afternoon by hanging himself. - The Jury having viewed the body, Ellen Gregory, a great niece of deceased, and who had for some years lived with him as a servant, stated that deceased had generally enjoyed good health, but for some time past had appeared of unsound mind. He had been very restless at night and it was sometimes found difficult to keep him in bed. He had been like this for several months, and some time ago, when he was cross, he threatened to destroy his life. About half-past two o'clock on Monday afternoon, deceased, who was in his bedroom, came to the top of the stairs and said he "must have it." Witness asked what, and he replied the razor. Witness, of course, refused to let him have a razor, and told him he must go into bed, which he did and witness left him, as she thought, asleep, but on going up to his room again with his tea, about twenty minutes to five, she found he was hanging from the tester of the bed. She at once ran for assistance. - William Burnell, warder at the borough gaol, said he was fetched by the last witness and on going to the bedroom, he found deceased with his head in a noose which had been made with his handkerchief, but his feet were touching the ground and as the noose was not made with a slip-knot, deceased could have easily slipped his head from the noose. - Mr W. F. Terry, Surgeon, who was called in, said deceased was apparently dead when he arrived at the house, but he tried hot respiration, which, however, proved of no avail. Deceased died from hanging, but without strangulation. His old age would be sufficient to account for his death after remaining in the position described for any length of time. - The Coroner said the evidence was very conclusive and satisfactory, and he did not think the Jury would have much difficulty in finding a verdict. - Almost immediately a verdict of "Temporary Insanity" was returned.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 23 March 1875
ROMANSLEIGH - Burying Of A Child Alive By It's Mother. Verdict Of Manslaughter. - An Inquest was held on Monday on the body of an infant that had been found buried in an ash house near the village of Romansleigh. The mother of the infant in question (GRACE ELLIOTT) was present. She has rather a wretched appearance, is of smalls stature and has a slight derangement of mind. - Ann Webber said she was the wife of William Webber, of Romansleigh Barton, where she resided. GRACE ELLIOTT, who was a single woman, had been in her service for 10 years, and about three months ago she suspected her of being in the family way, and charged her with it. She, however, denied it and witness charged her several times afterwards, but she always denied it. On Monday last, the 8th instant, ELLIOTT was called as usual and came down stairs about twenty minutes after six and after lighting the fire and going out and tending the pigs, and milking the cows, she came in again between seven and eight o'clock. Witness was in the kitchen and when ELLIOTT passed, she saw blood about her boots. - Witness then walked into the dairy and saw spots of blood about the floor. She then returned and said, "GRACE, are you unwell?" She said "Yes." Witness said, "Is it much?" and she replied "Not much." Witness then advised her to go to bed, but she refused to do so, saying she was not ill. Witness then went to the closet and there found blood, but ELLIOTT denied that she had been to the closet. She then sent for a nurse named Mary Crang, and took her upstairs and showed her the linen GRACE ELLIOTT had taken off. They then succeeded in getting her to go to bed, when the nurse went home and witness went about her work as usual and in going out to feed the poultry, she had to pass the ash-house. She noticed the door was a little open and went to shut it, but found she could not do so, as some of the ashes had fallen out and on looking further into the ash-house, she saw a heap of ashes move. She touched the ashes and heard a little moan. She was very much frightened and screamed. She turned the ashes a little and saw a child; it was lying upon its face and hands. That was about half-past ten in the morning. She then went into the house and sent for Mary Crang again, who, on arriving, accompanied her to the spot and took the child up. Mrs Crang then took it indoors and put it in a tub of warm water. A doctor was sent for and witness went upstairs and said to GRACE ELLIOTT, "How could you deceive me in this way, I have found a child in the ashes?" ELLIOTT replied, "I did not like to tell." She then asked her when she was confined, and she said it was by the bedside when she was dressing. Witness doubted her statement, as there was no spot on the floor, but she adhered to what she had said and on being asked how she took it downstairs, she said she carried it down in her arms. Witness then went downstairs and the doctor arrived. She had that day seen the child, which she found in the ash-heap. It was baptised on Wednesday last. When she found the child it was entirely covered over with ashes; the mouth and eyes being filled with ashes. - Mary Crang, living at Romansleigh, said she was the wife of a small farmer and had been accustomed to act as a nurse in midwifery for a long time. On Monday, the 8th inst., Mrs Webber sent for her, and on arriving the woman GRACE ELLIOTT was sweeping the kitchen. Witness having seen her linen, asked her what was the matter, when she replied, "Nothing." Witness advised her to go to bed, telling her she might pay her life for it if she did not. She at first refused, but afterwards went to bed. Witness did not think she had been confined and then left the house, but in about a quarter of an hour afterwards Mrs Webber again sent for her and told her to be quick, as there was a child in the ashes. She went to the ash-heap with Mrs Webber and there found the infant lying upon its face and hands. - Witness took it up and seeing there was life in it, she carried it indoors and put it into a tub of warm water. It was very weak when she took it up, life being only barely visible. It became a little stronger and witness did all she could to keep it alive, but it got weaker and weaker until about half-past twelve on Thursday night, when it got worse and the doctor was sent for. It lingered on until about half-past three in the afternoon, when it expired. - Mr Thomas Sanders, Surgeon, of Southmolton, said on Monday the 8th inst., he was sent for to attend GRACE ELLIOTT and her child. When he arrived he found the child in a very weak state, but he should think somewhat recovered. All that was necessary to be done had been done by the nurse, with exception of dressing it, so he wrote to the Workhouse for some baby linen. He then went upstairs and saw ELLIOTT, and requested her to allow him to examine her, which she readily did. He found she had been recently confined and asked her where it had occurred, when she said it was by the bedside. Witness told her he knew that was untrue and she then confessed to having been confined in the closet. On Friday morning last he heard the child was dead, and on the following day he made a post mortem examination of the body and found the organs in a healthy condition; the lungs also floated readily after removal. There was no obstruction of the windpipe, nor of the oesophagus. The intestines were quite empty and the stomach nearly so. There was no ashes in any of the passages to either the lungs or stomach, nor were there any external marks of violence. He considered the cause of death was exhaustion, which was probably accelerated by the exposure it was subjected to before Mrs Webber found it. He also attributed the debility of the child to the exposure. - This was the whole of the evidence and the Coroner, in summing up, reviewed the same and said there was not the slightest doubt that the child was placed in the ashes by GRACE ELLIOTT. It appeared to him the question of murder should be rejected from their minds, but as far as he could see from the very strong evidence which Mr Sanders had given, it was their duty to return a verdict of manslaughter. Although it might be a very unpleasant thing for them to do, yet, at the same time, it was their duty to themselves and to their country to return a proper verdict. - The room was then cleared and the Jury, after consulting for a short time, returned a verdict of Manslaughter against ELLIOTT. - A warrant was then issued by the Coroner for her apprehension and she was taken in charge of the Police, until she is well enough to be brought before the Magistrates. - At the Town Hall, Southmolton, on Wednesday, GRACE ELLIOTT was brought up before R. B. Russell, Esq., and the Rev. J. Bawden, charged with the manslaughter of her child. The witnesses examined before the Coroner, with the exception of Mary Crang, were called, and recapitulated their evidence. The prisoner was afterwards committed for trial at the next Assizes. - The Bench intimated their readiness to accept bail, prisoner in £100 and two sureties each in a like amount. the sureties not being forthcoming, prisoner was removed in custody.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 6 April 1875
TIVERTON - The Case Of Determined Suicide. - An Inquest was held at the Town Hall on Thursday last, before the Coroner (F. Mackenzie, Esq.) on the body of JOHN BISHOP, the young man who committed suicide by hanging himself on the previous Tuesday night. The jury having assembled and been sworn, they retired to view the body. On returning to the Court, the Coroner, in addressing the Jury, said that after viewing the body of deceased there could be no question as to the cause of death, for death by strangulation seemed most manifest and there was no doubt the evidence before them would satisfy them on that point. But beyond the cause of death there arose a grave question for their consideration, and one which he wished to press upon their earnest attention. It was whether, if they thought deceased destroyed himself, he was at the time possessed of a sound mind, memory and understanding, or whether he was a lunatic and distracted and not master of his own actions. This important question was for them to determine. They owed it to the crown and country to allow no feelings of commiseration for the dead man or the relatives to interfere with their duty as Jurymen, and he should ask them to investigate the case fully and to come to such a decision as would satisfy their consciences hereafter. The crime of felo de se was a very grave one, and not only visited by eternal punishment, but there was everything in our law which made it disgraceful to those who inflicted it on themselves and to those connected with them. He therefore wished them to well consider this point. He should like to mention that drunkenness could not be regarded as any form of insanity. They must bear that fact in mind in giving their verdict. The Coroner then cited the opinion of a celebrated barrister, a few years ago, who stated that drunkenness would not excuse the commission of any crime, but that a person who committed a crime in a state of intoxication was equally responsible to the law as if he were in the full possession of his faculties. After some further remarks the following evidence was taken:- Mr J. Reddrop said he knew the deceased very well and had been in the habit of attending members of the family. About nine o'clock on Tuesday night he was sent for to see deceased, and on going to his father's house he found him on the floor of the garret. He was quite dead and was cold and slightly rigid. In his judgment deceased died from suffocation caused by hanging. - P.C. Sparkes deposed that about half-past seven o'clock on the night in question, he was sent for to go to the house of deceased's father. He was told to go immediately because deceased and his father were fighting. On arriving he found them fighting in the house but he separated them and stopped the disturbance. He induced deceased to leave the house before he went. He went out in witness's presence, and said he was going to the lodging-house that night. He appeared very excited after the fight and told witness he had never had any peace in his father's house, because his father did not own him. Deceased was about twenty-four years of age. He had been called to the house several times previously to put a stop to disturbances. As witness left the house deceased walked down Westexe, and he did not see him any more alive. He was again called to BISHOP'S house about ten minutes past nine and then P.C. Quick was with him. It was reported to them that deceased had hung himself. Witness proceeded to the upper room of the house and there found deceased laid upon his back on the floor. A slip rope was around his neck and he appeared quite dead. Deceased was partially drunk when he previously saw him alive, and witness was told that he afterwards went to the Boot Inn and had more liquor. After separating deceased and his father, and before he had left the house, witness heard him say that "He had a good mind to cut his throat," and he told him that if he repeated such a remark he (the Constable) should take charge of him. Deceased did not appear to him to act strangely otherwise than as the result of drink; and he said nothing to induce him to think that he had lost his reason. - Mary Ann Pearce, wife of a hawker, living in Westexe, said she knew the deceased, JOHN BISHOP. On Tuesday night he was going down Westexe and several persons were following him. He came into their house with her husband. He was intoxicated, and sat down and commenced crying. he said his father had been "on with him," and would not allow him to fry a bit of meat. He remained in the house about a quarter-hour or twenty minutes and witness saw him no more alive. She had no reason to think that he was out of his mind. Whilst in the house he made the remark that "rather than live in it he would hang himself." - JAMES BISHOP, deceased's father, was the next witness, and he gave his evidence with an indifference, which, under the circumstances, was almost incredible. He said deceased lived with him nearly the whole of his life. On the night in question he returned from work about seven o'clock, and commenced a dispute on entering the house. Witness said "You be on your drunken tricks again," and then deceased collared him and he (witness) took off his son and they had a fight, until P.C. Sparkes came down and separated them. He told deceased to leave the house and on the Constable persuading him to do so, he went away, but returned again about a quarter-hour afterwards. He then came in and went upstairs, but came down again and had his supper and then returned to the attic again. Some time after he heard his wife, who was very ill in bed, call him. He at once went up into the garret and found his son hanging from a beam that crossed the room. He had hung himself with his "pig-rope" which he was accustomed to carry with him. The room was very low and deceased was resting on his knees and on his (witness) untying the rope, he fell back on the floor. His son was very much troubled with hysterical fits. - In answer to the Coroner, witness said he went up to the room where he found deceased because his wife said she heard a struggle there. He was in the habit of going up into this room and lying down for an hour when he came home in such a state as he was in that evening. - A Juryman was proceeding to question witness as to his having called his son names &c., but the Coroner remarked that it was no part of their duty to ask the man questions, the answering of which would criminate himself. - A Juryman said he saw deceased about seven o'clock and spoke to him, but he did not answer. He was not then drunk. - The Coroner, in summing up, said there had appeared no disposition or desire even, to produce any evidence to show that deceased was of unsound mind at the time of the occurrence, and in the absence of such evidence he thought their duty might be very obvious to them, whether it were a pleasant or unpleasant duty. It was a remarkably clear instance, and they could hardly go astray. - The Jury then retired to consider their verdict and after an absence of a few minutes returned into Court with a verdict of "Temporary Insanity." - The Coroner: I shall record your verdict, although I cannot agree with it at all.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 13 April 1875
WITHYPOOL, SOMERSET - Fatal Accident. - On Saturday night, a fatal accident happened to a little boy ten years old, named GEORGE DOBB, of Instow, near Barnstaple, who had come to Horsten Farm, Exmoor. It appeared that the lad, in company with a labourer named Chapel, went from home on the morning in question, to a farm Mr Rudd has taken at Kingsbrompton, with a horse and trap and some cattle. On returning over Withypool common, owing to the darkness, they got out of the right track and in crossing a deep trench the trap upset, breaking off the shafts and the poor boy was found under the trap quite dead. On Friday an Inquest was held on the body at Landacre Farm, before W. W. Munckton, Esq., County Coroner, and a respectable Jury, of whom Mr J. Anstey, postmaster, of Exford, was Foreman, when the following evidence was given:- Thomas Chapel said he was a farm labourer, and lived at Wintershead cott, in the parish of Exmoor. On Saturday last he went to Kingsbrompton from Exmoor with cattle, and deceased accompanied with him a horse and trap. While they were returning over Withypool common, deceased was riding and he was walking. As they were going along he saw a place in the common which he thought was a wheel rut. It was very dark at the time and he had the horse by the head, when it suddenly made a spring and he was knocked down and the trap upset, deceased falling under it with some mangold wurtzel. He was obliged to relieve the horse before he could get out the boy. He was quite dead when he took him out. He discovered then that it was a gulf or hole instead of a wheel rut and that he had gone out of his way. - Elizabeth Rolls, who laid out the body, said there were no marks of violence except a bruise on the chest, and the left collar bone appeared to be broken. - Mary Milton, living with her father at Landacre said Thomas Chapel came there on Saturday evening last between 8 and 9 o'clock and said he had been upset on the common and wanted someone to help him, as the boy who was with him was dead. Her cousins went with him and in the course of an hour and half, the body was brought there. - By a Juror: Chapel was quite sober. - William Greenslade, of Exmoor, said he and his brother went to the common with Thomas Chapel and found the cart in the position he had stated and deceased lying on the ground near it. He had got out of the proper wheel track and into a deep gulf - Chapel was perfectly sober. - The Coroner, in summing up the evidence, said it appeared to be purely an accident, and he thought that the parishes ought to protect such dangerous places. He gave instructions to Mr Richards of Wintershead, one of the Jurymen and waywarden of Exmoor, to bring the case before the Highway Board. - The Jury, after a short consultation, returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 20 April 1875
NORTH MOLTON - Fatal Accident At The Bampfylde Mine. - On Friday night last, a man named HUGH BLACKFORD, of Northmolton, who worked in the above mine, was expected home as usual about ten or eleven o'clock at night, from his work, but he did not come. His wife and family were in great suspense on account of his absence, but nothing could be done during the hours of the night and after anxiously waiting some time longer, it was resolved on Saturday afternoon to seek him down the mine and at a depth of about 432 feet they came upon his mangled remains, which it was a sight frightful to witness; the upper part of the skull being quite severed from the face, and the brain exposed, whilst the right leg was broken to shatters with the bones protruding through the skin and other fearful injuries. An Inquest was held at Northmolton in the afternoon, but was adjourned till after the visit of the Government Inspector of Mines. Deceased, it is said, leaves a wife and ten children.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 27 April 1875
