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
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:- Carter; Churley; Crocker; Dart; Elliott; Ford; Gillard; Greenslade; Heard; Lake; Newcombe; Pollard; Smith; Sprague; Vickery; Ware.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 7 January 1879
HALBERTON - Sad Death At Halberton. - On Monday last a single man, named WILLIAM CARTER, met with his death under melancholy circumstances. CARTER, who was about 65 years of age, was a thatcher by trade and possessed some means, living in his own house with a man and his wife, who attended to his wants. For some time past he had been very unwell and latterly he was so strange in his manner as to indicate mental derangement. On Monday morning the woman living in the house was sent by him into the village to make some purchases, and on her return she found he had left the house - which was a very unusual thing for him to do. After considerable search he was discovered with his face in a pool of mud near the Rectory, more suffocated than drowned. To have reached this spot he must have gone through two hedges and across an orchard. One informant assures us that there was a little unnecessary delay in raising the deceased from the pool, owing to the idea that the Policeman should be sent for before anything was done to him. - The Inquest. - The Inquest on the body was held at the Swan Inn, Halberton, on Thursday last, before R. R. Crosse, Esq., County Coroner, when the following evidence was adduced:- Samuel Gillard, farmer, of Halberton, deposed that he had known the deceased for 40 years. Latterly he observed a strangeness in his manner and conduct, which made him appear quite a different man. He had been in the habit of visiting deceased, who on one of these occasions said that his illness would drive him mad. He believed the deceased was mentally deranged and not accountable for his actions. On Monday last, witness having been informed that deceased was missing from his lodgings, he went, with some others, in search of him. He found his footprints about twenty yards from the house where he lodged, leading through some gardens into an orchard. Eventually he found deceased lying on his face and hands in a pond of water about 6 inches deep - so shallow that the top part of the head was uncovered. Witness immediately sent for a Constable and, with assistance, got the deceased out. He was quite dead, and he believed he must have been in the pond some hours. Saw the Police Constable search the body, finding a key, a sovereign, a half-sovereign, a shilling, a pocket-handkerchief and a pair of gloves. He did not think there was the least suspicion that anyone was instrumental in his death. He found his hat on the bank, where it had apparently been carefully placed. Witness concluded his evidence by stating as his opinion that deceased deliberately drowned himself whilst in an unsound state of mind. - Mr Bryden, Surgeon, of Uffculme, said he had known deceased for many years, had attended him professionally for more than twelve months. He had been suffering from a nervous complaint called hypochondriasis. He had also complained of imaginary ailments, that there was nothing serious that he could discover. On such occasions he soothed and pacified him, perceiving that he was mentally affected. On being informed that deceased had been found drowned, he attended and examined the body, but could find no traces of violence upon it. He was convinced that deceased was in such a state of mental derangement as to be unaccountable for his actions. - Sarah Lee, wife of John Lee, a labourer, stated that she and her husband had been living with the deceased for 23 years and taking care of him and attending to his wants during that time. For more than twelve months he had been ill and very strange in his manner. On Monday last he sent her out to fetch some mutton and some brandy and in her absence he left the house, and she had not seen him alive since. He did not want the mutton for his dinner and had taken no brandy for many months; witness considered that he sent her away, that he might leave the house without her knowledge. In concluding her testimony, witness stated that she considered his death was his own act and that he was of unsound mind. - The Jury (of which Mr William Densem) was Foreman, unanimously found a verdict of "Suicide whilst in a state of Temporary Insanity."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 11 February 1879
