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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.
[No's in brackets indicate the number of times that name occurs.]
Names Included:: Ackland; Adams; Addiscott; Alford(2); Allen(2); Auton; Baker(2); Balkwill; Barber; Barnes; Bastin; Beattie; Beedle; Beer; Belworthy(2); Bennett(2); Bicknell; Bidder; Bigg; Bishop; Blackford; Blackmore(2); Blake; Blundell; Bonstow; Born; Bowden(2); Bradford; Brand; Bray; Brewer; Brooks; Bryant; Budd; Burgess; Burgoyne; Buttle; Caine; Calverwell; Canniford; Carter(2); Casely; Chamberlain; Chapman; Chapple; Chattey; Ching; Churchill; Clapp; Clark; Clarke; Cleak; Cleall; Clements; Cload; Cock; Cockings; Coleridge(2); Collins; Comer; Cornelius; Coves; Cox(2); Crocker; Cross; Crowdy; Cummings; Cunningham; Danesby; Daniel; Dare; Dart; Dayman; Dennis; Densley; Dicker(2); Dodge; Down; Downing; Drake; Drew(2); Drewe; Duval; Dymond; Earle; Easterbrook; Easton; Efford; Ekins; Elliott; Ellis; Eustace; Ewins; Exell(2); Exworthy; Ferris; Fey(2); Fisher; Flay; Flood(2); Follett; Ford; Fowler; Fox; Frewin; Frost; Furneaux; Gale(2); Gibbons; Gibbs; Gidley; Gill(2); Gillham; Godfrey; Godolphin; Goodenough; Goss; Gould; Grant; Green; Greenaway; Greenslade(2); Gregg; Gregory; Guest; Gunningham; Hake; Hall; Hammon; Hammond; Hannaford; Harding; Harris(3); Hart(2); Hawke; Hayman; Haywood; Head; Heard; Herbert; Hicks; Hocking; Hodges; Hole; Holland; Hooper(3); Hoskins; Howard; Howe; Hughes; Humphries; Hurley; Jackson; Jarman; Jelly; Jerrad; Johns; Johnston; Jones(2); Jordan; Joslin; Jury(2); Kelly; Kempe; Kiddle; Kirwan; Knowles; Labbett; Land; Lane; Lang; Langley; Lewarne; Loving; Lowden; Luxton; Macvitty; Madge; Manley; Mann; Mardon; Martin(3); Mason(2); Matthews(2); Meeson; Metherell; Miffin; Milverton; Mitchell(2); Mogridge(2); Moore(2); Newberry; Nichols; Norman; Normington; Norrish; Northway; Ofield; Oliver; Pady; Paister; Palk; Palmer; Parkin(2); Parnall; Parnell(2); Parr; Parsons; Payne; Pearce; Peek(3); Penny; Perkin; Perry; Petherbridge; Phillips(3); Pickard; Pickett; Pidgeon; Pidsley(2); Pike; Pillar; Pinhey; Pitts; Potbury; Pridham; Putt; Pyne; Radford(2); Redwood; Reed; Reeves; Rice; Richards(2); Ridge; Rock; Rogers; Routley; Rowe; Rudd; Ryder; Salter; Sanders(2); Sarapson; Sellick; Selway; Selwood; Sercombe(2); Sergeant; Shapcott; Shapland; Sharland; Shell; Shepherd; Sheppard; Shipcott; Shrimpton; Shuckburgh; Skinner; Sluman; Smale; Small; Smallridge; Smith(3); Solomon; Sommerwill; Sowdon; Sparkes; Springall; Staddon; Stamp; Stephens; Sterling; Stocker; Stockman; Stone(4); Strong; Sutton; Sweetland; Taylor; Thomas; Thorne; Tibbet; Tilley; Towell; Tozer(3); Truman; Tucker(5); Tuckett; Turberville; Turner(2); Turpin; Upcott; Vallance; Vanstone; Vaughan; Vickery; Walker; Ware; Warren; Webber(4); Welsford; Western; Westlake; Wheaton; Whitfield; Wilcox; Williams; Wills; Wood; Woodgates; Worth; Wreford; Wyatt; Yeo; Zane
Wednesday 11 January 1871, Issue 5456 – Gale Document No. Y3200714670 OKEHAMPTON – Mr Coroner Fulford held an Inquest on Saturday upon the body of ELI PALMER, aged sixteen. The deceased (the son of a navvy, working on the Okehampton railway works) was sliding on the 28th of December, when he fell and knocked the back part of his head. He took little notice of it at first, but after a day, medical advice was sought, but to no purpose. Verdict "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 11 January 1871, Issue 5456 – Gale Document No. Y3200714658 EXETER – JOHN BAKER, of Prospect-place, Blackboy-road, went yesterday to the Exeter Soup Kitchen, and whilst waiting for the delivery of soup the unfortunate man fell dead. An Inquest was held in the evening when it was proved that the poor man died from Natural Causes.
Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Honiton Inn, Paris-street, on Thursday upon the body of HENRY FORD, aged three weeks. The mother of the deceased stated that she found the child dead on the preceding morning. Mr Hunt, surgeon, gave it as his opinion that the child died from convulsions. A verdict to that effect was recorded.
Wednesday 25 January 1871, Issue 5458 – Gale Document No. Y3200714729 COUNTESS WEIR – Mr Mugford, farmer, of Countess Weir, had in his service a young woman named SARAH ELIZABETH LOVING. Her mistress had an idea that LOVING had not kept herself in the path of virtue, and she intimated her suspicions of something wrong. The girl (who was eighteen years old) had notice to leave; but one morning her master called as usual for her to get up. Receiving no answer he went into her bed room, and then found that the unfortunate young woman had become a mother. The mother and infant were dead. An Inquest was held upon the bodies and their deaths were attributed to wont of attention at the birth.
Wednesday 25 January 1871, Issue 5458 – Gale Document No. Y3200714718 EXETER – Mr Deputy Coroner Barton held an Inquest on Wednesday at the Victoria Inn, Victoria-road, upon the body of MR JOHN SLUMAN, aged 45. The deceased was of very eccentric habits. He lived alone in a nicely-furnished house in the Victoria-road. He was seen to go into the house on the preceding Saturday morning; but as he did not again show himself an entry into the house was obtained yesterday week, and then his body was found upon the floor. There were several scalds upon the body, and bruises on the knees and elbows. The general appearance of things led to the belief that there had been a struggle; and this belief was consistent with a story he had only a few days before told one of his acquaintances to the effect that he had been visited by the "Archangel ruined" – that they had struggled; but he was victorious, and he didn't think he should again be tempted by the evil one. The cause f his death was apoplexy, and he is supposed to have been burnt by falling against the grate when in a stupor. Verdict, "Found Dead, but not from violence." The deceased a few months since brought an action in the Exeter County Court against a young woman for the value of some presents, given to her upon the understanding (as he said) that she had accepted his offer of marriage. The result went against MR SLUMAN, for it was proved that the young woman had not consented to become his wife; and, moreover, it was proved that the presents were left at her house when she was not at home, that she positively told him she would not become his wife, and then desired him to take away the presents. He then said they were not given with the view of her becoming his wife; but he subsequently altered his mind on that point.
Wednesday 1 February 1871, Issue 5459 – Gale Document No. Y3200714758 PLYMOUTH – JAMES JOHNS, a number-taker, was killed on Friday morning, at the Plymouth station of the South Devon Railway. The deceased was in company with a porter named Staddon, between number one and number two lines. On number one line a number of trucks stood stationary, whilst on number two line were several trucks with an engine attached. About twenty feet from where deceased and Staddon stood the two lines meet so that the further the two men walked forward the more danger there was of their being jammed between the two. At this juncture deceased said to Staddon, "Be careful, there isn't room enough there; I should not like to see you killed, or to be killed myself!" Staddon, however, passed the engine and crossed the line, and set about numbering the carriages. At this time the deceased carried a lamp, and a lamp was on each side of him. A few minutes after this, a guard named Biddlecome observed the deceased about twenty feet before him, and the train moving at an ordinary rate, the deceased was caught in the side by one of the trucks and knocked with great violence in the breast against one of the opposite trucks. His body was then dragged along by the train for about two yards, when it fell to the ground. Witness ran to the unfortunate man's assistance, and heard him utter one groan. Witness called for help, and the deceased was removed to the porters' room. Dr Rendle was immediately in attendance, and pronounced the poor fellow dead, adding that death must have been almost instantaneous, and expressing his opinion that the deceased had not a sound bone in his body. A verdict f Accidental death was returned at the Inquest held later in the day. Deceased was a man of good character, and leaves a widow and two children who will be helped by the Provident Society belonging to the railway people.
Wednesday 1 February 1871, Issue 5459 – Gale Document No. Y3200714746 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Duke of York Inn on Monday upon the body of MRS ANN PIDSLEY, aged forty-seven. MR RICHARD H. PIDSLEY, husband of the deceased, said he was an auctioneer and surveyor, residing at No. 7, York-buildings. He went to Wombwell's Menagerie on Saturday afternoon, taking his youngest son (aged twelve) with him. He returned alone, about a quarter to six, having left the boy at the Menagerie, as the lad wanted to stay and see the beasts fed. When he entered his office he saw his wife, who asked him where the boy was. The deceased became excited when she found that the boy had not come in with him. She requested him to go and look for his son, which he did, but did not find him. He then returned to his house, and gave the servant a shilling to go to the Menagerie and see if the boy was there. When the servant got into St. Sidwell-street she saw the boy, and returned with him. the deceased went out of his office to meet the boy, and called to him, "RICHARD, I am falling," or words to that effect. The deceased then said, "Send for Dr Hunt; I am dying." He immediately sent for Mr Hunt, who arrived shortly afterwards. Mr Hunt, surgeon, said he was called to go to the deceased on Saturday evening last. He had known her a great many years. He found the deceased in her husband's office, quite dead, having apparently been dead about ten minutes. The deceased had suffered from heart disease. He considered the cause of death was over-excitement, caused either by grief or joy, acting upon the diseased heart. Verdict accordingly.
Wednesday 8 February 1871, Issue 5460 – Gale Document No. Y3200714773 EXETER – Yesterday an Inquest was held at the Topsham Inn, South-street, on the body of ELLEN CLOAD, aged seven years, the daughter of a labourer, living at Uffculme Down. The deceased was left at home on the 11th November, in charge of two younger children, and whilst sitting by the fire her dress ignited, and she was dreadfully burned before the flames were extinguished. Deceased's mother applied some linseed oil and sent for Mr Brydon, the parish doctor. He was not at home, and did not come until the evening. When he arrived he said the child was very ill. Mr Brydon continued to visit the child until the 28th January, when he brought a physician from Uffculme (Mr Williams), who said the child was very bad, and that he hoped the mother would take care of it. On the Tuesday following, a message came from Mr Brydon telling MRS CLOAD to take the child to the Exeter Hospital on the following Thursday, which she did. In answer to the Coroner and Jury MRS CLOAD said Mr Brydon never dressed the wounds. She always did it; he never saw her dress them. He gave her some brandy but no wine or beef tea. The deceased lay on her right side for the three months, with the exception of when she moved her to put up a bandage, when the deceased would scream out. For the first month Mr Brydon visited the child three or four times a week, but he missed a fortnight, and since that he only visited her once a week. Mr Ley, house surgeon at the Devon and Exeter Hospital, said he received the child on Thursday last. She was in a very wretched condition, and had been dreadfully neglected. He believed that if the child had been brought to the Hospital after she had recovered the first shock she would have lived, for the burns were not deep enough to cause death. Four ribs were exposed on the right side, and he considered the deceased died from exhaustion, bad living, and inattention. The Coroner thought it would be advisable to have a post mortem examination, and procure further evidence. The Inquest was therefore adjourned until Monday.
An Inquest was held at the Topsham Inn, South-street, yesterday, on the body of JOHN DRAKE, aged twenty-four. The deceased, whilst getting off a waggon, fell under the wheels. He was conveyed to the hospital, where he died on Sunday. Verdict, "Accidental death."
Wednesday 15 February 1871, Issue 5461 – Gale Document No. Y3200714817 DISGRACEFUL NEGLECT OF A CHILD. Mr Coroner Hooper resumed the Inquiry into the cause of the death of ELLEN CLOAD at the Topsham Inn, on Monday. The deceased was the daughter of a labourer of Uffculme. On the former Inquiry serious charges were made against Mr White, relieving officer of the Tiverton Union, and against Mr Brydon, medical officer, of Uffculme. The Coroner said as they were now present it was only fair to them that they should hear the previous evidence, and he accordingly read it to them. Mr Ley, house surgeon at the Devon and Exeter Hospital, said he made a post mortem examination of the deceased. The whole of the body, externally, was much wasted, scarcely anything intervening between the skin, and the more prominent parts of bone, bed sores being the result in no less than nine places. The body weighed only 28lbs. It had all the appearance of a child dying from starvation, and being allowed to lie on hard clothes, and neglected. The mother said the child was given food, but it vomited. Mr Ley said that no doubt arose from its being allowed to lie in such a stench. The stomach was healthy, there being no ulceration, and there was nothing whatever to account for the vomiting. In his opinion the child died from want of sufficient care, and proper nourishment. The Coroner, addressing Mr Bryden, said he had asked him to attend in order that he might make any explanation he wished. He cautioned him that what he did say would be taken down, and then asked him if he wished to express his views to the Jury? Mr Bryden said certainly, he had no objection at all. He was then examined. He said he was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. He resided at Uffculme, and was medical doctor for several parishes in the Tiverton Union, Uffculme being amongst them. He was called to attend the deceased, and he attended immediately on his arrival home from his round. The child was upstairs. He examined it, and found it was dreadfully burnt. He told the mother that it was so extensively burnt that he thought it could not recover. The thigh and part of the abdomen were severely burnt. He gave the mother linseed oil, and lime water, to apply to the burns. He told her how to apply it. He also sent some medicine, and gave an order upon the parish for some brandy and mutton. He believed he saw the child every other day, for a month, as long as he considered necessary. During the time he occasionally examined the child. He did not always do so, because whenever he attempted to take the clothes off the child screamed dreadfully, and he thought he should be doing the child more harm than good by examining too frequently. He ceased to visit the child, because it got better; and he was told that it took a good deal of food. Two pounds of mutton a week were ordered for the child, and that was sufficient. He was apprehensive from the position of the child in bed, that the thigh and abdomen of the child might grow together. From time to time he examined the child, and he particularly enjoined upon the mother to guard against this. He feared she was not attending to his instructions, and he asked Dr Williams, of Uffculme, to accompany him to see the case. That was a few days previous to her being taken to the Hospital. They found the child in a very filthy state. He told the mother that it must be taken to the Hospital, and to tell the relieving officer that it must be sent in an easy covered van, the only way he considered she could be safely removed. He told the mother the day before the child was removed to be sure and take the child in a cleanly state to the Hospital, and he also gave her a large box of ointment in order that she might put fresh dressings on the sores. He relied upon the mother that she was doing what he told her. He wrote a note to the relieving officer, the purport of which was that the child must be conveyed in an easy covered van, and that he believed if the child was allowed to remain under the mother's care it would become a cripple for life. He understood the relieving officer never got the note. The impression as so strong on his mind that he had so written him the note, that he wrote him afterwards saying that he was sorry he had not carried out his instructions. The Coroner: But should you have not seen the child again, before it was taken to the Hospital, when you saw that it was in such a filthy state? Mr Bryden: I did not know the child would be so soon taken. I relied upon the mother attending to it. The Coroner: Were the bandages removed when you and Mr Williams saw it? Mr Bryden: No, we did not consider it prudent to remove them. I told the mother when to remove them. A Juryman: How could you tell the condition the child was in, if you did not remove them? Mr Bryden: We know by the child's pulse, appearance, and so on. By the Coroner: He gave instructions to the child's mother from time to time as to the care of the child. The Coroner: Why did you not see that these instructions were carried out? Mr Bryden: When I went to remove the clothes from the child she screamed so very dreadfully that I thought it was so very cruel. A Juryman: What caused the child to scream? Mr Bryden: Fearing I was going to take off the dressing, I suppose. Whenever I came into the room it screamed. I relied upon the mother taking off the bandages at the times I instructed her. It was natural that the child should scream when the doctor came into the room. A Juryman thought a competent person should dress the wounds. Mr Bryden said a surgeon had nothing to do with dressing; he relied on the mother attending to his instructions. By the Coroner: He examined the wounds sometimes where the dressing was loose, and thought the child was going on favourably, as well as possible. It was only on account of the parts growing together that he was apprehensive, and sent her to the hospital. Should think the adhesion was a month taking place. Had examined the child three or four times in that time. By a Juryman: Was not aware before Mr Ley's evidence that adhesion had taken place. Mr Ley: Had you the wound exposed? Mr Bryden: No; only the thigh. Mr Ley: Because the parts were grown quite firmly together. In answer to questions, Mr Ley said if the mother had not carried out her instructions for two or three days the parts would have grown together, but it would have taken a fortnight to make them grow together so firmly as they were. The surgeon had nothing to do with the dressing, he simply gave an order, and then saw it was done. Burns required an immense deal f care, and if there was not good nursing it was impossible a patient could get on. Here the mother appeared to have treated the child very indifferently. The Coroner said the case seemed to resolve into two things – surgical treatments and the nursing. Mr Bryden, further examined by the Coroner, said the mother never told him that the child had bed sores. MRS CLOAD: I beg your pardon, very many times. Mr Bryden said he felt he had nothing to accuse himself of. He would have done anything cheerfully for the child. He relied upon the mother carrying out his instructions. I parish doctor had a great deal to do in the country, and he relied on a mother's kindness to carry out his instructions. Mr J. C. White after having been cautioned by the Coroner, said he was the relieving officer of Uffculme. He knew the child was ill by Mr Bryden's weekly reports to the Board of Guardians. The mother applied for relief, as she said she could not afford to devote the hole of her time to nursing the child. A shilling and a loaf of bread were granted by the Board. There had been brandy and mutton supplied before on the doctor's certificate. On Wednesday, the 1st February, the mother came to his house, and brought a recommend for the Hospital for him to sign. He did so, and the mother said she should remove the child next day., She asked for some money to help to take the child down. The weekly shilling and the loaf f bread were due to her the day before, and he gave her an extra shilling. MRS CLOAD said the taking the child to the Hospital cost her 4s. 7d. All the money she had of the parish was 2s. A Juryman remarked that it was as bad a case all round as he had ever heard in his life. The Coroner asked the relieving officer if he thought 1s. sufficient to remove the poor child? Mr White said he had no doubt that if he had not given her anything she could have paid for the child's removal she had means. The Coroner asked if that was so why the Tiverton Guardians gave her relief? A Juryman asked the relieving officer if it would be in his discretion to give more, and he replied he could give 2s. 6d., and he thought he had given the woman as good as that. The Coroner asked the witness how he though the woman was going to pay the fares to Exeter, for it could not be supposed that the child could go alone? He considered it a disgraceful thing. SAMUEL CLOAD, father of the deceased, said he frequently expressed an opinion to his wife that it would be better that the child should be taken to the Hospital, but still they considered Mr Bryden knew best. For all he knew his wife constantly attended to the child. She gave up a portion of her work to enable her to do so. He got 9s. a week, and had no other means of livelihood. The Coroner then summed up the case to the Jury, commenting upon its extremely painful nature. there could be no doubt that there was great neglect on the part of somebody, and it was for them to say on whom it devolved. One of the most painful incidents in the case to his mind was that of the relieving officer, in giving the woman a paltry shilling, which was not enough even to convey the child to Exeter. (Several of the Jury: "Shame.") He could not think that the Guardians of the Tiverton Union would palliate such a thing as that. He should think it his duty to bring the heartless case before them. The difficulty in the case was this – that if they considered all three, the surgeon, the relieving officer, and the mother were criminally liable, and they were committed, there would be no evidence whatever for their own evidence could not be used against them. The Jury, after about half an hour's consultation, returned the following verdict:- "We find that ELLEN CLOAD died of certain burns caused accidentally, and from exhaustion, bad living and want of sufficient care; and the Jury consider the surgeon, and the mother of the child are highly censurable, as well as the relieving officer for his harsh treatment and unfeeling conduct." The Coroner remarked that he entirely and sincerely concurred in the verdict.
Wednesday 15 February 1871, Issue 5461 – Gale Document No. Y3200714804 ELIZA BREWER, living in the service of Sir John Bowring, at Claremont, St. Leonard, is in custody for concealing the birth of her child. On Sunday morning Ann Pike, a fellow servant, went into BREWER'S bed room; and from a disagreeable smell was induced to search for the cause. In a box, amongst some old linen, she found the body of a female child. On this discovery BREWER was charged with being the mother of the child. She aid the child was still-born – some three weeks or a month ago. Mr Coroner Crosse held an Inquest upon the body at the Port Royal Inn, St. Leonard, on Monday, when Mr Stonard Edye, surgeon, who had made a post-mortem examination of the body gave it as his opinion that the child was still-born. He said it almost appeared to be kept in ice from its being so cold and firm, and he had no doubt it was frozen in the garret where it was found, and not thawed again. As there was no independent evidence the Jury were discharged. BREWER has been in the service of Sir John Bowring upwards of seven years, and had borne a good character.
Wednesday 22 February 1871, Issue 5462 – Gale Document No. Y3200714844 WINKLEIGH – Mr Coroner Fulford held an Inquest on Friday upon the body of JOHN PICKARD, aged eleven. The parents of the deceased live near Winkleigh. One day the deceased asked the wife of a labourer to lend him her husband's pistol. She refused, but the boy contrived to get the pistol. Some time afterwards he came to his parents and told them that he had been shot, and that he had seen smoke issuing from a stable. It is supposed, however, that the unfortunate boy was carrying the pistol in his pocket when it exploded, the charge, however, only entering the lower part of his body. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." The pistol has not since been seen.
Wednesday 22 February 1871, Issue 5462 – Gale Document No. Y3200714832 A somewhat strange affair has occurred at Falmouth. On Saturday week a young woman, apparently about twenty-two years of age, arrived by the 1.15 p.m. train, and obtained lodgings at Florence-terrace. She conducted herself in a very creditable manner, and there was nothing unusual in her behaviour; but on Wednesday morning her bed room door being locked, and no reply being given to repeated knocks, access was obtained by the window, when she was found lying on the floor and dead. An empty bottle, which had contained prussic acid, was discovered in the room; and at an Inquest held on Thursday the Jury returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased had died from taking poison, but that there was no evidence to show the state of mind she was in at the time. The deceased stated that her name was ISABELLA VAUGHAN, and it is believed that she belonged to or near Exeter.
Mr Coroner Crosse held an Inquest at the Port Royal Inn, St. Leonard, on Monday upon the body of JOHN STAMP, aged 58. Early in the morning of the 22nd of January last Policeman Fey found a hat and a coat near the ballast quay, and, as these articles were known to belong to JOHN STAMP, it was inferred that he had drowned himself – an idea strengthened by the fact that the unfortunate man had expressed a determination to so terminate his existence. Search was made for the body, but it could not be found. On Saturday afternoon, however, Mrs Elizabeth Ebbels, who lives near the Port Royal Inn, observed something floating down the river; and this turned out to be the remains of poor STAMP. The deceased has several children, filling respectable situations; and until after the death of his wife STAMP was a steady, industrious man. But he gave way to intemperate habits, and step by step he came to his sorrowful end. The Jury returned a verdict, "That the deceased drowned himself while in an unsound state of mind."
Wednesday 1 March 1871, Issue 5463 – Gale Document No. Y3200714860 MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE AND DEATH OF MRS DICKER. For a month past bills circulated in Exeter and its neighbourhood have notified the disappearance of a lady, and from circumstances attached to the case her relatives and friends feared for her safety. They spared no pains to discover her whereabouts, but were unsuccessful. On Wednesday, however, the body of a female was discovered near Stafford's Weir, within a short distance of the Cowley-bridge-road, and this proved to be the missing lady, MRS DICKER, widow of a missionary. The body was in an advanced stage of decomposition and nearly unclothed, and had been mutilated. Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest upon the remains at the Cowley-bridge Inn, on Thursday, when the subjoined evidence was given:- Mrs Townsend, wife of Mr William Townsend, Friars'-walk, said – I saw the body last night and identified it as that of MRS ANNE DICKER, widow of the REV. EDWARD DICKER, who was a missionary. I don't think she was quite forty years of age, to judge by appearance. Her eldest daughter is eighteen. Her maiden name was MEDLAND. She was on a visit at my house for eight weeks. She came on November 26th, and left on the 21st of January. She went from my house to that of my sister, Miss Allen. I saw her last on the 24th of January, when she called at my house. She was a most amiable and nice person as one could wish to have in a house. The only thing I noticed in her was a slight depression. -The Coroner: Did she appear insane? Witness: Oh! no. She was too quiet. The Coroner: Do you know whether she had anything to trouble her mind? Witness: She used to fancy she had, but we could never discover what it was. The Coroner: I think she was for a time in a lunatic asylum? Witness: Yes. The Coroner: How long since? Witness: I think she left in September last. She was in the Wonford Asylum. A Juror: You say you fancied something was on her mind – did you ever ask her what it was? Witness: Yes. I asked her if she would tell a lady, a mutual friend of ours, and she replied she would not, she would rather tell me. I said, "Why don't you?" and she said, "Perhaps I will some day." Miss Isabella Mayo said – I reside with Miss Allen, at 3, Southernhay. I was well acquainted with MRS DICKER. She came to reside with Miss Allen on the 21st of January. She appeared comfortable and happy. She boarded with the family, but slept alone. I saw her at all the meals, and she appeared perfectly rational and sane. She left the house four weeks ago that morning. She came down to breakfast a little before nine, and wore a brown alpaca gown. After breakfast she went to her bed room. I did not see anything more of her, but a little before ten I heard the front door shut, and as there were only myself and the servant in the house, I concluded she had gone out. When we missed her we looked about her bed room and found the dress hung up in which she had breakfasted. A black and white dress, with small dots of flowers on it, is missed. She never returned. She was to have gone to take tea in the afternoon with Miss Medland, who resides in Hill's-court, and as she did not come home to dinner we surmised she intended spending the whole day with Miss Medland. In the evening when her time for returning had elapsed I went to Mrs Townsend and asked if MRS DICKER was ever late, and I was told she was never out after nine. We waited up until eleven that night. The following morning, as she had not returned, I went to Miss Medland's and found she had not been there at all on the previous day. Advertisements were issued, but we could not trace her. I heard nothing further f her until last night. A Juror: Was it not the duty of any one to accompany the deceased when she went out? Witness: No. She used to go out when she pleased – she was under no control. The Coroner: You did not know she had changed her dress until the following morning? Witness: No. We did not look, thinking she was staying with Miss Medland. A Juror: Was the deceased related to Miss Medland? Witness: They were cousins. A Juror: Did you ever know her remain away all night before? Witness: No. A Juror: No message was sent to Miss Medland's that night? Witness: No. I went myself the following morning. A Juror: Had she had any rings or jewellery? Witness: She had on her fingers a wedding ring and keeper. The Coroner: They have been found on her fingers, which is very satisfactory. Mr Thomas Lyle, resident medical superintendent at the Wonford Asylum, said – I knew MRS DICKER very well. She had been under my care for five years. Her state generally was one of depression. Her bodily health was good. She was not violent. She left the asylum in the year 1865, but returned at the end of a month. She left with the consent of her friends, but had not recovered. For two or three years she was very anxious to leave, and repeatedly wrote to the Commissioners of Lunacy, stating that she was quite well. the Commissioners visit the Asylum once a year, and on the 28th of September, 1868, they made the following entry in the book relative to MRS DICKER: - "We recommend that if arrangements can be made with the persons she names, the effect of giving her leave of absence should be tried." We, however, did not feel she was well and did not like to take the responsibility of her going out, and she did not go at that time. On the 10th of February, 1869, another report was received from the Commissioners. She gradually got better, and I allowed her to go out on trial. I used to permit her to leave the Asylum and visit her relatives from time to time. Growing out of that we at last allowed her to leave altogether. She had previously walked out alone and I did it in comfort for some months. She finally left, I believe, on the 14th of September last. Some time in January last she came to the Asylum to consult me. She was then very sadly depressed. I talked to her and advised a little medicine. I have not seen her since. She lived some time with her husband in Sierra Leone. I think the climate had an effect on her. At her last visit to me she said she had an idea on her mind that something dreadful would happen to her. A Juror: Did she say she had any trouble? Witness: She did not. The imagination she had is nothing more than many others have. I believe they have no very definite idea on their minds, but it is a general depression. A Juror: Have you any doubt of the unsoundness of her mind? Witness: None. The Asylum treatment showed that – the letting her out on trial and not releasing her for so long a time. A Juror: Was any opinion given to her friends, when she finally left, that she was of unsound mind? Witness: I was not at home the day she left, but I think her friends must have understood she was of unsound mind. A Juror: Would you have given your sanction to her leaving had you been there? Witness: I was away for my holidays, and it was all arranged before I left. The forms were signed and she was only awaiting the arrival of her friends. The Coroner: You have seen the body, and do you think the marks thereon are caused by vermin? Witness: I should say decidedly so. William Sirey, of Stoke Canon, said – I am a watcher of the river Exe. I was walking down by the river about half-past twelve yesterday. I came from Stoke and walked round the river, going back across the marsh. A little below Stafford's Weir something white attracted my attention and I made a stop. This was between the railway and the river. The white was laying against some rails that divide the marshes. That would be about twenty yards from the river. I went and looked over the rails and saw it was a woman's body. I at once fetched the police. The body was between the rails and two elm trees. She was on her back, and had nothing on but her night dress, drawers, and stockings. A Juror: Has the river during the past month been swollen sufficient to reach the place where she lay? Witness: No. That body has never been in the water. A Juror: How do you know that? Witness: From my experience of other bodies that I have seen taken from the water. I am sure that body has not been in the water, and Dr Cummings, who saw her last night, says the same. A Juror: Do you walk down by the river every day? Witness: No, not that side – perhaps only once a week. A Juror: Was it a low place where the body laid? Witness: Yes, rather. I showed the policeman how far the water had come. It had not reached the body. A Juror: Is the river considerably below the level of the bank now? Witness: Nearly three feet. A Juror: Did you walk down by the river during the last flood? Witness: No. A Juror: Was there not a petticoat found near the body? Witness: Yes; about four inches from the head. A Juror: When did you last pass near the spot where the body was found? Witness: Last Saturday, but I don't think I could have seen the body where it lay. Several persons have told me that during the last fortnight they have passed near the spot. The place appears as if the body had laid there some time. A Juror: How would you get to that place from the main road? Witness: Before you reach Stafford's Bridge, in fact just opposite the weir, there is a crossing for cattle. A person must go out of the way to get there. P.C. Mashford, Devon Constabulary, said – From information received from the last witness I accompanied him to the marshes. I found the dead body of a woman lying between two elm trees and the railing. She was on her back with her feet under her and her knees bent. Her right shoulder was jambed against the railings and her left shoulder was against the lm tree. She was dressed, as she is now, with the exception that she had two rings – a wedding and keeper – on one of her fingers. I obtained a conveyance and brought her here. Her stockings are marked "D.1." The Coroner: Were there any holes about? Witness: Under the roots of the tree there was what I should take to be a rats' hole. A Juror: If a person crouched down and fell backwards suddenly, or from weakness, would it be in a similar position to that in which this body was found? Witness: I should say yes. A Juror: Have you searched the marshes for any clothes? Witness: Yes, but have not discovered any. Mrs Townsend recalled said, in answer to the Coroner, that the deceased had £50 a year from the Missionary Society. She believed that was the only income she had. At one time she had property. The Coroner: What money had she about her when she was with you? Witness: Her purse was left at Miss Allen's. The first things we saw in her room were her purse, keys and watch, and 4s. I don't think she had any money in her possession when she left. The Coroner: She had two children, I think? Witness: Yes, Two girls, aged fourteen and eighteen. The Coroner here remarked to the Jury that the evidence only showed them the finding of the body and identification. How death was caused there was nothing to show. All they could do was to return an Open Verdict. The Jury then returned a verdict of "Found Dead, but by how or what means death was caused there was no evidence to show."
Wednesday 1 March 1871, Issue 5463 – Gale Document No. Y3200714865 EXETER – The Coroner's Inquest (reported in our third page) does not clear away the mystery which shrouds the disappearance and death of MRS ANNE DICKER. There was no evidence to lead the Jury to any other verdict than an open one. It is very singular, indeed, that the body should have remained in such a frequented place so long without being discovered; and more singular still is it that the clothes of the deceased should not be found. The presumption is that MRS DICKER divested herself of her apparel, intending to drown herself; but her reason returned before she threw herself into the river, and she then wandered to the spot where her body was found. The night was bitterly cold, and no doubt the unfortunate creature died from exposure. Her clothes were probably washed away by the waters of the Exe.
Wednesday 1 March 1871, Issue 5463 – Gale Document No. Y3200714875 Mr Coroner Puddicombe held an Inquest on Saturday upon the body of JOHN PEEK, seventy-nine years of age. the deceased complained on Thursday night of being rather unwell, and on Friday morning a relative going into the room to call him and his wife, found that the former was dead, and had been so for a considerable time. Verdict, "Death from Natural Causes."
Wednesday 8 March 1871, Issue 5464 – Gale Document No. Y3200714900 BABBICOMBE – Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest on Thursday upon the body of RICHARD FORD MATTHEWS, aged forty-five. The deceased (a labourer) left his home on the 18th of January, and had not since been seen alive. It is presumed that he fell into the sea under Walls-hill, and his body became embedded in the sand, from which it was dislodged by the recent strong swell. Verdict "Found Drowned."
DEVONPORT – An Inquest was held on Monday at Devonport on RICHARD HOSKINS, a mason and builder. Deceased had been depressed in spirits for some time past, owing to the death of a son, and marriage of his only daughter, who had taken charge of his home. He was heard to say that he would destroy himself as life had become a burden, and he was found in an outhouse on Monday morning hanging from a beam quite dead. The Jury returned a verdict of "Temporary Insanity."
Wednesday 29 March 1871, Issue 5467 – Gale Document No. Y3200714983 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Honiton Inn, in this city, on Saturday, upon the body of WILLIAM FOX, a mason, aged forty-five. The deceased had been subject to an affection of the heart for some time past. On Saturday morning he went to borrow a short ladder, and while in the act of selecting one he fell down insensible and expired in a few minutes. Mr Perkins said death resulted from heart disease. The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.
Wednesday 5 April 1871, Issue 5468 – Gale Document No. Y3200715022 HONITON – Mr Coroner Cox held an Inquest on Monday at the Globe Inn upon the body of WILLIAM PERRY. The deceased was an inmate of the Honiton Union. On Saturday morning he was set to work at masoning; but soon afterwards he got away and went and drowned himself in the River Otter. His body was taken out of the river when it was warm, but life was extinct. He was an elderly mason, of rather weak intellect; and the Jury considered he drowned himself whilst in an unsound state of mind.
Wednesday 5 April 1871, Issue 5468 – Gale Document No. Y3200715010 Mr Coroner Crosse held an Inquest at the Seven Stars Inn, St. Thomas, on Wednesday, upon the body of WALTER JAMES WHITFIELD, who was not four years old. The deceased (whose father died on the preceding Tuesday) was allowed to go out by himself, and he seems to have fallen into the river. Verdict, "Found Drowned."
Wednesday 12 April 1871, Issue 5469 – Gale Document No. Y3200715051 TEIGNMOUTH – Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest on Thursday at Higher Holcombe Farm, Teignmouth, upon the body of JOHN WILCOX, retired grocer, aged fifty-eight. The deceased (who lodged with Mr Brimage at the farm) left the London Hotel a little before eleven o'clock on Wednesday night, arriving home at half-past eleven, at which hour Mr Brimage, who was in bed, heard him fasten the door. Shortly after midnight Mr Brimage heard one of the chairs moved in the kitchen; but thought little of the occurrence, as deceased was accustomed to take refreshments before retiring to rest. Early on Thursday morning the farm labourers from MR WILCOX dead and rigid, hanging by a flag from a hook in the ceiling of the kitchen. It was evident that the deceased, who for some time past has been in a desponding state of mind, had retired to rest; but had shortly afterwards risen to carry out his fatal intention. Verdict, "Temporary Insanity."
Wednesday 26 April 1871, Issue 5471 – Gale Document No. Y3200715102 EXETER – An Inquest was held yesterday at the Duke of York Inn upon the body of a child, three months old. Deceased was the daughter of ELIZABETH MARY STEPHENS, an unmarried woman, living in York-buildings, Coombe-street, in this city; and the mother stated that she found her child dead by her side in bed on Monday morning. Mr Stonard Edye, surgeon, attributed the child's death to constitutional disease. Verdict accordingly.
Wednesday 3 May 1871, Issue 5472 – Gale Document No. Y3200715137 EXMINSTER – Mr Coroner Crosse held an Inquest at Exminster Asylum on Monday upon the body of WILLIAM PUTT, aged fifty-eight. Dr Sanders, the medical superintendent, stated that he admitted the deceased into the Asylum in November last. He was described to him as being suicidally disposed. Deceased had manifested great improvement since entering the establishment, in consequence of which he was employed in the garden with others. On Saturday the deceased was found to be absent from the dinner table, and witness subsequently discovered his body in a pool containing about three feet of water. It was the duty of the head gardener to count all the men in and out of the Asylum, which was not done on that day. John Stuckle, the head gardener, said that he omitted to count the men in at dinner in consequence of their being a heavy shower of rain at the time. John Pedlar Warren, a lunatic, who was at work near the deceased, and who gave his evidence with great clearness, proved seeing the deceased at work near him in the garden at about twenty minutes to one. John Harris, an attendant in the war in which deceased was placed, said that deceased was as well as usual on Saturday morning, and quite fit to work in the garden. The Coroner remarked there could be no doubt that the deceased destroyed himself while in a state of unsound mind, and the Jury returned a verdict accordingly.
Wednesday 3 May 1871, Issue 5472 – Gale Document No. Y3200715125 JAMES AUTON, farm labourer, who was injured whilst felling trees at Sowton on Saturday, died in the Hospital on Monday. An Inquest was held upon his body yesterday, and a verdict of Accidental death returned. He was forty-four years old, and leaves a widow (crippled in both hands) and nine children.
Wednesday 7 June 1871, Issue 5477 – Gale Document No. Y3200715270 EXETER – CHARLES GRANT, aged 62, a shoemaker, living in Albany-place, St Thomas, hung himself to a beam in his bed room on Saturday morning. The discovery was made by Mrs Cosway, a daughter of the landlady. Mr Mark Farrant, surgeon, was called in, but life was extinct. the deceased (a single man) had been in a desponding state for some days. The Inquest upon the body resulted in a verdict to the effect that the deceased destroyed himself while in a state of Temporary Insanity.
Wednesday 14 June 1871, Issue 5478 – Gale Document No. Y3200715310 SOWTON – Suspicious Death Of An Infant. - Mr Coroner Cox held an Inquest at the Duke of York Inn, Clist Honiton, on Thursday, upon the body of the male infant of MRS ELIZABETH FLAY, of Sowton. MRS FLAY is a widow, carrying on a dairy, and is the mother of eight children by her late husband, who has been dead about twelve months. Rumours were rife at Sowton that MRS FLAY had not conducted herself prudently, and the statement reached the ears of the Rev. Prebendary Sanders, who visited MRS FLAY and spoke to her of the rumour. The widow stoutly denied the imputation, and offered to undergo medical examination; but at the very moment of her indignant denial the evidence of her unchastity was lying dead in her bed room. This fact came out at the Inquest, whereat Mrs Sarah Harris, a midwife, stated that she was sent for by MRS FLAY, and on her reaching the house she found that MRS FLAY had just given birth to a child – a fine healthy boy. MRS FLAY then told Mrs Harris that no one in the place knew of her condition. She had twice denied it to Mr Sanders, the clergyman, and would not have it known for the world, for "master would be turned out of his farm and I should lose my dairy." She added that her mother and sister, who lived at Cullompton, would take the baby. The day after its birth the child was found dead in bed by the side of its mother, who stated that she took some brandy and went to sleep, and when she awoke the child was dead. On being charged with murdering the infant the mother said, "I did not kill it – I only gave it some brandy. I should not think that hurted it." Medical evidence was given to the effect that the child had died from suffocation; and the Jury returned a verdict accordingly, adding that there was not sufficient testimony to prove to them how the suffocation was caused. – [ MRS FLAY was on Monday committed for trial by the Magistrates at Woodbury for concealing the birth of her child.]
Wednesday 28 June 1871, Issue 5480 – Gale Document No. Y3200715371 EXETER – HENRY BROOKS, aged forty-nine, cab-driver, died suddenly in the harness-room of the New London Inn, on Sunday afternoon. At the Inquest which was held on the body yesterday at the Odd Fellows' Arms Inn, Mr Shirley Perkins stated that heart disease was the cause of death. the Jury returned a verdict accordingly.
Wednesday 28 June 1871, Issue 5480 – Gale Document No. Y3200715358 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Fireman's Arms Inn on Saturday upon the body of JOHN SERJEANT, aged 36. On the preceding day the deceased, who has been in a delicate state of health for some time, left his house to go to the Dispensary, but he became so ill as to necessitate his being conveyed to his house in a cab. He complained of pain in the left side, and died in his wife's arms not long afterwards. Dr Drake considered that the deceased died from heart disease. Verdict accordingly.
Wednesday 5 July 1871, Issue 5481 – Gale Document No. Y3200715402 KINGSBRIDGE - Sleep Walking. - Early on Thursday morning the body of MRS H. BALKWILL was discovered by a coastguardsman lying in a gully at Thurlestone Sands, about a mile and a quarter from her home at South Huish. It appeared from her wet garments that she had been in the water, but when found the receding tide had left the body on the sands. The only clothing on the deceased was a nightdress, a dressing jacket, stockings, and boots, the latter were unlaced. MR and MRS BALKWILL went to bed about ten o'clock on Wednesday night, and at four o'clock the next morning the husband woke and perceived that his wife was absent from the room. He went down stairs and found the front door open, and shortly afterwards the sorrowful intelligence was conveyed to him that the body of his wife had been found lifeless. The supposition respecting the melancholy affair most current in the neighbourhood is that the deceased accidentally fell into the water whilst walking in her sleep during a fit of somnambulism. The only alternative would seem to be suicide; but nothing whatever is known to induce to the belief that such a solution of the mystery is probably. On the contrary, MR and MRS BALKWILL had only been married on the 2nd of June and had lived most happily together during their brief wedded life. The supposition that somnambulism led to the sad result gathers strength from the fact that it had been arranged that a pic-nic should be held on Thurlestone Sands on Thursday, and that MR and MRS BALKWILL should be of the party. The last words the deceased addressed to her servant on Wednesday night had reference to the excursion, and it is presumed that with the thought of the pic-nic uppermost in her mind she fell asleep, dreamt of it, and impressed by her dream got out of bed, walked to the sands, fell into the water, and was drowned. – [Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest upon the body of MRS BALKWILL on Friday, when George Brown, boatman in the Coastguard stationed at Hope Cove, stated that on his rounds on Wednesday night he had to pass Thurlestone Sands. He passed at one o'clock in the morning, and saw nothing particular; but on passing again at twenty minutes to three o'clock, when it was just getting light, he saw something white lying in the wash of the sea and moved by the motion of the waves. He went towards it and discovered it to be the dead body of a female lying on her face and hands. It was then about high tide. He took the body a short distance up on the sands, to prevent the waves taking it away. Knew MRS BALKWILL, but did not then recognise her features. She had on a nightdress, a knitted cap on her head, and a flannel jacket, boots unlaced, and stockings. Getting assistance from a man who lived at a limekiln near by, they unhung a door at the kiln, laid the body on it, and placed it in a cellar, the door of which he locked, and took the key in his pocket. He went to Hope Cove and informed his officer of the occurrence. On returning to the cellar where the body was he met a man, who told him MRS BALKWILL was missing. He then recollected that the features of the corpse resembled MRS BALKWILL. Saw no trace of footmarks on the sand leading him to suppose that a struggle took place. MR HENRY BALKWILL, husband of the deceased, stated that he was married to the deceased on June 1st. They went away together after marriage, and returned to that house (South Huish) on the 23rd. He never had a quarrel with his wife. They lived happily together. She appeared to be in good health lately, and on Wednesday night was apparently quite well. They went to bed at ten minutes past ten, and she was then very cheerful. They talked about a quarter of an hour after they were in bed. He went to sleep before his wife. Awoke next morning at half-past five o'clock and found his wife was not in the room. He took no notice of it, thinking that as they were to have company that day she had got up early to make preparations. She was very nervous about this party for several days previous, and appeared to be afraid that it would not pass off all right. He dressed leisurely and hearing some one in the stairs, who he thought was his wife, spoke, and was replied to by the servant. He asked her where her mistress was, and she replied that she did not know. He then went down stairs, looked in all the rooms, garden, outhouses, and all the premises, but could not find her. The front door he found unlocked and unbarred; the night previous he had locked and barred it. Had never known his wife to walk in her sleep. She had never by word or deed given him the least idea that she meditated self-destruction. - Thirza Skedgell, the servant of MR BALKWILL, said she had lived with MR and MRS BALKWILL sine their return after marriage. during the past week her mistress appeared quite happy, and on Wednesday night MRS BALKWILL told her she expected company, and wanted the work done early. Witness got up the next morning at six o'clock, and went about her work. She heard no noise during the night, but shortly after she came down her master called, and asked if her mistress was down. She looked in the parlour and kitchen, and told her master that she was not down. The front door was closed, but unlocked and unbarred. Had known deceased for the last six years, but had never heard that she walked in her sleep. - MR THOMAS ADAMS of Hope Barton, brother of the deceased, stated that she was extremely nervous. Five years ago, when she lived with him, she was very much frightened by a man knocking at the door at night. From this fright she never recovered. She had told him that she had passed sleepless nights; that was two or three years ago. saw his sister the day before this sad occurrence; she then appeared quite happy. Had never known her walk in her sleep. The Jury, after a short deliberation, returned as their verdict "That the deceased was found drowned on Thurlestone Sands, but how, or by what means, there was no evidence to show." It should be mentioned that there was nothing of a pecuniary nature to trouble the deceased lady's mind, as she had not only a comfortable competence settled upon her but her husband was also a well-to-do farmer.
Wednesday 12 July 1871, Issue 5482 – Gale Document No. Y3200715427 PARKHAM – Supposed Murder. - Mr Deputy Coroner Toller held an Inquest at the New Inn, Parkham, on Saturday, upon the body of ANTHONY CLEMENTS, a labourer, eighty-two years of age. The deceased lived in a cottage by himself, since the death of his wife, who died some twelvemonth since. A labourer and his wife lived in an adjoining cottage. The cottages, which were at least half a mile distant from any other dwelling house, were held under a lease by the deceased; who, although in the receipt of 2s. a week poor relief, possessed, it was thought, a great deal of money. For some time past the old man has expected to come into possession of a considerable fortune, and he has been to London once or twice, it is said, with a view to obtain it, in company with a known fortune-teller of Bideford. Nothing, however, resulted from it. Deceased was last seen alive by his neighbour, Mary Short, on Wednesday, the 28th of June. She stated that the old man was accustomed to come into her house to have most of his meals, and on that day he came in and said he was going to Hartland to see some one who owed him some money, and asked her to change a sovereign, which she could not do. He next asked her to change half a sovereign, and as she could not comply with his request he borrowed 2s. from her. About two o'clock in the afternoon, Mrs Short went into the garden behind the cottages, where he had gone to pick some gooseberries, to give him a shilling, a part of his relief, which had been brought, as she says that there she saw a strange woman who had on a sealskin jacket. She was "biggish," but her back was towards her, and consequently she did not see her face. A quarter of an hour afterwards the deceased brought in the key of the garden gate to Mrs Short, and asked her to take care of his donkey, as he thought of going to Hartland by the carrier. He went out, and she heard him in his own house "lock upstairs and down," but did not hear a second person, nor did she see him leave for Hartland, where it is known he did not go; neither did she see anything of the woman she saw in the garden. Shortly after midnight on Thursday she was awoke, she said, by a smash as if earthenware was broken in deceased's bedroom, and she then heard a groan. She heard no scuffle or voices. She awoke her husband, and told him; but he replied it might be some one outside. From that day up to last Friday Mrs Short does not appear to have said anything about the noise or the groan, although she felt distressed at deceased's long absence, as he had never been away from home before during her residence in the house. On Friday morning she told a man named Samuel Lewis, who was passing, that she was distressed at deceased's disappearance, and induced him to look into the bed room window, which he did by means of a gate, and there he thought he saw the old man on the bed. Further assistance was obtained, and access was obtained through the window. A man named Pearson and deceased's eldest son were the first to enter, and a ghastly sight was presented to them. On a bed (there were two in the room), close to the thin partition separating the room from that in which the Short's slept, the old man lay on his right side, with his head, which appeared to be a mass of coagulated blood, hanging over. The fragments of an earthen ware article, which had been smashed, were lying by the bedside. the face was quite black, and decomposition had set in. He had on a pair of fustian trousers, stockings, waistcoat, and neckerchief. The forehead and left temple were greatly bruised. Above the left ear were marks of violent blows. The skull was broken in four different places. the blows had apparently been inflicted with a circular instrument, such as a hammer. The bones of the skull were beaten in, and a fracture extended from the middle of the forehead to the crown of the head. The blows appeared to have been struck while the old man was in a sitting position, and their force was so great that the blood had spurted out and splashed the ceiling and the partition as if ejected from a syringe. The room was undisturbed, but no money was found, with the exception of three pence, which deceased had in one of his pockets. There were a few red gooseberries in the bed, as if placed there by accident or design. There was no blood about the bed room, nor on the fragments of earthenware. The key of the front door was searched for, but could not be found, though the door was locked and not bolted. On the upper stair there were large spots of blood, which appeared to have been accidentally wiped by the sweeping of a dress, and on the side of the wall close by the top stair was a large spot of coagulated blood, as if it had been shaken from something. The motive of the crime appears to have been to obtain the little money the murdered man was supposed to possess. Edward Pearce, miller, Parkham, who was one of the first to enter the room on ~Friday, said the bed clothes were partially thrown over deceased. There was no blood on the clothes, which looked as if they had been thrown over the old man after he had been killed. Deceased's arms were folded. SAMUEL CLEMENTS, son of the deceased, stated that he met a man named Joliffe, who said Mary Short was in distress to think that deceased had not returned from Hartland, where witness understood he went the Wednesday fortnight previous. He went to his father's cottage, and Mrs Short said she was afraid his father was dead. Witness went up to the window and saw deceased, and said so. Mary Short exclaimed, "Don't say so, don't say so; if you do I shall die." By the Jury: He was accustomed to sleep the side on which he was found dead. He was not in the habit of taking out the key of the door, but used to bolt the door. Dr Ackland, of Bideford, who examined the body, said he found the deceased lying in a mass of coagulated blood extending as far as his waist. The forehead, left temple, and the upper half f his face, were greatly swollen, and bruised of a bluish black colour. On dividing the scalp and dissecting the parts down to the skull a large quantity of dark blood was found, occupying the whole half of the head. Above the left ear there were marks of violent blows, which had broken the skull in four places; the bones having been beaten in. From the fractures a fissure or crack extended as far as the middle of the forehead, and another in an upper direction to the crown of the head. These injuries had evidently been the cause of death. In reply to the Jury he stated that there could be no doubt that the deceased was murdered, and said the blood on the stairs had been wiped with a cloth, or swept by a dress or something of the kind. The Inquest was adjourned until Saturday. there are strongly suspicious circumstances connected with the case. It may be mentioned that the poor old man was in the habit of barring the door and of taking the key upstairs with him, but when the house was entered the door was not barred and the key could not be found.
Wednesday 12 July 1871, Issue 5482 – Gale Document No. Y3200715420 EXETER – MRS ROUTLEY, who lives on Stepcote-hill, in this city, visited a neighbour on the 26th of June and took her infant with her. Whilst at tea with the child upon her lap the infant upset a cup of hot tea over its head and shoulders. The child was then taken to the Hospital, where it died on Thursday from the injuries. An Inquest was held upon the body the next day at the Valiant Soldier Inn, and a verdict in accordance with the foregoing particulars was returned.
The body of THOMAS SMALL, a stoker at the Gas works, was found in the Exeter Canal on Saturday. The poor fellow was last seen on the 1st of July, when he was very unwell. An Inquest was held yesterday at the Welcome Inn, Haven Banks, but there was no evidence to show how the deceased came into the water, and the Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned." SMALL was thirty-four years old, and he leaves a widow, who gave birth to a child on Wednesday.