NORTH MOLTON - Fatal Accident To A Miner. - J. H. Toller, Esq., of Barnstaple (Deputy Coroner) held an adjourned Inquest on Thursday last, upon the body of HUGH BLACKFORD, who met his death by falling from one of the levels in the Bampfylde mine, an account of which has already appeared. The Inquest was adjourned, so that the Government Inspector, Dr Clement la Neve Foster, might, according to a recent Act of Parliament, make an inspection of the mine. He had done so, and was present at the Inquest on Thursday, and stated to the Jury that he did not consider the place from where the deceased was supposed to have fallen dangerous. Evidence was given by some fellow miners of the deceased, each of whom said he had no business on the 40 fathom level from which he fell, and that he was not there in the performance of his duties. Evidence was also given as to the sobriety of the deceased a little before the accident. - Dr Spicer said he was sent for on Saturday last to examine the deceased, and found him to be quite dead. He had suffered such excessive injury as only to be caused by great violence such as a fall from a height. The skull was fractured and the left arm and shoulder and right leg were all broken. He attended him on the Sunday previous for diarrhoea and giddiness. The Jury returned a verdict that deceased died by falling from a shaft in Bampfylde Mine, but whether from accident or design no evidence appeared. They also expressed their unanimous opinion that the spot was not dangerous.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 4 May 1875
TIVERTON - Sad Case Of Suicide At Tiverton. - The Inquest was held at the Town Hall, on Wednesday afternoon, before the Borough Coroner (F. Mackenzie, Esq.) on the body of MR SPECCOTT LONG, shopkeeper of Barrington-street, who committed suicide on the previous Monday by hanging himself. - The Jury (of whom Mr Edward Beck, Fore-street, was foreman) having viewed the body, EMMANUEL LONG, living at Bedminster, Bristol, and a nephew of deceased, stated that he and his brother had been staying with their uncle for the past three weeks. About half-past nine on Monday morning they went out together, leaving deceased alone and on returning about eleven o'clock they found the door was locked. Witness lifted the sash of the window with a view to gain admittance and saw his uncle hanging by a rope from an iron bar in the shop. There was a sale of his uncle's effects on the previous Saturday which was by his consent and an arrangement had been made that he should go to Bristol and live with him. Deceased had been in a desponding state of mind, and several days previous to his death he walked about the house exclaiming, "What shall I do?" - By a Juryman: Deceased sold his property some weeks before he sold his effects, and then wished to have it recovered from the buyer, which was done and then his uncle regretted that it had been so recovered, and wished to sell it back again, but the original purchaser refused to have anything more to do with it. This seemed to cause deceased anxiety. - P.C. Alford gave evidence as to the finding of the body hanging as described by the previous witness, and said that when it was cut down life was extinct, although the body was quite warm. - WILLIAM LONG (brother of the first witness) gave similar testimony as to his uncle being in a desponding state of mind for some time past. - EMMANUEL LONG was then recalled, and in answer to the Foreman, said he thought it must be three or four minutes from the time he first saw the body hanging, until it was cut down. When he looked in at the window and saw his uncle hanging, it so frightened him that he felt unable to go and cut down the body himself and moreover several women who were there said he must not cut down the body until a Policeman had been sent for. He therefore went to the Police Station for a Constable and P.C. Alford returned with him and the body was cut down by a man named Winsborrow. Deceased was 76 years of age. - The Foreman told witness he ought to have cut the body down as soon as he saw deceased hanging; he should have sacrificed feeling for what it was his duty to do as there was no reason why he should have waited until a Policeman came. - The Coroner having made a few observations on the evidence, the Jury returned a verdict of Temporary Insanity.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 18 May 1875
STOKE DAMEREL - Brutal Treatment Of A Stepson At Devonport. - The circumstances attending the death of a little boy, WILLIAM BIRCH, who was said to have died in consequence of his sep-mother beating him with a poker, were Inquired into on Friday by Mr Coroner Bone, sitting at the Royal Albert Hospital, Devonport. Mr Rundell watched the proceedings on behalf of the stepmother (wife of an artificer on board H.M.S. Northumberland) who is in custody on a charge of murder. - Sarah Jane Havalock, the prisoner's mother, stated that on Wednesday she found the deceased lying on the bed in the attic "one mass of bruises." The deceased was not dead and several times asked for water. She said to her daughter, "ELIZA, what have you done," and she replied, "Oh, my can't you do anything for him?" - Mr Rolston, M.D., gave evidence of the injuries the deceased had received. JOSEPH BIRCH, brother to the deceased, deposed to seeing his step-mother take the deceased out of bed on Wednesday morning and beat him across the back with a poker and afterwards beat it across the face, head and hands, even where the sores were, with a cane. - Prisoner beat him every day with the poker because he was in the habit of picking his sore hands and feet. She also tied a rope around his sister's neck to prevent her screaming and used to bit his fingers if they were dirty. When prisoner hit deceased with the poker he had nothing on but his shirt. After she beat him he could not stand. His sister was bathing deceased's eyes and because he could not stand his step-mother put his head in a pan of water, with his legs up in the air. The Inquest was adjourned.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 8 June 1875
EAST BUDLEIGH - Exhumation Of A Body At East Budleigh. - Considerable excitement prevailed in East Budleigh and Budleigh Salterton as to the circumstances connected with the death of MR and MRS KELLY, old inhabitants of the last-named place. MR KELLY was well known and much respected and for some years acted as Secretary to the Local Lodge of Freemasons. MRS KELLY died on the 17th of May, at the age of 86; her husband, who was six years her junior, surviving her only two days; and both were buried on the same day in the East Budleigh Churchyard. As might be expected from their advanced age, MR and MRS KELLY had become very feeble and about Christmas last they left the house in which they had been residing and went to live with Mr Algar, a grocer and clerk to the Chapel of Ease, at Budleigh Salterton, where they continued until their death. the relatives of the deceased couple attended the funeral, when it transpired that although MR KELLY had been attended by a medical man, MRS KELLY had received no such attendance. The usual certificate of death was not presented to the Rector in the case of MRS KELLY on the day of the funeral, but as it was promised to be produced the same evening, the body was interred under protest. No certificate has, however, been forthcoming and in consequence of representations made to the Coroner of the district, and by the Coroner to the Secretary of State, an order was issued from the Home Office for the exhumation of the deceased MRS KELLY, with a view to the cause of death being ascertained. The exhumation of the body took place Thursday morning and in the course of the day a post mortem examination was made by four medical men. - On Friday an Inquest was held at the Rolle Arms Inn which lasted for seven hours and ended in the Jury returning a verdict of Died from Natural Causes.
SWIMBRIDGE - Sad Fatal Accident. - A very sad accident befel a man named PHILLIP COURTENAY, a labourer of this village, on Tuesday evening, by which he met with his death. Deceased was in the employ of Messrs. Smith, tanners, of Swimbridge, and was sent to the Station there to fetch a load of bark. Between the village and the Station is a very steep hill and in coming down it on his way back, a part of the harness broke and the horse was involuntarily forced down the hill. The deceased was leading the horse at the time, and in holding on to it he slipped and fell down and the wheels of the waggon passed over his body and killed him almost immediately. The horse continued its course down the hill and at the bottom it rushed into the doorway of a cottage and was killed on the spot. On Wednesday evening an Inquest was held on the body of the poor man, at Swimbridge, by J. H. Toller, Esq., (Deputy Coroner), when the Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 15 June 1875
SAMPFORD PEVERELL - Shocking Death Of Two Children. - A shocking and melancholy occurrence, involving the death of two children, took place at Sampford Peverell on Monday last and before stating the actual circumstances of the affair, it may be well to remark, in explanation, that THOMAS and ELIZABETH DUNN, the parents of the two children - one a boy five years old and the other a little girl three years younger - lived in the house occupied by the husband's father and mother and in the midst of much wretchedness and poverty, not because DUNN had not the wherewithal to support his family, for he is a man earning very fair wages, but for the painful reason that DUNN and his wife are of drunken and dissipated habits. The accommodation for the family - four in number, the unfortunate children being the only two DUNN had - was very scanty, one room downstairs and one up. These two rooms contained no furniture of value, 5s. being the utmost it would realise - if it realised anything at all. The facts connected with the death of the children are these. About four o'clock on Monday morning, DUNN who is a quarryman, went to his work about a mile from the place, as usual, and about eight his wife carried him his breakfast, but it appears that on former occasions when the children had been left at home alone, they had by their conduct greatly annoyed the old people and MRS DUNN was told that if some steps were not taken to prevent this, she and her husband would have to give up their joint occupation of the house. Accordingly, before leaving on Monday morning she put the children to bed, or rather laid them on a bed of straw in one corner of the room, which, covered with a sack, constituted their bed, and fastened the door of the room. She returned home in about an hour and a half, and soon after called up to the boy, telling him to get up and dress, as she should be up after him in a few minutes. No answer was given, but thinking the two were asleep - and sure enough they were asleep in death - she lit her fire and made preparations for the children's breakfast, and it was fully a half hour before she went up into the bedroom. On getting to the top of the stairs she found there was a little smoke in the bedroom occupied by the old people, but this caused her no alarm, for it occurred to her that, being a wet morning, the smoke was beating down the chimney. However, on opening the door, where her children were, dense volumes of smoke escaped and the mother thought the room was on fire. Entering the room, she burst open the window and called for assistance; she then made a search for the children, and presently found them on the bed in which she and her husband slept. She immediately dragged them outside the door, but only to discover that they were dead. By this time some neighbours had arrived and the bodies were taken downstairs. The cause of the sad event seems to be this. The father was accustomed to take a box of matches to his bedroom every night, which he carried with him on the following day for the purpose of lighting his pipe. On Sunday night the matches were taken upstairs as usual and placed in a niche at the back of the bed in which the parents slept, but in the morning DUNN forgot to take them with him, and it is supposed - and the inference seems a very probable one - that on being left alone, one of the children took the matches from where they had been placed by DUNN on the preceding night, that they struck a light, which ignited the straw and that with a view to extinguish the fire, they threw the clothes covering their parents' bed, on the straw on which they had been themselves laying, for here the clothes were found. They must then have lain down on their parent's bed and became suffocated by the smoke. It seems the straw must have smouldered a good deal and thus the dense volumes of smoke were caused. The boards underneath the straw were very much charred, and in some places nearly burnt through. The bedroom, about 11 feet by 7 feet, was also damaged. The boy was in no way affected by the fire, but the girl was slightly discoloured about the neck and legs. When the painful affair became generally known in the village, there was a great consternation and rumour was very rife. In the course of the morning P.C. Page, the active Police Officer, stationed at Sampford Peverell, who was away on duty at the time, was communicated with, and he investigated the circumstances of the case, and made arrangements for the Inquest, which was held on Wednesday, before the County Coroner, R. R. Crosse, Esq. The principal witness called was ELIZABETH DUNN, mother of the deceased children, whose evidence was in effect the same as the facts given above. - THOMAS DUNN, the father, corroborated the evidence, as far as he was mentioned therein, and additional testimony was given by Mrs Fido, a neighbour, John Coles, and John Trevelyan. The Inquiry was a very searching one, the Jury being anxious to ascertain if there was any culpable neglect on the part of the parents. However, having heard the evidence, and under the direction of the Coroner, they unanimously returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." - The funeral of the deceased children took place on Friday afternoon.
CHITTLEHAMPTON - Fatal Accident. - On Tuesday last, in the afternoon, MR R. MADGE, of Belle Vue, Chittlehampton, about five miles distant from Southmolton, had just returned from otter hunting, when he resolved to mount a young fresh horse, although his friends endeavoured to persuade him to the contrary, and as he was riding in the hay field, the horse reared and threw the gentleman, injuring the spine of his back so severely that he died within three hours after the accident happened. He was deprived of his sight immediately he fell. Medical aid was sent for to Barnstaple, but was of no avail. At the Inquest a verdict of Accidental Death was returned. - [Another account]: - On Tuesday last, a fatal accident happened to MR R. MADE, of Belle Vue, Chittlehampton. Deceased it appears had during the day been following Mr Cheriton's otter hounds hunting the Taw. After tea he mounted another of his horses to ride round his farm. He came to a field in which one of his men was at work with a horse and stood talking with him. On the man signalling for his horse to move, the horse MR MADGE was riding became restive and reared, throwing his rider with such violence as to seriously injure his spine. MR MADGE was immediately carried into his house, but died from the injuries received the same day.
BARNSTAPLE - Awfully Sudden Death. - A sad case of sudden death occurred in Barnstaple early on Saturday morning to a woman named ANN STANBURY. The deceased was a widow of the late MR ABRAHAM STANBURY, who was well known in this town and was a very respectable person. She appeared to be of a very robust constitution, and although 62 years of age, was so active in her manner that she passed for a woman of 50. Some time ago she obtained a home at Penrose's almshouses, in Litchdon-street, and went out occasionally to nurse and on Saturday morning she was called between four and five o'clock to go and attend someone. She dressed and went downstairs, but finding the gate locked her niece got a chair for her to step out over the wall, about three feet high, which runs along in front of the houses. About a few minutes afterwards a boy was passing through the street to go to his work and found the poor woman lying upon her face and hands opposite the Bristol Inn in the same street. The lad ran for the Police, and ultimately Mr Cook, Surgeon, was called, but the poor woman was beyond all human aid. She must have died immediately and have fallen down without a struggle. She had an umbrella in one hand and a pocket handkerchief in the other. An Inquest was held later in the day by Mr I. Bencraft, Borough Coroner, when the Jury returned a verdict that the deceased Died from Natural Causes.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 6 July 1875
CREDITON - Fatal Accident In The Hayfield. - An Inquest was held on Monday, at Beer Hill Farm House, near Crediton, before Mr Coroner Crosse, touching the death of ROBERT OLIVER, a labourer, in the employ of Mr William Bennett, the occupier of the above farm. The evidence adduced went to show that deceased met with his death on Saturday last by falling from a hay stack, whilst assisting in its erection. Dr Heygate, of Crediton, said he was called to the deceased on Saturday last about four o'clock, and found him quite unconscious. On examining him he found that he had sustained a fracture of the base of the skull. Deceased did not speak after the accident occurred, and died about an hour and a half afterwards. Mr William Bennett of Beer Farm, said the deceased worked for him. About three o'clock on Saturday last he went on the rick with [?]. Witness saw a portion of the body slip away and the deceased fell with it to the ground, pitching on the back part of his head. Witness assisted in helping him up and conveying him to the house, immediately after which he sent for a doctor and nurse. Deceased lived about two hours. He never spoke after the accident. He was quite sober. No one interfered with him on the rick, and his death was purely accidental. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." The Coroner stated that had the deceased spoken after the accident he should have considered an Inquest unnecessary.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 20 July 1875
CHULMLEIGH - At the Inquest held by J. H. Toller, Esq., on the body of JOHN STONE, labourer, it was shewn that the deceased was engaged to bring a load of wood from Chulmleigh. As he was leaving the wood the cart overturned and a woman who discovered the unfortunate man's position sought the aid of Dr H. S. Traill, of Chulmleigh, who happened to be fishing near the scene of the accident. The doctor found that the cart had been overturned on to its side and that the left arm and shoulder of poor STONE were under the shaft, upon which the horse's weight rested. The cart had to be unloaded before the body could be released. The man was dead. On examination, Dr Traill found that the deceased had sustained a dislocation of the left clavicle and from the position and appearance of the body he concluded that death resulted from strangulation, the shaft of the cart having pressed on his neck and shoulder. A verdict of "Accidental Death" was recorded.