NORTH MOLTON - A Child Scalded To Death. - On Saturday last an Inquest was held at Northmolton by J. H. Toller, Esq., County Coroner, on the body of an illegitimate child of CHARITY SMITH, domestic servant. From the evidence given it appeared that the child was 18 months old and in December last was placed under the care of a widow, named Jane Blackford, who resided at the house of an old man named Richard Kingdon, eighty years of age. In the same house there also lived an old woman, named Margaret Webb, 82 years old. On the 15th December last the woman Blackford went upstairs to make up the beds and left the child with Margaret Webb, who held it on her lap. She sat with it before the fire, the old man Kingdon sitting by her side. Kingdon attempted to lift the kettle from off the fire and Webb assisted him. Whilst doing so the water, which was boiling poured on the child. Dr Spicer was sent for and attended to the sufferings of the little one, but on Thursday week last it died from the effects of the scalds. The Jury returned a verdict that the child died through being Accidentally Scalded and censured Jane Blackford for allowing the deceased to be under the care of so infirm and old a woman as Mrs Webb.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 1 April 1879
SOUTH MOLTON - On Monday last an Inquest was held at the Town Hall before Mr James Flexman, Borough Coroner, on the body of a poor woman named SARAH CROCKER, who met with her death under circumstances detailed in the evidence given. - Mr Richard Courtney was Foreman of the Jury. - Mr William Nutt sworn:- I live in the church yard, next door to the deceased. On the 14th inst., about 4 p.m. I was told that she had fallen down in a fit. On entering the house I found her lying against the stairs. She told me she had felt faint and fallen down. At this time she was not burnt. I advised her to go to bed and she said she would so soon as her son came home. - Emily Short said:- I am a servant living with Mr Bickell, whose back premises are near the deceased's house. On the 14th inst. I went to the deceased's and found her lying on the floor near the fire. I helped her up and she said she had a fit and had fallen into the fire. I got her some tea and she drank it and at her request I filled a jar with hot water. My master sent for Mr Furse, Surgeon, and he sent some oils to strike the burns she had on her face. I saw her every day from the 14th to the time of her death, which occurred on Thursday evening. - The Jury returned a verdict "That deceased died from a shock to the system through falling into the fire whilst in a fit."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 15 April 1879
UPLOWMAN - Sudden Death. - On Friday last, THOMAS VICKERY, living at Lands Mills, an off-farm in the occupation of Mr Thomas Chave, of Sellick, left home about half-past six in the morning, apparently in good health, and in the prime of life. About an hour afterwards his wife's mother, whilst crossing the orchard close by, found him lying dead beside some wood, which it is thought had been cut to mend a fence. The body was hardly cold and one hand was in his pocket. An Inquest was held on Saturday by Mr Crosse, County Coroner, and before a respectable Jury, consisting of Messrs. Merson (Foreman); Arthurs, Chave, Chubb, Davey, Elworthy, Hussey, Leech, Needs, Sanders, Scorse, Underhill and Wood. - After hearing the evidence of Dr Haydon, the widow and mother-in-law, the Jury at once returned a verdict of "Found Dead from Natural Causes". It is thought heart affection was the immediate cause of death, though deceased had not been ill for many years.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 17 June 1879
MOLLAND - A few days ago J. H. Toller, Esq., one of the Coroners for the County, held an Inquest at the London Inn, in the parish of Molland, North Devon, touching the death of ELIZA JANE GREENSLADE, a child aged thirteen months. The father of the deceased, RICHARD GREENSLADE, who is a labourer, stated that on the 25th of May last his wife was standing by the fire, pouring hot water into the tea-pot, which was standing on the hearth. The child was catching hold of her dress and while she continued pouring the hot water the child missed her hold of the mother's dress and stumbled. The hot water then fell over the child's face, forehead and head. His wife quickly caught up the child, whilst witness went for a neighbour. Some linseed oil, sweet oil and the white of an egg were constantly applied to the child's wounds, and four or five days afterwards Mr Furse, Surgeon, of Southmolton, was sent for. The child died on the 5th June, ten days after the accident. A witness, named Snow, deposed that the child had had every care and that the mother was very fond of it. - The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
MANCHESTER - The Fatal Accident To A Tivertonian At Manchester. - Since our last issue we have ascertained that the fatal accident which befell a Tivertonian, named HENRY ELLIOTT, at Manchester on Thursday week was caused by his being knocked down by a horse-box whilst engaged in shunting some trucks. The driver of the engine drawing the trucks is stated to have done his utmost to avert the accident, but his efforts were futile, and when the train was brought to a standstill deceased was found crushed beneath the wheels of a truck. An Inquest was held on the body on Monday last, when a verdict was returned of "Accidental Death." The funeral took place on Wednesday and was attended by deceased's relations from Tiverton.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 1 July 1879