Wednesday 19 July 1871, Issue 5483 – Gale Document No. Y3200715455 EXMINSTER – Exminster has been the scene of a fatal gun disaster. Mr Dickson, master of the Devon and Exeter Boys' Industrial School at Exminster, occupied himself on Saturday evening with shooting small birds in the garden. His presence was required in the house, and he deposited the loaded gun in the lobby, intending to place it in the rack in his study when he had done what was required from him in the house. The business occupied him some time, and the gun remained in the lobby till Sunday morning, when the neglect of not removing it occurred to Mr Dickson, who then sent a boy (named Ash) for it and to take it to the study. Presently the report of a gun was heard, and the next moment Ash rushed into the presence of the master – terribly frightened, and he exclaimed "ANN – the gun – the steps." The servant (ANGELINA WARE) was then discovered upon the steps leading to the main entrance of the institution. Blood was streaming from her face, and the poor girl was apparently dying. The contents of the gun had entered the head just over the left eye, and a portion of the skull was blown away. All that medical skill could do was done, but the unfortunate young woman died before noon. She was a native of Exminster, but her parents now live at Uffculme. An Inquest was held on Monday afternoon at the School. Mr Dixon was the first witness. He stated that on the previous Saturday evening he was in the garden shooting small birds, when he was called into the Institution to see a gentleman. He placed the loaded gun just inside the hall door, and afterwards forgot to put it in its proper place. On the following morning, when in his office, he noticed the gun was not in its place, and remembering that he had left it in the hall, he sent Ash to fetch it. A minute later he heard the report of a gun, and Ash came rushing into the office, in a very excited manner, exclaiming "ANN, the gun, the steps." On going into the hall he saw ANGELINA WARE lying on the steps leading into the garden, weltering in her blood. He immediately went for Dr Kingdon. He had known the boy during the fifteen months he had been master of the Institution, and had always found him intelligent and trustworthy. He was employed to assist in the kitchen. He had heard that deceased and the boy Ash quarrelled occasionally, but they were only petty quarrels and were made up again in a few minutes. Charles Clapp, fourteen years of age, an inmate of the Institution, stated that on Sunday morning he was going into the lawn in front of the house, between ten and eleven o'clock, and was passing where he could see the glass door of the hall, when he heard the report of a gun, and looking towards the door saw the muzzle of the gun, which was protruding through one side of the partly open door, drawn back, and at the same time saw the servant, who was kneeling on the steps, drop her had. He ran towards the door, and simultaneously Mr and Mrs Dixon ran out. He could not see how the gun was let off. Hannah Sellick, fourteen, a nurse girl, said she had heard and seen the deceased and the boy Ash quarrel many times, and then almost immediately after they would be good friends again. She did not believe that Ash had any ill-will towards the deceased. Mr William Dashwood Kingdon, M.D., said that he went to the Institution on Sunday morning and found the deceased lying on the steps. She was not dead; he had her taken upstairs to bed immediately, and on examining her he found a large wound just above the right ear. He saw that the deceased could not live long. The brain was laid bare. She died about two hours after. George Henry Ash, fifteen, who looked very pale and ill, said that on Sunday morning he went to fetch a gun in the hall by Mr Dixon's orders. He took up the gun, which was standing in the corner near the door. While passing the door he lifted the hammer to see if there was a cap on the nipple, when he heard someone on the steps outside the hall door speaking to him. On looking to see who it was, he let the hammer slip through his fingers, causing the gun to go off. He then saw ANN put her hand to her head. He ran directly to Mr Dixon. The Coroner said it seemed to him that the poor girl met with her death in a purely accidental manner, but he considered the conduct of Mr Dixon, in leaving the loaded gun in the lobby, and then sending a boy to fetch it, instead of going himself, was very reprehensible. the Jury retired for a short time, and on re-entering the room returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
THE MURDER AT PARKHAM. The police have collected additional particulars concerning the murder of ANTHONY CLEMENTS. On Saturday morning they discovered in a field not twenty paces from the cottage of the murdered man a common mason's hammer about four or five pounds in weight, on which were a few grey hairs and what appeared to be spots of human blood. It appears to have been placed in the hedge in which Mary Short was accustomed to hang her clothes, and was sworn to by a son of deceased as the property of his father. The adjourned Inquest upon the body of ANTHONY CLEMENTS was held on Saturday at Herns Cross before Mr Deputy Coroner Toller, who said he considered it somewhat singular that when Mary Short, the neighbour of deceased, saw the murdered man in company with a woman in the garden she did not, with a woman's curiosity, ascertain who that woman was. referring to her statement, that on Thursday night, the 29th of June, between the hours of twelve and one, she heard the crash of earthenware and a groan, and drew her husband's attention to the circumstance, he remarking that it might be some one in the road, he (the coroner) asked whether it was probable that any one would have been in the road at that time of night. Mary Short said she heard nothing more than the crash and the groan, but they would have thought that with her hearing quickened she would have heard the stealthy steps of the murderer, the rustling f the dress, supposing it was a woman, and the unlocking and locking of the door, but still she heard nothing. The unfortunate man went, she imagined, to Hartland, but she made no inquiry as to his prolonged absence. The woman in custody, Izet Williams, was present at the Inquiry, and appeared very calm and collected. On the evidence of Mary Short being read the prisoner asked her questions as to her knowledge of her, and the replies of Short went to show that they were intimately acquainted. The last question was, "You know me well?" Short: "I should not know you if your back was towards me." Mrs Short was previously cautioned by Superintendent Rousham, who had charge of the case. LUCY CLEMENTS, about fifteen years of age, deceased's granddaughter, gave evidence to the effect that on the 28th of June, between eleven and twelve o'clock she was passing the cottages occupied by her grandfather and Mrs Short. She looked into the house of the latter, and saw tea things on the table. Did not see any one in the cottage besides Mary Short. I went on a little further and saw a woman come out of grandfather's garden door. She went into grandfather's kitchen. She had on black hat made of straw and trimmed with black velvet, a dark jacket with wide buttons in front, and a grey linsey dress. I did not speak to her, nor she to me. When she saw me she turned her head towards the wall. Grandfather was with her. He came from the garden. He went into his own kitchen after the woman. Don't know if he shut the door. I went on. I looked back and saw Mary Short come out of her cottage and look after me. I arrived home about twelve o'clock. I saw mother, and said to her, "Who do you think I saw with grandfather?" She replied, "I don't know, my dear." I said, "I think 'tis Mrs Williams." Mother replied, "How do you know that, my dear?" I said, "It is the same woman I took into Bideford last summer in grandfather's donkey-cart." Witness was requested to look around the room to ascertain if she knew the woman. "I think it is that woman, sir," she said, pointing to Mrs Williams. Superintendent Rousham: Look well, witness. Witness: Yes sir; that is the woman I saw with grandfather. I have no doubt about it. Cross-examined by Williams: I was not far from the woman, not the length of the table. I saw the woman's face before she turned it to the wall. Question: Was it me? Answer: Yes; it was you. Question. Could Mrs Short see if any one was in ANTHONY CLEMENTS' cottage? Answer: Yes, if the door was open. I did not see very much of the woman's face. She looked at me first, and when I looked at her she turned away. I saw all her face. ANN CLEMENTS, mother of the last witness, gave evidence corroborative of that of her daughter's, so far as the conversation between them is concerned. In continuation she stated that shortly after the death of deceased's wife her (witness's) daughter conveyed the prisoner to Bideford in deceased's donkey-cart. She heard the murdered man then say to her daughter, "Lucy, if any one asks you who it is, say it is Mrs Luxton." Robert Heal, of Parkham, carpenter, said on the 28th of April last he was passing ANTHONY CLEMENTS'S cottage, and was called in by him. The deceased said, "Well, Robert, I have wanted to see you for some time. I was minded to have something done about giving away my things. I was thinking I would have a "deed of gift" made. My children have served me very bad, and what I have got left I shall give to other folks. there is my old friend in Bideford, and my neighbours." He did not mention names. Deceased asked him when he could come in and do it for him, and witness replied that he could not tell him when. they parted, and witness did not call upon him again. He did not know Mrs Williams. Robert Barrow, brewer, Bideford, saw prisoner in Bideford about the 28th or 29th of June last. She was dressed with a light hat, and, he though, the dress she was then wearing. Bartholomew Parkhouse, of Bideford, labourer, on the 28th or 29th of June saw the prisoner on Bideford Quay. She had on a white hat and seal skin jacket. Thomas Lee, of Goldworthy, farmer, stated that that morning, at the request of the police, he went to cut a hedge belonging to his farm, and about eighteen or twenty paces from the house of the murdered man, at the end of Mary Short's cottage, was the gate. The hedge was high from the road, and low from the inside of the field. Mary Short came into the field; she had some towels on the hedge drying. She said, "I will pick this in out of your way," and "You will spoil all my hanging of clothes here." After cutting two or three feet he found a hammer. It was an ordinary mason's wall hammer. There was a mark by the side of the hedge. The hammer could not have been placed in the hedge from the road. JOHN CLEMENTS, labourer, Parkham, son of the deceased, identified the hammer as having belonged to his father. William Hurson, detective officer of the county police force, found spots, apparently of blood, on the handle of the hammer, and what appeared to be some grey hair. There were also spots on the hammer itself. Dr Ackland, of Bideford, had made an examination of the hammer. On the top were a number of hairs, some white, and others whitish brown. On the side of the hammer were two spots, which appeared to be blood. On the middle of the handle were three or four stains similar to those produced by blood. The injuries which caused the death of ANTHONY CLEMENTS might have been inflicted by the weapon produced. He believed the stains to be blood, but they should be subjected to a further test. He examined one of the hairs under microscope of high power, and it had every appearance of being human hair. Superintendent Rousham said he had several more witnesses to call, and in a few days he hoped something decisive would turn up. He therefore asked for an adjournment, which was granted.
Wednesday 19 July 1871, Issue 5483 – Gale Document No. Y3200715445 The REV. JOHN DAYMAN, aged sixty-nine, a clergyman, living in North Devon, and the brother of MR DAYMAN, the magistrate, was found on arriving at the Tavistock Hotel, Coven-garden, in a cab to be in a dying state. He was at once driven to the Charing-cross hospital, but he died before reaching that institution. It was stated at the inquest that heart disease was the cause of death and the Jury returned a verdict to that effect.
EXETER – MISS FANNY SOLOMON, daughter of MR MYERS SOLOMON, optician, of this city, died early on Sunday morning from injuries she received on the previous Thursday afternoon. Mr Havill, butcher, of Goldsmith-street, was then having the front of his house painted. One of the painters (|Merrifield) was at work on the top of the ladder, and another man was at the foot of it. One of Mr Wall's wagons, driven by Charles Discombe, came up Waterbeer-street and the driver wanted to pass out to High-street. Consequently the foot of the ladder was placed back against the opposite house, and Merrifield got off the ladder on to the top of Mr Havill's house and then held the ladder out at arm's length to enable the waggon to pass under; but unfortunately the vehicle (which had to come round the corner of the street) came into contact with the ladder and pushed it down. MISS SOLOMON saw the ladder falling, and eagerly endeavoured to escape, but the end of the ladder pitched upon her head and she was knocked down – apparently lifeless; but she was speedily taken up by Mr J. H. Rattenbury, eating-house keeper, who carried her into his house and bathed her face and hands with cold water. Presently medical aid came, and MISS SOLOMON was removed to her father's house, under the care of Mr Harris, surgeon, who found that her left arm was broken. On Friday afternoon symptoms of concussion of the brain began to shew themselves; and Mr Harris then deemed it advisable to consult Dr Shapter. Under the treatment of the medical gentlemen their patient progressed hopefully, but on Saturday a relapse followed and death terminated the unfortunate young girl's sufferings at four o'clock on Sunday morning. She was eleven years old, and her remains were interred on Monday evening. Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest upon her body at the Royal Clarence Hotel Assembly Room on Monday, when the Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." The Coroner thought the attention of the Local Board should be called to the narrowness of Goldsmith-street, where there was considerable traffic, with a view to prevent a similar deplorable occurrence.
Wednesday 26 July 1871, Issue 5484 – Gale Document No. Y3200715468 CREDITON – Mr Coroner Cross held an Inquest on Friday at the Railway Hotel upon the body of THOMAS GREENSLADE, aged two years and five months. The parents of the child live at Fordton Mills. It was thought that on the preceding Wednesday the deceased saw some apples floating down the mill-leat, and in his endeavour to reach them fell into the water and was drowned. Verdict – "Found Drowned."
Wednesday 2 August 1871, Issue 5485 – Gale Document No. Y3200715514 HOLCOMBE BURNELL – MR JORDAN, of Holcombe Burnell, had a daughter, living with her aunt (MRS JORDAN) of West Teignmouth. On Friday MISS JORDAN, who is about thirty years of age, was taken suddenly ill; and Mr Wortman, surgeon, who was called in to see her, considered that his patient was suffering from a shock to the system, having had a tooth drawn the previous day. He gave her some medicine, she was put to bed, and she then appeared to be seized with a fit of an epileptic character. She somewhat recovered, however, and slept till midnight, when she became much worse, and appeared to be sinking fast. Mr Wortman was again sent for, but when he arrived a few minutes afterwards she had expired. Mr Wortman thought she died from the effects of an epileptic fit. An Inquest was held on Saturday night; but the Jury having some doubts as to the real cause of death, adjourned the Enquiry in order that a post mortem examination might be made on the body.
Wednesday 2 August 1871, Issue 5485 – Gale Document No. Y3200715503 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Saturday at the City Workhouse upon the body of ANN GALE, twenty-eight years old, who died in the Workhouse Hospital on the preceding Thursday. The deceased has lived a questionable life; was addicted to drink; and at the recent revel at Ide she is said to have got very tipsy, and it is alleged that a man there pushed her into a brook, whereby her forehead was cut. She did not return to her lodgings in Smythen-street till nine o'clock in the morning, after she had gone to Ide on the preceding night. She became an out-patient at the Hospital; but subsequently she attempted to cut her throat, and she was removed to the Workhouse. Mr Woodman, surgeon, stated that he had made a post mortem examination of the body of the deceased, and his opinion was that she died from inflammation of the brain, accelerated by drink. He was in doubt whether her death was hastened by the bruise over her eye. Verdict in accordance with medical testimony.
Wednesday 9 August 1871, Issue 5486 – Gale Document No. Y3200715540 PARKHAM – The Mysterious Murder. Izet Williams and Mary Short, the women suspected to have been concerned in the murder of ANTHONY CLEMENTS, at Parkham, on or about the 20th of June last, have been discharged from custody. The evidence against them, though somewhat suspicious (especially against Short), was not of that positive and certain character to justify their committal for trial;, and the Magistrates at Bideford on Thursday directed the perpetrator of this heinous crime, but the murderer or murderess left no certain trace for them to discover the offender. One of our contemporaries finds fault with our county constabulary for not being able to discover the murderer, and suggests whether it would not be advisable to procure the services of the more experienced metropolitan police. The London police are no doubt great adepts in their calling; but with all their powers of sifting out the truth, and of their subtlety in putting this and that together, the infamous murder of Jane Maria Clusen at Eltham still remains at large, and other crimes in the metropolis and elsewhere have entirely baffled the police in ascertaining the perpetrators. The greater the crime the more care generally is taken by the offenders to prevent discovery, and this has evidently been the case in the murder of the poor old man at Parkham. Suspicion in this instance has pointed to others besides Williams and Short; but when the facts were ascertained the mistrust melted away. Nothing positively proving the guilt of the murder of ANTHONY CLEMENTS has been ascertained; but to this circumstance must be attributed the cunning of the perpetrator rather than the inability of the police to discover the actual offender. there is the assurance that "murder will out," and there is still hope that justice will overtake the sanguinary hand that destroyed the life of ANTHONY CLEMENTS. The adjourned Inquest upon his body was held on Saturday, when the Jury returned a verdict of "Wilful Murder against some person or persons unknown."
Wednesday 9 August 1871, Issue 5486 – Gale Document No. Y3200715529 EXETER – several men have drowned themselves in the Exeter Canal within the past few months; and on Saturday morning another body – that of JOHN DREWE – was found in the water at Double Locks. He was nearly fifty years of age, and had been missing for several days. It is said that the unfortunate man was addicted to strong drink. An Inquest was held upon his remains on Monday at the Double Locks Inn. "Found Drowned" was the verdict.
GEORGE BELWORTHY, whose parents reside in Smythen-street, in this city, was with other boys at lay on Sunday afternoon on the Haven Banks (opposite Mr Gabriel's timber-yard), where there are several logs of timber. the boys were playing with the timbers, and one of the logs fell on the head of BELWORTHY, instantly crushing the life out of the poor little fellow, who was about eleven years old. An Inquest was held on Monday at the Plymouth Inn, St. Thomas, upon the remains, and the verdict was "Accidental Death." The little fellow got on a pole which rolled over with him and struck him on the head. Another boy (Samuel Greenham) saw the pole rolling, and he tried to stop it; but had to jump into the river to save himself from injury.
Wednesday 23 August 1871, Issue 5488 – Gale Document No. Y3200715566 SHALDON – MR DAVID SMITH, of Brixton, London, with his family, has been recently residing in lodgings at Miss Hallahan's, at Shadon. On Friday afternoon MR and MRS SMITH and their little boy walked around the Ness, and MR SMITH went into the water, whilst his wife and child remained on the rocks. The sea was running so rapidly as to be dangerous for any but the strongest and most experienced swimmer, and whilst MRS SMITH was looking on she saw her husband carried swiftly out to sea. He soon sank. MRS SMITH'S cries for assistance brought some fishermen to the spot, but no trace of the unfortunate gentleman could be seen. After two hours' search the body was found and conveyed to the Crown and Anchor, where Mr Grubb, surgeon, was awaiting it. He at once pronounced life to be extinct. The deceased was thirty-six years of age, and besides his wife and the little boy referred to, who would have bathed with his father if he had not hurt one of his feet, he leaves a daughter. Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest upon the body on Saturday, when a verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.
EXMOUTH – Death by Misadventure. – One of the most melancholy instances of the recklessness of handling firearms occurred at Exmouth on Wednesday night at the house of MR GEORGE MAYNARD, watchmaker, and the fact is more surprising because of the fatal gun disaster recently at Exminster, as well as the constant accounts of "gun accidents" in the newspapers. Caution, however, seems not to be heeded; and until the Legislature make it penal to point firearms towards persons, or make it punishable to keep loaded guns or pistols in any place (with certain exceptions), Coroners' Juries will have to sit upon the remains of individuals sent to a premature grave at the instance even – as it was at Exmouth – of a most intimate friend. The melancholy case in point is this: MR WALTER ROBERT SHRIMPTON, whom not to know argues oneself unknown, was the station agent at the Exmouth Railway Terminus. On Wednesday evening he was at the billiard Room, and there played friendly games in company with MR GOERGE MAYNARD, Mr Wm. Nankivell, draper; and Mr John T. Bickford, chemist. They left the Billiard Room about twelve o'clock, and walked together to the Strand, where Mr Maynard invited them to his house to have a glass of ale. They went into his shop, and presently Mr Maynard proceeded to take the watches and other valuables from the window and put them into a box, preparatory to removing them to his bed room. Seeing him with the watches, MR SHRIMPTON, with characteristic mirthfulness, said to his two other companions, "Let's garrotte him – it's a golden opportunity." Apparently enjoying the fun, Mr Maynard nimbly passed into an inner room and came back with a revolver. Holding it out he said "This is what settles garrotters." Whereupon Mr Bickford cautiously remarked, "Mind George! It may be loaded." Mr Maynard (forgetful that some three weeks before he and Mr Bickford several times fired the revolver at practice on the beach and then took it back to his house loaded,) confidently said, "O it is not loaded". Mr Maynard then proceeded to show his friends the workmanship of the revolver, and whilst doing so one of the chambers exploded to the consternation of himself and companions. Instantly MR SHRIMPTON exclaimed "O, George! You've shot me!" but this was answered by the assurance from Mr Maynard, "My dear fellow, you're not – you must be mistaken." but, alas! poor SHRIMPTON was not mistaken; and, pointing to his neck, said, "Look here." It was then seen that a ball had entered near the right shoulder. Mr Langley and Mr Turnbull, surgeons were quickly in attendance; and by their direction the unfortunate fellow was removed to his own house at the station. The doctors did all that human sagacity could to save their patient, but the icy hand of Death was upon him, and within two hours of the sad disaster poor SHRIMPTON has passed into eternity. He was much and most deservedly respected. He leaves a widow but no children; and MRS SHRIMPTON was away for the benefit of her health at the time of her husband's melancholy demise. An Inquest was held at the London Hotel on Thursday, and the evidence led conclusively to the fact that death was accidental. It transpired at the Inquest that the six-barrel revolver was loaded in five chambers at the moment Mr Maynard believed the pistol to be unloaded. Mr Maynard was examined at the Inquest, and he unreservedly stated everything connected with the sad event. He was deeply affected, and much commiseration has been expressed for his painful mishap. It is only fair towards him to state that the deceased more than once exonerated Mr Maynard from blame. Finding himself wounded MR SHRIMPTON said to him, "George, I forgive you – it was a pure accident." and thus much he likewise told the medical gentlemen. The funeral of the deceased took place on Saturday afternoon, and rarely has Exmouth presented a more mournful aspect. Every shop in the town was closed, or partially so; and business seemed to have succumbed to gloom and melancholy. The sadness depicted on each countenance, the almost death-like silence which reigned in the streets, and the very large concourse of friends who attended the body to its last resting place testified in much plainer language than words to the esteem, respect, and love in which MR SHRIMPTON was held. He was Worshipful Master of the Sun Lodge of Freemasons at Exmouth, and the brethren of the town, together with others from Exeter and elsewhere, were present in large numbers. The whole of the Freemasons assembled at the Beacon Hotel, and thence marched in procession to the house adjoining the railway station, the residence of the deceased. Here they were met by a number of gentlemen of Exmouth and vicinity. Shortly after three o'clock the mournful procession started for St. John's-in-the-Wilderness, distant about two miles and a half. The occupants of the carriage which followed the hearse were Mr E. Legge, brother-in-law to the deceased, and Mr George Maynard. The pall bearers were Messrs. Godbeer, Haynes, Attwater, Eldy, Stanmore and Western. The burial service was read in an impressive manner by the Rev. F. Atkinson, curate of Withycombe; and after the body had been deposited in its last resting place and the chief mourners had retired the Freemasons advanced and cast sprigs of Acacia into the grave. The coffin, which was of elm, covered with black cloth, bore a plate with the following inscription:- "WALTER ROBERT SHRIMPTON, died August 16th, 1871. Aged 34."
Wednesday 30 August 1871, Issue 5489 – Gale Document No. Y3200715583 EXETER – The eldest daughter of MRS W. H. DANIEL, of 13 High Street, in this city, died early on Saturday from injuries she received two days previously. The little girl, who was nearly twelve years of age, got up on Thursday morning to light the fire. It is presumed that in striking a Lucifer match the ignited portion fell upon her apron and caught it on fire; and whilst in the act of striking another match the poor child found herself enveloped in flames. Her chest, arms, neck and face were fearfully burnt. Medical treatment was unavailing. The cries of the unfortunate girl soon brought her mother and aunt; and in extinguishing the flames MRS DANIEL burnt herself severely. An Inquest was held upon the remains of the little girl at the Three Tuns Inn on Saturday, when a verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.
MR JAMES NICHOLS, who resided at No. 1, Richmond-terrace, St. David, in this city, came to an untimely end on Thursday. He was in the habit of walking on the Mount Dinham Grounds, and was there on Thursday morning. He seems to have left the path, which is ten feet from the edge of the cliff, and whilst at the brink a boy in the road below saw him with his hand at his forehead, as if shading his eyes from the sun. He had an umbrella in his other hand. Presently the boy saw MR NICHOLS falling down the cliff. The unfortunate gentleman pitched upon his head, and was dead in a few minutes. An Inquest was held upon his body on Friday morning at the Paper Makers' Arms Inn, and the Jury returned a verdict to the effect that the shocking occurrence was purely accidental.
Wednesday 6 September 1871, Issue 5490 – Gale Document No. Y3200715654 DARTMOUTH – The Suicide of a Young Woman at Plymouth. - ELLEN HAWKE, daughter of EDWARD HAWKE, a carter, of South Town, Dartmouth, some weeks since went to reside at Plymouth, where she called herself MRS JARVIS. She took lodgings at 8, Cecil-street, and by-and-bye she became a mother. On Saturday week the child died from diarrhoea. On the following Monday morning MRS JARVIS called up her landlady (Mrs Hannah Ough) into the bed room, and then complained of violent pains in her stomach. Brandy was rubbed upon her forehead and hands and hot cloths applied to her stomach; but she refused to drink any brandy. A medical man was sent for, but the young woman was a corpse. An Inquest was held upon her body, and evidence (embracing the before-0told particulars and the subsequent facts) was detailed. Mrs Mary Eleanor Johns, who attended deceased as midwife, deposed that from a remark made by the girl she concluded that she was not married. Witness took up deceased's breakfast on the morning of her death. It consisted of ea and a slice of toast. Deceased received two letters that morning, and witness noticed that she cried after she had read them. Three letters were read during the proceedings, which were found in the deceased's room. One of them signed "F. M." was evidently written by the girl's lover, and one of the others was from a sister. Elizabeth Tucker, housekeeper, residing at Dartmouth, identified the deceased as ELLEN HAWKE, the daughter of MR EDWARD HAWKE, of South Town, Dartmouth, a carter. She came with her from Dartmouth in consequence of her being enceinte. Witness left her at the house in which she died. She cried very much then, but there was no appearance of insanity about her. A gentleman engaged her to take the deceased to Plymouth. The gentleman was a Mr Brooking, a retired captain of the East India Company, living at Kingswear. He was a married man, but lived separate from his wife. He was between 53 and 54 years of age, the age of the deceased was 20. Mr Stephens, surgeon, gave it as his opinion that the deceased died from taking oxalic acid. Mr Arthur Brooking said he had known the deceased for four or five years, and during that time he had seen nothing in her which would lead him to suspect insanity in her. He sent her to Plymouth with the permission of her father, and at his cost she was supplied with everything she wanted. He had not the remotest idea of her having poison in her possession. Did not communicate to her about poison, and believed she never had poison in her possession. Dr Stephens kindly consented to look after her. He had known the doctor three or four years, but he declined answering whether transactions of a similar nature had taken place between them. He did not believe that the deceased would have knowingly taken poison for he had always believed her to be truthful and upright, and he had always looked upon her with esteem and regard. The Jury returned a verdict to the effect that ELLEN HAWKE died from oxalic acid; but by whom administered there was no evidence in proof.
DEVONPORT – Murder of an Old Man - MR RYDER, of No. 8, George-street, Devonport, was murdered in his bed on Friday. He was formerly superannuated from the Dockyard, Devonport, and for some time since carried on the business of a sailmaker, from which, however, he retired, and lived on his means at the house named. It seems that on the paying off of Her Majesty's Ship Topaz, a few months since, James Taylor, a bandsman belonging to the ship, became acquainted with the deceased, who at that time resided with his niece, who left him a few weeks since to join her husband, the captain of an East Indiaman in London. It is said that Taylor, on being paid off, gave all the money he received to the deceased, and used to apply to him for any money he required. On Thursday night Taylor came to the house, and slept in the same room with the deceased, who was a widower. In the morning both were seen by the neighbours residing in the house, but nothing occurred to excite alarm until about noon, when a faint cry of "murder" was heard, and a noise apparently occasioned by the falling of a heavy weight. While the neighbours were speculating as to what had happened, Taylor came out of the room, and seeing a policeman in the street gave himself into custody, and announced to him that he had killed RYDER. "The man," he said, "with whom I slept last night. I could not help it." he added. "He drove me to do it." It is understood that the cause of the quarrel was this: Taylor had applied to the old gentleman for money, to get some breakfast with, and RYDER, thinking probably he had advanced enough to him, gave him a penny. Some words ensued, and RYDER refusing to increase the sum, Taylor became worked up to a pitch of frenzy, threw the old man down on the bed, and beat his brains out with a box-heater which he had placed in a handkerchief or piece of canvas. Death was almost instantaneous. It is reported that Taylor was seen in the morning sewing up something in a piece of canvas, and from this it is inferred that he contemplated the dreadful deed in the event of the old man refusing to advance him money. Taylor, who was perfectly sober at the time, bears a good character. He is about thirty-seven years of age. An Inquest was held upon the body on Saturday, when Policeman Blacker deposed that just after noon on Friday he was called into George-street, and from a top window of No. 8, the prisoner called to him, "Policeman, I want you to come up here, for I have committed murder. I want you to examine the room before you take me away." The constable at once rushed up the stairs, and was met on the landing by the prisoner, who said "Policeman, I've committed murder; I have murdered that old man there (pointing to the deceased lying on the bed). I've done it with a flat iron; you'll find it in the bed. I intended doing it; I've known the old man for years. I have a reason for doing it, for he brought me to what I am. I've not done it for any robbery; his watch and chain are hanging alongside the mantelpiece. I am prepared to go to the station." Witness saw the old man lying on the bed with his head towards the foot, smothered in blood. He was quite dead. There was blood on the prisoner's hands, and on the peak of his cap. Prisoner, on being taken to the station, and handed over to another constable, said, "Yes, I'm the man, I did it." Returning to the house, witness found, lying by the deceased, and rather under his head, the instrument used in the murder. It was a most formidable weapon. An iron of a box-heater was sewn up in some rough canvas, which also formed a sort of handle about a foot long. The iron end was saturated with blood, and human hair stuck to it. Eliza Rowe, an oldish woman, living in the next room to the deceased, heard him pass in about noon. Ten minutes after she hears a curious scream from the old man, and peeping through the keyhole saw Taylor standing over the bed, apparently keeping something down. She went to the bottom of the house, but no one would venture to interfere. Returning to her room, witness got her daughter to knock at deceased's door. No answer came, and she tried to open it, but could not. The key was outside, and turning it she must have locked the door, for shortly after they heard a knocking from the inside, and witness, going to the door, found it was locked. She opened it, and then prisoner, who was standing in the middle of the room, pointed to the bed and said, "I've killed him, but his watch and things are all safe. It's all right; I've called the police from the window and they are coming up." Mr Bennett, surgeon, deposed that deceased's skull was fractured both on the right and left side. The Jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against James Taylor, who stands over six feet, and is well favoured in looks. He underwent examination before the Magistrates on Monday upon the charge of murder, and was committed for trial at the assizes. He is in the County Gaol.
TORQUAY – Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest on Saturday upon the body of WILLIAM CAINE, aged sixty. On the 24th of June last the deceased, whilst repairing a chimney, fell from the roof of Hendon House. The result of the fall was concussion of the brain. He was removed to the Infirmary, but died on the 31st of August from the softening of the brain. The unfortunate man had neglected to fasten the ladder upon which he was standing at the time of his fall. Verdict – Accidental Death."
Wednesday 13 September 1871, Issue 5491 – Gale Document No. Y3200715683 BARNSTAPLE – The Mariners' Arms Inn, Trinity-street, Barnstaple, was the scene of an intemperate brawl which has resulted fatally. The landlord of the inn was JAMES CHAPPLE, who was nearly seventy years of age. Two brothers named John and Charles Todd were amongst the company drinking in the house. John Todd is the son-in-law of MR CHAPPLE, and he and the landlady disagreed. John was about to strike MRS CHAPPLE when her husband interposed; and a fight ensued. CHAPPLE was knocked down, and then Charles Todd is said to have kicked him severely in a dangerous part of the body. CHAPPLE was at once conveyed to his bed, but no serious results were apprehended till Sunday afternoon, when Mr Cooke, surgeon, was sent for; but before his arrival the unfortunate man died. The two Todds were soon afterwards in custody, and on Monday they were taken before the magistrates on the charge of killing JAMES CHAPPLE. The accused were remanded till Monday next. An Inquest was held upon the body of CHAPPLE on Monday evening by Mr Incledon Bencraft at the Stafford Arms Inn. The Inquiry was adjourned.
Wednesday 13 September 1871, Issue 5491 – Gale Document No. Y3200715674 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Saturday morning at the Poltimore Inn, in this city, upon the body of ISABELLA FLOOD, aged 42, who lived in Poltimore-terrace, ST. Sidwell's. The husband of the deceased stated that his mother-in-law died about three weeks since and from that time his wife had been somewhat unwell. On the preceding Thursday evening she went to bed early; and some two hours after he had been in bed he awoke and found his wife's hand clenched. He lighted a candle, saw there was something wrong, and called a neighbour; but by the time the neighbour came his wife was dead. Mr C. E. S. Perkins, surgeon, believed the cause of death was paralysis of the heart, brought on by fits; and a verdict in accordance was returned.
An Inquest was held on Saturday afternoon at the Artillery Inn, in this city upon the body of ELLEN MARTIN, aged 27, wife of GEORGE MARTIN, a driver in the Royal Horse Artillery, stationed at Topsham Barracks. They lived in Melbourne-street. The unfortunate woman had been very unwell and was under the care of Mr Edye, surgeon. On Thursday evening the deceased went into a yard near her house, having been seized with cough. Blood followed the coughing; and Harriet Chamberlain went to her assistance. MRS MARTIN asked her to remain for she felt she was going to die. Another fit of coughing ensued, and then blood issued from her nose and mouth. Mr Edye was sent for, but he was not at home. Mr Roper, surgeon, happened to be passing up Holloway-street, and he was asked to see the deceased. He found her dead, and believed the cause of death was the rupture of a large blood vessel on the lungs. Verdict accordingly. The husband is left with four children – the eldest is nine years of age, and the youngest fourteen months.
Wednesday 20 September 1871, Issue 5492 – Gale Document No. Y3200715711 IDEFORD – Yesterday morning week Mr Dymond, a farmer of Ideford, was on his way to Widdicombe Fair, when he found EDWARD THORNE, a labourer, lying across the road near Gappa, fearfully bruised and cut about the face and head and insensible from loss of blood. THORNE had only his trousers and shirt on. He was removed to the Newton Workhouse, where he died on Thursday. On Saturday an Inquest was held by Mr Michelmore. It was stated by Cann and Ridler that the deceased went with them to Ideford Fair on Monday night, and subsequently returned part way with them to Chudleigh, where they left him, and they considered he then returned to Ideford. This was between seven and eight o'clock. He had then a basket and walking stick and wore a "slop coat." No information was forthcoming as to whether deceased was seen again till found some miles out of his direct road to Chudleigh by Mr Dymond. Mr Gillard, surgeon, was unable to account for the injuries the deceased had received. The Inquest was adjourned for a week for further enquiries. The deceased, who was about sixty years of age, was a widower, and lodged with a man named Caseley, who resides at Chudleigh.
Mr Deputy Coroner Toller held an Inquest on Saturday at Sherwill upon the body of FREDERICK NORMAN, aged eleven. The father of the deceased lives at Ilfracombe, and on Saturday morning a man in his employ went to Barnstaple with a two-wheel butt for some stone slabs, and the deceased accompanied the man. On returning the boy rode upon the slabs, and on ascending the hill the vehicle tipped back, throwing the lad out and one of the slabs pitched upon him, causing instant death. Verdict "Accidental Death."
TORQUAY – Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest at the Roughwood Hotel, on Thursday evening upon the body of THOMAS JOHN SMITH, who was drowned the previous day whilst bathing at Anstis Cove. The deceased was a clerk in the office of a firm of London solicitors, and came to Torquay for his holiday. The body was identified by his father, the hall porter at the Royal Institution, Albemarle-street, Piccadilly, London. The deceased went into the water at the Whitebeach, close to Anstis Cove, when the water was very rough – one of the witnesses describing the breakers as ten feet high. He swam very well, but suddenly called for help. Thomas, the boatman, stripped, put a rope round his waist, and waded out as far as he could, when he was flung back on the shore by the waves. Thomas and two men launched a boat, and this, too, was dashed ashore and filled with water; again launching the boat they sculled away for the body and found it head under water. It was brought to shore, and under the direction of Dr Bernard, efforts to restore animation were continued for an hour and a half, but without avail. It is believed that the deceased died before being taken into the boat. From the time he cried for help until the body was taken up, twenty minutes elapsed. A verdict of Accidental death was returned, and the Jury stated that they considered Thomas's conduct very praiseworthy.
Wednesday 20 September 1871, Issue 5492 – Gale Document No. Y3200715702 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the City Workhouse on Monday upon the body of ROBERT TOZER, a stonemason, aged sixty-nine. The deceased, who was an imbecile, had just began to eat his dinner on Sunday, when he coughed and fell, and was dead in a few minutes. Mr Woodman, surgeon, gave it as his opinion that death resulted from Natural Causes; and the verdict was in accordance with that view.
Wednesday 27 September 1871, Issue 5493 – Gale Document No. Y3200715736 BARNSTAPLE – ALFRED JURY, a boy, went with his two brothers and a sailor in a boat up the river on Thursday. When the boat reached Bishopstawton three of the persons got out and went to the village to have something to drink. The boy was left in the boat, and in their absence he went into the river and was drowned. On their return from the village they discovered the clothes of the boy in the boat and they immediately searched for the body, believing him to be drowned. Their search was then fruitless; but the search was afterwards renewed by Joseph Stribling with a net and grappling irons, and eventually the body was taken out of the river. The Coroner's Inquest resulted in a verdict of "Accidental Death."
DEVONPORT – Two cases of suicide have occurred at Devonport. MR JAMES R. JACKSON, engineer of the turret-ship Prince Albert, lying in Hamoaze, Devonport, threw himself overboard on Friday evening. His absence was soon discovered, and a boatman found him holding on by a chain attached to the ship. He was immediately taken on board, and he told the surgeon he had taken a spoonful of corrosive sublimate. He was forthwith removed to the Royal Naval Hospital; where he died on Saturday morning. He suffered from yellow fever when on the coast of Africa, and it is supposed that this must have affected his mind, for he had latterly been depressed. He had been married some twelve months.
The other case was that of JAMES FREWIN, private of the 78th (Royal Irish) Regiment, who drowned himself. An Inquest was held upon his body on Saturday. He had been "keeping company" with a young woman named Waycott, of whom he was jealous. She stated that after leaving the public house, where they were drinking on Friday night, the deceased refused to go to the barracks, and they went for a walk through Richmond-walk. There deceased said, "I will do it," and on witness asking him what he meant, he said, "You will see." She said, "Then my dream" (referring to one she had) "is coming true." FREWIN asked her to tell him the dream, and she refused to do so. He said, "Won't you tell me the last dream for the last night?" Afterwards he again said he would not go to barracks any more, and she said he was only saying this to frighten her. He replied that he would do it, and then she made the remark about "making a hole in the water." Deceased got on the wall overlooking Mr Winlo's quay, and said, "the water was looking very smooth, and the moon shining beautifully." She told him that he would break his legs if he went over the wall as there was no water there, and added, "You are not game to do it." He then flung his belt to a comrade named McCaffery, who was with him, jumped off the wall and fell to the quay below. He got into a stooping posture, with one hand on the ground and one on his knee, and having crept to the edge of the quay, threw himself overboard. He was intoxicated, but knew what he was saying. Three weeks since she passed the Stonehouse Pool with deceased; after having had a few angry words with him, when he looked towards the water and said, "If I go in I will take you with me." A day or two after he told her "if he saw her looking at, talking to, or walking with any young man he would murder her and himself too." McCaffery corroborated Waycott's evidence relating to Friday night's proceedings. Captain Thacker, 18th Regiment, proved that deceased was eighteen years and eight months old. He came from St. Pancras, having joined the regiment last January. While in the regiment he bore a very high character indeed. The Jury, after a quarter of an hour's deliberation, returned a verdict of Felo de Se. The body was carried to the cemetery about eleven o'clock on Saturday night, by soldiers of the regiment, and consigned to its last resting place, without ceremony or mourners.
NEWTON ABBOT - Mr Coroner Michelmore on Friday renewed the Inquiry into the death of EDWARD THORNE, who was discovered in a state of insensibility and suffering from wounds in his head in a road at Gappah, near Ideford, on the 11th instant. The poor man died in the Newton Workhouse on the ensuing Thursday. Mrs Walker, wife of a sailor, stated that she and her husband passed the place where the deceased was discovered about half-past one o'clock on the Tuesday morning, but THORNE was not then there. William Shapter, the young man whom deceased had adopted, said he met him at Ideford and gave him a pint of beer and half an ounce of tobacco at Lee's public house, and left him about seven o'clock. Afterwards he saw deceased go into Truman's public house with a man called Windsor, but had not seen him since. Joseph Caseley, labourer, of Chudleigh, with whom deceased lodged, stated he was much given to drink, and when tipsy had stayed away a great many nights, but would come home in the morning. About a fortnight before his death he was brought home after having been out all night. Mr Gillard, surgeon, had made a post mortem examination, and on removing the scalp he found a quantity of blood on the left side. On opening the head he found a fracture on the temple and sphenoid bones, and a great quantity of blood on the brain. The right side of the brain was perfectly clear and healthy. The fracture would cause the effusion of blood, and was sufficient to cause death. He did not consider the marks in the face were caused at the same time as the fracture of the temple. The Coroner in his summing up mentioned that deceased's hat, basket, slop, and stick had not been found. An Open Verdict was returned.
Wednesday 27 September 1871, Issue 5493 – Gale Document No. Y3200715728 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Odd Fellows Arms Inn, on Monday afternoon, upon the body of BEATRICE HOWARD, aged 77. The deceased lived in the lodge on Northernhay. She was at St. David's Church on Sunday afternoon, and went to bed in the evening apparently in her usual health; but about two in the morning she awoke Charlotte Elizabeth Carnall, who hastened away for assistance; but on her return with Mr Roberts, surgeon, the deceased was dead. The medical gentleman considered that MRS HOWARD died from spasms of the heart, and a verdict in accordance with that view was returned.
Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Shake-[?] body of JOHN SUTTON, aged 51. The deceased was a gardener and lived at Wonford. He left his home on Friday morning apparently in good health; and after attending the vegetable market he went to the Cattle Market to buy a pig. He purchased one, and was then accosted by Samuel Chudleigh, of Heavitree, who asked him how he was getting on? SUTTON replied, "Quite well, thank you, Samuel." Then Chudleigh enquired what he gave for his pig, when SUTTON fell on his face and in a few minutes was a corpse. Mr Hawkins, surgeon, stated that the cause of death was apoplexy; and a verdict to that effect was returned.
Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Friday at the London and South Western Hotel, Paul-street, upon the body of EDMUND ERNEST ACKLAND, who was scarcely two years old. The deceased was the son of MR ACKLAND, dentist, of Queen-street, in this city. On the preceding Tuesday afternoon the child, with his sister, was in the charge of the nurse in the day nursery on the top landing of the house. There is a room opposite the day nursery, and into this room the poor little fellow went, unobserved by the nurse. The window as open, and he is supposed to have put a chair over by it and to have got upon the chair, in order to look into the court; and whilst so occupied fell out of the window. Another servant saw something pass the window, and on looking out discovered that the child had fallen upon the roof of an outhouse. Mr Woodman, surgeon, was soon in attendance, but the unfortunate child died on Thursday from the injuries done to the brain by the fall. Verdict, "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 11 October 1871, Issue 5495 – Gale Document No. Y3200715761 TOTNES – Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest on Thursday at the William the Fourth Inn, Totnes, upon the body of WILLIAM EWINS, butcher, of Ashprington. The deceased, who was thirty-three years old, left the Railway Hotel, Totnes, on the preceding Tuesday evening, and not long afterwards he fell from his horse, owing to the breaking of the stirrup leather, and he was soon a corpse. His skull was fractured. Verdict, "Accidental Death." It is somewhat singular that MRS EWINS' former husband died through falling from the same horse.
YARNSCOMBE – Murder of Two Children. - Yarnscombe, a little village some six miles from Barnstaple, will become extensively known, by name at least, by reason of the strangulation there of two children by their mother. The deed was perpetrated at the house of RICHARD PETHERBRIDGE, a labourer. On Thursday the wife sent her daughter ELIZABETH (by a former marriage) to her aunt's for some beer, and whilst she was away the unfortunate woman murdered her two children. It seems that immediately after she had taken their lives away the mother (though crippled and paralysed) ran from her house without the aid of her crutches, intending (as she afterwards said) to drown herself. The daughter soon returned with the beer, and the discovery of the murder was made. Policeman Moon, who lives in the village, went in quest of the mother, and he overtook her about a mile and a half from Yarnscombe, on the road to Barnstaple. He said, "MRS PETHERBRIDGE, you must come back with me." She replied, "Yes." He assisted her to the village, and on their way said, "Where are your children?" "Home," she rejoined. He said, "Are they well?" She said "No! they are bad in bed – tired." He took her to his house and then charged her with murdering her two children. She said, "Yes, I know it." Mr Deputy Coroner Toller held an Inquest upon the bodies of the two children on Friday at the Hunter's Inn, Yarnscombe, whereat ELIZABETH PETHERBRIDGE stated that she was the daughter-in-law of RICHARD PETHERBRIDGE. The deceased, SARAH and ANNIE PETHERBRIDGE, were my half-sisters. They were quite well the preceding morning. I last saw them alive on Thursday in the middle of the day. They were then in my father-in-law's dwelling house playing by the fire. My mother was down by the fire with them. She appeared to be very kind and affectionate to them whilst by the fire, and was always kind to the children. My mother said to me, "LIZZIE, you must please go up to Aunt Mary's after a little drop of beer for me." I then went away to my aunt's, who lives at Orchard Farm, about a mile from my mother's. I remained at my aunt's about an hour, and then returned with the beer. Before I got home Mrs Moon, who lives next door to my mother's, called to me and said, "LIZZIE, come in here." I went in, and she told me my mother was gone out. I then went into my mother's house, but saw no one in the kitchen. I then went upstairs, and I thought the children were asleep upon the bed. I went forward and shook ANNIE, and listened whether she was breathing; but finding she was not, I put her down and cried. I then looked across to SARAH, but did not touch her. Being very frightened I ran down stairs, and went to Mrs Moon's, and told her the children were dead. Emma Moon, wife of James Moon, police constable, said I saw ELIZABETH PETHERBRIDGE leave her mother's house on the preceding day. About three quarters of an hour afterwards I saw her mother (JANE PETHERBRIDGE) pass down the road. Her face was very red, and she appeared to be different to what she was at other times. About three quarters of an hour after that I saw ELIZABETH PETHERBRIDGE come back. I called her in and said, "LIZZIE, do you know your mother is gone away?" She said, "No," and that her mother did not say anything to her about going away. Between the time the mother left her house and the time the daughter came back I saw no one enter the house. If anyone had gone in I must have seen. I said, "LIZZIE, where did you leave the children before you went away?" and she said, "Down by the fire to play." I said, "Do go in, my dear, and see where the children are," and she went in. In about two minutes she came back to me and said, "My two dear sisters are both dead." I called to my husband, and we both went up and found them dead upon the bed. I was very much excited, and my husband accompanied me down stairs. I heard no noise in the house between the time ELIZABETH PETHERBRIDGE went away and the time she returned. When I saw JANE PETHERBRIDGEW go out of her house I remarked to a neighbour that she was looking very cross. I never saw her in any other way than kind to her children. The deceased ANNIE PETHERBRIDGE was about two years and two months old, and the deceased SARAH PETHERBRIDGE about eight months. James Moon, of the Devon Constabulary, stated that on the previous afternoon I was informed by my wife that RICHARD PETHERBRIDGE'S two children were dead in his house. I at once went to the house, accompanied by my wife, and went upstairs and found the two deceased children dead on the bed. My wife was excited and I got her downstairs. I then returned and examined the bodies, which were not cold, but life was extinct. The eldest child's head was lying towards the foot of the bed; the younger in an opposite direction, with its head towards the head of the bed upon a small pillow. I found two strings (which I produce) by the side of the head of ANNIE PETHERBRIDGE, and on a table near the bed the top rail of a chair (which I also produce.) I also found a stool in the kitchen with marks of blood upon it (which I produce.) I took charge of the bodies and locked up the house after I had examined it. I then sent for Mr Jones, surgeon, of Torrington, and proceeded in search of the mother. I apprehended her on the Barnstaple-road, about half-a-mile from the village. She was going towards Barnstaple with a walking-stick in her hand. I said, "MRS PETHERBRIDGE, you must come back with me." She said "Yes." I took her by the arm and assisted her up the hill. I said, "Where are your children?" She said "Home." I said, "Are they well?" She said, "No, they are in bed, tired." I took her to my house, and then charged her with murdering her two children. She said, "Yes; I know it." I then waited for the arrival of Mr Jones, who came about seven o'clock and examined the bodies. I was present. We found a mark round the necks of each of the children, apparently done with a string, and a bruise on the forehead of ANNIE PETHERBRIDGE. on Friday morning I again went to the house, and by the head of SARAH, the younger child, I found another string, with I also produce. The strings referred to in the evidence consisted of – one a nightcap string, and the other a boot lace and piece of tape tied together, with running knots in each. The Inquest was adjourned till Wednesday (this day) to enable Mr Jones to make a post mortem examination of the bodies of the children. The mother, who does not seem to be much beyond thirty-three years of age, was committed for trial on the charge of murder by the Torrington Magistrates on Saturday. She has a somewhat forbidding countenance, and she betrayed no traces of compunction. The proceedings seemed to be of the utmost indifference to her. When the Magistrates asked her if she desired to ask the witnesses any questions, she replied "No." In the afternoon she was removed from Great Torrington to the Devon County Gaol to await her trial at the Assizes.
SHUTE – Suicide of a Clergyman. – The REV. JOHN BENFORD SELWOOD, vicar of Shute, committed suicide on Thursday evening in the presence of his wife. The reverend gentleman was the curate of Combraleigh, near Honiton; but in 1860 he was presented by the Dean and Chapter of Exeter with the living of Shute, and in the performance of his duties won the respect and esteem of his parishioners generally. The deceased had been suffering from an internal disorder for years, and had undergone an operation. He likewise suffered from heart disease, and was of a very nervous temperament. He had been to Italy for the benefit of his health, and returned to his home on Friday week. On Thursday he administered the Sacrament to a person at Whitford, and on his return was seized with a fainting fit. He got better, and went to bed and slept a little; but suddenly he jumped out of bed, ran to the toilet table, seized a razor, and cut his throat in a dreadful manner; and this was in the presence of MRS SELWOOD, who was powerless to prevent the sad act. The reverend gentleman died soon afterwards. The deceased was forty-one years old, and a native of Cullompton. Mr Coroner Cox held an Inquest upon the body on Saturday at the vicarage. MRS MARY SELWOOD, widow of the deceased, stated that on Thursday evening her husband had a fainting fit; his face became blue and he complained of a choking sensation. She gave him eight drops of chlorodyne. He still complained of the choking sensation, and said he was dying and that something had burst. He asked me for more chlorodyne, but I did not give it. A servant presently tapped at the door, which roused him, but he became quiet. He subsequently started out of bed, said he was dying, threw himself on the sofa, and then fell on the floor. He then jumped up and went over to the toilet table, from which he caught up something, came across the room, and witness saw his hand up and afterwards the blood. David Hallett, gardener and groom to the deceased, said he had lived with him over two years. Deceased had been ill several times, and was always very depressed and quiet at those times. Mr Broster, his brother-in-law, used to attend him medically. Deceased had not been ill very lately; but he had been very quiet since his return from the Continent, about a fortnight since. He had, however, been about and attended his church and had visited his parishioners. He went to a party at Shute House on Wednesday night. Witness was in the kitchen on Thursday evening, and he heard deceased scream from upstairs. Witness ran up at once and saw deceased lying on the floor, with blood coming from his throat, which was cut. The last witness was there trying to staunch the blood, and told him that deceased had cut his throat. Deceased struggled to put his hands to his throat, but they prevented him, and he died in about a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes. MRS SELWOOD told me at the time that the deceased had taken the razor from the dressing table. It was lying on the floor by his side when I entered the room. Mr R. W. Broster, surgeon, Beaminster, said he married the deceased's wife's sister, and had known the deceased for nearly twenty years. Deceased suffered from internal disease for ten or eleven years, and two or three years ago he consulted Sir Henry Thompson. The disease caused a good deal of pain. About twelve months ago he suffered from fistula, for witness performed an operation, and he believed effected a cure. He had valvular disease of the heart, and suffered consequently from great depression and had an idea that he should soon die. The last time he told me this was in May, and by my advice he took a temporary curacy for about a month in Italy, and returned recently, but witness had not seen him since his return. He was of a very nervous and excitable temperament, and my idea was that he would have softening of the brain, which he probably had in an incipient state. So far as I know he had been temperate lately. From what witness knew of the deceased he did not consider that he could at the time of committing suicide have been responsible for his actions. Elizabeth Locock, servant to the deceased, said that on Sunday morning deceased was looking very ill. He kept walking about the house putting his hand to his side, and saying, "Oh dear, dear, what shall I do." Deceased said he did not think he could do the church duty, but he went through the whole of the service and seemed better in the evening. The next day he was much in the same state and said he could not live. On Wednesday morning he was in a dreadful way, but got better at mid-day, and went to a party at Shute House, returning about quarter-past three in the morning. He got up before any of us, and witness saw him returning from a walk about twenty minutes to eight. He then seemed very well and bright. Witness saw nothing amiss with him till half-past four, when she saw him in a fainting fit which lasted about eight or nine minutes, and he afterwards was very depressed, saying that he was dying and that his heart was bleeding. He went to bed about seven o'clock and MRS SELWOOD stayed with him, and witness went in and out. At half-past eight witness went into the room. MRS SELWOOD was there. He jumped out of bed and said, "Oh, Elizabeth, I am dying, I am dying," and threw himself down on the sofa and screamed. Witness left and did not return for ten minutes, when she found his throat cut and Mrs Broom, MRS SELWOOD, and Hallett in the room. Ann Snell, another servant, said that between seven and eight on Thursday evening she heard MR SELWOOD scream. The last witness called her and she went to the bed room door and saw MR SELWODO standing at the toilet table. MRS SELWOOD was going over to him and trying to take something from MR SELWOOD. Witness considered he was attempting suicide, and she called Hallett, who came and witness went into the room with him. MR SELWOOD was on the floor and blood was on the sheet. The razor was by the side of the chair on the floor. The Jury returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased committed suicide while of Unsound Mind.
Wednesday 11 October 1871, Issue 5495 – Gale Document No. Y3200715752 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Topsham Inn, on Friday, upon the body of ALFRED WILLS, aged 15. The deceased was the son of MR JOHN V. WILLS, builder and auctioneer, of Bartholomew-street, in this city. On the morning of the 30th of September the deceased went up a ladder to clean a window of his father's house, and when so engaged one of the dusters fell. He tried to catch it, but missed his hold and the unfortunate lad fell to the ground. Dr Drake advised the removal of the deceased to the Hospital, where he died on Thursday night from the fracture of the skull. Verdict, "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 18 October 1871, Issue 5496 – Gale Document No. Y3200715789 YARNSCOMBE – The Coroner's Jury have returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against JANE PETHERBRIDGE, who, as stated last week, was committed for trial by the Magistrates on the charge of strangling her two children at Yarnscombe.
Wednesday 18 October 1871, Issue 5496 – Gale Document No. Y3200715778 EXETER – At the St. David's Railway Station a packer (named LUKE BOWDEN) was engaged in clearing the mud from the points on Wednesday morning, when, to avoid an up train, he passed over the between the rails of the down line, and in a minute or two a down train upset him and the wheels went over his body. His death was instantaneous. His skull was severed; and his body and legs were dreadfully mangled and twisted. The poor fellow lost one of his eyes about two years since whilst cutting the metal. He was a very sober man; was fifty years of age; and leaves a widow and five children. An Inquest was held upon his remains on Thursday morning at Underhill's Railway Hotel and a verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.
SUDDEN DEATH – MISS ELIZABETH GODOLPHIN, who, with her brother, carried on the business of upholsterers, &c., in South-street and Guinea-street, died very suddenly on Saturday night. During the evening she appeared in the best of spirits, and laughed and joked in her usual affable manner with several friends who dropped in for a chat; and shortly before ten o'clock, whilst standing at the door in Guinea-street, she remarked to a neighbour that it was a cold night. This is the last time she was seen alive. MR WILLIAM GODOLPHIN, brother to the deceased, had assisted her in the business throughout the day, and at about eight o'clock in the evening left her to attend to some duties he had in the city. Returning soon after eleven he noticed her apparently asleep in the arm chair in the kitchen, and remarked, "You are taking it easy, LIZZIE." Imagining she was tired, he put his arm round her neck and was horror-struck to find her face nearly cold. With all haste he summoned Mr Grigg, Mr S. Edye and Mr Perkins, but she was past all human aid, it being the opinion of the medical gentlemen that she had been dead more than an hour. At an Inquest which was held on the body at the Royal Oak Inn on Monday evening, before Mr Hooper, coroner, the above facts were elicited; and further, Mr Grigg stated that he had known the deceased for many years. He was her medical attendant and saw her professionally about two months since. She then suffered from exhaustion and faintness. He was called to see her on Saturday night, but found her quite dead; she appeared to be in a quiet sleep. In his opinion the cause of death was "exhaustion and syncope." A verdict in accordance with the medical testimony was returned by the Jury. MISS GODOLPHIN was fifty-six years of age. She was well known in the city and much respected; in business uprightness and integrity were invariably practiced by her, and in private life affability and a genial disposition marked her career. At the Congregational Church, Southernhay, where the deceased attended, the Rev. H. Hewitt on Sunday feelingly referred to her demise.
Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the North Devon Inn, in this city, on Thursday, upon the body of JANE CROSS, aged fifty-four. The deceased lived by herself in a house in Cornish's Court, Paul-street. MR CHARLES CROSS, of Newton Abbot, said he was a brother of the deceased, who lived on her income. He saw her about three weeks since, when she was confined to her bed from illness. She suffered from pains in the head. There had been a dispute lately between her and her son in reference to some property, and this is supposed to have preyed upon her mind. Her nephew (MR CHARLES CROSS, pawnbroker, of Milk-street,) who had to get into the house through the bedroom window, found the poor woman hanging by a cord fastened to a nail in the wall behind the staircase door. Verdict – Committed Suicide whilst in a state of Temporary Insanity.
The Coroner held an Inquest the same afternoon at the Sawyers' Arms Inn, upon the body of THOMAS PALK, aged sixty-two. Deceased was a butcher, but latterly had worked as a drover. He lived at Chamberlain's lodging-house, Preston-street, and had been unwell for a few days. An order had been obtained for his removal to the Workhouse, but the poor man died in his bed before the order could be carried out. Verdict – "Natural Causes."
Wednesday 1 November 1871, Issue 5498 – Gale Document No. Y3200715849 SIDBURY – The wife of MR HENRY PEEK, late landlord of the Royal Oak Inn, in this village, died suddenly last week. She was in her usual health twenty minutes before she died, and had dressed to take some lace-work to Sidmouth. She complained to one of her children of faintness and sickness, and told the child to call a neighbour, to whom on arrival she complained of pains about the chest and heart. She was very sick, and soon became insensible and died. Mr Coroner Cox held an Inquest on Monday at the Royal Oak Inn upon the remains of the unfortunate woman; and from the medical testimony the Jury returned a verdict that her death was caused by disease of the stomach. She had complained of pains in the stomach for some time.
TORQUAY – Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest on Friday at the Infirmary upon the body of HENRY CHING, aged four years. Instead of going to school on the preceding afternoon the deceased went to the Coal Quay, where his father keeps a boat, and it is supposed the child fell into the water and was drowned. The Coroner held an Inquiry on Monday as to the causes that led to the drowning of HENRY CHING, a child four years old, who was found drowned in the harbour on Thursday evening. It appeared that another youngster of the same age, named Blanchett, had made a statement that while in play he pushed the deceased over the quay. In order to ascertain the truth of this enquiries were made by the police; but as nothing reliable was forthcoming, the jury returned an Open Verdict of Found Drowned.