PLYMOUTH - Alleged Murder Of A Policeman In Plymouth. - On Thursday evening one of the steadiest members of the Plymouth Police Force was killed, whilst in the execution of his duty. It appears that the victim - P.C. WILLIAM BENNETT - was on duty in the neighbourhood of Lower-lane and his attention was called to a navvy, who was beating a woman with whom he cohabited. In answer to the demand of the woman, the Constable proceeded to take her assailant into custody, when the latter ran off in to his house, closely followed by BENNETT. The navvy, who is named Henry Kitts, and who is in the employ of Mr Relf, railway-contractor, of Okehampton, rushed to the top room of the house and had just reached the door when he found the Constable close upon him. The men both clutched and fell over the stairs together, the Constable being under. Kitts then appears to have gained the mastery, for on Mr Harvey, a neighbour rushing upstairs, he found him kneeling on BENNETT'S chest. Mr Harvey choked Kitts Off, and assisted the Constable to get up and then took Kitts by the collar on one side, while BENNETT took hold of him on the other. In this manner they were proceeding to the Guildhall, but they had not gone far when the Constable appeared to be ill and he dropped his hand and said "I must give up." In answer to the question whether he had been kicked, he answered "No." A few seconds after, on being assisted into a shop close at hand, he said, "I'm done up; I'm choking." Brandy was given to him, but about five minutes after he breathed his last. Towards the end he urged very much. The deceased had been two years in the Force and was greatly respected. His wife, when the sad news reached her, she was preparing her husband's supper. - On Friday the prisoner was examined before the Borough Magistrates. The Court was crowded, the case having excited great interest. - Susan Foster stated that the prisoner came from Okehampton and she had lived with him as his wife for ten months, in Lower-lane. On the previous day the prisoner came home and found her at a public-house. When they got back they quarrelled and she falling, cut her head badly, either against the bedpost, or shoards of plates on the floor. Someone then sent for a Policeman. She denied calling out "murder," or giving the prisoner in charge. - Mary Williams, living in the same house, heard angry words between Foster and the prisoner and saw the woman go into the street and give Kitts in charge. The prisoner ran up the stairs, the Policeman after him. Soon after she saw them scuffling and then fall down a flight of stairs, the prisoner being on top and holding the Policeman down. She shouted for help. - Thomas Harvey, a shoemaker, residing next door, heard shouts of murder and saw Kitts and Foster fighting. The Policeman came and Foster pointing to her bleeding head, gave her paramour in charge. Not long after the Constable followed Kitts upstairs he heard a scuffle and rushing up he saw the prisoner all of a heap on the Policeman. He pulled him off and helped the Constable to take the prisoner down. In the lane the prisoner went to ground purposely and pulled the Policeman over him. On the way to the Station the Policeman suddenly stopped, saying "I'm kicked; I can't go any further." The Constable was helped into a house close by and witness went on with the prisoner to the Guildhall. - Frank Twitchell, keeper of the Swan Inn, also gave evidence. - Superintendent Wreford stated that when the prisoner heard that the Policeman was dead, he cried very much and said "We both fell over the stairs, from the garret. It was all the woman's fault." The prisoner who is 24 years of age, was then remanded. - At the Inquest, Friday evening, a witness deposed that when in the lane the prisoner, who is a wrestler, threw the Constable by the cross-buttock heavily and fell on him. - The medical testimony was that deceased died from effusion of blood on the brain, caused by the fall, most likely in the stairs. - A verdict of Wilful Murder was returned. - Prisoner was brought before the Plymouth Magistrates on Saturday and committed for trial on a charge of Wilful Murder.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 27 July 1875
TIVERTON - Melancholy Death Of A Tiverton Farmer. - Deep regret was felt in the town and neighbourhood on Wednesday afternoon, when it became known that MR THOMAS COOK, of Crazelowman, had died as the result of an accident when returning home from the Tiverton market on the previous night. MR COOK rode into town a horse which was exhibited at the recent show at Taunton, and for this purpose it had been highly fed and was consequently even more fresh than usual, and as it will be learnt from the evidence the animal ran away with its rider, thereby causing the premature death of MR COOK. Deceased, who was about 62 years of age, was an extensive farmer and was much respected by a large circle of friends in and around the district of Tiverton. Full particulars of the sad affair will be best gleaned from the evidence given at The Inquest .... Which was held at the residence of deceased on Thursday afternoon, before the Borough Coroner, F. Mackenzie, Esq., and a Jury comprising the follows:- Messrs. H. Davey (Foreman), H. Haydon, J. Chapple, W. Glendinning, W. Lock, T. Coram, H. B. Roberts, W. Cosway, J. Luxton, R. G. Besley, W. Rowden, G. Eames, and J. Channing. Before viewing the body, the Coroner, addressing the Jury, remarked that he was sorry to meet them on an occasion of so much importance as that, where a valuable life had unfortunately been suddenly lost. Without being influenced by anything they might have previously heard, it would be for them to base their verdict upon the evidence which would be adduced. - The Jury then retired to view the body and on the Court resuming, the following evidence was taken:- Joseph Humphrey, keeper of the Horsdon toll gate, stated that on Tuesday night he heard a horse approaching the gate just after ten o'clock. Deceased was riding very steadily and on going out to open the gate, deceased and witness wished each other good night. Immediately after passing the gate, the horse began to prance and deceased cried "Woh," three times, and the animal became quieter, and walked on up the road. He then went in home, and saw no more of deceased. Charles Flood, an ostler at the Palmerston Hotel, said he knew deceased and was accustomed to attend to his horse when he came to the Hotel. He was there on Tuesday last, and left at ten o'clock at night. Mr Martin assisted deceased to mount his horse and it went quietly down Gold-street. - By a Juror: MR COOK called for the horse himself. He did not ride it himself always, but he had seen it at other times, when deceased's son had ridden it. - Emma Carnall, wife of Richard Carnall, a labourer, living at Crazelowman, deposed that she was in her house on Tuesday night, and about half-past ten she heard a horse pass rapidly along the road. Thinking it had no rider, she and the groom, Richard Cross, went to deceased's stable and found the horse he had ridden away in the morning was there. The animal was sweating very much, but did not appear to be injured at all. Witness then went to look for deceased and found him about a hundred yards from the house. He was lying in the road on his face and hands. He was not conscious and did not speak to anyone. Several others came to the spot, amongst them MISS COOK. He was at once taken to his house and laid on a sofa in the room where the Jury had seen the body. Mr Beedell, Surgeon, and Dr Thomas were immediately sent for and they attended him up to the time of his death, Mr Beedell not having left the room in the meantime. - John Wills, a miller at Crazelowman, said on the night of the accident he heard the horse gallop at a furious rate past his house and a few minutes afterwards he ascertained that deceased had fallen and assisted in carrying him to his house. He found a stirrup and leather which proved to be that missing from deceased's saddle. This was found ninety-five yards from where deceased fell. From this it appeared that after the stirrup was gone deceased rode this distance and then evidently lost his balance, having fallen the side on which the stirrup was lost. Deceased was dragged about nine yards after he fell, undoubtedly by the grip of the reins. The hat and whip were found close to where the body was picked up. - Mr Beedell, Surgeon, Tiverton, said he was sent for on Tuesday night to attend deceased. He went immediately and reached the house about half-past eleven. Deceased was insensible and had all the symptoms of concussion of the brain. He remained with him the whole night and with the exception of a short interval up to the time of his death, which took place about one o'clock. As soon as he saw there was danger, he sent for further surgical help, and everything was done that could be for deceased. There were no signs of consciousness up to the time of death. - This being all the evidence, The Coroner expressed an opinion that the Jury would have no difficulty in coming to a decision as to the cause of death. The accident was evidently the result of deceased losing one of the stirrups from his saddle. - At the suggestion of a Juror, the witness Humphry was recalled, but in answer to the Foreman said he could not remember that any horse passed through the gate soon after deceased went though. - The Jury immediately returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 3 August 1875
TIVERTON - An Inquest was held at the Town Hall on Wednesday evening last, before the Borough Coroner (F. Mackenzie, Esq.), and a respectable Jury, of whom Mr James Ellis was Foreman, to Enquire into the circumstances attending the death of ELLEN SQUIRES, an infant, and the illegitimate child of ELIZABETH SQUIRES, a general servant of Culmstock, who came by its death from the results of a scald on Saturday week last. The child had been placed in the care of a woman in Chapel-street. The Jury having viewed the body the following evidence was given. - ELIZABETH SQUIRES, mother of the child, said it was twelve months old on the 2nd instant. The deceased was not under her care, but was in the charge of a woman named Ann Hagland in Chapel Street. Hagland was a married woman and mother of children. The last time she saw deceased was about six weeks ago. She was then in good health and getting on very well. She was informed of the accident to deceased on Monday last. - Elizabeth Henson, a widow, living in Chapel Street, in the same court as the child, said she knew the deceased. She heard the child crying on Saturday last, about six in the evening and she went in to see what was the matter. She asked Hagland (in whose care the deceased was) what was the matter with the child and she said deceased had been scalded by some boiling water. She had got deceased (undressed) in her arms. She (witness) did not see the accident, the sight of the child gave her such a shock she could not touch her but called for help. She could not say whether Hagland was sober or not. A man called Chapman came and her daughter took the infant to the Infirmary. - Selina Henson (daughter of the last witness) said she took the child to the Infirmary and placed her in the hands of the House Surgeon. Mr Adey told her to take deceased home and put her to bed and he would come and see the child, and in less than half an hour he came to the house and dressed the scalds. Mr Adey told her that Hagland must be taken downstairs or he would not touch the deceased, as she was intoxicated. It was three parts of an hour before she took the child to the Infirmary. Mrs Leach (the Matron of the Infirmary) told witness to take the deceased from Hagland's arms, or she must be put outside the door. Hagland (while at the Infirmary) could not tell her own name. witness did not see the deceased afterwards. - Thos. Chapman, a French polisher, of this town, said he lived next door to the deceased. Henson asked witness if he would come up and see the child as it had been scalded. Witness took deceased from Hagland's arms, as no one else would touch her. Witness asked his wife to bring some flour as he thought it the best thing to do. She brought it, but seeing how badly the child was scalded, he said it had better be taken to the Infirmary. Witness had nothing further to do with deceased. Hagland appeared greatly agitated, but whether under the influence of drink he would not be positive. - By the Foreman: He was there about half-an hour. - By a Juror: He heard that it was a saucepan turned over. He should hardly think the child was capable of doing it but it was old enough to get to it. - The Inquiry was resumed on Friday evening. The Coroner stated that from what he had heard since Wednesday he did not think there would be an objection to examine the witness Ann Hagland. Had it been a case of neglect in which manslaughter was involved it would have been otherwise. - Hagland was then called and stated that she was the wife of James Hagland, a labourer. The deceased child was put under her care by its mother about four months since. It was very ill at the time and could not be vaccinated in consequence. The deceased was as well as she had ever been. Witness was in the house when the accident happened, which was about half-past five o'clock in the evening. Deceased was sitting on the floor near the fire. There was a saucepan upon the hob. Whilst she was getting some coal the saucepan, which contained boiling water fell. there was a loose brick by the grate. Witness saw that the water had fallen on the floor and on the deceased. The child was where witness put it, but it fell back by the force of the water. The deceased began to scream. After she saw how badly it was she sent for help. - The Coroner said the House Surgeon at the Infirmary had been summoned to attend, but he was not there. He thought there would be no difficulty in coming to a conclusion without the doctor's evidence. The Jury then retired and on resuming returned a verdict of Accidental Death.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 24 August 1875
BURLESCOMBE - Westleigh, Fatal Accident. - A little boy named ROBERT MARSHALL, aged six years, met with his death under painful circumstances on Saturday. It appears that on the day in question the boy had gone up to his father, who was at work at the New Kiln Quarry, and was running about in the neighbourhood, when a blast, which had been got in readiness, was fired by the father, ROBERT MARSHALL, and a fragment weighing about one hundred weight was thrown a distance of about 70 yards. Striking the ground it rebounded and struck the poor lad on the head. When taken up by his father the boy was insensible, and never rallied, but died about one o'clock on Sunday morning. A Coroner's Inquest was held on Monday, when a verdict of Accidental Death was returned. The Coroner in addressing the Jury remarked upon the advisability of giving due notice before the firing of blasts in the quarries in order that the public might have time to protect themselves against any possible accidents from flying stones, &c.