CLAYHIDON - The Alleged Manslaughter At Clayhidon. - An Inquest was held at the Merry Harriers Inn, Forche's Corner, Clayhidon, on Wednesday, before S. M. Cox, Esq., District Coroner, on the body of HENRY BARBER, an itinerant umbrella-mender, who is alleged to have died from injuries inflicted by Fred Broom, a farm servant, aged 20, on the previous Saturday night. The Jury numbered 17, and Major Adair, Adjutant of the 1st Somerset Militia, was chosen Foreman. The prisoner was not present at the Inquiry, he being locked up at Cullompton. The Inquiry lasted about five hours. Supt. Collins and Sergt. Yole of Cullompton, were present to watch the proceedings on behalf of the Police. - The first witness called was ELIZABETH BARBER, aged 10 years, daughter of the deceased. She deposed that she lived with her father (who was about 62 years of age), at South Broom, two miles from Bruton, Somersetshire. They started from home on Friday last to visit in the country and reached the Merry Harriers on Saturday evening, about seven o'clock. Two quarts of ale or cider were ordered, which her father, her brother JOHN, and herself drank. The brother took his departure and they themselves left the Merry Harriers about ten o'clock. Herself and father went to a linhay near the Inn to sleep for the night. Shortly afterwards two men and two boys came to the linhay and wanted them to leave. Broom, the prisoner, said he was the master's son, but her father told him that he did not believe it. One of them ordered them out of the linhay, but her father refused to leave, saying that he was not going to turn out until the morning and then he was going on to Taunton. The prisoner came to the linhay, and she told him to put down the stick he held behind him. He denied that he had a stick with him and then struck her on the left forehead with his fist, making her cry. The prisoner went outside, and stones were flung into the shed. Her father followed the men into the field, but he did not go into the road. He had a soldering-iron in his hand; and, without saying anything, he attempted to strike the prisoner with the iron. Broom ran away, but soon returned and struck her father with a stick, knocking him down. Her father told her that he aimed a blow at the prisoner, and it would have struck him had he been nearer. Broom struck her father with a stick, or the soldering-iron, which her father had dropped, she did not know which. Her father did not get up again after being knocked down and whilst on the ground the prisoner struck him a second time with the stick or the iron. She did not see the blow; it was too dark; but she heard it. The two boys ran away when her father was assaulted; but afterwards Saunders, the other man, came back and looked at her father as he was lying on the ground, and asked her what was the matter. She told him that the prisoner had struck her father twice; whereupon Saunders left. After being knocked down her father caught her by the arm and said "Never mind;" but he never spoke afterwards. She went to the Inn and told the landlord that her father had been knocked down, but he simply told her to make haste home. She told him a second time what had happened; but he gave her the same advice to go home. She saw nobody after that until the next morning about 11 o'clock, when her brother and three other militia-men came. They took her father to the public-house, where he was put to bed and attended by the landlady, and a doctor was sent for. She was in the room when the old man died. He never recognised her at all; he could not see. - JOHN BARBER, son of the deceased, stated that he was a private in the F Company, 1st Somerset Militia, at present encamped at Leigh, Somerset. On Monday morning, about 11.30 he fell in with a water-picket from the camp, and they went to Forche's Corner for water. In a field he found his sister and his father, who was lying on the ground injured and insensible. He tried to rally the old man, but could not and he sent for assistance to the Inn, whither his father was conveyed. His father never spoke afterwards to his knowledge. - Thomas Bale, landlord of the Merry Harriers Inn, and a road-contractor, deposed that after he closed his house on Saturday night, the little girl knocked at the door. She said something about her father being hit, but he did not quite understand her and told her to go home. He afterwards went outside but did not see anyone, so went to bed. - Henry Saunders, a labourer, in the employ of the last witness, deposed that he went to the linhay with Mr Bale's two sons and the prisoner Broom on Saturday night. They carried a candle and on seeing the deceased they asked him to leave, threatening that if he did not do so he (witness) would fetch a Policeman. The deceased refused to move and took up something, with which he tried to strike witness. The candle went out and he then left, after having offered to share his bed with the deceased or provide him with a better one. The deceased followed them out of the linhay, saying that if he could kill one of them he could manage