Wednesday 1 November 1871, Issue 5498 – Gale Document No. Y3200715835 MR ARTHUR KEMPE. - Deep regret was felt by the announcement of the demise of MR ARTHUR KEMPE, surgeon, of this city. MR KEMPE has been unwell for some months; and left Exeter to recruit his health, which improved. He returned home, and his fellow-citizens were much pleased to see him again amongst them. Some few weeks since MR KEMPE signified his intention of presenting an illuminated clock and drinking fountain for the use of the public; and the question where they are to be fixed was not decided. He attained an eminent position in his profession, and enjoyed a high reputation in this city and county as a practitioner. He was a Magistrate; had twice filled the office of Governor to the corporation of the Poor; and occupied other public positions in this city His noble gift of the handsome little Church attached to the Devon and Exeter Hospital hallows his name. Soon after the erection of this Church, MR KEMNPE offered to build a Convalescent Hospital, with the proviso that the public would defray the cost of its maintenance; but his philanthropic proposition did not meet that concurrence to justify him in carrying out his excellent intention. His generous nature and kindly disposition were features that drew towards him the respect and esteem of those who had the happiness of his acquaintance or the knowledge of his acts. MR KEMPE yesterday week went out for his customary drive, and there was no indication then of the near approach of his death; but on Wednesday morning when his servant entered his room he was found very ill, and before medical aid could be procured the "good man" was a corpse. The Inquest. - Mr Coroner Hooper and a Jury met at the Bude Haven Hotel on Thursday morning to ascertain the cause of the death of MR KEMPE. Louisa Ash, who has been housekeeper to the deceased gentleman for twenty-five years, stated that her master had been lately very ill. He appeared better on the preceding Tuesday. He went out for a walk in the morning, and for a drive the same afternoon. He retired to bed on Tuesday night about ten o'clock, seemingly rather poorly and restless. She left him at half-past ten, when he said he hoped he should sleep. She did not hear him during the night, but when she went to him on Wednesday morning, just after seven, he breathed rather loudly two or three times. He was unconscious. She immediately sent for Dr Drake; but by the time the doctor arrived MR KEMPE was dead. Dr Drake has known the deceased intimately for twenty-two years. He was called to go to him on Wednesday morning. He went directly to his bed room, and there saw him in bed lying in a natural position on his back, quite dead, but warm. He was summoned to go to the deceased on the previous Sunday morning, when he was so very ill that witness thought he would have died. He believed the cause of death was spasms of the heart. In answer to a question put to him by Mr Drayton, Dr Drake said the deceased suffered at times from nervous depression. The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.
Wednesday 1 November 1871, Issue 5498 – Gale Document No. Y3200715832 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Round Tree Inn, in this city, on Monday upon the body of MARY ANN PEEK, aged fourteen months. Mr J. S. Perkins, surgeon, gave it as his opinion that the child died from bronchitis; and a verdict to that effect was returned.
MISS MARY SPARKES, of Russell-street, in this city, who ten days since fell from a ladder whilst gathering grapes and was so seriously hurt as to need her immediate removal to the Hospital, died there on Sunday. Her arm was amputated soon after her admission to the Hospital. An Inquest was held yesterday at the Valiant Soldier Inn upon her remains, and it was stated that the deceased died from the shock caused by the accident. Verdict accordingly.
Wednesday 8 November 1871, Issue 5499 – Gale Document No. Y3200715862 EXETER - MRS SARAH MITCHELL, of Broadclist, was (with others) returning in a vehicle from this city to Heavitree on Thursday evening; but soon after passing the Exeter Workhouse the vehicle came into collision with the hind wheel of a light waggon, resulting in the overturn of the trap. It was extremely dark at the time. MRS MITCHELL was so injured that it was found advisable to remove her at once to the Devon and Exeter Hospital where she died within three hours after her admission. The other persons in the vehicle received no material injury. An Inquest was held upon the body of MRS MITCHELL at the Topsham Inn on Saturday, when the Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." The deceased was formerly post-mistress of Broadclist.
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL WILLIAM STERLING, of No. 2, Mont-le-Grand, Heavitree, committed suicide on Thursday. Soon after three o'clock in the afternoon, MR STERLING was seen to go to a building at the rear of his house, and not long afterwards the servant heard a report as if a gun or a pistol had been discharged. She went at once to the out-house and there found her master lying dead. The right side of his face was blown away. Dr Grinfield-Coxwell happened to be near at the time and he was immediately in attendance: but medical aid was useless. The unfortunate gentleman has been on the retired list of Her Majesty's Indian Forces since 1854. He was upwards of seventy-seven years of age. An Inquest was held at the Horse and Groom Inn, Heavitree, on Saturday by Mr Coroner Crosse. Mary Ann Lee, who had been nine months cook in the family of the deceased, was examined. She said the household included the deceased, his wife, and one of two daughters. There was also a son, but he did not live at home. During the time she had been in the house she had frequently noticed that the deceased was very strange and childish, saying simple things. He complained that he had bad dreams and rest. On one occasion she saw him in the garden on his knees, with his neckcloth off and a razor in his hand. When he observed her he put the razor in his pocket and said he was going out of his mind. On Thursday afternoon she saw him in the dining room. He complained of being cold, and she said she would make him a cup of coffee. He said, "O, yes, do." She noticed nothing particular in his state of mind. About three minutes afterwards she heard the report of what she thought was a gun in the garden, at the rear of the house. She went out, and in the garden she saw the deceased lying dead in a pool of blood, with the pistol produced under his left leg. She was of opinion that at times he was out of his mind, and was not accountable for his actions. He ate his dinner as usual on Thursday, smoked a cigar, and went to sleep, as they thought, that being his custom in the afternoon. Nothing particular had occurred in the house that day. Charles Wannell said he was passing the house on Thursday when he heard a call for help, and on going up he saw the deceased lying dead in the garden-house on his back, with much blood about. Mr Bankart, surgeon, stated that when he saw the deceased he was dead. He attended him professionally on the 23rd and 24th August, on the occasion of his being discovered under circumstances which, as described by the first witness, led to the conclusion that he meditated suicide. He found him in a very depressed and desponding state of mind. The deceased recovered at the time, but witness believed he suffered at intervals from fits of temporary insanity, and he had no doubt he was in a state of unsound mind at the time of the commission of the act. Dr Grinfield-Coxwell said he examined the body, which was lying on the back with the arms extended. There was a lacerated wound in the face, with much blood coming from the mouth and face. He noticed a strong smell of gunpowder, and he then observed the marks of a "blast" on the right hand. There was a large wound on the right side of the lower jaw, as also a lacerated wound about four inches long running from the left eye down to the corner of the mouth, that being evidently caused by a bullet. The shot was the cause of death. No doubt the pistol had been put into the mouth and discharged. In witness's opinion death was decidedly the result of the deceased's own act. Mrs Wright said the deceased's wife had been staying with witness at her house at Tiverton, and witness had also stayed with the lady in the house at Mont-le-Grand for a month. During that time the deceased was very melancholy and depressed. She thought he was not of sound mind. Mr W. Hockin, brother-in-law of the deceased, said he had known him since 1825. Lately he had been in such a state of mind that he had been carefully watched by the family. The pistol was a new one. The Jury returned a verdict of "Suicide while in a state of Temporary Insanity."
Wednesday 15 November 1871, Issue 5500 – Gale Document No. Y3200715900 PINHOE – Fatal Accident. - Mr Coroner Crosse held an Inquest at the Poltimore Arms Inn, Pinhoe, on Monday, upon the body of MR JOHN RUSSELL HICKS, wine and spirit merchant of Plymouth. Mr W. E. Hunt, surgeon, of Exeter, stated that on the preceding Tuesday he was sent for to see the deceased at a cottage in the parish of Pinhoe. He went immediately and found him suffering from a severe contusion on the left side of the head, extending from the back to the front of the head. Deceased was perfectly unconscious, and remained so until his death. He was afterwards removed to the house of Mr Elworthy, of Pinhoe. Upon further examination witness found that deceased had sustained a fracture of the right leg, and a severe contusion of the right elbow, and also an injury to the back. He was of opinion that all these injuries were such as might have resulted from the accident that deceased had met with. He attended deceased to the time of his death, which took place at Mr Elworthy's residence, about half-past eleven on Saturday night. Witness was of opinion that death was caused by the injuries to the head. Edward Allen, in the employ of Mr Jones, wine and spirit merchant if Exeter, stated that on the preceding Tuesday he was with his master and the deceased in a one-horse phaeton. They were driving from Exeter to Pinhoe. His master was driving; he deceased was sitting by his side, and he (witness) occupied the back seat. On passing Perkin's cottages the horse suddenly took fright and started off at a rapid speed. Deceased attempted to jump out, and in so doing fell in the road. The witness assisted Mr Jones in endeavouring to stop the horse by pulling the reins. After proceeding about fifty yards in this manner the horse fell. They were both thrown out. Mr Jones was much injured, and the witness was slightly hurt. He immediately extricated the horse from the harness, and ran back to where deceased had fallen. Several persons had in the meantime come up, and deceased was placed in a chair, and taken into a cottage. He did not hear the deceased speak after the accident occurred. the horse attached to the phaeton was usually a very quiet one. Both Mr Jones and himself were perfectly sober at the time. He attributed no blame to any one, and believed the sad occurrence to be a pure accident. John Broom, labourer, deposed that he was cracking stones and he saw a trap coming along the road towards him at a rapid pace. The horse appeared to be kicking. He saw the deceased fall out of the carriage. Another witness, named Jennings, witnessed the accident, and confirmed the evidence of the foregoing witness. The Jury unanimously returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." MR HICKS was thirty-four years of age.
Wednesday 15 November 1871, Issue 5500 – Gale Document No. Y3200715886 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Saturday at the Old Coach and Horses Inn, in this city, upon the body of ROSE FEY, aged three months. Verdict – "Suffocation from being overlaid."
Wednesday 22 November 1871, Issue 5501 – Gale Document No. Y3200715929 WONFORD – Mr Coroner Crosse held an Inquest at the New Country House Inn, Wonford, on Wednesday, upon the body of the newly-born male child of EMMA BUTTLE, aged eighteen, unmarried. The young woman was suspected of being pregnant, but she stoutly denied it, and her father stated that she was going to the Hospital very soon under the belief that she was suffering from tumour. The child, however, was born; and the brother (hearing something the matter with her sister) ran for a neighbour (Mrs Louisa Coles), who went into the girl's bed room and asked her what was the matter? To this inquiry the girl said "I don't know." Mrs Coles soon discovered what was the matter by finding the body of the child. She asked how long it had been born? The mother replied "About twenty minutes." Dr Coxwell gave evidence to the effect that the child was born alive, but died from suffocation caused by want of assistance at its birth. The Jury returned a verdict to that purport.
Wednesday 29 November 1871, Issue 5502 – Gale Document No. Y3200715944 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Monday at the Poltimore Inn upon the body of BESSIE JANE EFFORD, aged fourteen months, daughter of MR J. A. EFFORD, coach builder, of Union-terrace, in this city. Mr S. Perkins, surgeon, attributed death to Natural Causes, and a verdict in accordance therewith was returned.
Wednesday 13 December 1871, Issue 5504 – Gale Document No. Y3200716006 BARNSTAPLE - MISS JULIA FROST, a governess, for some time with the family of Mr F. L. Smyth, of Westlandpound, came to an untimely death on Thursday. She was skating upon a pond near Mr Smyth's house when the ice gave way, and she was carried underneath the unbroken ice. Praiseworthy efforts were immediately made to rescue MISS FROST by a gentleman who was on the ice at the time; but he was unsuccessful and nearly lost his own life in the attempt. Much of the ice had to be removed before MISS FROST was found, but life had then departed. Mr Deputy Coroner Toller held an Inquest upon her body on Friday evening, when the Jury found a verdict in accordance with the accidental circumstance.
Wednesday 13 December 1871, Issue 5504 – Gale Document No. Y3200716007 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Monday at the Valiant Soldier Inn upon the body of JANE MACVITTY, aged 41, who died in the Hospital on Friday evening. MR ROBERT CUMBERLAND, surgeon, residing at Crediton, deposed that the deceased was his sister. He had not seen her for two years previous to Wednesday last, when, hearing that she had expressed a wish to see him, he went to the Hospital. James Phillips, residing in Summerland-crescent, stated that deceased had occupied apartments in his house for nine months. She had one child, a boy of two years, who resided with her. On Friday night, the 1st instant, he saw her come into the house the worse for liquor, and carrying a bottle of gin. He saw nothing more of her till the following evening, when she was taken to the Hospital. She was in the habit of drinking very much indeed. Sarah Smith said she lived in the same house as deceased. About four o'clock on the afternoon of Saturday week, hearing the child cry, she went upstairs to deceased's room. The room was full of smoke and deceased was sitting on the bed with her clothes burning. She ran down stairs and called Mrs Ash, another lodger. Elizabeth Ash stated that she found deceased sitting on the side of the bed, partly dressed, with her clothes on fire. She extinguished the fire and found deceased badly burnt about the chest and arms. A medical man was sent for, and under his advice deceased was removed to the Hospital. Mr Tosswill, house surgeon, proved receiving deceased, but said it was on Saturday the 2nd December, as stated by the other witness. He gave it as his opinion that deceased died from exhaustion resulting from the burns, which were very severe. Elizabeth Wilkins deposed that deceased had stated while in the Hospital that her little boy had set fire to the bed with matches. Elizabeth Ash also stated that there were matches scattered over the room when she extinguished the fire on deceased's clothes. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 20 December 1871, Issue 5505 – Gale Document No. Y3200716031 LYNTON - LUCY COCKINGS, a servant with Mr William Jones, farmer, of Lynton, is in custody charged with concealing the birth of her child. Her position was suspected, but she insisted that her mistress was wrong in her surmise. By and bye the young woman became very ill, and a medical man attributed the cause of it to the fact that his patient had become a mother. The police were told of the circumstance and Policeman Davy discovered the body of a newly-born male child buried in Mr Jones's garden, which is situated about 200 yards from the house. The body was wrapped in articles belonging to Mr Jones. The Coroner's Jury returned a verdict that "On the 13th December a new-born male child was found dead, but whether completely born alive there was not sufficient evidence to show."
LUNDY ISLAND - Fatal Occurrence. - Lundy Island was the scene of a fatality on Friday. It seems that two men – GEORGE TIBBETS and George Harris – went on shore from a Pill (Bristol) skiff, No. 8. TIBBETS was the son of the pilot. In the afternoon the two men went to the Castle. They were not sober; and because the woman in attendance would not give them anything to drink they threatened to cut her throat. She took an opportunity to skip out and screamed for help, and Charles Treleven, Dark, Simon Rowe, and the boy Tom Goodwin went to her. After a time they persuaded the men to put up their knives and leave the Castle-court, when the door was barred to keep them out, and the men returned to their work, thinking the two pilots had gone to the beach. But instead of doing so they went to one of the labourer's cottages and tried to force an entrance; but no succeeding, they dashed the water from a bucket against the door, and the bucket itself through the window. they then went down to the hill below the farm, where the owner met them, Walters and Dennis having run down to the villa to fetch him. Hudson, the Rev. H. G. Heaven, and some of the other men followed the Squire, and with them Charles Trelevan, who had a gun under his arm. The two pilots (Harris especially), were very violent, wanting to fight; presently TIBBETS rushed up to Charles Trelevan and seizing the gun's barrel with both hands, pulled it violently until the muzzle touched his own body; the jerk caused the gun to explode, and the charge was lodged in TIBBET'S body below the small ribs, and he fell. TIBBET'S father just then came up to see for the two men, having heard of their behaviour at the Castle. A cart was brought, the young man put into it and taken to the beach, and thence in his father's skiff to Ilfracombe, where he died on Saturday morning. Mr Coroner Bremridge held an Inquest on Monday at the White Hart Inn, Ilfracombe, upon the body of the unfortunate young man; and the verdict of the Jury was that the deceased GEORGE TIBBET came by his death accidentally in the attempt to pull and drag a gun from under the arm of Charles Walter Trelevan.
Wednesday 20 December 1871, Issue 5505 – Gale Document No. Y3200716024 EXETER – Mr Coroner Crosse held an Inquest at the Welcome Inn, Haven Banks, on Friday upon the body of RICHARD ROWE, dairyman, of Alphington. The deceased was sixty-five years old. On the preceding Tuesday evening he was at the Double Locks Inn, and on leaving the public the landlord (Mr Pearse) sent a servant man to accompany MR ROWE up the Banks. It was an exceedingly foggy evening. The man states that he conducted MR ROWE to about 300 yards on the road leading from the banks to Alphington and there separated from him, returning to Double Locks. MR ROWE never reached his house. The next day his hat was found near the Canal, and this led to the supposition that his body was in the water. Policeman Vanstone and two other men dragged the Canal and found the body of the deceased. He was firmly grasping his walking stick, and in his pockets were £4 7s. 2 ½d. There were no marks of violence on the body; and it is presumed that instead of going home he must have turned after the young man left him and walked in to the Canal. He had been drinking. The Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned; but how the deceased came into the Canal evidence was not forthcoming."
Mr Coroner Hooper held two Inquests on Wednesday. One at the Papermakers' Arms Inn upon the body of a man whose remains were found in the River Exe, near Head Weir. The deceased was supposed to be the man who was seen to throw himself into the river from the Exwick-bridge on the 30th of October. There was no positive evidence of identity; but there were certain indications that the body was that of GEORGE RADFORD, of Silverton, who left his wife and family some years since. Verdict, "Found Drowned."
The other Inquest was held at the Valiant Soldier Inn upon the body of SAMUEL VICKERY, aged forty-four. He died in the Hospital on the preceding day from injuries sustained at Thorverton Mills. Deceased was engaged in working a chaffcutter when he got entangled in the belt, and was carried two or three times through a small aperture made in the wall for the passage of the belt. He marvellously escaped instant death, but his lower limbs and head were so much hurt that recovery was hopeless. Verdict, "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 27 December 1871, Issue 5506 – Gale Document No. Y3200716052 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Valiant Soldier Inn on Saturday upon the body of WILLIAM SELLICK, aged sixty-five. The deceased (who resided in St. Thomas) died in the Hospital from injuries he received from falling off a ladder on the 2nd of November last. Verdict "Accidental Death."
An Inquest was held on Friday evening at the Golden Lion Inn, Newtown, upon the body of JOHN BICKNELL, aged twenty-three. The deceased was a painter in the employ of the London and South-Western Railway Company. The unfortunate young man had not been well for some time; and on his way home from work on Thursday he died suddenly from the rupture of one of the vessels of his heart. He was a sober, industrious man, and was the support of his mother, a widow.
Wednesday 3 January 1872, Issue 5507 – Gale Document No. Y3200716092 EXMOUTH – Mr Coroner Cox held an Inquest on Saturday at the Imperial Hotel upon the body of JANE DICKER, a nurse. On the evening of the 4th of November the deceased was thrown down by two men, who were running wildly round the corner of Market-street, and her leg was broken. She died from the injury on Wednesday. In summing up the evidence the Coroner expressed his belief that it was a pure accident; but one of the Jurymen considered that a verdict of Manslaughter ought to be returned. The other Jurymen concurred with the Coroner and a verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.
Wednesday 17 January 1872, Issue 5509 – Gale Document No. Y3200716141 DAWLISH – MRS ELIZA BIGG, who has for some time lodged at Mrs Soper's, poulterer, of Dawlish, was found dead in her bed on Friday morning. She was a very eccentric person. Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest upon her body on Saturday, when Mr Cann, surgeon, of Dawlish, stated that the deceased sent for him on the 18th of December last, and he had seen her nearly every day since. She was suffering from chronic consumption. She appeared to be in extreme poverty and almost destitute. Deceased complained only of Mrs Soper, and that she did not wish to see her, or that Mrs Soper would not attend to her. He advised her to allow Mrs Soper to attend to her; deceased, however, would not allow it. He then said she must have a neighbour to attend her, and a Mrs Libby was suggested by him, but did not agree to come. Witness sent deceased some beef tea, seeing her so destitute, and subsequently some pheasant, chicken, and champagne by his servant. Saw the deceased twice in one day, and then she informed him she was not destitute. He endeavoured to get Mrs Toogood, of Dawlish, to make some arrangements to get a girl to look after deceased, but this effort failed. Deceased then asked his servant to do certain things for her, which he did. Witness gave him permission, as there was no other arrangement possible. Witness did not like the idea of having the door locked, but consented, as she wished it, and it might have caused her death had he refused her request. The key was always left in the door in the day. Witness saw her last on Thursday morning. She was then very ill, and he wished her to have a nurse that night, but she would not. Did not tell Mrs Soper she was so ill, as he did not think she was immediately going to die. Telegraphed for Mr Pope on Friday morning after his servant had informed him of her death. Did not go to see deceased or send any one to her until Mr Pope arrived. He did not think consumption was the cause of her death, from the appearance of the body, but should say she died through a fit of apoplexy. Deceased had expressed a wish to his servant that if he found her dead in the morning he was to lock the door and tell his master. Charles Jewell, servant with Mr Cann, had known deceased about three weeks. She sent for him. She asked him to do a little thing or two for her, whatever she wishes. When he would leave she would say when she wanted him again. He used to see her about twice a day. Always locked the door; sometimes took the key, and other times left it in the door. Would give the key to his master. Had seen no one but his master and one or two women there at the deceased's room. Gave her breakfast about two days since, and brought her dinner when ordered to do so. She never gave him any tea. Used to make the kettle boil over the lamp. Did not leave the lamp burning when he left the night previous. There was a fireplace, but no fire. Used to see her between seven and eight mornings. She would make the tea in his presence. She had always everything she liked cooked, and he used to take it down to her from his master's. On Thursday morning she ordered sago pudding, and took it about one p.m. She ate part of it, and upset the remainder. He left her about 1.45 p.m. Saw her again next morning just after seven. Lit the lamp and did what he had to do mornings, and then spoke to her, but got no answer. He spoke again seven or eight times, with the same result. He then went the other side, and looked at her, and saw her laying on one side dead, as if she had fallen down from sitting up in the bed. Had seen her in a very violent temper. Did not tell any one that she was dead, not even her landlady, because she had expressed her wish to him that he was not to do so. The Inquiry was adjourned until Monday in order that a post-mortem examination might be made. The evidence then given by Mr Gay, surgeon, of Newton Abbot, was to the effect that the cause of death was tubular disease of the lungs; and a verdict in accordance was returned. Thirty years ago the deceased was a straw-bonnet maker of Exeter.
Wednesday 24 January 1872, Issue 5591 – Gale Document No. Y3200716169 SIDBURY – Mr Coroner Cox held an Inquest at Sidford on Saturday upon the body of the daughter of EDWARD RICHARDS. The deceased was only six months old, and the evidence left no doubt that the child died from suffocation, caused by being overlaid by its mother.
Wednesday 31 January 1872, Issue 5592 – Gale Document No. Y3200716184 EXETER – The death of MRS CAROLINE SHUCKBURGH, wife of a commercial traveller, living in the old Tiverton-road, has been thoroughly investigated from the fact that on the 8th December last MR SHUCKBURGH and his son quarrelled, and in the course of the altercation MRS SHUCKBURGH (in the endeavour to appease her husband) was accidentally struck by him. On the 13th January she complained of pain in her arm; and on the 19th Mr Lionel Roberts, surgeon, who had some time previously attended MRS SHUCKBURGH, was again consulted. He then found her suffering from pain in her right hand and arm, which were much inflamed, and she likewise complained of a violent pain in her right side. Two days afterwards she died. Mr coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the George and Dragon Inn, on Wednesday and the proceedings were adjourned till Saturday to enable Mr Roberts to make a post mortem examination of the body. This he did, and on Saturday he detailed the nature of his examination, stating it as his belief that the blow said to be given to the deceased by her husband had nothing to do with her death, which resulted from Natural Causes. And a verdict to this effect was returned.
Wednesday 7 February 1872, Issue 5593 – Gale Document No. Y3200716220 DEVONPORT – On the first day of the present year a marine named ALFRED GUNNINGHAM, acting as servant to Lieut. Hubert Garbett, on board the Hotspur, was sent on shore by his master with two £5 notes, in order to obtain a post-office order for £9. He was also requested to fetch a portmanteau from Mr Harvey's Hotel, Plymouth, and to get some papers from the bookstall at the Plymouth railway station. GUNNINGHAM went on shore in the ship's boat in company with others, one of whom, William Cloves, accompanied him to the post-office at Devonport, and there left him taking out an order for the £9 alluded to. GUNNINGHAM, as it was afterwards ascertained, obtained the papers and portmanteau at Plymouth, but did not return to the ship, and nothing was afterwards seen or heard of him. On Saturday morning, however, a man named John Knight, a naval pensioner, was near the south basin of Keyham Dockyard, when he perceived something floating in the water, which, after a short time, he distinguished as the body of a man. Assistance was procured, and it was brought to land. The face and body were much mutilated. The body was afterwards identified by a shipmate as that of ALFRED GUNNINGHAM. In the clothes were found a post-office-order for £9, and a few coppers. A letter from a seaman named Baker, of a very friendly character, was also discovered. The Devonport Coroner (Mr A. B. Bone) held an Inquest at the Albert Hotel, Morice Town, on Saturday afternoon, when a verdict of Found Drowned was returned. The deceased, who was a young unmarried man, was of quiet habits, and a steady disposition. he had not passed into the Keyham Dockyard on the 1st of January, consequently it is surmised that he was drowned in the harbour, and that his body floated into the basin.
NEWTON ABBOT – Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest on Friday at the Newton Union upon the body of ANNIE NORRISH, aged thirty. The husband of the deceased left her some eighteen months ago, and since then she had earned a livelihood by selling cockles. Coming out of a public house at Teignmouth some two months since the unfortunate woman fell over the steps and broke her leg. She was then removed to her home and the limb was set. She remained in her house without fire till Wednesday, when she engaged a vehicle to take her to the Workhouse. On Friday morning she complained of pain in her head, and soon became faint. She died directly afterwards. Mr Gillard, surgeon, was of opinion that the deceased died from apoplexy, and a verdict to that effect was recorded.
Wednesday 14 February 1872, Issue 5594 – Gale Document No. Y3200716242 EXETER – Inquests on Infants. - Mr Coroner Hooper held two Inquests yesterday on the bodies of infants – one at the Round Tree Inn on MARY ANN BLUNDELL, aged three months, the daughter of a shoemaker living in St Edmond-street. Mr S. Perkins said he had no doubt death resulted from convulsions, and the Jury returned a verdict accordingly.
In the second case the Enquiry was held at the Alexandra Inn, Prince's-road, on the body of WILLIAM HENRY DYMOND, aged two years and a-half, son of a single woman. The child was entrusted to the care of Mary Ann Baker, wife of a waggoner, living in Kempe's-buildings. On Friday week during the temporary absence f its nurse the child caught its night dress on fire by means of a candle which he took from the table and placed on the floor, and was so seriously burnt that he died from the effects on Sunday. A girl thirteen years of age, who was left with the deceased, merely went to the bin with some ashes. A verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.
Wednesday 21 February 1872, Issue 5595 – Gale Document No. Y3200716287 EXMOUTH – Mr Coroner Cox held an Inquest at the Imperial Hotel on Thursday upon the body of JAMES TURNER, aged seventeen. It was stated that the deceased had experienced cruel treatment from a woman, called Dunn, with whom his father cohabited, it being stated that he had been literally starved to death. The Jury viewed the body, and expressed their horror at the ghastly skeleton. The Rev. W. Webb voluntarily stated that he had visited the house accidentally in which the deceased resided at various times, and had found the deceased partaking of some humble food provided for Dunn's own children. The Jury, after having consulted for some time, came to the conclusion that the deceased died from consumption, accelerated by ill-treatment and want of sufficient food, and they strongly condemned the unfeeling conduct of the father and Sarah Dunn.
Wednesday 28 February 1872, Issue 5596 – Gale Document No. Y3200716304 EXETER – Manslaughter, was the verdict of the Coroner's Jury who twice assembled last week at the Topsham Inn to ascertain the cause of the death of WILLIAM GILL, of the Papermaker's Arms, in this city. On Sunday morning, the 11th instant, the deceased was in his bar, when his wife came downstairs and said to him "You walk out of my bar." He at once went into the passage, turned his head and said "You'll suffer for this." He was then proceeding to the front door, when his wife ran out, caught him by the arm, and pushed him into the tap-room, saying "Go into the tap-room." The unfortunate man fell and fractured his left thigh. Three or four hours afterwards he was removed at the request of a medical gentleman to the Hospital, where he died yesterday week from "exhaustion caused by the severe injury he received." The only person present at the time when MRS GILL is said to have pushed her husband was a Mrs Tozer; but to several men the deceased said he tripped and fell on going from the bar to the tap-room. The son of the deceased (MR WILLIAM GILL, of the Bull Inn), stated that his father told him when at the Hospital that "his wife pushed him as he was going from the bar to the tap-room; that he fell with his leg under him; and that his head struck against the form in the tap-room." Fourteen of the Jury were in favour of a verdict of Manslaughter against the wife and nine for a verdict of Accidental Death. It was stated that MR and MRS GILL were constantly quarrelling. Their marriage is said to illustrate the infelicity that too often arises from an incompatibility of age. May and December don't harmonise; and the "differences" which are said to have interrupted the domestic quiet of MR and MRS GILL may probably be accounted for from the fact that he was seventy-one years of age and her only about thirty. MRS GILL was removed to the gaol on Saturday evening. She will be tried at the forthcoming Assizes.
Wednesday 6 March 1872, Issue 5597 – Gale Document No. Y3200716330 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Pack Horse Inn on Friday evening upon the body of ELLEN OAKFORD HERBERT, aged thirty-two. She had been living in the service of Mr Paine, at Lympstone, and on Thursday came to Exeter on a visit to her parents, who reside at 4, Clifton-road, Newtown. She left there early on Friday morning, intending to return to Lympstone; but when in the Booking-office at the Queen-street Railway Station she suddenly fell down, and, though medical assistance was quickly procured, the unfortunate woman died soon afterwards. Mr Grigg, surgeon, said it was his opinion that the deceased died from apoplexy produced by a diseased heart. Verdict accordingly.
Wednesday 27 March 1872, Issue 5600 – Gale Document No. Y3200716415 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Anchor Inn, in this city, on Monday evening upon the body of ALBERT EDWARD CLARKE, aged eight months. Mr Hartnoll, surgeon, gave it as his opinion that the child died from convulsions through teething; and a verdict to that effect was returned.
Wednesday 3 April 1872, Issue 5601 – Gale Document No. Y3200716439 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Valiant Soldier Inn, in this city, on Saturday upon the body of ELIZABETH BOWDEN, aged thirty-six. The deceased was the wife of a labourer, living at Uffculme. On the 18th March the deceased was seized with an epileptic fit (who which she was subject) and fell against the grate. A neighbour found her on the floor insensible. Medical aid was sent for but the local surgeon was absent from home, and she was accordingly sent on to the Hospital. Mr Toswill, the house surgeon, found that she had been severely burnt on the left wrist. The usual treatment was adopted, but it did not succeed, and eventually mortification set in, resulting in the unfortunate woman's death on Good Friday. Verdict – "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 10 April 1872, Issue 5602 – Gale Document No. Y3200716467 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Crediton Inn, Paul-street, on Saturday, upon the body of JOHN ALLEN, aged 61. Mr S. S. Perkins, surgeon, gave it as his opinion that the deceased died from paralysis, resulting from a diseased heart; and a verdict to that effect was returned.
SAMUEL TUCKETT, a butcher's labourer, died in the Hospital on Friday from injuries he received through falling down stairs whilst carrying a bucket of water. An Inquest was held upon his body and a verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned. He was sixty-one years old, and leaves a widow.
Wednesday 17 April 1872, Issue 5603 –Gale Document No. Y3200716506 COLYTON – MISS K. NEWBERRY, schoolmistress, who had been in a desponding state for some time, committed suicide last week by throwing herself into the river. Her body was discovered in the water by Mr G. Stuart and Mr R. Snell. Verdict, "Committed suicide while of Unsound Mind."
WHIMPLE - CAPTAIN GOODENOUGH, late of the 1st Dragoon Guards and a Waterloo veteran, who lived at Whimple, met his death last week in a very melancholy way. The deceased's servant observed her master's hat close to a pond, a short distance from the house, and on her making an alarm MRS GOODENOUGH came and discovered her husband's body in the water, which was about five feet deep. When taken out he was quite dead. It is supposed that while looking into the pond he had a fit – he had previously had one – and fell in. He was seventy-six years of age. A verdict of "Found Drowned" was returned by the Coroner's Jury.
Wednesday 17 April 1872, Issue 5603 –Gale Document No. Y3200716497 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Coach and Horses Inn, St. Sidwell, on Monday, upon the body of ELIZABETH TUCKER, aged 87. Mr F. Phelps, surgeon, gave it as his opinion that the deceased died from exhaustion, produced by syncope. Verdict accordingly.
Wednesday 24 April 1872, Issue 5604 – Gale Document No. Y3200716529 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Valiant Soldier Inn, on Saturday, upon the body of GEORGE BISHOP PADY, aged 18. Deceased (a native of Colyton) was in the employ of Mr W. Carslake, shoeing-smith, of Bear-street, in this city, and on the 10th instant was assisting the shoeing of a restive horse. The animal during the shoeing began to plunge and kick, and the deceased (who tried to get out of the way) received a blow on the chest from the off foot. He was immediately conveyed to the Hospital, where he remained for a few days in a very dangerous condition. He then got better, but the old symptoms returned, and the poor fellow soon died. Verdict "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 1 May 1872, Issue 5605 – Gale Document No. Y3200716554 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest t the King's Head Inn, in this city, on Monday evening upon the body of CHARLES PITTS, a Brickmaker, aged 35. The deceased was very tipsy on Saturday night when he was helped home to his mother's house and put to bed. In less than two hours afte3rwards his mother found him dead in bed. She instantly went for Mr Phelps, surgeon who attributed death to suffocation, caused by the deceased lying on his face whilst intoxicated. Verdict accordingly.
Wednesday 8 May 1872, Issue 5606 – Gale Document No. Y3200716591 NEWTON POPPLEFORD – Mr Coroner Cox held an Inquest at the Exeter Inn on Friday, upon the body of ELIZA JANE SMALE, twelve weeks old, daughter of MR GEORGE SMALE, butcher, of Newton Poppleford. It seems that a girl, four years of age, struck a match and lighted a benzoline lamp, which was on a chair at the beside, and put the lamp on the bed by the side of the infant, who kicked it over and thus set the bed clothes on fire. Dr MacKenzie of Sidmouth, stated that the child had been under his treatment ever since the accident, which was on the 13th ult., and gave it as his opinion that death was caused by the shock of the system from the burns. Verdict, "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 15 May 1872, Issue 5607 – Gale Document No. Y3200716621 NEWTON ABBOT – Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest on Friday at the Newton Abbot Union upon the body of SARAH MARDON. The Master of the Union stated that deceased was admitted on Wednesday evening, with an order from the Relieving Officer. She belonged to Torquay, and was about twenty-five years of age. She was in the Workhouse about six years ago. When she came in on Wednesday evening she said she had been in the Exeter Hospital about two months since, and knowing she had previously suffered from disease he sent her to the nurse. He did not see her again until the following morning about quarter after seven, just after she died. She did not say anything that led him to think there was any necessity for sending for the doctor. Susan Bartlett, nurse, said deceased was weak and in a very emaciated state, and had a complaint in her throat. She took a little tea and bread and butter, but did not eat all. Mary Ann Thomas, an inmate of the Workhouse, and assistant in the ward where deceased was, said she complained of a tightness in her throat, and told witness that she made a noise in the night, but she was not to take any notice of it. Deceased disturbed witness twice in the night by making a gurgling noise, and she offered to get deceased something, but she declined to have it, and said she was all right. About a quarter to seven on Thursday morning deceased asked witness for a cup of tea, which she went away to make, but when she returned, about ten minutes afterwards, deceased was gasping for breath. Witness called the nurse and master directly. Mr F. J. Gillard, surgeon of the Union, saw the body of deceased on Thursday morning. She was much emaciated. He was of opinion she died from suffocation arising from the "slough" of the throat caused by the disease she was suffering from. The Jury returned a verdict of Death from Natural Causes.
Wednesday 15 May 1872, Issue 5607 – Gale Document No. Y3200716612 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Monday at the Red Lion Inn, St. Sidwell, upon the body of JOHN GREENAWAY, aged eighty-three. Deceased was formerly a gardener, but for some time has received parochial relief. On Saturday night he returned to his house in a very excited state. His wife called in a neighbour, who gave her husband some brandy and then laid him upon the bed. The wife then hastened for her sister; but on her return her husband had ceased to live. According to medical testimony he died from syncope, and a verdict to that effect was returned.
DEATH OF A LADY'S MAID FROM INTEMPERANCE. - Mr Coroner Crosse held an Inquest at St. Thomas on Friday upon the body of MARY PIKE, aged 39. The deceased was a lady's maid and had been in good service; but from her intemperate habits had been discharged from two or three situations within twelve months. ELIZABETH PIKE, sister of the deceased, lives in Cowick-street, St Thomas, and she stated that about five weeks since the deceased entered the service of a lady at Northam, but was discharged at the end of the month. She came back in a cab, accompanied by a servantman of the lady at Northam, the man saying "Take care of her, and have her looked after." The deceased was then under the influence of liquor. After a few moments she went out into the street and walked to and fro for more than two hours. Witness several times asked her to go home. At last deceased expressed wish to have a cup of tea, and witness went home to make it, believing that her sister was following. She saw no more of her until half-past ten the following morning, when she came home in a cab. She was then sober, being calm and collected. Deceased inquired for her brother, who had been searching for her, and on being told that he was not in, she insisted that her sister should go and look for him. The witness did so, being absent about twenty minutes. When she returned she found that her sister had undressed and gone to bed, having been attacked by a fit. Deceased did not speak afterwards, and died in less than two hours. The witness had no suspicion whatever that anyone was instrumental to her sister's death or that she committed suicide. She believed her sister had 32s. (a month's wages) when she left her situation at Northam; but after her death the witness found 25s. 9d. in the pocket of the deceased. The witness had no idea where her sister passed the night. Mr E. Buller, surgeon said he had known the deceased nearly a year, and had frequently attended her professionally. Her illness was in his opinion caused by excessive drinking. When he first attended her she was living at Sir John Bowring's; she had to leave the situation in consequence of her intemperance. She next went to the Hon. and Rev. H. H. Courtenay's at Mamhead, and left that place, as he understood, for the same cause. Before going to her last situation she was in a state bordering on delirium tremens. Witness had frequently cautioned her. On the preceding Tuesday morning he was called to see the deceased, and found her in bed dead. The body bore no marks of violence. Having heard the evidence of the previous witness he had no doubt that death resulted from convulsions. The Coroner: Produced by delirium tremens? Witness: Yes, that is the common termination of delirium tremens. I believe that to have been the sole cause of her death. I have not the least suspicion of any other cause. The Coroner directed the witness's attention to the face that the state of deceased's clothing had given rise to a suspicion that she had been maltreated; but Mr Buller said there was no ground whatever for the suspicion. In answer to further questions he said deceased would not have had convulsions from any other cause than drink without exhibiting premonitory symptoms. A post-mortem examination would be useless. He had anticipated that deceased would come to such an end, and had told her so again and again. the Foreman of the Jury thought it would be desirable to have evidence where she passed the night, but the Coroner's Office said they had been unable to obtain information. Mr Crosse pointed out that she could not have been robbed or ill-treated according to the evidence given; and Mr Buller added that it was a very common thing for persons suffering from delirium tremens to walk about in the open air all night. The Jury returned a verdict of "Died from Convulsions."
Wednesday 12 June 1872, Issue 5611 – Gale Document No. Y3200716723 BROADCLIST – Mr Coroner Crosse held an Inquest at Brice's Alexandra Inn (near the Broadclist Railway Station) on Saturday upon the body of JOHN MARTIN, tailor of Broadclist, aged thirty-eight. On Thursday evening the deceased left his home to go to Mr Davis's. Returning he availed himself of a shorter route, but in crossing the railway was killed by a train. Mr William Davis, farmer, stated that he had known the deceased since Christmas. He last saw him alive on Thursday evening, when he left his house to go home about twenty minutes past nine o'clock. The deceased was perfectly sober when he left. The witness had paid him a bill amounting to £2 7s. The crossing where deceased was found was about five minutes' walk from witness's house. It was full half-an-hour after the departure of deceased that the witness heard the mail train pass. An excursion train from Dorchester also passed about half-past ten. There was plenty of time for deceased to have got home before either of these trains were due. Jeremiah Wilks, a packer on the railway, deposed that he (accompanied by one of the deceased's apprentices) went to look for deceased soon after midnight on Thursday. After making various enquiries without avail they visited the level crossing and found the body of the deceased lying across the metals. His head was literally cut in two, and his brains scattered around. His hat, stick, and a parcel were lying on the ground a short distance in advance. The deceased had visited his house about eight o'clock that evening, and while there complained of a pain in his head. The witness thought it possible that deceased might have had a fit and fallen on the line, and no one being near to assist him he had thus been run over by the train. This he thought was the more likely because the crossing was only five minutes' walk from Mr Davis's house, and the deceased (as the last witness stated) left there in ample time to get home long before the train would pass. His watch, a £5 note, and some gold and silver were found upon him. Edward Chapman, the driver of the mail train, deposed that they passed the crossing in question without being aware that the engine had run over anything. The train was rather late, and they were going at the rate of about forty miles an hour. The train did not stop at Broadclist. He remembered at the time they were passing the spot in question that he had the whistle open to warm Broadclist Station of their approach. If he had been aware that they has passed over anything he should at once have stopped the train. On reaching Exeter some blood and human hair were discovered on the fore part of the engine. The Coroner, in summing up, said that from the evidence the deceased had met his death in a purely accidental manner. He possibly might have fallen down in a fit while crossing the line, as suggested by one of the witnesses, and no assistance being near, the train passed over him, or he might have been in the act of crossing the line at the identical moment the train was due, and on seeing it advancing was too paralysed to get out of the way. There could be no doubt whatever that the train had passed over his head, as the portions of hair and brains found on the engine testified. The Coroner did not consider that blame was attributable to any one. The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
WOODBURY – Mr Coroner Cox held an Inquest at the Globe Inn, Woodbury, on Thursday, upon the body of ALBERT BEER, aged thirty-eight, a plumber and tinsman, of Plymouth. The deceased was discovered by a lad (named John Prout) in a field on the preceding Monday morning. The poor man had cut his throat with a razor found near him. He was not then dead. He was removed to the Globe Inn, where he soon afterwards died. FREDERICK BEER, brother of the deceased, said the deceased was a widower, his wife having died about three years ago. The deceased had four children, and the last place he lived was in the parish of Holbaton, near Ivybridge. The last time he saw him was about twelve months ago, when he was in very good circumstances. Witness was not aware that anything was amiss with his mind or spirits, and had never heard that he was in difficulties. He knew no reason why the deceased should have committed the rash act; nor had he any reason to suspect that the deceased had met with foul play. Mr Raynor, surgeon, stated that he saw the deceased in the field, and he appeared to have staggered, fallen, and rolled over two or three times. The principal arteries of the throat were severed, and it was a matter for surprise that the man lived so long as he did. MR T. C. KERSWILL, of Newton Ferrers, said the deceased was his brother-in-law. He lived with witness for a long time, up to Ladyday. He then went to a blacksmith's shop in Holbeton, and was there about three weeks. He then went to Plymouth to hire a man, and witness did not see him again. He was very uncertain in his habits, and would stay away several days together, and witness consequently thought he was away on a drinking bout. He had told witness that after drinking he had been melancholy and did not like to return, but he never saw him drunk. He was straitened in circumstances, but had some money, and was in constant work. Mr Colenso, of Dawlish, stated that the deceased worked for Mr Tripe, of Dawlish, from White Monday up to the preceding Tuesday week. He then left without cause. Deceased always appeared to be in a desponding state while he knew him. He saw him on Thursday, when he said he was going across to Exmouth. The Jury returned a verdict that the deceased committed suicide whilst in a state of Unsound Mind.
CREDITON – Mr Coroner Crosse held an Inquest on Wednesday upon the body of WILLIAM PAISTER , who was about forty years of age. The deceased was an inmate of the Crediton Union, and on the previous Monday his body was found hanging to a beam in the stable belonging to the Workhouse. The evidence left no doubt that the poor man committed suicide while in a state of Temporary Insanity, and such was the verdict.
TORQUAY – A Coroner's Inquisition was held at the Torquay Infirmary on Friday upon the body of a MRS VIRTUE MEESON, about fifty years old. Her body was discovered upon the beach at Livermead on the preceding afternoon. The evidence showed that the deceased had for some time exhibited strange signs, but there was no proof as to how she got into the sea, and a verdict of "Found Drowned" was recorded.
BARNSTAPLE – Mr Coroner Bencraft held an Inquest at the North Devon Infirmary on Saturday upon the body of WILLIAM WEBBER, fifty years old. The deceased was a porter in the employ of Messrs. Wickham and Maxwell, wine merchants, of Barnstaple, and on the 29th of May was engaged in washing out bottles. The neck of one of them was severed, and a piece of the broken glass entered the left wrist of deceased. The wound was quickly bound up by another of the porters present, and the deceased proceeded at once to the North Devon Infirmary, where the wound was bandage and proper appliances administered by the house surgeon. Deceased then went away and returned the following day, when the bandage was removed and a poultice applied. The wound caused him great pain, apart from which he appeared to have sustained a considerable shock to the nervous system. He was admitted as a house patient to the infirmary on the previous Saturday, from which time he appeared to have been gradually sinking, and expired on Friday evening. The surgeon gave it as his opinion that death was caused by puerulent absorption or blood poisoning; and the Jury accordingly returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 19 June 1872, Issue 5612 – Gale Document No. Y3200716738 EXETER – The Late M. FRANCIS DUVAL. - The sudden death of the above gentleman, which occurred on Thursday morning within a very few moments of his leaving his home, created great excitement in the immediate neighbourhood where he resided as well as through the city. M. DUVAL was a gentleman very highly esteemed by those who knew him. As a teacher of the French and Italian languages he was in constant attendance at many of the best boarding schools of this neighbourhood. For many years he was the teacher of the French language at our Grammar School in its best days, and was much esteemed for his genial nature, his learning, and intellectual qualities. M. DUVAL has resided in Exeter between forty and fifty years, with the exception of five years' absence in Oxford and Birmingham. M. DUVAL was the first president of the Exeter Literary Society when it held its first meetings in Musgraves-alley. He opened a class in French and taught gratuitously until he left the Society to join the Religious Tone Society In severing from the old Society he was actuated by conscientious motives, and thought the old Society could not be sustained. In this, with many other worthy men, he was mistaken. In the early history of the old Literary Society M. DUVAL did immense service; he often kept the ardent spirits in unison with each other, and he had, and exercised, great power over them. Sometimes he would invite those young and ardent spirits to his house of an evening, but only one at a time; his great aim being to raise the moral tone of the minds of the young men of the city. He was elected president four years in succession, but he thought it would be advantageous to the Institution that some other gentleman should be elected to the office, when, at his suggestion, J. H. Hippesley, Esq., of Shobrooke Park, one of the Society's best supporters, was induced to accept the office of president. On M. DUBAL'S resignation the members of the Society presented MRS DUVAL with her husband's portrait, painted by Mr Frank Curzon, as a token of their high appreciation of M. DUVAL'S invaluable services to the Institution. (A copy of the portrait presented to his wife is hung in the reading room of the Literary Society.) On Mr Hippesley's resignation of the office of president M. DUVAL was again unanimously re-elected, and continued president until his severance from the old Society, which he prognosticated would break up in three months. Eight and twenty years have passed away since that time, and the old Society is in a more flourishing position than ever it was. It was only on Wednesday afternoon he was in the reading room of the Institution full of life and cheerfulness. An Inquest was held on the body on Thursday evening, and the medical testimony went to show that apoplexy was the cause of death. A verdict was returned accordingly.
EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the King's Head Inn, St. Sidwell, upon the body of MABEL LANG, an infant. The mother (unmarried) is a native of Menheniot, but has resided a few weeks in Turner's-court, St. Sidwell. She avers that she put the child to bed on Saturday about six o'clock and did not see it again till twelve, when it was dead. The child had not been well from its birth, and was suffering from "thrush." Mr Phelps, surgeon, gave it as his opinion that the child died from convulsions, but thought that if proper care had been bestowed upon it the child might still have been alive. Verdict "Natural Causes." But the Jury considered the mother very culpable in not attending to her infant for six hours.
Wednesday 26 June 1872, Issue 5613 – Gale Document No. Y3200716776 WIDDICOMBE – WILLIAM CROCKER, 68 years of age, hung himself last week in a linhay near his house. He was a shoemaker by trade, and for many years had been clerk of the parish of Widdicombe. The deceased had for some time laboured under a strange delusion, and the Coroner's Jury returned a verdict of Temporary Insanity.
BARNSTAPLE – PHILIP TUCKER, aged 20, son of MR GEORGE TUCKER, of Lobb Farm, Braunton, near Barnstaple, was drowned whilst bathing on Sunday morning, at Braunton Pill. Mr Deputy Coroner Toller held an Inquest on Monday on the body of the deceased, and a verdict of "Accidentally Drowned" was recorded. The unfortunate young man could not swim, and as it was high tide at the time he is supposed to have got into deep water.
Wednesday 3 July 1872, Issue 5614 – Gale Document No. Y3200716787 BIDEFORD – Mr Coroner Pridham held an Inquest on Saturday upon the body of THOMAS LANE, labourer, of Bideford. On the preceding day the deceased with two other men went to a field to discharge guns in honour of the return of Mr Balsdon, of Southcott, from his wedding tour. The guns had been once discharged, but in the second round one of them burst, and a piece of the gun shattered the head of poor LANE in a fearful way, causing his instant death. The other men received injuries, but not of a very serious kind. Verdict, "Accidental Death."
SHALDON – Two fishermen, named BAKER and SMITH, of Shaldon, were cruising off Dawlish in a pleasure boat fishing with hook for mackerel on Wednesday, when their boat suddenly disappeared. The wind was exceedingly gusty at the time, and the boat is said to have capsized when on "the tack". Several boats immediately proceeded to the rescue of the unfortunate occupants of the boat, but nothing of them could be seen. Their boat, however, was discovered in comparatively shallow water, and the coastgurdsmen and others managed to raise the boat and brought her ashore. BAKER'S father and two of his sons were drowned near Shaldon about eighteen months ago. Then the father wished this son also to go with him, but he refused. SMITH was married to the daughter of a Mr Poland only a few months ago. The remains of SMITH were discovered on Thursday. An Inquest was held on Saturday at Hatcher's Royal Hotel, Dawlish, upon the body of SMITH, whose remains were identified by Mary Ann Sedgwood, of Shaldon. He was about twenty-five years of age. She stated that JOHN BAKER, of Shaldon, was also with deceased in the boat when she saw them pass down the river, opposite the Crown and Anchor, Shaldon, on Wednesday morning. Henry Messenger, pensioner, Royal Navy, deposed to seeing the boat sink off Dawlish beach, on Wednesday morning last, just before one. Before she sank he saw two men in her. It was rather squally. The boat went over on her broadside, then righted herself again, and sank immediately. John Holman and witness instantly pulled away in the boat belonging to the bathing companies, but before they could reach the spot, the men had sunk. The found the boat mast upwards, but failed to discover the bodies. It was about half-a-mile from the shore. Other boats immediately came to their assistance. John Moran, chief boatman, coastguard station, Dawlish, deposed to finding the body about five p.m., on Thursday last. Henry Albert Ford, of Shaldon, stated that the boat belonged to him. She was considered safe, and well-known along the coast. SMITH came to his house on Wednesday morning last to ask the loan of the boat, which was granted. JOHN BAKER usually went out with him. They had been out the same morning and used sails. Being unsuccessful in fishing, they returned soon after eight. BAKER understood the management of a boat, but could not swim. He knew SMITH slightly. The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Drowning by the upsetting of a boat at Coryton's Cove, Dawlish.
Wednesday 10 July 1872, Issue 5615 – Gale Document No. Y3200716827 EXMOUTH – On the 22nd of June two men (JAMES MANLEY and FRANCIS BUDD) were engaged in removing a cob wall at Littleham, when a large portion of the wall fell upon them. Poor MANLEY was killed on the spot; and the other unfortunate man was so shockingly injured as to need his removal to the Devon and Exeter Hospital, where he died on Saturday. It is a matter of surprise that the poor man should have lived so long for both his legs were broken and several of his ribs. He was fifty-eight years old. An Inquest was held upon the body on Monday, when the Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 17 July 1872, Issue 5616 – Gale Document No. Y3200716853 NEWTON ABBOT – Mention was last week made that MR WILLIAM TRUMAN, saddler, of Newton Abbot, had not been seen since the preceding Saturday evening when he went to Chudleigh. It was supposed that he had been drowned, and the supposition proved true, for his body has been found in the river Teign. The Coroner's Jury returned an open verdict as to the unfortunate man's death.
IDE - Mr Coroner Crosse held an Inquest at the New Inn, Ide, on Thursday, upon the body of a boy, five years old, son of HOWE, gamekeeper to Captain Walrond. The father of the deceased lives at Knowle Cottage, Exminster. The deceased was mentally afflicted. On the preceding Tuesday the little fellow was returning to his home and his mother went to meet him. She saw her son approaching, but a turn in the road hid him from her view. He had to pass a well twenty feet deep, and as his mother could not find him she thought he might have fallen into the well. She hastened there and discovered her son in the water. Adjoining the well is a pump which has been out of order for a long time, and that has necessitated the removal of a plank from the top of the well in order to dip out the water; and it is supposed that the person last at the well had not properly replaced the plank, and that the little boy had met with his melancholy death by intending to work the handle of the pump, when, stepping upon the end of the boar, it gave way, and he fell in. The Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned."
Wednesday 17 July 1872, Issue 5616 – Gale Document No. Y3200716844 Mr Coroner Hooper held two Inquests on Saturday upon persons who had died suddenly. One of the Inquiries was at Widgery's Wine and Spirits Vaults, Summerland-street, upon the body of JOHN CARTER, aged 35. The deceased was a gardener, and resided at Crescent-row, Summerland-street. On Saturday afternoon he was at work in a field at Duryard, and whilst having some conversation with reference to his work with the head gardener he suddenly drew two heavy breaths and died instantly. Mr Arthur Coplestone Roberts, surgeon, was of opinion that the deceased died from heart disease. The Jury returned a verdict accordingly.
The other inquest was held at the Black Dog Inn upon the body of JANE SHARLAND, 82 years of age. The deceased rented a room of Mr Linton, of No. 7, Bartholomew-street, and it appeared from the evidence of Mr Grigg, surgeon, that she died from exhaustion. The Jury returned a verdict of "Natural Causes."
Wednesday 31 July 1872, Issue 5618 – Gale Document No. Y3200716901 BRATTON FLEMING - Mr Deputy Coroner Toller held an Inquest on Friday at Bratton Fleming, upon the body of JOHN GILL, of Hoxton Farm. On the preceding day the deceased was at work in the hayfield, but suddenly left and went into the house, followed afterwards by his wife from the field. She met him coming out, and asked him if he was again going to work, when he replied "I'm never going into the field any more." He immediately re-entered the house and became sick, when his wife became alarmed, and despatched a messenger to Barnstaple for a doctor. In the meantime deceased continued to vomit, and his wife, thinking he had swallowed something injurious, gave him milk, mustard, and gin to stimulate the vomiting. MRS GILL pressed her husband to say what he had taken, and after a long time he said, "I drank from the bottle on the stairs." She understood at once that he meant a bottle containing a solution of corrosive sublimate, which they used for washing sheep affected with worms. Mr Fernie arrived two hours and a half afterwards and administered the whites of eggs, which are the antidote to the poison, but at half-past eight the unfortunate man died in the greatest agony. He leaves a wife and two girls. A verdict of "Suicide while in a state of Temporary Insanity" was returned. Deceased had been depressed and gloomy some days before and was herd to wish himself dead. No motive can be given for his having committed this rash act.
Wednesday 7 August 1872, Issue 5619 – Gale Document No. Y3200716916 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest yesterday afternoon at the Pack Horse Inn, St. David, upon the body of NOAH FLOOD, aged 77. The deceased lived in one of Attwell's Almshouses. Mrs Arabella Newcombe, who lived in the same house as deceased, stated that she had known him for about 18 months. he had been frequently ill during that period. Deceased was in the habit of wring a quantity of clothes and sometimes five or six waistcoats at one time, and always complained of being cold. He had been subject to fits and on Sunday night witness heard him smashing his furniture, as he was in the habit of doing. Next morning, witness went to his room to see him, but found the door locked. She obtained the assistance of a plumber who got into the window and broke open the door. Witness went into the room and found deceased on the bed quite dead. Mr Hawkins, surgeon, stated that the deceased, whose brain had been debilitated for some time, died from apoplexy. The Jury returned a verdict of "Died from Natural Causes."
EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Monday at Mr Hexter's Wine and Spirit Vaults upon the body of ARTHUR HALL, aged five months, who se parents live in the Mint. Mr Perkins, surgeon, gave evidence as to the cause of death of the child, and the Jury returned a verdict to the effect that he died from Natural Causes.