CULLOMPTON - Fatal Accident On The Bristol And Exeter Railway. - A sad accident occurred on the Bristol and Exeter Railway, at Cullompton, Monday afternoon, involving the death of a man named THOMAS, a resident of Tiverton. A large number of men were engaged in laying the narrow gauge on the down line near the distant signal, about half-mile above the Cullompton Station, and the deceased, who was amongst the number, was engaged in drawing the bolts from the transoms, which were being taken up. About half past three the 9.15 a.m. goods train from Bristol neared the point where the men were at work, and at the time the deceased was in a sitting posture with his back towards the engine. As the train approached, the engine driver and fireman saw the unfortunate man, and the engine whistled again and again, whilst deceased's fellow workmen called to him and told him to get out of the way. It appears, however, that deceased (who had only one hand) was slightly deaf, and it would seem that he did not hear the alarm, for he made no attempt to move out of danger and the engine driver being unable, with all his efforts, to stop the train in time, the unfortunate man was caught by the "life-guard" and thrown several yards. Both of his feet were literally cut to pieces and the back part of his head was smashed - in fact nearly every part of his body was fearfully mutilated. Death was of course instantaneous. A trolley was soon taken to the spot, on which the body was conveyed to the Station and from thence carried by several men to the Railway Hotel, where it lies awaiting an Inquest. THOMAS was a single man and about 35 years of age. - An Inquest on the body of deceased was held at Luxton's Railway Hotel on Tuesday afternoon, before R. R. Crosse, Esq., County Coroner. Mr Joseph Murch was the Foreman of the Jury. Mr Superintendent Green was present to watch the interests of the Railway Company. The Coroner having addressed a few remarks to the Jury, pointing out to them the facts it was necessary to ascertain, they retired to view the body, and on their return the following evidence was taken. - William Brittain, a railway labourer, living at Tiverton, and a fellow workman of deceased's spoke as to the quantity of liquor THOMAS had drank during the day, stating that he, witness and another man drank three quarts of ale between them, which was all the liquor he consumed up to the time of the accident. Deceased was about 28 years of age. - William Burgess, a ganger, in the employ of the Bristol and Exeter Railway Company, living at Cullompton, said on the previous day, just before the accident occurred, he and four others were working about twelve chains off from the deceased, who was employed in taking the nuts off the transoms. When the saw the train coming, witness and his fellow-workmen got out of the way and on seeing that deceased did not do the same they shouted to him. He was at the time sitting or leaning on the timber of the off-rail. When they saw he did not move, witness held up his hand to the engine-driver for him to stop and the brake was immediately applied, and the "brake" whistle sounded, but the train was not stopped until after the accident had taken place. It was brought to a standstill just by the Station, so that it ran about half-mile after he held up his hands. The train was very near close to them when he made this signal. The train was not timed to stop at the Cullompton Station, and at the time of the accident was running down an incline. He believed deceased must have been asleep. Did not know whether he was the worse for liquor. - The accident happened at 3.25. - Benjamin Tucker, a railway labourer, also living at Cullompton, corroborated the evidence given by the last witness and added that he assisted to remove deceased to the Railway Hotel. Both legs were amputated, and the back part of the body was "smashed." - James Underhill, the driver of the train, which is due to leave Bristol at 9.15 a.m., said it started on the previous morning within five minutes of that time, but they were three-quarters of an hour late on leaving the Tiverton Junction. When Burgess held up his hands to him, indicating that he was to stop the train, he immediately "shut" off the steam, the stoker applied the brake and he sounded the brake whistle for the guards to put on their brakes, which he believed was instantly done. They were going at the rate of 25 miles per hour. Did not see deceased on the line before Burgess held up his hands and then, as the train approached, he noticed that he was lying across the off-rail with his head resting on his arm. He was evidently either asleep or insensible. He saw the "life-guard" of the engine strike the body in the side, when it swerved round and the wheels passed over the legs severing both of them. - The Coroner, in summing up, said most clear and admirable testimony had been given from which it was easy to see that loss of deceased's life was purely accidental and that no blame was attributable to anyone. The only way in which they could account for the accident was that although the man had not drank enough liquor to make him tipsy, he had taken sufficient to cause him, in the intense heat, to fall asleep. This was the only construction they could put upon it, for they could find no evidence of neglect on the part of anyone. - The Jury immediately returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 7 September 1875
SWIMBRIDGE - Accidental Death. - J. H. Toller, Esq., Deputy County Coroner, held an Inquest in this village on Monday, relative to the death of ALEXANDER WATTS, a lad thirteen years of age, son of MR WILLIAM WATTS, mason, of this place. It appears that the deceased was a day scholar at the Devon County School, and rode there and back on Wednesday last on a pony. After returning, he was sent with the pony and cart to Pitt for a ladder. On the way the pony shied and threw the deceased off a maund on which he was sitting in the cart and he fell between the shafts and the pony and while in this position the horse kicked him. He was injured and complained of a pain in his stomach, but he appeared to go on favourably until Friday, when he became worse and Mr Jackson, Surgeon, of Barnstaple, was called to attend him. On examination Mr Jackson found a bruise on the deceased's right side two inches above the hip. The unfortunate lad died from the result of the injuries on Saturday afternoon. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 14 September 1875
BARNSTAPLE - Fatal Accident On The Devon And Somerset Line. - On Wednesday evening Mr Incledon Bencraft, Coroner for the Borough of Barnstaple, held an Inquest at the North Devon Infirmary, Barnstaple, on the body of JAMES HOLLOWAY, a young man who was killed at Castle Hill Station, the previous day, by leaping from the train whilst in motion. - The Coroner in addressing the Jury, stated that he was a passenger in the same train from which the young man leaped, and he thought it must be against the rules of the railway company that any person in their employ should be allowed to leave the train whilst it was running. Mr Green, Superintendent of Police on the Bristol and Exeter Railway, was present to watch the case on behalf of that Company. - The first witness called was JOHN HOLLOWAY, brother of the deceased, who said he lived at East Buckland, and he and the deceased were railway porters at the Castle Hill Station. The deceased was a single man and was 19 years of age. He (witness) was at the Station on the arrival of the 1.40 train from Taunton on Monday. It was a fast train, and was not timed to stop at Castle Hill (or Filleigh). As the train passed the Station he saw his brother riding on the engine and just afterwards he saw him endeavour to jump off, but in doing so he seemed to miss his footing and fell on the steps of the next carriage and then fell off between the wheels of the train and the wall of the platform. When the train had passed, witness ran over on to the metals and saw his brother just rising. He was nearly up and witness caught hold of him with the help of others, and endeavoured to lift him on to the platform. Someone asked him if he could walk and he replied that he could not. The train having pulled up, the deceased was placed in a carriage and taken to Barnstaple, and conveyed to the North Devon Infirmary. Mr Gamble was the first doctor that came to him and he (witness) then left to telegraph to his mother and when he returned his brother was nearly gone and was quite unconscious. Witness recollected seeing his brother jump off from an engine or from a carriage whilst the train was running through on a former occasion. - In reply to a question from the Foreman of the Jury, the witness said his brother did not appear to get clear of the engine. He thought he did not leave his hold with one of his hands quite quick enough. - John Dodd, Station-Master at Castle Hill, said he was in charge of the Station as the 1.40 train from Taunton ran through. He saw deceased step on the platform, but he did not leave go his hold and he was dragged under the train. He afterwards assisted him up from between the rails and the platform and sent him on to Barnstaple. He made no statement to him except that he felt no pain only in his arm. Deceased had been employed at the Station for about 20 months. - In answer to Mr Green, witness said he thought the accident was attributable to the fact of his not leaving go his hold after he stepped on the platform. The train was running through the Station at the rate of four miles an hour. - In answer to the Coroner, he said it was quite contrary to the rules of the Company for any of their employees to jump off the trains whilst in motion, although they were obliged to do so sometimes. - James Braund, the driver of the train, said he went through the Station at the rate of three or four miles an hour, as deceased had previously told him he wanted to alight at Castle Hill. Deceased got on the engine at the Southmolton Station. In jumping off he did not leave go his hold. It was very easy to get off an engine when they were used to it. - Arthur Stannard, a passenger in the same train, deposed that the train was travelling at about four miles an hour when it passed the Station at Castle Hill. - Me E. O. Reynolds, House Surgeon at the Infirmary, said he saw the deceased in the dead-house that morning, when he made an examination of the body. He found the main bone of the right arm fractured, and two places in the main artery cut across; all the ribs on the right side were broken, and the lungs were also seriously injured. The injuries he received left no chance of his recovery. - The coroner commented on the dangerous practice of railway servants getting off trains whilst in motion, and said it was an incautious and hazardous practice. He thought it might be possible to construct Stations so that there should be no cavity between the train and the platform. He did not think any blame was attached to anybody but the poor fellow himself, who had paid the penalty with his life. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
CULLOMPTON - Fatal Accident. - A sad and fatal accident happened to a man named HUGH JERROD, a resident of Bradninch, on Thursday last. The unfortunate man was in the employ of Mr Gillard, of Daisyland Farm, in the parish of Broadhembury, and at the time of the accident, which occurred at Mutterton, in the parish of Cullompton, was engaged in driving a load of manure, and in endeavouring to jump from the shafts of the waggon, on which he was sitting, his clothes caught, and he fell into the road, both the wheels passing over him. He was taken to the Bishop Blaize Inn, Cullompton, but only survived a few hours. An Inquest was held on the body on Saturday morning, before F. Burrow, Esq., Deputy County Coroner, when a verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned. The corpse was buried the same day. Deceased was a single man and about thirty years of age.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 28 September 1875
SHALDON - The Death By Drowning Of A Solicitor At Teignmouth. - An Inquest was held on Saturday at the Crown and Anchor Inn, Shaldon, by Mr H. Michelmore, Coroner, touching the death of MR ARDEN AVERY SHAPLAND, who was drowned whilst bathing at Teignmouth on the previous Saturday. His body was found at Labrador on Friday morning, about a mile from the bathing-ground. - Mr William Allin Tucker, farmer, residing at Waye barton, in the parish of Ipplepen, said the deceased was his brother-in-law and he last saw him alive on the 18th inst. Deceased had been staying at witness's house from the 6th. On the 18th witness drove his wife, a lady friend from Southmolton, the deceased and Mr John Westwick, to Teignmouth, reaching there about one o'clock. After putting his horse at the London Hotel they proceeded to the beach with the intention of bathing. They had separate machines, MR SHAPLAND and Mr Westwick having those nearest the Pier; the machines belonged to a woman named English, whose son was with her. Witness's machine was further away from the Pier, there being two or three others between his and those his friends had. Witness could swim a little. MR SHAPLAND and Mr Westwick went into the water before witness. he did not see any ropes to the machines and was quite certain neither MR SHAPLAND nor Mr Westwick used ropes. Witness was cautioned as to the state of the water by George English, who said it was rough, and he must not go out very far. Witness was very nervous in the water and he seldom went out far. He could not tell exactly, but thought it was about four or five minutes after his friends before he went in. Finding the water was so rough, he only went to the depth of his chest and then went back to the beach and looked to see where the others were. He saw them a considerable distance out and he cried "For God's sake help; there are two drowning." He did not say that to anybody in particular. There were several people and he (witness) became so excited at the loss of his friends that he did not know what happened afterwards. He knew that Mr Westwick could only swim a few strokes, and when he looked about a second time for them he could see neither. He saw some men going out with a boat and begged them to go on. He did not tell them it was no use to go out, but said it was useless for him to do so, as he could not swim out. There were two or three men in the boat. Witness did not see any rope, or any appliance for saving life. He saw nothing except the boat. When he last saw them they were about three-parts of the length of the pier away. - By a Juror: English only cautioned him about the water being rough, but did not say anything about the under current. - William Courtenay Snell, boatman of Shaldon, and George English, bathing-guide, having given evidence, Mr Thomas Brown Westwick, who resides with his father, and who is a merchant, said he was an intimate friend of the deceased. He got his machine of the last witness and was in the one that was next to deceased's. Witness could swim a little. He did not receive any warning at all as to the state of the water, which was very rough. The deceased entered the water first and came to witness's machine and asked if he was ready. When witness entered the water deceased was thirty or forty yards out and still going out. Witness followed but did not reach deceased. Witness was standing in water to the depth of his chest, when a wave knocked deceased over and as his head came above the wave again he called out, "Tom, give me your hand." Witness then swam towards him, but the sea carried him further out. Witness was within about another stroke of deceased, when he went down for the last time. Witness called for help to Tucker. When witness tried to swim back he found he was being also carried out. He was brought ashore by Snell and others in a boat and he had since suffered from the effects of being in the water. He did not see any rope to the machine he used; if there was one it was outside. He thought his machine was about thirty feet from the water. Had he been cautioned as to the roughness of the water, or told that there was any under current, he should not have bathed at all. When deceased was knocked over he was standing in water up to his shoulders and could not swim. Witness asked English if the machines were to be put nearer the water and he said "No, the sand was so soft they could not be got up again." - Mr W. R. Hall Jordan, Clerk to the Teignmouth Local Board, produced a copy of the bye-laws relating to bathing and having stated some of its provisions, the Coroner summed up, and the Jury found that the deceased was Accidentally Drowned, and they thought that the bathing-machine man should be censured for committing a breach of the bye-laws, that the machine should have been down to two feet of water and that it was his duty to stand and watch bathers in time of danger in order to caution them. - The Coroner said he quite concurred with the verdict. He did not think they could have said that the bathing-machine man was responsible for the death of the deceased. He then censured English, as requested by the Jury, showed what he was required to do under the bye-laws and cautioned him as to what he should do in future, as, if there were another occurrence of this sort, and another breach of the bye-laws he might have to direct the Jury in another way.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 26 October 1875
TIVERTON - Disastrous Floods. Loss Of Life and Property In Tiverton. - The most distressing result of the floods in this neighbourhood is the drowning of WILLIAM SWEET, at Lurley. SWEET, who lived at a place called Landboat, near Lurley, was in the employ of Mr Hancock, farmer, and about five o'clock Tuesday evening was sent by his master with a horse to get it shod at Mr James Wood's The rain had not come in so violently by this time and the man accomplished the journey in safety. The horse was shod and the man left to return to his employer's about half-past six o'clock, and by this time it was of course quite dark, and the water had risen to a considerable height. The man got on the horse and proceeded on his return journey, but never reached home, and Wednesday morning Mr Superintendent Crabb received information that the horse had been found, but that SWEET was still missing, although we believe several men were searching for the body up to three o'clock. The horse it seems had been washed into a meadow (SWEET had to cross some fields in going to Mr Wood's) and when found was still alive. The body of deceased was discovered at a later hour by two men in a meadow, where it appears it had been washed out from the stream. When found the body was carried to the house where SWEET used to live, and an Inquest will be held tomorrow. The man SWEET will be better known if we add that it was he who was recently tried at the Exeter Assizes on a charge of bigamy. He had not very long completed his term of imprisonment. Mr Crabb promptly telegraphed to SWEET'S wife who resides (or has been residing) at 10 George-street, Stonehouse, Plymouth. - - An Inquest on the body was held at Palmer's Village on Thursday, before Mr F. Mackenzie, Esq., Coroner, when a verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned. William Mogford and George Parish, were the witnesses and their evidence was merely a confirmation of the facts given above.
BRAMPFORD SPEKE - Suspicious Death Of A Tiverton Woman. - An Inquest was held at the Agricultural Inn, Brampford Speke, on Friday last before R. R. Crosse, Esq., County Coroner, on the body of a woman named SARAH BEEDLE, who had been missing from her home since the 8th inst., and reference to which was made in last week's Gazette. As will be seen from the evidence below, the body of the deceased woman, who was about sixty years of age, was washed from the river into some marshes at Netherexe, near Brampford Speke, on the previous Wednesday, and on being examined by a medical man, there were found to be marks of violence about the head and a rumour got abroad that the woman had been murdered and thrown into the water. Mr Superintendent Crabb therefore attended the Inquiry to watch the proceedings. - The Coroner said it appeared there were certain marks on the head which indicated that violence had been used towards the woman, but they would hear the evidence of the medical gentleman who had examined the body, and it would afterwards be for them to say whether the Inquiry should be adjourned for a post-mortem examination to be made, or that they were satisfied death had been caused by drowning. - The Jury, of whom Mr Noah England was Foreman, then retired to view the body and on their return; ELIZABETH FEWINGS, living at Tiverton, said she had seen the body of deceased, which was that of her daughter, SARAH BEEDLE, who was a widow and formerly lived with her. She had been missing since the night of the 8th inst. - [Witness, who is very old and decrepit, had to be accommodated with a seat and to be sustained by another woman.] - William Cann, a labourer of Brampford Speke, stated that he found the body about midday on Wednesday. He was riding in search of his master's cattle and found the body in the marshes at Netherexe. It was lying on the land, but was surrounded by water and had evidently been washed down the river by the high flood. The land where he found the body was adjoining the river Exe. The whole of the marshes had been inundated. He at once went home and told his mistress of what he had seen and afterwards went for the Police Constable and the body was subsequently conveyed to that Inn. - Mr William Coles Hunt, Surgeon, practising at St. Sidwell's, Exeter, said he first saw the body of deceased on the previous day at the Agricultural Inn. It had the appearance of having been in the water about ten days. The clothes and body were covered with mud. The face looked swollen and there appeared to be a contusion over the left eye, and the same side of the head was "puffy." There was the appearance of a bruise mark over the outer angle of the right eye and there were also two bruises on the right leg, below the knee, but these he did not attach much importance to. The appearance of the contusion over the left eye led him to suppose that it was inflicted during life. Deceased had the appearance of a woman with black eyes; the pupil of the left eye was dilated, and that of the right contracted. In persons who died by drowning the pupils of both eyes were generally dilated, and there might have been some causes acting, such as irritation of the brain, which would have produced the contraction of one pupil. The tongue was protruded between the teeth, but not beyond the lips and this protrusion, coupled with other symptoms, might indicate drowning. He had seen the body again that day; it was now rapidly decomposing, but he thought that by turning back the scalp he could ascertain if there was a fracture of not. - At the request of the Coroner, Mr Hunt then retired to make a post mortem examination of the head, and in the meantime; Mr Superintendent Crabb, in answer to the Coroner and the Foreman of the Jury, stated that deceased was drinking at the Boot Inn, Tiverton on the 8th instant, and was seen in the skittle ground with various persons. At half-past five she was seen at the door of the Boot Inn by a person, who noticed that she was drunk and by whom she (deceased) was advised to go home. About a fortnight previous deceased had told this same person (a woman named Melhuish) that she should have to get out of her trouble some way or other. Deceased was seen later in the evening and again at eleven o'clock, when she was standing by the passage door of her own house. The woman who saw her wished her "good night," and deceased made a similar remark in reply. Mr Crabb added, in reply to the Foreman, that the River Exe was close to the back premises of the Boot Inn, and also close to the road opposite to where deceased used to live. - Mr Hunt's examination was then continued. Witness said he had made a post mortem examination of the head and had carefully examined the parts underneath the contusions before referred to. He found the cellular tissue congested, but there was no fracture of the skull, and the contusions were therefore not the cause of death. The negative result of his post mortem examination, was that death was caused by drowning. - The Coroner, in summing up, said beside the witnesses who had been called they had the statement of Mr Superintendent Crabb, of Tiverton, and if after what they had heard they (the Jury) thought it necessary to adjourn the Inquest he was quite ready to do so, and then more particulars could be ascertained than they had before them. They had the evidence of Mr Hunt, who had made a post-mortem examination of the head, and who had given them his negative opinion that the woman was drowned. However, if they wished, he was quite prepared to adjourn the Inquest, but he saw no necessity for it. If they returned a verdict at present it evidently must be one of "Found Drowned." - In answer to the Foreman, Mr Hunt said he was not prepared to say whether the contusions on deceased's head were inflicted before or after the body was in the water, but he thought it was done before life was extinct. - The Jury after a short consultation, returned a verdict of "Found Drowned."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 2 November 1875
LYMPSTONE - A Fatal Gun Accident. - An Inquest was held at Lympstone, near Exeter, on Tuesday, on the body of a gentleman named PALFREY. The deceased went out in a boat to shoot wild fowl in the estuary of the Exe. He was accompanied by two other persons, one of whom had placed his gun on the seat of the boat while he attended to the sail, when the boat suddenly lurched and the gun fell off the seat and exploded, the charge entering the back of PALFREY'S head just as he was in the act of firing at a bird and he almost instantly expired. A verdict of Accidental Death was returned.