the other three. Witness ran away and could not say whether the deceased struck anyone or not. Witness did not know whether Broom struck the deceased, but the prisoner afterwards told him that he knocked the man down as he was in danger of his life and if he had not protected himself the deceased would have struck him with the soldering-iron. He only struck the deceased in self-defence. The witness denied that he returned to the linhay and looked at the deceased after he was on the ground and that he spoke to the little girl. - Thomas Bale, aged 14, gave corroborative evidence, as did also his brother, Samuel Bale, aged 12. He explained that they went to the linhay to see if there were any tramps there and to turn them out. He and his brother were afraid to go there alone, so got Broom and Saunders to accompany them. Broom struck the little girl, which made the deceased threaten to kill them if they did not leave the shed. - P.C. Bowman was present when the deceased expired and he proved apprehending the prisoner on the charge of killing the deceased. Broom admitted that he struck the old man, but he said he did it in self-defence. - Mr Mackey of Churchinford, proved that death was caused by the injury to the head and that the deceased had also suffered from a diseased heart. - After a good deal of consideration the Jury returned a verdict of Manslaughter against Frederick Broom, but some of them were in favour of finding a verdict of wilful murder. The witness Saunders was recalled by the Coroner at the request of the Jury, and informed that he was considered much to blame for allowing the deceased to remain in the field all the night after being told by the prisoner that he had been knocked down. - After the Inquest the deceased was buried at Clayhidon by the Rector, the Rev. W. W. Clarke. The coffin was carried by a sergeant and eight privates on the 1st Somerset Militia and the remains were followed by the son and daughter of the deceased. - The prisoner was brought up at Cullompton on Thursday, before G. M. Marker and J. Turner, Esqrs. - The witnesses heard at the Inquest were again examined. The chief evidence was that of the daughter of the deceased, whose statement varied from that she made on the previous day. For instance, at the Inquest she stated that the prisoner, after he had knocked her father down, came back and struck him as he lay on the ground. She also stated the other man, Saunders, came back and looked at her father. On Thursday, however, she said neither of the men came back after they went away. In answer to the prisoner the girl said she could not swear that he had a stick, but she believed he had. - Police-Sergeant Yole said the field in which the occurrence took place had been searched but neither stick nor soldering iron could be found. - Dr Mackay stated that deceased had a severe contused wound on the left temple, another on the cheek, and one on the back of the head. The latter might have been caused by a fall, and the others, probably, by some blunt weapon, such as a stick with a knob. Deceased also suffered from old-standing disease of the heart. He considered death was caused by the blows deceased received. Prisoner was committed for trial on the charge of Manslaughter.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 19 August 1879
EXETER - Sad Suicide in Exeter. - An Inquest was held at Exeter on Saturday, on the body of MARIA NEWCOMBE, aged 29, the wife of a commercial traveller. - CATHERINE HAMERTON, sister of the deceased, said that she resided at 61 Victoria-road and the deceased had been staying with her for the past three weeks. She had been in a desponding state for some while, but the doctor said it was weakness. Her husband was away and would not be home until after the Inquest. Witness left deceased alone in the house to do some ironing at 10 o'clock on Friday morning, her daughter being at school. About 1 o'clock the child fetched witness to go home and, on arriving there she discovered her sister hanging at the top of the stairs to the balusters above. Her feet were nearly touching the stairs, and she appeared to be dead. Witness called her cousin, Mr Hayes, who assisted to cut the deceased down. - Mr Roper, Surgeon, stated that he had been the medical attendant of the deceased for more than 20 years, but he had not seen her for months. Her illness was a great source of anxiety to her husband. By witness's advice the deceased was removed for change of air and her husband sent her to Stockleigh. She was, however, clearly not a person to be put away in an ordinary asylum. She was always very lively, an excellent wife and a very nice person. He did not believe that the suicide was premeditated but a sudden whim of the moment. The deceased was a most temperate woman before her illness, but then she took a little neat spirit at times when she felt depressed. - The Jury returned a verdict of Suicide while in a state of Unsound Mind.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 2 September 1879
