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Transcribed by Debbie Kennett from an article published in the North Devon Journal on 20th February 1873


SINGULAR AND FATAL ACCIDENT. - On Sunday se'ennight, as Samuel PARKHOUSE, aged 23, rather an imbecile young man, living at the farm of Mr. Robert WRIGHT, at Upcott, in this parish, was at his dinner, and was eating part of a rabbit pie, he swallowed a small bone, which stuck at the bottom of his throat. Simple means were tried to remove it, but they were not successful. The next day he went to Dr. FORD, at Chulmleigh, who did not care to meddle with it and advised him to go into the Infirmary: but on the Dr. calling at the house on Thursday, and finding the young man had not gone, and that the bone remained in his throat, he made a trial by an instrument to pass the obstruction, and thought he had done so; but the swelling of the throat continued, with inability to eat, nor has the poor fellow eaten anything since the accident. On Saturday last he brought up the bone, and seemed to be relieved, and it was hoped he would recover. He was unable to swallow, however, and whatever he attempted to take came up again through his mouth or nostrils. He appeared to suffer a great deal of pain, and gradually sank from exhaustion, and died on Monday last - the ninth day after the occurrence. Dr. FORD gave it as his opinion that death had resulted from injury done to the wind-pipe; and as there was not the slightest reason to suspect that other than natural causes had conduced to it, the Coroner did not think it needful to hold an inquest on the body. [Since the above was in type, we have received a note from a correspondent at Burrington, who informs us that after the doctor's effort to relieve the poor fellow, he was able to drink a little and to swallow a morsel of bread; but, with that exception, he took no nourishment whatever from the time of the accident. His sufferings were very excruciating, and his exhaustion became extreme. It seems both strange and to be deplored that he was not taken to the Infirmary at once, where, in all probability relief might have been afforded him. Much feeling for the young man is excited in the parish. His father died accidentally by falling from a mow a few years ago, and his mother is in receipt of parish pay.]

Last updated - Brian Randell, 3 Aug 2005

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