HEMYOCK - Fatal Accident To A Farmer's Wife. - On Wednesday, MRS SUSAN OSMOND, aged 67, the wife of MR JAMES OSMOND, farmer, of Coombe's Head, Hemyock, met with her death under the following circumstances. Being in the habit of seeing her ducks safely housed every evening, she went out that evening, as usual, in search of them. Her husband in returning to the house and finding her absent, thought she had gone to a neighbouring cottage. He accordingly went in search of the ducks himself, and was about to leave them there. As he was leaving the pond, however, he heard a groan. He retraced his steps and went immediately to the spot; and, to his great astonishment, he found that his wife had fallen in, and was unable to draw her out alone and immediately went for assistance. They conveyed her to the house as quickly as possible; but within half an hour afterwards she ceased to breathe. Mr Crook, assistant of Dr Morgan, of Culmstock, came to her assistance immediately he was sent for; but on his arrival, he found she had expired. An Inquest was held on the body at the house on Monday, at noon, before Mr Spencer Cox, the Coroner for the northern division of Devon. In the course of the evidence it was stated that from the appearance of her bonnet and hair, there was every reason to believe that in nearing the pond, she must have fallen in; and being unable to extricate herself, she must have remained there some two hours or upwards. The Jury returned a verdict "Died from the Shock and from Exhaustion through being in the water."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 16 November 1875
EXETER - Silverton - Shocking Accident At A Paper Mill. - A shocking accident occurred on Thursday afternoon at the works of Mr John Matthews Drew, Bridge Paper Mills, near Silverton, which has resulted in the death of one person and serious injury to several others. A revolving Esparto boiler, filled with boiling caustic soda, suddenly turned over, discharging its contents over a number of females who were at work in the same room. Six of these - named DENNIS, Rock, Walker, Ireland, Quant and Sully - were injured to such an extent that Dr Potter, who was sent for and arrived at the works a few minutes after the accident occurred, ordered their immediate removal to the Devon and Exeter Hospital. On their arrival it was found that all had been severely scalded in different parts of the body, especially DENNIS, who died at midnight from the injuries she had received. The rest are doing as well as can be expected, but it will be some time before they will recover sufficiently to enable them to resume their occupation. An Inquest was held at the Valiant Soldier Inn, on Saturday, before Mr H. D. Barton, Deputy Coroner, on the body of SARAH DENNIS , a single woman, who died in the Hospital from the effects of scalds, caused by the upsetting of a boiler at Mr Drew's Paper mills, near Silverton, and adjourned for a fortnight, for further evidence from the women who were scalded but unable to be present. The other women in the room at the time of the accident were Amelia Rock, 64, who we regret to say died in the Hospital on Saturday from the effects of the injuries she received; Martha Walker, 42, Jane Sully, 41, Anna Maria Ireland, 15 and Emily Quint, 15. Sully, who was the least injured, refused to be taken to the Hospital, and was conveyed to her own home. The three survivors in the Hospital are in much the same condition as when they were received into that establishment, and still remain in a critical state.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 30 November 1875
BARNSTAPLE - Burned To Death. - Mr I. Bencraft (Borough Coroner) held an Inquest on Wednesday evening at the Unicorn Inn, Pilton, on the body of a little girl named ELIZA GREGORY, six years of age, who met with her death on the previous day. - Mrs Watts, who lives two doors from the deceased, in the Priory, stated that on the day in question she was going towards her house and saw some fire in the passage of the house of JOHN GREGORY, father of deceased. She then ran towards the door and saw it was a child on fire, when she pulled a bed-sheet from the line and wrapped it around the child. Another bedsheet was soon given her, which she put round the child and afterwards the mother took it and carried it into the house. The child was in the house by herself at the time; and on Mrs Watts screaming for the mother, who was in a neighbour's house, she quickly arrived. - ELIZA GREGORY, the mother of the deceased, deposed that on the day in question she went out, leaving her little girl with another about her own age in the room. That was about half-past four, and about half-an-hour afterwards she was called from the house where she was at the time and on going to her own house discovered her child lying down in the passage with a sheet wrapped round her. She took her upstairs and put her to bed and sent for Mr Fernie. On asking her daughter how she became burned, she stated that she was standing on the fender, putting on the kettle, when her pinafore caught fire. She further told her mother that she ran into the next door, which is in the same passage, but the children pushed her out and she then lay down in the passage, where she was found on fire by Mrs Watts. Witness said that when she left her house the kettle was on the hob, but when she returned it was on the fire. - Mary Gammon deposed to attending the child and remaining with her until half-past one o'clock when she expired. - Mr A. Fernie, Surgeon, stated that he attended the deceased and that the moment he saw her he was satisfied that she could not live, as she was so extensively burned. In fact she was almost roasted. He applied the usual remedies and gave her some medicine, but she expired at half-past one. The Jury returned a verdict of Accidentally Burnt to Death."
HONITON - An Inquest was held on Saturday by Mr Coroner Cox, on the body of NAOMI PRING, aged four and a half years old, the daughter of a labourer, working for George Neumann, Esq., of Tracey. It appears that on Friday afternoon, about half-past four, the mother left deceased with two other children - the oldest being a boy of nine - to go to Awliscombe, and it is supposed that whilst by the fire the child's clothes ignited. Two men, hearing screams, ran into the house and found the child enveloped in flames, and the boy throwing water on her. They extinguished the flames and Dr Mayne was sent for; but the child died about four hours after the accident. - The Coroner spoke strongly as to the mother's neglect in leaving children so young without proper care. - The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 4 January 1876
HALBERTON - Sad Case Of Suicide. - On Thursday, MR W. RUSSELL, butcher, of this place, committed suicide by drowning. He was missed for a considerable time during the morning and on a search being made, it was discovered that deceased had drowned himself in a large tub, which only contained about a pailful of water. He was found with his heels hanging over the sides of the tub. Deceased was an elderly man and had been in a depressed state of mind for some time past. According to rumour, he was met coming from the direction of the canal on the previous night, and from the condition he was then in, it would seem that he had attempted to drown himself. An Inquest was held on the body on Thursday afternoon, when a verdict of "Temporary Insanity" was returned.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 18 January 1876
EXETER - Dreadful Accident At The Tiverton Junction. - On Wednesday evening a serious accident occurred at Tiverton Junction to a porter named WILLIAM VINNICOMBE. It appears that the poor fellow, on the arrival of the mail train leaving Exeter at 4.45 was engaged shunting. On arriving at the Junction this train slips a carriage for Tiverton, and did so Wednesday evening. Just as the carriage was slipped, VINNICOMBE was proceeding down the line and though he allowed the mail train to pass him, he appears not to have noticed the slip carriage. William Snell, the guard in charge of the slip carriage saw VINNICOMBE'S danger, and shouted to him at the top of his voice. The unfortunate man, however, took no notice, and was caught by the steps of the carriage, dragged for some distance, and frightfully mangled. As soon as possible he was conveyed to the Devon and Exeter Hospital, where it was found necessary to amputate his left foot. His right thigh and his head were also found to be severely fractured and he is now lying in a very precarious state. VINNICOMBE died at the Hospital on Saturday, and an Inquest on the body was held yesterday (Monday). The body of deceased is to be brought to the Tiverton Junction today (Tuesday).
EXETER - A Fatal Overdose Of Chloral. - Very general regret was excited in Exeter on Tuesday by the death, through an overdose of "solution of chloral or sleep producer," of a young lady, MISS JESSIE RAWE, step-daughter of MR WM. KENDAL, magistrate and one who has filled all civil offices in Exeter. It appears that MISS RAWE had been in the habit of taking chloral for pains in the stomach and, in accordance with her request, her maid, Monday morning, gave her a bottle half full of the solution, and containing about four teaspoonfuls. Soon afterwards, the bottle, quite empty, was placed outside the bedroom door. Her mistress then seemed to be as usual, but an hour afterwards she found her lying on the floor apparently half asleep, and she seemed to have fallen when about to dress. The maid shook MISS RAWE, but she did not wake. This did not surprise the girl, because on some previous occasion there had been some difficulty in awakening her mistress and once she found her in a drowsy condition on the stairs. Several times subsequently the girl shook MISS RAWE, but did not awake her and after things had gone on three hours in this way, an alarm was raised and a doctor was sent for, but on his arrival MISS RAWE was dead. Mr Kendal was called at the Inquest and was much distressed. Mr Perkins, Surgeon, on being called, said this "solution of chloral" was an exceedingly dangerous medicine except when administered under medical guidance. He had no doubt the deceased died from an overdose of it. She appeared to have taken in two hours no less than 125 grains of it and there was still on the mantle-piece another dose of 25 grains which she had made ready to take. Forty grains was a large dose, and when 50 grains had been taken, it took medical men four hours to recover the patient. When taken in a large dose, chloral would produce intense pain in the stomach and it seemed to him that as the pain increased MISS RAWE took a large dose to repress, whereas it only intensified her suffering. The case was one of the clearest of poisoning by chloral he ever had heard of, for here they had seen all four stages - first faintness, next sickness, then stupor and finally apoplexy. The Jury and the Coroner endorsed the medical man's remarks. A verdict was returned of "Accidental Death due to an Overdose of Chloral."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 25 January 1876
EXETER - Fatal Accident At Tiverton Junction. - An Inquest was held on Monday at Exeter, before H. W. Hooper, Esq., City Coroner, on the body of WILLIAM VINNICOMBE, a porter in the employ of the Great Western Railway Company, who was knocked down and run over by a slip carriage at Tiverton Junction on the 11th inst., whereby he received such injuries that he died at the Devon and Exeter Hospital on the following Saturday. - Inspector Green appeared, to watch the case on behalf of the Company. - William Snell, a porter in the employ of the same company, said the deceased, who was about 46 years of age, was a married man, and was employed as a porter at Tiverton Junction on the day in question. Witness left Exeter on the day in question by the 4.45 train in charge of a slip carriage, which was slipped off from the train as it passed Tiverton Junction. When the slip arrived within about 300 yards of the Junction, witness saw a light from a lantern, apparently carried by a man, crossing the line. As the carriage proceeded he saw that the light was coming in his direction and also saw that the light proceeded from a lantern carried by a man. Witness immediately put on the brake and shouted to the man, but no notice was taken. At that time the carriage had been slipped off and the train was some distance ahead. There was a lamp in the carriage, which shone out of the window at the back and witness also held out his lamp to warn the deceased. No notice was taken and the steps of the carriage struck deceased and lifted him off the ground. The brake being on, he was immediately thrown off and fell under the wheels, the van passing over him. As soon as he could, witness ran back and saw the deceased lying on the ground, severely injured and insensible. Deceased was not deaf, nor did he know that his sight was defective. Deceased was aware that a carriage was slipped by that train, as he had been in the habit of attending to it. - Walter Smallbones, another porter, stated that on hearing that a man had been run over, he ran down the line and saw the deceased, who was severely cut about the head and bleeding profusely. A board was obtained, on which deceased was placed and taken to the guard's van, in which he was taken to Exeter and removed to the Hospital. - John Dyer Wicks, a signalman at Tiverton Junction, said that on the day in question, about five minutes past five, he saw the deceased, who was perfectly sober, coming from the Station towards the box where he (witness) was on duty. Deceased had a lamp in his hand. There was a goods train down the line and it was within hearing. Deceased said, "John, is that the goods?" and witness replied that it was. Deceased said "I put up that lamp down there," meaning the signal-lamp, "but it went out again and I must go and light it up." He did not see nor hear of the deceased again until he was told that he had been run over. - Mr H. C. Cumming, House Surgeon at the Devon and Exeter Hospital, proved receiving the deceased into that Institution, where he died on the Saturday afternoon of the injuries he received. - The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 7 March 1876
TIVERTON - An Inquest was held at the Town Hall on Friday evening last, before the Borough Coroner, F. Mackenzie, Esq., on the body of a child named VICTOR BURTON GRAHAM, nine weeks old. The mother of the child was a single woman, who lately visited the town and remained with deceased three weeks after its birth, when she left it in the care of a woman named Mogford and Mr Rossiter, chemist, who prescribed for the child, the Jury of whom Mr O. P. Martin was Foreman, returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes."