Wednesday 11 September 1872, Issue 5624 – Gale Document No. Y3200717056 SIDMOUTH – The Melancholy Death of the REV. R. KIRWAN. - The Inquest on the body of the REV. R. KIRWAN, who, as reported by us last week, was accidentally drowned whilst bathing at Sidmouth on Monday, was held at the London Hotel on Wednesday before Mr Coroner Cox. The evidence of Mr C. J. Andrews, a magistrate of Berkshire, who is at present on a visit to Sidmouth, showed that whilst walking with his sons on the beach shortly after one o'clock he saw the clothes of a man. Looking into the water he could not perceive any person bathing, and he sent two of his children into the town to acquaint the authorities. He examined the towels and found "R.R. KIRWAY" thereon, and on the socks the letters "R. K." In a few minutes a fisherman came up and Mr Andrews sought for further information in the pockets of the clothes but failed to find anything. When the police arrived the clothes were tied in a bundle and taken to the town, and men were set to work with seines in the endeavour to recover the body. Further evidence was adduced showing that the deceased was seen walking in the direction of the rocks shortly after twelve o'clock, and William Dean stated that he saw a man in the water apparently bathing. The Coroner said he had been given to understand that the deceased was an excellent swimmer. Mr Hine-Haycock, of Belmont, Sidmouth, who watched the case on behalf of the widow, said he understood the same. Henry Lewis Thomas, of the Inland Revenue Office, said that on the day in question he had been bathing about a mile from Sidmouth, in the direction of Budleigh Salterton. About a quarter past twelve he observed a clergyman pass, wearing a soft black hat and frock coat. He had seen the body, and believed it to be that of the gentleman he referred to. Witness saw him undress and go into the water, which was rather rough, and after watching him for about a minute he walked away in the direction of Sidmouth. The deceased's clothes were then about 30 ft. from the water. Samuel Ware, a boatman, stated that about seven o'clock on Monday evening he found the body, which had been washed ashore, about three hundred yards from where the clothes were found. By the Coroner: He had known the deceased for some time, and always believed him to be a good swimmer. He was searching for the body from two o'clock up to the time it was found. The sea was rather rough; so rough in fact as to render it dangerous for a person to go out any great distance because he would have to return against the tide. Mr Hine-Haycock said he had known the deceased for a great number of years, and he believed he was forty-one years of age. Deceased was an intimate friend of witness's brother, and he recollected that on one occasion the pair were out boating when the boat capsized, and they had to swim a considerable distance to save their lives. This was one of his reasons for believing him to be a good swimmer. In the year 1868 he frequently bathed with the deceased, and on one occasion they swam out quite half-a-mile together. The Coroner, in a brief address to the Jury, said he could not restrain from expressing the deep regret he felt, in common with the neighbourhood, at the very melancholy circumstance of the rev. gentleman's death, and his sympathy with his wife and family, feeling what a great loss the sad affair would be to the entire neighbourhood. The deceased gentleman was kind and courteous and exceedingly intelligent, and he was always ready and willing to place his intelligence at the service of the public. The lectures he had given in the neighbourhood had been perfectly delightful, and the attendance there that day testified to the respect in which the gentleman was held. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidentally Drowned while Bathing." On behalf of the family Mr Hine-Haycock thanked the Coroner for the kind and considerate manner in which he had conducted the Enquiry. The remains of the lamented gentleman were on Saturday consigned to the grave in the churchyard of Gittisham, beneath the shadow of the ancient elms which surround the church where he ministered for so many years, and which he adorned by his taste and liberality, as well as by his well-remembered eloquence.
Wednesday 18 September 1872, Issue 5625 – Gale Document No. Y3200717088 TOTNES - The morning after the first day's races the body of a woman was found in the mill leat, near the entrance to the Race Marsh. It proved to the body of CAROLINE LEAKER EASTERBROOK. Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest upon her body on Thursday afternoon at the Town Arms Inn. Cries of "Murder" (apparently proceeding from the water) were heard after midnight on Tuesday, and the next morning at daylight Policeman Pearce and others went looking into the stream to see if they could discover anything, and presently they saw the body of the deceased. RICHARD LEAKER, of Pilton, Barnstaple, gave evidence to the effect that the deceased was his daughter. She was married to WILLIAM EASTERBROOK, a sawyer, of Torquay, and was thirty-one years of age. They had lived at different places, but did not seem happy together. He thought her husband was a drinking man. They had been parted but two or three months ago. EASTERBROOK wrote to witness to say it was likely they would live together again. While they were living at Plymouth deceased wrote him, saying they were parted as she could not live with him, in consequence of his ill-treatment. He had heard from her since, that she was in service at Plymouth. The last time he heard from her was about two months since, when she wrote and asked him for money to furnish a house with, but he could not spare her the money. He understood that deceased and his daughter ELIZA were living together at Plymouth. When she came home from Jersey, deceased told him her husband ill-used her, so that she was obliged to have him locked up, and she afterwards wrote him to the same effect. ELIZA LEAKER (sister of the deceased) said she was a single woman and lived with the deceased for about three years – first at Jersey, when deceased and her husband were separated and the former kept a lodging-house. When they were living together she had seen EASTERBROOK knock her down, and on one occasion he struck her with a candlestick and knocked her down. After that they lived together at No. 3, Hoe-street, Plymouth. She heard from deceased that her husband ill-used her again, and witness came at her request from Jersey to live with her. He did not ill-use her so much as when they were living at Jersey. He left Plymouth last Monday fortnight, she and deceased remaining behind at 5, Grosvenor-street. On the second day of Torquay Regatta they met EASTERBROOK in the street in Torquay. He was intoxicated, and said "I will murder you; I will do for you yet." They met him again last Friday, and he again threatened to do for her before he had finished with her. Deceased came with witness to Totnes Races on Tuesday in the afternoon. They were together till half-past seven o'clock. She left her at Doel's booth, drinking with a gentleman she did not know. She did not see EASTERBROOK on the race course. Heard her say if she saw her husband she should go straight to the police. The Coroner asked witness if the deceased's conduct was the cause of their living unhappily together. She said she had conducted herself with propriety since her marriage with EASTERBROOK. Eliza Bucknole, from Bristol, said she saw deceased go down the course on Tuesday night about half-past eight, in company with a gentleman, about 200 yards below the Grand Stand. Deceased took a likeness out of her bosom, and this, with another which she fancied the man had got, they threw against the poles of a show and broke. The man said, "Will you come home and live with me;" she replied, No, never;" and it was then that they smashed the likenesses. He threatened to strike her if she would not go home and live with him. Witness advised them to go home together; that was all she said to them. John Morgan, a vendor of watercresses at Torquay, was waiter in a booth. On Tuesday night, between eleven and twelve o'clock, he heard screams of murder several times. They appeared to come from the direction of the river, not the leat, where the body was found. It was a female voice. He and others went towards the spot, but the cries seemed to die away, and being afraid of falling in the water they turned back. He heard the cry repeated once after returning to the booth. The Coroner then summed up the evidence adduced, and said it would be necessary to hear more witnesses, which the police would bring before them. The Enquiry was adjourned until Monday, when the husband of the deceased stated that he had not seen his wife since the Regatta at Torquay, and that he was not present at the races. An alibi was clearly established on behalf of the husband by the evidence of other witnesses. William Hedgeler, a sailor, stated that he saw the deceased drinking with a young man on the Totnes racecourse, but did not know the man. About eleven o'clock at night he saw her again with a young man, and they appeared to be quarrelling. He did not see deceased again, but about twenty minutes after he passed her he heard screams of "murder," which were repeated three or four times. Mr Owen, surgeon, said he had made a post-mortem examination of the body, and explained that it was healthy. He found a slight mark on the face, but there was no effusion of blood. He concluded it was a mark that was not uncommon after death. In one of her hands, which was closed, he found a short brown hair, which might have come either from man's whiskers or be a portion of her own hair, which was dark brown. He could not, however, swear it was a human hair. The Coroner here remarked that the Enquiry could not be closed that day. He exonerated the husband, and said there was some doubt whether anyone else had anything to do with the death. The Enquiry was adjourned to Monday next.
Wednesday 25 September 1872, Issue 5626 – Gale Document No. Y3200717104 EXETER – Fatal Accident At The Regatta. - JOHN BRAND, nineteen years of age, a shoeblack, attended the regatta on Wednesday and subsequently adjourned with others to a store in the neighbourhood of the Passage Boat Inn, where dancing was indulged in. At about half-past eight o'clock he was seen to fall through a trap-door and alight on his head. He was immediately conveyed to the Hospital, where he lingered until the following day and then died. At the Inquest on the body, which was held at the Valiant Soldier Inn, on Friday, it was proved that the cause of death was fracture of the skull. No person in the store appeared to have been aware of the occurrence. Verdict "Accidental Death."
EXETER – Mr Coroner Hoper held an Inquest at the Topsham Inn, in this city, upon the body of JOHN LAND, of Saint Thomas. Deceased was working at Mr East's Factory in Smythen-street, and whilst assisting in the removal of a drilling machine he fell and the machine crushed one of his fingers. He went to the Hospital and was progressing favourably under medical care; but on Sunday week symptoms of lock-jaw were observable and it was deemed advisable to amputate the finger. This, however, did not prevent tetanus, and the poor fellow died from it two days afterwards. Verdict accordingly.
EXETER – MRS CHARLOTTE SWEETLAND, wife of MR ROBERT SWEETLAND, a retired farmer, living at 42, Bartholomew-street, in this city, was found dead in her bed on Friday morning. She went to bed after making a good supper, apparently in excellent health; but soon after five in the morning her husband discovered is wife was a corpse. Mr Hawkins, surgeon, gave it as his opinion that her death resulted from a diseased heart, and the Coroner's Jury returned a verdict to that effect.
Wednesday 2 October 1872, Issue 5627 – Gale Document No. Y3200717141 BOVEY TRACEY - Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest at Bovey Tracey on Saturday upon the body of WILLIAM PERKIN. Deceased was engaged on the previous day with another man, called Sampson, loading timber at Lustleigh, when a large piece fell back on him, causing such injuries that he die within a few hours afterwards. Verdict, Accidental death.
Wednesday 2 October 1872, Issue 5627 – Gale Document No. Y3200717128 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Topsham Inn on Monday upon the body of CHARLES PIDGEON, aged 70. Deceased resided at Rockbeare. He came to Exeter on Friday, and whilst driving a pony cart through Sun-street the pony suddenly stopped and the unfortunate man was thrown out. This was seen by a person, who caught hold of the reins and the pony backed, the wheel of the cart passing over the chest of MR PIDGEON. He was immediately conveyed to the Hospital, but he died the next morning from the injuries. Verdict, "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 9 October 1872, Issue 5628 – Gale Document No. Y3200717167 TOTNES – Mysterious Death of a Woman. - Mr Coroner Michelmore renewed his Inquiry at the Town Arms, Totnes, on Monday, touching the death of CAROLINE EASTERBROOK, a married woman, who was living apart from her husband, and conducting herself very questionably. Her body was discovered in the Mill-leat near the Race Marsh on the morning of the second day of the late races at Totnes. The additional evidence now of four persons in no way unravelled the mystery surrounding the death of the unfortunate woman. The witnesses only proved that they saw the deceased and her sister in company with different men on the first day of the races. A man, named Packer, who was better known as "The Doctor" had been summoned to attend the Inquest; but he did not appear, and the Coroner issued a warrant for his attendance. Consequently the Inquiry was further adjourned to Thursday evening.
Wednesday 16 October 1872, Issue 5629 – Gale Document No. Y3200717195 SANDFORD – Mr Coroner Crosse held an Inquest on Monday at Sandford touching the death of a child, aged two and a half years, the son of a labourer named STONE. Great interest was manifested in the proceedings, as it had been alleged that death had resulted from neglect or ill-treatment at the Crediton Workhouse, to which the child was admitted in July, and from which it was taken away on the 1st instant. The deceased, who was very emaciated, and upon whose body there were bruises, died on Friday from, the surgeon believed, a cold followed by congestion of the lungs, the weak condition of the deceased rendering him, probably much less able t resist the attack. The child weighed only 12 lbs. The evidence went to shew that the child was most emaciated when received into the house, and had improved in condition, that the treatment received had been most kind and careful, and that the bruises were caused by falling. A verdict of "Death from Congestion of the Lungs" was returned.
TOTNES – Still a Mystery. - The Coroner's Jury have returned a verdict of "Found Drowned" in the case of CAROLINE LEAKER EASTERBROOK, whose father lives at Pilton, Barnstaple. The unfortunate woman (who lived apart from her husband and not in accordance with any degree of propriety) attended the late Totnes Races on the first day, and early the next morning her body was discovered in the mill-leat, adjoining the race course. The Coroner's Inquiry has been adjourned from time to time with the object of ascertaining the name of the person with whom she was last seen in company, or any particulars touching her demise; but, although all sorts of rumours have been industriously circulated in reference to the mysterious death of the poor woman nothing satisfactory has been gleaned. The Inquiry was resumed on Thursday, when the man known as "The Doctor" was brought up in custody. He said his named was William Coulton Parker. He lives at Plymouth on an allowance from his parents, who resided in London. He was by trade a wheelwright. He was not at Totnes Races on the first day, but was on the second. Knew the deceased, but only by name. He was acquainted with her sister, ELIZA LEAKER, whom he had seen in Plymouth since the Inquest was commenced, but to whom he had not spoken. The Coroner: Has she been to your lodgings in Plymouth since? Witness said he was told that two girls came there to inquire for him, and from their description he thought one was ELIZA LEAKER, but he had not been able to find out. He saw the deceased's sister on the Wednesday morning, and she told him that her sister was drowned the previous evening. She asked him to stand something, and he took her to the Seymour Hotel, gave her something to drink, and left her there with some gentlemen. The Coroner: When the police saw you in Plymouth about this case did you not promise to attend at the station and explain that you were not at the races on the first day? Witness replied that he did, but that he went to sleep after dinner, and when he got to the station the train had left. He had known ELIZA LEAKER since Christmas last, and during that time had frequently spoken to her. He had always worn a moustache since it had first grown. He was sorry that he had put the Jury to any trouble by not attending. ELIZA LEAKER was then called and asked if the person whom she met in Totnes streets was in the room. Without looking at Parker she said he was. The Coroner reminded her that she had said he had neither whiskers nor moustache, and witness said she did not know whether he had or had not. The Coroner (Mr H. Michelmore) proceeded to sum up the evidence, and in doing so remarked that if all the witnesses had at first told the truth and all they knew about the matter, the Inquiry would not have been so prolonged.
Wednesday 16 October 1872, Issue 5629 – Gale Document No. Y3200717197 AN EXETER VOLUNTEER SHOT. - CHARLES FERRIS, a brass finisher, living with his father in Quay-lane, and a member of No. 4 company Exeter Rifles, was found shot dead in his bed room soon after eight o'clock on Wednesday morning, as reported by us in our second edition last week. A gun-shot wound was found in his throat, and blood was flowing from the wound and his mouth. At the Inquest, which was held the same afternoon at the Topsham Inn, before H. W. Hooper, Esq., evidence was adduced showing that the deceased was present at the military ball given at the Victoria Hall, and did not reach his home until five o'clock on Wednesday morning. His father called him shortly after six to go to his work, and he replied that he should e down soon. Finding he did not get up MR FERRIS, at a little before seven, took him a cup of tea, and deceased then said he should lie an hour or two. A few minutes after eight MRS FERRIS heard a report, and on going into his room discovered him lying on the floor dead with blood issuing from his head. His rifle was against the wall and the cleaning rod between his hands and underneath his head. Mr Edye and Mr Tosswill were quickly in attendance, but he was quite dead, Mr Edye giving an opinion that the wound was sufficient to cause instantaneous death. He could not say whether the bullet was out of the head; he had made a search about the room but failed to discover any trace of the bullet. Deceased was a very sober man. William J. Godsland, FERRIS'S companion, informed the Coroner that on leaving the last firing stage at the Warren on Monday he heard the register-keeper request deceased to examine his rifle, as was usual, and Sergeant McDonald, the register-keeper, proved examining the rifle. Godsland added that he and deceased always cleaned their rifles together, therefore he could not account for his doing so on that morning – the usual appliances for cleaning the rifle were found about the room. After hearing the whole of the evidence the Coroner said the only question for the Jury to consider was whether the deceased committed suicide or met with his death accidentally. To his mind there was no evidence one way or the other, and he should advise them to return an open verdict. The Jury returned a verdict accordingly. Whether the act was intentional or accidental, it is quite certain that the unfortunate man contravened orders. For a bullet to be in his rifle was a great breach of rules; moreover, with the snap-cap on, as it ought to have been, it is next to impossible that the rifle could go off; therefore, the supposition is that he must have removed the snap-cap. Again, if he were cleaning the rifle, the breach-block would be open, and there would be no occasion to have the piece more than at half-cock, in which position it could not go off. The deceased was buried on Sunday at the New Cemetery. About seventy volunteers accompanied the body to the grave, Captain Mason being in command, and Lieutenants Peyton and Mortimer being also in attendance. The bearers were deceased's fellow workmen.
Wednesday 16 October 1872, Issue 5629 – Gale Document No. Y3200717186 EXETER - The unfortunate woman whose body was found in the Exeter Canal on Monday week, lived in service at Bradninch and was called SARAH TOZER. She left Bradninch on the day before her remains were discovered in the Canal; but nothing is known of her movements after she quitted her relatives at Bradninch on the Sunday when she told them she "was going out to tea." She is described as a woman of weak intellect, and was about forty years of age.
Wednesday 23 October 1872, Issue 5630 – Gale Document No. Y3200717222 BARNSTAPLE - Mr Coroner Bencraft held an Inquest on Friday evening upon the body of JAMES TAYOR, aged sixty-seven, a gardener, of Boutport-street, Barnstaple. In July 1869, the deceased was attended by the parish doctor (Mr Cooke) for bronchitis and a cancer. The patient took some of the medicine sent him, and lived till Wednesday last. His widow then alleged that the medicine given her husband in 1869 accelerated his death; if it were not the real cause of his demise. She protested that a local chemist had analysed the remaining portion of the mixture and had assured her that whoever dispensed the medicine made a serious mistake. It was, therefore, thought advisable to hold an Inquest whereby the facts might be made apparent; but no one will be surprised to find that there was not the slightest ground for the widow's assumption. Verdict – "Death from Natural Causes."
Wednesday 30 October 1872, Issue 5631 – Gale Document No. Y3200717250 BISHOPSTEIGNTON - Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest on Friday evening at Bishop-teignton upon the body of MARY MARTIN, aged seventy-two, wife of a labour. Some short time ago the deceased was burning rubbish which had accumulated in a cupboard, and amongst other things threw an old boot into the fire. Immediately an explosion followed, and the poor woman was severely burned. Mr Rawlings, surgeon, of Teignmouth, attended, but in spite of all his care and skill the sufferer lingered on in great pain and expired last Thursday. A verdict was returned of "Accidental Death." The explosion was caused by gunpowder used for blasting purposes, which had been put into the boot and forgotten.
POWDERHAM - Mr Coroner Crosse held an Inquest on Thursday at the Powderham Turnpike Gate upon the body of JOHN JARMAN, aged twenty-six. The deceased was the keeper of the gate. It seems that Mr Mortimer, of Exwell Barton, usually sends his horses to a field for the night, and they have to pass through Powderham Gate. Last evening week the horses were sent in charge of three boys, each of whom was riding, and five of the horses were loose and unhaltered. The boys were riding fast, and the poor gate-keeper (who was at supper) rushed out to open the gate and was unfortunately knocked down and killed. In giving their verdict of Accidental Death the Jury condemned the system of sending horses loose to the field. The deceased leaves a widow and one child.
Wednesday 30 October 1872, Issue 5631 – Gale Document No. Y3200717237 EXETER - ROBERT HEARD, a carpenter, of this city, went to Cowley Bridge on Sunday afternoon. Seeing a piece of timber floating in the river he endeavoured to secure it; but, unfortunately, he fell into the water and was drowned. The river was running rapidly at the time. His body was recovered in less than an hour afterwards by two men (named Bowden, a plasterer, of Lion's Holt, and Henry Sellick) who conveyed it to the Cowley Bridge Inn. An Inquest was held yesterday upon the remains and a verdict of "Accidentally Drowned" was returned.
JOHN REEVES, aged seventy-eight, who formerly occupied the post of messenger at the Bankruptcy Court, died somewhat suddenly on Tuesday. He went out in the wet on the previous Friday and caught cold, but appeared better on Tuesday, expressing his intention of taking a walk. During dinner, however, he suddenly relapsed and died in a few minutes. At an Inquest held sat the Buller's Arms Inn, St Sidwell's, the following day, before H. D. Barton, Esq., Deputy Coroner, Mr S. S. Perkins gave it as his opinion that heart disease was the cause of death, and the Jury returned a verdict accordingly.
Wednesday 27 November 1872, Issue 5635 – Gale Document No. Y3200717359 EXMOUTH – An Inquest was held on Saturday upon the body of JOSEPH MATTHEWS, aged twenty-three. The deceased, who was nearly blind, was in the habit of going to the Exmouth Docks to meet his father (a custom house officer) on his return from the Bight, and this the son did on Thursday evening The father returned to the Docks, but as his services were there required and it was getting dark he requested his son to go home. The unfortunate young man left accordingly, but he is thought to have taken the wrong turn and to have walked into the water in the Docks, where his body was found on Friday. There was a bruise on the forehead of the deceased – doubtless the result of a blow (received in his fall) which stunned him, for though there were several men in the vicinity of the Docks at the time no noise was heard. The Jury (in recording a verdict of Accidental death by Drowning) recommended that the Dock Company or the Local Board should fix lamps at points round the Docks.
TOTNES - Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest on Monday upon the body of the infant of HANNAH CHAPMAN, aged 17. The young woman was in the employ of Mr J. Bowden, of Rosabelle, near Totnes. The Jury returned a verdict "That the child was accidentally suffocated during birth, and that it did not die from any violence inflicted by the mother, or any person."
Wednesday 27 November 1872, Issue 5635 – Gale Document No. Y3200717346 EXETER - Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Topsham Inn, in this city, on Saturday, to ascertain the cause of the death of LAURA ANN CANNIFORD, aged sixteen months, daughter of a joiner, living in Wesleyan-court, St. Sidwell. A few weeks since the deceased turned over a cup of hot water on her head and shoulders, and she was taken to the Hospital, where she died on Friday. Verdict "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 4 December 1872, Issue 5636 – Gale Document No. Y3200717374 Mr Coroner Crosse held an Inquest t the Plymouth Inn, St. Thomas, on the body of WILLIAM JOHN PARR, aged 11. Deceased was in the employ of Messrs. Sharp and Co., of the Saw Mills, near the Basin, and on the preceding Wednesday the lad was sent for some treenails which were at another portion of the premises. He remained longer than was thought necessary, and when the foreman went to see for the lad he was found in a standing position, jammed between the saw-sharpeners and one of the planks, which was more than half-a-ton in weight. It is presumed that the deceased was standing near the saw-sharpeners when some piled-up beech planks slipped down upon him and crushed the poor fellow to death. Verdict "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 4 December 1872, Issue 5636 – Gale Document No. Y3200717388 EXETER – The body of a girl named PRIDHAM, whose parents reside in St. Mary Arches-street, was found this morning in the lake, locally designated the Engine Stream, near the Exe Island. An Inquest will be held and probably evidence will be forthcoming to account for the unfortunate girl's demise.
Wednesday 11 December 1872, Issue 5637 – Gale Document No. Y3200717402 EXETER – An Inquest was held at the Poltimore Inn, in this city, on Monday upon the body of an infant named ARTHUR DART, five days old, whose death was attributed to suffocation from being overlaid by the mother. Verdict accordingly.
EXETER - Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Wednesday evening at the Princess Alexandra Inn, in this city, upon the body of LUCY JANE PRIDHAM, eleven years of age. The deceased left her parents' house in St. Mary Arches-street between eleven and twelve o'clock that morning on an errand to someone living in Bartholomew-yard, and not long afterwards she was seen on the bridge which spans the mill-leat, adjoining the Bonhay. Whist she was standing upon the bridge a large black dog passed so close to her as to push the unfortunate girl into the water. An alarm was raised, and two men (named Turner and Dart) succeeded in getting the girl out; but though restoratives were applied they were without avail. Verdict, "Accidentally Drowned."
Wednesday 24 December 1872, Issue 5639 – Gale Document No. Y3200717462 STOKEFLEMING - Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest at Stokefleming on Thursday upon the body of GEORGE HENRY BLAKE, ten years old. The deceased was in the employ of Mr S. J. Pook, farmer, who on the preceding Tuesday morning sent the boy with a horse and cart to Mr Hellens, of Swiftstone, Blackawton, for a corn screen. Returning homeward the horse ran away, the boy was thrown from the vehicle, and received fatal injuries. Verdict "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 24 December 1872, Issue 5639 – Gale Document No. Y3200717455 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Sawyer's Arms, in this city, on Saturday upon the body of GEORGE EKINS, a pensioner from the F Battery R.H.A. Ann Carter who had lived with the deceased, stated that on the preceding Thursday night EKINS was at the Phoenix Inn and there drank a share of a quart of beer. He returned to his home and went to bed about eleven o'clock. About four the next morning he got out of bed and then complained of a pain in his side. He went into bed again, but in a few minutes he had ceased to live. Mr Perkins, surgeon, gave it as his opinion that the unfortunate man died from disease of the heart, and a verdict in accordance was returned.
Wednesday 1 January 1873, Issue 5640 – Gale Document No. Y3200717474 SAD DEATH OF AN EXETER TRADESMAN'S WIFE. - The melancholy intelligence reached this city on Monday evening, last week, that MRS SHAPCOTT, the wife of MR J. SHAPCOTT, dyer, Holloway-street, had been killed by a passing train at Chard, whither she had gone as usual to attend the market. The Inquest was held on Thursday when the following facts were adduced. MR SHAPCOTT having identified the body, Mr W. Moore, hatter, Yeovil, deposed – I am in the habit of attending Chard market. I was there last Monday. I saw the deceased there She left her stall about half-past four p.m., when she said to me, "Mr Moore, are you going by the last train?" I said, "Yes." She said, "I am going to Mrs Newberry's to supper, and will you call for me?" I said I would. I got to Mrs Newberry's by seven. Somewhere about half-past seven we left and went to the Town Station together. She had a large parcel in her hand, which, I think, contained a leg of mutton, and when she came to the station she asked me to take it on the platform for her. This was at the doorway. I took it and she left me at the door and went towards the shed station, which is about sixty yards from the other station, saying "I shall be back in three minutes." I did not see her alive afterwards. I remained on the platform for the train for Chard-road. After waiting six or eight minutes I ran down the platform inside the railings, to see if I could see the deceased, but I could not see her anywhere. I went as far as the shed station. It was very dark. On my return I made it known to the station-master of the South-Western line and the porters that I had missed her. I got into the train with the guard, and we left immediately. The officials afterwards searched about for her. They went away with lanterns in every direction on the line before the train moved. They returned and told the station-master that they could see nothing of her. The train was due to start about twenty minutes after our arrival at the station. She was not drunk. She might have taken a glass. She walked steadily to the station. She appeared over excited, talking merry and gay. About a mile from the station the driver's whistle sounded, and the train was topped. The driver got off and ran back to the train and had a communication with the station-master, then the train went n to Chard-road. There I asked the station-master what had happened. He said, "I can't tell," and he went back on the engine to see. When they returned he told me that the deceased had been found on the line. I lost my train for Yeovil, and went on to Exeter to inform MR SHAPCOTT what had happened. Mrs Newberry, who keeps the Railway Inn, near the chard Railway Station, spoke to the deceased partaking of three pennyworth of brandy in lemonade with her dinner at five o'clock. At about seven Mr Moore called and they left together at half-past. She appeared excited – Moore was sober. Witness expected the deceased at four o'clock to have some tea. She had been in the habit of coming to witness's house for some time past. John Sheppard, engine-driver on the Chard Branch, aid – I drove the engine of the train which left Chard station on Monday last about nine minutes past eight to catch the up and down trains at Chard-road. When about 800 yards from the distance signal I saw something in the four-feet roadway. It was so dark that I couldn't tell what it was. It was something standing, but I couldn't tell that it was moving. I should say it was sixteen yards in front of me. I immediately blew the whistle and the break was put on, and we stopped as quickly as possible. I went back and saw Mr Baynton, the station-master, who was in the train, and I acquainted him that we had run over something. We went with the train to Chard-road and immediately unhooked the carriage. We went back with the engine and guard's van to the spot, and we found the body of the female, which the Jury have viewed, lying very much mutilated on her face in the four-feet road. She was lying about a mile from the Old Station. We had assistance and placed the remains in the van and brought them to the Chard station. I heard Moore at the platform just before we started say that a woman was going by this train, and she was missing. As I was passing the signal-man's box I asked if he has seen a woman pass there, and he said, "No." For 500 or 600 yards I went at a walking pace, and then I put on steam and went at the rate of fourteen or fifteen miles an hour. - John Dymond, acting-guard, corroborated the evidence of the engine-driver, and added – Just before we started Mr Moore said to me, "Don't start for a few minutes, as MRS SHAPCOTT is going on. I said, "Take your seat." He said, "She is gone in the direction of the new platform," and he offered a man a pint of beer to go and look for her. The man went towards the new platform, and returned saying he couldn't find her. Then I went myself, but couldn't see her. In the waiting-shed of the new platform I found a cloak and an umbrella, which I knew belonged to the deceased; they are here produced. The new platform is shut up two hours before the starting of the 8.5 p.m. train. A person could go down from the end of the Old Station platform without obstacle. I have known the deceased for several years. She appeared very steady, but at times she was a little excited. She was just the same in the morning as she would be on her return. The gate was open when I found the cloak and umbrella. Mr Spicer, surgeon, said he had examined the body and found the upper part of the skull torn completely asunder. The brain was missing; the left arm was severed close to the shoulder; the upper part of the arm was missing; the right arm was very much crushed. There was a deep cut on the bend on the left knee, and several toes of left foot lacerated. Extensive bruises along the front part of the body and chest, and a few over the legs. Those injuries caused death. John O'Brien, a porter, said he went in search of the deceased twice, but could not find her. The Coroner said there was a certain mystery in connection with the cloak and umbrella being found in the shed, and MRS SHAPCOTT'S getting on to the line. There was no doubt but her death was accidental, and that every precaution was taken by the officials to find MRS SHAPCOTT before the train left the station, and that the driver to his utmost endeavoured to prevent an accident. The Jury, after consulting together for some time, returned a verdict, "That MRS SHAPCOTT was accidentally killed, but there was no evidence given to show how she got on the line of railway where the accident occurred."
Wednesday 1 January 1873, Issue 5640 – Gale Document No. Y3200717489 TEIGNMOUTH – Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest at the Infirmary on Monday on the body of CHARLOTTE LEWARNE. Deceased, who belonged to St. Blazey, was servant to Mr J. H. Whiteway, of Brookfield, and during the heavy storm of the 8th December the kitchen chimney was blown down, and, coming through the ceiling, fell on deceased, who was sitting at the table, breaking her legs, and causing injury to her spine and other parts. She was removed on the following day to the Infirmary, where she died on Saturday from the effects of her injuries. Verdict, "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 8 January 1873, Issue 5641 – Gale Document No. Y3200717505 EXETER – Sad Death. - Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Thursday at the Cowley Bridge Inn on the body of JOHN WREFORD, son of MR WREFORD, of Barton-place Farm, who was found shot in the head on Tuesday evening. MR WREFORD deposed to having seen his son in good health and spirits at four o'clock in the afternoon, then directing him to repair a waggon and informing him that he would find the materials in a loft over the cellar. At about six o'clock he returned to the farm and his daughter then told him that the deceased was not at home, that he had not been in since dinner. He went into the yard and saw his servant boy, who told him that he had seen his son going towards the cellar. He obtained a light and went there. The cellar door was open and also the door of the loft. He went upstairs and in the chamber he found the body of his son, lying on its back. He as quite dead, apparently having been shot through the head. There was a double-barrelled gun lying by his body, the butt being across his son's thigh. The gun was usually kept in the loft. Sometimes it was loaded and sometimes it was not. He (witness) put the gun there on Thursday, and he knew that it was loaded and capped. He had been out shooting that day. It would have been necessary for the deceased to go into the chamber over the cellar to get the material to repair the waggon. Frank Gribble, a farm boy in MR WREFOR'S employ, said at about a quarter to four deceased went into the loft. About five minutes afterwards he heard the report of a gun but he did not know whether it proceeded from the chamber or from anybody shooting near, and he took no notice of it. Mr A. Cumming, surgeon, said he attended the deceased from the 15th to the 22nd December last for a sore throat. During the time he attended him he never observed anything the matter with his mind. He had attended him before, and he appeared in his usual natural state. He was sent for on Tuesday last and saw the body in the cellar chamber. He was quite dead. There was a gunshot wound through the head just above the ears. Under the body was an iron stay of a waggon. He saw a gun, which was then placed in an old corn-bin. The left-hand barrel had been discharged and the right was loaded, had a cap on, and was at half-cock. Witness took a long iron stay from under the deceased's body; he must have fallen on it, and that was not the place of it. In summing up the Coroner said there were two questions for the Jury to consider – first of all whether the deed was wilful and suicidal or an accident. He could not find any evidence to show which it was, and it was exactly a similar case to that o the rifleman that lately occurred in Exeter, where the poor fellow was found with a gunshot wound through his head. The Jury returned an Open Verdict.
Wednesday 29 January 1873, Issue 5644 – Gale Document No. Y3200717580 EXETER - The body of a woman named STONE, wife of a tinman, living in Exe-street, in this city, was discovered on Sunday afternoon in the mill leat adjoining the Bonhay. It is stated that the unfortunate woman has recently suffered from weakness of intellect, and she is likewise said to have fallen into pecuniary difficulties On Thursday evening she and her infant (about six months old) were missed. Search was made at various points – in the river and elsewhere – but without satisfactory results. And on Sunday some f the neighbours began dragging the mill leat, when they discovered the poor woman's shawl and eventually her body. The child is still missing. An Inquest was held upon the body yesterday, when the Jury found an Open Verdict.
The Porter of the St. Thomas Union – JOHN ELLIS by name – has "shuffled off this mortal coil" in a most remarkable way. He has been the Porter of the union for fifteen years; but some three weeks since he gave notice to leave his post because he was going to be married. He continued to perform his duties up to Sunday morning, when he got up and proceeded with his customary work; but soon afterwards it was noticed that he again closed and barred the shutters of his room. No particular notice, however, was taken of this at the time. Subsequently someone having occasion to go to his room, found him beside his bed quite dead. It appears that the deceased had, after closing the shutters of his window, got a pail of water and placed it by the side of his bed. He then unhung the bell of his room and attached it to another, so that the door might be answered by someone else; and that he then, leaving over the pail, cut his throat, but only inflicted a superficial wound. So determined, however, was the suicide that he allowed himself to bleed to death. An Inquest was held yesterday upon the remains of the unfortunate man, and the Jury returned a verdict that he committed suicide whilst in a state of Temporary Insanity.
Wednesday 12 February 1873, Issue 5646 – Gale Document No. Y3200717641 HOLCOMBE BURNELL – ELIZABETH PILLAR, wife of a labourer, of Holcombe Burnell, was sitting by the fire dressing her child on the 3rd of January last, when the poor woman was suddenly seized with a fit. She fell upon the fire-place, upsetting a kettle of boiling water upon herself and the child. They were greatly burnt – the child especially; and they were removed to the Devon and Exeter Hospital. The child died there on Thursday from the injuries it received at the time of the unfortunate occurrence to its mother Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest upon the body of the child on Saturday, when the Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death". The mother remains a patient in the Hospital, where she has had another fit. Previously to the 3rd of January the poor woman had not suffered from fits.
BARNSTAPLE – MR RICHARD LABBETT, landlord of the Bear Inn, Barnstaple, was discovered dead in his stable on Thursday night. It is conjectured that the poor man died from sudden exposure to the cold. The Coroner's Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Syncope." The deceased was sixty-five years old.
Wednesday 12 February 1873, Issue 5646 – Gale Document No. Y3200717631 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Barnstaple Inn, in this city, on Monday upon the body of THOMAS GALE, aged six months. The child slept in a small bed adjoining that of its parents, who reside at 2, Lower North-street. On Saturday the child had a cough and was restless through the night, and in the morning it was found dead in bed. Mr Grigg, surgeon, gave it as his opinion that the child died from bronchitis and congestion of the lungs, and a verdict to that effect was recorded.
Wednesday 19 February 1873, Issue 5647 – Gale Document No. Y3200717667 CLAYHIDON – Mr Coroner Crosse recently held an Inquest at Clayhidon, on the body of a woman, named BETTY REDWOOD, aged 49. The woman was found dead in her bed with her clothes on; her clothes were in a very tattered condition. At the time f her death no article of food of any description was found in the house, with the exception of a small piece of had bread, about the size of a walnut. Mr Morgan, surgeon, gave it as his opinion that the deceased died from starvation, and the Jury returned a verdict to that effect.
Wednesday 19 February 1873, Issue 5647 – Gale Document No. Y3200717656 EXETER – An Inquest was held on Monday by H. W. Hooper, Esq., at the Three Cranes Inn, South-street, on the body of ELLEN DAVEY CASELY, the infant daughter of MR CASELY, butcher. It appears that the child was well on Friday night, but on MRS CASELY awaking on Saturday morning she discovered her infant was dead in her arms. Mr J. Perkins, surgeon, considered that the child died from a spasm, probably of the heart – not an unusual thing with infants – and the Jury returned a verdict accordingly.
SUDDEN DEATH OF MISS TUCKER. - On Saturday morning MISS CHARLOTTE TUCKER, a lady highly respected in the city and neighbourhood and who carried on the business of a grocer, in High-street, was found dead in her bed. At an Inquest held on the body on Monday at the Half Moon Hotel, it was stated by Mr Thomas tucker, a nephew, that the deceased was in her usual health on Friday evening at half-past eight when he last saw her. Emma Partridge, servant, said MISS TUCKER partook of pork for her supper on Friday evening, retiring about an hour afterwards Witness followed her to her room, leaving her soon after ten o'clock. At half-past seven on the following morning she went to the deceased's bed room as usual, and asked "Are you asleep?" Receiving no answer, and thinking MISS TUCKER was sound asleep, she left the room. After a short time had elapsed witness took up a cup of tea and some hot water, and again addressed her. Finding she was in the same position witness went to the side of the bed, and then discovered that she was dead. Mr Roberts, surgeon, who was sent for immediately, gave it as his opinion that the deceased died from a spasm of the heart. A pork supper might have brought on indigestion, which would cause a spasm of the heart. the Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes."
Wednesday 5 March 1873, Issue 5649 – Gale Document No. Y3200717715 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Thursday at the Topsham Inn upon the body of JAMES BARNES, aged fifty-eight, of Paris-street, in this city. The deceased went to Mr Varwell's coal store at the Queen-street Railway Station on Wednesday for half-a-hundred of coal. Whilst waiting for the coal the deceased leaned against some boarding in the rear of the cart, which was being laden. Presently the horse n the cart suddenly backed and crushed the unfortunate man between the shed and the tail-board of the vehicle. He was instantly removed to the Hospital, but he was quite dead when admitted. A post-mortem examination of the body was made by Mr Domville, the house-surgeon, who found the second, third and fourth ribs of the deceased fractured, and the upper lobe of the left lung severely lacerated by the broken ends of the ribs. He attributed the cause of death to collapse from loss of blood, occasioned by the internal injuries. Verdict "Accidental death."
MARY ANN SERCOMBE, about eighteen years old, was for four months in the service of Mr J. H. Collins, of 14, Friar's walk, in this city. On Thursday week she complained of being unwell, and the next day she was unable to leave her bed. Her illness continued and on Saturday Mr Hunt, surgeon, was consulted, and a nurse (named Mary Ann Dart) was engaged to attend the patient. The nurse accused the young woman of being pregnant, but this she strongly denied. Her illness – now better, now worse – continued till the Monday evening, when she died. An Inquest was held at the Windmill Inn on Friday when medical testimony was given to the effect that the unfortunate deceased had taken some irritant to prevent her from becoming a mother and from this cause she died. Verdict accordingly. She was supposed to be "keeping company" with a young man named Blackmore, a sailor, of Devonport, who was with her some three weeks before her death.
Wednesday 2 April 1873, Issue 5653 – Gale Document No. Y3200717832 CREDITON – The body of MR DREW (clerk to Mr Badcock, wine merchant, of Crediton), was found on Friday in the river near where his hat had been previously discovered. It was conjectured that the unfortunate man had committed suicide; and this belief unhappily finds confirmation. His remains had been nine days in the river. An Inquest was held upon his body on Saturday, when a verdict of "Found Drowned" was returned.
Wednesday 2 April 1873, Issue 5653 – Gale Document No. Y3200717834 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Country House Inn on Friday upon the body of MARY MANN, aged 80. Deceased was one of the inmates of St. Catherine's Almshouses. On Wednesday night smoke was seen issuing from the apartment occupied by MRS MANN, and a youth named William Isaacs, who lodges at the Country House Inn, which adjoins the Almshouses, most intrepidly rushed into the room, which was full of smoke, lifted the octogenarian out of bed and conveyed her into the Inn. In a short time afterwards the poor old soul stated that whilst putting out her candle she upset it, caught her night—dress on fire, and was unable to alarm the other inmates. She was badly burnt, and died the next day from the shock to the nervous system. Verdict "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 9 April 1873, Issue 5654 – Gale Document No. Y3200717848 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Monday at the Elephant Inn upon the body of FREDERICK CHARLES HAMMON, aged one year and nine months, son of SIMON HAMMON, of Blackmore's-buildings, North-street, in this city. The child died somewhat suddenly on the preceding Saturday; and the evidence given by Mr Webb, surgeon, enabled the Jury to attribute the death to Natural Causes.
Wednesday 7 May 1873, Issue 5658 – Gale Document No. Y3200717957 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Topsham Inn, in this city, on Monday, upon the body of WILLIAM CUMMINGS, a navvy, lately engaged in cutting that branch of the Devon and Cornwall Railway extending from Okehampton to Lidford. Mr Fulford, of Northtawton, watched the case on behalf of the Company. James Mills, a navvy, employed on the railway, stated that on Friday the 25th ult., he was descending an incline on an empty trolley, when he noticed the deceased riding on a trolley, which was loaded, some distance a-head of him. On seeing him witness endeavoured to stop the trolley on which he was, but found that the break would not act. Finding that a collision was inevitable he jumped off to save his own life. He did not see the two trolleys come into collision. Robert Maddeford, a ganger, deposed to hearing the empty trolley come into collision with the full one, and subsequently seeing them both off the line. He did not, however, assist in picking up the deceased, but saw him much injured in one of the huts after the occurrence. He believed a man named Wilcocks picked him up. Wilcocks was not present, and some discussion took place among the Jury as to wither his attendance was material to the issue of the case or not The Coroner pointing out that it could make very little difference, the Inquiry was resumed. Mr Francis Trimmer, a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, and residing at Okehampton, deposed that the injuries which the deceased had sustained were a fracture of the right thigh and a severe scalp wound. Added to this, the front of his left foot was completely smashed. He attended to his injuries. He was not then in a fit state to be moved, but on the following Monday, as he seemed to be in a better condition, he was conveyed as carefully as possible to the hospital at Exeter. Mr Domville, the House Surgeon at the Devon and Exeter Hospital, proved receiving deceased into that institution on Monday, the 28th ult., where, despite every effort of medical skill, he died on Friday from the effects of the injuries described by the last witness. Verdict, "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 11 June 1873, Issue 5663 – Gale Document No. Y3200718111 NEWTON ABBOT – JAMES DODGE, a boiler smith, employed at the locomotive works at Newton, was crossing the goods siding one day last week, when he was struck by a buffer of one of the trucks, and so seriously injured that he died shortly afterwards. An Inquest was held by Mr H. Michelmore, and Mr Wright, superintendent of the locomotive department, stated that no workman had a right to cross the line. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 18 June 1873, Issue 5664 – Gale Document No. Y3200718142 FATAL ACCIDENT – CENSURE BY THE JURY. – An Inquest was held this morning at the Topsham Inn on the body of MARTIN JOHN CARTER, aged three years, child of a fitter named ELLIS, residing in Exe-street. From the evidence of the mother it appeared that on Monday evening four cart horses were drinking at the Engine Bridge, without any person in charge. One of them remained longer than the rest and galloped after the others. The deceased was standing at the corner of the bridge and the animal knocked him down with his fore legs and trod on him with the hinder ones. In answer to a Juryman the mother said she was sure there was no person in charge of the horses – that was of frequent occurrence. A man named Baker sometimes came with the horses (which belonged to Messrs. Linscott, of the saw mills) but as frequently, they were unattended. Mr Domville said the child was received into the Hospital on Monday night and died on the following morning. He had sustained internal injuries – rupture of the small intestines. John Baker, Messrs. Linscott's man, was asked by the Coroner how it was the horses were loose? Baker replied that he asked a youth go to with the horses and he watched him away with them. Mr Linscott, junior, also questioned by the Coroner, said his implicit orders were that a man should accompany the horses. Baker, in answer to a further question, said the boy he entrusted with the horses was twelve years of age. The Coroner thought it a very negligent case on the part of Baker, and it was a question whether they would make him responsible The Jury then considered their verdict and thought it should be one of "Accidental Death", in which Mr Hooper concurred, remarking, however, that although it was an accident, the man Baker had sailed very close to the wind; it was a question with him – and if a Jury had desired it he should have agreed – whether he should not be committed for manslaughter. It was, to say the least, a case of gross and culpable negligence, and he would tell both Mr Linscott and his man that in future they must have the horses in charge of a competent person. The Jury had taken a lenient view of the case – if they had committed him he had little doubt a conviction would have followed. the Jury expressed their concurrence in the Coroner's remarks.
Wednesday 16 July 1873, Issue 5668 – Gale Document No. Y3200718243 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the George and Dragon Inn, St. Sidwell, on Monday upon the body of SUSANNAH MILVERTON, aged ninety. The deceased seems to have taken a little wine and water on Sunday evening, and died almost instantly afterwards. Verdict, "Died from Natural Causes."
Wednesday 23 July 1873, Issue 5669 – Gale Document No. Y3200718287 OTTERY ST. MARY - Mr Deputy Coroner Every held an Inquest on Thursday upon the body of FRANK LUXTON. The father of the deceased stated that on the preceding Tuesday he and his son and Samuel Berry were engaged in cleaning a well (forty-eight feet deep) at Butt's Cottage. Whilst drawing up the bucket the rope broke, and the bucket sank back into the water. In a moment deceased said, "I'll go down after it, father." I believe I said, "How can you go?" but he jumped forward, and before I could put out my hand to stop him he had caught hold of the rope and was in the well, going rapidly to the bottom. Samuel Berry said – I was in the house when deceased went into the well, assisting to move a chest of drawers. Mrs Baker came in and said, "You must go over to LUXTON; something's the matter." When I came to the well MR LUXTON said, "FRANK'S fallen down the well, and he is dead." I went down at once by means of the pipe, and by putting my foot down into the water I felt his head. Lowering myself still further, with some difficulty I pulled him up, wound the rope about his body, and ascended. We then removed him to the Hospital, but life had fled. Deceased was in the well about three minutes. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidentally Drowned by Falling down a Well."
Wednesday 30 July 1873, Issue 5670 – Gale Document No. Y3200718302 EXETER - Mr Coroner Crosse held an Inquest at the Double Locks Inn on Wednesday upon the body of EDWARD HAKE, ten years of age, one of the choristers of St. Sidwell's Church, and son of MR HAKE, of Dix's Fields, in this city. MR HAKE stated that on the preceding Monday evening he and the deceased and two of his daughters were walking on the banks of the canal. When near the Double Locks the deceased got somewhat behind them, and, on turning round, MR HAKE saw his son fall into the water. He immediately ran back and tried to reach him with a stick, but could not. Unable to swim he dared not venture into deep water himself, and ran as fast as he could to where some boats were moored in one of which he put off. Before he again reached the spot his child had disappeared. He called to a man in a canoe to render him some assistance, but the man replied that he was powerless to assist, meaning that he could not swim. Two young men who were bathing in the river and who had been attracted by his cries for assistance came up and jumped into the canal, but not being good divers they were unable to recover the body, which was eventually recovered by Charles Row, a farm labourer, of Alphington, after dragging for over six hours. Verdict – "Accidentally Drowned."
EXETER – Mr Deputy Coroner Barton held an Inquest yesterday at the Topsham Inn, in this city, upon the body of WALTER HENRY TOWELL, aged four years, the son of a shoemaker of Mary Arches-street. On Monday the deceased was at play with other children: a waggon was passing and the child got up behind: then one of the wheels went over a stone, jerking the boy off and the poor little fellow was crushed beneath the wheels. He was removed at once to the Hospital, but died ere reaching that institution. Verdict, "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 20 August 1873, Issue 5673 – Gale Document No. Y3200718393 BARNSTAPLE - Mr Coroner Bencraft on Saturday evening resumed the Inquiry touching the death of MRS ELIZABETH YEO, wife of the landlord of the Farmers' Inn, Barnstaple. Mr Lionel Bencraft attended on behalf of Mr Goss, chemist of Braunton, who had supplied the deceased with a liniment for subduing a swelling on her bosom, and the liniment was alleged to contain arsenic, and this was thought to have been absorbed into the system of the deceased causing her death. The Inquest had been adjourned from the preceding Wednesday. Mr Fernie now disclosed the particular incidents resulting from his post-mortem examination of the body of the deceased. He said the inflammation of the stomach and the strangulation of the intestines was either of them sufficient to cause death; but he could not assert to which of those causes death should be attributed. He thought the inflammation in the stomach might have been produced by arsenic; but arsenic had nothing whatever to do with the strangulation of the intestines, there being healthy parts between the two seats of inflammation. After a short consultation the Jury came to the unanimous conclusion to have the inflamed parts of the stomach and the mixture analysed by a professional analytical chemist. The Inquiry was adjourned for a fortnight.
Wednesday 27 August 1873, Issue 5674 – Gale Document No. Y3200718421 PLYMOUTH – Shocking Infanticide. - JANE PARNALL, 42 years of age, lived at 49, Stillman-street, Plymouth. She is a widow, her husband having died two or three years ago, leaving her then with five children, three having previously died. Since then two of the children have died from smallpox. the woman keeps a small shop, but received from the Union 4s. 6d. a week for three of her children, but of late she has been of drunken habits – a failing for which some time back her pay was stopped by the Guardians. On Saturday about midnight a neighbour, named Eyres, went into the house of the woman (where other persons also live) for the purpose of buying some salt, and was immediately annoyed by a very offensive stench. She inquired of PARNALL what it was, and was told that it was poor meat, which, as she could not eat, she had given to the cat. This, however, Eyres did not believe, and she went across the street and told her husband what had happened. He, after consulting with neighbours, sent for the police. Immediately this was done, the woman was observed to go into the closet with a bucket two or three times, and on the arrival of the police she was apprehended. Neighbours went to the closet, and took up a quantity of human flesh and entrails, which had evidently been cut up. One portion was a hand, which had been burnt in the fire, and was taken out of the fire by the prisoner when the police were sent for. Other portions of the body of a female infant were found in the gutter of the street in front of the house. The woman, who unavailingly denied having been recently confined, was removed to the Workhouse, under the supervision of the police. The Coroner held an Inquest upon the mutilated remains of the child on Monday, when Mr Frederick Aubrey Thomas, M.R.C.S., stated that he examined MRS PARNALL, and found that she had been recently confined. He received all that had been found of the child's body. He examined a large quantity of loose bones and flesh, which were apparently in a parboiled condition. He did not believe the child was born alive, and felt confident that it had not had an independent existence. The Jury returned an Open Verdict.
Wednesday 3 September 1873, Issue 5675 – Gale Document No. Y3200718440 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Monday, at the Bishop Blaze Inn, upon the body of JAMES HENRY DANESBY, a little boy, whose parents reside in Ewing's-lane, Westgate. The deceased seems to have left his home on Saturday morning unknown to his mother and to have gone with another child down the steps leading to the mill-leat. While dabbling his hands in the water the poor little fellow fell in and was drowned. His body was discovered on Sunday morning. Verdict, Found Drowned.
Wednesday 10 September 1873, Issue 5676 – Gale Document No. Y3200718471 SIDMOUTH – Mr Coroner Cox held an Inquest at Woolbrook upon the body of THOMAS WHEATON. The deceased was at work in a cutting connected with the Sidmouth Railway and was buried by an unexpected fall of earth. The poor fellow's legs were fractured and he was otherwise shockingly injured. Verdict – "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 24 September 1873, Issue 5678 – Gale Document No. Y3200718515 DAWLISH – An Inquest was held on Thursday at Ashcombe on the body of HENRY HART, a boy, six years of age, who died from the kick of a horse. A verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.
Wednesday 1 October 1873, Issue 5679 – Gale Document No. Y3200718555 DAWLISH – Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest on Friday evening at Hatcher's Royal Hotel upon the body of MRS JANE PYNE, who was found dead in her house at Park-hill. The deceased's sister (MRS GRACE WAY) stated that she saw deceased alive on Thursday last between eleven and twelve o'clock in the forenoon, when deceased (who had previously complained of slight pains in her head) said she felt much better. Witness had occasion to leave on business, between two and three o'clock in the afternoon; but on again visiting the house she found her sister lying dead on the floor in the kitchen. She sent for Mr Baker, surgeon, who came immediately. The deceased and her husband lived happily together. Mr Baker stated that he attended immediately he was sent for, and found MRS PYNE dead. There were no marks of violence. A bruise was on the nose, as though she had fallen against a chair or some blunt instrument. He considered the cause of death was the rupture of a blood-vessel on the brain. The Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes." The deceased was for twenty years in the service of the late W. Cosens, Esq., of Langdon.
Wednesday 8 October 1873, Issue 5680 – Gale Document No. Y3200718571 EXETER – WM. MOGRIDGE, a boy, some five years old, and whose parents live in one of Strong's Cottages, St. Sidwell, was instantaneously killed on Friday. The poor little fellow endeavoured to get upon a timer-waggon, but, unfortunately, fell and the wheels crushed his head. The Inquest held at the Red Lion Inn, on Saturday, resulted in a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 5 November 1873, Issue 5684 – Gale Document No. Y3200718694 CULLOMPTON – The Fatal Accident at the Railway Station. - Mr Coroner Crosse held an Inquest on Saturday at the Railway Hotel, Cullompton, upon the body of JOHN PARKIN, 40 years of age. On Thursday afternoon the 3.30 train from Exeter had reached the Cullompton Station, and was leaving when the down express was visible. The deceased was waiting at the end of the up-platform till the up-train had passed, and immediately the train left the unfortunate man (not seeing the coming fast train) rushed across the line. The train caught and carried his body some distance, when it fell underneath the wheels. The upper part of the head was severed and the body was dreadfully mutilated. One of his boots was carried about a hundred yards below the station, and some money was also found scattered about. He had been to the Cullompton post-office and cashed a post-office order during the day, and it is supposed that he intended to go by a down-train, due at Cullompton soon after the express had passed there, to Hele, where he had obtained employment in Mr Collins's paper mills. The poor fellow, who had recently obtained his discharge from the Artillery, leaves a widow and three children. Evidence, corroborative of the foregoing particulars was given, and the Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 26 November 1873, Issue 5687 – Gale Document No. Y3200718761 IPPLEPEN – Melancholy Fatality. – MR JOHN B. MASON, of Ipplepen, went to Exeter on Thursday morning to visit his brother, MR HUBERT MASON, of Southernhay. In the evening MR MASON returned by train to Newton Abbot and left that town in his four-wheel phaeton for Ipplepen. He safely reached the hill within a quarter-of-a-mile of his residence, where it is supposed that the harness became disarranged on descending the hill and the unfortunate gentleman was thrown out of the vehicle. The horse was seen on the road about half-past eight o'clock by a Mr Berry, who, finding no driver in the phaeton, at once looked about, and soon discovered MR MASON lying in the road just sensible, although still breathing, and the blood as flowing freely from his mouth and ears. He was conveyed to his home, and his medical attendant (Mr Brown) was quickly in attendance, but although all was done that could be suggested he died on Friday morning. MR MASON only entered the estate he was occupying at Ladyday last, and leaves a widow and seven young children to mourn their sad bereavement. An Inquest was held upon the remains of the deceased and a verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned. MR MASON was 48 years of age.