UFFCULME - Shocking Suicide At Uffculme. - On Saturday morning last, between 11 and 12 o'clock, MR JOHN CHURLEY, butcher, of Uffculme, committed suicide by cutting his throat with a razor. He committed the act in his bedroom, standing before the looking-glass. Mr Dickinson, Surgeon, was sent for and arrived in a few minutes but MR CHURLEY was dead on his arrival. It appears that some few weeks ago he was mounting a ladder leading to a loft when it slipped away and he fell on his head and was unconscious for some time, though at times he has complained of great pain in his head. - The Inquest. - On Monday last an Inquest on the body was held at the Commercial Hotel, Uffculme, before Mr S. M. Cox, Coroner, Honiton. Mr Chapple, Uffculme, was Foreman of the Jury. - The first witness called was Mr Dickinson, who said: I have known the deceased all my life. About three weeks ago he fell from a ladder eight feet high. I attended him in consequence, but found no mark on his body except a bruise on his left arm. He received, however, concussion of the brain, and has since complained of a severe pain in his head. About ten minutes past eleven o'clock on Saturday morning I was called to see him at his house. I immediately attended, and found him sitting on the foot of his bed, supported by his eldest daughter and Mr Wm. Hellier. He was then dead and had ceased to bleed. - Near him was a wash-hand basin containing, I should think, about three pints of blood. I noticed a deep gash across his throat commencing it an angle from the jaw bone. The wound was quite sufficient to cause death. I know that the deceased suffered a good deal of late from mental depression. I don't think he was responsible for his actions. His age was 57. - ELIZABETH CHURLEY, deceased's daughter, said: My father fell from a ladder about three weeks ago and has since suffered from depression of spirits. On Saturday last - Uffculme Market day - he attended to his business as usual in the morning. He was at work near me, and made some strange remarks but I cannot remember exactly what he said. He also spoke to his aunt in the back kitchen, and afterwards went upstairs. On missing him I went into his bedroom and saw him in a stooping posture at the foot of the bed. There was a "swamp" of blood near him. His throat was cut, but I think he was living as I heard him moan. Mr Hellier shortly afterwards arrived and assisted me to hold deceased as he was heavy. - By Police-Sergt. Yole: A short time ago deceased sold 22 sheep and a horse much under their market value. - Sergt. Yole: I asked that question to show the state of his mind. - Mr Hellier, a London gentleman, at present staying with his father at Uffculme, deposed: On Saturday morning, about half-past eleven, I was called into deceased's house. I there found MISS CHURLEY supporting her father, who was sitting on the foot of a bed. He was living then, but expired before the doctor arrived. I had previously seen the deceased and he told me that he was in pecuniary difficulties. - Wm. Tidborough, a young man, said: About eleven o'clock on Saturday morning I saw the deceased. He came to me and laid his head on my shoulder, exclaiming, "Lord bless my poor head," and adding that he hoped I should never suffer to much as he had. - The Jury unanimously returned a verdict that deceased Committed Suicide by Cutting his Throat while in a state of Temporary Insanity.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 9 September 1879
WARKLEIGH - Death From Hydrophobia. - An Inquest has been held at Warkleigh, North Devon, by J. H. Toller, Esq., concerning the death of a little girl, named LEAH FORD, aged nine years, the daughter of a labourer, of Chittlehampton. - Joseph Trick, a farmer, of Warkleigh, said on the 9th of August last, as he was going to Chittlehamholt, he saw a dog in the turnpike-road jump to deceased who was in the water-table. He then saw the dog drag the child from the water-table by the mouth. He galloped up to the spot and drove the dog away and it passed on the turnpike-road and he saw no more of the dog. The child was very much bitten about the mouth, and was bleeding, and a part of the lip was hanging down. She was soon afterwards conveyed home. - Mr A. Hind, Surgeon, of Southmolton, stated that having been sent for, he went to see the child at the father's house and he found that a half of the lip had been bitten through and, on touching it, it hung down by the corner. He put in five silver stitches. The child did remarkably well until his visit on Saturday last, when she seemed a little pale and he gave her a tonic. On Tuesday last he was sent for, and he found that she had had two restless nights and shewed, in his opinion, decided and urgent symptoms of hydrophobia. The symptoms of her death (as described to him) which took place a few hours afterwards, agreed with his opinion. - JANE FORD, the grandmother of the deceased, who was present when the deceased died, deposed that the poor child expired at half-past one on Wednesday, after great suffering. - The Jury returned a verdict that deceased died from Hydrophobia.