EXETER - The Recent Railway Accident At Exeter. - On Thursday, INSPECTOR HATCHER expired at the Exeter Hospital, from the injuries he sustained on Thursday last. It will be remembered that deceased was crossing the line when the engine which comes down to meet the 4.15 train from North Devon was entering the Station. The driver saw the Inspector's danger and shouted to him, but before he could get clear of the line the buffer of the engine struck him in the back, throwing him with force against the platform and one of the wheels passed over his right foot, crushing it in a frightful manner. He was at once taken to the Hospital, where his right foot was amputated and everything done for him that medical skill could suggest. but the shock he had received proved too much for his not over-strong constitution and from the time he entered the Hospital he gradually sank. INSPECTOR HATCHER had been in the service of the Bristol and Exeter Railway Company for more than a quarter of a century and was held in high estimation by the Company. The Earl of Devon, speaking at the meeting of the shareholders on Monday last, said "In speaking of the officers of the Company he could not omit to mention what he was sure all present would regret, that the closing period of their management at Exeter had been marked by an accident of most serious character to one of their respected servants there, a man who had been twenty-five years in the service and five years previously in that of the Great Western. He was sure that all those who had experienced the civility, kindness and attention of INSPECTOR HATCHER on the Exeter platform, would have learned, with very deep regret the serious accident that had occurred to him." The sentiments expressed by the noble Earl will be felt by hundreds who will miss the kindly face of the Inspector from the St. David's platform. Deceased was in his fifty-sixth year and leaves a wife and six children, of whom the youngest is twelve years of age. The Inquest was held on Friday.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 28 March 1876
TIVERTON - An Inquest was held at the Town Hall on Saturday afternoon before the Borough Coroner (F. Mackenzie, Esq.) on the body of ABEL ROOKS, whose death resulted from the explosion of a benzoline barrel on the previous Monday. The only witness examined was Edward Chapple Huxtable, from whose evidence it appeared that deceased, on the evening of the accident, put a piece of lighted paper to the tap-hole of the barrel when it exploded. Witness's clothes ignited and in endeavouring to put out the fire he burnt his hand. Deceased was struck to the ground and witness saw blood issuing from his forehead. He was removed to his home and medical aid sent for. - The Jury, of whom Mr I. Gray was Foreman, returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
CREDITON - Death Of A Labourer At Crediton Under Suspicious Circumstances. - An Inquest of an important character was held at the Crediton Workhouse on Saturday, touching the death of a farm labourer named MATTHEW BELLAMY, of Colebrook, who died from injuries received in his side. Mr R. R. Crosse, of Cullompton, was the Coroner and the following evidence was adduced before the Court. - Mr William Vanstone said: I am the Master of the Crediton Workhouse. On Saturday, the 11th instant, the deceased was admitted to the House, and on the night of the 22nd inst. he died. - HENRY BELLAMY, a lad about eleven years of age, and son of the deceased, said: I was present in my father's house on Thursday night the 8th instant. I saw mother throw a three-legged stool at deceased. It did not strike him, but passed close to his head. I saw the deceased fall back on the top of a chair in a sitting position; this was two or three minutes after the stool had been thrown at him. I do not know if he hurt his side. - Elizabeth Burrows, the wife of a farm labourer, living next door to the deceased, said that she heard a quarrel between deceased and his wife. She did not hear any blows. On the Thursday and Friday following the deceased complained to her of an injury he had received to his side. He said his wife had thrown the stool and struck him in the side. - Mr J. A. Edwards, Surgeon, stated that he examined deceased on Monday, the 13th instant. Observed a red mark on the left side. Treated deceased for a contusion and ordered him into the Hospital. Continued to visit him up to the time of his death. Deceased stated to witness in what manner he received the injury. Had made a post mortem examination. Observed a high state of inflammation of the pleura of the lower half of the left side of the chest. On removing the integuments over the part which presented the red mark, he came upon a quantity of fused blood, the situation corresponding with the red mark, or inflammation, previously noticed. The lungs and heart were otherwise in a healthy state. Witness was confidently of opinion that the injury the man received in the left side, and which he had described, was the cause of death. The injury must have been inflicted by a heavy blow, such as being struck by a stool; or it might have been done by falling heavily on the point of a chair. It must have been a point of some kind which injured the deceased. Did not think it could have been done by the deceased falling on a chair in the manner the boy had described. - ELIZABETH BELLAMY, the wife of the deceased, was then asked whether she desired to make any statement or not? She said: There was a quarrel between me and my husband on Wednesday night, the 8th instant. The boy who has been examined was present. My husband came home drunk. I threw a stool at him, but it did not strike him. He was going to put me out of doors and I turned against him and pushed him down. He had a stool in his hand, which he was going to throw at me. I can't say whether he fell when I pushed him. He did not complain that night nor the next morning. I don't know how he got the injury in his side. He complained of it on the Thursday night. - The Coroner then stated the case to the Jury. He said he had no doubt in his own mind that this woman inflicted the injury on the deceased which caused his death; but at the same time the evidence, he thought, was not sufficiently clear to bring in a charge of manslaughter against her; but whatever decision they might come to, he should consider it his duty to instruct the Police Officer to lay the case before the Chief Constable that it might be further inquired into. The Jury returned a verdict to the effect that deceased died from the effects of an injury inflicted on his left side, but how, or by what means such injury was inflicted, no evidence appeared to the Jury. The Inquiry lasted nearly three hours.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 18 April 1876
TIVERTON - An Inquest was held at the Town Hall on Wednesday evening last, before F. Mackenzie, Esq., Borough Coroner, on the body of the man JOHN GUBB, whose death was occasioned by an accident on the previous Monday week. - Mr G. Hall was Foreman of the Jury. - Walter forward, a mason, said on the day in question he was in Bridge-street when the accident happened to the deceased, and saw him leading a horse and waggon down the hill. He had no drag on. The shaft horse slipped and deceased was trying to prevent it. Could not tell how deceased was thrown down. Witness with others went to his aid and deceased asked them to take him somewhere as quickly as possible, or he should bleed to death. They put him on a pair of trucks and took him to the Infirmary. Did not see that deceased ought to have put on the drag, as it was not a very heavy load. - Richard Case, a waggoner, in the employ of Mr T. B. Haydon, said he was driving a waggon in company with deceased and they were going to Hill Farm, Seven Crosses. It was about ten o'clock in the morning. They did not have any drink. Saw deceased at the time of the accident fall forward. Deceased told him that the shaft knocked him down. The waggon was in proper repair. - Mr W. Johnston, House Surgeon at the Infirmary, said that deceased was brought to the Institution on Monday week. He had received a very grave fracture wound of the right leg. Every attention was paid to him, but he died on Tuesday afternoon. His recovery was improbable from the first. - He had not the appearance of a healthy man. The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 9 May 1876
BARNSTAPLE - Awfully Sudden Death. - On Wednesday morning, about four o'clock, a young woman, named MARY CHALLACOMBE, who has lately come in from the country to be married, and whose banns would have been published next Sunday for the last time, was taken seriously ill. Mr Fernie was sent for, but before he arrived, she expired. At an Inquest held the same night, a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes" was returned.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 23 May 1876
CHITTLEHAMPTON - Sad Death Of A Farmer. - A very melancholy case of accidental death to a farmer of this parish happened on Wednesday in last week. The deceased was MR ROBERT GULLY, who rented a small estate called Redding-cross, belonging to Mrs Graddon, near Chittlehampton Village. He was an unmarried man, 43 years of age and his mother lived with him. On Tuesday morning last he was up early for the purpose of driving his flock of about seventy sheep to be de-pastured on Dartmoor for the summer. He left on horseback at half-past four, driving the flock of sheep before him and intending to return home the same night. He reached his destination, left his sheep and began his journey homewards towards the evening. Nothing is known of him after he left Dartmoor until the next morning, at about six o'clock, when a man named Josiah Turner, a labourer, living at Riddlecombe, in the parish of Ashreigney, was going to his work ripping, having two companions (Richard Marles and John Turner) with him, and when they were going along the road in that parish, not far from Hollacombe Moore, they saw a horse grazing by the side of the hedge, having the saddle under his neck turned upwards, and about three landyards further on in the middle of the road lay a man on his left side. He was living, but insensible and they saw that he had received a wound at the back of the head, from which blood had flowed, for there was blood in several parts of the road, near where he lay. - Josiah Turner got upon the horse and rode off to Mr James Boundy, at Riddlecombe, who returned with him to the spot, when they found that Marles and John Turner had removed the poor man in the meantime to the farm-house of Coalhouse, which was very near by. There the farmer seated him on the chair near the fire and endeavoured to revive him, but without avail. He sent off to Dolton for the doctor and Mr Sloane Mitchell arrived early in the forenoon and found the deceased on a chair by the fire in an insensible state. He helped him to bed and then examined him, when he found a scalp wound on the left side of the back of the head, apparently not deep, for it did not seem to reach the bone. He was suffering under severe concussion of the brain and shock to the system, but as he became warmer and his pulse and breathing were good the doctor hoped he would have rallied. He left directions about him and sent his assistant to see him in the evening, when he found him much worse and rapidly sinking and he died before morning. - An Inquest was held on the body on Saturday last, at Riddlecombe, before John Henry Toller, Esq., Deputy Coroner, when the facts above stated were deposed to by the several witnesses and a verdict of "Accidentally Killed by Falling from his Horse" was returned. Deceased was an exceedingly steady and respectable man and was much esteemed by his neighbours. There was not the smallest suspicion of his having been in liquor, for he was a most abstemious man, and his mother's evidence was that she had never seen him the worse for liquor, nor did she believe that anyone else ever had. It was an extremely long day's journey that he was attempting - hardly less than sixty miles there and back; and there is no doubt that he was asleep in his saddle when Joslin saw him pass, and that the horse soon after fell from fatigue or drowsiness and threw his rider, who lady exposed to the night air until nature sank beyond recovery.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 30 May 1876
EXETER ST THOMAS THE APOSTLE - Sad Case Of Drowning In The Exe. - A sad case of drowning occurred on Saturday evening in the Exe, near Exwick. SIDNEY WEEKS, a little boy aged five years and six months, of Exwick, had walked as far as the bridge over the river Exe, towards the St. David's Station, to meet his father, who works for Mr J. C. Wall and waited there for him. A little boy named Gardener, was walking to Exwick later in the evening and on passing over the bridge, saw WEEKS struggling in the water on the lower side of the bridge. He immediately ran to the railway for assistance and two men were quickly on the spot, but WEEKS was not to be seen. They procured a boat and the grappling irons and at once commenced to search for the little fellow. A messenger was sent to the Bathing-place for the drags and Shooter, the attendant, was soon on the spot and commenced to drag the river. Four or five boats were used by different parties for the same purpose, but the body was not discovered for nearly two hours. Deceased was quite dead when taken out of the water and was removed to his home. An Inquest was held yesterday (Monday) afternoon at the Buller's Arms, Exwick.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 13 June 1876
BAMPTON - Melancholy And Fatal Accident. - About six o'clock p.m. on Wednesday last a horse and cart belonging to Mr E. Salisbury - temporarily in charge of John Land, a boy between ten and eleven years of age - was being led through the town and when passing the White Horse Hotel, the front of which MR JOHN BETTY painter, of Wiveliscombe, was standing on a ladder painting, the cart struck against a spare or second ladder and threw it down. BETTY was seen to fall to the ground and was at once taken to the White Horse and Dr Nason sent for. It was found that the poor man had sustained such severe injuries in the head and spine that he died about half-past ten the same night. - An Inquest was held the next day by R. R. Crosse, Esq., Coroner, when the following evidence was given:- GEORGE BETTY, son of the deceased, identified the body as that of his father. He heard the ladders fall and saw his father on the ground, but could not say how the accident happened. - Mrs Gibbings who lives opposite, saw a boy taking a cart through the street and saw the deceased fall from the ladder on which he was standing. The boy in charge of the cart, who was leading the horse by the halter, was at the moment looking back apparently ordering some children off from the cart. - John Land, the boy in charge of the cart, stated that he did not know anything about the accident that had occurred until Mr Periam had told him. - Wm. Williams, 16 years of age, stated that he was sent from Venman's farm with a load of pea and bean sticks. After delivering his load he wanted to go and see his sister who was ill, and sent the other boy with the horse and cart to the smith's for the horse to be shod. - Dr Nason stated that about six p.m. he was called to see the deceased. He had him put to bed and discovered a large wound on the right side of the head, and also severe injuries to the spine. After symptoms led him to believe there was internal fracture of the skull. The deceased died about half-past ten. - The Coroner, in summing up the evidence, completely exonerated Mr Salisbury from blame, because he sent a competent person in charge of the horse and cart. He put it to the Jury whether there was such culpable negligence on the part of the boy Williams as would amount to manslaughter. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death," and recommended that the lad Williams should be reprimanded for his breach of trust in giving the charge of the cart to another boy. - The deceased, who was about 34, leaves a widow and eight young children totally unprovided for. The Jury, at the suggestion of the Foreman, Mr J. Short, gave their fees to the widow. The vicar and churchwardens of the parish at once made a subscription throughout the town for the family and nearly £12 were soon collected.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 20 June 1876
TIVERTON - A Sad End Through Excessive Drinking. - An Inquest was held at the Town Hall on Wednesday evening last, before the Borough Coroner (F. Mackenzie, Esq.) on the body of ELIZA REDWOOD, who was found dead in her house the same morning. - Mr H. Rice was Foreman of the Jury. - JANE REDWOOD, mother of the deceased, said she lived at Hittor-miss Court. Deceased was employed as a char-woman, but had not been at work that day. She left her home some time after nine p.m. on Tuesday evening, but did not see her again until after eleven. Deceased, who had been drinking, said she had knocked herself very hard, but did not say where. After that she did not speak. Witness tried to get her upstairs, but she sat in the stairs. Witness then went to bed and slept. Deceased was the worse for liquor when she went away. On previous occasions when she had been in liquor she would remain in the stairs until she had recovered a little, and would then go to bed. On the night in question the deceased did the same and she took no further notice of it until she was dressing next morning and finding that she was not in bed called downstairs twice, but got no reply, and on going down she found deceased quite cold and was sitting in the same place as where witness left her on the previous night. Did not see any blood about deceased's clothes. She was more intoxicated than she had ever seen her before. Deceased was 30 years of age. - Harriet Cockram said deceased used to work for her. On the evening previous she met her intoxicated in Castle-street, and spoke to her, when she complained of having had a fall. This was about eleven o'clock. - William B. Dunsford, landlord of the Rising Sun, said deceased came into his house about ten o'clock. Someone gave her three pennyworth of brandy and she had half a pint of beer besides. When she left she seemed to walk very well. - The Jury returned a verdict that her death was caused by the fall and excessive drinking.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 27 June 1876
ST MARYCHURCH - A Young Lady Drowned Whilst Bathing At Babbicombe. - A most distressing case of death by drowning happened at Babbicombe on Saturday. Two sisters, named ADA and ALICE JANE OWEN, aged respectively eighteen and fifteen, daughters of the widow of a captain in the merchant service, and residing at Torre, proceeded during the morning to the house of Mr Hancorn, chemist, of St Mary's Church, a friend of the family, and after remaining there a short time they went to Oddicombe Beach, Babbicombe, to bathe. They left Mr Hancorn's house, at half-past eleven, and about noon they engaged a bathing machine of Elias Waymouth, and went from it into the water. Soon after they were observed to be in difficulty and an alarm was raised by someone on shore who witnessed it. Waymouth, who let the young ladies the machine, and who had been out in a boat some little distance off attending to a crab-pot, hearing a shout that someone was drowning, pulled toward the beach as fast as he could and picked up MISS ADA OWEN, the elder sister who came floating with her head under water and in a very exhausted state. He put her ashore and immediately afterwards seized with a grapnel the body of the younger sister ALICE, whom he found lying in about five feet of water, and brought her ashore. For over two hours the efforts of three medical gentlemen were continued, but they proved without avail. The unfortunate young lady was dead and her body was removed to the house of Mr Hancorn. Her sister, who was of course the only person who could give direct evidence as to the immediate cause of death, was in such a weak state as to be unable to be examined at the Inquest, which was held in the evening. It seemed to be the general opinion, however, that death resulted almost as much from heart disease, produced by fright, as from drowning, the deceased being of a weakly nature and having suffered from this disease.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 11 July 1876
EXETER - A Man Found Drowned At Head Weir. - About half-past ten o'clock Friday morning the body of a man named WILLIAM POTTER, a retired grocer, of Cullompton, was observed in the river Exe, a few yards from the fenders by Head Weir. He was lying near the bottom, and the water was about three or four feet deep. Shooter, the bathing-ground keeper, was called, and he rowed to the spot and took the man into his boat. The body was removed to the Paper Makers' Arms, Exe-street, to await an Inquest. Deceased appears to be between 50 and 60 years of age, and when taken out he was quite stiff. The probability is that the body had been in the water the whole of the previous night. The half of a return ticket from Cullompton to Exeter, dated Wednesday, was found in his pocket. It is said that the deceased has lost a good deal of money lately. His brother, who resides in Exeter, has not seen the deceased for some time past. - The Inquest was held on Saturday, when the Jury returned an Open Verdict.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 25 July 1876
BARNSTAPLE - Sad Case Of Drowning. - On Friday a young man, named ALFRED SKINNER, 19 years of age, and apprenticed to Mr Rush, draper, in Joy-street, met with his death by drowning. At about six o'clock the deceased and two other young men, named respectively Joslin and Pugsley, from the same house, besides William Skinner and William Snell, from the house of Mr Lyle, went down to Pottington Point to bathe. William Skinner went into the water first, followed by ALFRED and just as Pugsley was preparing to go into the water he noticed ALFRED struggling, he having apparently gone out of his depth. Pugsley, who could not swim, called out to William Skinner, who immediately went to the deceased's assistance, caught hold of him by the hair of the head and assisted him some distance, but deceased clutched him by the neck and he had to let him go in order to seize him another way, when the tide took deceased down and he was not seen again. The body was recovered by diving and the same evening an Inquest was held by R. I. Bencraft, Esq., (Borough Coroner) who stated that very hot weather never set in without two or three poor fellows their lives. It shewed a great want of caution for young men to go into deep water without being able to swim, and at a place, too, where the tide swept rather swiftly. - The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidentally Drowned."