Wednesday 3 December 1873, Issue 5688 – Gale Document No. BC3200718789 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper resumed the Inquiry at the Valiant Soldier Inn, in this city, on Monday, respecting the death of HENRY HANNAFORD, aged 17, Mr Francis attended the Inquiry on behalf of Mr W. J. Way, farmer, of Broadhempstone. The deceased was formerly in the service of Mr Way, and it was alleged that the master had ill-used the lad, whereby the illness was caused which led to HANNAFORD'S death. The deceased was removed from the Newton Abbot Union to the Devon and Exeter Hospital on the 16th of October. He subsequently underwent an operation, and his progress was favourable till the 1st of November, when general symptoms of blood poisoning manifested themselves, and eight days afterwards the poor fellow died. The deceased had attributed his illness to the sleeping in a barn, when he absented himself from his master's house, and he had never complained of any ill-treatment from his master. It was shown that whilst the deceased was ill at Mr Way's house medical aid was procured for him, and he was treated kindly by the family. The Coroner said the Jury had two points to consider – first, whether they believed the evidence of the labourers who had been called and he might say he considered it very unsatisfactory; and, secondly, whether the blows then and there inflicted by Mr Way had any connection with the lad's ultimate death. The Jury were of opinion that the deceased came by his death from Natural Causes, and that little or no blame was attached to Mr Way.
Wednesday 10 December 1873, Issue 5689 – Gale Document No. Y3200718823 WOODBURY – Mr Coroner Cox held an Inquest on Monday at the white hart Inn, Woodbury, upon the body of JOHN SALTER, lately in the employ of Mr Kennwood, baker. The deceased had been keeping company with a young woman named Bultiel, who had become enceinte. Deceased knew he was the cause of the poor girl's trouble, and yet refused to marry her, assigning as the reason that he didn't like her well enough to do it. Everything had, however, been arranged, and, by his own consent, he had at last agreed to contract the marriage on Sunday last, when about eight o'clock in the morning he was found, by his master, quite dead, in a linhay, hanging by his neck to a piece of rope attached to a beam. His clothes were dripping wet. Mr Kennwood said deceased had been in his employ about four years, and, although, he had lately seemed very dejected and downcast, he had never neglected his work. The Jury returned a verdict to the effect that deceased committed suicide while in a state of "Temporary Insanity."
Wednesday 17 December 1873, Issue 5690 – Gale Document No. Y3200718851 PLYMOUTH – Mr Deputy Coroner Square held an Inquest on Saturday upon the body of RICHARD HOCKING engine-driver, who died on the previous day from injuries received in the collision between luggage trains on the Cornwall Railway, on the 2nd inst. Evidence was given by William Stovey, the foreman of engine-drivers, to the effect that he went to a farm-house near the scene of the accident three miles from St. Germans, and found that the deceased and the five other injured men were being attended by a doctor. They were removed by train to Plymouth, and deceased, who was thirty-one years old, walked from the cab into the Hospital. He spoke a little, and complained of his hands being badly scalded. Mr Payne, house-surgeon, stated that the deceased, on coming to the Hospital, was suffering from scalds on the face and hands, wounds on the head, and shock to the system. Deceased went on very well till Tuesday, when incipient lock-jaw set in. He got gradually worse, and died on Friday. The Enquiry was adjourned. Deceased had resided at Newton Abbot for several years, and had only recently removed to Truro. He leaves a widow and four children.
Wednesday 17 December 1873, Issue 5690 – Gale Document No. Y3200718841 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Duke of York Inn, Coombe-street, on Friday evening, upon the body of ALBERT OFIELD, aged seven months. Mr Woodgates, surgeon, expressed the belief that the child (one of twins and of a weakly nature) died from disease of the mesenteric glands. Verdict "Death from Natural Causes."
EXETER – MR SHEPPARD, a joiner, living in Bartholomew-street, and who has for many years been employed at the Exeter Cathedral, was returning from his work on Wednesday when he was overtaken by illness and died almost immediately in the Mint. The Coroner's Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes." The deceased was about seventy years of age.
Wednesday 31 December 1873, Issue 5692 – Gale Document No. Y3200718910 PLYMOUTH – Mr Deputy Coroner Square held an Inquiry on Monday into the death of JOHN GUEST, a railway guard, who died on Friday in consequence of injuries received by his falling from a train on the 12th instant. Deceased was second guard of a train which left Exeter on the night of the 11th instant, and on reaching Kingsbridge-road station was seen to be in his van all right. Coming down the Hemerdon incline the head guard, Roger Partridge, noticed that GUEST had not put on the break, and on pulling up at Cornwood "junction" deceased was found to be missing and the door of his van had been knocked off. Meanwhile the unfortunate under guard had got into serious trouble. Standing on the step of his van he was suddenly knocked off by something – he knew not what – falling on his arm. He managed to get to Denniton Farm, some distance from the railway, but had to get over some railings before he could reach there. He arrived in a deplorable condition, but his arm, which was not bleeding very much, was bandaged by Dr Holmes, and Mr Hauton, who occupies the farm, telegraphed to Plymouth, to which place deceased was ultimately removed. He was taken to the South Devon and East Cornwall Hospital, where he was attended by Mr Square, surgeon, who found it necessary to amputate his left arm. Deceased bore the operation ell, and was getting on very favourably up to last Sunday week, when he was afflicted with sickness. He never rallied, but expired on Friday last. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 31 December 1873, Issue 5692 – Gale Document No. Y3200718899 THE RECENT FATALITY ON THE EXETER RAILWAY. - Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Valiant Soldier Inn, on Monday, upon the remains of RICHARD HOOPER, who was in the service of the Bristol and Exeter Railway Company, and whose death resulted from injuries he recently sustained when near the Tiverton Junction. Mr Mears represented the Railway Company. John Haydon, gardener, of Bradninch, said that he knew the deceased; but he had not seen him for the last three months. He lived in the Red Cow Village, and was a married man with three children. John Tucker saw the deceased on Saturday, the 20th December, at Wellington. Witness was the driver of a coal train from Dunball, the other side of Bridgwater. Deceased was in the train. On arriving at Wellington they divided the train in order to go up the incline to Whiteball tunnel. Mr Sweetland, the head guard, took up the first part, and deceased was left behind to take up the second. He and his mate then went back to Wellington with the engine; it was nearly two hours before they went back, in consequence of special trains. When they did get back he saw the deceased standing on the platform, and after they had shunted the train the deceased connected the engine to the trucks, but whilst doing it he stumbled. Witness noticed also that there was something unusual in his conduct. This was about half past ten at night. Hearing some altercation going on between the deceased and the policeman, witness got off to see what was the matter. He found that there were two trucks for Exeter but deceased would have it that they were for Wellington, and wanted them to be unconnected. The deceased then got on the engine with him, and the policeman (Storey) said he would go up with them also, but whether he did so or not witness could not say. He objected to deceased getting on the engine at first, and he then made an attempt to get into a truck next to the engine. Fearing that an accident might occur, and being anxious to get to Tiverton Junction for water, he allowed the deceased, who was incapable of taking care of himself, to get on the engine. He then went on and connected the other half of the train, and made on then for Tiverton Junction. HOOPER got off at the platform, and the witness told Mr Sweetland, the other guard, that the deceased had been drinking at Wellington, and that he had better place him in the van at the back of the train. Mr Sweetland said, "What a foolish fellow, I'll look after him." He saw no more of the deceased after that. John Sweetland said he was a coal guard on the Bristol and Exeter Railway. He was working a train on the 20th instant from Dunball to Exeter. He knew the deceased, who was the under guard of the train. He saw him about 7.50 in the evening, when he left him at Wellington. He had come with him from Dunball, on a return journey. They had twenty-six trucks as far as Wellington, when five more were added. The train was then divided, and he took charge of the first portion up the incline. He left the deceased at Wellington. He was then perfectly sober. He did not see the deceased again until about 10.25, when he saw him on the engine which had come up from the Whiteball Tunnel. He did not have any conversation with the deceased or the engine-driver. He could not discern whether the deceased was drunk or not. Witness coupled the two portions of the train together, and they then proceeded to Tiverton Junction. Upon arriving there he got out of the van, and walked towards the engine, where he found the driver turning on the water, and the stoker and the deceased on the engine. After he had been there for a few minutes, the driver said, "Sweetland, HOOPER has been fuddling." Witness made him no answer, but said, "Pull down and cross over, the express is coming." The driver did so, and they waited until the express had passed. He got into the van on leaving Tiverton Junction, and he still believed that HOOPER was on the engine. The train arrived safely at Hele, where they stopped, and he went to the engine to make sure that HOOPER was still there. The driver then told him that he was not there, but that he had got off at the Tiverton Junction. He then took the train into Exeter, and on arrival he told the foreman shunter exactly what the guard had told him, and that he must put away the train. That would have been HOOPER'S duty, had he been there. He had not been drinking. A Juror asked whether the driver at any time called the witness's attention to HOOPER that he was drunk, and that he had better take him back and put him into the van? Witness replied that he did not. He never heard anything of the kind until Saturday, when he was at Bridgwater. The deceased left no lamp burning on the engine. Mr John Oaten, station-master at Tiverton Junction, said that he remembered the coal-train arriving there at 10.41 p.m. He saw Mr Sweetland, who came and asked him whether he could leave four trucks behind in consequence of the deceased being "tight." After he gave the last witness orders to start the train, he said to him, whilst the train was in motion, "Where's DICK?" He replied, "I daresay he's back in the van, you ought to know where he's to." A few minutes after the train came in he was going to a crossing-point, which led from the up to the down line, when he saw the deceased standing near the points. It was very dark, and he was doing nothing. He said to him, "DICK, be kind enough to turn the point for me." He did so, but witness could not tell whether he was drunk or sober at the time. Witness was about six yards from him. He saw nothing more of him until the following morning, about 8.45 a.m. There was a very serious wound at the back art of his head. Dr Mackenzie, of Tiverton, was sent for, who said that the deceased could not be removed from the waiting-room, as he was in such a dangerous state. The deceased remained there until Monday afternoon, when he was taken to the Hospital. A Juror said there seemed to be a great discrepancy between the statement of the driver and the head-guard, the one being in direct contradiction to the other. George Guppy said he was a signal-man at Tiverton Junction. He was on night duty on the 20th inst. The coal-train arrived at 10.41 p.m. and was shunted. He saw HOOPER in the act of stepping from the engine to the platform, and he said to witness, "Have you any trucks on, George?" He replied, "Yes, there are some on." That was all he heard of him until about a quarter before two on the following morning, when he received messages from the Exeter telegraph office, enquiring if anything had been seen of deceased since the coal-train started, and requesting him to search for him. He did so, but was unable to find him. He heard nothing more until about a quarter to eight, when, on coming up the line from fetching in the signal lamps, he saw a man named Babel walking down the line with a cap in his hand. Babel said "Run, George, there's a man on the line nearly dead; get what assistance you can, and I will go back to the body." Witness, having obtained help, went to the auxiliary signal on the up-road, and there found the deceased in a sitting posture, with a man helping him up. He was placed on a ladder and removed to the down waiting-room at Tiverton Junction Station. He noticed several scars in his face, and a nasty wound on the back part of his head. He appeared slightly conscious. John Babel, a policeman, said he was stationed at the Sampford siding, in the parish of Sampford Peverill. He remembered Sunday morning, the 21st instant, going to Tiverton Junction about seven o'clock. On arriving at the auxiliary signal, about a quarter-of-a-mile from Tiverton Junction, he saw a man on the line. He was lying between the rails of the up-line. He was on his left side, with his hands across his breast, and his legs bent up. The witness picked up his cap on the level crossing, and then ran to Tiverton Junction. The cap was lying about two feet from deceased towards Exeter. Mr E. J. Domville, house-surgeon, at the Devon and Exeter Hospital, said that he received the deceased into that Institution on Monday afternoon, the 22nd instant. He was unconscious, but could be roused. He found that the deceased had sustained a compound fracture of the skull on the left side. The bone was depressed, and pressing on the brain. He sent for the surgeon of the week (Mr Cumming), and , with his assistance, removed that portion of the bone that had been driven in, but, owing to the extent of the laceration of the brain, they never had any hope of the man's recovery. He continued to remain in the same state until Friday afternoon, when he died. He considered that laceration of the brain was the cause of death. JANE HOOPER, wife of the deceased, was called, and stated that her husband was twenty-eight. He was a sober man. He had been under the medical care of Messrs. Grigg and Webb in August last. He was then suffering from sunstroke, with fever, and if he took a little drink it affected him very much. The Coroner said there was only one point for the Jury to determine – viz, whether the guard Sweetland acted in any way that rendered him personally responsible for the death of HOOPER. His own opinion was that there was no sufficient evidence for them to take that course. The Jury returned a verdict "That the deceased died from injuries which he received on the railway, but how or by what means they had no evidence to show."
Wednesday 31 December 1873, Issue 5692 – Gale Document No. Y3200718898 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Saturday morning at the Higher Barracks, in this city, upon the body of WILLIAM BEATTIE, a gunner in the K Battery, 11th Brigade, R.A., who died on the preceding morning, from the effects of injuries self-inflicted. JOHN BEATTIE deposed that deceased was his brother, and that he was addicted to drink. Alfred Tamsett, a bombardier, in the K Battery, deposed that deceased joined the K Battery on the 19th December. He saw him on the 21st in bed, in the Hospital, and deceased then asked him to fetch his clothes and to lend him a razor. Witness said he could not lend him the razor, but went to fetch the clothes. On returning he found deceased lying across the bed with his throat cut, and immediately sent for the surgeon, who came and dressed the wound. Witness had known BEATTIE at Shorncliffe in 1869, and he was then addicted to drink. Deceased had been a sergeant, but was reduced. He saw nothing in the room at the time with which the deed could have been committed, but afterwards found a razor in the grate. It had belonged to BEATTIE. Mr W. E. Riordon, surgeon, R.A., said that he had examined the deceased and found two deep gashes in the throat. The windpipe was almost severed. Witness asked him why he had injured himself, and he replied that he did not know he had done anything. Afterwards he said he had been drinking with several comrades before leaving his old battery, and had not slept for several nights, and that, what with the excitement of moving, and other things, he was driven quite out of his mind. Witness considered that deceased was suffering from delirium tremens when he committed the act. The Jury returned a verdict of "Suicide while in a state of Temporary Insanity." The funeral was military, and took place on Monday afternoon, at the New Cemetery. The procession consisted of the firing party with arms reversed, the band of the Militia (playing the Dead March), corpse on gun carriage, drawn by six horses, detachment of K Battery. Three volleys were fired over the grave. The deceased being a Roman Catholic a priest of that denomination officiated.
Wednesday 14 January 1874, Issue 5693 – Gale Document No. Y3200718949 EXETER – Mr Deputy Coroner Barton held an Inquest at the Golden Ball Inn on Saturday upon the body of WILLIAM ADAMS, aged sixty-four. JOHN GURNSEY, son-in-law of the deceased, stated that ADAMS was a glover and lived in Milk-street. Witness last saw him alive on Thursday afternoon about half-past three. He was then dressed and sitting outside the bed. He complained of being ill. Witness went away but returned in about an hour, and finding that he was not where he left him he searched about his bed room – which was a dark one – and found him close to the fireplace. Witness called to the deceased, who did not answer, and felt his hands, which were cold, and came to the conclusion that he was dead, and then went for assistance. Deceased was placed on the bed and Mr Perkins, surgeon, of South-street, sent for. There was a mark on deceased's right temple and blood on the floor, but the witness thought that was caused by deceased falling from the chair to the floor. Mr Perkins said he was called on Thursday afternoon to see the deceased. He found him lying on the bed quite dead. There were no external marks of violence on the body except a small cut on the right temple which he believed to have been caused by the deceased falling to the floor. He had no doubt that the deceased died from disease of the heart. The body was not very much emaciated, and the deceased's death was not caused by any neglect. Verdict accordingly.
Wednesday 21 January 1874, Issue 5694 – Gale Document No. Y3200718975 TEIGNMOUTH – The body of CHARLES JOHNSTON, who was recently drowned by the upsetting of a fishing-boat coming over the bar, was found on Thursday evening by Thomas Chaffe, who was working on the railway near the spot. The body bore little indication of having been knocked about. At the Inquest on Saturday a verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.
Wednesday 21 January 1874, Issue 5694 – Gale Document No. Y3200718977 EXETER - Mr Deputy Coroner Barton held an Inquest on Thursday at the Topsham Inn upon the body of JOSEPH SMALLRIDGE. The deceased was in the employ of Messrs Wippell and Sons, ironmongers, of this city. On the preceding morning, whilst pushing back a drawer underneath a bench, on which was an oil-drip, his foot slipped, and he fell on the spout of the oil-drip, which penetrated his eye. He was conveyed to the Devon and Exeter Hospital in an insensible condition, where it was found that the spout had pierced the brain. He expired a few hours after his admission, in a delirious state. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death". Deceased (25 years of age) was a sober, honest, and well-conducted man. He had worked for Messrs. Wippell and Sons, for nearly twelve years.
Wednesday 4 February 1874, Issue 5696 – Gale Document No. Y3200719037 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Monday evening at the Red Lion Inn, St. Sidwell, upon the body of ELIZABETH FISHER, aged fifty-four. JOSHUA FISHER, who is a shopkeeper, said his wife had been subject to epileptic fits for the last twelve years. The last time she was out was on Saturday night, when she appeared to be in her usual health. She got up between eight and nine o'clock on Sunday morning, and when at breakfast she complained of having something the matter with her throat. He went out about half-past ten, leaving his wife and a young man named Taylor in the room. On his return from chapel he met his brother, who told him that his wife was dead. On a previous occasion his wife had a fit, and she remained in it nine hours without speaking. EDWIN JOHN TAYLOR said the deceased was his mother. He was with her on Sunday morning, and about twelve o'clock she asked him to go into the garden and cut some greens. He did so, and on his return, two or three minutes later, he found her stretched on the floor, with her arm over her head. He lifted her into a sitting posture and called Mrs Tucker, a neighbour. He spoke to the deceased, but she did not answer him, and died almost immediately. A doctor was sent form, but his mother had died before his arrival. There was a mark on deceased's cheek which was caused by her falling against the table. Mr J. S. Perkins, surgeon, said he knew the deceased. The last time he attended her was on the 20th of November, when she had an epileptic fit. He was called to see her on Sunday morning, but by the time he arrived she was quite dead. He believed the cause of death to be epilepsy. Verdict accordingly.
Wednesday 18 February 1874, Issue 5697 – Gale Document No. Y3200719090 CULLOMPTON – The body of MR CHURCHILL, wheelwright, of Kerswell, was found in a deep trough near the Cullompton Railway Station on Friday. On the preceding evening the unfortunate man made some purchases at Cullompton and left the town about half-past eight. The supposition is that when he reached the spot near where his body was found his hat blew off, and he got over the rail fencing to recover it. Ignorant of the fact that there was a descent on the inside he fell into several feet of water and was drowned. £20 5s. 4 ¾d. were found in the pockets of the deceased, and near the body was a basket containing the various articles he purchased on Thursday evening. The Coroner's Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned."
Wednesday 4 March 1874, Issue 5699 – Gale Document No. Y3200719165 DARTINGTON – Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest last week upon the body of JOSEPH TURPIN, innkeeper, of Cott, Dartington. The poor man hung himself in an outhouse adjoining his premises; and the evidence left no doubt that he committed the act whilst in a state of insanity, which was the verdict of the Jury.
Wednesday 4 March 1874, Issue 5699 – Gale Document No. Y3200719156 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Victoria Inn, Victoria-road, in this city, on Saturday, upon the body of WILLIAM PENNY, aged 75, who resided at New-buildings, Lion's Holt. Mr Phelps, surgeon, gave it as his opinion that disease of the heart was the cause of death, and a verdict to that effect was returned.
Wednesday 11 March 1874, Issue 5700 – Gale Document No. Y3200719195 WITHERIDGE – Suspected Infanticide. – An Inquest was held at the Angel Hotel, on Saturday, on the body of the male child of JANE GIBBONS, which had been found in a well. Mrs Fanny Norman, in whose employ the prisoner had been for several months, said the girl seemed very unwell, and noticing other things, she at once sent for her mother. They searched the bed room and found certain things, and afterwards found something which led to the present charge. MARY GIBBONS, the mother, said - Hearing a report concerning my daughter, I persuaded her to be examined by Dr Burrows, after which she was taken into custody. The following day I begged her to tell me the whole truth, and she said "The child is in the well." I asked, "Was it living?" and she said "No, it never moved or cried." - Sergeant Gattrell said – On Wednesday I called on Mrs Norman, and she informed me she had buried what had been found in the garden. I took it to Dr Burrows; he then examined the prisoner, after which I took her into custody charging her with "concealment of birth." We then pumped out a well twenty feet deep, and found the body of a male infant wrapped in a piece of linsey dress; part of an iron block was tied to it, and a piece of tape tied round the infant's neck. I at once took the child to the doctor. Dr Burrows said – On Wednesday I examined accused, and felt convinced she had given birth to a child about the time suggested. Next day I examined the child; it had not been washed; it was a fully matured infant, and much decomposed. I observed a double tape tied round its neck 5 ½ inches long. The back of the head above the tape was more discoloured than the rest of the body. I have today made a post mortem examination; the decomposed state of the body rendered examination very difficult and unsatisfactory. I removed and weighed the lungs – 660 grains – is very little if the child breathed freely. I put them in water and they floated buoyantly, which might be owing to gases generated by decomposition. Owing to the decomposed state of the body I should not like to say either that the child was or was not born alive. The Jury returned an Open Verdict of "Found in a Well." She was thereupon committed for trial.
Wednesday 11 March 1874, Issue 5700 – Gale Document No. Y3200719181 EXETER – An Inquest was held at the Golden Ball Inn, St Mary Arches-street, on Saturday morning, before H. W. Hooper, Esq. (city Coroner) on the body of SAMUEL JONES, a horse dealer, 69 years of age, residing in Mary Arches-street, who died suddenly on Thursday evening. It appears that deceased had been ailing for some time past, and the day previous to his death complained of a pain near the region of the heart. On the day of his death his wife noticed a change for the worse in his appearance, and at once sent for Mr Phelps, surgeon, but before that gentleman's arrival deceased had ceased to exist. Mr Phelps gave it as his opinion that death resulted from disease of the heart, and a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony was returned.
EXETER – An Inquest was held at the Welcome Inn, Haven Banks, yesterday afternoon, on the body of GEORGE HARRIS, who was found in the Exeter Canal the previous morning. Deceased had been missing for three weeks. Satisfactory evidence having been adduced, the Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned."
Wednesday 18 March 1874, Issue 5701 – Gale Document No. Y3200719212 TORQUAY – An Inquest was held on Wednesday evening at Ilsham House, Torquay (the residence of the parents of the deceased), on the body of ALFRED ERNEST CROWDY, who was drowned through the upsetting of a canoe. Alfred Wicks, a painter, who happened to be on the rocks with a spy-glass, stated that he saw the deceased leave Antis Cove in a canoe on the preceding Thursday afternoon Wicks seems to have watched the young man in the canoe very attentively. When the deceased had proceeded some distance, he appears to have seen something floating in the water; he knocked it with his paddle, and paddled round it three times, then he reached out to seize it and the canoe capsized. Wicks immediately went to the beach, and in about seven minutes three boats were at the scene of the accident, and the men at once commenced grappling. The body of the deceased was found on Wednesday morning about a mile from where the accident occurred. Verdict "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 18 March 1874, Issue 5701 – Gale Document No. BC3200719215 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Fountain Inn yesterday on the body of WILLIAM CASELEY STONE, aged 28, who was found drowned in the Exeter Quay that morning. The father of the deceased (WILLIAM CASELEY STONE, boot and shoemaker, of the Cathedral-yard), said he saw his son last when he was going home to dinner on Monday. He was then in apparent good health and saw nothing peculiar about him. the deceased was a moderately temperate man. Jane Southwood, daughter of Mr Wm. Southwood, said the deceased came to the Britannia Inn and had a glass of beer between six and seven on Monday evening. P.C. Webber was on duty on the Quay that morning about five o'clock and found a hat just below the Passage-Boat-house, with the name and address of the owner – "W. C. STONE, 31 Victoria-terrace, St. James's-road." The hat was identified as belonging to the deceased. The body was found near where the hat was picked up. Nothing was found in deceased's possession but a key, which fell out as the body was being taken out of the water. Mr C. H. Roper, surgeon, was sent for, and found no marks of violence on the body. The Jury returned a verdict accordingly Deceased was a shoemaker by trade, but had for some time past worked at Messrs. Wheeler and Wilson's sewing machine depot. It was only a short time since that he buried his wife.
Wednesday 25 March 1874, Issue 5701 – Gale Document No. Y3200719245 EAST BUDLEIGH – An Inquest was held on Saturday at the Rolle Arms Inn, East Budleigh, on the body of THOMAS POTBURY, shoemaker, who was found hanging in a linhay at the back of his house, on Friday morning. The deceased had for some time past been in a desponding frame of mind (a fire which occurred opposite his house on the preceding Saturday, appeared to affect him much), and being missed on Friday, a search was instituted, resulting in his being found in the manner described, quite dead and cold. The Jury returned a verdict that the deceased destroyed himself while in an unsound state of mind.
BRIXHAM – Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest at Brixham on Monday upon the body of C. E. BENNETT, one of the crew of the Torbay Lass. One day, whilst the vessel was lying in Torbay, he and the mate were left together on board, the captain and remainder of the crew going ashore. Shortly afterwards the vessel was boarded, and the deceased was reported to be missing, and sometime afterwards his dead body was washed ashore near Brixham. At the Inquest it was stated that the mate (Walter Good) had been on very bad terms with the deceased, and had frequently ill-treated him. The Inquiry was adjourned from time to time, and a summons was served upon Good, whilst he was at Falmouth, ordering him to appear and give evidence. As he neglected to comply with this demand the Coroner issued a warrant, under which he was brought from Wisbeach to Brixham, and appeared at the Inquiry. A lad named Martin, serving as an apprentice on board the Torbay Lass, stated that a few days before he was missed deceased told him he had tried to drown himself. He had never seen anyone ill-treat the deceased. Good, the mate, also gave evidence, which in some particulars contradicted that of other witnesses, and he handed in a written protest against his treatment in being brought down from Wisbeach. The Jury returned an Open Verdict.
Wednesday 25 March 1874, Issue 5701 – Gale Document No. Y3200719236 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Black Horse Inn, South-street, on Friday, upon the body of MARY NORTHWAY, aged 74, who died suddenly. MRS BESSIE NORTHWAY, of 3, Palace Gate, Exeter, said deceased was her mother-in0law. She was a widow and resided with her. Had been ailing for some time and not been under medical treatment for two years and a half. She was sent for on the preceding night, and, on coming home, found deceased suffering great pain in her chest. she administered brandy up to the time of her death, she dying in her arms. Samuel Steele Perkins, surgeon, stated that the deceased died from heart disease. A verdict accordingly was returned.
EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Devon and Exeter Girls' Reformatory, Polsloe-road, on Thursday, upon the body of EMILY JANE ALLEN, aged fifteen years. The deceased was admitted to the Reformatory in July, 1871, having been sent there by the magistrates at Cullompton for stealing fruit. She seemed in good health, but a few days before her demise her appetite failed, and the medical advice of Mr Phelps was obtained. The girl, however, died on Wednesday morning. Mr Phelps made a post-mortem examination, and through it ascertained that death had been caused by an extravasation of blood into the pleura, a complaint to which young persons of the sex and age of deceased are subject, but which rarely ends fatally. The Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes."
Wednesday 1 April 1874, Issue 5703 – Gale Document No. Y3200719272 CHRISTOW – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Valiant Soldier Inn, Exeter, on Wednesday, on the body of WM. BELWORTHY, a labourer, aged fifty-one, who died on the preceding Monday in the Devon and Exeter Hospital. Deceased, up to shortly before his death, resided at Christow, but being unwell for some time, he entered the Hospital at the advice of some friends. Mr Domville, the house surgeon, stated that the deceased died of pleurisy brought on by intemperance. The Jury returned a verdict of died from "Natural Causes."
Wednesday 1 April 1874, Issue 5703 – Gale Document No. Y3200719261 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Honiton Inn, Paris-street, on Thursday, upon the body of THOMAS STADDON, of Spiller-street, who died suddenly on the preceding morning. The deceased was 55 years of age. He had complained some time of being unwell, but had not been under medical care since Christmas – had, in fact, recently refused medical advice. Mr Roberts, surgeon, said he had known deceased for many years, but had not attended him for any illness for several months. He was not a man of strong constitution, and he believed his lungs to be affected. He considered his death to have been a natural one, but was unable to state the precise cause. The Jury returned a verdict that deceased "Died from the Visitation of God."
EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Fountain Inn, Quay, on Thursday, upon the body of WALTER WM. WESTLAKE. The deceased with other children was at play upon some steps used for dipping water near the Bishop Blaze Inn, and unfortunately fell into the water and was drowned. Verdict accordingly.
Wednesday 8 April 1874, Issue 5704 – Gale Document No. Y3200719289 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Thursday at the Fireman's Arms Inn, in this city, upon the body of JOHN FOLLETT, aged 69, lately residing in Sherman's-court, West Quarter. Mr Perkins, surgeon, attributed death of the deceased to apoplexy. Verdict accordingly.
EXETER – Mr Coroner Cross held an Inquest yesterday at the Welcome Inn, Haven Banks, upon the body of GEORGE WEBBER, a greengrocer, of St. Sidwell, aged 47. The deceased had been missing from the evening of the 19th of March, and his remains were discovered in the Exeter Canal on Friday. The evidence left no doubt of the existence of considerable unpleasantness between the deceased and his wife and family; but as there was no proof how the unfortunate man came into the canal, the Coroner advised the return of an Open Verdict, which was the finding of the Jury.
Wednesday 15 April 1874, Issue 5705 – Gale Document No. Y3200719314 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Thursday at the Duke of York Inn, Coombe-street, in this city, upon the body of JOHN TUCKER, a baker, who resided at 3, Albert-place, Coombe-street. The deceased died suddenly soon after getting up in the morning; and Mr Perkins, surgeon, attributed death to heart disease. The daughter of the deceased sated that her father came to her house on the preceding evening, and complained of feeling cold and unwell. She further stated that she had noticed for some time that her father was failing in health. The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.
Wednesday 22 April 1874, Issue 5706 – Gale Document No. Y3200719353 PAYHEMBURY – Gross Superstition. – An Enquiry was held at the Vicarage House, Payhembury, on Friday morning, touching the death of ELIZABETH MIFFIN, aged twenty-two, wife of JOHN MIFFIN, a groom, residing at Payhembury, who committed suicide the preceding day by drowning herself in a pond adjoining the Vicarage. The deceased visited Taunton a short time since, where she came in contact with a woman commonly known as the "White Witch." On her return she informed her husband and her acquaintances that she had been overlooked by the witch at Taunton, and she was apparently suffering from nervous depression up to the time when she destroyed herself. Mr Cox, the Coroner, urged upon the Jury the necessity of impressing upon the minds of the inhabitants of the village the evil arising from their belief in such superstitious nonsense. The Jury returned a verdict of "Temporary Insanity."
HALBERTON – Suicide. – Mr Coroner Crosse held an Inquest at Catford Farm, Halberton, on Friday, upon the remains of THOMAS BRAY. The first witness called was Frederick Podbury, a boy, of Halberton. He stated that he was on the preceding Wednesday afternoon in a field close by the Tiverton Branch Line of the Bristol and Exeter Railway, and saw the deceased walking on the railway towards the Junction. He watched him for two or three minutes, and as the 3.49 train from Tiverton approached he saw him le down across the rails immediately in front of the train, which passed over him. He heard the whistle sounded, and the train was stopped. He immediately ran down to the spot and saw the body, which was completely cut in two pieces. The guard of the train came back. Charles Mathin, the guard of the train which plies between Tiverton and the Junction, was next called. He said on Wednesday last the train left Tiverton at 3.51 p.m., two minutes late. Just as they passed Spicer's bridge he heard the alarm whistle sounded, and immediately put the break on, and the train was brought up as speedily as possible. The driver told him they had run over a man, and he went back and found the body of deceased but into two parts. The driver of the train went on to the junction. Subsequently a man named James arrived on the spot, and also P.C. Stevens, under whose direction the mangled remains were removed to the deceased's residence. Thomas Gair, the driver of the train, deposed that as they passed Spicer's-bridge he saw a man on the line some distance ahead of him. He sounded the alarm whistle, but instead of getting out of the way he laid down on the line. He was then about twenty paces in front of the train, and he could sear positively, as he was watching him closely all the time, that he deliberately laid down across the rail, and did not fall or stumble in any way. It was quite impossible for him to stop the train before he did. In answer to a Juryman, witness said he was aware that there was a level crossing for the public near the spot where deceased was killed, and when he first saw him he considered that he might have been about to cross the line. He did not, however, attempt to do so, but laid down across the rail. William Tratt, fireman, corroborated the last witness's statement. Mr John Abbott, a farmer, of Halberton, and a near neighbour of deceased, said he had been intimately acquainted with him for the last twenty years. For several weeks past he had noticed when in his company that his manner and conduct had been altogether quite different from what they used to be. He seemed quite at a loss at times, not knowing what he was about. He saw him on the morning of his death, and he then seemed to be very low-spirited. He did not believe that at the time of his committing the rash act he could be accountable for his actions. SAMUEL BRAY, son of the deceased, also spoke as to his father being very much depressed at times, and especially within the last few weeks. The Coroner, in summing up, said it seemed to him quite evident that the poor man deliberately and intentionally killed himself. The evidence of the last two witnesses, he thought, had fully established that he was not in his right mind at the time he committed the rash act, and this evidence would, he thought, relieve them from the unpleasant duty of returning a verdict of Felo de se. The Jury then returned a verdict to the effect that deceased committed suicide whilst in a state of "Temporary Insanity".
Wednesday 6 May 1874, Issue 5708 – Gale Document No. Y3200719405 NEWTON ABBOT – Mr Deputy Coroner Gauge held an Inquest at the Workhouse on Friday upon the body of WILLIAM STOCKMAN, who was unfortunately killed the previous day on the railway by the slipping away of a large quantity of earth. Verdict "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 13 May 1874, Issue 5709 – Gale Document No. Y3200719420 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Valiant Soldier Inn on Thursday evening upon the body of WILLIAM WARREN, lately living on Stepcote-hill, in this city. On the preceding Tuesday the deceased went to Mamhead to assist in the removal of a steam-engine and thrashing machine from that place to Ide, and, whilst riding on the shafts of the engine, the unfortunate man fell and the wheels passed over his right arm and leg, mutilating the limbs fearfully. He was taken to the Hospital, but died from the injuries early on Thursday morning. Verdict, "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 20 May 1874, Issue 5710 – Gale Document No. Y3200719461 TORQUAY – MR E. G. BRADFORD, jeweller, of the Strand, Torquay, committed suicide on Sunday morning. His wife died some time since, and he has since fallen into a desponding state from her loss. He retired to bed about ten o'clock on Saturday night, but on Sunday morning when the servant got up she found him at the closet in his night shirt with his throat cut. Dr Pollard was sent for, but the unfortunate man was dead. The deed was done with the bread knife, which deceased must have fetched from the kitchen after he went upstairs to go to bed. Deceased was fifty-six, has a son a clergyman in Cornwall, one at College, and two grown up daughters. An Inquest upon the body resulted in the return of a verdict to the effect that the deceased was in an unsound state of mind when he committed the rash act.
Wednesday 3 June 1874, Issue 5712 – Gale Document No. Y3200719510 CULMSTOCK – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Valiant Soldier Inn, Exeter, on Monday, upon the body of JOHN STONE, labourer, aged sixty-four. the deceased was engaged in cutting hay from a rick for "seaming," and unfortunately, fell upon the hay-knife, whereby his leg was severely cut. Mr Morgan, surgeon, of Culmstock, was consulted; but the poor fellow desired that he should be taken to the Devon and Exeter Hospital. It was there found necessary to amputate the injured leg, and the patient went on very satisfactory for a few days; but a change followed, and he died within a fortnight after he received the injury. Verdict – "Accidental Death."
BUCKFASTLEIGH – JOHN FURNEAUX, a traveller, committed suicide on Thursday at Buckfastleigh. He hung himself to a bed. He had been drinking excessively. Verdict – "Temporary Insanity, accelerated by excessive drinking."
TAVISTOCK – Mr Coroner Rodd held an Inquest on Monday at the Golden Fleece Hotel, Tavistock, upon the body of SAMUEL EXWORTHY, a miner, aged fifty-three years, who committed suicide by hanging himself on Saturday. MARIA EXWORTHY, sister-in-law of the deceased, said that the deceased, being unwell, came to Tavistock from Durham about a fortnight ago, and had been stopping at her house. He went out on Saturday morning, and told her that he was going to see her husband, who was working in a field close by. About one o'clock witness went to a cow-shed adjoining her house, and there saw the deceased hanging by his neck from a rope, which was attached to beam. John Tyrrell, postman, stated that he went with the last witness to the cow-shed, and cut the deceased down. The man was quite dead. The Jury returned a verdict of "Temporary Insanity."
Wednesday 17 June 1874, Issue 5714 – Gale Document No. Y3200719569 CREDITON – Melancholy Suicide. – The body of MRS TURNER, who has respectable connections in this town, was discovered in the ornamental water in Shobrooke Park, on Tuesday, the 9th instant. On being taken out she was found to be quite dead. An Inquest was held on Wednesday at the Market House Inn, when it appeared from the evidence that the deceased had drowned herself whilst suffering from Temporary Insanity, and a verdict to that effect was returned.
Wednesday 1 July 1874, Issue 5716 – Gale Document No. Y3200719620 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Anchor Inn, Exe Island, on Monday, upon the body of the infant of MR SOWDON, who lives in the Island. The child died suddenly in the morning, and Mr Perkins, surgeon, gave it as his opinion that death was caused by spasms. Verdict accordingly.
Wednesday 15 July 1874, Issue 5718 – Gale Document No. Y3200719669 TORQUAY – Last Monday MR HARDING, pawnbroker, of Higher Union-street, fell from an omnibus, and died two days afterwards. An Inquest was held at the Castle Inn on Thursday, and a verdict of "Accidental Death" returned.
TOPSHAM – An Inquest was held at Topsham on Saturday, before R. R. Crosse, Esq., county Coroner, on the body of WILLIAM REED, who was killed on the Exeter and Exmouth Railway on Thursday. It appears that deceased and some others were at work in a mangold field for Captain Walrond at Newcourt, and about midday deceased left the field and walked towards the railway, where his remains were afterwards discovered frightfully mutilated. The driver of the train was unaware of the occurrence until his attention as called to the state of the engine on his arrival at Exmouth. One of the witnesses informed the Jury that he had heard deceased complain in the morning that "his head was full of trouble," but he did not explain the cause. Dr Gibbs, of Topsham, having stated the nature of the injuries, the Jury returned an open verdict.
Wednesday 29 July 1874, Issue 5720 – Gale Document No. BC3200719707 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Anchor Inn, Exe Island, on Wednesday, upon the body of ELIZABETH COLERIDGE, aged 60, who died suddenly. According to medical testimony the cause of death was heart disease, and to that effect the Jury recorded their verdict.
Wednesday 5 August 1874, Issue 5721 – Gale Document No. Y3200719738 TORQUAY – An Inquest was held on Friday at the Torbay Infirmary, touching the death of JOHN GOULD. The deceased went to the Paignton Regatta on Wednesday, and n his return he fell from the Sensation steamer into the water when he was in the act of landing. The witnesses were not in one opinion respecting the state of the deceased, nor in the way in which the poor fellow fell into the water. He was rescued in two minutes, and was conveyed to the Infirmary, where he died in a few hours afterwards from heart disease, accelerated by the sudden immersion. Verdict accordingly.
UPTON PYNE – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Cowley Bridge Inn on Saturday evening upon the body of JOHN PAYNE, who was in the employ of Mr J. G. Osmond, of Upton Pyne. The wife of the deceased stated that her husband, who was thirty-one years of age, had taken some sheep for his master to the Exeter Market on Friday, and was returning home in the afternoon with five of the sheep in the waggon, in which there were six persons. Her husband rode on the shaft, driving the shaft and fore-horse. He had no reins, and his whip was in the bottom of the waggon. Deceased had been drinking, but had not had much, and was quite capable of managing the horses. One of the horses was a young one, and had never been in shafts before. They went very steadily from Exeter to Cowley-bridge, and had gone over the first bridge when they commenced going very fast, and appeared to witness to be running away. Deceased jumped off the shafts, caught hold of the shaft horse, and tried to stop it. He stumbled and fell,, and witness suddenly felt a jerk as if the waggon had gone over his body; this was just before going over the second bridge. Deceased had run with the horses a distance of one-hundred-and-fifty yards. The horses stopped and the wife got out of the waggon, and went back to her husband, whom she found had been placed against the hedge by the persons who had assembled. He was not dead, but quite unconscious and was bleeding much at the nose. PAYNE was taken to the inn, but expired before he reached there. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death," but said that, if the man had had reins as he ought he would have been living at that moment. They also considered driving without reins a great offence against the law, and that some steps should be taken to avoid such accidents in future by punishing offenders. Deceased leaves a widow and four children, aged respectively nine, seven, two, and an infant to mourn their loss.
Wednesday 12 August 1874, Issue 5722 – Gale Document No. Y3200719754 EXETER – Unsound Mind. – Mr Coroner Crosse held an Inquest at the Port Royal Inn, St. Leonard, on Monday, upon the body of ROBERT ADDISCOTT. The son of the deceased was the first witness called, and he stated that his father was 56 years of age last birthday. He resided at No. 3, Summerland-place, Topsham-road. Deceased was married and his wife and witness and his sister lived with him. He had done no work for the last ten years. He was formerly foreman at Mr Veitch's nursery, near London. Within the past five or six years he had given way to drink, but previously to that he had been in a very desponding state. For two years he never left his home. At times he lay in bed for weeks, and at such periods complained that his nerves were disordered. Within the past fortnight deceased had drank a good deal and eaten scarcely anything. One day he ate nothing at all. During this time he was very dejected. He slept with witness on Thursday night. Deceased went to bed about eight o'clock, and when witness went to rest about half-past twelve he found his father sitting up in bed. He complained that he could not sleep through a pain in his head. Witness went to sleep, and when he awoke in the morning deceased was missing. the family did not make many enquiries about him that day, because he was accustomed to go away for days together. The next day stricter enquiry was made, but they could hear nothing of him. On Sunday morning they heard that a hat and coat had been found, and witness at once made enquiries, and identified them as his father's. He subsequently saw the body, which was lying by the side of the mill-stream, near Countess Weir Mills. he identified it. His attention as called to the fact that the legs were tied together with a piece of cord. On Thursday night witness gave his father a paper to read, but he said he could not read it. He believed that his father drowned himself while in an unsound state of mind. George William Beer, dairyman, Old Abbey, said the deceased passed his residence on Friday morning between five and six o'clock. The road leads from Topsham-road to the river. Witness asked him where he was going and he replied that he was taking a stroll. Witness noticed nothing unusual in his manner. He asked witness if he could give him something to drink, as he was very dry. Had frequently seen deceased go the same way which led to Countess Weir and Topsham. Had never seen him there so early in the morning. P.C. George Clements deposed to the finding of the hat and coat on the bank of the mill stream leading to Countess Weir Mills. The next morning with the assistance of Constable Mashford he searched the stream for the body without success. On Sunday morning Mr Martin, of the Countess Weir Mills, let the water run out of the mill leat, and about a quarter to nine o'clock witness saw the body floating down. It was taken out. The cord with which the legs were secured passed twice round the legs, and was tied in front. the trousers were pulled up and the cord tied round the stockings. He believed deceased could have tied it himself. There were no marks of violence on the body, with the exception of a wound on the nose. [The officer described the knot by which the string was died, and one of the Jurymen said it was known as the "gardener's knot/"] Witness searched the body and found 10s. 3 ½d. in the trouser's pockets. Witness had known deceased for two and a-half years. He believed that he was not in his right mind, and that he committed suicide. Charles Henman Matthews Opie said he had known deceased between four and five years and had lodged in his house. He saw him last on Thursday. He was peeling potatoes in the yard. He did not appear to know what he was doing and complained of illness. Witness noticed him drop the knife he was using into the water, but he continued to work round the potato with his hand, as if the knife was still there. He told witness that his wife was very ill, but she afterwards came downstairs. He believed deceased was of unsound mind. John Voisey, residing in the parish of Holy Trinity, said he had known deceased for forty years. He expressed his firm opinion that lately he had been out of his mind, and said that on the last Friday in July, the last occasion on which he met the deceased, the latter said that the convict who was awaiting execution in Exeter Gaol could not be more miserable than he was. The Coroner said the evidence that the deceased was not in his right mind was very strong, and there was not the slightest suspicion that there had been any foul play; therefore, he thought, they would have no difficulty in finding a verdict. In general when there was only slight evidence of the insanity of the deceased, just sufficient to satisfy their consciences, the jury seized on it to avoid returning a verdict of felo de se, which among other things deprived the body of Christian burial, and which he considered a relic of a barbarous age, and with all his heart wished, to see abolished. In this case, however, there could be little doubt about the insanity of the deceased. The Jury immediately returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased committed suicide while of Unsound Mind.
Wednesday 19 August 1874, Issue 5723 – Gale Document No. Y3200719786 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held two Inquests at the George and Dragon Inn, St. Sidwell's, on Saturday. One upon the body of MARIAN STRONG, aged 21 months, daughter of MR EDWARD STRONG, of 45, Blackboy-road. On the preceding Tuesday evening the deceased was put in a high child's chair and placed at the tea table; the servant threw some boiling water into the teapot, and, while returning the kettle to the fire, the child caught up the tea-pot and drank. The servant instantly gave some milk to the child, who appeared to recover somewhat; but eventually it was found necessary to call in Mr Woodman, surgeon, but that gentleman was unable to save the life of the little sufferer. Verdict – "Accidental Death."
The other Inquest was upon the body of DANIEL HODGES, aged 54, a shoemaker, who lived in Blackboy-road. The deceased had complained of being unwell, and had some medicine, but he seems to have died suddenly whilst his wife was out to work. The Coroner had directed a post-mortem examination of the body of the deceased, and the evidence of Mr Phelps, surgeon, justified the Jury in attributing death to "Natural Causes."
EXETER – ANOTHER FATAL GUN ACCIDENT. MR R. H. PIDSLEY, the well-known auctioneer and valuer, of this city, has unfortunately lost his life from the incautious handling of a gun. MR PIDSLEY and family resided at No. 7, York-buildings, St. Sidwell, and about eleven o'clock on Saturday morning he took down his gun for the purpose of cleaning it, as he was going out rabbit-shooting. the gun – a double-barrelled breechloader – happened to be loaded; but this appears to have been unknown to MR PIDSLEY, who placed the stock of the gun on the table with the muzzle towards himself, and he then proceeded to rub the barrels with sandpaper. In doing so the gun slipped from his hand, and, falling on the table, one of the barrels exploded, the contents entering his stomach. There was no one in the room at the time, but the report of the gun quickly attracted the attention of MRS PIDSLEY, a son of the deceased, and two or three neighbours, who finding the unfortunate man lying along the floor, and seeing what had occurred, immediately sent for a doctor. Mr Hunt was soon in attendance, and on an examination it was found that the discharge had entered the left side of the breast-bone, just above the region of the stomach. The unfortunate man lingered on for about half-an-hour, and then expired. He was fifty years of age, and was well known amongst agriculturists as a successful auctioneer, a reliable valuer, and a competent judge of cattle, and only on the day preceding his death he had held a sale of some horses in the Exeter Cattle Market. He leaves a widow and four children. Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest in the afternoon at the Acland Arms Inn upon the body. The first witness called was THOMAS GOULD PIDSLEY, who said: I am a son of the deceased, and reside at No. 7, York-buildings. The body which the Jury have viewed is the body of my late father. He was an auctioneer and valuer, and was fifty years of age. He had four children living. He attended the Exeter Cattle Market yesterday, and sold three horses. On his return he complained a good deal, and had done so for some weeks past, of pains in his legs. Mr Hunt was his medical man, but it was about three months ago since he last attended him. Last night my father and I had a game of bagatelle together in our room, and I was with him up till twelve o'clock. He continually complained of pains in his legs during the whole time. For supper he ate some cold mutton, and drank some cider. MRS PIDSLEY was present during the evening. I saw him this morning about a quarter to eight, at which time we took breakfast – my father, MRS PIDSLEY, and myself. About ten o'clock he came to me a Mr Austin's yard, and asked me to wipe off the trap. I had about half done so when MRS PIDSLEY called me and said my father had accidentally shot himself. I ran home and found my father lying on the floor. Mrs Banbury was there when I came, and shortly afterwards Mr Hooper arrived. My father was lying on his left side. He was not dead. I saw some smoke in the room, and my father's double-barrelled gun was lying on the table. One barrel had been discharged. The other was still loaded, and I believe the trigger was full-cocked. I heard my father speak to MRS PIDSLEY, called her "Emily, Emily." I left the room for a short time, but hearing my father call me I returned. He aid in the presence of Mr Hooper and Mrs Banbury, "I leave all that I'm possessed of to my wife and Tom" (witness). I wrote this on a piece of paper, and it was afterwards signed by father in my presence and in the presence of four or five others. The Coroner: Had your father had anything to trouble or vex him lately? Witness: I don't know that he had. The Coroner: Did you hear him say how it happened? Witness: I heard him say that he took down the gun to clean it. By a Juryman: Deceased lived about half-an-hour after he was shot. He was about to go to his cousin's to endeavour to shoot a rabbit. MRS PIDSLEY is my step mother. Ann Banbury said: I reside at No. 1, York-street, and keep a dairy. I knew the deceased. Just before eleven this morning, deceased's servant called out for some one to run for a doctor, as MR PIDSLEY had accidentally shot himself. I ran to deceased's house, and my husband went to fetch Mr Hunt. I found the deceased lying on the floor. MRS PIDSLEY and the last witness were present. On my arrival he exclaimed, "O! Mrs Banbury, I have accidentally shot myself." I asked where, and he replied "In my bowels," adding that he was a dying man. I asked him how it happened, and he replied "I was sitting at the table cleaning the gun, the gun slipped, fell out of my hand, and exploded in my stomach." The sand paper with which the deceased had been cleaning the gun was then on the table. I don't believe deceased knew the gun was loaded. Edward Hooper said: I reside in St. Sidwells. About eleven o'clock this morning I was informed of the accident and went immediately to the deceased's house. Deceased was lying on the floor. He said to me, "I want you to look into my affairs and see to my dear wife." I said, "How did it happen?" He replied, "I was cleaning the gun and it accidentally went off and shot me." He asked me to write a line or two, and I called to the son to fetch some paper and put down what his father wished. I asked deceased what he wished wrote down, and he replied, "I wish to give all I'm possessed of to my wife and Tom." The request was written down by the son, and deceased wrote his signature on the paper. Dr Hunt and myself were the witnesses. Deceased died soon afterwards. By a Juror: I observed the gun on the table, but cannot say whether the barrel was pointing towards the deceased, or the reverse. It was a breech-loader. Mr Hunt, surgeon, of St. Sidwell's, said: I was the deceased's medical man, and was sent for to go to him about eleven o'clock in the morning. I found him on the floor in the back sitting room, lying on his left side. I asked, "Where are you hurt?" and he replied, "In the bowels." I asked him if the gun was loaded with shot, and he replied, "What I always shoot with," meaning shot. I saw he was in a precarious state, and I asked if he wished to say or do anything and he expressed a desire to sign the paper referred to by previous witnesses. I had him raised up, but he was very faint, and could scarcely hold the pen. He said, "Won't my cross do?" I told him I thought not. He did not sign the paper then, and I laid him down and I gave him a little brandy. After this he made an effort, raised himself up, and signed the paper. I afterwards examined the deceased. I found he had a wound in the left side of the breast-bone, just above the region of the stomach. There was a little bleeding from the wound, and a portion of the omentum was protruding. There was a hole in his garments which had both the appearance and the smell of being burnt by gunpowder. I stayed with him till he died, which was about half-an-hour afterwards. Undoubtedly the wound was the cause of his death. By a Juror: The situation of the wound was consistent with the statement that deceased was sitting at the table. This was all the evidence, and the Coroner, in summing up, said it was for the Jury to consider the facts which had been laid before them, and to say how the deceased came by his death – whether he committed suicide or whether the cause was accidental. As far as he could see they had a straightforward course to pursue. In the first place, there was the circumstance of the sand-paper being found on the table, which led to the conclusion that at the time the accident occurred the deceased was cleaning the gun, and then there was the deceased's dying declaration made to two or three persons that the matter was accidental. However, they must judge of the evidence for themselves, and return the verdict they thought proper. The Jury at once returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." The remains of MR PIDSLEY were interred at the New Cemetery yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon. The funeral, which left York-buildings shortly before three o'clock, was attended by many friends of the deceased, some of whom had come long distances. Mr Tothill, of Heavitree, was the undertaker, the hearse and mourning coaches being supplied by Messrs. West and Pedrick.
Wednesday 26 August 1874, Issue 5724 – Gale Document No. Y3200719820 NEWTON ABBOT – Mr H. Michelmore held an Inquest at the Town Hall, on Wednesday, on the body of JOHN PARNELL, who was killed the previous afternoon while excavating earth close to the bridge near the Torquay Junction in connection with the widening of the line. The evidence showed that it was the practice of men engaged in work of the kind in which he deceased was occupied, to undermine the earth and then to throw down what remained on the top. The deceased had been cautioned not to go too far under the bank. He was about to be relieved when the earth fell on him. The Coroner, in summing up, did not consider there was any person to blame, except perhaps the man himself, and those working with him in doing the work in the way they were. There was no doubt but that this was a very dangerous practice, and as this was the second death that had occurred on these works in the short time they had been in progress, he hoped this would be a warning to the other men, as they were not obliged to do the work in this manner. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death," but were of opinion that the practice of undermining ought not to be continued.
Wednesday 9 September 1874, Issue 5726 – Gale Document No. Y3200719868 TORQUAY – Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest on Monday, at the Torbay Infirmary, upon the body of JAMES HUMPHRIES, a shoemaker, of Paignton. On Sunday evening the deceased, his wife ( who is far advanced in pregnancy) their child, and a man called Crute and his wife, were returning from Torbay to Paignton in a two-wheeled vehicle, and when on the top of the hill just above the Gas-works the trap came into collision with a fly going towards Torquay, where the woman Crute was thrown out. The horse attached to the two-wheeled vehicle ran down over the hill towards the Gas-works, and when just there upset, throwing out the others. HUMPHRIES and his wife were taken to the Infirmary, where the former died early on Monday morning. The Enquiry was adjourned to the 18th instant, as the other material witnesses were too unwell to attend.
CHAWLEIGH – Mr R. R. Crosse held an Inquest at the Royal Oak Inn, Chawleigh, on Monday upon the body of RICHARD GOSS, aged about fifty years. ROBERT GOSS, a marine store dealer, and lodging house keeper of Chulmleigh, stated that the deceased came to his house on the 25th ult. Deceased had been drinking, and went to sleep at his house that night. The next day he went away, but returned between seven and eight o'clock much the worse for liquor: On Friday, the 28th and Saturday, the 29th, he again returned drunk. On Sunday deceased was not so drunk. Monday deceased went to Ashreigny Races, and returned about eight or nine at night very drunk. On the two following days he was drunk all day. On Thursday and Friday he was rather better, but not much. On Friday deceased said he was "dying with horrors," and witness did not see him alive afterwards. The body was found by Mary Edworthy, of Chulmleigh, on Saturday last, in the River Dart. She gave an alarm, and some persons went and got the body out of the water. The Coroner, in summing up, said this was a terrible case of drunkenness. It appeared that deceased had spent all his money in drink at the public houses at Chulmleigh, and had been drunk for ten days in succession. He strongly impressed upon the police constables present the necessity of visiting the houses at Chulmleigh where the deceased had squandered the little money he had, and thus brought his life to such an untimely end. The Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned."