MOLLAND - Sudden Death. - A few days ago an old man, named WILLIAM DART, aged 78 years, a farmer and blacksmith, was found dead in a hedge-trough, early in the morning. An Inquest was held by J. H. Toller, Esq. Dr Spicer, of Northmolton, said he believed the cause of death to be apoplexy. The Jury returned a verdict that the deceased died from Natural Causes.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 30 September 1879
TIVERTON - Fatal Accident At Hockworthy. - On Monday afternoon last a man named ROBERT SPRAGUE, a lime burner, in the employ of Mr Howe, farmer, residing at Hockworthy, was received into the Infirmary suffering from severe injuries. It appears that SPRAGUE whilst working in a quarry, was severely crushed by a large stone which fell upon him. He was taken to the Infirmary, where the poor fellow shortly afterwards succumbed to his injuries. - The Inquest. - The Inquest on the body of the deceased was held at the Town Hall, on Tuesday afternoon, before F. Mackenzie, Esq., Borough Coroner, and a Jury, of whom Mr Joseph Searle was the Foreman. The first witness called was William Hammett, labourer, who stated that on the previous morning about 8 o'clock he passed by the quarry where the deceased had been working and saw him lying on the ground. There was no one else there. He went to him and the deceased, who was sensible, told him that a large stone had fallen on him. Deceased asked him to go and get some assistance to have him removed. The stone which had crushed the deceased was a very large one; he should consider it was about a tone in weight. He went for assistance and found his (deceased's) son, who immediately went with him to the spot. With some other assistance, he was taken to his home. About ten minutes previous to this he had passed the same spot and SPRAGUE was at his work in the quarry then, digging round the stone. - In answer to a Juror, witness stated that the stone had rolled over the deceased and two or three paces away. Witness, continuing, stated that it appeared to him at the time that both his legs were broken, one of them cut very badly; there was also a severe cut on his head. After the deceased was taken home, a doctor was sent for and Mr Gregg, of Holcombe, attended. - Mr James Edwin Pritchard, the House Surgeon at the Tiverton Infirmary, stated that the deceased was brought to the Infirmary at a quarter before three on the previous afternoon. He was brought in a cart - whether it had springs or not he could not say - on a mattress with his head propped up by pillows. His injuries comprised compound fracture of the right thigh, about three inches above the knee; both bones of the left leg were broken, just above the ankle, and the leg was also very much contused; a compound fracture of the right arm, about one inch above the wrist; there was a wound about an inch long over the left temple; his back was also bruised considerably on the left side. He was suffering from considerable vital prostration when taken in, and he was bleeding freely from the wound in his leg, in spite of the tourniquet enclosing it, which had, however, got loose - probably during the journey to the Infirmary. A consultation of the medical staff was held, during which the man died. This happened at a quarter to five in the evening. In his opinion at the time, it was impossible for the poor fellow to survive his injuries, and in that opinion the gentlemen who were consulted entirely concurred. - The Coroner remarked that he was aware that every consideration was shown to the deceased at the Infirmary and he could answer that there had been no hope of saving his life, on account of his injuries being of so severe a nature. - In answer to the Coroner, the son of the deceased, who was present, stated that his father was taken home on a ladder, with some pillows laid on it. When Mr Gregg came he said he did not see that he could do any good; the best course open to them was that they should take him to the Infirmary, which was accordingly done. He considered that his father was attempting to dig out the stone and that it slipped before he was aware of it, and before he could get out of its way, and that it rolled over on him, after it had knocked him down. - In answer to a Juror, witness said he did not consider any blame could be attached to the owner of the quarry. His father had been paid by the day, and had worked for Mr Howe for 18 years. - The Coroner remarked that it was perhaps an error in judgment to bring the man such a distance. - The Jury unanimously found a verdict of "Accidental Death."