HONITON - A Servant Girl Found Drowned In A Water Butt. - An Inquest was held by Mr Deputy Coroner Macaulay, at the Lamb Inn, on Friday evening, touching the death of MARY ANN BOWYER, aged 16, a domestic servant, in the employ of G. T. Tweed, Esq., Solicitor of this place, who was found dead in a water-butt, the previous evening. - Mary Ann Moss, a fellow servant of the deceased, said she saw the deceased alive at a quarter-past three on Thursday afternoon. Witness noticed nothing unusual in her manner that day, only that she was rather quieter than usual. Deceased was generally a quiet girl. She did her work as usual up to the time witness last saw her. Had seen the deceased fetch water from the cask, but always from the tap. - Miss Tweed said the deceased was wanted at about five o'clock; but could not be found. Witness, after making search, looked into the water-butt, and there saw the deceased, head downwards. She could see nothing of the deceased until she looked into the butt. - George Western, clerk to Mr Tweed, said that at about five minutes to seven, he was informed by Miss Tweed that the deceased was in the water-butt, and went immediately to the yard where the cask stood. On looking into the cask he saw the deceased doubled up, head downwards. Witness at once turned the cask over, and partly pulled the deceased out. There could not have been more than two feet of water in the cask before the witness turned it over. Deceased had nothing near her to shew that she went to the cask for the purpose of dipping water. Dr Mayne said he saw the deceased at about quarter to eight in the water-butt, which was turned over. The deceased was then quite dead. He should consider she had been dead at least three hours. He considered deceased died from suffocation through drowning. There was no bruise upon her. Witness did not think it possible for the deceased to extricate herself from the cask, if she had wished. - The deceased having left nothing to shew that she contemplated suicide the Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned in a Water-butt," and added that as to how she got there, there was no evidence to shew.
SWIMBRIDGE - The trap accident, particulars of which were given last week proved fatal to MR CHANNINGS on Saturday evening. An Inquest was held on his body on Monday morning, before John Henry Toller, Esq., Deputy Coroner, and a respectable Jury. Evidence was given by the daughter, MISS CHANNINGS, of the facts of the case, so far as she could describe them. The horse was walking when first she saw the shafts to lift up and then he set off to gallop. She did all she could to restrain him; but when they had gone a little further they noticed the shafts rise again and swerve against the horse's back, but she remembered no more until she found herself on the ground. The blacksmith also, Mr Pristacott, gave evidence of his observations. He was at work between 10 and 11 o'clock in the forenoon when he heard a horse and cart coming down the hill very fast. he looked out at his window and saw the horse pass galloping with the cart. Presently he heard a scream and a sound as of the cart turning over. He ran to the spot, about two land yards from his house and saw all the five persons thrown together in a heap. MR CHANNINGS lay on the road. He took him up and laid him against the bank and he heard him sigh once. Extensive bruises were visible on the head, and blood flowed freely from the wounds and the nose. He was quickly removed to witness's cottage as were all the females, who were more or less injured. The evidence of Mr Harper described the injuries deceased had received, which were those accompanying violent concussion on the brain. He saw that the case was an utterly hopeless one from the first. Of course the Jury had no hesitation in agreeing to a verdict of "Accidental Death." - The case is a very sad one, and has excited a very large degree of sympathy, the deceased being well known and very highly esteemed. His remains were interred on Wednesday, in the family grave at Highbray, by ministry of the Rev. J. W. Edmonds, in the presence of a very large number of Christian friends and neighbours. - The body was taken by hearse from Gunn, where the fatal accident took place and conveyed to Highbray, followed by several carriages and friends on horseback, some from long distances. On arriving at Bray Town, six bearers on horseback met the procession and were joined by the relatives of the deceased, and a large number of the principle farmers of the neighbourhood. The procession wended its way to the residence of his venerable father, who has been long confined to his bed. The coffin rested outside the window. The Rev. John Cheynoweth, Wesleyan Minister, of Southmolton, made a few appropriate remarks, after which a hymn was sung (to the tune of the Old Hundreth), and then a solemn and effective prayer followed. Numbers who listened could not restrain their sobs. The procession then moved slowly towards the churchyard, and was there met by the Rev. J. W. Edmonds, the Rector, the Rev. W. Burdett, vicar of Northmolton (in which parish deceased resided). Seeing the large number of persons following the Rev. gentleman intimated to the undertaker that his pew and any part of his church was available to all. The funeral service was most solemnly read by Mr Edmonds and afterwards a hymn sung by the church choir. At the grave the service was performed by the Rev. W. Burdett. To shew how much deceased was respected in his own parish numbers of the parishioners attended. Deceased was a member of the School Board there, and all the other members were present. On returning to the house of his much respected and venerable father, remarks were heard on all hands, testifying to the consistent Christian character of the deceased. An old inhabitant of High bray said he had lived over forty years in the parish and never saw the church so full except on one occasion (that of the funeral of the late T. P. Acland, Esq.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 8 August 1876
SOUTH MOLTON - Child Found Dead In Bed. - An Inquest was held on Thursday last, before J. F. Flexman, Esq., Coroner, on the body of JAMES HAYMAN, 15 months old, son of JAMES HAYMAN, rural postman, between Southmolton and Satterleigh, who was found dead in bed, by its father's side on the morning of the day above named. - The following evidence was adduced. - JAMES HAYMAN, rural postman, said he let home as usual Wednesday morning about half-past 6 o'clock, the deceased was in bed, his wife having been unwell and confined to her bed for the last few days. He had taken charge of the deceased in a separate bed from his wife, the deceased had been rather restless on Tuesday night, but nothing particular, took the bottle as usual, but rather more than general. He returned to his own house about eight o'clock last evening, when he found the deceased lying in the perambulator. His sister carried the deceased to bed just before he went, which was about 11 o'clock. He then went to bed with the deceased, who was lying very quiet; he had the bottle as usual with him and would help himself when he liked. He did not sleep and about three o'clock the deceased became restless. He put the tit into deceased's mouth, which quieted him directly. Witness dosed for a little time, and on waking, not hearing the deceased breathe, he turned round and found him dead. He never knew him have convulsions; was always a very weakly child, but for the last two months had improved wonderfully. Had he considered the child in any way dangerous he should have called in medical assistance. Other members of his family being ill he kept a lamp burning all night. - Ann Gibbett was then examined, who said deceased was her nephew. For the last two days she had been to and fro attending her brother's family. On Wednesday evening she went down about half-past seven o'clock. Soon afterwards she prepared some food for the deceased, consisting of corn flour and milk, which she put into a feeding bottle and gave it to deceased. He partook of it very heartily and went off very quietly to sleep for an hour or so. Just before she took the deceased up and after changing the napkin and giving more food, she carried deceased up and put it in his father's bed and returned to her house about half-past 11. She did not consider there was very much the matter when she left, otherwise she would not have gone home. About half-past four o'clock that morning, her brother came and called her out of bed. She got up immediately and came downstairs, when she was told that "JIMMY" was dead, at which she was very much surprised. She accompanied her brother to his home, where she found nurse Western doing the last for deceased. - Eliza Western said she had been frequently in the habit of feeding deceased. The last time she saw deceased was Tuesday night last, about seven o'clock when the child seemed rather poorly, and said she thought the child was going to have the same disorder her child had - scarlet fever. - She recommended that either some magnesia or senna tea should be given; whether any was given she did not know. She did not see the deceased Wednesday, but on enquiry was told it was better. That morning about twenty minutes after three, JAMES HAYMAN came to her house and told her the baby was dead. The deceased was generally a delicate child, but improved considerably during the last two months. - The Jury returned a verdict of "Found Dead with no marks of violence on the body."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 15 August 1876
CULLOMPTON - Fatal Accident At The Station. - R. R. Crosse, Esq., (District Coroner) held an Inquest at the Railway Hotel, Cullompton, Tuesday morning, on the body of WILLIAM GUNN, aged 11 years, employed as a newsboy by Mr Frost, bookseller, of that town, who was killed by being run over by the express train, known as the "Flying Dutchman," on the previous afternoon. From the evidence adduced it appeared that the deceased was frequently sent to the Cullompton Station for papers &c., but that at the time of the accident he had no occasion to be there for that purpose. About four o'clock in the afternoon a boy named Alfred Baker saw and spoke to the deceased on the down platform. Shortly afterwards he saw GUNN run out of the waiting room and attempt to cross the rails as the train was approaching. He jumped off the platform but hit-shod his foot in the guard-rail and fell and before he could recover himself the train passed over him and killed him instantly. It is supposed that the unfortunate little fellow, when he rushed out of the waiting-room, did not hear or see the approaching train. He had several times been cautioned by the Stationmaster (Mr Ward) not to cross the line except by the foot-bridge at the Station. - The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death," and the Coroner exonerated the Railway servants from all blame. - Mr Superintendent Mears watched the Inquiry on behalf of the Great Western Railway Company.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 12 September 1876
CULMSTOCK - Concealment Of Birth. - The "even tenor" pursued by the inhabitants of quiet Culmstock, has been ruffled by a case of concealment of birth, which came to light a few days ago. ELIZABETH SQUIRES, a single woman, about 19 years of age, has for some time past been living with Mr John Beedell, of Prescott, as domestic servant. The conduct of the girl during this time has, openly, been quite of an average, but it seems about two months ago the girl's appearance aroused suspicions of something being wrong, and she was charged with being enciente, which, however, she strongly denied and nothing more was then said to her on the subject. But on Friday morning last, SQUIRES was taken ill and went to bed and shortly after an inmate of the house heard a noise in the girl's room and on going thither it was found that she was very ill and appearances pointed to the conclusion that the girl had either been confined or had a miscarriage. Mr Dickinson, Surgeon, of Uffculme, was at once sent for, but he being from home, Mr R. Bryden attended for him in the evening, but it appears he could not say positively whether there had been a birth or not. On the following morning Mr Dickinson saw the girl, but with that gentleman, too, there was the same "glorious uncertainty," but, forsooth, with the inmates of the house there were very strong suspicions against the girl, whilst, however, they could not be morally certain that the girl had been confined. On the morning of Sunday, the woman attending the girl - the wife of a labourer in the parish - remembered that a coarse brown apron, generally worn by SQUIRES when engaged in her work, was missing, and her curiosity - very predominant with her sex - being excited, she questioned the girl as to what had become of it, but was not answered satisfactorily. The old lady was not to be balked, and forthwith instituted a search for it, and she eventually made the following discovery:- A child tied up in some under linen, then wrapped in the apron referred to, the whole being put in a skirt, which was secured at the bottom so as to form a kind of sack. The skirt was hung on a peg in the room and over it were places some more clothes belonging to the unfortunate girl, so that the suspicions of a casual observer would not have been in the least excited. Naturally enough there are various opinions as to the ultimate intentions of the girl, but it is not for us to suggest that she contemplated any criminal disposal of the body. The discovery of the child produced a good deal of consternation and the Police were at once communicated with and the case placed in their hands. The friends of the girl live in the parish of Bickleigh, near Tiverton, and it may be mentioned that this is the second illegitimate child to which she has given birth. - The Inquest. - Was held on Wednesday before Spencer Cox, Esq., Coroner, at Silver Street Farm, when the following evidence was adduced. - Mrs Beedell said the prisoner had been in her service about a year and six months. About two months ago she taxed her with being in the family way, but this she strongly denied. A fortnight or three weeks since, she complained of being unwell and went home to her mother's house at Bickleigh, where she remained for a day. On Friday, the 1st instant, prisoner came to witness, and asked if she might lie in ed. She complained of violent pains and could not do her work. She went to her room and was supplied with a cup of tea. About 9 o'clock witness found her in a weak state and saw blood on the bed. She again asked her if she was in the family way and prisoner replied "No." A nurse and doctor were sent for and on prisoner being informed that a medical man would see her she began to scream violently. Witness left her with Dr Bryden and the nurse, Mary James. - Mary James said she was sent for on Friday morning by Mrs Beedell and desired to go into SQUIRES' room. From appearances she concluded that prisoner had miscarried and charged her with it several times, but she positively denied it. On Sunday morning she asked SQUIRES for a coarse apron belonging to her (witness) which was missing. In searching for it she found marks of blood on a bandbox and said to prisoner, "There has been something wrong in this box, ELIZABETH. " She replied, "I must have marked it with my hand." She subsequently found the body of the child wrapped in a chemise, tied up in an apron, and hung up behind prisoner's bedroom door, over which were suspended her dresses. Witness said, "Oh, ELIZABETH what a shame." Prisoner fell on the bed and fainted. She took the body of the child downstairs, and on returning to her room some time after she asked prisoner if she heard the baby cry. She replied she neither heard it cry nor saw it move. She kept in the bed during the afternoon and put it under the dress where witness found it later in the evening. - Mr Dickinson, Surgeon, at Uffculme, stated that from information he received he went on Sunday morning to Silver Street Farm, and saw the body of the child. He examined it and found no marks of violence, nor any external appearance to account for its death. He made a post-mortem examination on Tuesday and from the condition of the lungs he had no doubt but that the child, which was full grown, had breathed. - P.C. Mills gave evidence as to visiting prisoner and charging her with concealment of birth. He found that no preparation had been made by SQUIRES for the birth of the child. - The Jury returned a verdict of Manslaughter against prisoner. - On Thursday she was brought before J. C. New and T. Turner, Esqrs., at Cullompton, on the above charge, but the Magistrates did not feel justified in committing the prisoner for manslaughter on the evidence given at the Inquest, but committed her for trial on the simple charge of concealment of birth.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 19 September 1876