Wednesday 9 September 1874, Issue 5726 – Gale Document No. Y3200719856 EXETER – SUICIDE OF AN EXETER TRADESMAN. – An Inquest was held on Friday evening at the Fireman's Arms, Preston-street, before Mr Coroner Hooper, on the body of HENRY EXELL, a marine store dealer, 57 years of age, who committed suicide by hanging himself in his stores about one o'clock on Friday afternoon. MRS HANNAH EXELL, widow of the deceased, stated that she resided in Rack-street, in the parish of St. Mary Major. The body which the Jury had viewed was the body of her husband. He was a marine store dealer, and was 57 years of age. Of late she had noticed that her husband had been low in spirits, and on one or two occasions he had been attended by Mr Perkins, surgeon, of South-street. He had complained several times of slackness of trade, and being unable to collect in money, and she believed this is why he had been so depressed in spirits. Deceased got up about six o'clock on Friday morning, and she noticed then that his behaviour was rather strange. Having taken his breakfast he went out and did not return until about eleven o'clock. He remained in the house a few minutes, and then went out to go to the shop. She did not see him alive afterwards. HENRY EXELL, junr., deposed that he was an assistant to his father, and that at half-past eight on Friday morning he was with him in the shop. Deceased then seemed very melancholy. On the previous Wednesday he had complained of the slackness of trade, and stated that if it did not alter it would drive him mad. He saw his father again that morning at half-past eleven, and remained with him until half-past twelve, when he observed him go to the stable, and from thence to the loft, muttering to himself the while. Witness went to dinner a little before one, and whilst taking his meal a little girl came to the door and told him he was wanted immediately at the stores. On his way there he met his mother, who said, "For God's sake go to the loft and see your father." He immediately went to the loft and on arriving there saw his father suspended by the neck with a rope, which was fastened to a staple in the ceiling. He cut him down instantly, but there was no breathing, and he seemed to be dead, although he was quite warm. He sent for a doctor, and about a quarter-of-an-hour afterwards Dr Webb arrived. By the Coroner: He had observed that his father had been depressed in spirits for several weeks past. He did not know that he had had anything to worry him but slackness of trade. He had always been a very industrious man, and if he was home a day or two, he would become passionate and exclaim, "Good God, what shall I do; something rash will sure to come to me before long." Mr Thomas Ford, of the Baths, said he had also observed that during the last few months deceased had been very much depressed in spirits. He seemed as if he had got some hidden secret. The son stated that if ever he questioned his father as to what was troubling him he seemed as if he didn't care to answer. The Coroner thought it was useless to call further evidence, and the Jury, after a short consultation, returned a verdict of "Suicide whilst in a state of Temporary Insanity."
EXETER – Mr H. W. Hooper, the city Coroner, held an Inquest on Thursday last, at Mr Brodie's Spirit Stores, Bridge-street, on the body of ELIZABETH PERRIAM LANGLEY, a widow, 65 years of age, whose death resulted from her being thrown out of a trap which she was driving near Northtawton on the 18th ult. the deceased lady, who resided with her sister, MRS BEEDELL, Beedell's-terrace, Allhallow's-on-the-Wall, left her home on the 6th August to pay a visit to Mr and Mrs Hole, at Northtawton. On the 18th she was driving with Mrs Hole, to the residence of Mr Pearse, the latter's father, who resides at Shoot Farm, Shobrooke, when the horse stumbled and fell, and threw the two ladies out of the trap into the road. Both were considerably bruised and shaken, but managed to pick themselves up, get into the trap, and rive to Mr Pearse's farm. MRS LANGLEY received medical attendance, and remained with her friends till the 22nd, when, by her own special wish, though in opposition to the will of her medical adviser, she was driven in a trap to her sister's residence in Beedell's-terrace. It was evening when she arrived, and she then, in reply to the questions of her sister, said she was not much hurt. On the following morning MRS BEEDELL noticed that she was much bruised about her head, and insisted on her having medical advice. Mr J. Woodman was called in, but MRS LANGLEY who was naturally of a delicate and weakly constitution, became gradually worse, complaining of acute pains in her head, and died on Wednesday, the 2nd instant. Mr Woodman informed the Coroner and Jury that in his opinion death resulted from the effusion on the brain, caused by the injuries the deceased lady received by her fall from the trap. If she had been of a stronger constitution he believed she would in all probability have recovered. After hearing the evidence the Jury, without hesitation, returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 16 September 1874, Issue 5727 – Gale Document No. Y3200719891 NEWTON ABBOT – Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest on Friday at the Cottage Hospital upon the body of RICHARD JOHN PARSONS, fourteen years of age. The deceased was employed as stoker to the shunting engine at the Newton Railway Station. the engine is employed day and night, and last week it was the turn of the deceased to work by night. On Thursday night the engine was topped and the driver was awaiting a signal from the points. the deceased, who had been on duty about four hours, got off the footbridge, saying he should have something to eat. Immediately afterwards the signal was given from the points, and the driver proceeded slowly, but felt the engine go over something; without being able to see what it was, owing to the darkness of the night. On arriving at the points the driver and a porter returned to see what the engine had gone over, when they found the deceased lying across one of the rails, severely injured and in an unconscious state. He was at once removed to his residence, and Dr Henry Gaye was sent for – who applied restoratives, but without effect – and ordered the deceased to be taken to the Cottage Hospital, where he died. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." The Coroner told the engine-driver that he exonerated him from blame. The Jury gave their fees to the funds of the hospital.
Wednesday 23 September 1874, Issue 5728 – Gale Document No. Y3200719903 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Duke of York Inn, Coombe-street, in this city, on Monday afternoon upon the body of JAMES HOLLAND, son of a labourer. On the 14th instant the deceased returned to his home from school, complained of a pain at the back of his head and said he had fallen from a swing. Mr Tosswill, surgeon, attended the child, but he died on Friday; and the medical gentleman, who had made a post-mortem examination, told the Jury the cause of death was inflammation of the covering of the brain. Verdict – "Accidental Death." Some two months since the deceased was an out-patient of the Hospital, suffering from a wound in his forehead, the result of a fall when at play. He had, however, quite recovered from that injury when he fell from the swing, which was described as a kind of see-saw two feet from the ground.
THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF DROWNING IN THE EXE. Mr R. R. Crosse held an Inquest at the Country House Inn, Countess Weir, on Monday, upon the body of HUMPHREY CHATTEY, whose body was found in the river at Countess Weir on the preceding Friday. The deceased man, whose father resides at Alphington, was for many years a sergeant in the Metropolitan Police Force, and had been superannuated. He was on a visit to his father and went to the Tiverton Races. In the evening about half-past nine, he went to a booth of which a man named Hookway was in charge. He was very drunk, and refused to go to Tiverton. He remained in the booth for some hours, and during that time made use of the curious expression to Hookway that he should not drown himself that night. That was about half-past ten at night, and deceased afterwards remained in the booth till after three in the morning. He then asked for a light to count his money, and, while Hookway was away fetching one, he jumped over the counter in the booth, and ran towards the river. Hookway ran after him, but before he reached him deceased had fallen into the water. In consequence of heavy rains the stream was running very quickly, and though efforts were at once made to recover the man, they were wholly without success. The dragging was continued for some days, and it was not till Friday that the body was recovered. By this time it was in an advanced state of decomposition, and it was at once removed to the Country House Inn to await an Inquest. The distance from the spot where the deceased fell into the river to Countess Weir, where it was recovered, is nearly twenty miles. An umbrella, which was subsequently identified as the property of the deceased, was found in the river, about 200 yards below the race-course, on the Tuesday following the date of the accident. When found the body had all the clothes on excepting the hat, which has not been found. The clothes were in a torn condition, and the boots nearly worn away by the action of the water. The first witness called at the Inquest was ROBERT CHATTEY, father of the deceased, who said – I have seen the body and identified it as that of my son. I live at Alphington. My son lived in London, and came down here to visit me. He arrived in this neighbourhood on the 5th of September. He was a superannuated sergeant in the Metropolitan Police. I last saw him alive on Tuesday night, the 8th. On the morning of the 9th he left to go to the Tiverton Races. I do not know what money he had with him. He had a gold watch and chain, a snuff-box, and a pair of gold eye-glasses. He had also a gold ring. Deceased was 52 years of age. I do not know how he came by his death, and I have no suspicion as to the cause. James Hookway, of Tiverton, mason's labourer, said – I was at Tiverton Races on the 9th September. I saw the deceased there about half-past nine o'clock in the evening outside a booth belonging to Mr Martin, of the Palmerston Hotel, of which I was in charge. Deceased came up in a drunken state with two other men, who wanted to take him to Tiverton. He said he would not go till he could get a conveyance. He kept asking for a cab to take him to the Half Moon Hotel at Tiverton. He remained outside the booth till after one o'clock in the morning. He told me his name. After one o'clock he came into the booth. At half-past two I went around the race-course, and when I returned about half-past three, I found the deceased had got to the other side of the booth, near to the river. He said he wanted to count his money. I went to fetch him a light, and while I was away at the other side of the booth, he jumped out of the booth on to the bank of the river. The man who was with me told me he had jumped out, and when I looked round I saw him running towards the river. I ran after him, and saw deceased run into the river, and I saw no more of him. I shouted for help and several men came up, but we could not see the deceased in the water. I then sent to Superintendent Crabb, at Tiverton, information of the occurrence. The river was dragged, but the water was very high, and we could not recover the body. I saw deceased when outside the booth, take out of his purse a lot of money, and I advised him to put it back again. I should think he took out about £30, all in gold. He had on his gold watch and chain when he left the booth. the distance from the booth to the water was about fifteen yards. While in the booth I said to deceased, when he desired to have a light to count his money, "I hope you won't count it in the dark, for I hope you will not lose a shilling in the booth." The reason I went to fetch the light was that he might not lose his money. About half-past ten o'clock deceased said to me, as he was standing outside the booth, "I shan't drown myself to-night; I shan't go into the water to-night." I don't know what caused him to say this. He was very drunk when he said this. James Ward and William Brewer, both of Tiverton, gave corroborative evidence. John Slee, joiner, St. David's-hill, Exeter, said he was at Tiverton Races, and in charge of a booth belonging to Mr Westlake, of Exeter, on the night of the 9th. Deceased came into the booth about nine o'clock, and said he wanted to go to the Half Moon, in Tiverton. Mr Westlake said he would take him if he would wait. He left about half-past eleven o'clock to go to Tiverton, but when they got to the grand-stand he said he should not go any further till he got a fly. He was then left there, and witness heard Hookway say to him, "You promised to give these two men a shilling," and deceased replied "I will give them half a-crown for the matter of that." He remained at the booth which Hookway was in, and witness heard some talk about money, and paying for liquor. Afterwards witness heard two men come from the Palmerston booth, and divide some money between them. Witness saw Hookway about two o'clock drawing beer for deceased, which, he said, he would not have. Deceased tendered a shilling, and Hookway said he had no change, and deceased and two men who were standing outside must have a glass each to make up the difference. George Lowden, engineer, at the Countess Weir Mills, deposed to the finding of the body in front of the fender at the Mill Weir. Mr Charles Fox, surgeon, of Topsham said he had examined the body of the deceased, and found it fully dressed, but the clothes much torn, and the boots much rubbed. The body, except where exposed, was in very good condition, and of a natural colour. There were no marks of violence on the body under the clothes, but there was an extensive lacerated star-shaped wound on the left side of the head, five inches in length, and other lacerations. The abrasions and lacerations seemed to have been received since the body had been in the water. They were of too extensive a character to have been received in a squabble. P.C. George Creedy, deposed to searching the body, and finding upon it – in the trowsers pocket, loose, 17s. 1d.; in a purse, 22 sovereigns, two half-sovereigns, a shilling, and a small key, in another pocket a silver-mounted snuff-box, a bunch of keys, and a knife; in a waistcoat pocket a pair of gold eye-glasses; and on the little finger of the left hand a gold ring. These articles he now produced. The Jury, after a few minutes' deliberation, returned a verdict of "Accidentally Drowned." The Coroner complimented Superintendent Crabb and P.C. Creedy on the manner in which they had got together the evidence for the Enquiry, and said it had much facilitated the task of the Jury.
Wednesday 30 September 1874, Issue 5729 – Gale Document No. Y3200719943 TRUSHAM – MR JOHN BARBER, landlord of the New Inn, Trusham, got up on Wednesday morning for the purpose of shooting rabbits which damaged his garden. Some two hours afterwards his wife went into the garden to see for her husband and was horrified to find him a corpse. He seems to have accidentally shot himself: the lower part of his face was blown away, and by his side lay the gun with one of the barrels discharged. It is supposed he was in the act of loading the gun when the disaster occurred. Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest upon the body and the Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
WHIMPLE – Mr Coroner Cox held an Inquest on Friday at the Fountain Inn, Whimple, upon the body of JOHN HAYMAN, who met his death by going on the railway. Walter Eveleigh, a boy, stated that about seven o'clock on Thursday morning he saw the deceased walking over a field near a level crossing, about three-quarters of a mile above the Whimple station, and going in the direction of the line, apparently about to cross over. John Rowe, driver of the five o'clock goods train from Yeovil, stated that as the train passed the crossing in question he fancied he felt the engine jerk against something, and pulled up as speedily as possible. Seeing nothing, however, about the engine that would lead him to suppose that it had passed over anything, he proceeded on to Broadclist. He mentioned the matter to the station-master at Broadclist, and again examined the engine, but found no marks of anything thereon that would lead him to suppose that the engine had gone over a human body. Thomas Canniford, a platelayer, deposed to finding the body of the deceased near the crossing, in a dreadfully mangled condition – the head being smashed in, and the left leg completely severed and lying some distance off. Subsequently, with the assistance of P.C. Pratt, the body was removed to the Fountain Inn. The sum of £1 10s. 2d. was found in deceased's pockets, and it is supposed that he was going to work at the time, and, being very deaf, either could not have heard the train approaching or had been prevented from seeing it by the thick fog that prevailed at the time. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 7 October 1874, Issue 5730 – Gale Document No. Y3200719968 PLYMOUTH – Murder of a Wife and Suicide of the Husband. – Another horrible murder was perpetrated in one of the Three Towns on Wednesday, the victim being AMELIA MATILDA THOMAS, and the murderer was her husband WILLIAM THOMAS, a retired carver and gilder, who immediately afterwards committed suicide. THOMAS was about fifty years of age, and his wife thirty-five. Their married life does not seem to have been a happy one, but the cause does not appear, and she has several times left him, although no regular separation took place. Recently they have resided together in a dwelling at Lipson Vale, where THOMAS owned a house. Matters seem to have become very much worse, and it was at length mutually resolved that a separation should take place. THOMAS had frequently assaulted his wife and struck her, and bruises on her forehead bore evidence to his violence, and separation accordingly seemed the best way to secure the comfort and happiness of both parties. Messrs. Whiteford and Bennett, solicitors, of Courtenay-street, were consulted. Mr Bennett prepared a draft, but MR THOMAS considered the proposed allowance to his wife to be too large, and went off to Mr R. G. Edmonds, who declined to have anything to do with the matter, considering the proposed allowance too small rather than excessive. Other solicitors were also consulted, and as they expressed similar views THOMAS appears to have decided to return for advice to Messrs. Whiteford and Bennett. About one o'clock on Wednesday afternoon MRS THOMAS called at the office of Messrs. Whiteford and Bennett concerning the separation, and whilst waiting there for Mr Bennett, her husband came, carrying with him a bundle of deeds, and after speaking to Mr Were, one of the clerks, he proceeded upstairs and sat down in the same room as his wife. Mr Were left them there talking, but in a few minutes THOMAS came down the stairs, with the parcel still under his arm, and walked out of the place. He had been talking to his wife about altering the disposition of his property, and had also said he should be transported. During the interview he seems to have formed the murderous resolution which he afterwards carried into effect, and when he spoke of being transported he was, doubtless, anticipating the consequences of his intended crime. Outside the office, he proceeded to the shop of Mr Bruford, a cutler, in George-street, bought a shilling razor, and returned to the office in Courtenay-street. MR THOMAS walked upstairs, seen by the clerks in the office, but his intention being unsuspected, and joined his wife. Mr Were, who had been talking to MRS THOMAS, left the room, and man and wife were alone. A very few words will describe what took place after that. THOMAS started from his chair, razor in hand, cut his wife's throat in a desperate manner, and shrieking, she staggered out on to the landing. Mr Were rushed up, took her into another room, and laid her down, whilst THOMAS sat on a deed-box and cut his own throat in a frightful manner. Whilst Mr Were was supporting the head of MRS THOMAS the murderer came out and looked at them, and it was seen that his throat was bleeding. He then returned to the other room, sat down on the box, and died. A doctor and the police were sent for and hastily arrived, but both man and woman were dead before they came. The Inquest was commenced the same evening and adjourned to Friday, when evidence was given relative to the state of WILLIAM THOMAS'S mind. After a lengthy investigation, the Jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against WILLIAM THOMAS, and that he committed suicide whilst in a state of Temporary Insanity.
Wednesday 7 October 1874, Issue 5730 – Gale Document No. Y3200719956 EXETER – On Saturday afternoon an Inquest was held at the King's Arms Inn, West-street, on the body of JOHN JOSLIN, three months old, who was found dead in bed lying by his mother's side. SARAH JOSLIN, the wife of a labourer residing on Stepcote-hill, deposed that deceased was put to bed as usual on Friday night. He appeared to be suffering from a slight tightness on the chest. She applied a linseed-meal poultice, and gave deceased a teaspoonful of castor oil. The child was rather restless during the night. She nursed him once or twice, and last just before six o'clock on Saturday morning. The baby went to sleep, and witness also slept, but when she woke up, about half-past seven o'clock, she found her child dead by her side lying on his left side. He was then warm. She called a neighbour, and immediately sent for Mr J. Perkins, surgeon, who was soon on the spot. He examined the child. Mr Perkins was unavoidably absent from the Inquest, but the Jury were quite satisfied that the child died from Natural Causes, and returned a verdict to that effect.
EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Topsham Inn on Friday evening on the body of MARTHA ELLEN WESTERN, an infant, whose parents reside in Chudleigh-court, Coombe-street. It appeared that on Thursday morning the mother had occasion to go from home for a short time, leaving the deceased and another little child alone n the bed room. During her absence the two little ones got playing with the match box, and the result was that the clothing of the deceased was set on fire, and her person burnt so severely that she died soon after her removal to the Hospital. Mr Domville, house surgeon, testified that death resulted from the effects of the burns. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 14 October 1874, Issue 5731 – Gale Document No. Y3200719983 EXETER – Mr H. W. Hooper, City Coroner, held an Inquest at the George and Dragon Inn, Blackboy-road, on Thursday, on the body of BENJAMIN CLAPP, a widower, 63 years of age, lately carrying on the business of a baker in Blackboy-road, who died suddenly on Wednesday evening last. HENRY CLAPP, a son of the deceased, said his father had been ailing for some time past, and had been seized three times before, but had each time rallied. John Perry deposed that he saw deceased about five o'clock on Wednesday evening sitting on a basket of bread just inside the opening leading to his yard, 22 St Sidwell's-street. Deceased was coughing very badly and spitting blood. Witness had him placed in an arm-chair and taken home. Amelia Bowden said she saw deceased at Mr Perry's yard sitting on the basket. His head was bent forward, and blood was coming from his mouth. Mr Hunt just then crossed the road to where deceased was, and sanctioned his removal to his home. When they had carried deceased home they laid him on the floor. He was then alive. Witness loosened his things, but life was extinct. Mr Hunt, surgeon, stated that he saw deceased about half-past five o'clock on the day in question in Perry's yard. He was speechless, cold, and frothy matter was issuing from his mouth and nostrils. He was apparently dying, and in about a quarter-of-an-hour afterwards he was a corpse. Death was caused by apoplexy of the lungs induced by long-standing heart disease. The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.
Wednesday 21 October 1874, Issue 5732 – Gale Document No. Y3200720004 EXETER – A young man, named HENRY EXELL, aged twenty-five committed suicide on Saturday morning last, at his stores, in Preston-street. A report of firearms was heard, and on several persons going to the spot they found the door locked. The door was forced open, and young EXELL was discovered lying on the floor with a gun by his side. Although not quite dead, he expired shortly afterwards. About six weeks since the deceased's father committed suicide by hanging himself. At the Inquest on Monday, before Mr Coroner Hooper, evidence was given that the deceased had lately been very much distressed about his family affairs. A verdict of "Suicide while Temporarily Insane" was returned.
EXETER – HENRY STOCKER, a labourer, committed suicide by hanging himself on Tuesday last week. At an Inquest held the same evening, Mr Harris, junr., surgeon, stated that deceased was suffering from a diseased brain; and the Jury returned a verdict that STOCKER committed suicide whilst in a state of Temporary Insanity.
Wednesday 28 October 1874, Issue 5733 – Gale Document No. Y3200720040 BOVEY TRACEY – A labourer named JOSEPH SARAPSON, sixty years of age, residing at Woodley, was killed instantaneously on Friday evening. It appears that in jumping out of a cart he missed his footing and fell, his head coming into violent collision with the trap. At the Inquest on Saturday a verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.
Wednesday 28 October 1874, Issue 5733 – Gale Document No. Y3200720032 EXETER – A sad and fatal accident occurred at St. David's Station on Monday morning to JOHN HAMMOND, aged sixty-six, an examiner of trucks in the employ of the South Devon Railway Company. Deceased was mending a truck, when he got jammed between the buffers. At an Inquest the same evening, at the valiant Soldier Inn, before H. D. Barton, Esq. (Deputy Coroner), MARY PAULINA HAMMND, daughter of deceased, stated that she resided with her father, in Alphington-street. The last time she saw him alive was on Sunday night. He left to go to work on Monday morning before she got up. Thomas Atkins said he was a waggoner, in the employ of Mr Ridge, Commercial-road, and was at St. David's Station on Monday morning, at about half-past nine o'clock, to unload a truck laden with stones. He knew deceased, whom he saw standing between two uncoupled trucks. He was pushing one of the trucks with his back, and whilst pushing an engine drove the other trucks, which were facing him, against him. There were about twenty trucks attached to the engine. Deceased was jammed between the two buffers and fell, but none of the wheels went over him. He was helped up, but was quite insensible. He could not stand, nor could he speak. He was put in a cab and taken to the Hospital, but he appeared to be dead when put into the vehicle. There was no blood to be seen anywhere on deceased. Samuel Bartlett, a fitter, in the employ of the railway company, deposed that he was an assistant to the deceased. He was at work on Monday morning, at the St. David's Station, helping deceased to put a draw-bar to an empty truck. Witness was ordered to uncouple the trucks in order to do the work. This he did, and deceased got between the trucks to push them apart to enable them to do the work. Witness assisted to push the truck, and while they were doing so the empty truck was driven against him. As soon as the trucks parted after the concussion deceased fell to the ground. The trucks were shunted at the usual pace. Witness did not hear the signal for shunting. When they were at work deceased usually gave notice for the shunting, but he gave no notice at the time of the sad occurrence. If deceased had been pushing the frame-work of the truck instead of the buffer he would have been safe when the other trucks came against it. By a Juryman: He should think there was no blame attached to anyone but deceased himself. He was positive deceased gave no orders for the shunting. John Hamilton, shunting porter, said he was in charge of the shunting engine on Monday morning. He gave the order to shunt, which caused the death of the deceased, but was not then aware that he was in a position of danger, nor had he any knowledge of the fact. He was shunting to get the truck laden with stones (the one deceased was pushing) under the crane. Mr Edward James Domville, house-surgeon at the Devon and Exeter Hospital, deposed that he was at the hospital when deceased was brought in. He was dead. Witness examined deceased, and found several ribs broken on the left side, but no other bones had been fractured. There were then no external bruises, but several have since shown themselves on the chest and stomach. He thought deceased must have died at once from the shock to the system, and also thought there must have been internal haemorrhage. The Coroner briefly summed up the evidence, and the Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 28 October 1874, Issue 5733 – Gale Document No. Y3200720031 EXETER – Mr H. W. Hooper held an Inquest at Yandell's Wine and Spirit Vaults, Bridge-street, on Wednesday, on the body of JOHN CORNELIUS, aged seventy, who died suddenly the same morning. His daughter, SUSAN CORNELIUS, stated that deceased retired to rest as usual on Tuesday evening, and shortly after eight o'clock on Wednesday morning she found him lying on the floor of the bed room partly dressed. After assisting to put him on the bed, she went for a surgeon, and on her return her father was dead. Mr Hawkings, surgeon, gave it as his opinion that disease of the heart was the cause of death, and a verdict of "Died from Natural Causes" was returned.
Wednesday 4 November 1874, Issue 5734 – Gale Document No. Y3200720065 DARTMOUTH – MR PHILIP PINHEY, who has for many years carried on business at Dartmouth, hung himself in his bedroom on Friday. Deceased was about sixty years of age. Mr Coroner Prideaux held an Inquest on the body at the Assembly Rooms on Saturday, when ESTHER PINHEY, widow of the deceased, said the last time she saw her husband alive was about half-past one on Friday afternoon in the kitchen. She told him that a Mr Watts had called to see him, when he said he couldn't see him as he was going upstairs. He was in the habit of going to bed every day after dinner, and she had no reason to suppose from his manner that he contemplated suicide. Her husband's circumstances had been embarrassed lately, and he had been in trouble and low spirits about them. In answer to a Juryman witness said Mr Watts was not a creditor of her husband's. Deceased had a seizure six months ago, and since that time he had very much altered. He had been unable to reckon up his accounts of late. MR JAMES PINHEY, son of the deceased, stated that he was called by his mother to go to his father's room on the afternoon in question. When he went to the bed room door he found it locked. He called, but not getting any answer, he burst open the door He then saw deceased sitting on the floor with a piece of cord tied very tightly round his neck to the bedpost. He was quite dead. Witness immediately raised an alarm, and Mr Brown, a neighbour, went in and slipped the cord from the deceased's neck. Dr Puddicombe was sent for, but his services were of no avail. For some time past his father had been in a very low, desponding state, and when he saw him at mid-day on Friday he was wandering very much. Mr Brown gave corroborative evidence, after which the Coroner briefly summed up the case to the Jury. The latter returned a verdict of "Suicide whilst in a state of Temporary Insanity."
BRIXHAM – JOHN BONSTOW, head keeper to Lord Churston, shot himself through the head on Friday, whilst in the woods, near Lupton House. Deceased had for some time been very desponding. At the Inquest, which was held at the Railway Hotel on Saturday, before Mr Michelmore, Samuel White stated that he was a labourer and resided at Churston. He worked for Mr Gill, and on Friday last he was in the Down plantation belonging to Lord Churston ripping wood. Between ten and eleven o'clock in the morning he saw the deceased in the plantation with his gun. Some time later he (witness) hearing the firing of guns, went further into the plantation and then saw smoke issuing from between some brambles. He went to see what was the cause of it, and then found the deceased lying on the ground quite dead. His gun was in his left hand, and his clothes were on fire. He immediately went and called for assistance, and the coachman and several others from Lupton House came. The fire was afterwards put out with water which was brought to the plantation by the coachman. James Green, butler to Lord Churston, said that he had known the deceased for the past eight years. On Friday afternoon he was told of what had occurred, and he went to the plantation. He saw the deceased lying on the ground quite dead, and a stick that looked as if it had been used to pull the trigger was lying by his side. The deceased's hat was about six feet from the body with the top blown out and pieces of the skull in it. There was a large wound on the right of the windpipe, and it appeared as if the charge had entered there and gone out about the centre of the back of the head. Mr John H. Hurrell, a tailor, residing at Dartmouth, said that the deceased was a cousin of his, and was in his fifty-third year. he had frequently seen the deceased. The last time was on Thursday about eight o'clock in the evening. During the last three months his health had not been good, and for the past five or six weeks his mind had been affected. He had been desponding and thought that everything was going wrong. Some three weeks since he (deceased) was sent to London by his master for a change, but after being absent about a week he came back again. He then appeared to be better, but he still suffered from a depression of spirits. having heard of what had occurred he had not the slightest doubt but that deceased shot himself. This was the whole of the evidence, and the Jury returned a verdict of "Suicide whilst in a state of Temporary Insanity."
Wednesday 11 November 1874, Issue 5735 – Gale Document No. Y3200720084 BRAUNTON – MR G. DOWNING, of Prospect Lodge, committed suicide on Thursday last. At the Inquest on Saturday it was stated that deceased was seen by his servant lying on his back in the loft. Miss Martha Hancock, his sister's companion, went to him and asked him if he had taken anything. He said "brandy". Her suspicions being aroused, she sent for Mr Lane, surgeon, who came to the conclusion that deceased had taken phosphorus. There was some rat poison in the loft which contained phosphorus. Dr Budd was telegraphed for and antidotes were given, but MR DOWNING died on the following day. He was unmarried, and fifty-five years of age. He had lately been very desponding. He is said to have been a very wealthy man. A verdict of "Suicide while Temporarily Insane," was returned.
Wednesday 11 November 1874, Issue 5735 – Gale Document No. Y3200720075 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest yesterday morning at Widgery's Wine and Spirit Vaults, Summerland-street, on the body of a child named ELI WILLIAM DARE, who died suddenly on Sunday. Dr Phelps gave his opinion that the child, who was a cripple and sometimes idiotic, died from disease of the brain, and the Jury returned a verdict in accordance therewith.
Wednesday 18 November 1874, Issue 5736 – Gale Document No. Y3200720114 OTTERY ST. MARY - At an Inquest held at the King's Arms Hotel, before S. M. Cox, Esq., District Coroner, on Saturday last, on the body of THOMAS CALVERWELL, aged sixty-eight, who committed suicide on Friday last by cutting his throat with a knife, the first witness called was Mrs Radford, who said I was housekeeper to the deceased. On Friday morning about 7 a.m. on leaving my bed room to go downstairs I saw the door of the deceased's bed room was open. It being unusual I called him by name, but got no reply. I went into the room, he was not there, neither was he in the sitting room downstairs; but on opening the window shutters in the front room I discovered the deceased, partly dressed, laid back in his chair with his head hanging down and bleeding. I called in Mr Jas. Fisher, a neighbour, who immediately sent for a doctor. The deceased was breathing at the time. Two medical gentlemen soon arrived, at first they did not discover that deceased had cut his throat, but suspected that a blood vessel had been ruptured. On examining the body, however, a pen knife was found in the chair, and the wound from which the blood was flowing was sewed up. The deceased died about ten o'clock the same morning. Mr J. Fisher gave similar testimony, adding that he thought deceased had been much depressed in mind for the last two or three weeks. Drs. C. W. Whitby, and R. B. Morrell, gave medical testimony. The Coroner subsequently addressed the Jury, and in accordance therewith, a verdict of Temporary Insanity was returned. The deceased was highly respected, and a good deal of sympathy was felt on account of his being blind.
Wednesday 18 November 1874, Issue 5736 – Gale Document No. Y3200720102 EXETER – Mr H. W. Hooper (City Coroner) held an Inquest on Monday evening at the Poltimore Inn, St. Sidwell's, on the body of CHARLES FREDERICK ALFORD, a tailor, aged 54, residing in Poltimore-terrace. The deceased, who was a native of Tavistock, had resided in London, where he had been treated for heart disease. About five months ago he came to Exeter hoping to benefit his health. He remained much as usual, being very low spirited and complaining of a pain in the region of the heart, but did not seek medical advice. On Sunday morning last, about a quarter past eight, he was taken with a fit of coughing and spitting of blood, and died in a few minutes. Mr S. Perkins, who was called in to see him, now stated that death was caused by the bursting of the aorta, or large vessel of the heart, producing fatal haemorrhage. The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.
Wednesday 2 December 1874, Issue 5738 – Gale Document No. Y3200720160 SWIMBRIDGE – A farmer's son, named RUDD, was accidentally strangled at Swimbridge on Friday. He put the hoisting chain of a mill round his neck, and touched the spring of the driving gear, when he was jerked up and strangled An Inquest was held at Yendacott Farm, the residence of the deceased's father on Saturday, when the Jury returned an Open Verdict.
Wednesday 2 December 1874, Issue 5738 – Gale Document No. Y3200720147 EXETER – H. W. Hooper, Esq., (City Coroner), held an Inquest on Saturday, at the Topsham Inn, South-street, respecting the death of MARY CUNNINGHAM, aged 84, lately residing in Goldsmith-street. It appeared from the evidence of deceased's grand-daughter, MRS URSULA HOOKWAY, also of Goldsmith-street, that some three or four years past deceased had walked with crutches. About a year ago she fell and severely hurt both her legs, from the effects of which she had been confined to her bed until the 12th ultimo, when, as she was much better, she got up. On the 15th October she left her bed, and whilst left alone for a short time, tried to walk across the room with no other help than her crutches, but owing to her being weak or the crutch having given way, she fell, breaking both her legs. Mr Hawkins surgeon, was sent for and ordered her removal to the Devon and Exeter Hospital, where she remained until her death on Saturday morning last. Mr Edward James Domville, house surgeon at the Hospital, deposed to receiving deceased on the 25th October. He examined her and found that both her legs were broken just above the ankle and also observed a shortening of the left leg, caused, he thought, by an old fracture of the thigh. Deceased progressed favourably at first, but afterwards gradually became weaker and died on Saturday morning. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 9 December 1874, Issue 5739 – Gale Document No. Y3200720183 HONITON – A Female Herbalist Charged with Manslaughter. - On Wednesday Mr S. M. Cox, Coroner, held an Inquest at the Star Inn, touching the death of MARY CLEAK, wife of THOMAS CLEAK, a sawyer, of Honiton. The Jury having viewed the body, the following evidence was taken: THOMAS CLEAK deposed that his wife had suffered from her breast for about three years. This arose from the kitchen-maid at the grammar School pressing her breast with her elbow whilst putting her arm around her in sport. This caused a knob to rise, and gave her considerable pain. She afterwards consulted Dr Mayne about the pain, but left him, for what reason witness did not know. The deceased afterwards went to Mrs Fish, a herbalist, to cure it, and was under her treatment for several months. There was a hole in deceased's bosom when she left Dr Mayne. Deceased continued under Mrs Fish's treatment until the 13th November. Witness did not see deceased's bosom from her first leaving Dr Mayne until her calling on him again when it was considerably worse. Witness had at different times told deceased he was afraid she was doing wrong in going to Mrs Fish. Witness had very little talk with the deceased about it. He believed other people used to fetch medicines from Mrs Fish, but he never saw them. Deceased died on the 29th November. She was then under the care of Dr Mayne and his assistant. Deceased had often told witness that whilst under Mrs Fish's care she was getting better, and that the disease was killed, and that all to be done was to heal the wound, which was nearly an inch long when she first consulted Mrs Fish. Deceased, he believed, had never paid Mrs Fish anything, but had said that if she got cured she would have to work hard to pay her off. ELIZABETH CLEAK, a daughter of the last witness, said the injury to deceased's breast took place about Christmas, 1871. Deceased consulted Dr Mayne within a month or two after the injury and continued about eighteen months under his treatment, but left him because he wished to cut it out, which deceased would not agree to. Shortly after leaving Dr Mayne she consulted Mrs Fish. Witness found this out from seeing deceased applying oils to her bosom, which deceased said Mrs Fish was in hopes would cure her. Deceased always used to fetch oils herself from Mrs Fish, but on one occasion, when deceased was in bed ill, she (witness), but her direction, fetched it from Mrs Fish. Mrs Fish gave her a little oil in a cup. Witness told Mrs Fish that deceased was suffering in her mouth, and also that her jaws seemed closed, and that she could not swallow anything. Mrs Fish asked if deceased had been to any one, and witness told her she had been to Mr Turner, who had ordered her to bathe her face with boiling water, and take an alum gargle. Mrs Fish said the alum was a great injury, to which witness replied that she should be obliged to go to a doctor. Mrs Fish said she should be very glad. That was three weeks ago last Monday. Witness took back the oil to deceased, and Mr Mayne was called in the following day. About a month or two ago deceased told witness that Mrs Fish said the disease was out, and that she (Mrs Fish) only had to heal the wound. Deceased had all along said she was getting better. Among other things, by Mrs Fish's desire, deceased applied marsh mallow poultice to her breast. Mr George Turner, a pharmaceutical chemist, of Honiton, said the deceased came to his shop about six months ago with a printed paper recommending some ointment. Deceased said she was suffering from cancer, and asked whether the ointment mentioned in the circular was applicable to her case. Witness advised her to have nothing to do with it, but to go to a medical man. She did not have the ointment. He never recommended anyone to bathe deceased's face in boiling-water. He might have recommended warm water application and an alum gargle for a sore throat, but he did not recollect it. He occasionally supplied Mrs Fish with a mixture made of Neat's foot oil and vinegar, containing a half-pint each, and two ounces of oxide, and two ounces of acetate of lead, which he supposed was to be added to the oils, but he did not mix them. He should think the bottle produced contained a mixture of oil, vinegar, acetate of lead, and oxide of lead. - Mr R. F. Mayne, surgeon, of Honiton, said that about two years ago the deceased came to him and said she had a swelling of her breast. Witness found a tumour about the size of a walnut, and a depression of the nipple, which witness told her was a very serious case. Witness applied hot fomentations and iodine, and gave preparations of iodine of potassium to aid absorption. He strongly recommended excision at once as the only chance of success. Deceased objected, but remained under his treatment for some months, when ulceration commenced, and he then treated it with a lotion of carbolic acid, and the wound assumed a healthier appearance, when she left witness without assigning any reason. Witness heard no more of deceased until the 10th of November last, when he was sent for, and Mr Gray, his assistant, visited her. Witness saw her two days after and found a great stiffness about her jaw, and she complained of sore throat. After a short time he noticed a spasm in her back, and concluded she had tetanus. Witness asked to see her breast, but she did not show it until the next day. The ulcer was much increased in size; it was a cancerous ulcer as large as the palm of a hand. She said she had been using oils supplied by Mrs Fish, some of which he was shown in a cup. Witness advised deceased to get rid of it. The cancerous wound no doubt occasioned the tetanus. Application of vinegar might aggravate the wound, and the lead also would irritate. He should say the mixture mentioned by Mr Turner would be improper treatment for such a wound. A wound of the deceased's character was a dangerous one, but he did not consider the treatment required much skill in the stage in which he last saw it. It was not a wound any unprofessional person would be justified in treating. Irritants applied to such a wound would be likely to cause tetanus. Vinegar and the preparations of lead mentioned were irritants. Tetanus might have arisen without the application of the lotion. He could not say whether the lotion actually caused the tetanus, nor could he say whether or not the treatment by Mrs Fish for nine months would hasten death. Mr Frederick Archibald Grey, the assistant, corroborated his evidence. The Coroner summed up and told the Jury that if they considered that the deceased's death had been hastened by the use of the oils supplied by Mrs Fish, they must return a verdict of Manslaughter against that woman. The Jury, of seventeen persons, after an hour's consultation, returned a verdict of Manslaughter; and Mrs Fish was removed in custody, but was afterwards released on recognizances being entered into by herself for £50, and two bondsmen (£25).
Wednesday 16 December 1874, Issue 5740 – Gale Document No. Y3200720205 DAWLISH - A Coroner's Inquest was held here last Saturday, on the body of CHARLES MOORE, aged seventeen, who died in the Cottage Hospital on the 10th instant from the effects of injuries received whilst bathing on the 2nd August. Richard Cole, who was bathing in the company of the deceased, stated that he had dived, and his head was just rising above the water when he received a blow on the left hip, the deceased, who had just dived off a wall, having struck him there with his head. Witness continued. On coming properly to the surface he heard some one from the shore calling to him. He then looked, and saw the deceased with his head under the water, and his back raised up. Witness did not feel much of the blow until he got on shore, when he found he could not walk. The water was about eight feet deep, and the depth from top of wall to the water was four feet. Mr F. M. Cann, surgeon, stated that he examined the deceased on the morning of the accident, and found fracture, or dislocation of the fifth segment of the vertebrae from the head. He expected him to die in a very few days, as the spinal marrow was entirely destroyed, but he lingered for several weeks. It was a most remarkable case. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death," and gave their fees to the funds of the Cottage Hospital, of which the deceased had been an inmate from the time of the accident until his death.
Wednesday 16 December 1874, Issue 5740 – Gale Document No. Y3200720199 EXETER – An Inquest was held at Hexter's Star Stores, Fore-street, on Monday, before H. W. Hooper, Esq., City Coroner, on the body of WILLIAM TILLEY, the infant son of THOMAS TILLEY, a police officer. The deceased, a fine healthy child, about twelve months old, had been suffering from a slight cough, and on Sunday it suddenly fell down and almost immediately expired. Mr Webb, who was sent for immediately the event happened, stated that probably there was some imperfection of the internal organisation of the child, and that the fright occasioned by suddenly falling down caused a rupture of some of the valves of the heart, producing instant death. The Jury returned a verdict of Death from Natural Causes.
Wednesday 23 December 1874, Issue 5741 – Gale Document No. Y3200720217 AXMINSTER – On Friday afternoon Mr Coroner Cox and a respectable Jury of fifteen, of whom Mr Joseph Dean was foreman, assembled at the Sessions-room for the purpose of inquiring into the cause of death of the infant child of SDARAH JANE COLLINS, a girl between sixteen and seventeen, residing with her parents, JOSEPH and EMMA NEWBERY, at Whibble Green, Membury. It appeared from the evidence that the girl's parents lived in a wretched hovel, and she was there delivered of a male child about three weeks ago. The body was found last Thursday by P.S. Pike under the straw on which the girl slept, and the surgeon who made a post-mortem gave it as his opinion that the child lived. After a long Enquiry and a careful consideration of the evidence the Jury unanimously found "that SARAH JANE COLLINS did kill and slay her infant child," which amounted to a verdict of manslaughter. Prisoner was then committed to take her trial at the Devon Assize. When examined before J. A. Knight, Esq., on Thursday, prisoner was in a filthy state from want of the necessary changes, and through the intercession of the worthy magistrate a change of clothing for the miserable girl was procured from the Union Workhouse. The appearance of prisoner's relatives was truly deplorable; they were miserably clothed, and apparently worse fed. According to the policeman's account, the hovel they live in is only second to that of the North Devon savages.
Wednesday 30 December 1874, Issue 5742 – Gale Document No. Y3200720245 EXETER – Child Scalded to Death. - An Inquest was held on Monday, at the Valiant Soldier, Magdalen-street, touching the death of JOHN CHARLES SHIPCOTT, aged two-and-a-half years. MRS EMMA SHIPCOTT, mother of the deceased, stated that she lived in Johnson's-place, Coombe-street. On Christmas day, between eleven and twelve o'clock, she and the deceased was in the kitchen. She was preparing the inner and her little boy was wandering about the room. She took a saucepan from the fire and poured some boiling water from it into a pan which she had previously placed near the fire. She then turned her back to the pan, and directly after she heard the child scream. On looking round she saw the child lying on the floor in the midst of the hot water, which she supposed got on the floor by the child upsetting the pan. Her husband immediately took the boy to the Devon and Exeter Hospital. Mr Domville said he was house surgeon at the Hospital, and received the child on Christmas Day. It was suffering from scalds on the back, the left side and arm, and the lower part of the body. The wounds were dressed, but the child died from their effects on the following morning. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 6 January 1875, Issue 5743 – Gale Document No. Y3200720285 WHIMPLE – An Inquest was held at the New Fountain Inn on Wednesday, before Mr Coroner Cox, on the body of WILLIAM UPCOTT, of Broadclist, a plate-layer on the London and South Western line, who was killed by the down Express train on Monday, on which day deceased was engaged in taking a trolly on the down line between Whimple and Broadclist stations. It appeared from the evidence that the accident was brought about by deceased's neglecting to comply with one of the company's rules, which requires that a man should keep 200 yards behind a trolly, with a danger flag, and the Jury returned a verdict to that effect.
BARNSTAPLE – An Inquest was held on Wednesday afternoon on the body of the late MR RICHARD GREENSLADE, large farmer and cattle dealer, of Rowley Farm, Romansleigh, whose body had been found on the previous evening in the river Taw, close by the quay, near the Ilfracombe Railway Station. Deceased's son, MR JOHN GREENSLADE, said his father left home on Thursday, the 10th December, to attend Barnstaple great market. It was not an unusual thing for him to be absent several days on business, and no particular notice was taken of his absence for a day or two. As he did not return, however, every inquiry had been made for him throughout the county. It would appear from his pocket-book that he made no purchases at Barnstaple, and, as he paid by cheques, it was probable he had little money about him. Mr Charles Elliott, landlord of the King's Arms Hotel, said deceased slept at his house the night of the 10th, and breakfasted and dined there the following day. About four o'clock in the afternoon he left, stating that he should return home by the next train (4.56). He then appeared in his usual health, and was quite sober. Susan Brown, wife of Humphrey Brown, who keeps 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, during which time he had several glasses of brandy and water. He was slightly intoxicated when he left, and said he must make haste to save the train. Richard Nott, a smith, said he was engaged the previous evening in his punt endeavouring to find pieces of coal with his dredge off the quay, when he discovered the body of the deceased. He had some difficulty in getting it up from the bed of the river, as it appeared to be embedded in the clay. A vessel had been lying at the spot where he found the body. P.C. Molland and Sergeant Eddy deposed to finding the following articles in the pockets of deceased's clothes: - A gold watch, and chain (the former stopped at 7.38), 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 said he examined the body, and found no external mark of violence. He believed death was caused by drowning. The Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned," and suggested that some protection should be placed along the edge of the Little Quay.
Wednesday 6 January 1875, Issue 5743 – Gale Document No. Y3200720272 EXETER – An Inquest was held on Thursday at the New Coach and Horses Inn, St. Sidwell's, before Mr Coroner Hooper, touching the death of JOHN ROBERT WOOD, an infant, three months old, lately residing with his parents in Gatty's-court, who died very suddenly on Wednesday morning. Deceased appeared well when taken out of bed about half-past eight, but a short time afterwards he was observed by his mother to turn black in the face, and froth to issue from his mouth, and he was soon a corpse. Mr Alfred S. Perkins said the child was well nurtured. He had examined him, but could assign no reason for his death, although he believed it to be a perfectly natural one. The Jury returned a verdict of "Died from Natural Causes."
EXETER – An Inquest was held yesterday afternoon, at the Bishop Blaze Inn, Commercial-road, before the City Coroner, (Mr H. W. Hooper), respecting the death of ELIZABETH EMMA DENSLEY, a little girl aged one year and seven months. The mother of the child stated that she resided in Ewins's-lane and that she nursed the child until about a month ago. About twelve o'clock on Monday night she went to bed, when she did not observe anything more than usual the matter with the child. She awoke twice during the night and drank some milk, and about six in the morning she took a poultice from the child's chest, after which she drank again and remained in witness's arms for some time. Shortly afterwards witness, thinking the child was asleep, laid her on the bed, when after the lapse of a short time, thinking the child was not breathing as loudly as usual, the mother placed her hand upon the child's forehead and found it cold. Witness gave the deceased one of Stedman's teething powders on Saturday which seemed to relieve her. In answer to a Juror witness said the child was always sickly and weak. Mr F. Phelps, surgeon, said he had seen the child since death and he had no hesitation in saying that death proceeded from convulsions consequent upon teething. The child had been suffering from bronchitis. The Stedman's powder given the child would do no harm whatever. The Jury unanimously returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes."
Wednesday 13 January 1875, Issue 5744 – Gale Document No. Y3200720313 BARNSTAPLE – On Friday an Inquest was held before J. H. Toller, Esq., Deputy Coroner, on the body of GEORGE SOMMERWILL, a boy nine years of age, who was found drowned in a quarry pit on the previous Wednesday. William Prescott, a labourer, said he was working at Best Ridge Lime-Quarry, in Swimbridge, on Wednesday last, and the deceased, son of WILLIAM SOMMERWILL, another labourer, was engaged to turn the points of the rails on which the wagons run. Witness saw the lad at his work at four o'clock, and a short time afterwards, on returning with a loaded waggon, he missed the boy, and saw his hat floating on the water which was collected at a low portion of the pit, and which was seven feet deep. He gave an alarm, and other workmen came, when they made every effort to get the boy out, but did not succeed for about twenty minutes, as the water was very dirty. The deceased was then quite dead, and was carried to his father's house. It was not often the water was so high, but in consequence of the thawing of the snow the water had gained on the pumps. Generally there would be no danger there. He thought the lad must have fallen in accidentally, as there was a mark of loosened earth on the edge of the pit. He was a sharp, intelligent boy. - The father, in reply to the Coroner, said the boy was rather young to be employed at the quarry, but he (the father) had a long family, and he was glad of the boy's wages. He earned 3s. per week. The Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned."
CULLOMPTON – An Inquest was held at the King's Head Inn on Monday, before Mr J. Burrow, Deputy Coroner, on the body of WILLIAM MITCHELL, of this place, tailor, aged seventy-six years. Deceased left his home on Thursday last to go to Willand to see his daughter, with whom he was in the habit of staying. On this occasion, however, he left to return home in the evening, and called at another daughter's house on the road, about a mile-and-a-quarter from his own home, but only for a few minutes, as he said he feared it would be dark before his return. He drank a cup of tea and left a little before six o'clock in company with his grandson, aged twelve years, who went with him on the road to "Burn bridge," when deceased said he could find his way with his stick against the hedge, and would not let the lad go farther, bidding him leave with a "God bless you." Some little distance nearer the deceased's house is a wind in the road and a gateway leading to some meadows, through which deceased seems to have entered and wandered down by the mill stream (which was much swollen at the time), and fell in. On Saturday the daughter, on whom he last called, came to market, and hence it became known he had not returned home A search was made by Sergeant Bright and some of deceased's relatives, and the body was found embedded in the mud with the head bent forward and about three inches under water. There was no mark of violence, and deceased had his watch, which stopped a few moments after seven, and a purse with cash in it. The Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned."
NEWTON – Mr Michelmore, County Coroner, held an Inquest on Wednesday night, relative to the death of MARGARET PHILLIPS, a child five months old. The child's mother gave birth to the deceased in Newton Workhouse on August 1st, and on the 29th of September she left the house, and placed the child with a widow named Betsy Binmore. This woman lived in a court in East-street, Newton, and took care of several children. Some of her young charges have lately died, but a witness named Ann Mudge, who had frequently visited Binmore, said she appeared to treat the children kindly, and to take care of them. The dairyman who supplied the woman with milk, stated that she was in the habit of buying a pennyworth of scald milk every morning, and would sometimes have a pennyworth of raw or scald milk in the evening. Mr Henry Gaye, surgeon, said he made a post-mortem examination of the deceased, and found the body very emaciated. The child was fully grown, but the ribs were shewing through the skin, the limbs were small and shrunken, and the skin shrivelled. Internally there was no appearance of fat, but the organs, as well as the brain, were perfectly healthy, and in the stomach there was half a teaspoon of thin watery fluid, with a few particles of what appeared to be bread. In children of this age there were generally something in the intestines, but those of the deceased were empty. He could see no trace of disease to account for the death, and in his opinion the child died from want of nutritious food. There were other children in the house under twelve months old, and there was also a little boy about four or five years of age, who looked very well. Mrs Binmore asked him to look at another child, and he did so. This child had pretty much the appearance of the deceased, and seemed to be suffering from want of food. the supply of milk was altogether inadequate. After further evidence the Jury at about midnight returned a verdict of Manslaughter against Binmore. [The prisoner Betsy Binmore was taken before the magistrates on Friday on a charge of wilfully causing the death of the infant MARGARET PHILLIPS. After a partial hearing prisoner was remanded until Saturday. The evidence was then completed and the magistrates fully committed the prisoner for trial on a charge of Wilful Murder.
TOPSHAM – An Inquest was held at the Vestry-room, Topsham, on Monday, before R. R. Crosse, Esq., County Coroner, touching the death of FREDERICK HAYWOOD, aged 84, a carpenter, who had been missing from his home, in Penitentiary-court, Holloway Street, Exeter, since Saturday, the 2nd inst., and whose body was found in the river Exe, below Topsham, on Friday last, by a man named Ley. William Benellick, lumper, deposed to having seen the deceased on the Exeter quay, about ten minutes to seven on the evening of the 2nd inst. He had known deceased by sight for a considerable time. On that evening he appeared to have been drinking, and witness warned him that the water was high, but he passed on and made no answer. About quarter to eleven the same evening, witness again saw the deceased coming down over Quay-hill, but did not speak to him. His walk was unsteady. The night was very dark, and the water was unusually high- considerably over the banks of the river. JANE HAYWOOD, wife of deceased, stated that she saw him alive at four o'clock on the afternoon of the 2nd inst. He let home at that time to go and have a glass of ale at the Acorn inn. Finding he did not return to tea at half-past five, as he had promised to do, she went to the Acorn Inn at seven o'clock to look for him. She was told by the landlady that he had left a quarter-of-an-hour previously, and she was told by a neighbour that he had had a quarrel with some fishwomen and a man in Coombe-street. Deceased was not a drinking man. He had had a cut in the head by a brick falling on it, but latterly he had not complained of pain, and she had never known him light-headed. He had 1s. 9 ½d. in his pocket when he left her on the afternoon in question. The body which the Jury had viewed was that of her late husband. William Ley, sailor, of Topsham, spoke to finding the body on the afternoon of the 8th inst., close to the water's edge, just above Turf. He called assistance, and removed the body to the Steam Packet Inn. Deceased's things found on him, were 6 ½d. in coppers, a rule, and a pocket-knife. Mr G. H. Whidborne, surgeon, who examined the body after it was taken from the water, stated that he found a wound and two bruises. The wound, which was on the forehead, was contused and lacerated, and one portion of it penetrated to the skull, which, however, was not fractured. In its passage from Exeter to Topsham the body would have to pass over three or four weirs, and it was quite possible that the wound might have been caused by the head coming in contact with a stone. The body appeared to have been in the water several days, and had all the appearance of a man who had been drowned. The Coroner, in summing up, said there could be little doubt that the deceased fell into the water at the Exeter quay whilst the worst for liquor, and was washed down by the floods to the place where the body was found. The Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned." Deceased leaves a widow and three children.
Wednesday 20 January 1875, Issue 5745 – Gale Document No. Y3200720331 EXETER – An Inquest was held on Wednesday, at the Forester's Arms, Commercial-road, before H. W. Hooper, Esq., City Coroner, on the body of ALBERT HOOPER, infant son of a domestic servant, named SARAH HOOPER. Mary Ann Martin, a widow, residing in Hodge's-row, West Quarter, deposed that about five weeks ago the mother of the deceased came to her house and asked if she would take care of two children at 8s. a week, which witness agreed to do. When they were brought to her they were very small and appeared weakly. She fed them on corn flour, farthing cakes, and milk. On Monday the deceased refused to eat his food and appeared restless. She sent immediately for Mr Webb, surgeon, but before that gentleman arrived the child died. Mr Webb, surgeon, stated that he was of opinion that the deceased died of disease of the mesenteric glands. The Coroner, in addressing the Jury, said that at first the case seemed to him to be one of neglect. He had been most careful in his investigation, but had failed to elicit evidence of any criminal neglect; but at the same time he thought that cases of this kind, when they came before juries, ought to receive their strictest attention, because they appeared to be on the increase. In the present case the evidence went to show that the mother, her sister, and Mrs Martin, had all done everything they could for the child. It had been brought up artificially, and under artificial treatment appeared to have been well cared for. Blame could not be attached to anyone. The Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes."