EXETER - Mysterious Affair. - The Exeter Coroner held an Inquest on Monday on the body of MR SAMUEL WARE, a native of Chard, who was found drowned in the canal on Saturday. He had been a teacher of languages in Italy and had recently, it is stated, inherited upwards of £4000. On Friday he went to Powderham Church, in which is situated the tomb of his great-great grandfather, and on his way back he called at Turf-house, the residence of the lock-keeper, which is also a public-house and here he seems to have had a good deal of drink. The next morning his body was found in the canal. The Jury returned a verdict of Found Drowned and censured the lock-keeper.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 4 November 1879
CALVERLEIGH - On Wednesday last an Inquest was held before R. R. Crosse, Esq., County Coroner, touching the death of WILLIAM HEARD, a pensioner, in the employ of Mr Chichester, of Calverleigh Court, who died somewhat suddenly. From the evidence adduced at the Inquest, we gather the following particulars: - On the previous Saturday, the deceased was returning to his home at Calverleigh from Palmer's Cottage, and is supposed to have been the worse for liquor. He went into one of the fields, and instead of coming out at the gate, fell over the hedge on to the road beneath, which leads to Lurley. He was picked up by a man, named Greenslade, and with assistance, taken to the Calverleigh stables, where he was attended to as well as possible. The man who brought him in, thinking he was very drunk, left him for some time and on coming back found that he looked very white and ill; he spoke to them twice and they sent to Tiverton for Dr Haydon, but the man was dead before he arrived. - The Jury, of whom Mr Richard Norris, of Loxbeare, was Foreman, returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased died from internal injuries caused by a fall which took place while he was under the influence of drink. Deceased, who leaves no family, was buried on Wednesday afternoon.
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 18 November 1879
CULLOMPTON - On Thursday a man, named GILLARD, of this town, fell downstairs and broke his neck. An Inquest was held at the Rising Sun Inn, resulting in a verdict of Accidental Death.
THORVERTON - A melancholy case of suicide has recently occurred in this parish. MR GEORGE LAKE, who was a dairyman, and farmed a small holding at Dunsaller, had given such symptoms of unsoundness of mind, that his friends were on the point of removing him to an asylum. The intention was, however, was not carried out, but his friends appear to have watched him and kept everything out of his way, with which he could inflict injury on himself. He managed, however, to get possession of a small knife with which he severed the windpipe, and died on the following day. - An Inquest was held on Saturday, the Jury consisting of tradesmen of the place, with Mr J. T. Turner as their Foreman. From the evidence of the medical men and others the Jury were unanimous in their verdict of "Temporary Insanity."
Tiverton Gazette (Mid Devon Gazette), Tuesday 9 December 1879
EXETER - Drowned In The Exe. - An Inquest has been held in Exeter on the body of a lad named JOHN POLLARD, who was drowned on Thursday. P.C. Johns deposed that he was on duty on Exe Bridge. A number of boys were skating on the river. Two boys, one of whom was the deceased, crossed from St Thomas side of the river to the other side. As they were returning, they passed close to the mouth of the Mill-leat, which flows into the river. Witness called to the boys to be careful, as the ice was very thin in that part. The deceased stopped when all of a sudden the ice broke and he disappeared. When he came to the surface he caught hold of the ice with his hand, but it was not strong enough to hold him up. Witness ran and obtained a long coil of rope and went with it to the river's edge. Several attempts were made to throw the rope within reach of the deceased, but they all failed. A plank was then slid along the ice, placed within reach of the deceased, who caught hold of it, and drew himself out of the water. As he was crawling along the ice towards the shore the ice again gave way and the poor little fellow fell into the water, and he rose no more. Several people attempted to swim out to the spot, but they were unable to do so and had to be drawn to land. - The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."