SOUTH MOLTON - Another Almost Sudden Death. - On Tuesday last, MR JOHN MANNING, High Bailiff of the County Court, was taken very ill and within an hour or two he died. An Inquest was held on Friday morning before J. Flexman, Esq., - Jane Gibbons, housekeeper for deceased, said on Tuesday afternoon last, he left home and returned about half-past six o'clock. He had been drinking; he stayed about half an hour and had some tea before he left and did not return again until a quarter to eleven, when witness found him in a chair by the fire. She saw blood on his face and asked what it was caused by and he replied that he had knocked it in the key of the door. He took some warm water and washed it, then he went to bed. He was able to walk up stairs without assistance. On Wednesday morning he asked if his face was turned dark, and on her replying that it was he desired her to wash it which she did. This was about seven o'clock, before deceased was out of bed. She took some bread and butter and a cup of tea up to him, of which he partook, and then left him. About nine o'clock he came down, and desired her to get some brandy and warm a little milk, which she mixed and he drank it. It was half a noggin of brandy, he was very shaky before drinking it but better afterwards. Being court bailiff, and as it was court day, deceased told her to get some more for him before he went away but she did not. He came home again about two and returned, witness not seeing him again until eight o'clock. Two or three messengers were sent from the Court to enquire for him, as he was wanted and witness went in search of him, but could not find him; but hearing he was at the Tinto, she sent a person to fetch him, and he stayed there until deceased returned, which was about eight o'clock. She got some tea for him and cooked some mushrooms, which he ate. Just then Mr Gould asked MR MANNING to go to the George Hotel to see some traveller, but as he could not find him, he went to the Town Arms, but did not see him. He returned before nine, then went to bed and about half-hour afterwards deceased went to bed and found he was fast asleep. She did not hear anything of him until nearly seven o'clock the next morning, when she heard him cough. He asked her to get some tea and put some brandy in it, but as she could not get any brandy she took up tea only. He then came out of his bed and went in her's (witness slept in the same room as deceased), and drank the tea. She asked how he was and he said better. She then went downstairs and dressed the children, and sent the oldest child up to ask if deceased would like another cup. She stayed sometime, so witness went up to him herself, when the child said, "Dada won't speak." Witness said "Wake him up; he is asleep." The child replied, "No, no, he is not; his eyes are open." Witness then went up and spoke to him, but go no answer. He rose up in the bed and commenced rubbing the side of it; then began to cry. His mouth was drawn on one side and froth appeared init. Nurse Bendle soon afterwards came in and witness and her both saw deceased in bed. Mr Furse, Surgeon, was sent for, and promptly attended. Deceased was under the influence of drink on Wednesday night, but quite capable of taking care of himself. - Nurse Jane Bendle gave corroborative evidence. - Mary Ann Mair, residing in East-street, next door to deceased, said on Tuesday night she heard MR MANNING in the house calling for "Jane," from ten o'clock to half-past. It appeared he was in darkness. - Lucy Bowden, a daughter of Mr Rumbelow, of the "Tinto," having made a statement as to deceased coming to the inn, and having four three-penny worth of gin, when she observed that he had a black eye. MR W. MANNING, brother of deceased, stated that Jane Gibbons informed him that deceased had lately received £25 from the County Office, and she began to search some papers. He asked the widow (who had not lived with her husband for more than 20 years) if she had searched his clothing; she said she had not and subsequently in company with the wife, he searched the office, and asked the servant if she could account for what had been done with the £25, when she said many bills had been paid lately. The widow desired him to have the house cleared which he did. He had not often visited his brother, and had never been in further than his office. He knew deceased was in the habit of drinking to excess. - Mr Furze, Surgeon, said he was sent for about a quarter to nine a.m. on Thursday to see deceased. He went as quick as possible and found him in a state of insensibility and suffering from epileptic source of convulsions, of which he died in less than half an hour. He had a small cut on the right eye, and it was slightly discoloured. The convulsions might have been brought on by the blow which he received when he cut the eye; but from the evidence he had heard, and his personal knowledge of the life of deceased, he was of opinion that the convulsions were produced by deceased and by the use of alcohol. The Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 3 October 1876
EXETER - Singular Death. - An Inquest was held on Wednesday at Exeter, on the body of a little child named HARRY DOMINY, two years of age, who died from the effects produced by drinking scalding tea. The deceased child was the son of MR DOMINY, superintendent of the goods department at the South Western Railway Station. It appeared that on the evening of Tuesday, the servant went out from the kitchen to the larder, being absent about one minute, and during that time the deceased child, who was sitting at the table, drank some of the tea out of the teapot, and thereby scalded his throat to such an extent that he died on the following morning. - Mr Woodman, Surgeon, who was sent for, stated that death resulted from the cause mentioned, and the Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
WITHERIDGE - On Tuesday last a labourer named CHARLES GREENSLADE, aged 60 years, committed suicide by drowning himself in a pond, in a meadow near the Vicarage. Deceased had been in a desponding state for some days previously. An Inquest was held by R. Crosse, Esq., (Coroner), and a verdict of "Temporary Insanity" returned.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 17 October 1876
BARNSTAPLE - Sad History Of A Married Woman. - A Juryman Censured. - On Thursday afternoon R. I. Bencraft, Esq., Coroner for the Borough, held an Inquest at the North Country Inn, on the body of MARY ANN REED. The Jurymen were summoned to meet at three o'clock, but after waiting until half-past three one of the Jurymen (Mr Dalling, coal merchant) not having arrived, the Coroner stated that at the last Inquest they were also kept waiting for a Juryman, and, although he never did fine a Juryman, he had full power to do so; he was very much inclined to do so in the present case. - The Jurymen suggested that Mr Dalling should be fined, and that the fine be handed to the North Devon Infirmary. - Just at that moment Mr Dalling came in and the Coroner read to him what he had written, namely that a fine of £5 had been inflicted upon him for disobedience in not attending as a Juryman after having been duly summoned. - Mr Dalling expressed his regret at having kept them waiting, as he had been unavoidably detained by business. The Coroner said no more on the subject, but it was understood that he would say something about it at the conclusion of the Inquiry. - The Jury having viewed the body, which was in an upper room in a huckster's shop, MR WILLIAM REED, the husband of the deceased, was called. He stated that he had formerly been in business in Liverpool as a tailor and draper, but for the last four years he had lived at Darnley Cottage, Ilfracombe. His wife was 39 years of age, and they had been married about 16 years. He had five children living. The last time he saw his wife at his home was on Thursday morning of last week. The night previous to that she was intoxicated and in the morning got out of bed and rung the bell for a cup of tea, which was brought to her. She did not take the tea, but suddenly got out of bed and put on some clean clothing. She also took out her best dress. He said to her, "What are you going to do? She replied, "I am going to leave." Witness said "You will not." She replied, "I am." He told her to wait until she got perfectly sober, and that then, if she felt disposed, she could as soon as she liked. She still persisted in her determination to go. He went to breakfast. She sent her boots down to be cleaned. During the ten minutes he was absent the boots were not out of his sight, so that he thought she was all right. On going to her bedroom, however, he found she was gone. She took away an old pair of boots. He then went to the Railway Station, but she had not gone away by train. She had lately given way to intemperate habits, which had extended over a period of twelve years. She had a very severe illness last Spring, after her confinement, and this present affair was the third "bout" she had had since then. If it must come (the husband continued) the fact was that she had freely indulged in drink. that was the cause of his leaving Liverpool. He thought he would come down to Ilfracombe and see if he could reform her, and for two years after they came there she never touched anything. He could not tell how she got the drink. He had been endeavouring to find out for a long time. Sometimes she would have it out and sometimes indoors, but it was always consumed behind his back. Only on the Friday previous to the day of her leaving him, after he had gone with her to the "Panorama," he was walking along the street with her when he felt something knock him on the leg. He then discovered that she had a bottle of gin in her pocket. the day after she left him, he heard that she had been to Morthoe, and was then at Barnstaple. On Saturday morning Mrs Payne, of High-street, Barnstaple, telegraphed to him to come and fetch her. He refused to go, as he had solemnly declared that if ever she left his house in that way she should never come back again. Ultimately a friend of his, Mr Toms, landlord of the London Hotel, persuaded him to take her back and he authorised Mr Toms to come and fetch her. He accordingly came up, but she refused to go back with him. On Monday he got another telegram saying the doctor's opinion was that she was dying. He then went to Barnstaple by the next train and saw her at the house of Mr Dimond. The doctor said she was in a very prostrate condition. She was in bed and she knew him. She was very ill, but he did not think she was so bad as she was, as he had seen her like that many times before. He stayed with her until the evening and on the following day Mrs Toms came up and saw her. While he was with her she was continually vomiting. On Wednesday he was again telegraphed for, but when he arrived she was dead. Previous to taking to drink she was a fine, healthy, strong woman. There had been no unpleasantness between them, except owing to drink. He blamed her very much about it. she said sometimes she would commit suicide, but that had always been when she was excited. When in that state she always had a mania for separation. It was not the first time she had gone away. When they were in Liverpool she had gone away; but she always went to the house of a friend or relation, who would take care of her and bring her back again. she had never remained away a night before. He was not aware that she procured anything from a chemist. - Mr Hames, chemist, of Pilton, stated that he had not sold any oxalic acid for weeks. - The husband said he had known her vomit for thirty-six hours after having been drinking. - From the evidence of Mrs Payne, and Mrs Goss, an old woman, eighty years of age, living at Pilton, it transpired that the deceased first went to the house of the latter on Friday evening, and slept there. Directly she came into the house she began vomiting and the old woman put her to bed. (Mr Goss is an uncle to Mr Reed, deceased's husband). The next morning (Saturday) she went over to Mrs Payne's in a state of intoxication, having refused to take any breakfast at Mrs Goss's. She wanted to remain there, saying she was a friend of Mrs Tom's, Mrs Payne's sister. Mrs Payne told her she had no bed to spare, but she remained in the house several hours. She ultimately left and Mrs Payne did not see her again until Monday morning at Mr Dimond's house. She was then vomiting, and in a bad condition. She sent for Mr Fernie and he said she was not fit to be taken home. Mrs Payne saw her again on Tuesday, when deceased told her she thought she had poisoned herself. She said she had drunk something out of a bottle which was in Mrs Goss's cupboard in mistake for peppermint. She also said her husband had beaten her black and blue and that she had marks about her. Mrs Goss stated positively that all the bottles in her cupboard were empty and that she had had no poison in her house. - It was also stated that no marks were found about the body of deceased. - Mr Andrew Fernie, Surgeon, deposed that, from the symptoms he saw, he did not think that drink alone was the cause of death. He did not think the extremely prostrate condition she was in was caused by drink only. - The husband stated that he had discovered that the deceased had pawned her gold watch at Mr Moon's for £2. After the evidence of Mr Fernie, the Jury expressed the opinion that a post mortem examination should be made. - The Inquiry was therefore adjourned.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 24 October 1876
TIVERTON - An Inquest was held at the Town Hall on Thursday evening last, before the Borough Coroner (F. Mackenzie, Esq.) to Enquire into the circumstances attending the death of JOHN BURT, a labourer, who was killed at Knightshayes on the previous morning. - Mr John Goodland was foreman of the Jury. - William Phillott, a labourer, in the employ of Mr Grater, builder, said he was working with deceased at Knightshayes, taking sand from a pit and just as he was driving a barrow, loaded with rubble, away from the pit he heard a noise and looking round saw that the earth at one end of the pit had given away. Not seeing the deceased, and thinking he must have been under the debris, he raised an alarm, and after an interval of about ten minutes they dug the deceased out, when they found that life was extinct. There had been an excavation cut in the sand to shelter them in case of a storm and it was that which had given way. Deceased at the time was in the open part of the pit at work. Witness did not think that enough sand fell to crush him but he should say the cause of his death was suffocation. When they came to him deceased was lying on his face and hands. Could not see bruises on him. After they dug him out, they brought deceased into the town. There had been no signs of the earth giving way, but there was a great deal of rain on the previous night. If witness had not driven away the barrow, when he did, both would have been buried. Witness thought about a dozen cart loads of earth fell. - Mr R. Grater said the men had dug the place out, preferring to stay there in case of rain, than go to a shed. It was done about six months since. There was not the slightest doubt but that the rain had occasioned the fall. The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 31 October 1876
SWIMBRIDGE - Supposed Suicide By Hanging. - On Wednesday J. H. Toller, Esq. (Deputy Coroner), held an Inquest at Swymbridge Newland, in the parish of Swymbridge, upon the body of JOHN SEXON, who is supposed to have committed suicide by hanging himself. The deceased was lately employed at Messrs. Smith's tannery, Swymbridge, and lived in a house alone; he was out of work at the time and told a neighbour on Friday, he was very low spirited. On Monday afternoon last, between three and four o'clock, the neighbours heard a noise in the deceased's back house as if a person wee moving about with his feet, and rattling about the door. She thought deceased might have been getting some sticks to light his fire for tea, and she did not like to go in as deceased might not like it. On her husband returning home, however, she informed him of what she had heard and he went and made an attempt to get into deceased's house, but finding he could not, he gave information to the Police. - Sergt. Rich deposed going to the house of deceased on Monday evening about eleven o'clock. He got in at the window and in a backroom near the window he found the deceased hanging by the neck with a cord (produced) attached to a staple in the beam. He was quite dead, and appeared to have been so for some time. He then opened the door and let in Mr Hammett and others, and with their assistance carried the deceased upstairs. Near the feet of the deceased was a stool, which he believed was lying upon its side. Deceased had in his pocket a silver watch, and a shilling and two-pence halfpenny. - The Coroner briefly addressed the Jury and they returned an Open Verdict, there being no evidence to show how deceased became suspended.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 21 November 1876
BARNSTAPLE - Fatal Accident To An Aged Woman. - An Inquest was held at the North Devon Infirmary on Saturday evening, before Mr Coroner Bencraft, on the body of MARY RICHARDS, aged 71, who had that day died from the effects of an accident, which happened to her on the 29th September last. On the evening of that day she was walking in Holland-street, carrying a basket, when a runaway horse, which had, a few minutes previously been frightened in Mr Pridham's yard, knocked her down and she received the injuries to which she succumbed. The evidence of John Passmore, in Mr Pridham's employ, showed that when witness let go the animal to open the stable door, a goat, which was in the yard, jumped against the horse and frightened it, so that it ran off through the passage into Joy-street, and down Holland-street. Witness followed the horse and found that at the top of Holland-street it had knocked down a woman. When he caught the animal he came back in time to help the deceased into a van which took her to the Infirmary. She appeared to him to be much shaken, but he did not know the nature of the injuries. The horse was generally very quiet. On account of the House Surgeon, Mr Jones, and Mr Ellicott, butcher, who witnessed the accident, being out of town, the Inquiry was adjourned.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 5 December 1876
BARNSTAPLE - Sudden Death Of An Old Woman. - On Thursday Mr Coroner Bencraft held an Inquest at the Barnstaple Inn, on the body of an old woman named MARY WESTACOTT. Her daughter, SARAH ANN WESTACOTT, deposed that the deceased was the matron of the creche or infant nursery, in Trinity-street and was 60 years of age. Her mother had complained of a pain in her side for a long time and had had a bad cough. - Elizabeth Beer, living in Trinity-street, said on Tuesday evening, about half-past nine, the deceased knocked at the door and asked to be allowed to sit down, as she felt ill. She went inside and sat on a chair breathing very fast and vomiting. Witness ran for Mr Gamble, Surgeon, but when that gentleman arrived she was dead. She died on the chair where she first sat down. - Mr Gamble said he thought it most likely that MRS WESTACOTT died from sudden congestion of the lungs. She had diseased heart and lungs and having probably partaken of a heavy supper at Mrs Ffinch's and come out in the cold, congestion of the lungs was brought on. The Jury returned a verdict of Death from Natural Causes.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 12 December 1876
MARWOOD - Suicide Of A Farmer By Hanging. - On Wednesday J. H. Toller, Esq., Deputy Coroner, held an Inquest at Marwood near Barnstaple, on the body of MR J. TAMLYN, of Greenwall Farm, Marwood, who hung himself the previous morning. - ANN TAMLYN, daughter of the deceased, said her father was about 60 years of age. She last saw him alive about four o'clock on the Tuesday morning. He was then sitting at a table in the kitchen, and had not been in bed all night. Consequently none of the family had retired to rest. Previous to this he had been to Barnstaple to give instructions for his goods and chattels to be sold, but she (witness) did not know he was gone to Barnstaple on such an errand. Soon after four o'clock on Tuesday morning she had occasion to go up the lane, and left the deceased in the kitchen with her mother and brother. She came back about twenty-five minutes past five and then her mother and brother were still in the kitchen, but not her father. She asked where he was gone, but they said they did not know and upon her going out to look for him she found him in one of the fields hanging by a rope on an ash bough. She screamed and ran for the assistance of her brother. - HENRY TAMLYN, the brother, proved being called by his sister and cutting his father down. He was quite dead. Deceased had told him on the previous morning that he was in great trouble. For the past fortnight he had been in very low spirits, and he had been a great deal worse since Friday last. - The Jury returned a verdict that the unfortunate man committed Suicide while labouring under Temporary Insanity