Wednesday 20 January 1875, Issue 5745 – Gale Document No. Y3200720332 EXETER – Painful Suicide in the City. - On Monday an Inquest was held at Hexter's Wine and Spirit Stores,. Fore-street, before Coroner Hooper on view of the body of MR R. K. VALLANCE, of Bartholomew-street, who had committed suicide by shooting himself on the previous Saturday. The following evidence was taken:- Mr G. F. Truscott said: I am a solicitor, practising in Exeter. I knew MR ROBERT KILLICK VALLANCE for many years, and was well acquainted with him. He was originally an attorney by profession, and practised first in London or Brighton, and subsequently in Exeter. He joined the Exeter Rifle Volunteers as a private in 1851 or 1852, and afterwards became captain of a company. He told me the other day that he was seventy-five or seventy-six years of age. He resided latterly in Bartholomew Yard. I identify the body viewed by the Jury as that of MR VALLANCE. He was a widower. His late wife was the widow of Mr Wilcocks. She died on the 9th of December, but MR VALLANCE continued to reside in the same house. I last saw the deceased alive about half-past twelve on Saturday, just before he committed suicide. I met him in Cathedral Yard, and after some conversation he went with me to my office. I told him the result of an interview with Mr Campion as to some question which had arisen since the death of his late wife, with regard to property in which he thought he was interested under her will. He appeared excited. The Coroner: In what way was he excited? Witness; He turned red, and walked about in an agitated manner. He was usually a very quiet man, and of a taciturn disposition. He said nothing, but left me with the understanding that he was to come and see me again on the Monday. Two days before he told me he was going to Torre, and I was therefore rather surprised to meet him, but he told me that the weather had prevented him. I had seen him before several times. He certainly appeared to be restless and excited. He knew that this question, with regard to the property had arisen, and when the result was communicated to him he became, as I have said, more than ordinarily excited. To the Jury: I had acted as his solicitor for a long time. He did not express his feelings on the matter on Saturday; it was only from his manner that I judged him to be excited. The Coroner: Did you suppose from his manner there was anything like insanity about him so as to render him unaccountable for his actions? Witness: I had no doubt that he was excited, but I did not anticipate what would follow. If I or any other person had seen him, I have no doubt he would have altered his mind. It was a temporary act of insanity I believe. Hanah Beer: I was in the employ of the late MR VALLANCE as a servant. I had known him for six years. On Saturday morning he came downstairs at half-past eight, and had breakfast with Mrs Luke, his late wife's sister. He did not appear very cheerful. He was generally quiet. I did not observe anything unusual in his manner or appearance. He went out about half-past eleven o'clock. Before leaving, he asked me if half-past one would be a convenient hour for dinner, and I told him it would if it suited him. I did not notice that he took anything with him. He returned about a quarter before one o'clock, entering at the back door. I met him at the foot of the stairs. He said nothing. I did not see anything peculiar in his manner. He went upstairs, and about five minutes afterwards hearing the report of a pistol, I went into the garden, and asked Mr Randall, the gardener, if he had heard MR VALLANCE fire out of the window into the garden. He said he had not noticed it. I then went up stairs, and knocked at the door of MR VALLANCE'S bedroom. No one answered. I told Mr Randall of this, and went to the door a second time; but still got no answer. I then fetched Mr Randall, who went with me to the room. Mr Randall opened the door, and I saw the deceased lying on the floor, in the same position as when viewed by the Jury. He was quite dead. His coat was off, and the waistcoat thrown open, and there was blood on the shirt just under the left bosom. I did not observe the pistol. I next obtained the assistance of Mr Mills, undertaker, and Mr Randle went for a surgeon. To the Jury: Mrs Luke was out at the time. The case of pistols was kept in the dressingroom. MR VALLANCE had of late been in the habit of firing in the garden as an amusement. The reason I went into the garden to enquire on this occasion was that I knew that he had not come downstairs. Mr Truscott stated that the deceased had been accustomed to use his pistols in that way for many years. Samuel Randall, nurseryman, of Exe-bridge, said: I was at work in deceased's greenhouse on Saturday. About half-past twelve MR VALLANCE came in at the back door which opens into the garden. I said "Good morning." He made a short reply, and went into the house. My impression was that he spoke a "little grumpy," but I did not notice anything else. Shortly afterwards I heard a shot, and ,leaving what I was about, I walked towards the house. I met the last witness, who asked me "if he had fired out of the window." I told her that he had not, and begged her to go to his room and knock. She did so twice, and I then went up with her. I found CAPTAIN VALLANCE lying on his back on the floor in a small inner room. He was dead. The left arm was close to the body, and the right hand was a little extended. Close to the left hand was a pistol, which had evidently just been discharged. The shirt was on fire, and blood was flowing from a wound in the breast. I ran out to fetch a surgeon, and met Mr John Perkins. When we returned, Mr Hartnoll was there. I noticed that the deceased's watch and chain were on the table of the dressing-room, having been taken off before he committed suicide. Mr K. T. Hartnoll, surgeon, said: I was going down Fore-street on Saturday, and when near the Mint, a Mr Badcock stopped me and told me what had occurred. I immediately went to the deceased's house. I saw he was dead, but to satisfy myself I placed my hand upon his breast to ascertain if there was any pulsation; there was none. The shirt was burnt and saturated with blood. I raised the shirt and flannel vest, and discovered a gunshot wound about two inches below the left nipple, at a spot first corresponding to the apex of the heart. I turned the body over to discover if the ball had passed through, and found that it had lodged in the body. The left hand, which was lying by the side of the body, was blackened with gunpowder and bloody. A few inches from the hand lay the pistol. I took it up, and saw that it had been recently fired, and there was an exploded cap on the nipple. The right arm was extended from the body almost in a right angle, the forefinger extended, and the others bent. The right hand was also blackened and bloody. The body was laying quite straight as though he had fallen immediately on firing, and died without a struggle. My opinion is that he shot himself while standing, keeping the waistcoat open with the left hand and holding the pistol with the right. Both hands must have been very close to the seat of injury; that is shown by their being discoloured and stained with blood. The ball must have gone through the pericardium and grazed the apex of the heart, which would have caused instant death. Mr Hartnoll produced the pistol. It was a rather large, single-barrelled, percussion pistol, capable of carrying a bullet half-an-inch in diameter. The pistol case contained a small packet of round ball, and there was no doubt that the weapon was charged with one of these when the fatal shot was fired. The Coroner, addressing Mr Truscott, asked whether the decision communicated to the deceased on Saturday morning was of such a nature as to affect him pecuniary? Was it sufficient to have caused temporary insanity of mind. Mr Truscott answered in the affirmative. The Coroner said that was most material to the question which the Jury had to decide. The Rev. J. Ingle said he was clergyman of the parish in which deceased resided. He had had several interviews with the late MR VALLANCE, the last of which occurred the previous Tuesday. Deceased consulted him about some inscription he drew up, which was partly composed in Latin. He found him at all times clear and collected. The late MR VALLANCE felt the death of his wife very much – it made him very low. After some consultation, fifteen of the Jury agreed to a verdict of "Temporary Insanity."
Wednesday 27 January 1875, Issue 5746 – Gale Document No. Y3200720364 EXETER – Sudden Death of an Infant. – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest yesterday afternoon at the Exeter Inn, Bartholomew-street, on the body of the infant child of EDWARD FEY, a member of the City Police, who died about five o'clock on Monday afternoon. Medical testimony showed that the child died from convulsive spasms of the heart, which flatulent children like the deceased are subject to. The Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes."
Wednesday 27 January 1875, Issue 5746 – Gale Document No. Y3200720379 EXETER – Sudden Death. – An Inquest was held at the Pack Horse Inn, St. David's, on Thursday last, before the City Coroner (H. W. Hooper, Esq.), relative to the death of JOHN TOZER, retired builder, aged 75, residing in Atwell's Cottages, St. David's. His son, JOHN FERRIS TOZER, professor of music, residing in the Cathedral-yard, stated that he last saw his father alive on Tuesday, when he complained of shortness of breath. Elizabeth Babbage, residing near the deceased, was called in by MRS TOZER, about 5.30 on Wednesday, when deceased was sitting in a chair with his head hanging back. She closed his mouth and feared he was dead. Mr W. R. F. Marchant, surgeon, saw the deceased on Wednesday evening, about seven o'clock. He considered he had been dead about one hour. He had attended deceased on previous occasions, and believed he died from natural causes, probably from heart disease. The Jury returned a verdict accordingly.
Wednesday 3 February 1875, Issue 5747 – Gale Document No. Y3200720411 CULLOMPTON – WILLIAM CHAMBERLAIN, a native of this place, who had formerly occupied a good position, committed suicide on Thursday last by placing himself on the line at Plymtree Bridge as the 9.45 up express was approaching. Thompson, the engine-driver, pulled up as quickly as possible, and on going back to the spot it was found that the deceased's head and one arm had been severed from his body, the latter having been hurled some twenty yards from the spot where the body was lying. It appears that on the death of his father, who was foreman of a tan-yard in Cullompton for many years, the deceased came into something like £1,000 and thereupon entered into business as a baker, and subsequently as a currier. Both these ventures failed, and, his money being all gone, the deceased was glad to obtain work where he could. A day or two ago his goods were sold under a distress for rent, and on Wednesday night last he applied to the police station for an order for lodgings, which was given him. For sometime past he has been in a very desponding state,, and has been heard to say that he should soon be in his coffin. The deceased was a widower with five children, two of whom are in reformatories, and the other three earning their own livelihood. At the Inquest the Jury returned a verdict to the effect that deceased committed suicide whilst in a state of Temporary insanity.
BARNSTAPLE – A distressing case of sudden death has occurred at Barnstaple. The deceased was MRS SUSAN GIBBS, a very corpulent person, well known in the town, and occupying a respectable position. The evidence taken at the Inquest showed that MRS GIBBS had, for some time previous to her death, been almost daily put to bed in an intoxicated state. The servant living in the house deposed to fetching on Saturday three pints of beer and a noggin of rum, and on Tuesday a quart of beer and the same quantity of rum. On the latter day deceased rose at nine o'clock, and complained of a bad headache. She went to bed that night at eleven o'clock, and was the worse for liquor. On Wednesday morning she complained of being very ill, and her daughter-in-law persuaded her to go to bed again, which she did. When the servant girl took deceased her dinner she found her stretched upon the floor dead. The doctor, who was sent for, said that in his opinion death resulted either from a fit of apoplexy or from heart disease. The verdict returned by the Jury was "Death from Natural Causes, greatly accelerated by intemperance."
Wednesday 3 February 1875, Issue 5747 – Gale Document No. Y3200720399 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Valiant Soldier Inn, South-street, on Thursday afternoon, on the body of ELIZABETH LOUISA JONES, aged 24, a domestic servant, who died the same morning under painful circumstances. Deceased had been a housemaid in the service of Mr Frederick Woods, No. 5, Colleton-crescent, for the last five years, and had always borne an excellent character. It appeared from the evidence of Mr Hunt, surgeon, that he was called to see the deceased on the 16th instant. He saw she suffered from congestion of the lungs, and that she was very ill. Deceased became much worse. He was summoned in haste to see her on the 21st. From what he then saw he was assured that she had attempted to procure abortion. He produced a bottle of medicine, some powders, and some chippings of wood, which deceased told him she had been taking to procure abortion. Taking those medicines in large quantities caused her death. He did not think deceased meant to destroy herself, but this, unfortunately, was no doubt what she had done. After a long consultation, the Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death," and expressed an opinion that the chemist who supplied the medicine for abortion was guilty of great neglect in not properly labelling it with full directions.
Wednesday 10 February 1875, Issue 5748 – Gale Document No. Y3200720438 NEWTON ABBOT – The body of SAMUEL PHILLIPS, the bargeman, who fell off his barge and was drowned on the 8th of January, was not recovered until Saturday last, when it was found near Coombe Cellars, and identified by his brother. An Inquest was held at Coombe Cellars on Monday, before Mr H. Michelmore, County Coroner, and a verdict of Accidentally Drowned was returned.
THE CHILD BURNING CASE AT TORQUAY. - The Inquest on the remains of the child found partially burnt in the house of Elizabeth Ellen Ireland on the night of the 30th ult. was resumed at the Town Hall, Torquay, on Saturday, by Mr H. Michelmore, Coroner. Mr Carter attended to watch the case on behalf of ELIZABTH HOOPER, the alleged mother of the child. The evidence adduced on the former occasion having been read over by the Coroner, Mr Superintendent Vaughan called ELIZABETH HOOPER, who said she was a single woman residing at Pyneclift, in Torquay. She was 24 years of age, and knew Mrs Ireland. In the year 1873 she was in the family ay and was confined in Mrs Ireland's house on the 10th of June. Whilst she was there she paid 7s. a week, and was there about a fortnight before she was confined. For some time previous to that she had been in a very bad state of health. Her child was born dead; she believed it was a female, but did not see it. She gave Mrs Ireland 10s. to bury the child at the Upton churchyard, and she promised to do so, and would get a box to bury it in. Witness had provided everything for the child, but finding that she did not want it, gave some away to her cousin, and the rest she destroyed. She remained with Mrs Ireland a week after her confinement. She paid Mrs Ireland £2 10s. altogether. It was for food, attendance, &c., and for buying the child. She had not seen Mrs Ireland since, or had any correspondence with her. She took no steps to find out whether the child was buried or not, but thought it was done. To the Foreman: She did not go to her mother's house to be confined because her mother had been in an asylum once, and she was afraid that if she told her of it, it would drive her there again. To the Coroner: It was not true as Mrs Ireland had stated that she was confined in February, March, or April of last year, at that time she was in service with her present mistress. The Coroner recalled Dr Powell, and asked him whether it was possible that a child born eighteen months ago could be the same as the one burnt a week ago. Dr Powell thought it was possible. – The Coroner then asked if it would have been possible for the child to have remained there until last Saturday, and then have been burnt. Dr Powell thought that if the child had been scorched shortly after birth it could be kept without there being a stench in the house; but if it had not, and decomposition had sent in, then there would have been a very offensive smell. This being the whole of the evidence, the Coroner summed up and directed the Jury to return an Open Verdict, as this would leave the question with the police for them to take any further steps they might think necessary. The case was a very painful one, and he hoped they would not have any other like it. The Jury, after a short consultation, acted under the Coroner's directions, and returned a verdict of "Found dead, there being no evidence to show whether it was born alive or not." -
Wednesday 17 February 1875, Issue 5749 – Gale Document No. Y3200720449 EXETER – An Inquest was held on Wednesday before H. W. Hooper, Esq., City Coroner, on the body of CAROLINE EUSTACE, an infant twelve months old, the daughter of CHARLES EUSTACE, a plasterer, residing in Exe Island. The child died very suddenly, and Mr S. Perkins, the medical man who was called in, although unable to state the cause of death, had no doubt that it resulted from natural causes. The Jury found a verdict of "Died by the Visitation of God."
Wednesday 24 February 1875, Issue 5750 – Gale Document No. Y3200720490 TAVISTOCK – On Friday an Inquest was held at Drakewalls, Gunnislake, before Dr Thompson, Deputy Coroner, touching the death of ELLIS NORMINGTON, grocer, aged fifty-two. From the evidence of the wife and daughters, it appeared that on Wednesday, the 10th, deceased came home from Albaston, at 10.30 p.m., rather intoxicated, and on going up to bed he fell backward over the stairs and pitched on his head. He lingered until Wednesday, when he expired. Verdict "Accidental Death."
NEWTON ABBOT – An Inquest was held at the Newton College Hospital on Thursday evening, touching the death of a labourer, named JOHN GIDLEY. On Friday he deceased was felling timber at Highweek, when a tree fell on him and broke his back. He was taken to the Newton College Hospital, where, after great suffering he died on Thursday morning. A verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.
OTTERY ST. MARY – An Inquest on the body of MR A. HOLE, aged forty-five, who died suddenly whilst in the service of the Rev. W. H. Metcalfe, was held before Coroner T. M. Cox, Esq., at the King's Arms Hotel, on Wednesday last. From the evidence adduced, and by the report from Mr R. B. Morrell, who had made a post-mortem examination of the body, it was clearly shown that deceased died from fatty degeneration of the heart, and in accordance with this statement the Jury returned their verdict.
Wednesday 24 February 1875, Issue 5750 – Gale Document No. Y3200720478 EXETER – On Monday an Inquest was held at the New Market Inn, Goldsmith-street, before Mr Coroner Hooper, on the body of EDITH WEBBER, aged nineteen weeks. The mother said the child had been weak and sickly ever since its birth. On Thursday evening the child had a slight cough, and some mixture was procured from a chemist's, to be taken in twenty-four half teaspoon dozes, of the old fashion and not the modern teaspoon. On Friday morning, however, the child died, and Dr Henderson was sent for He examined the mixture the child had been taking, and in his evidence he stated that he found it to be English paregoric, which, if taken in the modern teaspoon, would contain one eighth of a grain of solid opium, which would have the effect of paralysing the respiration and accelerating death. The old fashioned teaspoon was meant to be used by the chemist, but the modern teaspoon had been used accidentally by the mother instead, which would contain exactly double the quantity intended. His opinion was that the child died from congestion of the lungs, accelerated by the opium in the form of English paregoric. The Coroner did not see that there was the slightest blame to be attached to the mother. The evidence showed how very cautious it was necessary for people to be in administering medicine and how very desirable it was that chemists, when regulating the doses by teaspoonsful, should state the size of spoon to be used. The Jury agreed with the coroner, and one of them suggested that marked bottles should be used. A verdict was returned in accordance with the medical evidence.
Wednesday 24 February 1875, Issue 5750 – Gale Document No. Y3200720480 EXETER – Fatal Gun Accident. – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Saturday afternoon at the Topsham Inn, South-street, touching the death of JOHN DOWN, a married man, 51 years of age, a coachman and gardener, in the service of Mr William Arthy Fenner, of Woodlands, Kenn, near Exeter. It appeared from the evidence that on the morning of the 11th instant, Mr Fenner, the deceased, and others were out rabbiting in a cover known as "Friar's Bottom," under Haldon Deceased was endeavouring to induce a ferret to go into a rabbit hole when his employer, who was a hundred yards off, fired at what he thought was a rabbit, but proved to be a portion of the deceased's body, which he had indistinctly seen through some bushes. The charge entered the poor man's right arm. Mr Fenner dressed the wounds on the spot, and had the sufferer conveyed to the hospital, where it was found necessary to amputate the arm. After the operation, the sufferer made some progress for a few days and then relapsed. Death ensued on Friday last and Mr Domville, house surgeon, was of opinion that it arose from the wound and the shock to the nervous system caused by the amputation. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death" and exonerated Mr Fenner from all blame.
Wednesday 3 March 1875, Issue 5751 – Gale Document No. Y3200720525 CREDITON – A shocking and fatal accident occurred near the Crediton station on the North Devon line last Tuesday morning. Two labouring men, named JOHN and HENRY VANSTONE (father and son, aged respectively 53 and 17), were proceeding to their work, and to lessen the distance went along the railway, when a passenger train came upon them. The son was killed on the spot, his body being dreadfully mangled. The father had both legs broken, and was otherwise so seriously injured that he did not live out the day. He had twelve children. The inquest was held on Wednesday, at the Railway Inn, Newton Cyres, before Mr Coroner Crosse, when the Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death," and exonerated every one from blame.
BARNSTAPLE – On Thursday last J. H. Toller, Esq., Coroner, held an Inquest at Court Barton Farm upon the body of MR EDWARD GREGG, who resided at the farm. MR GREGG, who was fifty-six years of age on the previous Tuesday, rode to Bideford market on his horse, transacted his business, and left Bideford again in the evening about nine o'clock. The keeper of the Bideford gate saw him pass through, and stated that he appeared perfectly sober. The deceased, however, did not reach his home, for on the following morning a labourer, named Samuel Patt, on going to his work just before seven, found the body of deceased lying in Lake Park Field, a way he usually drove. His horse was some distance further on grazing. The medical evidence of Mr Jones, of Torrington, showed that a year ago deceased was treated for a complaint of the heart, and that last week he complained again. Mr Jones attributed his death to the cessation of the heart's action. Verdict accordingly.
Wednesday 3 March 1875, Issue 5751 – Gale Document No. Y3200720508 EXETER – Sudden Death. – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Thursday morning at the Acland Arms, St. Sidwell's, on the body of ERNEST ARTHUR RIDGE, aged seven months. The mother of the child, MARY ANN RIDGE, an unmarried woman, said her mother called her attention to the child, and she immediately sent for a surgeon, but it was dead before he arrived. Dr Perkins stated that the deceased was very poorly nourished. The Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes."
EXETER – An Inquest was held by Mr Coroner Hooper at the Bishop Blaze Inn, Commercial-road, on Monday, on the body of WILLIAM JOHN DREW, the infant son of WILLIAM DREW, a moulder, residing in Cricklepit-street. The deceased child was about three months old, and appeared to enjoy very good health. At times, however, it was troubled with a slight hoarseness, and to relieve this on Sunday night a few drops of syrup of squills was administered. The child appeared relieved, and continued all right during the day. Early the following morning the child was observed to be ill and a medical man was immediately sent for, but before assistance arrived the child was dead. Mr H. Tosswell, surgeon, who was called in, said he had examined the body, and had no reason to think that the cause of death was otherwise than a natural one. The Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes."
Wednesday 10 March 1875, Issue 5752 – Gale Document No. BC3200720538 EXETER – Inquests. - The following Inquests have been held by Mr Coroner Hooper during the past few days:- On Thursday evening at the Devonshire Arms, St. Stephen's Bow, touching the death of SARAH BORN, an old woman aged 75, lately residing at 229, High-street, who died very suddenly the same morning. Deceased had suffered from asthma for over forty years, and Mr John Woodman, surgeon, gave it as his opinion that deceased died from natural causes. The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.
The same evening, at the Courtenay Arms, St. Mary Arches-street, on the body of CHARLOTTE WORTH, a widow woman, aged about 58, lately residing in St. Mary Arches-street. Mr Perkins considered that disease of the heart was the cause of death, and the Jury returned a verdict of "Died from Natural Causes."
On Friday evening, at the Turk's Head Inn, High-street, upon the body of SARAH CLEALL, aged 82, late of Pancras-place. James Humphrey, a railway porter, said deceased was his wife's grandmother, and had been living with them in Pancras-place. She had a slight cough, and on Thursday night witness went to bed thinking deceased better than usual; about one o'clock on Friday morning he was aroused by his wife, and went to deceased's beside and found her to be dead. Dr William Henderson said he was called shortly after one o'clock yesterday morning to see deceased, and found her quite dead. She was lying on her right side, and there were no marks of violence about her. She died from inflammation of the lungs, with a weakened circulation. The Jury returned a verdict to that effect.
Wednesday 17 March 1875, Issue 5753 – Gale Document No. Y3200720571 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Topsham Inn, South-street, on Saturday morning, touching the death of JAMES HART, an infant aged thirteen months, lately residing with his parents in Coombe-street, who died in the Devon and Exeter Hospital on the previous Friday, from the effect of scalds received on the 2nd March. It appeared from the evidence that on the day in question deceased was left a short time in a room with a little sister, who was playing with a stool. There was a saucepan of pea-soup on the fire, and the deceased was playing on the hearthrug. The little girl, in throwing about the stool, capsized the saucepan, and the contents were thrown over the deceased. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 24 March 1875, Issue 5754 – Document No. Y3200720593 SOUTHMOLTON – At the Coroner's Inquest held last week at Romansleigh, near Southmolton, the particulars of a horrible case of burying alive were revealed. It appeared that GRACE ELLIOTT, a farm-servant, was confined on Monday, the 8th instant, and immediately afterwards she secreted the child in a heap of ashes, where it was found alive some two or three hours afterwards. When discovered the child was completely covered over, the eyes and mouth being quite full. The child lived until Friday. The Jury returned a verdict of manslaughter against ELLIOTT. On Wednesday, ELLIOTT was taken before the Magistrates at Southmolton and committed to take her trial at the Summer Assizes on a charge of Manslaughter. An application was made for bail, which was granted – prisoner in £100 and two sureties in £100 each.
BICKINGTON – An Inquest was held in the Schoolroom last Thursday, before Mr Toller, Deputy Coroner, on the body of a young man named JOSEPH PARKIN. Richard Balch, a shipwright, said he worked for Mr William Westacott, of Barnstaple, and deceased was a fellow workman of his. On Monday, the 8th instant, deceased, himself, and eight others were carrying planks upon their shoulders from the steaming apparatus to the ship's side, and in so doing they had to step over a piece of timber about eight inches high. As deceased was stepping over, his foot slipped, and he, being the hindmost, the plank came with a sudden jerk upon his shoulder. He crouched, but he did not fall. He said he had hurt his left side, and he then went a little way off and sat down, and he became faint and sick. He remained with witness until six o'clock, so as to complete his time, but he did no work. He then went home. – William Hooper, a fellow workman, corroborated the evidence of the last witness, and Mr J. W. Cook, surgeon, of Barnstaple, said he was called in to see deceased on Wednesday, the 10th instant, two days after the accident. He was of opinion that death resulted from the injury he received on the Monday previous, a vessel having been ruptured in the left lung, owing to the violence of the strain at the time his foot slipped while carrying the plank. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 31 March 1875, Issue 5755 – Gale Document No. Y3200720633 TORQUAY – JOHN MASON, fifty-six years of age, a butler, in the service of Miss Gould, of Mylor, St. Luke's Park, committed suicide on Wednesday morning by hanging himself to a ladder placed against the wall in the cellar. Deceased, who was an unmarried man, got up at half-past six and went downstairs and opened the doors of the house as usual. About an hour afterwards Hawkins, one of the servants, found him hanging from the ladder. She immediately called Mr Upham, a lodging-house-keeper, living next door, who cut down the deceased; and on Mr Stabb, surgeon, being called in, he pronounced life to be extinct. An Inquest was held by Mr Michelmore, Coroner, on Thursday evening, when a verdict in accordance with the facts was returned.
Wednesday 31 March 1875, Issue 5755 – Gale Document No. Y3200720624 EXETER – Fatal Boat Accident Near Turf. - On Good Friday afternoon, SAMUEL ROGERS, only son of a cab proprietor, of St. Thomas, Exeter, was drowned in the canal near Turf. He had gone with another lad named Westcott from Exeter to Topsham, whence they crossed the river, and were walking towards Turf House, when they observed an empty two-seat canoe. They thought the opportunity too good to be lost, and getting in commenced paddling about; but not being skilled in the management of so ticklish a craft, they very soon came to grief. The canoe upset, and ROGERS at once sank and was drowned. Westcott, however, kept himself on the surface by clinging to the keel of the canoe, and assistance being at hand he was brought ashore, but in a very exhausted condition. Restoratives were successfully applied at the Turf House, and after some hours the lad was in a fit condition to be removed to his home at Cowick Barton. It was late on Friday evening when the body of ROGERS was recovered. An Inquest was held before R. R. Crosse, Esq., County Coroner, at the Railway Inn, St. Thomas, on Monday afternoon. The Coroner said the duty of the Jury, although a melancholy one, would not cause them any difficulty, because from what he had heard it appeared the accident was the deceased's own act and deed, he having got into a boat which he had not hired and therefore the owner of the boat was not at all responsible, as he would have been if he had lent this boat to a person, who did not understand how to manage it. John Westcott said he resided at Cowick Barton, and was eighteen years of age. On Good Friday the deceased and himself left St. Thomas by the two o'clock train for Turf. While at Turf two young men came back in a double canoe from Exmouth and moored the canoe at Turf. The deceased and another young fellow borrowed it, and had a paddle in it, and then witness and deceased got into it and paddled up the Canal from Turf a quarter of a mile. Just after they started deceased made a false move and nearly capsized them, but they went on again steadily for quarter of a mile, and the deceased again made a false movement which witness believed caused the canoe to upset. He thought the deceased believed they were running into a bank and was trying to keep straight. When they were upset witness caught hold of the paddle, and the deceased laid hold of the canoe but he caught it so eagerly that he caused it to continually turn over on both of them. Witness then lost his paddle, and both of them caught hold of the canoe. He heard the deceased say, "Let's try to make another grasp," or something like that, but he saw him no more after that. Witness was in the water about twelve minutes and saw two persons on the bank who ran to Turf for boats, by which he was rescued, three boats having come up from Turf. The canoe capsized about a quarter of a mile from Turf. There were no drags or any appliances at Turf, and witness was much exhausted when he was got out. The body of the deceased was not recovered until shortly after midnight. P.C. Vanstone said there were no drags at turf, and at nine o'clock in the evening they had nothing there; the body would not have been recovered until the next day if he had not sent for hooks. The Coroner said it appeared strange that no appliances were kept at Turf. He hoped that the civic authorities would see to it. Westcott was only rescued after persons had gone to Turf for boats, and if the proper appliances had been kept there the deceased lad might also have been recovered. Several of the Jury made similar remarks and said as the place was so much used for boating the matter ought to be represented to the proper authorities. P.C. Hatherley, who was on duty at Turf on Good Friday, said young Mortimore ran and told him what had occurred, but when he came to the spot where the accident happened Westcott had just been got out of the water, but nothing could be seen of ROGERS. He went to Topsham for drags, which was about a mile off, but could get none there, and eventually t the request of the mother of the deceased they bought some fish hooks and recovered the body with the hooks after it had been in the water about eight hours, the body having been got out shortly after midnight. George Pym, sailor and fisherman, of Topsham, who helped to recovered the body, said the Canal was about sixty feet wide at the spot where the accident happened. P.C. Vanstone said they had been unable to find out who the persons were on the banks or who ran to turf for the boats. The Jury immediately returned a verdict of "Accidental drowning," and expressed a hope that proper appliances would be kept at Turf, and also at Topsham Bridge in case of any accident occurring on the Canal again, and they also expressed an opinion that if that had been the case on Friday it was extremely probable the deceased might have been saved after having held on to the canoe for so many minutes, and the drags could certainly have been brought to the spot in less time than the boats. The Coroner trusted that the investigation they had just held would cause the state of things complained of to be remedied.
Wednesday 7 April 1875, Issue 5756 – Gale Document No. Y3200720647 EXETER – Found Drowned. - An Inquest was held at the Port Royal Inn, on Saturday, before Mr Coroner Crosse, on the body of a woman, named SARAH LOWDEN, which had been found floating in this Quay on Thursday night. ROBERT LOWDEN, a labourer, and husband of deceased, said he lived in James-street. His wife had been suffering from a brain complaint, and had been under treatment at the Hospital and Dispensary. She had kept her bed for the past two years, getting up for about two or three hours a day. She used frequently to talk incoherently and walk about her room in a wild way. Witness last saw her on Thursday morning at half-past six, when he left his home to go to work. She then appeared in her usual state – a little worse if anything. When he returned at half-past nine in the evening he missed his wife, and made inquiries, thinking she might have fallen into the river. On Friday morning he saw her body at the Port Royal. He had never heard deceased threaten to destroy herself. BESSIE LOWDEN, daughter of deceased, aged 17, corroborated the last witness's statement, and said she had known deceased jump out of her bed, walk about the room, and tell strange stories. On Thursday night, as usual, she went to her room to inquire whether she wanted anything more for supper, and she replied, "No," and wished witness good night, adding, "Be a good girl when you don't see me any more." This made witness cry. Shortly after deceased was missed. Witness said she did not think deceased meant anything wrong during the conversation with her. Mary Reddaway, an elderly woman, lately living in the same house with deceased, said she had frequently seen deceased roaming about the house in the night, and she thought her mind was affected. William Marks, a young man, deposed to picking up the body, which was floating in the river on Thursday night. The Jury returned an Open Verdict of "Found Drowned."
Wednesday 7 April 1875, Issue 5756 – Gale Document No. Y3200720659 TIVERTON – An Inquest was held at the Town Hall on Thursday afternoon, on the body of JOHN BISHOP, a butcher's labourer, a young man who committed suicide on Tuesday night by hanging himself. On the evening of his death, deceased went home to his father's house in West-exe somewhat intoxicated, and a dispute arose between the father and son, the result being that they fought with each other. A policeman was sent for, who separated them, and deceased subsequently left the house, before doing which, however, the constable heard him say he had a good mind to cut his throat. Deceased walked down the street and went into a person's house, where he made the remark that, "Rather than live in it, he would hang himself." JAMES BISHOP, deceased's father, made a statement to the effect that he found his son hanging from a beam in the attic of the house. He added that deceased was subject to hysterical fits. The Jury retired, and after a few minutes absence, returned with a verdict of "Temporary Insanity." The Coroner said he would record the verdict, although he could not agree with it at all.
Wednesday 14 April 1875, Issue 5757 – Gale Document No. Y3200720684 KINGSBRIDGE – An Inquest was held on Saturday at the Archer Hotel, on the body of MR URIAS SHEPHERD, baker, of this town, who died from injuries received from falling out of his bread trap on Wednesday, the 24th March, whilst returning from Kingsbridge Road Station. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
IPPLEPEN – An Inquest was held at the Wellington Inn on Monday afternoon, before H. Michelmore, Esq., County Coroner, touching the death of MARY ANN SKINNER, a beerhouse keeper of Pimlico, Torquay. Mrs Seymour, wife of John Rock Seymour, Ipplepen, stated that the deceased was her brother's widow, and was forty-nine years of age. On Saturday night they left Torquay in a cab driven by a man named Inch for home, and upon arriving at Budleigh Barton the cabman refused to proceed any further as he had another engagement, and was obliged to meet the express train. He compelled them to get out of the cab, and shortly afterwards the deceased complained of being unwell, and after being placed on the roadside she expired before medical aid could be obtained. The medical man who made the post mortem examination stated that death resulted from apoplexy, brought on by excitement. The cabman was examined, and the Jury eventually returned a verdict of Manslaughter against Inch, who was taken into custody.
MORETONHAMPSTEAD - MR WILLIAM COLERIDGE, a famer residing at Wormhill, three miles from this town, committed suicide by shooting himself, whilst in bed, on Thursday morning. He sent for a solicitor the day before, and had his will made. About a year ago he was left a widower, with six little children, the eldest of whom is only nine years of age. At the Inquest on Saturday, before Mr H. C. Michelmore, County Coroner, Mr James Utting, surgeon, Moretonhampstead, said the deceased sent for him on the 28th March. He had an inflamed leg, and witness saw him on alternate days up to Tuesday late in the afternoon, when he was downstairs. During his whole illness he had been extremely despondent, but more especially about his leg, thinking he would never get well, and saying he would rather be out of the world than get better. He drank a good deal during his illness, sufficient to disturb his nervous system, but he was always quite rational, and witness never saw him drunk. On Thursday morning witness was sent for, and found the deceased in bed, lying on his back, with his head on the pillow, a single-barrel gun lying on his body; the stock of the gun was between his legs, the muzzle directed upwards. Deceased's left hand was grasping the barrel, and his right hand was down towards the trigger. The gun had apparently recently been discharged. The right side of the head was blown to atoms, and the brain scattered about the surrounding furniture and walls. By witness's advice, and owing to his extreme depression the deceased took a certain quantity of cider. He was particularly acute in all matters of business. The Jury returned a verdict "That the deceased shot himself whilst in a fit of Temporary Insanity." The body presented a frightful appearance, the front of the head being sp0lit off and completely shattered by the gun with which the deceased shot himself.
Wednesday 21 April 1875, Issue 5758 – Gale Document No. Y3200720712 TOTNES – An Inquiry was held at Tigley, Dartington on Thursday, by Mr H. Michelmore, County Coroner, respecting the death of a wagoner named THOMAS COVES, who was killed on Tuesday night by a wagon passing over him. It appeared from the evidence that deceased did not put the drag on the wagon, and finding about half-way down the hill that it was overpowering the horse, he attempted to turn it a little so that the wheels might be stopped by the brake, and in doing so got jammed. He was struck in the face by the point of the shaft, and Mr A. J. Wallis, surgeon, Totnes, said that the bones of the man's face were fractured, there was a compression of the brain, and also a fracture of the pelvis. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
NORTHMOLTON – A fatal accident has befallen HUGH BLACKFORD, a foreman of a "corps" of men at the Bampfylde Mines, near Heaselley Mill, in this parish. It appears that about ten o'clock, on Friday night, as his "corps" was ascending one of the shafts of these mines, to leave work, they met BLACKFORD, whose lamp was out, on one of the levels, One of the men lit his lamp, and asked him if he were not going to ascend, but obtaining no direct reply proceeded without him, and when they had arrived at the mouth of the pit, proceeded homewards, thinking the deceased might have ascended by another shaft, and so been in advance of them. On arriving at Northmolton town one of the "corps" enquired at BLACKFORD'S house whether he had arrived home, but finding he had not, they returned to the mines, and called up, the captain thereof, and in his company descended the shaft, on one of the flats of which they found the body of the poor fellow, literally torn to pieces, the distance fallen being about 300 feet. The captain had the body gathered together and conveyed to the deceased's house, where on Saturday the Deputy Coroner, J. H. Toller, Esq., opened an Inquest thereon, but adjourned it to obtain the attendance of the Inspector of Mines. The deceased was about fifty years of age, and leaves a widow and five children totally unprovided for.
Wednesday 28 April 1875, Issue 5759 – Gale Document No. Y3200720730 EXETER – Sudden Death. – On Wednesday Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on the body of ANN GREEN, a person of rather eccentric habits and familiarly known as "Old Nancy." Daniel Long said he was 75, by occupation a hawker, resided in Stone's-court, Preston-street. On Tuesday morning, when he left the deceased, who had lived with him for two years, she remarked that he would not see her much longer. He did not attach much importance to this, because of deceased's low spirits, but on his return a few hours after, she was dead. The medical evidence showed death to have been the result of pleuretic affection and heart disease. Verdict accordingly.
Wednesday 28 April 1875, Issue 5759 – Gale Document No. Y3200720743 TOTNES - MR JOSEPH HOWARD PEARCE, assistant master at Mr Eynon's school, and son of the late REV. MR PEARCE, formerly of Gower, near Swansea, met with an accident on Saturday evening, which unfortunately proved fatal. In company with his cousins, MR TYRELL PEARCE, of the Devon and Cornwall Bank, Totnes, and H. D. PEARCE, a lad, and Mr Edward Edmonds, son of Mr T. H. Edmonds, solicitor, went for a pull on the river Dart in a two-oared skiff. All went well until they were returning, and very near Totnes, when the steamer Dartmouth, which had just left Totnes, passed them. The swell caused by the passing of the steamer proved too much for the skiff, which is a lightly-constructed one used for racing, and only fit to carry three. The skiff upset, and her occupants were precipitated into the water. Mr Edmonds struck out, and succeeded in reaching the opposite side of the river, and Mr Tyrell Pearce, who is also a swimmer, supported his brother until a boat came down and picked them up. Some young ladies, who witnessed the sad accident, seeing MR J. PEARCE struggling near the bank, ran to some men in a schooner, some little distance off, and gave an alarm. The men instantly put off in a boat, but, on their arriving, found MR PEARCE had sank. The river, which is about twenty feet deep, was then dragged, but forty minutes elapsed ere the body was recovered. It was immediately examined by Dr Puddicombe, of Dartmouth, who was on board the Newcomin steamship at the landing-place quay, who pronounced life to be extinct. The body was conveyed to the Seven Stars Hotel, where Dr Haines endeavoured to restore life, but without effect. It was then taken to Mr Eynon's where it awaits an Inquest. Deceased was nineteen years of age, and was a very good swimmer, but it is believed that from exhaustion he was unable to save himself. Mr Coroner Michelmore held an Inquest on the body at Mr Eynon's residence on Monday, and the Jury after a short consultation, returned a verdict that deceased was "Accidentally drowned, and that the captain of the steamer ought to be severely censured for not returning to the rescue when he saw what had happened." The captain was afterwards told by the Coroner the verdict of the Jury, and admonished.
COLYTON – On Thursday an Inquest was held at the Dolphin Hotel on the body of MARY FOWLER, aged sixty-four, wife of JOHN FOWLER, mason, who was killed by her husband during a quarrel. It appears that her husband had returned home late from his garden, and his wife scolded him and called him names. He had not been drinking, but he lost his temper, and took up a utensil and threw at her head. She was severely cut about the temple and bled profusely, but FOWLER left her and went to bed. His little daughters by a previous marriage begged him however, to get up, which he subsequently did, and attempted to stop the bleeding, but did not send for medical aid. Next day neighbours were called in by the woman, and a surgeon was sent for. Her wounds were attended to and she seemed to get better, but subsequently became paralyzed through the injury to the brain and she died in the course of a few days. The medical evidence showed that the deceased had suffered from bronchitis, but that her death was without doubt greatly accelerated by the wound. The Jury returned a verdict of "Manslaughter."
Wednesday 12 May 1875, Issue 5761 – Gale Document No. Y3200720791 EXETER – Melancholy Death By Drowning. - Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Custom House Inn on Friday evening last on the body of ELLEN SERCOMBE, aged fifteen years, daughter of JOHN SERCOMBE, farmer, of Doddiscombsleigh. It appeared from the evidence that deceased had been on a visit to her sister, at Exeter, and on Thursday she went to the shop of a Mrs Evans, Quay-hill. On returning home she missed the road and walked into the river. George Matthews, lumper, met deceased on the Quay, and believing she was taking the wrong direction called to her, but it would appear she did not hear him. Very shortly after he heard a scream. With assistance he got a boat and immediately went to the spot from whence the scream proceeded, but discovered no traces of deceased, who was not picked up until an hour afterwards. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death," and thought the Town Council ought to have their attention again called to the fact that the Quay near the Custom House was entirely unprotected. The Jury and Coroner then visited the spot, and Mr Hooper promised to bring the matter before the proper authorities.
Wednesday 12 May 1875, Issue 5761 – Gale Document No. Y3200720800 BARNSTAPLE – WILLIAM HENRY OLIVER, a shoemaker, who resided in Mallet's-row, whilst talking with a neighbour on Saturday night suddenly fell down dead. An Inquest was held on Monday before Mr J. Bencraft, Coroner, when Mr Ferins, surgeon, gave it as his opinion that deceased was attacked with syncope or faintness resulting from disease of the heart. Verdict accordingly.
Wednesday 26 May 1875, Issue 5763 – Gale Document No. Y3200720855 YEOFORD – An Inquest was held at the Railway Inn, on Saturday, before Mr R. R. Crosse, County Coroner, on the body of JOHN GOODWIN HUGHES, a gentleman farmer, thirty-eight years of age, who met with his death on Thursday evening last, at the Yeoford Junction of the North Devon Railway. Deceased who was returning from the Agricultural Show at Newton by the last North Devon train, with other passengers for Okehampton, had to change carriages at Yeoford Junction, but he did not attempt to enter a carriage until the train was in motion, and then he missed his footing, fell between the platform and the rails, and his abdomen was fearfully crushed. MR HUGHES, who was a remarkably tall, fine man, did not live above a few minutes after the accident. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." The remains of the deceased were conveyed to Barnstaple by the last train on Saturday night.
BIDEFORD – The body of WILLIAM RADFORD, who had been missing since the 15th instant, was found in the river above the bridge on Saturday. It is supposed that the deceased, who was about fifty years of age, slipped from the fenders of the bridge whilst engaged in picking mussels, and at the Inquest held by Dr Thompson an open verdict was returned.
BARNSTAPLE – An Inquest was held on Thursday at the North Devon Infirmary, Barnstaple, by Mr R. I. Bencraft, Coroner, touching the death of JAMES BLACKMORE, aged 63, an old and respected servant in the employ of Sir Arthur Chichester, who was knocked down and run over on Wednesday by a horse and cart in Boutport-street, Barnstaple. He was so much injured that he died the same night in the Infirmary, from concussion of the brain and internal injuries. A verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.
Wednesday 26 May 1875, Issue 5763 – Gale Document No. Y3200720845 EXETER – Inquests. - Mr Hooper, City Coroner, held an Inquest at the Valiant Soldier Inn, Holloway-street, on Friday evening, touching the death of CHARLES WYATT, an assistant to a butcher, sixty-one years of age and lately residing in New Cottages, Parr-street, Newtown. On the previous Friday deceased was cutting up a portion of a pig, for his daughter who keeps a butcher's shop in Market-street, when his knife slipped, and cut his hand. He was taken to the Devon and Exeter Hospital, where the wound was attended to; but the pain shortly afterwards extended to the whole arm, the sufferer became delirious, and expired in a few days. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
On Monday the Coroner held two Inquests at the Country House Inn, the first on the body of a little boy five years of age named JOHN HENRY SPRINGALL, who had been choked by swallowing a marble. The child lived with its mother in Catherine-street, and on Sunday morning put a marble in his mouth and it got into his throat. The child was taken to the Hospital, but the poor little fellow was dead before the surgeon (Mr Cummins) saw him. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
The second Inquest was on the body of FRANCIS BASTIN, seventy-two years of age, who had committed suicide on Sunday by hanging himself to a beam in the ceiling of his bedroom, at 14, Catherine-street. Deceased gained a living by assisting the boots at the London Inn and running errands. He was the worse for drink on Saturday, and on Sunday did not get up. He appeared to be wandering in his mind. The Jury returned a verdict of "Suicide whilst in a state of Temporary Insanity."
Wednesday 9 June 1875, Issue 5765 – Gale Document No. Y3200720905 EXETER – Concealment of Birth. - Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Clarence Hotel on Saturday, touching the death of the newly-born child of SOPHIA SANDERS, domestic servant with Mr G. W. Davies, High-street. It appeared from the evidence of Emily Nichols, a nurse girl employed by Mr Davies, and who slept with SANDERS, that circumstances occurred on the Wednesday night previous which induced Mr Davies to communicate with the police. Mrs Pyne, female searcher at the Police Station, went to the house and she stated that in a box belonging to SANDERS she found the body of a full-grown male child, wrapped up very carefully in a woman's under garment. The body was quite covered, and she believed it was lying with the face downwards. SANDERS was watching her while she was searching the room, and saw her take the body out of the box. Just as she found the body, a lady – she believed it was Mrs Davies's mother – came into the room, and SANDERS said to her, "Pray do forgive me?" and hung around her neck in a great state of excitement. The lady spoke soothingly to her, and told her she was foolish not to have disclosed the affair. Shortly afterwards SANDERS told witness she felt happier now that the body was found; her mind was easier. She told witness she was confined about half-past nine on the Wednesday evening. Mr Perkins came while witness was present, and he said to SANDERS, "You ought to have told me of this before." Mr A. S. Perkins said he was called in about mid-day on Thursday to see SOPHIA SANDERS. He stayed with her some time but she refused to say what was the matter with her. On Friday he again saw SANDERS and told her he was convinced she had had a child, and asked her where the child was, but she denied that she had ever been in the family way. He afterwards saw the child and made a post mortem examination. It was a healthy well nourished child and he considered it had breathed after birth. He believed the cause of death was want of proper care being taken, by clearing the respiratory passages and placing the child in a proper position. There was a bruise on the forehead but that was unimportant. Mr Charles Perkins brother of the last witness, gave corroborative evidence. He had no doubt the child was born alive, and that the cause of death was impeded respiration through neglect. The Jury after a short consultation found "That the child was born alive, but by what means it came by its death there is no evidence to show." The Coroner quite concurred in the verdict, which he said would leave the matter open for further investigation by the police. Mr G. W. Davies, and the Chief Constable (Captain Bent) were present during the Enquiry.
Wednesday 9 June 1875, Issue 5765 – Gale Document No. Y3200720914 BUDLEIGH SALTERTON – Mr Cross, Coroner for the Eastern Division, held an Inquest at Budleigh Salterton on Friday, touching the death of SARAH KELLY, an aged woman, the wife of a retired tradesman. The deceased woman expired on the morning of Monday, the 17th May, and a few days subsequently her husband, who had for a long time been under medical treatment, also died. Husband and wife were buried together, but the latter not having been medically treated there was no certificate of the cause of death. Circumstances occurred a short time afterwards which led to the body of the woman being exhumed to undergo a post mortem examination with a view to a Coroner's Enquiry. The following evidence was taken. Mr Robert Walker, M.D., said he had known deceased ten years, and was attending professionally on her husband, who was dying from old age. She was eighty-six, and her husband eighty-one. She was out of her mind and had been so for ten years. On the Friday before her death deceased was restless, and witness spoke to quiet her – this was the last time he saw her alive. Saw her dead body on the Monday following in her bedroom. On examination she presented all the usual signs of natural death; there were no symptoms of violence or poisoning. The husband was too far gone even to know that his wife was dead, and he died himself two days after. Witness made a post mortem on the previous day. For a woman of her age the body appeared to have been fairly nourished. The lungs were in good condition, the heart a little fat, and the abdominal viscera healthy. From general appearance witness concluded that death arose from syncope, arising probably from old age. The appearance exhibited by the stomach and intestines was not consistent with the administration of arsenic or any irritant poison, and witness thought, taking the external appearances with the internal, that death could not have arisen from poisoning of any sort. Edward Mercer, who assisted Dr Walker, gave evidence in confirmation of his statement. Sarah Ann Algar said deceased and his wife had lived in her parents' house since March. She saw deceased on Sunday evening, who appeared in her usual health. Caroline Algar said deceased died on the morning of Monday, the 17th of May. She appeared ill on the previous day, but she did not appear to require any medical assistance. John Algar said he had known deceased from his boyhood up. She had been affected mentally ten or twelve years. Her husband died worth a little money. He bequeathed it to his wife, and after her death the remainder was to fall to him (witness) in consideration of what he had done for them. Deceased's appetite failed a little shortly before her death. Emanuel Ware, Broadclist, said he had occasion a few weeks prior to her death to visit deceased and her husband. MR KELLY apologised for having nothing to drink, but his wife (deceased) refused to drink anything. She feared being poisoned. Elizabeth Churchill, seamstress, Sidmouth, said she was first cousin to deceased. Being apprised of her death by Mr Algar, she asked him why he had not informed her deceased was ill. Mr Algar said she had not been ill. After some trouble the coffin in which deceased lay was opened. Witness noticed some pieces of wood in her room, and remarked to Algar that it looked as if deceased had been strapped to her bed. Algar replied "That's all stuff." On returning from the funeral the will was read. Mr Algar said that everything was made over to him, and that Mr Baker had made the will. Some one said to him "It's your own handwriting." He did not contradict this. A good deal of dissatisfaction was expressed. Deceased's husband had stated in Algar's presence that he had provided in his will for witness and her son by leaving them £100. Before the funeral witness told Algar that she thought an Inquest was necessary, but he made no reply. After a seven hours Enquiry the Jury found a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence – that deceased died from Natural Causes.
Wednesday 16 June 1875, Issue 5766 – Gale Document No. Y3200720943 SHOCKING DEATH OF A RAILWAY GUARD. – Mr R. R. Crosse, District Coroner, held an Inquest at the Lord Nelson Inn, Topsham, yesterday afternoon, touching the death of GEORGE RICHARDS, relieving guard in the employ of the London and South Western Railway, who was killed on the Exmouth line, near Topsham, last Saturday night, under the following circumstances:- It appeared that on Saturday evening deceased took his place in the guards van of the 10.15 train from Exeter to Exmouth. On arriving at Topsham, the attention of one of the porters was called by a first-class passenger, in a compartment some two or three carriages removed from the guard's van, to the fact that blood was running down the side of the carriage in which he was seated. A search was made for the cause, and on the top of the carriage the unfortunate guard was found, quite dead, with the back of head smashed in and his neck broken. Four persons were with the deceased in the guard's van, two of them Railway porters, named May and Drew. The former said that when deceased left the van he made an observation to the effect that he was going to see a young woman in another part of the train, but the other man only heard him say "I am going out, and shall be back in a minute." He believed that if any further observation had been made he would have heard it. The Coroner said there was a great mystery about the case, and that he thought some of them in the van must know something more of deceased leaving it. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 16 June 1875, Issue 5766 – Gale Document No. Y3200720940 TEIGNMOUTH – An Inquest was held at the London Hotel on Monday evening before Mr H. Michelmore, Coroner, on the body of ANN BURGOYNE, aged fifty-four, late housekeeper to Mr S. L. R. Templer, architect. It appeared from the evidence that on Thursday last, deceased drank sulphuric acid in mistake for cider, and died from the effects of the poison on Sunday. The Jury returned a verdict that the deceased met with her death accidentally, and in no other way.
CHITTLEHAMPTON – ROBERT MADGE, Esq., of the Manor House, was thrown from his horse in a hay-field, on Wednesday last, and sustained such severe injuries that he died three hours afterwards. At the Inquest on the following day before J. T. Toller, Esq., Dr Harper said deceased had been a patient of his for some time, and had been suffering from diseased liver and dropsy. He gave it as his opinion that death resulted from collapse. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 23 June 1875, Issue 5767 – Gale Document No. Y3200720960 EXETER – Fatal Boat Accident On The Canal. - An Inquest was held at the Welcome Inn on Monday evening, before Mr R. R. Crosse, County Coroner, on view of the body of WM. HARRIS, a young man aged 20, who was drowned in the canal on Sunday evening by the upsetting of a boat. It appeared that on Sunday evening about half-past seven deceased and two other young men hired a boat at the Port Royal Inn to go to the Double Locks. The boat was certified to carry three persons, but at the Ballast Quay they took in a fourth, and then rowed the boat down the canal to the Double Lock. On the return journey, at the second drawbridge, the boat by some means or other capsized, and they were all thrown into the water. Three were rescued, but deceased was never seen to come to the surface again, and three parts of an hour elapsed before the body was recovered. The father of the unfortunate young man was present during the Enquiry, and he expressed himself quite satisfied with the evidence. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death by Drowning."
EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Topsham Inn on Monday, touching the death of RICHARD KIDDLE, a labourer, of Ockland Valley, in the parish of Colaton Raleigh. From the evidence of John Gooding, it appeared that on Thursday, the 10th instant, he was at the Halfway House, on the Sidmouth-road, in company with the deceased, and a man named Henry Sellick. They left the house together about ten o'clock, Sellick walking a little in front of witness and the deceased. After going some way, witness went on with Sellick, leaving the deceased some distance in the rear. On reaching the four cross-ways they stopped, and heard a noise, as of some one screaming. They called "KIDDLE," and as no one answered, they went back, a distance of about forty yards, where they found the deceased, lying inside a field-gate. Witness asked him what was the matter, and he replied that he had fallen off the gate, and that he was dying. By getting over the gate in question, deceased could reach a nearer way home. Witness and Sellick carried him to his home, about half-a-mile distant. On the road, deceased said he had broken his back. Deceased had been drinking, but was not drunk. Mr H. G. Cuming, house-surgeon at the Devon and Exeter Hospital, said he received the deceased into the Hospital on the afternoon of the 12th of June. He was suffering from loss of sensation in the legs and lower part of the body, and partial loss of sensation in the arms. On examination, he found the spinal cord was injured to a considerable extent; and death resulted therefrom. Deceased never recovered perfect consciousness after he was admitted to the Hospital. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death."
Wednesday 23 June 1875, Issue 5767 – Gale Document No. Y3200720974 TOTNES – Mr Michelmore, the Coroner, and a Jury met on Thursday last at the house of MR JELLY, surgeon, to enquire into the circumstances attending the death of MR JELLY'S son, LEONARD, eleven years of age, who was drowned whilst bathing in the river Dart on the previous evening. It appeared that deceased and some other youths were bathing in the dart, about a hundred yards from the bridge, between Totnes and Bridgetown. It was high water at the time, and deceased got out of his depth; being unable to swim, and feeling himself sinking he called for help. His little brother, who was on the bank, ran to the mill and gave the alarm, and then hastened home to inform his parents. Meanwhile the poor boy had sunk, and a young man, who on hearing the news ran to the spot and went into the water, was unable to find him. Mr Phillips, of the mill, brought out the drags kept there, and after some little time found the body, and landed it a few minutes before the arrival of MR and MRS JELLY. Efforts were made to restore animation, but they proved fruitless. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidentally Drowned."
NEWTON ABBOT – A child nearly two years old, named EMMA PICKETT, whilst running across Wolborough-street on Friday afternoon as knocked down and run over by a cart laden with manure belonging to Mr Maddicott. The child's head was dreadfully crushed, and death was instantaneous. At the Inquest on Saturday evening a verdict of Accidental Death was returned.
Wednesday 30 June 1875, Issue 5768 – Gale Document No. Y3200721000 BIDEFORD – An Inquiry was held on Tuesday by Dr. Thompson, Borough Coroner, with respect to the death of a girl named ANNE JURY, five years old, whose dead body had been found in the Pill. The deceased was seen playing near the place on Monday night, and it is thought that she fell into the water and was drowned. An Open Verdict was returned.
BOVEY TRACEY – Mr H. Michelmore, County Coroner, held an Inquest on Monday, respecting the death of a man named WILLIAM WILLIAMS, who hanged himself in a closet on Sunday afternoon. Deceased had been suffering from valvular disease of the heart for some time, and having had his parish pay stopped, it was thought that this had preyed on his mind and produced a temporary fit of insanity. Two years ago the deceased had said while under the influence of drink, that he should put an end to himself. He had been attended by Mr Haydon as a parish patient for eight years. The Jury returned a verdict of Temporary Insanity.
Wednesday 7 July 1875, Issue5769 – Gale Document No. Y3200721030 TORQUAY – On Friday Mr H. Michelmore, County Coroner, held an Inquest at the Railway Inn, Torre, on the body of JAMES RICE, a quarryman, 32 years of age, who was drowned off a quarry near London Bridge, on Thursday morning. It appeared that deceased went to his work late, in consequence of which he had to lose a quarter-of-a-day, and whilst waiting for this time to elapse he undressed himself and went into the water. Within a few minutes he uttered a cry of distress, and then, in the presence of his fellow-workmen, he sunk in deep water, and was drowned. A verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.
Wednesday 7 July 1875, Issue5769 – Gale Document No. Y3200721015 EXETER – Sudden Death. – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Dove Inn, South-street, yesterday afternoon, on view of the body of GEORGE SHELL, a stonemason, sixty-two years of age, who died suddenly at the house of his daughter, No. 2, Trinity-place, on Monday evening. Deceased had been suffering with his breath for some time past, and on Monday evening, between six and seven o'clock, his daughter found him on the floor of his bed room quite dead. He had gone up to bed very shortly before and complained of his breath after getting up stairs. Mr Tosswill, surgeon, was called in to examine the body and in his evidence he said there was nothing to lead him to suppose that the man's death was otherwise than natural. The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.
Wednesday 14 July 1875, Issue 5770 – Gale Document No. Y3200721044 EXETER – Mr H. W. Hooper (City Coroner) held an Inquest at the Valiant Soldier Inn on Monday afternoon touching the death of ADA ELIZABETH BURGESS, aged fourteen months. On Friday the mother was pouring some hot water from a saucepan into a jug on the table when the child caught hold of the jug and turned the contents over its face, chest, stomach and arms. She was dreadfully scalded, and was taken to the hospital, where she was attended to by Dr. Cummings, but died early on Sunday morning. Verdict, "Accidental Death."
The County Coroner (R. R. Crosse, Esq.) held an Inquest on Friday at the Welcome Inn, Haven Banks, on the body of WILLIAM HURLEY, a lumper, engaged on board the brigantine Perseus. The deceased, who was a married man, and resided at Exmouth, had been engaged in working out the vessel; and on Tuesday night, after leaving work, he and others went on shore. The deceased returned on board about ten o'clock, and on the following morning was found in the hold, on his back with his neck broken. The cargo being gas-coal the hatches were purposely left open to give the gas vent, and it is supposed that the deceased tumbled into the hold head-foremost. The Jury, being of opinion that death was accidental, returned an open verdict to the effect that the deceased was found dead in the hold of the vessel, but how he came there there was no evidence to show.
Wednesday 21 July 1875, Issue 5771 – Gale Document No. Y3200721068 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the New Coach and Horses, St. Sidwell's, touching the death of JOHN CLARK, aged 57, who expired somewhat suddenly on Saturday evening. Deceased was a gardener and had lived in Gattey's-court, St. Sidwell's. On Saturday he went home from work, apparently in his usual health, and after he had had his tea his wife left him for a few minutes. On her return she found him still sitting on the stool where she had left him, but quite dead. He had been under medical care for a long time, but not during the last few weeks. Mr Roberts, surgeon, gave it as his opinion that the man died from heart disease. Verdict – "Natural Causes."
Wednesday 21 July 1875, Issue 5771 – Gale Document No. Y3200721084 MURDER OF A POLICEMAN AT PLYMOUTH – On Thursday night WM. BENNETT, one of the best conducted policemen in the Plymouth Force came to a violent death whilst in the discharge of his duty. He was witness to a violent assault committed by a labourer, named Henry Kitts, upon a woman who passed for his wife. BENNETT attempted to arrest Kitts, who ran away and entered a house, and went to a top room. The constable followed, and a struggle ensued, during which Kitts knocked BENNETT down, and jumped upon him, kneeling upon his chest. He was choked off and dragged away by persons who came to assist; but BENNETT had received such injuries that he died within a few minutes. Deceased was married only last month to a domestic servant in the household of the Hon. George Edgecumbe. Kitts was taken to the police station, and when the dead body of his victim was presently brought through the room to the dead-house he burst into tears and shrieks, having no idea until then that his victim was dead. At the Inquest on Friday evening a witness deposed that when in the lane the prisoner, who is a wrestler, threw the constable heavily and fell on him. The medical testimony was that deceased died from effusion of blood on the brain, caused by a fall, most likely in the stairs. A verdict of Wilful Murder was returned. On Saturday prisoner was taken before the borough magistrates at the Police-court, and fully committed for trial on a charge of Wilful Murder. Prior to the case being gone into the Bench announced that a subscription list had been opened on behalf of the widow, and that Supt. Wreford would gladly receive gifts from the townspeople.
Wednesday 21 July 1875, Issue 5771 – Gale Document No. Y3200721080 NORTHAM – J. H. Toller, Esq. (Deputy Coroner), held an Inquest at Northam, on Thursday, on the body of WILLIAM JOHN HARRIS, a lad ten years of age, who was drowned whilst bathing in the river. Deceased was the son of JOHN HARRIS, ship-carpenter. The Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned."
OTTERY ST. MARY - On Tuesday, the 13th inst., a man, named JOHN SELWAY, aged sixty-three years, employed by Mr Broom, of Rill Farm, met with a fatal accident. The poor fellow, who was in the company of two others on a rick, housing, appears to have been engaged in cutting off a branch of a tree which prevent them from getting on with the rick, and whilst doing so he fell off and died shortly afterwards. Dr Gray was soon in attendance. The Inquest was held on the body of the deceased at the King's Arms Inn, on Thursday last before Dr McCawley, Deputy-Coroner, when a verdict of Accidental Death was returned.
Wednesday 28 July 1875, Issue 5772 – Gale Document No. Y3200721094 TORQUAY – An Inquest was held at Edenhurst, Torquay, on Monday, before Mr H. Michelmore, Coroner, touching the death of ANN MOGRIDGE and her granddaughter, ELLEN MOGRIDGE. From the evidence it appeared that Edenhurst, the residence of W. P. Livingstone, Esq., is undergoing repair. Mr Livingstone and his family are away, and a woman named ANN MOGRIDGE, aged fifty-six, the wife of a shoemaker residing at No. 11, Lower Ellacombe-road, has been looking after the premises by night. She was in the habit of returning to her home the next morning, but on Sunday morning, finding she had not returned at her usual time, her daughter went to Edenhurst. She knocked at the door several times, but could get no answer, and she then returned to her home, and, in company with Samuel Friend, returned to the house. Friend obtained a ladder and looked in the bed room window. He fancied there was something wrong and called a policeman, who, after examining the premises, sent for Sergeant Board. That officer was soon at hand, and on his way to Edenhurst met Dr Powell, and took him with him also. To gain admittance they had to break open the window of the kitchen. Going to the room in which MRS MOGRIDGE slept they found her and a grandchild named ELLEN ANN MOGRIDGE, aged eleven, whom she had with her as company, quite dead. Dr Powell examined the bodies, and he found that they had died from suffocation through an escape of gas. An examination of the room was then made, and it was seen that the plug of a gas-pipe was missing and gas was issuing freely. Evidence was given by Mr Fouracre, gas-fitter, and his man, Robert Norcombe, to show that this gas-pipe had been properly plugged, and it was suggested that the plug must have been accidentally removed. It might have been removed by a blow in making the bed. The Coroner said that whatever might have been the cause of the escape there had been no criminal intention, and the only question was whether there had been any negligence. The Jury came to the conclusion that the deceased died from inhaling gas, and they thought there was carelessness on the part of Mr Fouracre in not making a particular examination of this room.
TIVERTON – On Thursday Mr F. Mackenzie, Coroner, held an Inquest at Crayclowman Barton, on the body of MR THOMAS COCK, its late occupier. A few days before MR COCK left Tiverton about ten o'clock at night, and when within sight of home he was thrown from his horse and sustained such severe injuries that he died on Wednesday. A verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.
Wednesday 4 August 1875, Issue 5773 – Gale Document No. Y3200721144 BIDEFORD – Mr Coroner Thompson held an Inquiry on Saturday respecting the death of RICHARD COX, aged sixty-nine year. The deceased was a herbalist, well-known in North-West Devon, from his habit of visiting fairs and markets. On the 15th July he was driving over Torrington Common on his return journey from Shebbear to Bideford when the horse fell, and he and his wife were thrown from the conveyance. MRS COX was unhurt but her husband complained of great pain in his arm and shoulder. He, however, drove back to Bideford, and the next morning sent for a medical man, but the arm and shoulder were then so much swollen that they could not be examined. Mortification afterwards set in, and from this he died. Mr R. Rouse, surgeon, stated that he examined the arm after death, and found a frightful fracture. The bone was broken two inches above the elbow as if cut through with a saw. He believed that if a medical man had been sent for sooner the deceased's life might have been saved. A verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.
Wednesday 25 August 1875, Issue 5776 – Gale Document No. Y3200721226 DRESSING SUICIDE NEAR EXETER - An Inquest was held on Thursday afternoon at the Port Royal Inn, before R. R. Crosse, Esq., County Coroner, touching the death of ELIZA JANE BIDDER, a young woman aged twenty, who committed suicide by drowning herself near Salmon Pool on the previous Tuesday. The Sheriff of Exeter ( Mr H. Wilcocks) was chosen foreman of the Jury. Mary Ann Dunn, the first witness, stated that she was walking in the field opposite Salmon Pool, about a quarter to three o'clock on Tuesday afternoon. A girl, who proved to be ELIZA BIDDER, was sitting on the bank of the river, near the ferry boat. On approaching her the girl got up and spoke, enquiring of witness if there was anything to pay for crossing the ferry. Witness went across the ferry, and returned about a quarter to five o'clock. Saw the deceased walking about the field whilst she was in the gardens. As she was returning she picked up a hat close to the river, and underneath it a letter enclosed in an envelope, which had the following words written on it. - "To my dear mother, MRS BIDDER, Christow, near Exeter. My aunt lives in Parr-street, St. Sidwells, MRS CUMMINGS is her name." Witness delivered the hat and letter to P.C. Clements. Did not think there was anything extraordinary about the deceased's manner when she spoke to her. Had seen the body of the deceased, and positively identified it as that of the girl she had seen sitting on the bank. ELIZABETH CUMMINGS, deceased's aunt, residing in St. Sidwell's, identified the body, and also recognised the letter as being in her niece's handwriting. The Coroner then read the letter, which was as follows: "To my dear mother and father, brothers and sisters. I know I have given you all a lot of trouble, and been a disgrace to you all. I have tried to turn from my evil ways, but my trying has all been in vain. I most heartily thank, from the bottom of my heart, all my friends and relations that have been very kind to me. Every one have tried to do their best to turn me from my wickedness, but I choose rather to go on my own, evil wicked way, which I feel sorry for now. But my sorrow. Too late! too late! I know it, ah! I know, I know I have always been a great grief to my dear friends, and I cannot live any longer in this miserable and unhappy condition. I have no one to thank for it but myself. I brought it all on by my own wicked ways. My parents have always been very kind and good to me, and therefore I don't wish to live any longer to be a disgrace to them all. They will be more happy when I'm gone. I am the only one that gives them trouble; I hope they all forgive me for my wickedness. I also give my kind love to all, and I hope we shall all meet again some day, and I hope Emily will be a better child than I have been. I must now wish you good bye for ever. Your mot loving and unhappy child, ELIZA JANE BIDDER. May God bless you all. MRS CUMMINGS, in continuation, said the last time she saw the deceased was on the previous Tuesday about two o'clock. She was then lodging in Summerland-street. She spoke to the deceased, but she flew out of the house and down the street in a wild and excited manner. The witness stated that the deceased had been in a gentleman's service in St. Thomas, but was discharged in consequence of her employer being dissatisfied with some of her work. She resided with witness for some time about five months ago, but had since been in service at Torquay. During the time she stayed with her, deceased was often very excited. She was strongly of opinion that the deceased was not in her right mind. The statements in the letter respecting the deceased leading a wicked life were entirely unfounded. Elizabeth Gibbons said she lived with her uncle in Summerland-street. On Saturday last the deceased came to ask if she could obtain a lodging, as she had been unable to get one at the British Workman in Summerland-street. She remained in the house until Tuesday. Witness thought her manner rather strange, but did not hear her say anything relative to destroying herself. She did not think she was altogether right in her mind. Saw nothing immoral in her conduct. On the Sunday afternoon deceased went to a Bible class with a friend of the witness. That was the only time she went out until Tuesday. She did not see her write any letter. James Rowland, a paper-maker, proved finding the deceased's body about half-past seven on Tuesday evening last in about twelve feet of water. The Coroner said he thought that after the evidence they had heard, it was unnecessary to call the father and mother of the deceased. A Juryman said he should like to have the father called. MR BIDDER said his daughter had never during her life occasioned him any pain by her conduct, and to his certain knowledge she had not led an immoral life. The Jury returned a verdict of "Suicide whilst in an unsound state of mind."
Wednesday 25 August 1875, Issue 5776 – Gale Document No. Y3200721242 BARNSTAPLE – MR HENRY TURBERVILLE, of Braddiford, near this town, a gentleman of independent means, about fifty years of age, who has been paying his addresses to a young lady living in Yeovil, and has frequently visited the town, died here last week under curious circumstances. He was staying as usual at Chough's Hotel, and on Tuesday afternoon was taken seriously ill. Dr Aldridge was called in, and as deceased was suffering intense pain, chloric chloroform was sent for. While the doctor stepped outside the bedroom door to speak to the messenger on his return, deceased took about a drachm and a half of cyanide of potassium, which he had hidden under his pillow. He told Dr. Aldridge what he had done, and a powerful emetic was at once administered, but before it could take effect sufficient poison had been absorbed to cause speedy death. On Thursday an Inquest was opened in the hotel before Mr Wybrants, Coroner, and after hearing the evidence of some of the servants who attended deceased, it was determined to have a post mortem examination, and for that purpose the Inquest adjourned until Monday, the 30th inst. Deceased was a very eccentric man, and the name of TURBERVILLE was only assumed, his real name being JOHN HENRY BLACKMORE. He was a son of the REV. JOHN BLACKMORE, formerly rector of Ashford, near Barnstaple, and a brother of MR R. D. BLACKMORE, barrister, of London, the author of "Lorna Doone," an Exmoor tale. MR TURBERVILLE was himself the author of some poems, also of some doggrell verses respecting various parish matters at Pilton. Deceased was much annoyed on the death of his father, about fifteen years ago, at receiving only a life interest in a sum of money, although ample for his maintenance, and he lived in the greatest of estrangement from the other members of the family in consequence. It was said that deceased has left several thousand pounds to the young lady before alluded to, and a considerable sum to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, but it does not appear that he was possessed of any such amount at the time of his death.
Wednesday 15 September 1875, Issue 5779 – Gale Document No. Y3200721334 CULLOMPTON – An Inquest was held at the Bishop Blaze Inn on Saturday, before Mr Burrow, Deputy Coroner, touching the death of HUGH JERRAD, a labourer, 30 years of age. Deceased was in the employ of Mr Gillard, of Daisyland Farm, Broadhembury, and on Thursday he was hauling manure with two horses and a waggon from Hele to Daisyland. When passing Mutterton, Cullompton, he jumped off the shaft and his waistcoat caught in the upper part of the waggon, causing him to fall to the ground and the wheels of the vehicle, heavily laden, passed over the right side of his body. When found he was lying on the spot where he fell, almost insensible, with his faithful dog sitting by his side, and the horses standing still in the road about thirty feet ahead. He was removed as quickly as possible to the Bishop Blaze Inn, and attended to by Dr Gribble, who at once pronounced the case hopeless, and the unfortunate man died at 11 a.m. Friday. Mr Quick, baker, of Cullompton, spoke to finding the unfortunate man in the road, and getting him removed, and other evidence having been given, the Jury returned a verdict "Accidental Death."
BARNSTAPLE - The Inquest on the body of MR HENRY TURBERVILLE, late of Bradiford, near here, was concluded on Thursday at Yeovil, when the Jury returned a verdict "That death resulted from deceased having, while in an unsound state of mind, taken cyanide of potassium, thereby increasing previous exhaustion, which resulted in death."
TOTNES - The Inquest on the body of WILLIAM COMER, who was found drowned in the Dart on Sunday week, was re-opened by Mr Henry Michelmore, County Coroner, on Friday last at the Guildhall. John William Peters, labourer, Littlehempstone, said he saw the deceased in a drinking booth on the evening of the second day of the races. He did not appear to be sober. Deceased was very quiet if kept without drink, but was occasionally a little wranglesome when in liquor, and was subject to falling fits. Mary Ann Helms, wife of the landlord of the Steam Packet Inn, Totnes, said she had a booth on the Totnes race-course, and on Friday night she served the deceased and a labouring man, who was in his company, with a glass of beer each, for which deceased paid. This was about nine o'clock, and the two left the booth together. Saw no marks nor blood on his face. William Aish, mason, said he saw deceased in the booth talking with two other men. One was dressed like a railway porter, and the other in black. Anyone leaving the booth in the dark might walk into the lake if they took the wrong turning. Several people fell in during the evening. The depth of the water was about three feet. William Harris, a ganger on the South Devon Railway, stated that he saw the deceased on the Friday afternoon, between twelve and one o'clock, in the road near the railway station. Deceased was waiting to be paid the money due to him from the Railway Company, having been discharged for intemperance. His coat was very dirty behind, and witness called his attention to it, whereupon deceased said he knew it. When he turned round he saw that he had a heavy blow over the left eye, and blood was also flowing from the left ear, and from a place near it. Deceased said he had a fall and knocked his head. Witness thought that about £1 5s. 9d. was coming to the deceased. Zerina German, wife of an engine-driver, living at Globe Cottage, Totnes, said she saw the deceased fall down outside her door between eleven and twelve o'clock on the morning of the 3d instant. He lay perfectly still for about ten minutes, when two men who were passing picked him up and sat him on the wall of the garden. Saw no mark of injury upon him. He lit his pipe while sitting on the wall, and then got up and walked away. Mrs Foot, recalled, said when the deceased returned home for his dinner about one o'clock he had no cut or bruise. Mr John Hains, surgeon, stated that he made a post mortem examination, assisted by Mr Wallis and Mr Hains, his son. He found a contused lacerated wound under the left ear, and there was considerable haemorrhage from it. There were two slight lacerated wounds over the external surface of the right orbit, and three slight lacerated wounds over the right cheek, and one of the front teeth had been broken off quite recently. No water was passing out of the mouth or nostrils. On the removal of the top of the skull he found a long fracture extending through the temporal bone, and through part of the parietal bone extending into the occipital. There was no water in the stomach. The lungs were congested and gorged with blood, and there was no appearance of water or frothy matter in the lungs or bronchial tubes. The Coroner: If he had died of drowning there would have been water in the bronchial tubes? Mr Harris: Certainly. Q. – Was it such a fracture as would have occurred by a fall? Witness did not think so. He believed that death was instantaneous, and that the cause of death was injury to the skull. The features were placid, which would not have been the case if he had struggled, or if he had died from a blow in a fit. The small blows on the cheeks were probably caused after death by coming against stones or something else, but the other blows were inflicted. The Coroner stated that as the evidence was very contradictory, and there appeared to be no doubt the poor fellow had been murdered, he should further adjourn the Inquiry to see if the police could find out the railway porter and the other man who had been seen with deceased in the booth, and also the man who had picked up deceased in the road, so as to find out whether or not he had received the injuries stated by Harris in his evidence. The Inquiry was adjourned to the 24th inst.
Wednesday 29 September 1875, Issue 5781 – Gale Document No. Y3200721394 THE TOTNES MURDER - The Inquest on the body of WILLIAM COMER, a labourer, whose body was found in the dart opposite the Town Quay, Totnes, on the Sunday after the races, was resumed on Friday before Mr H. Michelmore, County Coroner. At the previous Enquiry evidence was given by Mr Haines, surgeon, which conclusively shewed that COMER was killed by a sudden blow, and that he was not drowned. Another witness swore that he saw cuts and blood on deceased's head at noon on the 3rd, but another testimony went to shew that this could not have been the case, and the Inquest was adjourned for further evidence to clear up these contradictory statements. The first witness called on Friday was George Gepson, a pugilist, who stated that he had a booth on the racecourse, and was almost sure that he saw deceased in the booth on one day of the races. Witness left the course between eight and nine o'clock on the night of the 3rd, and slept at the Dart Inn. On the 5th he was walking by the side of the Dart, when a man named Young, who was in his company, pointed out the body of the deceased, which was in the river, and witness ran for a policeman. - The foreman of the Jury asked why, instead of running for the police, he did not raise an alarm, and get the body out and see if life was quite extinct. Witness said there was no boat there, and he thought they had no right to do so. He was also much afraid of the water. Thomas Algar, in the employ of the South Devon Railway Company, said that about 1.30 p.m. on the 3rd he paid the deceased £1 5s. 9d. for work done for the company. The deceased was in company with a young man named Honeywill, also in the employ of the railway company. He saw no marks on the man's head. Thomas Pinhey, a mason, saw deceased in a fit between eleven o'clock and noon of the 3rd, and remained with him until after he recovered. There was then no cut or mark on his head, and, indeed, deceased, who sat down in the road when first attacked, went back so easily that if there had been an egg on the road he would not have broken it. James Clarke, superintendent of the borough police at Totnes, said he received information from Gepson of the body being in the river. He afterwards searched the body, and found 4s. 5 ½d. in one of the trousers pockets. All his clothes were in perfect order. - Mrs Foot recalled, said she got dinner for deceased on the 3rd. He had his pay before he came home, and gave her 6s. for his lodgings and 3s. to get some food for him. - The Jury, after a consultation of about half an hour, returned a verdict of "Wilful Murder against some person or persons unknown.". The Coroner said he quite concurred in the verdict, and he felt that it was his duty to communicate with the Home Secretary in the hope that a reward might be offered by the Government, and he hoped the Town Council of Totnes would do the same. At the opening of that Enquiry he said he always looked upon the approach of Totnes Races with horror, as it generally brought the usual kind of work for him to go through. The foreman remarked that the Jury did not think that this said much in favour of the vigilance of the county police, for there had been no less than three or four bodies found in like manner, and they had never been able to trace the case. A number of the police were kept on the course by night and he though they must be rather lax in the performance of their duties. The Coroners said he had nothing to do with that.
TEIGNMOUTH – The Late Bathing Fatality. - An Enquiry was held at Shaldon on Saturday, before Mr H. Michelmore, County Coroner, touching the death of MR ARDEN AVERY SHAPLAND, solicitor, of Epsom, aged about thirty-five years. The deceased, who was a widower, was drowned on Saturday, the 18th instant, and his body was picked up on Friday. Evidence having been given as to the finding of the body and its identity, MR WILLIAM ALLEN TUCKER, a farmer, of Ways Barton, Ipplepen, said the deceased was his brother-in-law. On the 18th instant he drove to Teignmouth with his wife, a lady friend, the deceased, and Mr Westwick, and soon after their arrival at Teignmouth he and Messrs. SHAPLAND and Westwick went to the beach, where they engaged bathing machines from a man named George English. The deceased, who was no swimmer, and Mr Westwick were in the water before him. He did not see any ropes, and was certain they went in without any. English cautioned him about the state of the water, and desired him not to go out very far. He went into the water about three minutes after his friends, and as it was rough did not go out very far. Seeing that his friends were a long way out he considered that they must be drowning, and immediately shouted "For God's sake help, there are two men drowning." He did not say that to anyone in particular. He became so excited he scarcely knew what happened, and when he got on shore he could see no one. He saw a boat going out, and begged the inmates to do what they could, for it was no use for him to go out. All this time no rope or other appliance was produced for saving life, and he knew it was useless for him to attempt to swim out to them. They looked to be out three parts the length of the pier. To a Juror: - The machine proprietor did not say anything about the under current, he merely advised him not to go out far. William Courteney Snell, a boatman, living at Shaldon, said that English came to Powderham-terrace and called, saying "Have you any boats here?" Witness replied, "Any amount of them. What do you want?" and English said that two gentlemen were drowning. Thomas Elliott was with him. Hearing this witness and two others took a boat to the beach and launched it, and when just about to start Mr Tucker held up his hand, and said "Don't you go; they are gone." Symons replied, "That he bothered; we will go and see if they are or not;" and Mr Tucker then said, "If you find them anywhere they are at the end of the pier." On getting near to the end of the pier someone called out from the shore, and beckoned witness to the right. Witness stood up, and saw the head of a man in the water. They went towards him, and just caught him by the wrist as he was going down for the third time. They could not take him into the boat, but held him up, and dragged him until they got him into shallow water. To the Coroner: The sea was very rough. The under current on the Teign beach was very strong at times, and on the day in question it was unusually so. George English, bathing guide at Teignmouth, stated that he cautioned all three, and told them that it was a very heavy sea, and that if they went swimming they would never come back. The machines were ten or twelve feet from the edge of the water. On that day there were hand ropes on to the machine, and the shortest of them was twelve feet. After they had been out a little time he heard them crying out for help, and on looking out saw only one head. They were about 100 yards off, and he ran for a boat. He (witness) could swim a little. There was a large lifebuoy on the beach, presented to them by the Local Board, but the breakers would have knocked them back a hundred times if they tried to throw it out. To the foreman: At that time of tide he could have walked out as far as the pier; deceased was 100 yards beyond that. He could swim a little, and taught swimming. In his opinion the sea running on that day would have drowned any man. By the Coroner: About four or five minutes elapsed between the cry and the launching of the boat. The Local Board placed a boat there about two years ago and a man was kept with it. It was too heavy, and had been removed. A light boat would not answer. The boat the men went out in was nearly swamped. Thomas Brown Westwick said he could swim a little, and went into the water with the deceased. He received no warnings from English as to the state of the water. The deceased went in first, and witness followed until within twelve feet of him, when the water reached to his chest. A wave knocked the deceased over, and when his head come above the water again, he called out, "Tom give me a hand." He went towards him, and in another stroke would have reached him, when the deceased went down for the last time, for as witness was proceeding towards him the sea carried him farther out. Did not see any rope to the machine he used, if so it was out of sight. He should think the machine was thirty feet from the water. Had he been cautioned as to the under current he would not have gone out. He asked English if they were going to let the machines down nearer the water, and English answered "No, as if they did the sand was so soft they would never be able to get them up again." William R. H. Jordan, clerk to the Teignmouth Local Board, deposed that the bye-laws of the Board directed that bathing machines should be let down as near the water as bathers desired, and that each machine should have a hand-rope six yards in length, with a cork at the end. In October, 1873, the Local Board adopted a bye-law requiring the keepers of bathing machines to keep a boat at the spot for the purpose of saving life, but the Local Government Board disallowed the bye-law, on the ground that the bye-law was "not within the 10th and 11th Vic.,cap 89,sex.69". The Coroner in summing up, said it would be for the Jury to consider if MR SHAPLAND'S life could have been saved if hand-ropes had been there and if the machine had been drawn down two feet into the water. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidentally Drowned," and added that the bathing guide should be censured for his breach of bye-laws in not having the machine two feet into the water. He should also have watched the bathers in such a time of danger. The Coroner said he quite agreed with that verdict, and addressing English, strongly censured him on his conduct, adding that this case would be a warning to him in the future, as if there were another occurrence of this sort, and another breach of the bye-laws the finding of the Jury might be very different. English promised to be more careful in the future.
Wednesday 13 October 1875, Issue 5784 – Gale Document No. Y3200721456 TEIGNMOUTH – Mr H. Michelmore, County Coroner, held an Inquest at the Teignmouth Infirmary on Monday, touching the death of FREDERICK ALFORD, eleven years of age. On Friday last the deceased, accompanied by Richard Hore and Richard Loram, two other lads, was taking a horse, belonging to Mr William Hore, farmer, of Ringmore, to a field, when the deceased caught hold of the tail of the animal, causing it to kick. The deceased was kicked in the forehead, knocked down, and rendered unconscious. He was taken to the Teignmouth Infirmary, and Mr Etheridge, the resident surgeon, found that he was suffering from a fracture of the left frontal bone. The brain was lacerated, and protruding at three places. After treatment there appeared to be a slight improvement; but a change for the worse sent in on Sunday morning, and he died in the afternoon. Verdict, "Accidental Death."
NEWTON ABBOT – Mr Henry Michelmore, County Coroner, held an Inquest at the Town Hall last Monday on view of the body of HARRIET HEAD, aged twenty-six years. ELIZABETH WINSOR, a married woman, said that the deceased was her sister, and had been living with her at No. 1. Court, Wolborough-street. She had been in service at the Globe Hotel, and she was confined of still-born twins about three weeks ago. There had been a dispute between her and her lover, who had intended to marry her. HARRIET HEAD, mother of the deceased said her daughter had been in private service at Reading, and had been obliged to leave there on account of being subject to hysterics. Since then she had been living at the Globe Hotel as a servant, and had been there a year and a half. She had been keeping company with a young man named Willcocks. Jeffery John Drake, surgeon, stated that he attended the deceased at her confinement, and the twins were about four months' children. He saw her three days after her confinement, and left her quite well. He could not give a satisfactory explanation of the cause of death. The Coroner, at this stage, ordered a post-mortem examination on the body, and the Inquiry was adjourned till the evening. Mr Drake stated he had made a post-mortem examination, assisted by Messrs. Gay and Burgess, and found the heart, the brain, and various organs healthy, but there was a slight effusion of blood on the right side of the head, and the cerebellum was full of coagulated blood. This had caused death, the deceased having died of apoplexy of an extraordinary character. The Jury returned a verdict of "Death from apoplexy or other natural causes," and the Coroner cautioned Willcocks as to his behaviour with young women.
Wednesday 13 October 1875, Issue 5784 – Gale Document No. Y3200721445 EXETER – Drowned In The Canal. - Mr Coroner Crosse held an Inquest at the Double Locks Inn, last Wednesday, on the body of GEORGE JAMES WOODGATES, a porter, twenty-seven years of age, who was found in the canal on Tuesday morning. Inspector Rogers attended to watch the case on behalf of the South Western Railway Company. Deceased, who was a steady, well-conducted man, and had been in the employ of the Company for about ten years, had had three days' leave given him, which commenced on Monday, the 27th ult. On the following day he was seen about half-past eleven o'clock at night in Goldsmith-street, by a fellow porter, and from that time was neither seen or heard of until he was taken out of the canal. Mr Farrant, who was called in to examine the body, said it was so decomposed that he could not say the cause of death. He could discover no marks of violence on the body, and he believed death was caused by drowning. The Jury returned an open verdict of "Found Drowned," but expressed an opinion that deceased fell in accidentally. The Coroner commented strongly on the necessity of a dead-house.
Wednesday 27 October 1875, Issue 5786 – Gale Document No. Y3200721522 TAVISTOCK – Mr Rodd, Coroner, held an Inquest on Monday evening on the body of a child named HARRY METHERELL, four months old, who was found dead by the side of his mother in bed on Saturday morning. A verdict was returned of "Accidental suffocation."
Wednesday 27 October 1875, Issue 5786 – Gale Document No. Y3200721509 Mr Crosse (County Coroner) held an Inquest on Friday afternoon at the Agricultural Inn, Brampford Speke, on the body of SARAH BEEDLE, aged 60, who was found drowned in the Netherexe Marshes on Thursday. ELIZABETH FEWINGS identified the deceased as her daughter. The last time she saw her was on the 8th instant at Tiverton. The deceased left her home without her bonnet, shawl, &c. Dr Hunt, of Exeter, examined the body on Thursday, and found several bruises upon the head of the deceased, which might have been caused before she was in the water. The Coroner then ordered him to make a post-mortem examination, which he did, and found there was no fracture of the skull, nor were the contusions the cause of death, and he came to the conclusion that death was caused by drowning. The Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned."
EXETER – Sudden Death. – An Inquest was held at the Topsham Inn, before Mr Coroner Hooper, on Thursday afternoon last, touching the death of THOMAS HARVEY GILLHAM, blacksmith, of Lincoln Cross, in the parish of Berry Pomeroy, who died suddenly in the castle-yard on the same morning. Deceased was a married man, and about seventy years of age. He was bound over to appear at the sessions as prosecutor in a case of fowl-stealing, and he consequently came to the city on Tuesday afternoon, accompanied by a fellow workman, named William John Vennis. They slept together and had breakfast, after which they proceeded to the Castle in a cab, deceased being weak on his chest and unable to walk. They sat together on a form for a few minutes, deceased not speaking the whole time. Suddenly deceased slipped off the form. He was spoken to but made no answer. Mr Richardson, of the Infirmary at Torquay, who was in the lobby, saw the deceased and suggested his removal to the Devon and Exeter Hospital, where he was taken, accompanied by Mr Richardson and witness. When Mr Richardson saw him there was no pulse, he was purple in the face, and saliva dropping from his lips. He was dead before he arrived at the hospital. He considered deceased died probably from a rupture of the heart or a vessel in the brain, brought about by natural causes. Mr H. G. Cumming, house surgeon at the Hospital, concurred in the opinion of Mr Richardson, and the Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Natural Causes."
Wednesday 3 November 1875, Issue 5787 – Gale Document No. Y3200721539 EXETER – Sudden Death. - Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Monday at the Golden Lion Inn, Clifton-road, touching the death of JAMES PHILLIPS, aged 60. HANNAH PHILLIPS, the widow, residing in Clifton-road, said that her husband had been ill for some time past and was attended by Mr Perkins. On Thursday he called to see the deceased, but did not come afterwards until deceased was dead. On Friday, about twelve o'clock, he complained of being worse, and said he should go upstairs and lie down. She followed him as far as the top of the stairs to keep him up. When deceased got to the top he said that "he should not be able to go up and down the stairs very many times more." He sat down by the side of his bed. She called for assistance, but before any one came he dropped to the floor dead. Mr Perkins said he was of opinion that death resulted from spasms of the heart. The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.
Wednesday 10 November 1875, Issue 5788 – Gale Document No. Y3200721570 EXETER – Sudden Death. - Mr H. W. Hooper, City Coroner, held an Inquest on Monday afternoon at the Pack Horse Inn, St. David's, respecting the death of CATHERINE WEBBER, a married woman, aged 46, and lately residing at Elmbrooke Cottage, St. David's. It appeared from the evidence of GEORGE WEBBER, the husband of the deceased and a gardener by trade, that his wife for the past three or four years had been under medical care, suffering from haemorrhage of the lungs. On the previous morning about three o'clock she was taken with a sudden attack of the complaint, and in about three minutes she died. Witness had a family of five children. A verdict of "Death from Natural causes," was returned.
Wednesday 17 November 1875, Issue 5789 – Gale Document No. Y3200721610 EXETER – Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest on Monday afternoon at the City Arms Inn, Stepcote-hill, on the body of GRACE SANDERS, the illegitimate infant of a prostitute of the same name, residing on Stepcote-hill. The child, apparently a very healthy one, was born about eleven o'clock on Sunday morning, and appeared to go on very well, but it died suddenly about eight o'clock the same evening. Mr John S. Perkins, surgeon, South-street, gave evidence to show that the child died from natural causes, and the Jury returned a verdict to that effect.
Wednesday 17 November 1875, Issue 5789 – Gale Document No. Y3200721603 EXETER – Shocking Boiler Accident Near Exeter. - An Inquest was held at the Valiant Soldier, South-street, Exeter, on Saturday, before Mr Barton (Deputy Coroner) on the body of SARAH DENNIS, aged fifty-four, who was accidentally killed at the Bridge Paper Mills, Silverton, by the turning over of a boiler of esparto grass. Mr Gidley, (Town Clerk) watched the case on behalf of Mr John Matthew Drew, the owner of the Mills. He said Mr Drew was anxious that they should make the most ample inquiry, and wished him to state how deeply he deplored the occurrence. He had always taken the greatest care, and provided for the comfort and convenience of those working at the mill. Mr Dennis Lowring, of Silverton, was present on behalf of the friends of the deceased, and attributed the accident to some neglect on the part of some one or other. He also said the Home Secretary had been communicated with. A rough plan of the boiler was put in as evidence. Thomas Southcott, foreman at the mills, stated that the body now lying at the Devon and Exeter Hospital is that of a single woman named SARAH DENNIS, aged fifty-four, who was employed on the mills to assort esparto grass after it had been boiled. She resided about one mile from the mills. Witness had known her about five years. He last saw her alive on Thursday last. Deceased was at work with five other females in the room. Some men were also there. All the females were injured and were immediately removed to the hospital. The case of the deceased is the only fatal one, but several others now lie at the hospital in a precarious state. Three men turn the screw to tilt over the boiler when it is emptied of its contents by being drawn off. The boiler cannot be tilted unless turned by a travelling worm. At the time of the accident the liquid had been boiling about three hours. The usual time was five. The travelling worm had full power to check the boiler at any point. He cannot give any cause as to the boiler tippling over, or can he tell how the accident happened. The boiler had never accidently turned over before. When it is full of water it is evenly balanced. The worm is the only thing to check the boiler. The handle of the travelling worm is out of the way of accident. The capsizing of the boiler may be attributed to the vibration of the boiling. There is no check power upon the "worm". The boiler turned over to where the women were sitting. Mr Coming, house surgeon t the Devon and Exeter Hospital, said the deceased was admitted to the Hospital bout nine o'clock, on the night of the 11th, and died two hours after from the effects of severe scalding. He also stated that the least injured of the females would not be well for a fortnight, and the Coroner adjourned the Inquest until the 29th inst., when it is hoped that this person will be present to give evidence.
Wednesday 17 November 1875, Issue 5789 – Gale Document No. Y3200721607 EXETER – Fatal Gunpowder Explosion. - ALFRED CUMMING EASTON, one of the two lads who was so severely injured by an explosion of gunpowder on the night of the 3rd instant, died yesterday morning from lock-jaw, the result of injuries to the hand and upper parts of the body. At the time of the accident he was engaged in loading rockets by candle-light, when by some mischance the candle fell into a quantity of powder, and an explosion of a very alarming character followed. The deceased was the son of MR WILLIAM EASTON, stonemason, of Northernhay-street, and was employed at the Stamp-office, Castle-street. An Inquest will be held today.
THE SILVERTON BOILER ACCIDENT. – An Inquest was opened yesterday at the Valiant Soldier Inn, by Mr Coroner Hooper, on the body of AMELIA ROCK, one of the unfortunate women who was injured by the upsetting of a rag-boiler a the Bridge Mills, Silverton, on Thursday last. Previous to the evidence being taken, the Coroner stated that this was the second death that had resulted from the accident. This one was an entirely separate case from the one partially investigated by the Deputy Coroner. It was equally necessary in this case that they should have the evidence of someone that was in the room at the time of the accident, and consequently it was his intention to eventually adjourn this case also until the 29th instant. This one will be taken in the morning, and the other by the Deputy Coroner in the evening. ANN CLAPP, residing at Bradninch, stated that the deceased was her aunt, who was a single woman of about sixty-two years of age The last time she saw her alive was on Thursday night, the 11th, at the Devon and Exeter Hospital. She was conscious. She was called to the room where the accident happened, and saw the deceased lying across some bags much burned. She, with three others of the injured women, were taken to the Hospital as quickly as a conveyance could be got. Mr H. G. Cuming, house-surgeon at the Hospital, stated that deceased died on Saturday afternoon from the effects of severe scalds, mostly on the lower parts of the body, and the shock to the system consequent upon it. There were four others beside the deceased brought to the Hospital the same evening – the result of the accident. One of them might possibly be able to attend by the 29th. The Coroner then adjourned the Enquiry until ten o'clock on the 29th.
Wednesday 24 November 1875, Issue 5780 – Gale Document No. Y3200721650 BRIXHAM – Killed On The Railway. - An Inquest was held at the Queen's Hotel, on Monday, by Mr H. Michelmore, Coroner, as to the death of STEPHEN EARLE, seventy-two years of age, a retired miller, who was killed on the railway on Friday night. It appeared from the evidence that the deceased and a man named Albert Miller, rope maker, of Brixham, were walking along the railway, near the station about five o'clock in the evening, when they were overtaken by a train, which came upon them unawares, owing to a sharp curve on the line Miller managed to get out of the way, but EARLE was knocked down. The whole train passed over him, and although no bones were broken he received such internal injuries that he died at ten o'clock the same night. Verdict "Accidental Death."
Wednesday 24 November 1875, Issue 5780 – Gale Document No. Y3200721638 EXETER – Suicide By A Young Man. - Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the George and Dragon, Blackboy-road, on Friday, touching the death of JOHN PALMER ZANE, about 17 years of age, who committed suicide by hanging himself on the previous evening. The father of the deceased, and landlord of the George and Dragon, stated that his son had been accustomed to assist him in the business. He usually enjoyed good health, but during the last week he had complained of head-ache, and of being unable to see well. He had of late been much given to reading and the study of a new dictionary, and when spoken to he seemed abstracted. When asked if anything was the matter he replied no. About half-past four on Thursday he was bottling spirits. Shortly after he was called to tea, but did not answer, and it was thought he was gone out. A short time after this, consequent upon a conversation with a Mr Joist relative to some casks, the two proceeded to a cellar behind. On entering witness saw his son as he thought standing on a ladder reaching over a cask, but on approaching nearer he saw he was hanging. He was immediately cut down by Mr Joist, who corroborated the latter part of ZANE'S evidence. In answer to a Juryman, MR ZANE said no unpleasantness whatever had occurred between him and his son. Deceased had been rather strange for some time. After a short deliberation the Jury returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased committed the fatal act whilst in a state of Temporary Insanity, brought on by over study. The Coroner said he quite concurred in the verdict.
THE FATAL GUNPOWDER EXPLOSION. - An Inquest was held at the Barnstaple Inn, Lower North-street, on Wednesday, before H. W. Hooper, Esq., City Coroner, on the body of ALFRED CUMMING EASTON, aged 15. MR EASTON, stonemason, Lower Northernhay-street, father of the deceased, said that his son was a clerk at the Stamp Office. On the 3rd, about eight o'clock, he was down in the cellar making rockets with a young man named Hole, who was at present in the Hospital. Deceased was in good health. The accident happened about nine o'clock. As soon as he heard of the affair he immediately went to see what was the matter, and found deceased to be badly burnt about the face and mouth. Deceased told him he could not account for the explosion as there was no light near the powder. He first had a lamp, but finding he could not see well he went and fetched a candle, but it was not near the powder. He was using the common meal powder. Witness immediately sent for a doctor, who quickly came and attended to the deceased to the day of his death. Deceased had three pounds of powder, which all exploded, and also the rockets that had just been made. John Short, residing in Northernhay-street, said that about nine o'clock he heard an explosion. He immediately went to MR EASTON'S house and opened the door, but could not enter because of the smoke. He saw two of the younger brothers who got a light, and he then went down into the cellar. The door was wide open, and one of the youths was lying on the floor and the other sitting on the stairs, but he could not see one from the other. He took both of them out of the cellar, and asked them how it had happened, but they could give no information as to the explosion. They were both very badly burnt, their clothes being on fire. Mr Hartnoll said that on the day named, about 9.30 p.m., he was fetched to deceased, whom he found in bed. He was very badly burnt about the face, head, back, and wrists, especially the right. His nostrils and mouth were also very much burnt. Deceased could not breathe nor swallow without difficulty. He cleansed as much of the powder from him as possible, and he went on well until a few days before his death, and then there was a difficulty of swallowing, which, however, abated for some little time. On Sunday there was a rigidity of the neck, followed by spasms. Mr Bankart also saw him on Sunday and did all that was in his power for him. He believed death resulted from lock-jaw, brought on by the injuries received in the explosion. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
THE FATAL ACCIDENT AT SILVERTON. A third death has resulted from the unfortunate boiler accident at Silverton Paper Mills. The sufferer was MARLKTHA WALKER, aged forty-two, and she died early yesterday morning in the Devon and Exeter Hospital. The same afternoon W. H. Hooper, Esq., opened an Inquest at the Valiant Soldier Inn, Magdalen-street, and the same Jury which sat on the body of the woman ROCK, the second victim, was again empanelled. FRANCIS WALKER, husband of the deceased, stated that he was a farm labourer, and resided at Silverton. His wife, previous to her death, worked as a grass sorter at the Silverton Paper Mills. She was so employed on the 11th instant, the day on which she received the injuries which had since resulted in her death. Witness, on returning from work in the evening, heard that his wife had been scalded by some caustic liquor being thrown over her from the boiler, but did not see her until the following Sunday, when he visited her at the Hospital. In answer to enquiries he then made, the deceased said that she did not believe the accident to be the fault of anyone. Mr Cumming, house surgeon at the Devon and Exeter Hospital, deposed that the deceased was admitted a patient to the Institution on the night of the 11th instant. She was suffering from severe scalds which covered the legs from the knees to the thighs. The usual remedies were applied, but she never made the slightest improvement and died at 12.30 a.m. that day. The cause of death was tetanus (lock jaw), combined with the shock to the system from the injuries received. The Coroner said as in the former Inquiry he had called the Jury together merely to take sufficient evidence to enable the burial of the body to take place, and having accomplished as much, should now adjourn it until the 29th instant, in order that the whole of the evidence touching the three deaths might on that occasion be adduced.
Wednesday 1 December 1875, Issue 5781 – Gale Document No. Y3200721665 FATAL ACCIDENTA T BRIDGE MILLS', SILVERTON. The adjourned Inquiry into the death of MARTHA WALKER and AMELIA ROCK, two of the sufferers from the upsetting of a boiler at the above mills, was held on Monday morning at the Valiant Soldier, before Mr H. Hooper, City Coroner. Mr B. Gidley watched the case on behalf of Mr Drew, the owner of the mills. Mr Carlyle was foreman of the Jury. The first witness examined was Emma Quant, one of the six women who were scalded, and for whose evidence the Inquiry had been adjourned. She stated that she resided at Silverton, and was at work at the mills on the 11th of November. She was lifting with a pick Esparto grass from the floor to the bench. There were five other women there beside herself, who were sorting and picking the grass ready for boiling in the process of paper-making. The name of the other women were AMELIA ROCK, MARTHA WALKER, Sarah Dennis, Jane Selby, and Anna Maria Ireland. The accident occurred about four in the afternoon. They were all opposite the boiler under a window, and no one but those named were in the room at the time. Witness saw no one go near the boiler previous to the accident. It was working as usual. Suddenly she was immersed in the boiling liquid. She did not see the boiler upset, nor could anything be seen for some time after, the steam was so great. She was carried out of the room before she saw anything further. She had only been at the mills for a fortnight, and knew nothing about the working of the boiler. In answer to a Juryman, witness said she heard no one call out before the boiler upset. John Parsons, living at Silverton, deposed that he was employed as a grass boiler at Bridge Mills. he was working on the 11th in the same room as the injured women. He was at the end of the room at the time of the accident, and had been emptying the boiler next to the one that upset. He was pulling out the contents with a kind of rake. Whilst he went to a boiler at the higher end of the room to turn off the steam he heard the women screech. The shutting off steam at one boiler would not at all affect any of the other boilers. He went to the assistance of the women immediately, and found that No. 1 boiler near the door had upset. He had worked at the mills for over eleven years, and his duty was to see to the boilers and perform all duties necessary in grass boiling. He could not account for the turning over of the boiler. He had never seen any of the boilers move by themselves before. He was the last at the boiler before it upset, and it must have turned over gradually. On his examining the boiler after the accident, he found the gear perfect. Questions were put by Jurymen as to wether the boiler could have turned without anyone touching a handle connected with it for the purpose of revolving it. Witness said it ought not to have happened, but he was certain that if anyone touched the handle he should have seen it. The boiler might vibrate when much steam was on. By Mr Gidley: I have worked these boilers for years, and the system by which they are turned had never to my knowledge failed. It had always acted as a perfect lock. The Coroner: The boiler that turned over had been erected about eight months only. Mr Gidley said it was the desire of Mr Drew that Mr Taylor, of the firm of Taylor and Bodley, who made the boiler, should be examined. Mr Martin Taylor, was then sworn. He said he made the boiler. It was called a tumbling egg-end boiler, and would contain about 1,000 gallons of water. He then gave a technical description of the gear of the boilers, and said he could not account, as an engineer, for this occurrence. By Mr Gidley: He had made many of them all on the same principle. He had examined the boiler and everything was perfect in it. He knew of no other boiler that was worked by any other lock principle, and this was the first occurrence of the kind he knew of. By a Juryman: I should certainly recommend in future some other thing to secure the boiler. Thomas Southcott, foreman at the mills, deposed that the women were about twenty feet from the boiler. He was fetched immediately the accident occurred, and found the women in the rag-room. They were all conscious and Dr Potter was with them. At the doctor's suggestion they were removed to the Devon and Exeter Hospital. the grass had been boiling about three hours when the boiler upset. He examined the boiler as soon as the women had been removed, and he found everything connected with it perfect He could not account for the accident save that whilst Parsons was easing the steam from the boiler at the end of the room a greater force was sent to the other boiler which was the only one then boiling. But this had been done for years, and had had no ill-effect before. If anyone had been working the handle at the time of the accident they must have been scalded. He was never before of opinion that the vibration caused by the force of steam would tip a boiler. There was about eight or nine hogsheads in it at the time. Every care was taken with the sufferers. When the boiler was full it nearly balanced, and a boy might turn it by the use of the handle. He thought the force of steam had raised the grass to the top of the boiler, and thereby somewhat counterbalanced it. Mr Richard Sanders, engineer, deposed that he had the management of the whole of the machinery at the mills. He had been there about twenty-four years, and was well acquainted with the working of the boiler. He fixed the boiler in question. He had examined it with the foreman and everything was perfect in it. He never knew a similar case. By the Foreman: He felt convinced that oscillation was given to the worm by the extra force of steam The Coroner thought there was no necessity to call Mr Blackburn, of Trew's Weir Mill, who Mr Gidley stated was willing to give the Jury the benefit of his long experience. Mr Hooper then summed up the evidence. It was he said a serious matter, and one to which a great deal of time and thought had been given. The Jury had had the fullest evidence that could be brought before them. The question for them to decide was whether or not proper precaution had been used to prevent this accident. Whether there was any culpable negligence on the part of anyone which caused the boiler to upset. There must be an act of omission or commission of a culpable nature to justify them in returning a verdict of manslaughter. The question was whether there had been negligence of such a culpable nature as to make the owner of the mills liable for the death of these women. They had evidence to show that no blame attached to anyone. The women themselves all said it was a pure accident. he had himself visited the mills ,and he must say that they were the most perfect and well-conducted that he had ever seen. The Foreman said there could be but one opinion respecting this affair. He believed it was purely an accident. After a short consultation the Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." The Coroner said he quite concurred. He did not believe there was the slightest blame attached to Mr Drew, who stated, in answer to a Juryman, that every precaution should be taken to prevent a recurrence of the accident.
The same evening Mr H. D. Barton (deputy Coroner) resumed the Enquiry into the circumstances attending the death of SARAH DENNIS, another of the unfortunate women who had died from the injuries received by the upsetting of this boiler. The evidence taken was similar to that given at the morning Enquiry, and the Jury without hesitation returned a unanimous verdict of "Death from Accidental Causes."
Wednesday 1 December 1875, Issue 5781 – Gale Document No. Y3200721684 BARNSTAPLE – Shocking Death Of A Child. - An Inquest was held at Pilton, Barnstaple, on Wednesday, before Mr J. Bencraft, Coroner, on the body of a child named ELIZA GREGORY, six years of age, daughter of poor parents, residing at Pilton, who had died from injuries received by burning the previous evening. The child had been left in the house with another about the same age, the mother having gone out to speak to a neighbour; and it being tea time, the child, in endeavouring to put on the kettle, set her pinafore on fire, and in an instant was enveloped in flames. She rushed out into the passage, and there fell down on her face; and was fearfully burnt all over the body. She was found in that condition by a neighbour, who was attracted by the cries, and the flames were smothered out; but the poor little sufferer had been almost roasted, and died after a few hours of great suffering. A verdict of "Accidentally Burnt" was returned.
Wednesday 8 December 1875, Issue 5782 – Gale Document No. Y3200721701 EXETER – On Thursday afternoon an Inquest was held at Smale's Castle Hotel before H. W. Hooper, Esq., City Coroner, on the body of MARK KNOWLES, a porter, 36 years of age, in the employ of Messrs. Allsopp and Sons, residing in castle-street. Mr H. Terry, Messrs. Allsopp's representative, watched the case on behalf of the firm. Deceased was at work in the stores on Wednesday afternoon, and about four o'clock, after going upstairs with a basket, and down again, he was observed to fall. Assistance was procured, but in a few minutes the man was dead. Mr J. W. Harris, who was called in to see the deceased, said he examined the body, and found no marks, except a scratch on the nose. He was of opinion that death resulted from Natural Causes, probably disease of the heart. The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.
Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Topsham Inn, South-street, last Friday evening, on the body of BESSIE COX, aged 2 years and 4 months, residing at Holcombe Burnell. It appeared from the evidence that on Friday November 26th, deceased's mother left her sitting on a low child's chair before the fire, which was burning on the hearth. Her mother had scarcely got outside the door when she heard deceased screaming. She hurriedly returned, and found that her child had fallen into the fire. She applied some simple remedies, but as she did not get better she was removed to the Devon and Exeter Hospital, where she died from the effects of the burns on Thursday evening last. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
On Monday morning the City Coroner held an Inquest at the Courtenay Arms, Mary Arches-street, on the body of WILLIAM JOHN COUSINS TUCKER, an infant of two months, who was found dead in bed by the side of its mother on Sunday morning. The child had always been subject to spasms, and Mr Perkins, who was called in, said his belief was that the child died from internal spasms. Verdict accordingly.
Wednesday 8 December 1875, Issue 5782 – Gale Document No. Y3200721714 CREDITON – Killed On The Railway. - An Inquest was held at the Railway Hotel, on Thursday, before Mr Crosse, County Coroner, touching the death of WILLIAM WELSFORD, aged seventy-two, of Bideford, who was a mason employed on the North Devon line. On the previous Tuesday evening deceased went to the Crediton Station to see Mr Brady, a foreman of the works, and was told that he was at a spot between that place and Yeoford. He obtained permission of a porter to walk on the line to where Mr Brady was, but was cautioned that a train was to speedily follow him, and another would meet him. Deceased then proceeded on his way, but was met by the train leaving Yeoford, and killed before the driver could bring it to a standstill. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."
TEIGNMOUTH – Sudden Death - The adjourned Inquest respecting the death of ANGELINA GODFREY, who was found dead in a room in which she resided at 22, Northumberland-place, Teignmouth, on the previous Sunday, was held on Friday evening. The deceased was of very eccentric habits, and would do as she pleased. About eighteen months ago she came to Teignmouth to live for the benefit of her health, and prior to this she resided at Torquay. On Sunday last, Maria Wills, a married woman who lived in the same house as the deceased and was in the habit of waiting on her, took deceased some dinner as usual, and called to her (she never went in her room) but received no answer. Her husband also called with like result. He then went for P.S. Knight. - William Henry Rawlings, surgeon, deposed to having made a post-mortem examination, as requested by the Coroner, and said he concluded that deceased died from disease of the heart, accelerated by abnormal pressure, brought on through the deformity of the spine. The Jury returned a verdict accordingly. The Coroner said that a woman possessing the means of deceased ought not to have been allowed to live in the manner she did, and it was wonderful that in a town like Teignmouth with its medical officers, overseers, &c., that such a woman should be residing there without its being known by the public generally.
Wednesday 15 December 1875, Issue 5783 – Gale Document No. Y3200721749 NEWTON ABBOT - Death From Starvation. - Mr H. Michelmore, Coroner, held an Inquest last Wednesday evening on the body of THOMAS BRYANT, a painter, who died in No. 4 Court, East-street, Newton, on Tuesday night. His habitation was a mere hovel, and he had been living there for a considerable time past, with no other companion but his son, a boy about 12 years of age. He had not been seen out for several weeks and on Tuesday night his son gave an alarm that his father was dead. It appears that application for relief was made to the parish authorities only a few hours before his death. The Jury returned a verdict of "Death from inflammation of the lungs, accelerated by want of food."
Wednesday 15 December 1875, Issue 5783 – Gale Document No. Y3200721751 EXETER - Mr Coroner Hooper held an Inquest at the Phoenix Inn, Goldsmith-street, on Thursday evening, touching the death of AMY MOORE, aged one year and eight months, the daughter of a cutler, residing in Goldsmith-street, who died suddenly the previous morning. It appeared that deceased had been suffering from measles, and had not thoroughly recovered. On Wednesday morning about half-past five o'clock, deceased was heard to make a choking noise in the throat, and in five minutes she was dead. Mr J. S. Perkins considered that the child died from a spasm at the top of the windpipe, and the Jury returned a verdict to that effect.
Wednesday 29 December 1875, Issue 5785 – Gale Document No. Y3200721808 DEVONPORT - A Family Poisoned. - A case of accidental poisoning, resulting in the death of a little girl, named SUSANNAH ELLEN PARNELL, four years old, has occurred at Devonport. On Thursday the grandmother of the deceased made broth for dinner, and into it placed a sprig or two of what she believed was parsley, taken from a bunch which had been used from previously without any ill effects. The mother has recently been confined, and her nurse ate but little of it, as it was sour. That little, however, made her very sick. The grandmother, the deceased, and the charwoman ate heartily at the broth, although at the time it was noticed that it was unaccountably peppery. Very soon afterwards the three were seized with violent pains; but after vomiting, the grandmother and the charwoman recovered somewhat. The deceased, however, was unable to vomit, but foamed at the mouth, and in a few hours was seized with a fit, and died. At the Inquest held on Friday Mr Bennett, surgeon, said in his opinion death had resulted from eating monkshood – an irritant poison – which much resembled parsley, and had been gathered for it in mistake. No monkshood was found amongst the parsley that was left. The Inquest was adjourned in order that a post-mortem examination and further inquiries might be made.
Last updated: 28 Jan 2015 - Brian Randell
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